U.S. — Trump administration budget asks Congress for 37 more missile “defense” systems near Russia and for ships along coasts

This isn’t being covered by the mainstream news. Most of the public won’t know about this proposal.

“Along the respective coasts” — which coasts?
Missile “defense” systems include not just missiles, but high intensity radar aimed at populated areas and communities — men, women, children.

Lockheed Martin Corp. makes the Aegis system.

Tell Congress “NO”.

From Fort Russ

February 12, 2018 – FRN –
Rusvesna – translated by Inessa Sinchougova
The US administration has asked to allocate funds for the construction of 37 Aegis missile defense systems in Romania and Poland, the operations director of the Missile Defense Agency, Gary Pannett, said on Monday.
“Within the framework of the draft budget for the 2019 financial year, we have requested 1.8 billion dollars for the systems. The missile defense agency will provide 37 Aegis SM-3 systems to facilities in Romania and Poland, as well as on ships along the respective coasts,” Pennett said at a special briefing in the Pentagon.
On Monday, the US administration submitted the draft budget for the 2019 financial year, which begins October 1, 2018, for consideration by Congress.
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Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow

From RT
February 13, 2018

Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it’s been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.”

Late on Monday, the center received a phone call from a resident of the village of Serakab in Idlib province about the planned incident.

According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab.

Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.

The information received from the Idlib resident raised a red flag for members of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria.

According to the center, this indicates that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists along with the White Helmets are plotting another “provocation” with the use of poisonous substances in Idlib province, aimed at accusing the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons against local residents.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in October that the notorious Idlib chemical incident in April, which was used by the US as a pretext to strike Syria’s Shayrat Airbase, might have been staged.

Presenting photographic evidence of a crater from the scene of the chemical incident, the head of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a UN briefing that the bomb which dispersed the deadly chemical agent was most likely detonated on the ground and not on impact from a Syrian airstrike. “Most likely, an improvised explosive device was located on the surface,” Ulyanov said.

The Khan Shaykhun chemical incident occurred on April 4, 2017, in the town of the same name in the Idlib Governorate, in an area that was under the control of Al-Nusra Front terrorists. The sarin gas attack, which allegedly claimed the lives of between 74 to 100 civilians, reportedly took place when the town was struck by the Syrian Air Force. Washington rushed to blame Damascus, despite the denial of the Syrian government, which destroyed all of its sarin stockpiles under the deal brokered between Russia and the US in 2013. Even though there was a lack of any hard evidence, shortly after the incident US President Donald Trump authorized the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase, from where US intelligence claimed the chemical attack was launched.

In late October, the US Department of State finally admitted that militants linked to Al-Nusra Front are indeed carrying out terrorist attacks using chemical weapons in Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry noted that a precedent had been set by Washington’s acknowledgement of the situation.

“This is the first official recognition by the State Department not only of the presence, but the very use of chemical weapons by Al-Nusra terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks, which we repeatedly warned about,” General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the ministry, said.

The White Helmets have been long hailed by the Western media as “peace-bearing heroes”who save human lives. However, the group has been dogged by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in April 2017.

Ukraine is mining territory next to the Russian border

From Fort Russ

February 12, 2018 – FRN –

The Ukrainian army is mining the territories at the border with the Russian Federation. This was stated on Tuesday at a briefing by the official representative of Lugansk, Andrei Marochko, referring to intelligence data.
On February 11, the body of a Ukrainian soldier was brought to a morgue of the hospital in Severodonetsk, controlled by Kiev.
“It is known that the serviceman died as a result of an explosion by an unidentified explosive device in the vicinity of Kamyshnoye settlement. As it turned out, this site is where a group of Ukrainian soldiers, which included the deceased, was engaged in the mining of territories near the state border with the Russian Federation.”
– said Marochko.

U.S. forces attack and kill up to 100 Syrians investigating ISIS cell

From RT

True US goal in Syria is control over resources, not fighting ISIS – Russian MoD

February 8, 2018

The US-led coalition’s attack on pro-government forces in Syria has again proven that Washington’s true goal is to capture “economic assets” instead of fighting terrorism, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The MoD was referring to an incident which took place on Tuesday in Deir Ez-Zor province, as a Syrian militia unit was moving against a “sleeper cell” of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The operation was prompted by a surge in shelling of the positions of Syrian government forces in the area over the past few days, attributed to the covert activities of IS terrorists, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

A unit of the pro-government militia was conducting a reconnaissance search mission on February 7 near the former oil processing plant of Al-Isba. While there, “the militiamen came under a surprise mortar and MRLS shelling, and were attacked by helicopters of the US-led ‘international coalition.’”

As a result, 25 members of the pro-government unit were injured. Initial media reports, citing unnamed US officials, suggested that some 100 Syrian soldiers had died in the assault by the coalition forces.

The US Central Command earlier called the attack on Syrian militiamen “self-defense,” claiming that the troops allegedly launched an “unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] headquarters.”

The US version of events, however, raises “lots of questions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

Following the incident, the Russian military talked to the coalition through the established communication channels, with the latter stating that Al-Isba was under the control of SDF and US troops. The immediate cause of the incident, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, was the fact that the militia unit acted on its own, without consulting Russian advisers first.

The case exposes a greater problem, however, as according to the MoD the attack by the coalition “once again proved that the true goal of the continuous illegal presence of US forces in Syria is already not the fight against ISIS international terrorist group, but the capture and control of the economic assets belonging solely to the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Damascus has decried the attack as a “war crime”and a “crime against humanity,” SANA reports, citing a letter to the UN issued by the Foreign Ministry. The US-led coalition is illegal and should be disbanded altogether, the ministry stressed.

“We demand [the international community] condemn this massacre and hold the coalition responsible for it,” the ministry said, adding that this is not the first time the US-led coalition has targeted Syrian government forces.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US-led coalition’s presence on its soil, calling it an act of blatant aggression and violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Damascus has also urged the UN to press the US to leave, especially following the successful defeat of the main IS forces. The US, however, has stated that it may remain in Syria indefinitely to counter what it describes as Iranian influence and to secure “post-Assad leadership” for the country.

Recent developments indicate that the US might be effectively shifting towards partitioning Syria altogether, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier on Wednesday.

“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,” Lavrov stated.

“Now, they are saying that they will keep their presence until they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change.”

https://www.rt.com/news/418227-syria-us-resources-grab/

U.S. claims aerial attack on Syrian ‘pro-regime’ forces

From Fort Russ

February 8th, 2018 – Fort Russ News –
– By Joaquin Flores for FRN –

WASHINGTON DC, USA – In a major development, the US’s Central Command (Centcom) has just released an official statement, claiming that it has conducted an aerial attack on what it terms ‘Syrian pro-regime’ forces, about eight miles east of the Euphrates river.

The attack was strategically important for the US as control by the legal and duly elected Syrian government would allow it to link Syria and Lebanon via Iraq to Iran.

The Centcom statement included: “”Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters Feb. 7.”

The statement continued: ” In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh mission.”

It should be noted that the language used by Centcom greatly obfuscates the legal framework of this conflict. The US is operating illegally, with an overt invasion force, and also continues to fund and direct a side in what it frames as a civil war .

 While many international legal experts, as well as the Syrian government have concluded that the war in Syria is a US and ‘Coalition’ backed invasion, it is nevertheless also illegal to fund or control a side in a civil war, which is what the US claims it is doing. The US also claims this alongside its phantom war against its own ISIS creation.
Thus, any attack by the SAA and it’s allied fighting groups upon an illegal, internationally backed, terrorist or otherwise ‘militia’ group existing on the territory of Syria, can not rationally be described in any existing framework as either ‘aggression’ or ‘unprovoked’.

Centcom claims that US bombers struck ‘pro-regime forces’. This is the area where there have been successful Syrian military advances because the US created ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) moved out. The SDF is a rebranding of some of the US backed Kurdish forces which are operating in areas which include sizable Arab populations.

As we reported previously, Kurdish-led and US backed forces have deployed elsewhere to fight Turkish backed forces.

It is unclear at the time of publishing whether these ‘pro-regime forces’ were auxiliary militias, or the Syrian Arab Army itself. FRN still awaits confirmation on more reliable details from the officials of the SAA. Centcom official statements are historically inaccurate and rife with factual ambiguities and legal untruths.

Diplomatically, and legally, this difference – whether the SAA or allied militias were attacked – may result in a different response from the Syrian government, and its allies in the conflict: Iran and Russia.

In either event, this represents another major escalation in the US’s growing and direct role in the conflict which it has supported through various proxies since the start of this decade.

This story at the time of publishing, is still developing.

U.S. Defense Attaché to visit the Donbass front Feb. 7-8

Current U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is Marie Yovanovitch.
U.S. Defense Attaché is Colonel Thomas Wofford.

From Fort Russ

February 7, 2018 – Fort Russ News –

– Novorosinform, translated by Tom Winter –

American Defense Advisor will visit the front line in Donbass.

In the coming days, a foreign commission headed by the defense attaché at the US Embassy in Ukraine will arrive in the occupied territory of Donbass, and the situation on the frontline is expected to worsen Lieutenant-Colonel Andrei Marochko told journalists today. Marochko is an official representative of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk Peoples Republic,

“In the coming days, we do not exclude situation on the line of contact getting worse, in connection with the arrival of a foreign commission headed by the Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in Ukraine,” the lieutenant colonel said.

According to him, the foreigners plan to visit the settlement of Svetlodorsk in the period from February 7-8.

“The work of a military delegation from the United States can be connected with testing the readiness of units of  mechanized brigade 54 of the Armed Forces to carry out offensive operations. It is during this period that we expect provocations from Ukrainian forces in the area of the Svetlodarskaya arc,” the representative of the Defense Ministry stressed.

“In addition, in the vicinity of the settlement Mironovsky, we note the arrival of a group of foreign officer-instructors. According to preliminary information, the mercenaries arrived from Canada for special tasks on the contact line,” Andrei Marochko added.

Recall, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Ukrainian troops in the interval between March and June intend to begin a full-scale war in the Donbass.

Some related background:
Yesterday presidential candidate and Yabloko party leader Yavlinsky said that Russia should give up supporting the Donbass.

Recall that Ivan Vynnyk, the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the Bloc of Peter Poroshenko and secretary of the Committee on National Security and Defense, believes that after the adoption of the bill on the reintegration of Donbass Ukraine legally can cleanse the DNR and LNR.

Andrei Biletsky, MP, and leader of the Nazi “National Corps” *, the founder of the regiment “Azov” * MP Rada, in turn, said that the leadership of Ukraine should decide to give the order on the approach of the Armed Forces in the Donbass. And in parallel, Kiev must start a war of sabotage within the Russian Federation.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2018/02/american-defense-attache-to-visit.html

Pentagon staff now in the Donbass

February 8, 2018 – Fort Russ News –

– Novorosinform, translated by Tom Winter –

A group of Pentagon officers have arrived in Donbass to check the readiness of the armed forces for an offensive, said Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the operational command of the Donetsk People’s Republic. [See also US commission to visit front]

According to him, the American officers are accompanied by representatives of the Ukrainian General Staff.

“At the moment, brigades of the Armed Forces, which are part of the “Donetsk” operational-tactical group, are being tested,” Basurin added.

Recall that on January 29, President of Ukraine Poroshenko signed a law allowing foreign military forces on the territory of Ukraine, thereby legalizing the presence of the US military in the country.

On January 26, Canada sent an additional 50 military instructors to Ukraine.

In October, the representative of the European Command, (EUCOM, USCOM) US Armed Forces, said that the Pentagon plans in 2018 to prepare four more battalions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In August, the US began construction of a naval base in Ochakov.

On October 4, the US Army Army said that more than 200 US soldiers had already arrived at the International Peacekeeping Center near Yavorov to train the militia fighters.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2018/02/pentagon-staff-now-in-donbass.html