The US has firmly rejected a Russian-drafted Security Council resolution seeking to establish an objective investigative mechanism to probe all allegations of chemical attacks in Syria “based on impeccable and irrefutable data.”
“We want to rise above the differences and propose [the] creation of a new international investigative body,” tasked with establishing facts and seeking those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria “based on the impeccable and irrefutable data obtained in a transparent and credible way,” Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzia told the Security Council on Tuesday.
The mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) expired in November following a number of failed attempts by the UNSC to extend its authority. Moscow has repeatedly criticized JIM’s handling of the investigation of chemical attacks in Syria, including the April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province. rt.com
Three people, including a civilian, were killed in fighting last night in Tripoli’s Gurji district, west of the city centre, between the powerful Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade of Haithem Tajouri and the Nawasi Brigade.
The clashes occurred late last night after Tajouri sent in forces to Gurji’s Massara area to clear it of a Nawasi unit consiting of an extended local family, the Alwad Radiah, said to be in control of it.
Tajouri’s forces are reported to have succeeded.
As well as the civilian killed in the fighting, one on the leaders of the Alwad Radiah was also reported killed. The third person was unidentified.
The fighting was triggered by a move earlier in the evening by Nawasi to take over Tajouri’s headquarters on the corniche (Shara Al-Shatt), just opposite the TV station next to the foreign ministry buildings. There was no serious fighting, just shooting in the air, but Tajouri called in reinforcements and the corniche east of the Mahari Radisson Blu hotel was closed off. His forces were then dispatched to Gurji.
The pro-Islamist Nawasi brigade was at one point linked to Abdul Raouf Kara and his Rada brigades but the link was broken when, with the arrival of the Presidency Council in Tripoli last year, he supported it while the more radical Nawasi continued to support the crumbling Libya Dawn “government” of Khalifa Ghwell. It still does so, although like him, it is said to have now transferred its support to Baset Igtet.
It is claimed that it tried to move against Tajouri yesterday following the rumours that he was going to have discussions with Khalifa Hafter. libyaherald.com
Did you know who Kim Jong Nam was before he was assassinated? For many the answer is no. Sometimes a failed opposition figure is worth more dead than alive. I would not rule out the possibility that CIA assets have been used to make a martyr out of a failed opposition figure. Take for example; It may be what is needed to convince possible defectors that cooperation with the CIA is necessary, if they do not wish to meet the same fate as Kim Jong Nam, implying they will be next on Kim Kong-Un’s chopping block.
The CIA is no moral superior to Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-Un, their actions led to the rise of al-Qaeda & ISIS, their intelligence has pushed countries into needless wars at the cost of millions of innocent lives. One of their goals is to destabilize North Korea in hope of provoking regime change, this is done not to liberate North Korea, but in order to have no countries out of their control; their long term goal is full-spectrum dominance.
A senior Malaysian official says a second autopsy will be carried out on the half brother of the North Korean leader who was apparently assassinated at the Kuala Lumpur airport.
The official says the result of the first autopsy on Kim Jong Nam was inconclusive. He says the second one will take place Saturday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
Earlier, North Korean Ambassador Kang Chol said Malaysia conducted the autopsy on Kim Jong Nam “unilaterally and excluding our attendance.” He says his government will reject any findings.
South Korea has accused its enemies in North Korea of dispatching a hit squad to kill Kim Jong Nam at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, saying two female assassins poisoned him and then fled in a taxi. daily-sun.com
Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has sent a formal request to NATO to help in building up security and defence systems, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
NATO had agreed to send help at its Warsaw summit a week ago, but only if formally requested by the UN-backed PC. Now that such a request had been received, Stoltenberg said the organisation would discuss how to respond. However, he did not say what sort of help Serraj had requested.
Serraj had invited NATO forces to play a stronger role against smuggling in the Mediterranean some weeks ago, but military assistance on the ground in Libya was off the table.
NATO has been involved in counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations, and is fully involved alongside the EU in migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean. libyaherald.com
This year has seen a stark change in the views of Tripolitans, irrelevant of whether they supported the revolution or not.
“I never loved Qaddafi, but I thought from the start it was just a conspiracy shared by other countries to destroy Libya and take over its resources,” Khalil Gharghum, a resident opposed to the revolution told the Libya Herald.
However, even pro-revolution residents seem to lack the desire to celebrate.
“The revolution is a principle I will never give up. But I will not celebrate due to the awful circumstances we are seeing that include women being raped and the kidnapping of children. All the beautiful things we created have been destoyed in the name of revolution and religion,” said Mohamed Sultan, a freelance journalist from Tripoli.
The split in Tripoli is more obvious this year than before. libyaherald.com
Secretary of State John Kerry threatened on Wednesday to end all cooperation between the United States and Russia to stop Syria’s civil war, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end. More than 250 people are believed to have been killed in the besieged city in the last week.
Kerry’s warning came in a telephone call Wednesday to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the State Department said, describing the latest U.S. ultimatum in Syria’s 5½-year conflict. Many have gone unfulfilled, including President Barack Obama’s declaration that the U.S. would take military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons.
It was unclear what effect Kerry’s words would have.
“The burden remains on Russia to stop this assault and allow humanitarian access to Aleppo and other areas in need,” Kerry told Lavrov, according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.
Kerry said the U.S. is preparing to “suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria,” including talks on a possible counter-extremist partnership, “unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore” a cease-fire. ap.org
A UN government that was imposed on Libya has welcomed US air strikes on the country. The elected government faces sanctions, & the head of the Libyan army has been labeled a terrorist. The UN imposed government has little genuine support in Libya. The so called unity government now relies on the same forces who threatened to shoot down their plane should the try to enter Libya, for their security in the capital.
Many military experts say it is extremely difficult win a war from the air, you need reliable forces on the ground. So who are the US-NATO’s forces on the ground? Well most of the so called unity government forces are from Libya Dawn, a mix of al-Qaeda & the Muslim Brotherhood. Libya Dawn who many of which come from the town of Misrata, were cooperating with ISIS in 2015 but have since turned against them, & are playing along for now to receive military aid from western forces. This military aid will then be used to intensify conflict against HoR -House of Representatives the elected government, & LNA – Libyan National Army. The US knows this, as in this appears to be a deliberate act. The US supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Are they supporting the rise of al-Qaeda & the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya? Most just blindly applaud US efforts to fight ISIS, with out any real consideration into the long term effects, of arming & training terrorists to fight terrorism.
The corporate media uses ridiculous statistics via Qraphiq who claim to of collected their data via the Global Terrorism Database. They lable the Libyan National Army headed by General Khalifa Haftar, who works in connection with the elected government, as one of the “Most Deadly Terrorist Groups in Libya since 2000.”
General Khalifa Haftar’s forces have been focusing & making advances against al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, & ISIS forces in & around Benghazi. They have refused to unite with terrorists in the UN imposed unity government, & for this action they have been labeled a terrorist organization. Basically Haftar has been finishing what Gaddafi started, before he was murdered, fighting terrorism in Benghazi. Gaddafi forces encroaching on Benghazi – 2011; aljazeera.com lie; “But our correspondent said there was no al-Qaeda presence in Benghazi and other opposition towns” “[Ordinary] men women and children in the towns and cities of eastern Libya are the ones fighting,” Bays said. In 2011 al-Qaeda (ISIS) were classed as peaceful pro democracy protesters, who just want western styled democracy, by NATO leaders led from behind by the US.
On March 18, 2011 President Obama told congressional leaders that the “kinetic activity” (fighting) we were getting into in Libya would be a matter of “days, not weeks.” He used the same “days and not weeks” phrase in a news conference on March 22. usatoday.com
If you were to write Libya’s current events as a novel, a publisher would throw it out, on the grounds that it was too improbable even as a work of fiction.
Just consider: Libya has a new government, the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is backed, indeed created by western powers, yet supported by almost nobody in Libya. So much so that, two months after arriving in Tripoli, its seven strong presidency council – two members having already quit – the rest – when there’re there – cannot even leave the naval base. They hold sham meetings in a bunker with visiting dignitaries and are protected by paid Dawn militias on the base.
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tripoli is occupied by Libya Dawn people. Dawn created the National Salvation Government in Tripoli.
The farce escalated on March 31, when the GNA, more accurately the Presidency Council, chosen not by election but by a UN-chaired commission, arrived in the Libyan capital by boat. Boat? Yes, because Libya Dawn, the coalition of extremist and Misrata militias that controls Tripoli, had then threatened to shoot down their plane. An Italian warship conveyed these seven men, bearing a UN mandate, to a spot just over the horizon. Then a rusty Libyan naval cutter ferried them the last few miles, to preserve the illusion that this was a Libyan operation, not one engineered by Western puppet-masters.
Once in the naval base, the council, which is not part of the yet to be confirmed 30 Ministers and 60 Deputy Ministers of the GNA, are led by a “designate prime minister” Fayez Serraj, a businessman, who has been unable to move into the city though he now frequently visits other countries; staying anywhere but Libya if he can. Dawn still controls the city, and the pro-Dawn pro-Muslim Brotherhood chiefs of central bank and oil remain in post. So Serraj and his Council HAD to make a deal with Dawn!
PC/GNA members can’t even get into the government offices, which are still occupied by Dawn’s own National Salvation Government.
Instead, the GNA has agreed that Libya Dawn can be its security force.
What the PC/GNA have done is let the members of Dawn create, accepted by the UN, a State Council, supposedly an advisory body only but increasingly seen as the power in Tripoli with Misratan Abdel Rahman Swehli as its head and cooperating with his cousin, the ambitious Deputy designate PM Ahmed Maetig, seem both to have effectively usurped Serraj’s authority.
In turn, this has infuriated the elected parliament, based in the eastern city of Tobruk. That parliament -the HOR – refuses to vote for the new phantom GNA government, and members are dismayed to see Dawn now cemented in control of the capital through the State Council.
As as result, the East, Cyrenaica, appear to be breaking away. Early in May they tried to sell their own oil. The UN stopped them. The UN issued an edict to blockade Tobruk port – Hariga – Libya’s only current export terminal. Then after a few days the blockade was negotiated away. What was agreed is unknown.
Now the East are about to issue their own currency.
Libya Dawn might control the capital, reducing the GNA to impotence, but Tobruk has some very strong cards also. The east has most of Libya’s oil. Its National Army, commanded by Gen.Khalifa Haftar, is more powerful than Dawn’s. In the east, its units have occupied key oil fields in the Sirte Basin and other strategic positions. In the west, its allied units in Zintan have closed pipelines that pass through their territory from oil fields to Zawia, Tripoli’s only real oil port, while proudly announcing newly-formed combat units loyal to the Libyan Army and Hafter.
The east has most of the oil, and knows it is in a powerful position to issue its own currency, 4 billion Libyan Dinars no less, printed in Russia, and available to the people from the 1st June, even as Tripoli’s central bank also starts distributing their notes printed in Britain.
With Tobruk holding the key economic and military cards, though the PC first called such currency counterfeit, Serraj this week agreed a compromise; the east can issue its currency, if it cooperates with the Tripoli bank so that both currencies co-exist. Lets see how long that lasts.
It must be noted that on the ‘US Embassy of Libya’ Facebook site, the Americans issued a categoric statement that the Russian made money was counterfeit. I wonder will they issue a retraction?
The reality is that the civil war goes on, and the east, disenchanted by the shambles of a “unity” government and interference of the international community, has in effect broken away, taking Libya’s oil with it, and leaving western powers grasping at straws and looking incompetent.
This has not stopped pro-Dawn elements in Serraj’s presidency council from starting a purge of foreign embassies to instal their own people. With the power of UN backing, the purge cannot be opposed. A mass clearout is taking place in Libyan embassies across the world. But these purges will only further antagonise Tobruk, and indeed all Libyans who feel that an extremist-Misrata coalition of militias should not rule Libya to the exclusion of everyone else. The West should be ashamed.
The farce is speading beyond Libya’s shores. After the revelation revealed in The Times that British special forces are not just advising, but fighting alongside Misrata forces battling IS, the head of the British parliament’s powerful foreign affairs committee, Crispin Blunt MP, has demanded Prime Minister Cameron come clean about exactly what the SAS is up to in Libya. His concern: That British units will become embroiled not just in Misrata’s war against IS, but with its bigger battle against Haftar’s forces. Hafter’s forces are covertly advised by Russian and French special forces, leading to the possibility of a very awkward confrontation. Let alone the fact that Egypt and the UAE also support the East Libyans.
Meanwhile, the US is rushing ahead with plans to arm GNA forces, who will be only Dawn militias, after Haftar said categorically he does not accept the GNA as a legitimate government. The US insists the weapons will only be used against IS, but if Dawn militias turn them on Haftar’s forces, the west will find itself embroiled in a proxy war. While Washington supports the GNA, Moscow in particular is increasingly throwing its weight behind the elected parliament in Tobruk, raising the prospect of a diplomatic mailstrom similar to that which is now unfolding in Syria.
No, a publisher would say, shaking their head, this kind of mess is just not credible. Not even as fiction.
Could western powers, with such powerful intelligence services, with so much brain-power and stored experience, really contrive this mess? All I can say is, good luck to future historians, or come to that, congressional and parliamentary inquiries, trying to untangle this mess.
The very short answer for those who can’t wait for historians or parliamentary reports is the fact that both Washington and London are seduced at the very highest levels by the formidable internationally organised Muslim Brotherhood who support the militias of Tripoli and Misrata and want the control of Libya and her assets inside and outside the country.
We in the West couldn’t have made the situation worse if we tried. – Exclusive to Times of Oman timesofoman.com
There are concerns that parts of Libya Dawn are temporarily playing ball with the UN government to receive arms & training, then to use those arms to fulfill their own objectives, separate from the desires of the UN government.
This article below suggests that the UN government is taking measures to prevent similar incident such as the kidnapping of former president Ali Zeidan, by Dawn militia after Zeidan failed to meet protection racket payments.
Since the calling of a halt to anti ISIS assault on Sirte by the UN government; ISIS appears to of taken strategic roads in Misrata, the concerns are that Libya Dawn is deliberately allowing ISIS to take territory, to sabotage the rival UN governments efforts to fight terrorism in the country, in the hope of a lifting of sanctions, & arms embargo. Qatar with a GDP of 93,714.06 USD, seeks to paint Dawn as the victim of ISIS rather than ISIS being Dawns ally of convenience, a theory at this time which is based on circumstantial evidence. One thing that can be certain of is that Dawn is made up of & allied with al-Qaeda, so it is hard to see the organization as part of the solution in the fight against terrorism in Libya.
“We ask all military forces to wait for [the government] to appoint a joint command for the Sirte operation. Any infringement of this order will be considered against military law,” – UN unity government administration. sputniknews.com
Waiting outside the city for orders to advance, while inside Sirte da’esh has been terrorizing the remaining population, threatening them with death if they refuse to fight for them and executing those who openly resist.
Not only has the delay had disastrous (and we believe intentional) consequences, this tragic situation was politicized again yesterday by quarrels over which government has the status of “commander in chief”; the Presidential Council forbidding any military action to liberate Sirte.
Some observers foresee confrontation between Libya Dawn & Haftar forces inside Sirte .
29 April 2016 UN government seeks to sack Haftar, replacing him with Mahdi Al-Barghathi.
The Presidency Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord threatened to dismiss military chief Khalifa Haftar and appoint another commander. In a statement issued yesterday, the council called on military factions to wait till it appoints a joint leadership for operations and to unify efforts under the council’s leadership. The unity government seeks to sack Haftar, replacing him with Mahdi Al-Barghathi.middleeastmonitor.com
28 April 2016 UN blocks government in the east profiting from Libyan oil.
An Indian-flagged oil tanker has been left in limbo after being added to a UN sanctions blacklist for illegally transporting crude oil from Libya. Diplomats said the Distya Ameya had left eastern Libya on Monday with oil from an unrecognised administration. UN sanctions ban oil revenues to entities in Libya other than the new unity government. Port authorities in any destination country are now obliged to impound the tanker on arrival. bbc.co.uk
24 Feb 2016. Libya: Islamist fighters are pushed back in Benghazi
Relieved residents have been celebrating in Benghazi after Islamist militants were forced out of parts of the eastern Libyan city by forces loyal to the internationally recognised government. The victory for supporters of military commander Khalifa Haftar, a leading figure in the 2011 revolution, comes despite fears over ISIL’s expanded presence in Libya, exploiting the security vacuum left when Colonel Gaddafi was toppled. euronews.com
Libyan forces to attack ISIS stronghold of Sirte in 48 hours
In memory of the Battle of Alkarzabih April 29, 1915
– The day national unity defeated the colonizers