Violent Jihad

75 US-trained rebels enter Syria and Syrian regime carries out attacks on IS

75 US-backed Syrian rebels have reportedly entered Syria through Turkey, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

BY John Cordero · | September 21, 2015

U.S. Seeks Accord on Cyber, Backed off on South China Sea

On the eve of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit come reports that the US and China are negotiating a cyber attack peace agreement in which each country promises not to be the first to strike at the other’s critical infrastructure via cyber warfare. As both countries routinely engage in cyber attacks against each other, there is no current international agreement that adequately defines what sort of incident is considered a cyber attack.

This move  comes as China asserts its increasing dominance over Asia, seemingly with the tacit permission of the US. Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear told a Congressional committee, that the US Navy has not sailed or flown within the 12 nautical mile limit of Chinese artificial islands in the South China Sea since 2012.  Failing to enforce freedom of navigation in the area may result in the de facto acceptance of China’s sovereignty aims over that body of water.

Meanwhile, as U.S. Asian allies, including Japan move to increase their security, the US appears to be prepared to welcome Chinese expansion in Central and South Asia. China is preparing to protect its vast economic interests in Pakistan and Afghanistan, even participating in Afghan peace talks it had once shunned. If China is successful in linking the vast oil and gas reserves in Central Asia to the Indian Ocean, it is likely that the US may have spent spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan only to secure China’s influence in the region.

Israel skeptical of Russian moves in Syria

Israel has been largely overlooked when gauging responses to Russia’s expansion of its military forces in Syria. While Israel has remained publicly neutral in the conflict, it has repeatedly struck at Hezbollah targets. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to present his concerns over the Russia presence in Syria.

Israel is rightly concerned about the prospect of Russian weapons and equipment flowing to Hezbollah, who also fight on Assad’s side. Furthermore, the fact that Iran is also deeply involved in the civil war and is Hezbollah’s chief patron cannot be taken lightly by the Israelis.

Iran collecting environmental samples without UN inspectors

Environmental samples such as soil, air, and dust from equipment were collected by Iranian nuclear experts at Parchin military base, according to Iran’s atomic energy agency spokesman. According to Western diplomats, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were supposed to be present while the samples were taken. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) insists that all regulations were. Deputy IAEA Director General Tero Varjoranta was quoted as reassuring that the sampling procedures were followed, as there was video monitoring, GPS tracking, and risk assessment at the time of the collection. That the Iranians would be permitted to provide their own samples from Parchin was one of the “secret side deals” not included in the text of the Iran deal provided to Congress, but concluded during negotiations in Austria.

75 US-trained rebels enter Syria and Syrian regime carries out attacks on IS

75 US-backed Syrian rebels have reportedly entered Syria through Turkey, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Just days after US General Lloyd Austin reported that only a handful of US-trained rebels remained, more rebels returned to Syria in 12 vehicles equipped with machine guns. Previous efforts to introduce U.S. backed Syrian rebels have met with failure, when force came under repeated attack by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al Nusra.

The Syrian army is taking action of its own, carrying out at least 25 air strikes Saturday on the ancient city of Palmyra, which is currently held by the Islamic State (IS). This is the second bombardment by the Syrian military in the territory. According to the Observatory, 12 IS members were among the 26 killed. The Syrian regime forces also fired missiles on the city of Aleppo Monday, in which control is currently divided between the government and opposition. At least 18 civilians were reportedly killed in the attack.

Other news we’re following:

US to accept 100,000 refugees by 2017

Former lieutenant of Osama bin Laden killed

55 Kurdish rebels killed in Turkish airstrikes, according to Anatolia news

56 Syrian regime forces killed in mass execution this month

Americans, Saudis, Briton released by Yemen’s Houthi group

Burkina Faso coup leaders agree to return to democracy

Al-Shabaab threat causes evacuation of 20,000 in Kenya

5 killed in suicide bombing in Cameroon

54 killed in Boko Haram attack in northern Nigeria

Russian foreign contacts cause suspicion

Fighter jets latest addition to Russian arsenal in Syria

Russian hackers using multiple techniques to attack US networks

Putin orders ground troops into Syria



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