Naval Face Off In Mediterranean Sea Off Of Syria

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Mounting pressure for a Western strike on Syria has seen naval forces both friendly and hostile to Damascus build up off the embattled country’s coastline.

The potential of a US strike against Syria in response to an August 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb gained steam on Wednesday, when a resolution backing the use of force against President Bashar Assad’s government cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on a 10-7 vote.

President Obama has decided to put off military action until at least September 9, when the seemingly recalcitrant US House of Representatives reconvenes to vote on the measure.

Following the August 21 Ghouta Attack, which killed anywhere between 355 to 1,729 people, the diplomatic scramble to launch or stave off a military strike on Syria was mirrored by the movement of naval forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria.

The deployment of US and allied naval warships in the region has been matched by the deployment of Russian naval warships in the region.

While the Western vessels have in many cases been deployed in the event a military strike against Syria gets a green light, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s naval presence is needed to protect national security interests and is not a threat to any nation.

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Below is a brief summary of the naval hardware currently amassed off Syria’s shores.

USA

The US Navy has five Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers off the coast of Syria, which its top admiral says is “fully ready” for a wide range of possible actions.

The USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry are each armed with dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles, which have a range of about 1,000 nautical miles (1,151 miles) and are used for precise targeting.

The ships are also equipped with surface-to-air missiles capable of defending the vessels from air attacks.

On August 29, the USS Stout was sent to relieve the USS Mahan, but a defense official told AFP that both ships might remain in the area for the time being.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday that the US ships are prepared for what he called a “vast spectrum of operations,”including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets in Syria, as was done in Libya in 2011, and protecting themselves in the event of retaliation, AP reports.

In addition to the destroyers, the United States may well have one of its four guided missile submarines off the coast of Syria. At one time these subs were equipped with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. Nowadays, they are capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It was also announced on Monday that the US had deployed the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport ship, to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The USS San Antonio, with several helicopters and hundreds of Marines on board, is “on station in the Eastern Mediterranean” but “has received no specific tasking,” a defense official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The deployment of the USS Antonio comes despite promises from President Obama that no amphibious landing is on the agenda, as the US has ostensibly ruled out any “boots on the ground.”

While the wording of the draft resolution set to be put before the House does not permit a ground invasion, the wording of the text could potentially allow troops to carry out non-offensive operations within Syria, including securing chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities.

On Monday, it was also announced the USS Nimitz super carrier had moved into the Red Sea, though it had not been given orders to be part of the planning for a limited US military strike on Syria, US officials told ABC News.

The other ships in the strike group are the cruiser USS Princeton and the destroyers USS William P. Lawrence, USS Stockdale and USS Shoup.

The official said the carrier strike group has not been assigned a mission, but was shifted in the event its resources are needed to “maximize available options.”

The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and strike group is also in the northern Arabian Sea.

Russia

Russia, Syria’s longtime ally and primary arms supplier, has its only overseas naval base located in the Syrian port of Tartus, which has reportedly been used to support Russia’s growing number of naval patrols on the Mediterranean. However, Russia insists recent efforts to bolster its naval presence in the region are not in response to Western threats of a military strike.

Reported movements of many Russian ships in the region are coming from anonymous Russian defense ministry sources and have not been confirmed. RT contacted the Russian Navy to ask for confirmation of the reported ship movements, though no comment was forthcoming.

On Friday, for example, the large landing ship, Nikolai Filchenkov, was reportedly dispatched from the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol for the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, from where it is eventually expected to reach the Syrian coast, a source told Interfax News Agency.

“The ship will make call in Novorossiisk, where it will take on board special cargo and set off for the designated area of its combat duty in the eastern Mediterranean,” the source said.

RIA news agency quoted an unnamed senior naval source as saying on Friday that the frigate, Smetlivy, would leave for the Mediterranean on September 12-14, and the corvette Shtil and missile boat Ivanovets would approach Syria at the end of the month.

The Russian destroyer Nastoichivy, which is the flagship of the Baltic fleet, is also expected to join the group in the region.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov, who was unable to comment on specific reports, said on Thursday the Russian navy currently had a “pretty strong group” there.

“The Russian navy does not intend to take part directly or indirectly in a possible regional conflict,” he told the state Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

“Our navy vessels are a guarantee of stability, guarantee of peace, an attempt to hold back other forces ready to start military action in the region.”

Also reportedly in place in the eastern Mediterranean are the frigate Neustrashimy, as well as the landing ships Alexander Shabalin, the Admiral Nevelsky and the Peresvet.

They are expected to be joined by the guided-missile cruiser Moskva.

The Moskva, set to arrive in a little over a week’s time, will take over operations from a naval unit in the region.

“The plans of the naval unit under the command of Rear Admiral Valery Kulikov had to be changed a little. Instead of visiting a Cape Verde port, the cruiser Moskva is heading to the Strait of Gibraltar. In about ten days, it will enter the eastern Mediterranean, where it will replace the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev as the flagship of the operative junction of the Russian Navy,” a source told Interfax on Wednesday.

Panteleyev incidentally, only arrived in the east Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday after leaving the Far-Eastern port city of Vladivostok on March 19 to join the Russian standing naval force as its flagship.

The SSV-201 reconnaissance ship, Priazovye, is also reportedly on its way to join the group in the Eastern Mediterranean. Accompanied by the two landing ships, Minsk and Novocherkassk, the intelligence ship passed through the ‘Istanbul Strait’ on Thursday, which helps form the boundary between Europe and Asia.

FRANCE

On August 31, French military officials confirmed the frigate Chevalier Paul, which specializes in anti-missile capabilities, and the transport ship, Dixmude, were in the Mediterranean. French officials denied they are in the region to participate in military action against Syria, but were rather taking part in training and operation preparations.

Despite their presence in the region, France currently has no ship-based missiles, so any offensive action would come from the air in the form of long-range Scalp missiles, similar to those the nation used in Kosovo in 1999 and in Libya in 2011, Time reports.

Italy

Two Italian warships set sail for Lebanon on Wednesday in a bid to protect 1,100 Italian soldiers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, Syria’s southeastern neighbor, Agence France Presse reported.

The Italian ANSA news agency reported that a frigate and a torpedo destroyer boat departed from Italy’s southeastern coast on Wednesday and would provide additional protection to the soldiers in the event the Syrian conflict further deteriorates.

UK

As of August 29, the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group was deployed in the Mediterranean as part of long-planned exercise Cougar 13. The force includes helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious, type-23 frigates HMS Westminster and HMS Montrose, amphibious warship HMS Bulwark and six Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships.
The Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine HMS Tireless was also believed to be in the area at the time, after it was detected in Gibraltar.

On the same day that British media started touting Britain’s “arsenal of military might” which would be available in the event of intervention, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes. In light of the shocking parliamentary defeat, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would only be able to offer the US “diplomatic support.”

The UK’s Conservative Chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed that the UK would not seek a further vote on action in Syria.

Source: RT News

Iran Revolutionary Guards chief: Israel will be destroyed if Syria is attacked

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Tehran ramps up rhetoric against the West and the Jewish state amid international debate on punitive strike at Assad

An American attack on Syria will result in the destruction of Israel and have severe repercussions for the US and its allies, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said.

A possible war in Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel,” General Mohammad Ali Jafari said late Wednesday, according to a report Thursday in the state-sponsored Iranian Tasnim News Agency.

The American “proxy war scenario” in Syria has failed, so Washington and the West have resorted to a “direct military threat,” which, if carried out, will have “severe consequences,” he added.

The remarks fromJafari came at a time of intense international debate over a possible US-led strike on Syria, and followed bellicose statements from other high-ranking Iranian officials. Iran is a major backer of the Syrian government.

Military intervention in Syria by the US and its allies will “cost them dearly,” the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said Wednesday evening. “If the US attacks, the Zionists will burn,” he said, according to Israel’s Channel 2 news. He added that Israel would be the “sole beneficiary” of military escalation in Syria, which would have “far-reaching, grave consequences.”

“Any new military operation could prove to be a disaster not only for the region but also for humanity …and only the Zionists would benefit from that,” Firouzabadi said. The Syrian civil war, he added, had been “imposed” on the country from outside forces.

In comments Wednesday directed at the US, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with members of the new Iranian cabinet in Tehran that “the US threats and possible intervention in Syria are a disaster for the region. And if such an act is done, certainly, the Americans will sustain damage like when they interfered in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

He cautioned the US and its allies that their military intervention in Syria would bring increase in hatred of them, the Fars news agency reported.

“Starting this fire will be like a spark in a large store of gunpowder, with unclear and unspecified outcomes and consequences,” Khamenei said.

The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larjiani, said, “The result of such an unwise measure (a military attack on Syria) is regional anarchy which will entangle the naïve countries of the region.”

Speaking in parliament, he said that if any war was waged against Syria, “the country which has been destroyed by the terrorists during the past two years will not sustain so much damage as the warmongers will receive in this war.”

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Fifth US warship deployed to Syria

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The United States is sending a fifth warship towards Syria, defense officials said Thursday, upping the ante as a showdown between the US and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime remains all but declared.

A 505-foot-long guided missile destroyer, the USS Stout, has been sent to the Mediterranean Sea to assist the four US warships already deployed to await potential orders to strike Syria amid an international investigation into Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons to gas innocent civilians outside of Damascus last week.

Should the White House ask for an assault on Assad’s regime, the USS Stout and the rest of the seafaring fleet will join an arsenal of US, UK and French warheads already surrounding Syria in every which direction.

The Stout left its home port in Norfolk, Virginia more than a week ago with hundreds of soldiers on board en route to the Mediterranean. In the days since, however, Obama administration officials have suggested that the president has not taken the possibility of ordering a military strike against Syria off the table. Now should an assault be ordered from Washington, the US will have one more option at its disposal with regards to striking from the sea.

Norfolk’s WAVY News reported Thursday morning that the Stout was already on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean, but is now heading east to relieve one of the ships stationed within striking distance of Syria.

According to Sky News, a US defense official said the ship will replace the USS Mahan, but noted that both vessels may remain in place for the time being.

In an official Navy document, the Stout is said to be “equipped with the world’s most sophisticated weapon system,”

The Stout, said the Pentagon paper, “can guide vertically-launched standard missiles to intercept hostile aircraft and missiles at extended ranges.” It’s equipped to fire anti-ship cruise missiles as far away as 65 nautical miles and can perform a sea-to-land attack with deadly Tomahawk missiles.

Meanwhile, Pres. Obama is meeting with members of Congress on Thursday to discuss what the US intelligence community has discovered about the reported use of chemical gas last week.

Earlier in the week, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration had not ruled out a strike, and that evidence linking Assad’s regime to chemical weapon use would merit a response that might include military force.

“[W]e have made clear for a long time, notwithstanding our views about the fact that we don’t envision US boots on the ground in Syria, that we retain—and the president retains—all options available to him in Syria, and that includes military options,” Carney said. “And that is the case here in response to this transgression.”

Broadly speaking,” Carney said during a press briefing Tuesday at the White House, “I think it’s important to note that it is in the clear national security interest of the United States that the use or proliferation of chemical weapons on this scale not go unanswered.  The consequences of a dissolution of that norm would be profoundly not in the interest of the United States or in the international community, in particular in this highly volatile region, but also around the world.”

On Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted two unnamed White House officials who said on condition of anonymity that the administration is struggling to decide what Syrian targets could be hit and what kind of response the US would want as a result.

If there is action taken, it must be clearly defined what the objective is and why” and based on “clear facts,” one of those officials said.

They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” a second official told the Los Angeles Times on condition of anonymity.

Now with a five ships all outside of Syria, at least for now, any strike against Assad’s regime could call upon more firepower than before.

As RT reported earlier this week, the US and its allies have all-but surrounded Syria. The US has military bases in the neighboring countries of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and air-defense Patriot missiles are available to the north and south of Syria in Turkey and Jordan, respectively.

Additionally, at least one British cruise missile-carrying nuclear submarine and one French vessel could be sent towards Syria, and the US, UK and Turkey have airbases in the region that could assist with an air-to-land strike using F-16 fighter jets.

During Tuesday’s briefing, Carney said the president would consult with Congress before a strike but did not say explicitly that Obama would ask for permission. According to Carney, confirmation that Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons would violate international norms and warrant a response that would not be necessitated by congressional approval. Pres. Obama will reportedly make available a declassified intelligence report justifying any response aimed towards Syria should elect to take action.

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Syrian Rebels Were Caught Sneaking Sarin Gas Across the Border in May

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The evidence continues to mount proving that the Syrian rebels are in fact the ones who are using chemical weapons.

At this point there are various pieces of evidence indicating that the Syrian rebels are responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and not one piece of evidence linking the regime of Assad to the attacks.

While it is true that both sides of this conflict are brutal murderers, to accuse the regime in power of these crimes could be used to justify a full scale invasion of the country, making the predicament that much worse for the people who live there.

One piece of evidence yet to be discussed in the mainstream media is the fact that Syrian rebels were caught sneaking chemical weapons into the country this past may.

RT reported that “Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.”[1]

The report goes on to suggest that the bomb was intended to be set off in Turkey, but that wouldn’t make any sense looking at the context of the past few months.  It is obvious that they were staying near the border inside of Turkey, just about to make their way to the other side of the border with Syria.

Also as we reported earlier this week many details of last week’s chemical weapons attack remain a mystery, but there are a few very suspicious clues pointing to a false flag attack.

ANI and Yahoo News Reported that “The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown. A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme ‘approved by Washington’.  As per the scheme ‘Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,’”[2]

Adding to the evidence, on August 23, Russia Today published an article titled “Materials implicating Syrian govt in chemical attack prepared before incident – Russia.”

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich:

We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature.”

“In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”[3]

CBS News reported that “Syria’s foreign minister challenged the Obama administration and its allies on Tuesday to “produce the evidence” showing Bashar Assad’s government was behind a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus last week, saying the information available on which side was behind the deadly attack provided a “weak and inaccurate” case for military intervention from the West.”[4]

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WW3? Syrian, Iranian Officials Say Israel Will Be “Set On Fire” If US Strikes

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Senior Syrian and Iranian officials have again warned that should the US pursue military action in Syria, the state of Israel will find itself firmly and immediately in their crosshairs.

“If Damascus comes under attack, Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a license for attacking Israel,” said a Syrian army official in comments to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

“We are rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” the official said, maintaining anonymity during the interview.

The army official also stated that if the US chooses to help Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in Syria, their will be significant blowback in Israel.

“Weakening the central government in Damascus will actually start growing attacks on Israel and will create insecurity for that regime,” he said.

“Thus, a U.S. attack on Syria will herald frequent strikes and attacks on Israel, not just by Damascus and its allies in retaliation, but by extremist groups who will find a ground for staging their aspirations,” the official added.

Senior Iranian officials echoed the comments, with Hossein Sheikholeslam, the director-general of the parliament for International Affairs telling Fars News that “the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria.”

Iranian Member of Parliament Mansur Haqiqatpur was also quoted as saying that “In case of a U.S. military strike against Syria, the flames of outrage of the region’s revolutionaries will point toward the Zionist regime.”

The fresh threats come in the wake of similar comments made earlier in the week by Syrian Deputy Information Minister Halaf Al-Maftah who warned that Israel will “come under fire” should the United states strike against the Assad regime. He added that the Syrian government has “strategic weapons aimed at Israel,” and warned that “If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area’s security, but the world’s.”

Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom quoted Muftah as also warning “It’s possible to say unambiguously that a process of war against Syria could lead to an all-out world war. The responsibility for that will rest on the US and the Zionist entity’s shoulders.”

The Beirut Daily Star quoted a “senior source close to” Hezbollah as saying that in the event of major Western strike against Syria “Hezbollah will fight on various fronts,” and predicting an immediate “inferno of a war with Israel.”

Pro-Hezbollah cleric, Afif Nabulsi, who is closely aligned with the Syrian and Iranian governments, was also quoted as saying that “any [US] strike against Syria will be met by harsh responses against US interests in the region and against Israel directly.”

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour stated in a radio interview that the country would retaliate if Israel “exploits a strike against Syria to attack Hezbollah.”

In response to the threats, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said “The State of Israel is ready for any scenario.” Following a meeting with security officials in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said “We are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond and we will respond in strength.”

According to Israeli intelligence website DEBKAfile, the Israeli security cabinet held another emergency meeting today, ordering the partial mobilization of select, qualitative IDF reserve forces: Rocket, Air Force, missile interception, Home Defense command and intelligence units.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that an American military operation on Syria is scheduled to start Friday night, early Saturday Aug. 30-31. The report adds that US forces are finalizing a a major buildup at the huge US Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

“US air force reinforcements in Qatar will stand ready to rush to the aid of US allies – Israel, Jordan and Turkey – in the event of their coming under Syrian Scud attack.” the report states, adding that on the opposite side the Syrian army has been scattering personnel, weapons and air assets to pre prepared fortified shelters in order to limit damage and losses.

“Syrian army command centers in Homs, Hama, Latakia and the Aleppo region were also being split up and dispersed, after a tip-off to Syrian and Russian intelligence that they would be targeted by the US strike.” the report adds.

The Associated Press also reports that Israel has ordered a special call-up of hundreds of reserve troops to beef up civil defense preparations and to operate air-defense units near the border. Defense officials have confirmed the deployment of Iron Dome and Patriot missile-defense batteries in areas near the Syrian border, stating that they believe a US strike on Syria is imminent.

Israeli security and rescue forces are also engaged in a two-day drill in the Golan Heights along the Syrian border.

The intelligence supposedly handed to the US and its allies suggesting that the Syrian army was involved in the chemical attacks last week is said to have come predominantly via Israeli intelligence agencies.

While Chinese and Russian officials continue to warn of the grave global consequences of a US strike on Syria, Russian citizens are currently being evacuated out of the country.

Meanwhile even firebrand broadcaster Glenn Beck has come out against intervention in Syria, warning that because of China and Russia’s alignment with Iran and Syria, a wider war in the middle east would mean that the US “would not survive”.

Beck warned that “this is World War 3 in the making,” noting the Obama administration is on the exact same destructive warpath that the Bush government set out on 12 years ago.

Beck desperately appealed to his conservative listener base to find common ground with real liberals and hold huge anti-war rallies.

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Putin Orders Massive Strike On Saudi Arabia If West Attacks Syria

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A grim “urgent action memorandum” issued today from the office of President Putin to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is ordering a “massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia in the event that the West attacks Syria.

According to Kremlin sources familiar with this extraordinary “war order,” Putin became “enraged” after his early August meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan who warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat of Syria, Saudi Arabia would unleash Chechen terrorists under their control to cause mass death and chaos during the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held 7-23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Lebanese newspaper As-Safir confirmed this amazing threat against Russia saying that Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord by stating: “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off.“These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”

London’s The Telegraph News Service further reported today that Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria, an offer Putin replied to by saying “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters” [Putin said referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier HERE], and which Prince Bandar in turn warned that there can be “no escape from the military option” if Russia declines the olive branch.

Critical to note, and as we had previously reported on in our 28 January 2013 report “Obama Plan For World War III Stuns Russia,” the Federal Security Services (FSB) confirmed the validity of the released hacked emails of the British based defense company, Britam Defense that stunningly warned the Obama regime was preparing to unleash a series of attacks against both Syria and Iran in a move Russian intelligence experts warned could very well cause World War III.

According to this FSB report, Britam Defence, one of the largest private mercenary forces in the world, was the target of a “massive hack” of its computer files by an “unknown state sponsored entity” this past January who then released a number of critical emails between its top two executives, founder Philip Doughty and his Business Development Director David Goulding.

The two most concerning emails between Doughty and Goulding, this report says, states that the Obama regime has approved a “false flag” attack in Syria using chemical weapons, and that Britam has been approved to participate in the West’s warn on Iran, and as we can read:

Email 1: Phil, We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We’ll have to deliver a CW (chemical weapon) to Homs (Syria), a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion? Kind regards David

Email 2: Phil, Please see attached details of preparatory measures concerning the Iranian issue. Participation of Britam in the operation is confirmed by the Saudis.

With the events now spiraling out of control in Syria, and London’s Independent News Service now reporting that Prince Bandar is “pushing for war,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich further warned the West today by stating, “Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

Heedless of Russian warnings which have fallen on deaf ears, however, British Prime Minister David Cameron this morning recalled the British Parliament to vote on attacking Syria as the Obama regime abruptly cancelled their meeting with Russia scheduled for tomorrow on finding a path to peace for Syria, and the West begins its plans to attack the Syrian nation “within days.”

As Syria itself has warned that should it be attacked by the West there will be “global chaos,” the Western peoples themselves have not been told of the fact that on 17 May 2013, Putin ordered Russian military forces to “immediately move” from Local War to Regional War operational status and to be “fully prepared” to expand to Large-Scale War should either the US or EU enter into the Syrian Civil War, a situation they are still in at this very hour.

With Putin’s previous order, and as we had reported on in our 17 May report “Russia Issues “All-Out War” Alert Over Syria,” and now combined with his new ordering of massive retaliatory strikes against Saudi Arabia, any attack on Syria is viewed by Russia as being an attack on itself.

And as we had previously explained in great detail, the fight over Syria, being led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their lap-dog Western allies, has but one single objective: To break Russia’s hold on the European Union natural gas market which a pipeline through Syria would accomplish, and as reported by London’s Financial Times News Service this past June:

“The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government, but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels.

The cost of Qatar’s intervention, its latest push to back an Arab revolt, amounts to a fraction of its international investment portfolio. But its financial support for the revolution that has turned into a vicious civil war dramatically overshadows western backing for the opposition.

Qatar [also] has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey in a sign the emirate is considering a further expansion of exports from the world’s biggest gas-field after it finishes an ambitious programmer to more than double its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).”

And in what is, perhaps, the most unimaginable cause to start World War III over Syria was noted by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich who said this past week: “We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature,” he stressed. “In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”

For the West to have so sloppily engineered yet another “false flag” attack to justify a war where they posted the videos of this so-called chemical weapons attack a full day before it was said to occur is the height of arrogance and disdain, but which their sleep-walking citizens, yet again, will fall for as they have done so many times in the past.

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Archaeologists’ Claim: A Piece of Jesus Christ’s Cross Was Potentially Found

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Biblical archaeology offers a fascinating lens into the lives of key individuals living during Old and New Testament times. Of late, numerous items have been discovered that are heralded as offering important context to the holy book’s contents. The latest find comes from archaeologists working in Turkey who believe they may have have uncovered the most fascinating relic yet — a piece of Jesus Christ’s cross.

Did Archaeologists Just Discover a Piece of Jesus Christs Crucifixion Cross?

Professor Gülgün Köro?lu holding a piece of the chest that is said to possible hold a piece of Jesus Christ’s cross (Photo credit: NBC News)

This particular item, found in a stone chest, was uncovered in the ruins of Balatlar Church in Sinop, Turkey, LiveScience reported. The container, found at the house of worship that was constructed in A.D. 660, is described as housing “a piece of a cross.”

“We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross, and we think it was [part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified],” lead excavator Professor Gülgün Köro?lu told Hurriyet Daily News. “This stone chest is very important to us. It has a history and is the most important artifact we have unearthed so far.”

Here’s a quick video about the fascinating discovery:

Köro?l is a art historian and an archaeologist at the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Turkey. She said that the chest that was found is a symbolic coffin — one that houses the relics of a person who was revered as “holy” (in this case, Jesus or a saint).

The items within the chest, described by NBC as “fragments,” are said to be associated with Christ’s crucifixion. The chest was transported to a lab, where it will be examined further.

The educator and her team have been working at the site since 2009.

The claim that this is a portion of Christ’s cross is of course controversial and will likely be debated. This isn’t the first time that scientists and archaeologists have claimed to possibly possess a piece of the coveted wooden cross on which the Christian savior was crucified.

This is the latest in a slew of Bible-era finds (read more about these archeological discoveries).

(H/T: LiveScience)

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