Special Operations: China And The Virtue Of Being SpecialPosted: May 20, 2018 Filed under: Asia, China, Foreign Policy, Space & Aviation, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: 101st Airborne Division, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 2003 invasion of Iraq, 30th Brigade (Australia), 54th Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom), Air medical services, Allegheny Conference, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Leave a comment
In April 2018 the Chinese Air Force 15th Airborne Corps completed a yearlong reorganization effort that involved disbanding the three airborne divisions (the 43rd, 44th and 45th) and reassigning divisional headquarters and support troops as well as the units of the airborne regiments to six independent airborne infantry brigades (127th, 128th, 130th, 131st, 133rd, and 134th) which now report directly to the headquarters of the 15th Airborne Corps. While the new airborne brigades have some support troops they now also receive logistics, maintenance, engineer and signal support from the 15th Corps Strategic Support Brigade, as well as the Aviation Brigade (over a hundred helicopters and large UAVs) and Special Operations Brigade (airborne commandos and recon troops).
After the reorganization, the Chinese airborne force still has about 35,000 personnel who still serve in the Air Force 15th Airborne Corps. The airborne units no longer operate as three airborne divisions and an aviation brigade. The airborne divisions no longer exist as the brigades can operate independently and report directly to corps headquarters. This brigade organization makes it easier to rapidly deploy airborne forces and copies a practice that many other nations have adopted over the last few decades.
[Read the full text here, at strategypage.com]
The Chinese have had some airborne units since the 1950s and these belonged to the air force from the beginning. The 15th Airborne Corps was created in the 1960s and was always considered a strategic reserve unit. By the late 1980s, China had enough air transports to move an entire division (about 10,000 troops) anywhere in China. At the time such a movement took weeks to organize and monopolized most of the air transport aircraft the military had.
Moving a division anywhere by air on short notice was first done in 2008 when one division was sent to Sichuan province to assist in earthquake relief. The early large scale movements by air movements were experimental. Read the rest of this entry »
CIA Gives More Power to Spies to Bolster Intelligence OperationsPosted: July 26, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, Law & Justice, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Bashar al-Assad, Central Intelligence Agency, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Mike Pompeo, North Korea, President of Syria, RUSSIA, Syria 1 Comment
Pompeo: China, not Russia, poses greatest long-term threat
Bill Gertz reports: The Central Intelligence Agency under President Trump is giving more authority to field operatives and cutting excessive bureaucracy in a bid to boost intelligence operations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo says.
In his first news interview since taking charge of the agency in January, Pompeo also said he believes America’s greatest long-term security challenge is the threat posed by China, not Russia. Excerpts of the interview can be found here.
During the wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of a security conference in Aspen, Colo., Pompeo revealed the CIA is preparing intelligence options for the president, including covert action, for use against North Korea in efforts to counter the threat of a future nuclear missile attack.
He also outlined how the CIA is stepping up counterintelligence programs against foreign spies and leaks of intelligence.
Other disclosures by the CIA chief included new details of North Korea’s drive to develop reliable strategic nuclear missiles and a renewed CIA focus on stealing foreign secrets.
“Look, our primary mission is foreign intelligence,” Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon.
“That is at the core of what we do, and so the ability to go collect against the most difficult places, the most difficult targets in a way that is not one off, that is deep and robust and redundant, is something this agency is really good at when they are allowed to do it. And the president is going to go let us do it.”
Similar to the Pentagon shift in giving military commanders greater authority to act in the field, the CIA is unleashing its spying power—clandestine operations, intelligence analysis, and technical prowess.
The CIA chief said decentralizing spying authority presents both risks and promise.
“In nearly every one of those cases it increases the risk level,” he said. “It also greatly enhances the likelihood you’ll achieve the outcome you’re looking for.”
The shift followed an internal agency review earlier this year that identified several areas where the CIA needed new guidance, or CIA activities that are allowed under law but had been restricted under President Barack Obama’s administration, Pompeo said.
The CIA director said he meets regularly with Trump during intelligence briefings and noted that the president has been very supportive of agency reforms aimed at improving CIA operations.
A former Army officer who until January was a Republican member of the House, Pompeo said the two most immediate security threats are Islamic State terrorists fleeing the Middle East and North Korea’s aggressive effort to field long-range missiles with nuclear warheads that can strike the United States.
U.S. Faces Growing Threats From China, North Korea
Over the longer term, however, Pompeo singled out China as the most serious security challenge.
While China, Russia, and Iran all are expected to pose significant problems in the future, China is a greater threat because of its robust economy and growing military power—both aimed against the United States.
“I think China has the capacity to present the greatest rivalry to America of any of those over the medium and long term,” he said.
China’s military is building up forces that are aimed at countering U.S. power projection around the world, he said.
“So you see that, whether it’s going on in the South China or East China Sea, or the work they’re doing in other parts of the world,” Pompeo said. Read the rest of this entry »
O’Hare Worker Wanted to Kill InfidelsPosted: July 23, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Bashar al-Assad, Council of Ministers (Syria), Dmitry Peskov, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, President of Syria, RUSSIA, Syria, United States, Vladimir Putin 1 Comment
A Bosnian Muslim refugee and her five associates charged with attempting to provide support to ISIS invoked an unusual defense, according to ABC7 Chicago.
Mediha Medy Salkicevic has claimed that her support of ISIS constituted “legitimate warfare” and that she was waging war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, just as the U.S. government is doing by supporting Syrian rebels.
Salkicevic was working for a cargo company at Chicago’s International O’Hare Airport when she was arrested in 2015. Investigators allege she said she wanted to “bury unbelievers alive” and kill infidels.
“Under United States law, acts of legitimate warfare during a civil war are not murder and are entitled to combatant immunity,” her attorneys said. They argue that Americans are “protected from prosecution as acts of legitimate warfare under the doctrine of combatant immunity.”
On Friday, her attorneys filed a motion to dismiss two charges: conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists.
Salkicevic and her alleged co-conspirators stand accused of sending money and military equipment to Bosnian national Abdullah Ramo Pazara, an ISIS leader in Syria. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Fearless Female Kurdish Sniper Laughs as ISIS Bullet Barely Misses Her HeadPosted: June 28, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Raqqah, Bashar al-Assad, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Middle East, People's Protection Units, President of Syria, Syria, Syrian Democratic Forces, United States Leave a comment
Sam Webb reports: An astonishing video showing a Kurdish sniper laughing after a bullet fired by an ISIS terrorist narrowly misses her head has emerged online.
The YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) sharpshooter is seen taking aim through a window during fighting in Raqqa, the terror group’s besieged Syrian stronghold.
After she takes her own shot, a chunk of the wall just behind her head explodes, showering the room with dust and plaster.
She immediately ducks down and laughs at her close brush with death — and is even seen sticking her tongue out sheepishly.
The footage, which has not been verified, was posted online by a Kurdish journalist embedded with the YPJ fighters.
The reporter, Hemze Hamza, tweeted: “Kurdish women know no fear. Your average human being would be scared for life after being so close to death but she kept laughing.” Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES HE DID: Canadian Sniper Sets World Record with 2.2-Mile Pickoff of ISIS FighterPosted: June 22, 2017 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, War Room | Tags: Agence France-Presse, Iraq, Islam, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, McMillan TAC-50, Middle East, Mosul, Sniper, Tigris, United Nations 2 Comments
Michael Obel reports: A Canadian sniper set what appears to be a record, picking off an ISIS fighter from some 2.2 miles away, and disrupting a potentially deadly operation by the terror group in Iraq.
Shooting experts say the fatal shot at a world-record distance of 11,316 feet underscores how stunningly sophisticated military snipers are becoming. The feat, pulled off by a special forces sniper from Canada’s Joint Task Force 2, smashed the previous distance record for successful sniper shots by some 3,280 feet, a record set by a British sniper.
“ … the true challenge here was being able to calculate the actual wind speed and direction all the way to the target.”
– Ryan Cleckner, former U.S. Army Ranger sniper
“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles],” the Canadian military said in a statement.
While officials would not say where the shot took place, the statement noted the command “provides its expertise to Iraqi security force to detect, identify and defeat Daesh activities from well behind the Iraqi security force front line in Mosul.”
The new record was set using a McMillan TAC-50, a .50-caliber weapon and the largest shoulder-fired firearm in existence.
Ryan Cleckner, a former U.S. Army Ranger sniper who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and wrote the authoritative “Long Range Shooting Handbook,” called the feat an “incredible” accomplishment, one that owes as much if not more to the spotter’s expertise than the shooter’s skill.
“The spotter would have had to successfully calculate five factors: distance, wind, atmospheric conditions and the speed of the earth’s rotation at their latitude,” Cleckner told Fox News.
“Because wind speed and direction would vary over the two miles the bullet traveled, the true challenge here was being able to calculate the actual wind speed and direction all the way to the target.”
Atmospheric conditions also would have posed a huge challenge for the spotter.
“To get the atmospheric conditions just right, the spotter would have had to understand the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of the air the round had to travel through. Read the rest of this entry »
London: ‘Happy’ Guy in White Van Hits Pedestrians Leaving MosquePosted: June 18, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Ariana Grande, Benefit concert, Greater Manchester Police, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Manchester, Miley Cyrus, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Pharrell Williams Leave a comment
Dade Hayes reports:
… The driver of the vehicle, a large white van, was arrested on the scene. While police have not released his identity, he was described in numerous accounts as being a white man. The Financial Times cited witnesses who counted at least a dozen people injured. The newspaper also said the driver “looked happy” and was waving to onlookers as he was arrested. Another witness told BuzzFeed that the driver said he was going to “kill all Muslims.”
Police have thus far declined to say whether they are labeling the incident in a neighborhood popular with immigrants as a terrorist attack. Read the rest of this entry »
Comey Needles Media: Sources ‘Often Don’t Really Know What’s Going On’Posted: June 8, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Classified information, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, James Comey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia), RUSSIA, The New York Times, White House Leave a comment
Comey said that report was wrong and so are many reports that relate to intelligence material.
“In the main, it was not true. And again, all of you know this, many of the American people don’t. The challenge — and I’m not picking on reporters — about writing on classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on. And those of us that know what’s going on aren’t talking about it. And we don’t call the press to say, ‘hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic.’ We just have to leave it there.”
French Magazine Charlie Hebdo Recovers Its Mojo With Controversial Theresa May CoverPosted: June 7, 2017 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: 2015 Copenhagen shootings, Al-Bukamal, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Charlie Hebdo, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, London, Manchester, President of the United States, satire, Suicide attack Leave a comment
What is it with headless humor these days?
The June 7 issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo arrives on the heels of the Manchester and London Bridge terrorist attacks. Indeed, the bubble remark–‘Too much is too much’–comes from remarks made by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the latter June 3 incidents.
The cover is tasteless. English-language media reaction is just starting to trickle in, but stay car-tooned. There will be lots of it. The cover line, translated, reads as ‘Multiculturalism is the British Way.’
From a U.S. perspective, it’s impossible not to think of the wrath that descended upon comedian Kathy Griffin last week … (read more)
‘We Kill, You Light Candles’: Terror and the Teddy Bear SocietyPosted: June 5, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Foreign Policy, Global, History, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Ernesto Abella, Islam, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamism, List of terrorist incidents in London, London, Muslim, Ramadan, Saudi Arabia Leave a comment
Even the arrests after each attack give comfort to the enemy, which can act with impunity even if known.
Theodore Dalrymple writes: The only man I ever met whose ambition was to be a suicide bomber was an inmate at the British prison where I worked as a doctor in the 1990s and 2000s. He was a career criminal of very nasty propensities whose father was Arab and mother English. He had reached his 30s, the age at which criminals usually turn away from crime in favor of something better—in his case the killing of as many infidels as possible, along with himself.
Coming to religion is one reason, or pretext, for abandoning crime. In the prison there was much more Islamic evangelism than Christian. I would find Qurans and Islamic pamphlets in drawers, insinuated there by I knew not whom, but never Bibles or Christian pamphlets.
I interpreted religion as the means prisoners used to rationalize giving up common crime while at the same time not feeling defeated by, or having surrendered to, the society around them—for they knew conversion to Islam gave that society the shudders.
The problem for the security services, however, is that there is no invariable profile, social or psychological, of the Muslim terrorist. Nor is there a kind of economic lever that can be pulled so that, with better material prospects, young Muslims will be less attracted to terrorism. There have, it is true, been no-hopers among the terrorists, but there have also been medical students and doctors. There was nothing (except himself) impeding the recent Manchester bomber from having a normal or even a highly successful career. As Prime Minister Theresa May rightly said after the most recent atrocities in London, what the terrorists have in common is an ideology. She rightly called it evil, but it is also stupid: It makes the Baader-Meinhof Gang look like Aristotle.
[Read the full story here, at WSJ]
An ideology, however stupid, is not easy to destroy; believing six impossible things before breakfast is almost par for the human course. One obvious thing to do would be to strangle the foreign funding of so much Islamist activity in Britain. That is no doubt complicated in many ways, but no British government, solicitous of trade relations, has dared even try. The British economy is precarious, and it is difficult to be strong when your economy is weak. Read the rest of this entry »
The Russian Intel Story Shows the Price of Trump’s Lost CredibilityPosted: May 17, 2017 Filed under: Politics, Russia, White House | Tags: Cold War, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia), Oval Office, President of the United States, Sergey Lavrov, The Washington Post, United States, White House Leave a comment
Loose Lips Sink Presidencies.
The state of the Trump Presidency has been perpetual turbulence, which seems to be how the principal likes it. The latest vortex is over Mr. Trump’s disclosure of sensitive intel to the Russians—and whatever the particulars of the incident, the danger is that Presidencies can withstand only so much turbulence before they come apart.
The Washington Post reported Monday night that in an Oval Office meeting last week Mr. Trump relayed high-level “code word” classified material obtained from an ally to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Cue another Washington meltdown. The President took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to defend himself, claiming an “absolute right” to disclose “facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster put a finer point on it at a Tuesday press conference, though without denying key details. He said Mr. Trump’s disclosure was “wholly appropriate” and didn’t expose intelligence sources and methods.
Presidents sometimes share secrets with overseas leaders—even to adversaries such as the Soviets during the Cold War—if they conclude the benefits of showing what the U.S. knows will aid diplomacy or strategic interests. From media accounts and his tweets, Mr. Trump said something about Islamic State’s laptop bomb threat to airlines. He may well have been trying to convince the envoys of the menace ISIS poses to Russian lives and foreign-policy goals, like the Russian airliner that exploded over Sinai in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »
Islamic State Beheads Man Accused of Performing ‘Magic’Posted: May 2, 2017 Filed under: Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Sayyaf, Arish, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamism, Jihadism, Middle East, Philippines, United States 1 Comment
Ali Waked reports: According to group members, IS police officers beheaded the man in the town of Tasil in the Dara district in southern Syria.
In an accompanying statement, the terrorist organization said that the man was beheaded with a sword and had performed “magic and sorcery.”
In the photos, one member of IS can be seen reading the ruling of the Sharia court, noting the Islamic penalty for the alleged transgressions.
Those who carried out the punishment of beheading, according to IS, were members of the Khaled Bin Waleed militia – a jihadist militia affiliated with IS active in southern Syria in the triangular area between the borders of Syria, Jordan and Israel. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] France Elections: Topless FEMEN Activists Storm Voting Station Wearing Putin, Le Pen MasksPosted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: France, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Associated Press, Donald Trump, Elections in France, Emmanuel Macron, European Union, François Fillon, France, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen Leave a comment
Topless FEMEN activists wearing masks of Russian President Vladimir Putin and National Front leader Marine Le Pen protested outside the Henin-Beaumont voting station on Sunday, as Le Pen arrived to cast her ballot.
Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group have caused a commotion as they staged a stunt against Marine Le Pen outside a polling station where the far-right presidential candidate was heading to vote.
Around six topless Femen activists were detained Sunday morning after jumping out of an SUV limo wearing masks of Le Pen and United States President Donald Trump.
Police and security forces quickly forced them into police vans, confiscating their signs.
Le Pen voted at the station shortly after without further disruption.
The election is taking place amid heightened security. The government has mobilized more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect polling stations. (more)
Terror in Lille as Hooded Gunman Shoots 3 People Outside Metro Station in French CityPosted: March 24, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, France, Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: 2016 Nice attack, Agence France-Presse, France, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Metro station, Orly Airport, Paris, Twitter Leave a comment
Jon Lockett and Peter Allen report: Armed police have now sealed off all roads leading into the city centre as they try to contain the situation and catch the gunman.
French reports say there were several shots fired near the Porte d’Arras metro station at around 9.50pm.
It’s said a 14-year-old boy had been shot in leg and at least two others youths had been injured.
Two of the wounded were found at the scene, while the third made their way to a nearby hospital.
Those injured are said to have been shot several times, reports respected French news site La Voix Du Nord.
One of the victims is reported to have suffered a neck injury.
Although anti-terrorist police were called to the scene, there were later reports the shooting was a ‘revenge attack’.
“A car pulled up outside the station and targeted the three youths,” said a police source. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] The Third Jihad: Homeland and Global TerrorPosted: March 22, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, Global, History, Terrorism, Think Tank | Tags: Aid to the Church in Need, Boko Haram, CESNUR, Christian, Christianity, Christianity in Iraq, Clarion Project, Council on American–Islamic Relations, Donald Trump, Global Terror, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamism, Jihadism, video 1 Comment
In episode 11 of The Third Jihad, Clarion Project looks at the rise of homeland and global terror in the wake of 9/11 and the growing threat, seemingly ignored at home and overseas.
4 people have died in an attack in London. This video shows the moment the incident began outside the UK Parliament.https://t.co/FwKsndgisW pic.twitter.com/81srJq9yGr
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 22, 2017
[VIDEO] Mark Steyn: ‘If You Can Reduce Domestic Terror, Why Not Try?’Posted: March 3, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism, Think Tank | Tags: Abu Sayyaf, al Qaeda, Badal Sarkar, Barack Obama, Fox Business Channel, Fox News, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Mark Steyn, Neil Cavuto, video Leave a comment
Author speaks out in favor of travel restrictions on ‘Your World’
Captive Islamic State Militant says Mass Rapes were ‘Normal’Posted: February 25, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Abeokuta, Allegation, Amnesty International, Ankle monitor, Associated Press, Iraqi security forces, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Mosul, Rape, Reuters 1 Comment
Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.
“Young men need this. This is normal.”
Kurdish intelligence authorities gave Reuters rare access to Hussein and another Islamic State militant who were both captured during an assault on the city of Kirkuk in October that killed 99 civilians and members of the security forces. Sixty-three Islamic State militants died.
Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.
“Young men need this,” Hussein told Reuters in an interview after a Kurdish counter-terrorism agent removed a black hood from his head. “This is normal.”
Hussein said he moved from house to house in several Iraqi cities raping women from the Yazidi sect and other minorities at a time when Islamic State was grabbing more and more territory from Iraqi security forces.
Kurdish security officials say they have evidence of Hussein raping and killing but they don’t know what the scale is.
Reuters could not independently verify Hussein’s account.
Witnesses and Iraqi officials say Islamic State fighters raped many Yazidi women after the group rampaged through northern Iraq in 2014. It also abducted many Yazidi women as sex slaves and killed some of their male relatives, they said.
Human rights groups have chronicled widespread abuses by Islamic State against the Yazidis. Read the rest of this entry »
Teacher, 28, ‘Gang Raped By 9 Iraqi Immigrants In Vienna Attack’Posted: February 23, 2017 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism | Tags: Alexander Van der Bellen, Angela Merkel, Austria, Cologne, EUROPE, Federal Police (Austria), Germany, Islamic state, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Vienna Leave a comment
A court in Austria has heard that nine Iraqi immigrants gang raped a teacher during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna.
The defendants in the case are aged 22 to 45 and are all related to each other. At the time of the alleged attack, which is said to have taken place on January 1, 2016, five of the men had refugee status while the asylum applications of the other four were pending.
After the alleged incident, one of the men led the woman – who is German – to a bathroom in the apartment and with his phone took a photo featuring both of them. She was later taken to a tram stop in central Vienna and subsequently hospitalized.
One defendant has pleaded guilty to rape. The others deny assaulting the woman. The court was told they feel “no guilt” despite the existence of DNA evidence. One claimed the woman had been “offered” to them by relatives while another said she was willing.
At about 3am the woman and her friend were drinking in a bar called Cactus when the victim disappeared. A witness in the bar reportedly said some men she had been talking with had “taken her away”. Read the rest of this entry »
Jonah Goldberg: Why Does Trump Insist on Such Absurd Moral Equivalency?Posted: February 6, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Russia, White House | Tags: Alex Padilla, American exceptionalism, Americans, Angela Merkel, Asylum in the United States, Donald Trump, European Union, Fethullah Gülen, Germany, Heiko Maas, Hillary Clinton, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, President of the United States, President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Leave a comment
Once again, President Trump has come to Russian President Vladimir Putin ’s defense by throwing America under the bus.
Jonah Goldberg writes: In a pre-taped interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, aired on Super Bowl Sunday, Trump was asked to explain his respect for Putin.
From Our Partners: Asked About Russia Sanctions, Donald Trump Says ‘We Ough…
“He is the leader of his country,” Trump said, adding the usual boilerplate about wanting to have good relations and help fighting Islamic State.
O’Reilly interjected, “Putin’s a killer.” And a vexed Trump replied, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country is so innocent?”
This was no gaffe. A similar conversation played out between MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Trump in December 2015. Scarborough asked about Trump’s bromance with Putin and Trump responded, “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good. Especially when the person heads up Russia.”
Putin “kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries,” objected Scarborough. “Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?”
[Read more here, at the LA Times]
“He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said, referring to then-President Obama.
“But, again, he kills journalists that don’t agree with him,” protested Scarborough.
“Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe,” Trump said.
In July, Trump said something similar in response to questions from the New York Times about the bloody repressions and mass arrests by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.”
One might expect to hear that kind of logic from a dorm room full of Marxists. And if Obama had ever suggested the same, conservatives would have pounced. Of course America isn’t without sin. But ethically speaking, America has towered above Russia – including Russia under Putin. Read the rest of this entry »
Paris Police: Soldier Opens Fire Outside the Louvre MuseumPosted: February 3, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, France, Global, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: Académie française, al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Raqqah, Algeria, Anthony Bourdain, Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona, Charlie Hebdo, Charlie Hebdo shooting, Daily Mirror, Eiffel Tower, EUROPE, Islamic extremism, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Louvre, Paris, The Pentagon, Tourism, United States, Yemen 1 Comment
French media reported on Friday that a soldier has opened fire on a man armed with a knife at a shopping centre next to the famous Louvre museum in Paris.
Reports say the soldier opened fire on the knifeman after he attacked him at the Louvre Carrousel shopping centre on Friday morning.
French Prime Minister calls @MuseeLouvre attack ‘terrorist in nature’ https://t.co/RldJgraKwv pic.twitter.com/kK7za2doUL
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
According to reports the attacker was shot in the leg. A security cordon has been set up and the underground Louvre Carrousel shopping centre has been evacuated.
What we know about the Louvre attack at 10:20 GMT pic.twitter.com/9gyGqqmlkg
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 3, 2017
250 people currently on lockdown inside Louvre in Paris – Interior Ministry to evacuate them in ‘small groups’ https://t.co/Jp4080dJDo pic.twitter.com/8aHN2lLzFk
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 3, 2017
Machete-wielding attacker is in a ‘serious condition’, say officials https://t.co/RldJgraKwvpic.twitter.com/bDgXvaTYpY
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
Emergency services seen outside Louvre museum after knifeman shot by soldier https://t.co/RldJgraKwvpic.twitter.com/zPpZetJHGf
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
First footage from scene at Louvre where a soldier has reportedly shot a knife-wielding attacker https://t.co/0MtjBgqcmr pic.twitter.com/S0VG0ZWt2S
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 3, 2017
Reports on Twitter said tourists at the museum were being moved into rooms to keep them safe. The Louvre itself has declined to comment on the situation.
#Louvre#Paris Ne diffusez pas de fausses informations et suivez les consignes de #sécurité des comptes officiels pic.twitter.com/5Dz117Y4xL
— Ministère Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) February 3, 2017
Images on Twitter also appeared to show worried visitors outside the world famous museum.
“Something is going down at The #Louvre 30 National Police vehicles with guns drawn,” said one tweeter.
An alarm can be heard in the background. A worried passerby can be heard saying: “I wonder if it’s a training exercise”.
Friend sends pic from inside the #Louvre , tourists being evacuated into locked down halls pic.twitter.com/1UxMkBsmPJ
— Wang Feng (@ulywang) February 3, 2017
France’s interior ministry confirmed on Twitter that a serious security operation was underway in the area around the Louvre.
Paris and the rest of France is on high alert for terrorism after a series of attacks in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Asra Nomani: How the American Left is Helping the Muslim RightPosted: January 30, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, Mediasphere, Politics, Reading Room, Think Tank | Tags: Asra Nomani, Barack Obama, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Middle East, Muslim, Muslim Reform Movement, Saudi Arabia, Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam, video Leave a comment
‘Standing Alone’ Author and the Muslim Reform Movement Co-Founder Asra Nomani on why the leftist media and Muslim right are creating anti-American hysteria.
[Order Asra Nomani’ book “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam” from Amazon.com]
New MiG-35 ‘Fulcrum Foxtrot’ Demonstrated For Putin and Foreign MarketPosted: January 27, 2017 Filed under: Global, Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Russia, Science & Technology, Self Defense, War Room | Tags: Baltic states, European Union, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Lithuania, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, RUSSIA, Russian Armed Forces, Sukhoi Su-35, United States Air Force, Vladimir Putin Leave a comment
MiG-35 Demo is Both Product Debut and Contrast of Russian and Western Doctrine in the F-35 Era.
Tom Demerly reports: In a widely publicized event on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau (MiG) parented by United Aircraft Corporation officially demonstrated the new MiG-35 to the Russian government. A subsequent demonstration for export customers was carried out today Jan. 27.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is reported to have viewed the first demonstration via remote video due to poor weather in the region.
The new MiG-35 (NATO reporting name: “Fulcrum Foxtrot”) is a greatly upgraded aircraft based on the earlier MiG-29 airframe. Significant upgrades on the MiG-35 include a completely new fly-by-wire flight control system, vastly improved cockpit, substantially upgraded avionics and an overall design philosophy that provides an enhanced degree of operational autonomy on the MiG-35 compared to earlier Russian combat aircraft. The MiG-35 will also integrate precision-guided targeting capability for air-to-ground weapons, a rarity in previous Russian air-ground doctrine.
There is a significant engine upgrade on the new MiG-35. The aircraft uses two impressive Klimov RD-33OVT engines fitted with bi-directional thrust vectoring nozzles. This contrasts aircraft like the current Russian Su-35 and the U.S. F-22 Raptor that only use single-axis vertical thrust vectoring.
[Read the full story at The Aviationist]
This marks a fascinating departure from previous Soviet-era combat aircraft capabilities while retaining the Russian penchant for lower unit cost in exchange for numerical superiority, a doctrine that has pervaded Russian military thinking for the entire century.
The Russians have always traded unit capability for numerical superiority, relying on the hope that quantity would beat quality in a major conflict. Interestingly, this doctrine has shifted moderately toward a centrist mix of quality and quantity apparently in search of the best solution for indigenous use as well as attracting export buyers.
The new MiG-35 is an example of this shift. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] AEI LIVE STREAM: Understanding ISIS and its Followers #BLSAEIPosted: January 24, 2017 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism, Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Allen Murabayashi, D.C., DC, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, President of the United States, Syria, The Pentagon, United States, Washington 1 Comment
In March 2015, The Atlantic magazine ran a cover story titled “What ISIS Really Wants.” The author was Graeme Wood, journalist, correspondent for The Atlantic, and lecturer at Yale University. His reporting and research on ISIS has now become a book, “The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State” (Random House, 2016), which examines the origins, plans, and followers of ISIS.
[Order the book “The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State“ from Amazon.com]
In this Bradley Lecture, Mr. Wood will discuss his firsthand encounters with ISIS’s true believers, which will help clear away common misunderstandings about this distinctive variety of Islam. Please join us for Mr. Wood’s first public lecture on the book in Washington, DC. A reception and book signing will follow. Read the rest of this entry »
Suspect in New Year’s Eve Attack on Istanbul Nightclub Captured AlivePosted: January 16, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism | Tags: AK-47, Anadolu Agency, Bosphorus, Central Asia, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Istanbul, New Year, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Turkey, Turkish Armed Forces, İzmir Leave a comment
Suspect aught with his son in a raid in an Istanbul suburb.
The man authorities suspect of being behind the New Year’s Eve attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been captured alive, according to Turkish police sources.
The alleged attacker was caught with his son in a raid on the Esenyurt suburb of Istanbul, sources said.
Thirty-nine people were killed in the attack and dozens more were injured.
Authorities said the gunman fired 180 rounds of 7.62-mm bullets, which are commonly used in AK-47 assault rifles. The attacker also used flares to illuminate the inside of the nightclub during the attack, according to police.
Police said they don’t believe the weapon used in the attack came from inside Turkey. The serial number on the weapon had been defaced. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Santa Claus Costume-Wearing Attackers; ‘Many Wounded’ in Istanbul’s Reina NightclubPosted: December 31, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, Terrorism | Tags: BBC, Beşiktaş, Interior ministry, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Istanbul, Kurdistan Workers Party, Numan Kurtulmuş, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Reina nightclub, Süleyman Soylu, Turkey 1 Comment
Footage appears to show a number of ambulances and police vehicles outside the Reina nightclub, in the Besiktas area of the city.
One of the Istanbul shooters disguised as Santa. pic.twitter.com/DfSPh8DNPk
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) December 31, 2016
NTV says two attackers were involved, with CNN Turk reported they were dressed in Santa costumes.
Istanbul had been on high alert for any terror attacks, with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city…
Source: BBC News
Around 50 people injured
Around 50 people have been injured according to the latest reports.
Armed police are on the scene at the Reina club. Read the rest of this entry »
Iraqi Christians Celebrate First Christmas in Lands Liberated from ISISPosted: December 24, 2016 Filed under: History, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Al Anbar Governorate, Al-Qa'im (town), Bahrain, Bashar al-Assad, Christian, Christian cross, Iraq, Iraqi Army, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Mosul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam Leave a comment
Thousands of Assyrian Christians fled their homes in northern Iraq when ISIS militants took control in August 2014.
Reuters reports: Several hundred Iraqi Christians flocked on Saturday to a northern town recently retaken from the Islamic State group, celebrating Christmas for the first time since 2013, their joy tainted with sadness over the desecration of their church.
“This is a dark cloud over Iraq. But we will stay here in our land no matter what happens. God is with us.”
— Bishop Shemani, Christmas Eve sermon in Bartella.
Once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, Bartella emptied in August 2014 when it fell to ISIS’ blitz across large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. Iraqi forces took it back in the first few days of the U.S.-backed offensive that started in October.
Women holding candles ululated as they went into the town’s Mar Shimoni church, expressing their joy at returning to the place where many of them said they had been baptized.
“This is the best day of my life. Sometimes I thought it would never come,” said Shurook Tawfiq, a 32-year-old housewife displaced to the nearby Kurdish city of Erbil.
The church was badly damaged during ISIS’ time in control of the town, with crosses taken down, statues of saints defaced and the chancel burnt.
A new cross has been affixed on top of the chapel, while a decorated plastic Christmas tree now stands near the massive gate. Soldiers stood guard nearby and others were posted on rooftops.
A peal of festive bells rang out over the town, which is still largely empty, with many houses reduced to rubble by the fighting that raged two months ago.
“It is a mix of sadness and happiness,” Bishop Mussa Shemani told Reuters before celebrating the Christmas Eve Mass.
“We are sad to see what has been done to our holiest places by our own countrymen, but at the same time we are happy to celebrate the first Mass after two years.”
The region of Nineveh is one of the most ancient settlements of Christianity, going back nearly 2,000 years.
At Mar Shimoni, the congregation sang and prayed in Syriac, a language close to the one spoken by Jesus.
“It’s the church where I was baptized, where I was educated, where I was taught the faith,” said Bahnam Shamanny, the editor of Bartelli al-Syriann, a monthly local newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »
Ed West: Germany is Facing a Ticking Time Bomb of RagePosted: December 21, 2016 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Afghan refugees, Alternative for Germany, Angela Merkel, Asylum seeker, Chancellor of Germany, Germany, hate speech, Islam, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, Vladimir Putin 2 Comments
Ed West writes: I’ve learned that it’s best not to say anything about a terrorist atrocity on social media, especially not if it confirms one’s political prejudices. It just looks crass, or it has when I’ve done it. Try not to say anything profound either, as it will probably look insipid; also ideally do not make any point about similar atrocities occurring in less well known parts of the world, as people will quite reasonably think you’re just scoring points. And best not to bother with the tweets of solidarity, which are superfluous these days surely; France and Belgium and Germany are our close allies, friends and neighbours, and it goes without saying that when one of us is attacked we feel for them.
German social media is apparently filled with anger, not with Islamic extremists or Angela Merkel but with Alternative für Deutschland and its supporters. I’m not sure what the psychological condition is called; I suppose it’s a form of Stockholm Syndrome.
I can understand the human urge to protect the vulnerable, refugees and Muslims generally, from hostility as these awful events repeat themselves. It’s easy to sneer at politicians who come out with vapid theological comments, as I have in the past, but their job is to protect all the country’s citizens. I can also see why this urge might convince an intelligent person that Merkel’s migration policy has actually helped the fight against terrorism. But it’s extremely unlikely; all things being equal, hosting refugees does lead to an increase in terrorism, although the risk is smaller in richer countries, largely because they have better security services. It’s at times like this when I thank God for ours, who have saved countless lives in our country by preventing a good dozen attempts at mass murder. I’d suggest we all send them Christmas presents but I imagine they’d be destroyed. But if you’re reading – thank you all.
“German social media is apparently filled with anger, not with Islamic extremists or Angela Merkel but with Alternative für Deutschland and its supporters. I’m not sure what the psychological condition is called; I suppose it’s a form of Stockholm Syndrome.”
In fact, Merkel’s policies have some pretty serious implications for Germany in the future. I’ve read many people arguing that it was actually a clever, shrewd policy to admit one million migrants because Germany has a low birth rate and needs more people. Yet the education levels and skill sets of most of the people who have entered in the past 18 months are, by German standards, extremely low; Germany has a fairly high-wage economy, especially compared to Britain, and there are not a whole lot of positions available for low-skilled men. The number of recent migrants who have found employment is exceptionally low. Employment rates among second generations migrants from the Middle East, mostly Turkish, are also considerably worse than ethnic Germans. Read the rest of this entry »
Russian Diplomat is Shot Dead at his Home in Moscow Hours After the Assassination of Ambassador in AnkaraPosted: December 20, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Diplomacy, Global, Russia, Terrorism | Tags: Aleppo, Ankara, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, List of diplomatic missions of Russia, Moscow, RUSSIA, Syria, Syrian civil war, Turkey Leave a comment
A high ranking Russian diplomat has been found dead from gun shot wounds in Moscow, it was reported early today.
Petr Polshikov, 56, was found at his home in the capital city with a bullet wound to his head.
The shooting disclosed by Ren TV came soon after news broke of the assassination of Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov.
The circumstances of the shooting remained unclear, and it is understood police are examining all possible theories as to his death.
Two empty bullet shells were found in the flat on Balaklavsky Prospekt.
A gun was discovered under the sink in the bathroom.
Ren TV showed footage from the crime scene. Read the rest of this entry »
Russian Ambassador Gunned Down in Turkey; Shooter Ali Hashem Shouts ‘Allahu Akhbar’Posted: December 19, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Russia, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Al-Bab, Aleppo, Bashar al-Assad, Council of Ministers (Syria), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, John Kerry, Michele J. Sison, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, RUSSIA, Syria, Syrian civil war, Syrian opposition, Turkey, United Nations Security Council, Vitaly Churkin, Vladimir Putin Leave a comment
David French writes: The world just got more dangerous. A gunman shot and killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey and then stood over his body, shouted “Allahu Akhbar” and began ranting about Syria and Aleppo. I won’t embed video of the shooting, but you can see the entire thing here. Warning, the footage is extremely disturbing.
[Read the full story here, at National Review]
Early reports are often wrong, but it appears the shooter was a Turkish police officer:
According to reports the assasin of the Russian ambassador is indeed a security personnel and his name is Mert Altintas pic.twitter.com/lBezzoIMWV
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) December 19, 2016
We can’t forget that this incident comes just a little more than a year after Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet, and it comes after Erodgan has comprehensively purged Turkish security forces to allegedly leave only his loyalists on staff. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] REWIND: General James Mattis Rips Obama Foreign Policy at HearingPosted: December 1, 2016 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Terrorism, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, media, Middle East, news, Syria, Syrian civil war, United States, United States Central Command, video 1 Comment
Gen. James Mattis questions White House strategy in Iraq and Afghanistasn, ponders what’s happening in Syria and bemoans America’s lack of influence in the Middle East.
Ohio State Knife Attacker Abdul Artan Was Taking a Class About MicroaggressionsPosted: December 1, 2016 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Columbus, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Muslim, Ohio, Ohio State University, Police officer, Somali language, The Lantern, United States Leave a comment
Robby Soave reports: Before he was shot dead while attempting to murder a bunch of people with a car and a butcher’s knife, Ohio State University student Abdul Artan—a Pakistani immigrant who reportedly became radicalized after learning about injustices committed against fellow Muslims—was enrolled in a class called “Crossing Identity Boundaries.”
[Read the full story here, at Reason.com]
In fact, he had a group project on “microaggressions” due later this week. The assignment, worth 15 percent of his grade, required students to find a dozen examples of microaggressions on social media and explain which identity groups were the victims, according to the syllabus.
The purpose of the class is to promote “intercultural leadership” and transform students into “actively engaged, socially just global citizen/leaders.” It seems to go well beyond merely educating students, though—it actually requires them to become social justice activists. Read the rest of this entry »
Shopkeeper’s Monkey Pulls Off Girl’s Headscarf, Sparked Violence Between Rival Groups in Libya that Left 16 DeadPosted: November 20, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Abdullah Senussi, Anti-Gaddafi forces, Fayez al-Sarraj, Government of National Accord, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Libya, Libyan Civil War (2011), Monkey, Muammar Gaddafi, United Nations 1 Comment
The monkey pulled off one of the girls’ head scarf, leading men from the Awlad Suleiman tribe to retaliate by killing three people from the Gaddadfa tribe, as well as the monkey.
At least 16 people died and 50 were wounded in Libya in four days of clashes between rival factions in the southern city of Sabha, a health official said on Sunday.
“There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons. There are still sporadic clashes and life is completely shut down in the areas where there has been fighting.”
According to residents and local reports, the latest bout of violence erupted between two tribes after an incident in which a monkey that belonged to a shopkeeper from the Gaddadfa tribe attacked a group of schoolgirls who were passing by.
“There are women and children among the wounded and some foreigners from sub-Saharan African countries among those killed due to indiscriminate shelling.”
The monkey pulled off one of the girls’ head scarf, leading men from the Awlad Suleiman tribe to retaliate by killing three people from the Gaddadfa tribe as well as the monkey, according to a resident who spoke to Reuters.
City officials could not be reached to confirm the accounts.
“There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons,” the resident told Reuters by telephone, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the denigrating security situation. Read the rest of this entry »
Kosovo Arrests 19 in Islamic State Plot to Attack Israel Soccer MatchPosted: November 17, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Raqqah, Ayn Issa, Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Israel, Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Middle East, Mosul, Syria, Syrian civil war, United States Leave a comment
Suspects planned ‘synchronized’ attacks in Kosovo and Albania, police say; weapons, ammunition and a drone seized in sweep
Police said the arrests were made over the past 10 days and that the suspects had planned “synchronized terror attacks,” without going into further detail.
“They were planning to commit terrorist attacks in Kosovo and also [an attack] against [the] Israeli football team and their fans during the Albania-Israel match,” Kosovo police said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that weapons, explosives, ammunition and a drone were seized during the sweep.
The police said the suspects were communicating and receiving orders from an Islamic State member, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the self-declared “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq.” Read the rest of this entry »
Majority of Paris Attackers Entered Europe Posing as RefugeesPosted: October 9, 2016 Filed under: France, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Central and Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, EUROPE, European migrant crisis, George Soros, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Middle East, November 2015 Paris attacks, Open Society Foundations, Paris, The Daily Caller, United States, Western Europe Leave a comment
The attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis last year, according to Hungarian security officials.
By using fake Syrian passports, many of the attackers, already on European terror watch-lists, were able to slip back into Europe undetected, along with thousands of other refugees.
One hundred and thirty people were killed in November when a group of gunmen and suicide bombers launched a wave of attacks across Paris, targeting the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade De France and several restaurants and bars. Three hundred sixty-eight people were also injured in the attacks, almost 100 of them seriously.
Some of the remaining terrorists in the group participated in the Brussels attacks earlier this year in three coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and at Maalbeek metro station killed 32 people. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Krauthammer: In Syria, ‘We Are Excluded and the Russians Are in Charge’Posted: October 7, 2016 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Russia, War Room, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Charles Krauthammer, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Moscow, No-fly zone, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, RUSSIA, S-300 (missile), Syria, United States Leave a comment
This is as serious as you say it is, and it tells you how far we have fallen in the region. We were the ones, before the evacuation in Iraq, we were the ones — for all the blood and the toil and the waste of the initial invasion — who controlled that area. We controlled the airspace. We had airbases in Iraq — we controlled everything. No country would ever have said to us, and nobody was in a position to say to us, ‘You can’t have a no-fly zone, or we will patrol and shoot you down.’”