Daily Archives: December 23, 2015

Daech : la France va-t-elle aussi intervenir en Libye ?

La nécessité de contenir l’EI en Libye est désormais jugée urgente. Paris prépare les plans d’une intervention et tente de mettre sur pied une coalition internationale.

Quand, comment, engager le fer contre Daech en Libye? Et qui, pour se lancer dans ce combat que l’on présente désormais à Paris comme nécessaire et urgent? Si l’état-major des armées (EMA) reste logiquement fort discret sur les plans de campagne qui s’élaborent à Balard, les pistes existent pour tenter d’esquisser des réponses plausibles à cette série de questions.

L’horizon temporel, en premier lieu, s’est précisé au cours des dernières semaines. Pour éradiquer le «cancer Daech et ses métastases libyennes», une action militaire est jugée indispensable à l’horizon de six mois, voire avant le printemps, entend-on à la Défense.

Des vols de reconnaissance ont corroboré la poussée de Daech, depuis les rivages de Syrte, vers les sites pétroliers et la zone des trafics transfrontaliers du Sud. L’extension des zones contrôlées par l’État islamique, à quelques centaines de kilomètres des côtes de l’Europe, le «basculement» en Libye de djihadistes venus du Levant, mais aussi du Yémen et du Soudan, la menace de Touaregs et de tribus du Sud, constituent aussi des paramètres de cette équation complexe – et devenue une priorité. D’où les encouragements prodigués par Paris au nouvel envoyé spécial de l’ONU, Martin Kobler, et à l’entente des parties libyennes. À charge pour celles-ci de mener ensuite la lutte contre Daech, grâce aux pays qui proposeront leurs troupes. Une autre hypothèse ne peut être exclue, euphémise-t-on à l’Hôtel de Brienne: faute d’un accord politique entre Libyens, la France «poursuivrait son travail» pour mettre sur pied une coalition militaire.

 

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Daesh Leader’s Mobile Phone Holds Proof of Turkey’s Support

An Iraqi volunteer force commander said a mobile phone found on the person of a deceased Daesh militant proves that Turkey’s intelligence agency is providing support for the group.

“The mobile phone was found with one of the killed ISIL leaders in the Northern parts of Salahuddin province two days ago,” Jabbar al-Ma’mouri told Soumeriya news on Monday.

He said the phone contains messages from Turkish intelligence proving that Ankara supports Daesh, also known as ISIL/Islamic State, by providing security at the points used by militants traveling from Turkey to Iraq.

“The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny,” Ma’mouri said.

Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov in November revealed that Turkey has played an “ambiguous” role in the campaign against Daesh while acting as an accomplice to the terrorist group’s activities.

Last month, former US State Department senior advisor David Phillips said Turkey provided material support to Daesh because Ankara shares an ideological connection with the group, along with a mutual enemy in Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Turkey’s role has not been ambiguous – it has overtly supported the ISIL,” said Phillips, who currently serves as director of Columbia University’s Peace-building and Rights Program. “It has provided logistical support, money, weapons, transport and healthcare to wounded warriors.”

Phillips said Turkey has been supporting Daesh to remove Assad from power and because of a “spiritual bond” that exists between Turkey’s governing party and the jihadists.

Chinese FM: Downing of Russian Su-24 bomber in anti-ISIS op in Syria undermines intl efforts

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing

The downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria while carrying out anti-terrorist operations is a great loss to the international efforts in the fight against terrorism, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. “We have taken note that the downed Russian plane was fulfilling a mission… It was downed while destroying terrorist targets in Syrian territory,” Hong Lei said

Late last month, China said the downing of the Russian jet-fighter by Turkey needed to be “further clarified.”

“China is deeply concerned about this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told a press briefing when asked to comment, according to Xinhua.

Hong Lei said: “China supports all international efforts on anti-terrorism,” adding that Beijing wants more communication between those involved.

Last week, Moscow started analyzing the Su-24’s flight recorder. It was opened live in front of international experts and journalists during a press conference. The Russian military has invited experts from 14 nations to work on the black box, but only China and British experts have so far agreed to take part, Lieutenant General Sergey Dronov, deputy commander of the Russian Air and Space Forces, told the media on Friday.

On November 24, a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, killing one pilot and seriously straining relations between Moscow and Ankara. Turkey refused to apologize, insisting the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been warned many times before the F-16 fired its air-to-air missile. The Russian military has repeatedly stated the aircraft was shot down over Syria and that the Turkish fighter jet attacked from behind.

In the wake of the incident, Moscow introduced multiple sanctions against Ankara, banning agricultural trade with Turkey, reintroducing a visa regime and suspending most bilateral economic projects.

Source: Chinese FM: Downing of Russian Su-24 bomber in anti-ISIS op in Syria undermines intl efforts — RT News

This is the End: Outer Space Comets Could Destroy Humanity

Astronomers warn that a threat from outer space is more possible than expected, and the sudden end of humanity may be caused not by climate change or space rocks regularly sailing by the Earth, but by a random escapee from the huge distant space bodies orbiting in the Oort Cloud, far beyond Neptune, currently the most distant planet from our Sun.

Centaurs, massive space rocks orbiting on the outskirts of our Solar System, could be very hazardous to the Earth, a group of astronomers said Tuesday, as reported by Phys.org.

These space bodies, composed of ice and dust, and being up to some 50-100 kilometers wide, were discovered several decades ago. Astronomers state that centaurs should be counted as a greater threat than comets, as the “assessment of the extraterrestrial impact risk, based solely on near-Earth asteroid counts, underestimates its nature and magnitude.”

Bill Napier, an astronomer from the University of Buckingham, said that scientists have been thoroughly analyzing the possibility of a collision between the Earth and asteroids for the last 30 years, and have included distant celestial bodies, including centaurs.

“If we are right, then these distant comets could be a serious hazard, and it’s time to understand them better,” Napier claimed.

The centaurs’ orbits, believed to be extremely unstable, cross inside the orbits of enormous gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, about once every 40,000-100,000 years. When it happens, scientists say, the planets’ powerful gravity fields can deflect the centaurs toward the Sun.

On their way to the Sun asteroids begin to fracture, ultimately turning into cometary debris which makes “impacts on our planet inevitable.” Individual centaurs, they point out, can have an estimated mass higher than that of all the comets documented to date.

“The disintegration of such giant comets would produce intermittent but prolonged periods of bombardment lasting up to 100,000 years,” researchers wrote in Astronomy and Geophysics, the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

If comet debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, astronomers suggest, it would cause a heavy meteor shower and trigger dramatic climate change, threatening life on the planet.

“A centaur arrival carries the risk of injecting, into the atmosphere… a mass of dust and smoke comparable to that assumed in nuclear winter studies,” scientists said.

Under that scenario, humanity would follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs, believed to have died out as a result of an asteroid strike. And despite that there is no proof that a collision is imminent, “its ranking among natural existential risks [for humanity] appears to be high,” some astronomers suggested.

Iraqi troops start attack to recapture Ramadi from ISIS

The Iraqi Army has launched an attack to recapture the center of Ramadi from Islamic State terrorists, a counter-terrorism spokesman, Sabah Al-Numani has told Reuters. The government forces lost control of the city in May.

“Our forces are advancing toward the government complex in the center of Ramadi,” Al-Numani said, as cited by Reuters. “The fighting is in the neighborhoods around the complex, with support from the air force.”

Ramadi is a key urban settlement in the country and is the capital of the western Anbar province.

On Monday, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) militants were reported to prevent civilians from leaving the city as they anticipated an attack.

“There is intelligence information from inside the city that they [Islamic State] are preventing families from leaving; they plan to use them as human shields,” Naseer Nuri, a spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry, was quoted as saying by Reuters. Nuri’s remarks indicate the Iraqi military may have gained intelligence from several families that managed to escape Ramadi.

An unnamed Iraqi Army chief also said on Monday that an attack to liberate the city was imminent.

“The operation to free Ramadi will begin in the coming hours,” the official was cited as saying in a headline on screen. No further details were given, and the officer was not identified by name, Reuters reported.

Iraqi intelligence believes there are between 250 and 300 IS terrorists in the center of Ramadi.

Iraqi government forces lost control of the city in May, despite significant US aerial support. Immediately after its fall, Danny Makki, of the Syrian youth movement in the UK spoke to RT and said it could take over a decade to win back control of Ramadi.

“Ramadi is an area nearing Anbar which is of such significant nature to ISIS. They focus a lot of their efforts and strategic planning on taking this particular city in what is a very large defeat for the Iraqi government and for the anti-ISIS coalition led by the US. If the US was truly fighting ISIS as with many other Arab countries and world countries, Ramadi wouldn’t have fallen because it is such a significant city with such an importance on the Iraqi battlefield,” he said.