11/25 Links Pt1: PMW: School football tournament named after 13-year-old who stabbed two Israelis
Last month, two Palestinian boys, Hassan Manasrah and Ahmad Manasrah, aged 15 and 13, went with knives to the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, planning to kill Israelis. They stabbed two people aged 21 and 13, critically wounding both victims. Terrorist Hassan was killed while fleeing the scene, while terrorist Ahmad was shot and wounded by Israeli police and later tended to in an Israeli hospital.
Now a Palestinian school has named a football tournament after one of the stabbers:
“The Ahmad Manasrah Football Tournament” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 23, 2015]
This is not surprising as the Palestinian Authority practices a policy of glorifying terrorists who have murdered Israelis, presenting them as role models to Palestinian children. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA has named at least 25 schools, as well as dozens of sporting events and summer camps after terrorists.
The PA recently emphasized its terror glorification policy when a PA municipality erected a monument and named a road after terrorist killer Muhannad Halabi who at the start of the current terror wave stabbed and murdered two Israelis in Jerusalem. A youth center in Jenin also named a football tournament after this murderer.
Looking at what is going on in the world, one gets the eerie feeling that we are living an ugly genetic-cross between a Zombie Horror flic and a Body-Snatched horror-sci-fi film. Muslim Islamist-Zombies are murdering non-Muslims and Muslims as if they are in a zombie trance. And, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry act as though Muslims murdering the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, Jews, and pretty much everybody else really isn’t a big deal, and actually has a “rationale.”
It seems the Islamist-Zombies are not just “at the gates,” but that a brain-snatched President Obama is purposefully holding the gates open so they can flood in. We are living through an actual horror movie from hell from which there is no waking up, and from which we cannot escape.
First, why call these Islamist-murderers “terrorists.” Even with terrorists in movies there is some negotiation. These monsters are not out for negotiation, they are out to rampage, to maraud, and to bath themselves in others’ blood. Ask yourself a simple question: Watching the frenzied Islamist-murderers stab Israelis and spew bullets into a crowded French concert halls and cafes, are these murderers like the calculating terrorists of movies like Die-Hard or are these rampaging crazies like the zombies from movies like Night of the Living Dead? The answer is self-evident.
For seven years, Obama has so pandered to these Muslims and validated their ideals that he has whetted their appetite for more blood. Obama’s actions have insured that would-be Islamist-Zombies are falling over themselves to kill more people. They are frenzied Zombies that are out to murder and murder and murder until there’s no one left.
This weekend, the novelist Joyce Carol Oates took to Twitter with a question. “All we hear of ISIS is puritanical and punitive,” opined the Grand Dame of American letters. “Is there nothing celebratory and joyous? Or is query naïve?”
Query isn’t naïve. Query is telling. Having distinguished herself as a political idiot earlier this year by leading the march of folly against awarding PEN’s freedom of expression award to the surviving members of Charlie Hebdo, Oates has emerged as one of the more eloquent tellers of a story gripping large swaths of the population formerly known as the American intelligentsia. Oates’ meta-narrative is the story of the struggle between those enlightened enough to see the intricacies of oppression everywhere at play and those benighted brutes who are halting progress by trampling the weak and spreading bigotry and bias. The latter look at ISIS and see murderous zealots; Oates and her fellow feelers, on the other hand, high on empathy, demand that we see joy and beauty–or at least “nuance”—in the beheaders’ violent spree, which, after all, was provoked by our own cruel insensitivities and will only stop once we recognize the legitimacy of our executioners’ grievances.
This, more or less, is contemporary progressivism’s big story. You can hear variations on it in the yelps of the mindless freaks at the University of Ottawa, who insisted on banning a yoga class because the practice of stretching one’s limbs in certain positions was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” or in the demands of the crybullies at Smith College, who vowed to bar reporters who didn’t pledge solidarity with their causes from covering their rallies. It’s there in the mumblings of the bobos in the 11th Arrondisement, who, while still scrubbing the blood of their friends and neighbors off their neighborhood’s sidewalks, were quick to condone their attackers and blame their government for the violence. And it’s alive in the wailing of the Israeli left, who meet every Palestinian wielding a knife, an ax, or a gun with soft apologies for having the temerity to ride the bus or shop for fruit or walk down the street on a warm fall day. Some specifics may vary from Yale to Tel Aviv and from Paris to Missouri, but the underlying worldview remains the same, a unified theory that holds that history is a battle between the “oppressed” and the “oppressors,” and that should be a matter of life and death for every good and decent person to stand on the side of the “oppressed” while working to dismantle the “structures of privilege” that make the oppressed so justifiably mad.
An Israeli soldier was seriously injured Wednesday in a stabbing attack at the al-Fawwar junction southwest of Hebron.
The soldier, who is in his 20s, was stabbed in his upper body.
He was evacuated by Magen David Adom medics to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital in serious condition, according to a first responder.
The attacker was shot and later died of his wounds.
The Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified the stabber as 19-year-old Muhammad Ismail Shubaki, a student at the Palestine Technical College.
MDA head Eli Bin told Israel Radio he spoke to the victim, who was conscious but at risk of his condition deteriorating quickly.
A sniper shot at a parked car near the Cave of the Patriarchs located in the Hebron area of the West Bank on Wednesday.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Security forces have opened an investigation into the incident and were combing nearby neighborhoods for possible suspects.
The West Bank has recently been a hotbed of violent activity since a wave of terrorism struck over the last two months, killing 21 Israelis and injuring dozens more.
A Palestinian man found carrying a knife Tuesday while walking on the light rail tracks near Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station was planning to carry out a terrorist attack, police said Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Old City resident was arrested after light rail security guards and an off-duty border policeman found the knife hidden in his clothes during a body search.
The guards were alerted to a man walking by the light rail tracks near the station by passersby who said he was seen inspecting a knife under his coat.
According to the Walla news site, one man was heard shouting, “There’s a terrorist.”
An Arab-Israeli from northern Israel was arrested Tuesday after sending an SMS to his father informing him he was going to carry out a terrorist attack – prompting his father to turn to police.
The father, who lives in a village close to Nazareth in the Galilee, alerted the police emergency hotline as soon as he received the message, which read: “Today you will hear good things about me – I’m going to carry out an attack.”
Other family members received the same message, according to Israel’s Channel 2, which released a transcript of the father’s frantic conversations with the police call center, during which he repeatedly urged them to send a patrol car to his home.
The Wattan news agency also praised Ala’a Abu Jamal, another terrorist and family member of the Har Nof butchers. Abu Jamal was the terrorist who last month carried out a ram-and-stab attack in the middle of Jerusalem on Malchei Yisroel Street, murdering one rabbi and wounding three other people before he was shot and killed by a security guard.
But in a translation by the Palestinian Media Watch organization (PMW), a longer segment of the Wattan article reflects the changing reality in Arab Jerusalem, and possibly in the Palestinian Authority as well. Reading between the lines tells a tale of aching loss and real need — possibly even actual hunger. Widowed women in Arab society are placed in a very complex position, often for the rest of their lives.
“Nadia Abu Jamal, Martyr Ghassan’s wife, said in her answer regarding the first moments after she received the news of her husband’s death as a Martyr: ‘The news shocked and surprised me. Afterward, these feelings began to be mixed with pride over the scope and quality of the operation he carried out. Of course I did not expect this, and I am still hurting over his parting.’
Muawiyah Abu Jamal, Ghassan’s brother, said: …’all of the steps carried out by the occupation forces were harsh, but the harshest was the blowing up of our house that took place on the 6th of this past October, and which was meant to harm our resolve.’ He clarified that the fact that the occupation forces blew up the house of Martyr Ghassan caused direct damage to the homes of his 4 brothers, out of clear, methodical policy to collectively punish the family… Likewise, he noted that the Jerusalem district [PA] announced in the past, in a news item published in the media, that it would stand by the Martyrs’ families, but that until now it had not given any services or aid to the families who were harmed!
A post on that has gone viral shows a photograph of two Muslim women at a security check being frisked by police with the caption, “Checkpoints to prevent terrorism is apartheid! Boycott Israel!”
Upon closer inspection, it’s clear from the photograph that the security guards are in fact part of the Belgian police force. Underneath the image the caption continues, “Oh, wait…This is in Belgium? Well, never mind then…” The hashtag #hypocrisy is printed at the bottom of the post, which thousands of Israelis have shared since Monday.
Another post making the rounds shows a spider chart that asks the question, “Are you a terrorist?” Choosing “No” leads to a box that says “God Bless Ya.” Answering “Yes” leads to another question, “Where?” Selecting “Europe” leads to a caption box that reads, “World’s biggest enemy,” while underneath “Israel” is the caption “FREEDOM FIGHTER.” Meanwhile, “Africa” is followed by the caption, “Who gives a sh*t.”
The honeymoon between the leadership of the Jewish community and the Liberal Party during the election campaign has apparently ended a short time after the government sworn in.The Jewish leadership has become gradually disillusioned with Trudeau government. The first signal was sent on October 25. In its condolences message for the death of Toronto-born Haim (Howie) Rothman, a year after he was seriously injured in a terrorist attack, CIJA implicitly criticized Trudeau’s foreign policy in the Middle East. Trudeau was urged to take a firm position against the Palestinian Authority (PA), lead by President Mahmoud Abbas, because of its role in instigating terrorist attacks and to halt any financial aid till the PA abides by its obligation to stop terrorism.“The international community, indeed all people of conscience, must immediately and unambiguously condemn Palestinian violence, the incitement that leads to it, and the culture that glorifies it,” CIJA Chair David J. Cape said. “We reiterate our call to western governments to state that their financial support for the PA depends on the fulfillment of the PA’s basic obligation to stop terrorism and embrace the path of peace,” he added.CIJA latest appeal to Ottawa fell on deaf ears. Neither Canada’s Prime Minister Office nor the Ministry of foreign Affairs have condemned the Palestinian terrorist campaign also known as al-Quds Intifada or the Knife Intifada and officially backed by the Palestinian Authorities in Ramallah (PLO) and in Gaza (Hamas).Since the formation of government, Prime Minster Trudeau condemned the Paris terrorist attack launched by ISIS and The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephane Dion, denounced ISIS terrorist attack aimed the stronghold of Hezbollah in Beirut, Lebanon and al-Qaeda attack in Mali.
US President Barack Obama on Monday made a phone call to the parents of Ezra Schwartz, the 18-year-old American citizen murdered by a terrorist last Thursday in a shooting attack in Judea’s Gush Etzion.
In the call to the bereaved parents Ari and Ruth Scwhartz, which came a lengthy four days after the murder, Obama spoke about how Schwartz was studying at a yeshiva and volunteering in Israel during his gap year.
“The president offered his profound condolences and condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that took his life,” a senior administration official told JTA.
“The president also underscored that Ezra’s studies in Israel strengthened the bonds between Israel and the United States and, as we mourn his death, those bonds only grow stronger.”
Schwartz, who hailed from Sharon, Massachusetts, was to start business school at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the fall.
However, Obama has yet to issue an official statement on the American teen’s brutal murder even after the phone call.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner was challenged by an AP reporter about the administration’s relative silence surrounding the murder of an American-Jewish teen in the West Bank at the hands of a Palestinian terrorist.
Matt Lee, the AP correspondent who covers the State Department, asked Toner why President Obama and Vice President Biden failed to mention Ezra Schwartz when addressing the issue of US citizens killed abroad in terrorist attacks, though they did name the American victims of the Paris and Mali attacks.
“Does [the administration regard] all of these acts as terrorism?” Lee asked. “Does the administration believe there are different kinds of terrorism?”
Toner responded that Secretary of State John Kerry had indeed made a statement on Friday about Schwartz’s death, and even reached out to his family. But Lee pressed him on whether the administration viewed the terrorist attack in which Schwartz was killed in the same light as the Paris and Mali attacks.
“I don’t want to necessarily parse out the definition of ‘terrorism,’” said Toner. “But we — yes, I think we would view them as terrorist attacks.”
Lee reiterated his question: “There are none that are less bad than others?”
Toner responded that though the circumstances differed, they are viewed the same by the administration.
Rutgers University has announced it will fly its flags at half-mast in honor of slain American Jewish student Ezra Schwartz and Anita Datar, a graduate killed in last week’s Mali terror attack.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi sent out the following message:
“Members of the Rutgers Community:
Today I ordered that the Rutgers University flag be lowered to half-staff to recognize the tragic passing of two persons affiliated with the University who were murdered by terrorists last week.
Anita Datar, a 1995 Rutgers College graduate, was killed by terrorists in the attack at the Radison Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, that took 21 lives on Friday. She was in the African nation on a mission funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand and improve public health.
After his bar mitzvah five years ago, Schwartz donated gift money he had received to United Hatzalah, an Israeli emergency medical services organization. The money was used to buy a motorcycle ambulance, known as an “ambucycle,” which is still in use by the organization.
“Five years ago, I had the privilege to speak with some very special bar mitzvah boys at a dedication ceremony in Sharon, Massachusetts,” said United Hatzalah President Eli Beer.
“Together, they had donated an ambucycle to United Hatzalah. One of the boys who made that dedication ceremony possible was Ezra Schwartz.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that the amazing young yeshiva student who was killed here last week in a terror attack in Gush Etzion was Ezra from Sharon, and that his name had been riding on a United Hatzalah ambucycle here in Israel since 2010. Our volunteer medics responded to the attack but it was out of our hands.
“My heart goes out to the Schwartz family. I have no words to express the loss I feel over Ezra’s being taken in this way. All I can do is echo the words of Lynn, one of the mothers of the bar mitzvah boys of five years ago, ‘It gives us such great comfort to know that Ezra’s name and neshama [spirit or soul] is riding through the streets of Jerusalem saving lives.'”
Yisrael Medad: American Yeshiva Students Murdered in Israel – 1929
That American Yeshiva students are killed in Eretz-Yisrael while studying Torah as has just occurred is not, unfortunately, a new phenomenon.
Already in 1929, eight Americans were murdered in Hebron and their names are:
William Zev (Wolf) Berman, Philadelphia;
David Sheinberg (Shunberg), Memphis;
Benjamin (Bennie) Hurvitz (Horowitz), Brooklyn;
Harry Frohman, Chicago;
Wolf Greenberg, Brooklyn, N.Y.;
Hyman Krasner, Chicago;
Aaron David Epstein, Chicago;
Jacob Wexler, Chicago.
But did you know just how parallel a situation exists between the events of 1929 and 2015?
The 1929 riots broke out due to the Mufti fueling the flames of religious hatred based on the false claim that ‘Al-Aqsa is in Danger’ and that the Jews not only desired more rights at the Western Wall but also sought the rebuild the Temple.
Young activists from Judea and Samaria went out on Tuesday night to the central junctions and bus stations in Samaria, sites where cement security barriers stand to protect commuters from car or shooting attacks, and painted them with the blue and white Israeli flag.
In the coming weeks, the youths – who call themselves “Mechusanim” (ie. providing strength to the people of Israel) – intend to go and pass out Israeli flags, to be hung in cars or at home.
Tuesday night’s painting mission is the launch of a wide-scale operation to raise the national morale and strengthen the security, with further stages of the initiative to take place in the coming weeks and months.
As part of the establishment of the Mechusanim, a coordination headquarters was set up to conduct the operation, which will include additional activities later on.
The youths initiated the idea as a response to the difficult feelings of insecurity in recent months, particularly during the Arab terror wave that began in early October.
Following the unfortunate lead of The New York Times , Haaretz, BBC and The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle runs a headline which falsely depicts Palestinian assailants as the victim.
“Palestinians shot in assault” is the headline yesterday for the news brief about two Palestinian terror attacks, one fatal, in which assailants were shot dead. In the fatal attack Monday, a Palestinian stabbed to death Israeli Ziv Mizrachi at a gas station on Highway 443, and wounded another soldier. Security forces subsequently killed the Palestinian attacker. Another Palestinian assailant, a teenaged girl, was shot dead after she stabbed a 70-year-old Palestinian, whom she apparently mistook for a Jew, and continued to threaten a member of the security forces.
The San Francisco Chronicle earns itself in the dubious “Bad Writing” Hall of Shame. Stay tuned for news of a correction.
Most people will have been shocked that two Palestinian teenage girls were responsible for a terrorist attack in the heart of Jerusalem on Tuesday. Given the incitement emanating from Palestinian leaders and the media, it is not surprising.
This is how the Daily Mail’s Mail Online site headlined the story:
“Shocking moment two Israelis Shoot Palestinian teenager dead and wound another after they threaten them with scissors in Jerusalem”
These Palestinians were not shot by Israeli security forces for “threatening them” with scissors – an elderly man had already by this point been injured and the girls clearly represented a serious danger to everyone around them.
Their young age and the fact that these two Palestinian teens were armed with scissors as opposed to knives should not detract from the plain and simple fact that they made the conscious decision to try to kill Israelis shopping in a market.
The headline turns the Palestinian attackers into the victims and instead portrays Israelis as the party at fault.
Two of the more egregious distortions are found in the following paragraph of the article:
Life in the old city is precarious for Palestinians. Their movements are restricted, they are not allowed to use vehicles, businesses have had to close. Soldiers enter Palestinian houses day or night. We walked near a checkpoint where, a week earlier, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman on her way to college was shot dead by a 19-year-old Israeli soldier who thought she may be carrying a knife. Since then, more than 80 people have died, most in east Jerusalem and Hebron – six times as many Palestinians have died as Israelis.
First, the final sentence highlighted, which notes the putatively ‘disproportionate’ number of Palestinians killed since the latest upsurge in violence, is extraordinarily misleading as it fails to note that most of these Palestinians were killed while carrying out or attempting to carry out attacks. Almost all of the rest were killed while participating in violent demonstrations. All of the Israelis victims, in contrast, were killed in Palestinian attacks.
But, the worse distortion is in the preceding sentence, regarding the 18-year-old Palestinian woman shot at a checkpoint.
Contrary to the claim made, the Palestinian woman was not shot merely because the soldier “thought” she had a knife. She was shot after she brandished a knife and refused to drop it after being ordered to do so and reportedly lunged at soldiers.
The IDF released a photo of knife at the scene, which was widely used in UK media reports about the incident.
Doucet’s interviewee is George Zeidan who – like one of those “Danish aid workers” mentioned in the synopsis – used to be employed by the political NGO DanChurchAid.
As was the case when her colleague Jon Donnison showcased ‘Right to Movement’ over two years ago, Doucet makes no attempt to provide BBC audiences with an impartial portrayal of the political agenda of the organization she highlights and promotes. Hence, viewers hear the following from George Zeidan – with no effort made by Doucet to inform them that Beit Sahour has been under the full control of the Palestinian Authority for two decades.
“Any runner outside Palestine have to just put on his running shoes and tie his shoes and go out to run. To me if I want to do this I take several other steps that I have to plan. I have to plan which street I’m going, when, and that’s because of the Israeli occupation.”
Doucet also adds her own inaccuracies to the cocktail:
“Pounding crowded streets in the city of Beit Sahour wouldn’t be any runner’s first choice. But these runners say they haven’t much choice; not when tensions are now running so high in an area surrounded by Israeli checkpoints and Jewish settlements.” [emphasis added]
Beit Sahour lies to the east of Bethlehem and to the north of a number of Palestinian villages located in PA controlled Area A or in Area B. It is not “surrounded” by either “Israeli checkpoints” or “Jewish settlements” at all.
The November 22nd edition of the Stephen Nolan show on BBC Radio 5 Live included an item about a story described in the programme’s synopsis as follows:
“And after the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer, Stephen takes your calls on whether you think that was the right decision or not.”
One of the two callers put on air made the following remark:
“But I mean where is this going to end? Are we going to have Zionists and Jihadists clogging up the cinemas with their message?”
The second caller responded:
“…we have robust laws against hate speech. […] So, you know, to say we’re gonna have Zionists or ISIS adverts; I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.”
Presenter Stephen Nolan, however, made no effort to relieve listeners of the obviously false impression that UK laws against hate speech might theoretically be applied to content relating to the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in the Land of Israel. His failure to do so clearly hindered enhancement of the corporation’s remit to “give people opportunities to understand the beliefs of others” – with “others” in this case including many if not most of Britain’s Jewish community.
As the year draws to a close, CNN Money looks ahead focusing on “Beyond ISIS: 2016’s scariest geopolitical hot spots.” Unsurprisingly, Syria and the Middle East features. But look at the map above that CNN has chosen to accompany the text.
Israel has been wiped from the map and instead replaced with “Palestina,” a Spanish or Portuguese translation of Palestine. The image was taken from Getty Images’ iStock and is not a creation of CNN’s graphics team.
Clearly, however, somebody at CNN selected this image out of all the potential images that could have been chosen to illustrate the Middle East. Therefore, it should be easy to replace with a less provocative image.
Following the publication of this post and the complaints of many HonestReporting subscribers, CNN has removed the map in question and replaced it with an image of the aftermath of a Syrian airstrike in Aleppo.
While we question how the error occurred at all, nonetheless we commend CNN for taking prompt action.
IsraellyCool: Dr. Chan–Breaking News
There’s just something about this clip with its insistent rhythm, and yes, the harsh lyrics that reach out and grab you by the throat and make you pay attention to what is happening in cities, settlements, and highways throughout Israel. The lyrics go coarse at times, but that just gives them more impact. I also like that the clip has attitude. It’s exactly what we need right now.
Press “cc” if you don’t see the English captions. A big thank you is due to Calgary United with Israel (CUWI), for the translation, which makes this Hebrew clip accessible to all those who love Israel, albeit in English!
A nervous looking Cowell, who was born to a Jewish father, was treated to a line up of Abu Mazen ventriloquists, a somersaulting Hitler Youth urban dance act, a magician who stormed a tunnel with explosives, grenades and an AK-47, only to come out the other side, smiling and disembowelled, next to 72 glamorous virgins. Even Nicole Sherzinger clapped. Mahmood El Mahmood, a sweet boy with a stutter came out and blew the audience away, well after his father had, with his version of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man.’ Cowell pressed the golden buzzer, Mahmood went through to the finals in Ramallah and the roof exploded.
But the real drama was reserved for Fatima Al Boom Shak-a-Lak, whose father disowned her when she dropped out of bomb-making and swastika classes to take up singing in her bedroom. Dressed in a sultry ankle-length black number, and a balaclava, she dedicated her mash-up of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ and Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ to him but her ashamed father chopped his own head off in the gents toilets during the commercial break.
Al Jazeera, which broadcast the show, called the show a hit, as did the BBC, which led with the headline “Palestinians sing and dance through their pain after Israeli rocket targets TV studio. The next episode airs Sunday at 9pm Israel time, 2pm Central.
Russian and Syrian special forces have freed the second pilot of a Russian warplane shot down by Turkey and he is now at a Russian air base in Syria, Moscow’s defense minister said Wednesday.
“The operation ended successfully. The second pilot has been brought to our base. He is alive and well,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“I would like to thank all our guys who worked at great risk all night and finished this job at around 3:40 am (0040 GMT),” Shoigu said in televised comments.
President Vladimir Putin later confirmed the second pilot was “saved” and “he and the other participants… including in the rescue operation will be awarded state honors.”
The plane’s other pilot who died as he was fired at from the ground will posthumously be given Russia’s highest award for valor, the Hero of Russia medal, Putin said.
Fourteen air forces operate in the congested airspace above Syria, a factor which has given rise to regional challenges, and may possibly lead to more clashes and border violations.
The downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter bomber by Turkish Air Force F-16’s, adjacent to the Turkish Syrian border on Tuesday, provided yet another example of the increasing complexity which has emerged as a result of the sheer number of combat aircraft operating above the failing state.
The growing presence of foreign combat aircraft in Syrian airspace has created serious complications for regional air arms, which previously only had to contend with a bruised but not beaten Syrian Air Force.
The Obama administration, in response to the Turkish military shooting down a Russian warplane, suggested that Moscow had no business flying near Syria’s border with Turkey because there were no Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists operating there.
Turkey fired on a Russian warplane Tuesday, saying it violated its airspace. The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 was eventually shot down after the pilots, who were forced to eject over Syria, ignored 10 warnings by the Turkish military, the U.S. military has confirmed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that the jet posed no threat to Turkey and was targeting ISIS in the Latakia province of Syria.
A U.S. military official suggested that the Russian aircraft should have avoided flying close to the Turkish border, as mandated by international protocols and standards of norms.
“There’s no reason for aircraft to be flying where they shouldn’t, frankly,” said U.S. Army Col. Steven Warren, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
While briefing reporters at the Pentagon from Baghdad, Army Col. Steven Warren, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said the incident was an issue between the Turkish and Russian governments.
Nevertheless, he lambasted the Russian air campaign in Syria. Moscow claims it is primarily focused on targeting the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
“Only a fraction of their attacks have been against ISIL targets. There are no ISIL targets in that area, where all this happened, anyway,” he said, referring to the location where the Turkish F-16s shot down the Russian warplane. “So we are concerned when the Russians don’t do what they say they’re going to do right. The Russians have said that they’re here to fight terrorism, but the Russians have routinely now demonstrated that their goal is to, you know, prop up and prolong the [Bashar al] Assad regime.”
“The majority of their strikes have been strikes that are a direct benefit to the Assad regime and it’s the Assad regime, really, in our view, that’s the problem here… It’s the Assad regime that has brought suffering and misery to the Syrian people which in turn has led to the growth of ISIL itself.”
Russia’s foreign minister on Wednesday said the downing of its fighter jet by Turkey appeared to be a “planned provocation” but said the countries would not go to war over the incident.
“We have serious doubts about this being an unpremeditated act, it really looks like a planned provocation,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow after speaking with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“We do not plan to go to war with Turkey, our attitude toward the Turkish people has not changed,” Lavrov added, stressing that Moscow would however “seriously reevaluate” its ties with Ankara.
“Such attacks are absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
Lavrov also backed a proposal by French President Francois Hollande to close off the Syrian-Turkish border to prevent fighters from flooding into Syria, saying the idea may be raised by Hollande during his visit to Moscow on Thursday.
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane for violating its airspace Tuesday, but the Turkish air force does the exact same thing several times a day in Greece.
Turkey was quick to defend its action by stating it issued 10 warnings over the course of five minutes before firing on the plane.
“The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters. “Our findings show clearly that Turkish air space was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”
But the Turkish air force doesn’t seem to be too careful about entering Greek airspace, according to numbers from the University of Thessaly. A tally shows the Turks committed a total of 2,244 violations in 2014, up from 636 in 2013.
Unconfirmed Syrian media reports said Tuesday that Israel carried out some four airstrikes on Syrian regime and Hezbollah positions in the area of Syria’s Qalamoun mountains on Monday night.
A report by Al-Souria Net, a pro-opposition outlet, said eight Hezbollah fighters and five Syrian soldiers were killed in the raids, which hit the border region between Lebanon and Syria.
“After several hours of reconnaissance flights above the area, Israeli planes suddenly launched two raids on a joint Assad forces and Hezbollah position,” Al-Souria Net reported. “This was immediately followed by a third raid.. The Israeli planes resumed their attack with a fourth air raid after several minutes, targeting a Hezbollah position in western Qalamoun.”
The report said there were “dozens” injured in the airstrikes, four of them critically. The wounded were transferred to local hospitals for treatment.
Israel is reported to have been behind a series of air raids on Syrian soil since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, apparently aimed at preventing advanced weapons shipments from Iran from reaching arch-enemy Hezbollah via Syria.
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