The operation of the Russian Air Force in Syria is nearing completion. For the time being, the Russian authorities are busy with prospects for further development of the situation in Syria
The European Commission is offering European consumers the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which provides for the supply, in particular, of Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas along the Turkey–Greece–Italy route. The project’s potential participants have their own interests, however, and are divided by long-standing antagonisms that are turning the corridor into a military and political delayed-action mine.
Turkey, which is traditionally reluctant to play by the European Union’s rules, is playing a particular role here. Ankara’s plans to build an Israel–Turkey pipeline are being superimposed on the desire of the Turkish elite to occupy key positions in the development of offshore natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, primarily around Cyprus. These plans are unleashing a whole host of problems between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, while, at the same time, affecting the interests of Israel, as well as Egypt and Libya, which are claiming their rights to the continental shelf. The world’s leading oil and gas companies are also pursuing their own economic objectives in the region, the most active of which are the French company Total and the Italian company ENI.
The current focus of contention is the offshore «Block 11», situated in the territorial waters of Cyprus. Turkey, which is also speaking on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has already sent a frigate, TCG Gökçeada, to the region. The frigate’s commander has been ordered to use whatever measures necessary to counteract ‘undesirable’ activity around the continental shelf. But any actions by Nicosia and Athens in support could be deemed ‘undesirable’, since Turkey’s official position is that all the gas resources on Cyprus’ continental shelf belong not only to the Greek Cypriots, but also to the Turkish Cypriots. And by the latter is meant the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Speaking in July at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated: «What we expect from anyone who takes sides in the developments in Cyprus is that they should refrain from steps that might pave the way for new tensions in the region. I would like to remind them that they could face the risk of losing a friend like Turkey, not just in the region, but anywhere and in any field».
Ankara has already sent its own flotilla to the potentially oil-rich regions of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, including the drilling vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pa and several navy vessels.
Athens has not stood idly by either, officially declaring that Greece will respond to Turkey’s «countermeasures against the development of Cyprus’ ‘Block 11’» and that the country is «ready to defend its sovereign rights». In this regard, it is worth remembering that in 1993, Greece and Cyprus adopted the Defence Doctrine of the Single Area, which aims to jointly react to an aggression by another country.
Israel, Libya and even Egypt are showing an increased interest in the deposits – each considers them to be extensions of their own continental shelf. And this interest is being reinforced by concrete military measures. The Israeli Ministry of Defence, for example, has signed a $420-million contract to equip the country’s navy with special systems to defend gas fields and navigable waterways. The deal is intended to supplement an earlier purchase of four Sa’ar 6 warships, which will be used to protect Israel’s economic waters in the Mediterranean Sea. As for Egypt, there is growing opposition to Turkey in connection with Ankara’s support of Qatar, which, in turn, is openly sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt.
Rivalries surrounding the gas fields of the Mediterranean shelf could mean that the possibility of constructing one of the world’s longest gas pipelines between Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Italy (more than 2,000 kilometres) comes to nothing. The estimated cost of the project stands at more than $6 billion, some of which the project’s participants are planning to obtain from the funds of the European Commission as part of the notorious ‘diversification’ of energy supplies. In this project, the bulk of the gas will come from Israel’s Leviathan gas field, the reserves of which amount to around 613 billion cubic metres of gas and 39.4 million barrels of gas condensate. «We are confident that in the future, Europe will buy gas produced in the Eastern Mediterranean», stated Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, Yuval Steinitz. «Intensive talks are currently underway on the construction of two pipelines. One of these will stretch to Turkey and then on to Europe. The other pipeline will go through Southern Cyprus and Greece to Italy».
The Balkans could end up the biggest loser in disputes over the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, and calls from Brussels and Washington to diversify energy sources are hardly helping. There will simply end up being nothing with which to diversify Russian gas imports, especially given the current confrontation between the US and the EU on US sanctions against Russian energy projects. By imposing sanctions against Moscow, America is «restricting economic cooperation with Russia in order to foist US shale gas on Europeans. Resentment is growing at the dishonest way the US looks after its own interests at the expense of others», writes the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Tensions in Lebanon are at an all-time high as political rhetoric against the refugees seems to have found its way to a union the like of which we haven’t seen before, bolstered by public support that’s near-unanimous, fueled by pro-Army rhetoric that’s become so intense it’s bordering on worrying.
The Lebanese Army has been engaged in a courageous fight against ISIS militants who have embedded themselves in refugee camps in the Beqaai border town of Arsal. The details of the fight, which is still ongoing, have become known for most. The gist of which, however, is that despite Lebanon’s army advancing against the militants, some transgressions against civilian refugees have taken place, with some of them dying during captivity prompting questions of torture.
As it is in Lebanon, of course, even mildly thinking about criticizing our army’s practices, or wanting an investigation to take place in the death of those…
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15 years ago 5 year old Samantha was playing a board game in her front yard with her friend, Sarah when a man approached the two girls and told them that he had lost his dog and he needed help finding it. Samantha took a few moments to talk to the man, and then he grabbed her. As he forced Samantha into his car, Samantha yelled to Sarah, “Help me! Tell my grandma!”
The man drove away with Samantha in his car. Sarah immediately told Samantha’s mother. Samantha’s mother reported this and the search for Samantha began. Despite Sarah being a young child and only seeing the man who abducted Samantha briefly, she was able to give a very accurate description of him and the car he was driving
Just a day later, Samantha’s body was found. She was nude, and her body was found about fifty miles away in a national forest by a passerby. Samantha had been sexually assaulted and she had been strangled, which caused her death. It was also discovered that she had fought her attacker, as his DNA was found underneath her fingernails.
The man who had assaulted and killed Samantha had been described by police as “incredibly sloppy”. He had left behind much evidence that he was the one who kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered Samantha. His name was Alejandro Avila. In May of 2005, he was convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances, and he was sentenced to death.
Alejandro had previously been near Samantha’s home because his ex-girlfriend lived there. He had been acquitted of molesting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter and niece. Police also found child pornography on Alejandro’s computer.
I’m at a loss to understand the admiration of thinking liberals (the operant word is “thinking”)—and especially some Jews—for the odious hijabi Linda Sarsour. Although she did help raise money to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery, I’m absolutely convinced that this act was done simply to give her credibility. For in all other ways, her actions border on anti-Semitic: she’s anti-Zionist (and remember that Zionism is not approbation for all of Israel’s actions, but simply a desire for a Jewish homeland—the existence of Israel), a supporter of the BDS movement, whose implicit goal is to wipe Israel off the map, and a supporter of sharia law. And of course there are her odious tw**ts, including this one:
She had an arranged marriage at 17, covers herself out of modesty, and has touted Saudi Arabia’s sharia law multiple times, yet she calls herself a feminist—and people buy it! She was…
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In Stuttgart, Germany, 1700 men lined up1 unashamedly waiting from morning until night on opening day to get into the new “Pussy Club,” a flat-rate brothel. The brothel management advertised by announcing that customers could have “sex with all women as long as you want, as often as you want and the way you want….