Tuesday, October 13, 2015

World News Briefs -- October 13, 2015

A frame grab taken from footage released by Russia's Defence Ministry October 9, 2015, shows a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber dropping a bomb in the air over Syria. REUTERS/MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Reuters: Turkey warns U.S., Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria

Turkey has warned the United States and Russia it will not tolerate Kurdish territorial gains by Kurdish militia close to its frontiers in north-western Syria, two senior officials said.

"This is clear cut for us and there is no joking about it," one official said of the possibility of Syrian Kurdish militia crossing the Euphrates to extend control along Turkish borders from Iraq's Kurdistan region towards the Mediterranean coast.

Turkey fears advances by Kurdish YPG militia, backed by its PYD political wing, on the Syrian side of its 900 km (560-mile) border will fuel separatist ambitions among Kurds in its own southeastern territories. But Washington has supported YPG fighters as an effective force in combating Islamic State.


Syria conflict: Shells hit Russian embassy compound.

Syrian Kurdish militia sees Raqqa assault 'within weeks': report.

Syria Kurds 'razing villages seized from IS' - Amnesty.

Political crisis escalates in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Israel opens fire at Syrian target after rocket attack.

Palestinians kill 3 Israelis as violence mounts in ‘day of rage’. Israelis killed in Jerusalem bus stabbing and car ramming.

Turkey: IS group top suspect in Ankara blast.

Iranian parliament passes bill approving nuclear deal. Iran's parliament backs nuclear deal.

Saudi Prince says Saudi will stay in charge of hajj.


US, Afghan forces raid Al Qaeda training sites. Al Qaeda sites in Afghanistan dismantled in joint operation, U.S. military says.

Taliban pull back from Kunduz as fighting flares on southern highway.

Pakistani official: Winter could revive Afghan peace talks.

Top China paper says U.S., Russia playing Cold War game in Syria.

Japan, China agree to promote dialogue despite UNESCO dispute. Japan may halt funds for UNESCO over Nanjing row with China.

Obama to host Park Geun-hye as South Korea’s growing ties to China threaten alliance.

Myanmar commission proposes election delay. Myanmar vote could be delayed, say officials and parties.


Lake Chad's swampy borderlands a 'war zone,' U.N. agency says.

Tunisian troops killed in clash with militants.

'Boko Haram cluster bombs' may come from Nigerian military: campaigners.

Tunisia struggles to reform in face of protests.

Dozens of Tunisian workers held by gunmen in Libya: families.

EU election observers say Guinea's presidential vote was valid.

Main opposition leader accuses Ugandan police of brutality.

Amnesty International bolsters human rights commitment to Nigeria as it opens new office.


MH17 Ukraine disaster: Dutch Safety Board blames missile. Flight MH17 downed by Russian-built missile, say Dutch investigators.

EU migrant arrivals 170,000 in September: Frontex.

Germany extends border controls in face of refugee influx.

Kosovo protesters clash with police over MP's arrest.

EU will suspend Belarus sanctions.

Portugal Socialist leader says best placed to form next government.

France signs €10 billion worth of deals with Saudia Arabia.


Ready to debate: A guide to the Democratic 2016 candidates.

Obama plans on active 2016 role.

Brazil house speaker to respond to impeachment requests vs. president. Brazil minister says should not paralyze country with impeachment.

Venezuela calls on OPEC to control output, seeks $70 floor price - Ramirez.

Mexico ex-governor Fernando Moreno injured in attack.

Pepsi says goodbye to Venezuela.

Canada parties split on security, anti-IS air strikes.


Paris attacks: Coulibaly 'given orders by email'.

Al Qaeda leader threatens Russia: 'Kill their people'.

Twelve IS supporters preparing terrorist attack detained in Moscow on Sunday — FSB.


Playboy 'to drop' naked women images.

Twitter to cut up to 8 percent of workforce as CEO slashes costs.

Beer giants AB InBev and SABMiller agree takeover terms.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 13, 2015

© Sputnik. Dmitriy Vinogradov

Defense News: Mideast Conflict Reaching New Levels of Complexity

WASHINGTON — The war in Syria and Iraq has become an “unbelievably complex” tangled mess of competing terrorist organizations, a senior counterterrorism official said during a brief at the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting Monday.

The Defense Intelligence Agency’s senior expert combatting terrorism, Patrick Prior, told an audience that it is growing increasingly difficult to map the relationships among the players in Syria and Iraq: Three major terrorist organizations — al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, Hezbollah and the Islamic State group — are fighting each other, Iraqi forces and the Syrian regime; then add a dozen different Kurdish factions, Russian forces and the US-led coalition into the mix.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 13, 2015

Questions swirl about possible intelligence lapse in Syria -- The Hill

White House disowning its failed Syrian plan; blames Congress -- Washington Times

Syrian missile systems harass Turkish warplanes: military -- Reuters

Lockheed Nears Deal to Supply UAE with More Rocket Launchers -- DoD Buzz

US Suspects Iran of Violating UN Resolution by Missile Test -- Sputnik

US: Iran likely violated UN resolution with missile launch -- The Hill

Report: Iran Ramping Up Military Purchases from Russia, China -- Washington Free Beacon

Russian researchers develop internet ‘bot’ to hunt ISIS recruiters -- RT

Russia plans supplies of rocket engines to China — deputy PM -- TASS

China to Boost Defence Ties With India, Military Drills Start -- NDTV

China Bans People Serving in Military From Joining Foreign NGOs -- NDTV

France to sign aerospace deals with Saudi Arabia -- Reuters

Australia’s Submarine Debate: Shipyards and Seas -- The Diplomat

John Kerry, Ash Carter meeting with Australian counterparts -- AP

Japan's Okinawa Governor Officially Revokes US Base Relocation Approval -- Sputnik

Industry Hopes Army's Future Vertical Lift Program Takes Off -- Defense News

Raytheon Unveils New Mini Missile for Special Forces, Infantry -- Defense Tech

Soldiers Can Set When Grenade Explodes With New Launcher -- Defense News

The end of heavy metal: Boeing shows off material that is 99.99% AIR and could lead to new generation of planes and spaceships -- Daily Mail

Army Seeks More Adaptable, Modular Missile Systems -- Defense News

Boeing eyes 150 more CH-47 helicopter sales through 2022 -- Reuters

McHugh: Army on 'Ragged Edge' of Readiness -- Defense News

Army leaders vent: We still need ground forces -- The Hill

U.S. Army: No Plans To Slow Reduction of End-Strength to 450,000 -- Defense News

The US Army’s Biggest Concern Right Now Is Congress -- Defense One

McHugh: Without Budget Resolution U.S. Faces ‘Dangerous’ Future -- National Defense

Slow, Steady Rise Seen for Women in Combat -- Defense News

John McHugh, Army secretary: Women will likely have to register for the draft -- Washington Times

Lawsuit targets psychologists who designed CIA torture program -- CNN

John McCain wants answers if Bowe Bergdahl avoids prison -- Boston Herald

Interview: The Future of US Military Exercises in the Asia-Pacific -- The Diplomat

Sharpening the Spear: The Carrier, the Joint Force, and High-End Conflict -- Seth Cropsey & Bryan G. McGrath & Timothy A. Walton, Hudson Institute

Here's how a modern military draft would work -- KPCC

The Pentagon Wants A Drone That Disintegrates In Sunlight

The drone must be able to travel 93 miles (150km) and able to drop a package weighing less than three lbs ( 1.4kg) onto a target measuring no more than 33 feet (10metres). A diagram of a landing zone is shown

Daily Mail: The 'vampire' drone that disappears in sunlight: Pentagon calls for design that drops payloads at night, before vanishing without a trace

* Icarus program is named after boy in Greek myth who flew close to the sun
* Aims to develop drones capable of carrying a small payload that 'vanish within four hours of payload delivery or within 30 minutes of ...twilight'
* There's a possibility that a final design may disappear in a puff of smoke
* Remains from the craft must be no larger than a grain of sand

Drones can drop supplies to hidden Special Forces or essential medical kit in warzones, but there’s the risk that their presence may give away the recipient’s location, or that the technology ends up in enemy hands.

To solve this problem, the Pentagon is calling for designs for ‘vampire’ drones that disappear in daylight.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is funding a new project to develop aircraft that can ‘fully vanish within four hours of payload delivery or within 30 minutes of morning civil twilight (assuming a night drop), whichever is earlier’.

WNU Editor: It looks like someone in the Pentagon and/or in the intelligence community wants a weapon system that will eliminate any trace that it was there.

More News On The Pentagon Wanting To Develop Drones That Disintegrate in Sunlight

The Military Is Creating Vampire Drones That Die in the Sun -- Defense One
The Pentagon Is Developing Disappearing Drones -- Fiscal Times
'Vampire Drones': Pentagon Planning Design Of Disappearing Drones -- HNGN
'Vampire' Drones ICARUS: Pentagon to Create UAVs That Vanish in Sun -- Sputnik

Violence Between Israelis And Palestinians Escalates

NYT: 4 Attacks by Palestinians Leave 3 Dead in Israel

JERUSALEM — Four attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem and a city 40 miles away killed three Israeli Jews and wounded at least a dozen others in two hours on Tuesday morning, the police said, the most intense eruption so far in two weeks of escalating violence that has alarmed Israel and flummoxed its security forces.

The Israeli authorities said two assailants boarded a public bus in Jerusalem and shot and stabbed riders, killing two men. The third Israeli fatality occurred in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, when a Palestinian worker for the Israeli telephone company rammed the company’s car into pedestrians, then got out and attacked them with an ax. There were also two stabbings in Ra’anana, a city of 80,000 that is home to many American immigrant families.

More News On Today's Violent Attacks In Israel

LIVE UPDATES: Multiple Terror Attacks in Jerusalem and Central Israel Leave 3 Dead -- Haaretz
Israel-Palestine unrest: three Israelis killed in Jerusalem attacks – live updates -- The Guardian
Palestinian 'Day of Rage' attacks kill three: Israeli police -- Reuters
Three Israelis killed as wave of violence escalates -- Al Jazeera
Israeli-Palestinian violence escalates; new security measures considered -- CNN
Palestinians kill 3 Israelis as violence mounts in ‘day of rage’ -- Washington Post
Three Dead, More Than 20 Injured in Shootings, Stabbings in Israel -- NBC
Palestinians Attack Repeatedly Inside Israel, Killing Three -- Bloomberg
Three Israelis Killed in Palestinian Attacks in Jerusalem -- WSJ
Israel rocked by wave of terror attacks, at least 3 killed & dozens injured (VIDEO) -- RT
Jerusalem hospital copes with treating victims and attackers -- Washington Times

Dutch Report: Buk Missile Downed MH17 In Ukraine

CNN: MH17 crash: Warhead from eastern Ukraine brought down plane

(CNN)A missile warhead that exploded outside the cockpit brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, a Dutch report released Tuesday found.

The Boeing 777 was heading from Amsterdam to Malaysia when it was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukrainian territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists. All 298 people aboard the aircraft died in the July 2014 crash.

The Dutch Safety Board has lead an international investigation into the crash, at the request of Ukraine, which remains locked in conflict with pro-Russian separatists in its eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

WNU Editor: The Russian manufacturer responds .... MH17 downed by outdated BUK missile fired from Kiev-controlled area – Defense system manufacturer (RT).

More News On The Latest Report That A Buk Missile Downed MH17 In Ukraine

Flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by Russian-built Buk missile, Dutch report says -- Reuters
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Most Likely Hit by Russian-Made Missile, Inquiry Says -- NYT
Dutch report: Buk missile downed MH17 in Ukraine -- Washington Post
MH17 shot down by missile from war-torn Ukraine -- AFP
Dutch investigators say Buk missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 -- USA Today
Flight MH17: Russian-Made Buk Missile Brought Down Plane, Dutch Report Says; Shrapnel Found In Bodies Of Crew, Investigators Tell Relatives -- IBTimes
MH17 shot with BUK missile, Ukraine failed to close airspace -- RT

Syrian Rebels Fire Rockets At Russia's Embassy In Damascus

VOA: Rocket Attack Hits Russian Embassy in Syria

PENTAGON—Insurgents fired rockets at Russia's embassy in Damascus in what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called an act or terror meant to intimidate those who support the fight against Islamic State militants.

The two rockets struck the embassy compound Tuesday as hundreds of people rallied outside in support of Russia's two week-old military campaign in Syria.

There was no immediate report of casualties.

WNU Editor: Russia better get use to now be targeted .... Al-Qaeda in Syria calls for revenge attacks on Russia (Washington Post).

More News On Syrian Rebels Firing Rockets At Russia's Embassy In Damascus

Russian embassy in Syria shelled during pro-government rally -- FOX News/AP
Two shells fired at Russian Embassy in Damascus, no casualties reported -- Reuters
Russian Embassy Compound In Syrian Capital Hit By Shells During Pro-Moscow Rally -- IBTimes
Russian embassy in Syria shelled during rally -- Al Jazeera
Russia says shelling of its embassy in Damascus act of terrorism -- Reuters

Amnesty International Accuses Kurds Of Human Rights Abuses Against Arabs

VOA: Syrian Kurds Accused of Human Rights Abuses Against Arabs

Kurdish forces in northern Syria, one of the few armed groups in the multi-layered civil war trusted by the U.S.-led coalition to battle Islamic State extremists, are said to have carried out forced displacement of Arabs and Turkmen and mass house demolitions of villages in territory they have captured.

Amnesty International says the Popular Protection Units, the YPG, an offshoot of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, razed entire villages captured from Islamic State forces in retaliation either for perceived sympathies with the jihadist group or as punishment for past grievances and old land disputes.

Update #1: Amnesty Alleges 'Wave Of Forced Displacements' In Northern Syria By US-Backed Kurdish Forces -- IBTimes
Update #2: Report: U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels may have committed war crimes in Syria -- Washington Post

WNU Editor: There are no good players in the Syrian conflict .... just some that are less worse than the  others.

Turkey Opposes U.S. And Russia Backing Of Kurdish Militias In Syria

Reuters: Turkey warns U.S., Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria

Turkey has warned the United States and Russia it will not tolerate Kurdish territorial gains by Kurdish militia close to its frontiers in north-western Syria, two senior officials said.

"This is clear cut for us and there is no joking about it," one official said of the possibility of Syrian Kurdish militia crossing the Euphrates to extend control along Turkish borders from Iraq's Kurdistan region towards the Mediterranean coast.

Turkey fears advances by Kurdish YPG militia, backed by its PYD political wing, on the Syrian side of its 900 km (560-mile) border will fuel separatist ambitions among Kurds in its own southeastern territories. But Washington has supported YPG fighters as an effective force in combating Islamic State.

WNU Editor: Turkey is not really engaged in the war against the Islamic State, while these Kurdish militias are and they are advancing (see above video) .... and that is the crux of the problem. Turkey can threaten all that they want .... but as long as they are not involved (or unwilling) to wage war against ISIS, I expect their protests to fall on deaf ears.

Chinese Drones For The Iraqi Military

Alert 5: Iraq unveils its Chinese-made CH-4 UAV

The presence of Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle in Iraq was revealed when Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi paid a visit to Ubaydah Bin Al Jarrah Air Base.

WNU editor: You can see the Chinese technician watching the console at the 1:55 mark in the above video.

Did U.S. Intelligence Mess Up Again?

Shane Harris, Daily Beast: Washington’s Civil War over Russia Intel

Politicians in Washington are pointing their fingers at spies for making them look silly on Russia and Syria. Did our spies mess up again?

As Russia continues airstrikes in Syria, a fight is brewing between members of Congress and U.S. intelligence agencies over what lawmakers were told about the Russian military operations, and when.

The House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA and other spy agencies responsible for tracking the Russian military buildup in Syria, is “looking at possible problems in the timely provision of information to Congress,” a congressional staff member told The Daily Beast. Three other officials confirmed that the inquiry—which is not a formal investigation—is underway and that lawmakers have been talking to intelligence officials about whether their reports to Congress accurately predicted when the Russian airstrikes would begin and that they would target rebel groups fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. intelligence officials fired back that they had provided lawmakers with warnings about Russia’s intentions to begin military operations in Syria, including in the weeks before airstrikes began in late September.

WNU Editor: U.S. Intelligence did not mess-up on analysing and predicting Russia's military engagement in Syria. Everyone had the same information .... including this blog which did not only cover the Russian build-up in the Syria, but when the bombing campaign began had me saying .... "I am not surprised". Even President Obama got into this debate ... saying bluntly in the 60 Minutes interview this Sunday that .... President Obama Knew That The Russian Military Planned to Intervene in Syria (NBC). What we have here are U.S. politicians running around for the TV cameras.

President Obama Will Not Be Able To Fulfil His Promise To Bring All U.S. Troops Home From Afghanistan And Iraq

President Bush is seen here in 2008 with Democrat candidate Barack Obama. The Telegraph

Washington Post: Hope fades on Obama’s vow to bring troops home before presidency ends

In meeting after meeting this spring and summer, President Obama insisted that the last American troops in Afghanistan would return home by the end of his presidency, definitively ending the longest war in American history.

Obama and his closest foreign policy advisers laid out the reasons for his military commanders. Keeping as many as 10,000 troops in Afghanistan indefinitely at a cost of as much as $10 billion to $15 billion a year wasn’t politically feasible or financially responsible. There were more pressing domestic priorities that needed money. The country faced bigger threats.

Then, in August, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came in with one more plan to maintain a counterterrorism force of as many as 5,000 troops in Afghanistan to prevent a reemergence of al-Qaeda and to battle Islamic State fighters seeking a foothold in the country. Dempsey’s plan was a quick, ­back-of-the-envelope exercise, according to senior administration officials.

WNU Editor: Wars always end when the other sides realizes that it is hopeless to continue. In places like Iraq and Afghanistan .... President Obama may have wanted to leave these zones of conflict, unfortunately the enemy has different plans. And in places like Libya .... leaving behind a weak government with little support or backing is a guarantee that war and conflict would only continue and spread to its neighbours.

President Obama has only 16 months left in his term .... but I can now easily predict that many of the wars and conflicts that are brewing throughout the Middle East and North Africa will escalate to levels of bloodshed and violence that has not been seen for generations. And in places like Afghanistan, where the Taliban now feel that they are on the verge of seizing and holding territory .... the bloodshed that will occur will shock even those who have been harden by years of war. In this cauldron the next U.S. President will then be faced with a terrible choice .... send in tens of thousands of U.S. troops in all of these conflict zones.... or let the whole place explode. And when making his decision .... will reflect on what did President Obama do to get him (or her) into this mess .... just as President Obama has more than once in the past remarked on President Bush left him Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Would Be The 'Cost' If Iraq Gives Permission To The Russian Military To Launch Bombing Raids Against ISIS Targets In Iraq?

Stratfor: The Cost of an Expanded Russian Campaign


• Russia's current position in Syria as well as its naval assets in the Caspian Sea and long-range bombers in southern Russia would accommodate operations against the Islamic State in Iraq, but it could strike more effectively and more frequently using bases in Iraq itself.

• Setting up bases in Iraq would cost Russia more money, time and effort and could antagonize the United States.

• Through its operations in Syria, Russia is testing its capability to conduct air campaigns. It is a first for post-Soviet Russia and will shape Russia's future air campaigns.


The start of Russian airstrikes in Syria has given new hope to loyalist forces in their battle against a host of rebel factions, including the Islamic State. Now comments out of Baghdad and Moscow suggest that Russia may expand these operations into Iraq if requested to do so by Baghdad. Indeed, from its position in Latakia, Russia has the range to strike Islamic State targets in Iraq, although further deployment of resources may be required to do so effectively.

WNU Editor: Would the U.S. want to work with the Russian military in Iraq .... share the same air space and intelligence .... I doubt it.

800 Million People Are Facing Hunger

The Guardian: Conflict drives 'unacceptable' figure of 795 million people facing hunger

Despite progress, global annual index says one in four children are affected by stunting, with Central African Republic ranked worst for levels of hunger

Levels of hunger in the developing world have fallen by nearly one third since the turn of the century but an “unacceptably high” number of people still do not have enough food to eat, largely because of the spread of armed conflicts, this year’s global hunger index has warned.

There are 27% fewer hungry people in the world today than at the turn of the century, according to the 2015 index, which was released on Monday by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.

WNU Editor: progress has been made .... but for those who are hungry .... not fast enough.

Sunni World Deeply Divided On The Russian Military Campaign In Syria

Sputnik: Sunni World Deeply Divided Amid Russian Campaign Against ISIL in Syria

Russia's campaign in Syria aimed at assisting Damascus in tackling extremists has reportedly caused a rift in the Arab world.

Arab states are divided on how to react to Russia's military engagement in Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are opposed to any involvement, which could help Bashar al-Assad retain power, while Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are quite optimistic that Moscow will help fight extremist forces in Syria, Defense News reported.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri recently said that Russia came to Assad's assistance to deal "a fatal blow to terrorism in Syria, and its strikes are in line with those of the anti-Daesh coalition in Syria and Iraq." Islamic State, also known as ISIL/ISIS, is often referred to as Daesh in the Middle East.

WNU Editor: Truth be told .... The Sunni world has always been divided .... it is just that the Syrian conflict is now exposing these divisions for all to see.

UN Special Envoy To Syria Warns That The Country May End Up Being Partitioned

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, addresses a news conference on the latest developments in Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Oct. 12, 2015.

VOA: UN Official: Partition of Syria Possible if No Improvement

GENEVA - A senior United Nations official warns the partition of Syria is possible if the situation in the conflict-ridden country continues to deteriorate or is left in its current chaotic state.

Staffan de Mistura said he considers the possible partition of Syria as one of the worst-case scenarios, and he said the major powers and Syria's warring factions do not want this scenario to occur.

De Mistura, the secretary-general's special envoy for Syria, however, said he has noted a de facto partitioning already occurring.

WNU Editor: The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria is correct .... this war in its current state will only result in a de facto partition of Syria .... a worrisome prospect in view of the fact that this would mean that groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State would be able to hold onto their territories. On a side note .... Staffan de Mistura is going to be doing some travelling this week .... UN peace envoy for Syria heading to Moscow, Washington (Channel News Asia/AFP) .... but I suspect that while they will politely listen to him, all sides are now pursuing their own agenda.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 12, 2015

Police in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on October 11 use tear gas and a water cannon to disperse people marching to protest the double suicide bombing in Ankara that killed dozens. The violent summer in Turkey reflects an elite’s greed for power and willingness to treat civilians as dispensable, the author writes. SERTAC KAYAR/REUTERS

Alpaslan Ozerdem, Newsweek/Conversation: The Ankara Bombs: How Erdogan Stands to Gain

It had already been a deadly summer of political instability in Turkey. And now this. Another bloody massacre—this time at the hand of twin bomb attacks on a peace rally in Ankara, which have killed at least 97 people.

It is the worst terror attack in Turkey’s history, and the culmination of a dreadful wave of violence. In just a few months, hundreds of civilians, Turkish security personnel and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, members have been killed. Barely a single day passes in Turkey nowadays without some incident of lethal political violence.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- October 12, 2015

The Long War in Syria -- Anthony Cordesman, CSIS

The Cost of an Expanded Russian Campaign -- Stratfor

The Meaning of Russia’s Intervention in Syria -- Chas Danner, NYMag

Has Russia saved the Assad regime from collapse? -- Al Jazeera

Did Russia's Entry Into Syria's Conflict Take The West By Surprise? -- NPR

How Putin outwitted the West -- Owen Matthews, Politico

Amid Russian airstrikes, a Putin craze takes hold in Mideast -- Zeina Karam and Vivian Salama, AP

It's the Economy, Putin -- Bloomberg editorial

Islamism, the Arab Spring, and the Failure of America’s Do-Nothing Policy in the Middle East -- Shadi Hamid, The Atlantic

Turkey is in shock – but many will have seen this attack coming -- Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

Fear of a Third Intifada -- Ruth Margalit, New Yorker

Palestine clashes: Netanyahu and Abbas are losing their grip -- Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

Last of its kind: The Workers’ Party of Korea keeps the Leninist model alive -- Andrei Lankov, NK News

The Kissinger Diaries: What He Really Thought About Vietnam -- Niall Ferguson, Politico

How The Hunger Games inspired the revolutionary in all of us -- Ben Child, The Guardian

World News Briefs -- October 12, 2015 (Evening edition)

Reuters: Islamic State is prime suspect in Turkey bombing, as protests erupt

Turkey's government said on Monday Islamic State was the prime suspect in suicide bombings that killed at least 97 people in Ankara, but opponents vented anger at President Tayyip Erdogan at funerals, universities and courthouses.

The father of three men wounded in the blasts told Reuters one of his sons had described seeing one of the bombers carrying a bag on his back and one in his hand, and called out "stop" before the bomb detonated.


Pentagon airdrops ammunition to groups fighting the Islamic State.

Syria's Nusra leader calls on insurgents to escalate attacks on Assad's Alawite stronghold.

Putin says Russia's campaign in Syria more effective than U.S..

Syrian army, Russian jets drive back rebels in fiercest clashes for days: monitor.

Moscow summons UK attache over claims RAF licensed to down Russian jets.

Iraq's agriculture on the verge of collapse.

Turkey PM names groups other than ISIS as bombing suspects. Turkey blames Islamic State for Ankara bombings. Bomb attack deepens divisions as Turkey faces bitter election.

PKK to keep to ceasefire as conflict drags on in Turkey's southeast.

Israel vows to defeat 'knife terror' after new attacks. Three people die amid wave of violence in Israel and Palestinian territories.

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian convicted, Iran says.

Yemen's Saleh says ready to commit to U.N. peace terms.


Filipinos begin race for presidency, 18,000 other offices.

Taliban threaten second Afghan provincial capital as insurgency spreads.

Two Americans among the dead in Kabul helicopter crash.

India, U.S., Japan kick off naval drills likely to annoy China.

China's top diplomat to visit Japan amid new spy report.

North Korea stages massive military parade, says ready to defend itself against U.S..

N.Korea’s restraint could signal improving relations with China.

Arrest warrant issued for ex-Thai PM Thaksin over court no-show.

Nepal elects KP Oli as PM amid political crisis.

India’s Bihar state holds elections seen as Modi referendum.

Former China energy chief Jiang Jiemin jailed for corruption.


Libya rival forces oppose UN-proposed peace deal.

Bumpy road ahead for U.N.-proposed Libya peace deal.

UN special tribunal sought for peacekeeper sex crimes.

Nigeria’s military says it is closing in on Boko Haram.

70 Sudanese have joined IS group in total: minister.

Ugandan army confirms it will leave South Sudan.

Guineans vote in presidential poll amid tension.

Sub-Saharan Africa rates poorly in equal education for boys and girls: U.N.

Egypt court orders release of Hosni Mubarak's sons.

Calls for ending Botswana's ban on big-game hunting.

Zimbabwe says will not charge U.S. dentist for killing Cecil the lion.


EU urges Russia to stop bombing in Syria, split on Assad role. EU accuses Russia of risking Syrian peace diplomacy.

Poroshenko: don't trust Putin and 'prepare for worst'.

Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Turkey, discuss Syrian war, refugee crisis.

UNHCR chief questions EU refugee strategy with Turkey.

Iraqi asylum seekers protest against Finland's deportation move.

German conservatives agree on 'transit zones' for refugees.

Merkel defends refugee policy as expression of 'humanity'.

Portugal opposition leader raises prospect of leftist coalition govt.

Belarus vote: Lukashenko re-elected president by landslide.

Russia resumes gas supply to Ukraine.

Greece prepares reform bill ahead of first bailout review.

Police stop guarding embassy refuge of Julian Assange.


Trump, Clinton lead voter Presidential polls.

Obama says Trump won't be president, Clinton didn't threaten national security. Obama says Clinton email server a mistake, but not security threat.

Obama won't shrink from 2016 race.

Mexico missing case file shows some contradictions.

Run-off likely in Argentina's presidential election: poll.

Venezuela becoming the capital of organized crime, amid raging scarcity.

US: Colombia making human rights progress.

Guatemalan mayor lynched by crowd over attack on rival.


Islamic State can draw on veteran jihadists, ex-Iraq army officers for leadership.

Russia says it arrested group plotting Moscow attack.

Hezbollah mourns top commander killed in Syria.


Deaton wins economics Nobel Prize for work on consumption, poverty.

Dell agrees $67bn EMC takeover.

China asks world to impose 'code of conduct' on Internet.

US banks build defences against downturn.

Global tax deal targets multinationals.

Mobile ad-blockers could wipe out billions in ad revenue.

U.S. Air Force Airdrops Military Supplies To Syrian Rebels

Rebel fighters carry their weapons as they take positions in the town of Kafr Nabudah, in Hama province, Syria, on which forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are carrying out offensives to take control of the town, October 11, 2015. Reuters/Ammar Abdullah

FOX News: US military airdrops 50 tons of ammo for Syrian fighters, after training mission ends

The U.S. military airdropped 50 tons of small arms ammo and grenades in northern Syria on Sunday, a senior defense official told Fox News, representing the Pentagon's shift from training rebel fighters to equipping them.

Coming just two days after the Defense Department announced it was effectively ending its current training program, the airdrop delivery was made Sunday by four C-17 transport aircraft. The 112 pallets contained ammunition for M-16s and AK-47s.

"All the pallets reached friendly forces," the official said, adding that the drop "looked similar to what we did in Kobani." This referred to one of the few bright spots in the war against the Islamic State when the U.S. military dropped weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, who successfully expelled ISIS from the Turkish-Syrian border town of Kobani earlier this year.

Update #1: Syria Regime Advances, US Drops Ammunition to Anti-Islamic State Rebels -- AFP
Update #2: U.S. air drops ammunition to Syria rebels -- Reuters

WNU Editor: 50 tons is a lot of ammo and grenades. This air drop also falls on the heels of Syrian rebel groups announcing that they have joined forces to form a new rebel alliance .... New Syrian rebel alliance formed, says weapons on the way (Reuters). More here on this alliance .... Syria Kurds, Arabs Form Joint Military Force (Military.com/AFP).

As to who got these weapons and ammo from this specific U.S. air-drop .... after reading this VOA post .... Analysts: US Syria Proxy Army Not Reliable (VOA) .... I can only assume it is the worst of the worst in Syria.