Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Russia: New Data Clearly Indicate That Syrian S-200 Missile Targeted Israeli Jets

New Data Clearly Indicates That Syrian S-200 Missile Targeted Israeli Jets

Moscow has blamed the Israeli Air Force (IAF) for using the Russian Il-20 aircraft as cover, subjecting it to an attack by Syrian air defense systems.
The information was provided by the Russian S-400 fire control system based at Hmeymim Airbase in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry stated, adding that Israeli claims rejecting involvement in the Il-20 downing are false. According to that data, at least one Israeli jet flew at altitude of 10,000 meters, sharing azimuth with the Russian plane during the incident.

"Today's data no longer suggests, but clearly proves that the blame for the tragedy with the Russian Il-20 aircraft lies entirely with the Israeli air force and with those who authorized this kind of activity," the ministry's spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said at a news briefing, adding that the data allows to track on a second-by second basis both the Israeli jets and S-200 missiles

Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Tel Aviv is ready to provide Moscow with all necessary information to facilitate the investigation, claiming that Syria was responsible for the downing of the Russian plane.

Addressing the situation, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated, in turn, that his country jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems  over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, also promising to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Syria in order to secure the safety of the Russian soldiers. According to Shoigu, this move would "cool hotheads" and "prevent ill-considered actions" against Russian military.

Data captured by Russia’s S-400 system proves Israeli jets were responsible for the downing of the Russian plane, the Defense Ministry said, adding that the Syrian missile changed its course shortly before hitting the Il-20.
Data gleaned from the S-400 air defense system deployed at the Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria’s Latakia province has revealed that the Syrian anti-air missile was, in fact, targeting an Israeli F-16 jet before it abruptly altered its course and eventually hit the Russian aircraft. This, and the position of all the aircraft at the moment of the September 17 incident, proves that an Israeli jet was de facto using the larger Il-20 as a cover, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists at Monday's news briefing.
The radar images revealed at the briefing “clearly showed the direction of the flight of the S-200 missile launched by the Syrian air defense system, as well as the locations of the Russian and Israeli aircraft,” Konashenkov said, adding that “it is quite clear that the missile was targeting the Israeli jet.”
However, the missile then suddenly changed its course and “locked on a target with a larger radar cross-section and slower speed,” which was the Russian reconnaissance plane coming in for landing. The Israeli jet, which effectively used the Il-20 as a cover from the attack, then also abruptly changed its altitude and the flight direction, Konashenkov said.

The Israeli aircraft then continued to patrol the area off the Syrian coast, the radar data shows, refuting the claims by the Israeli Defense Forces that their planes had already returned to Israeli airspace at the moment of the incident.

“Today’s data does not just suggest but prove that the blame for the tragic [downing] of the Russian Il-20 airplane lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force,” the major general told journalists. All Israel’s “claims about its alleged noninvolvement in this tragedy that claimed lives of 15 Russian servicemen are false,” he added.
Earlier, the Russian MoD presented a minute-by-minute timeline of the Il-20 downing. It said that the Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute's warning before their air raid, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers. Moreover, the Israelis misinformed the Russians about the location of their targets.
Israel expressed its condolences to Russia over the tragedy but repeatedly denied responsibility while pinning the blame on Damascus. On Sunday, the Israeli Defense Force said that the Israeli planes “did not hide behind any aircraft and… the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at the time of the downing of the Russian plane.”
Following the incident, Russia decided to supply an S-300 air-defense system to the Syrian military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the move an “adequate” measure, aimed at “preventing any potential threat” to the lives of Russian service personnel deployed to Syria, in phone exchange with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Soros Challenges Hungary Laws At European Court

Soros challenges Hungary laws at European rights court

The foundation run by US billionaire George Soros said Monday that it has filed a legal challenge with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg against Hungary's controversial "Stop Soros" laws adopted last June.
The New York-based Open Society Foundations (OSF) said in a statement that it had submitted a complaint to the rights court, calling on it to "defend Hungarian democracy" and urge a repeal of the laws.
"There is only one thing this legislation will stop and that's democracy," said OSF president Patrick Gaspard.
The "Stop Soros" package targetting the Hungarian-born 88-year-old includes a 25-percent tax on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) deemed to be supporting or positively portraying migration. 
A year's prison term could also be handed to those convicted of assisting someone to enter the country illegally.
According to OSF lawyer Daniela Ikawa, the measures breach EU conventions on freedom of speech and association, and expose "a broad range of legitimate activities to the risk of criminal prosecution". 
The foundation moved a regional office from Budapest to Berlin last month citing what it called the "repressive" policies of nationalist firebrand Prime Minister Viktor Orban. 
In April, Orban won a landslide victory in an election that handed him a third straight term as prime minister. He has since indicated he wants to use this mandate to intensify his anti-migrant, nationalist and culturally conservative agenda.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric was a key part of Orban's election campaign.
His government accuses Soros of using his organisations to orchestrate immigration and undermine the cultural and religious identity of Europe.

Facebook And U.S. Government 'Partnership'

3 Ways Facebook Is Increasingly Becoming An Arm Of The US Government

Facebook has lately announced a series of major steps it would take to combat fake news and the global spread of misinformation that it says could influence elections, but the more we learn about just who it is Facebook is partnering with in this endeavor, the clearer it becomes that these initiatives are not at all designed to foster independent thought and discourse, but to ultimately ensure that public online discourse doesn't stray too far from official state narratives. 
Mark Weisbrot, a co-director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recently slammed Facebook’s decision to work with US government-funded organizations as "Orwellian" — especially given the fact these organizations themselves "specialize in overseas propaganda."
Thus while claiming to fight Russian, Iranian, and other propaganda these very groups will strictly enforce an official establishment Washington and NATO view of world events. 

Here are 3 extremely worrisome Facebook initiatives to which the public should pay close attention, and which suggest the social media giant is increasingly becoming a censorship arm of the US government and its allies...

Facebook's Partnership with US state-funded think tanks
Last Wednesday Facebook announced it would work with two US government-funded think tanks in order bolster the social media giant’s “election integrity efforts” around the globe.
The new partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has been described by Reuters as an initiative to "slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections, acknowledging that fake news sites were still read by millions".
But both the IRI and NDI are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has since its late Cold War era founding defined itself as a "soft power" wing of the US government abroad focused on "democracy promotion". 
Journalist Max Blumenthal recently described the NDI as "a taxpayer funded organization that has interfered in elections, mobilized coups, and orchestrated public relations campaigns against nations that resist Washington's agenda." 
Max Blumenthal explored the National Endowment for Democracy's machinations in recent history and today in a mini-documentary entitled, "Inside America's Meddling Machine"

This is tantamount to Facebook relying on the US government to interpret what is "fake" news and what is not. 
* * * 
Facebook's close ties to NATO and US allies
Another think tank, The Atlantic Council, has since last May been directly advising Facebook on identifying and removing "foreign interference" on the popular platform through its Digital Forensic Research Lab, or "DFR Lab". The Atlantic Council is funded by NATO and European governments and Gulf monarchies
Previously Mark Zuckerberg indicated the need for an outside source that could identify "foreign influence" bent on malicious intent through specialized geopolitical expertise.
Supposedly the whole partnership is aimed at bringing more objectivity and neutrality to the process of rooting out fake accounts that pose the threat of being operated by nefarious foreign states. Yet as a Reuters report confirmedFacebook is itself a top donor to the Atlantic Council, alongside Western governments, Gulf autocratic regimes, NATO, various branches of the US military, and a number of major defense contractors and corporations. 

The Atlantic Council has frequently called for things like increased military engagement in Syria, militarily confronting the "Russian threat" in Eastern Europe, and now is advocating for Ukraine and Georgia to be allowed entry into NATO while calling for general territorial expansion of the Western military alliance. 
Further it has advocated on behalf of one of its previous funders, Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan and gave a “Distinguished International Leadership” award to George W. Bush, to name but a few actions of the think tank that has been given authorization to flag citizens' Facebook pages for possible foreign influence and propaganda. 
Quite disturbingly, this is Mark Zuckerberg's "neutral" outside "geopolitical expertise" he's been seeking. 

Facebook has set up a "War Room" ahead of the November midterm elections
Facebook announced last Wednesday that it plans to set up a "war room" at its Silicon Valley campus to prevent potential foreign election meddling during the midterms. 

"We are setting up a war room in Menlo Park for the Brazil and US elections," Facebook elections and civic engagement director Samidh Chakrabarti said, according to the AFP. He added, "It is going to serve as a command center so we can make real-time decisions as needed."
A "command center" in a "war room" to make "real-time" decisions huh?... And Facebook says it will gain help from artificial intelligence software to prevent fake posts by those pesky Russians to boot.
The "war room" will further include assistance from the aforementioned NATO-funded DFR Lab, which is to help in flagging posts which could have a malevolent foreign power behind them. All of this should translate into very real concern for the potential of political censorship of American citizens in the name of protecting against foreign election meddling.
Early this year The New York Times reported that in order to combat the "discord" allegedly sewn by Russians, most of which the Times story admitted happened after the election, Facebook hired a fleet of people to review content, added to its security team, and hired counterterrorism experts and recruited workers with government security clearances

What's the ultimate aim here? 
The Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Richard Stengel, a former TIME editor, told an audience at a CFR event in late Aprilcalled "Political Disruptions: Combating Disinformation and Fake News" that governments “have to” direct “propaganda” toward their own populations.
Notably CFR members are also typically a who's who among the leadership of above-mentioned organizations like the NED, IRI, NDI, and the Atlantic Council.
These are the types of people looking to "guide" Facebook on flagging disinformation. See what they have to say in their own words:

At a Council on Foreign Relations forum about "fake news," former Editor at Time Magazine Richard Stengel directly states that he supports the use of propaganda on American citizens - then shuts the session down when challenged about how propaganda is used against the third world pic.twitter.com/ClAT5POv7G
— William Craddick (@williamcraddick) May 11, 2018

Wyoming Wildfire Forces Evacuation Of 300 Homes, 40,000 Acres Scorched

Wyoming wildfire near Grand Teton burns more buildings

A wind-blown wildfire in western Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park has destroyed buildings and forced the evacuation of over 300 homes.
Officials were surveying the damage Monday after the fire flared up in gusty, dry weather and swept through a rural subdivision of about 125 homes on Sunday.
Emergency officials went door to door telling people to leave the small community of Bondurant and nearby areas south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.
Other communities that were under the evacuation order included Rim Ranches, Sgt. Lane, Rim Station, Flying 'A' Ranch to Cline Ranch, Black Butte and the Packer Miner subdivision. 
A 64-mile stretch of US Highway 191 that is one of the gateway routes to the parks was reopened after the 76-square-mile fire forced its temporary closure.
Sublette County Sheriff's Sgt. Travis Bingham said authorities are trying to determine how many homes burned beyond the three that officials identified previously.
The Roosevelt fire has scorched more than 40,000 acres of drought-parched landscape since erupting on September 15 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest about 30 miles south of Jackson.
The fire was 22 per cent contained as of Monday afternoon.  
Hundreds of firefighters battled across steep, forested terrain and bone-dry sagebrush flats to push back flames driven by winds gusting to 50 miles per hour. By September 23, crews had managed to carve containment lines around nearly a quarter of the fire’s perimeter. 
But worsening conditions later prompted the Sublette County sheriff to expand evacuations in rural subdivisions in and around Bondurant, bringing the number of homes affected to about 300. 
Scores of additional residences were placed on standby for evacuation at a moments notice, according to sheriff’s Sergeant Travis Bingham.
He said the blaze was stoked by thick vegetation left desiccated by prolonged drought.
'We haven’t had moisture for weeks, and the winds today were going from 35 to 50 miles per hour. The fire picked it up and ran with it,' he said on Sunday. 
Neither Jackson nor the national parks were expected to be threatened by the blaze.
The cause of the Roosevelt fire was under investigation. It comes at the height of the region’s hunting season and is one of three that have erupted since mid-September in the Bridger-Teton Forest in western Wyoming.
Wildfires have charred more than 7 million acres across the Western United States so far this year. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Russia To Jam Satellite Navigation, Radars And Communication System Of Combat Aircraft Targeting Syrian Territory

Russia declares electronic war on Israel ranging over Syria, E. Mediterranean

Within two weeks, Russia will arm Syria with S-300 air defense systems and start jamming navigation in the E. Mediterranean – two of the three measures announced by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Monday, Sept. 24 “in response to Israel’s role in downing the Russian IL-20” on Sept. 17.

Syria’s air defense electronic capacities will be boosted to level that of Russian forces in the country. But the most significant measure announced by Shoigu was: “Russia will jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the regions over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria.”

The Russian minister stressed that if these measures “fail to cool hotheads, [He was obviously referring to Israel.], we will have to respond in line with the current situation.”

The crucial measure he announced is not the arming of Syria for the first time with S-300 systems – which Moscow withheld in the past at Israel’s request – but the jamming of navigation. DEBKAfile’s military experts point out that this the first time a major world power has declared electronic war against any country. After rejecting Israel’s version of the Ilyushin crash with 15 Russian servicemen aboard as untruthful, Moscow has thrown down the electronic gauntlet before the IDF and pitched the dispute onto a much higher elevation. This challenge confronts Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot with three tough options:

  1. They could have sought a way out of this high-stakes showdown with Moscow up until Monday. But now, it is too late. Shoigu slammed the door shut on a quiet exit. However, Israel is even more unable to give up on its air offensive against Iranian and its proxies’ presence in Syria, despite the escalated risk of a clash with the Russians, because it would constitute a humiliating comedown against Iran and Hizballah. However, in future, the IDF may be more cautious and select its targets with greater circumspection.
  2. They could meet Moscow’s challenge for an electronic duel. In previous encounters, Israel came of best. In 1982, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a Russian air defense network installed by Russia in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley; and more recently, in 2007, Israeli planes, before destroying the Iranian-North Korean plutonium reactor in Deir Ez-Zour, activated its “Suter” system to “blind” the Syrian/Russian radar protecting the site.
    Russian electronic warfare specialists have since sought answers for Israel’s jamming measures, but have found it difficult to catch up with is constant advances. However, this time may be different. DEBKAfile reports that the latest Russian challenge may stretch Israel’s Air Force and Navies beyond their capacity. While successful in coping with electronic antagonists over small targets in the past, they now see the Russian Defense Minister painting a large arena of many hundreds of kilometers covering Syria and the eastern Mediterranean for the new challenge. Israel lacks operational experience on this scale of electronic warfare.
  3. The IDF is much less worried about the impending delivery of S-300 missiles systems to Bashar Assad’s army. For years, the IAF has been practicing combat against these batteries. But for taking on massive Russian jamming across the eastern Mediterranean, Israel may have to turn to the United States for assistance. This request may be raised when Netanyahu meets President Donald Trump on Wednesday Sept. 26, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Israel, U.S. Warn Russia Against S-300 Missiles To Syria: 'Significant Escalation'

'Major mistake': Israel, US warn Russia against giving S-300 missiles to Syria

Both Jerusalem and Washington warned Russia on Monday evening against its declared intention to provide the Syrian military with advanced surface-to-air missiles within two weeks, saying the move would further destabilize the region and increase already high tensions.
Israel’s high-level security cabinet was set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the latest developments involving ties with Russia, in the aftermath of last week’s downing of a Russian plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire during an Israeli airstrike.
Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the decision to provide Syria with the S-300 system in a phone call Sunday.

In response, according to a statement by Netanyahu’s office, “The prime minister said providing advanced weapons systems to irresponsible actors will magnify dangers in the region, and that Israel will continue to defend itself and its interests.”
Concurrently US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Russia’s decision was a “major mistake” that would cause a “significant escalation” of  tensions. He urged Moscow to reconsider.
Channel 10 News quoted a senior American official who noted that the system could endanger US Air Force jets operating against Islamic State in Syria.
“The information provided by the Israeli military… runs counter to conclusions of the Russian defense ministry,” the Kremlin said of the content of Putin’s remarks in the call, adding that the actions of the Israeli pilots had led to the plane being targeted by Syrian air defense systems.
“The Russian side proceeds from the fact that the actions by the Israeli air force were the main reason for the tragedy,” a statement said.
Last Tuesday, by contrast, in a previous Putin-Netanyahu call, the Russian president had absolved Israel and blamed a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances.”
Netanyahu’s office said Monday night that, in the call, he had “expressed his confidence in the credibility of the IDF probe and its conclusions, and stressed once again that responsibility for the unfortunate incident lay with the Syrian army that brought down the plane, and with Iran, whose aggression destabilizes [the region].”
At the same time, it said, Netanyahu had “once again expressed his condolences for the deaths of the Russia soldiers.”
The statement added that the two leaders agreed to “continue talks between professional teams and coordination between the armies through military channels.”
The Kremlin earlier Monday issued a devastating critique of Israel over the incident, accusing Israel’s air force of “premeditated actions,” and warning the incident would harm relations between the two countries.
“According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly cannot but harm our relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov produced data collected by Russian air defense systems in Syria purportedly indicating that one of the Israeli F-16 fighter jets was flying close to the much larger Russian plane. When the F-16 was targeted by a Syrian missile it suddenly veered off, resulting in the missile homing in on the bigger target.
Konashenkov also said that data showed that the Israeli jets remained over the Mediterranean Sea off Syria’s coast after the Russian plane was downed, though Israel has said its fighters were long gone by the time the Syrian missiles were launched.
The Russian defense ministry had announced the upcoming transfer of the S-300 earlier in the day, saying Moscow would “transfer the modern S-300 air defense system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks.”

EU's New Copyright Law Part Of Wider Attempt To 'Clamp Down On Free Expression'

Don't Share This! EU's New Copyright Law Could Kill The Free Internet

It's good to share. But the European Parliament clearly doesn't think so. Its new copyright legislation, passed last week, clamps down quite severely on sharing things online. The dynamism of the internet is at threat. When Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, warns us of the dangers the new law poses, we should all sit up straight and pay attention.
For a start, the legislation shifts the responsibility for the uploading of copyright material to the internet platforms themselves. Beforehand it was the job of the companies who thought their copyright was infringed to do this. Many don't bother, and are happy to see their material uploaded to sites like YouTube as they know it promotes an artist's work and boosts sales. But all that is likely to change.
Under Article 13, platforms would have to install “upload filters”.YouTube could be shorn of much of its content. Big sites would probably survive but, as ZDNet warns here, smaller sites could easily be put out of business by “copyright trolls”.
Not that there's anything wrong of course, with sensible protection of copyright. As a prolific five-articles-a-week writer and author I can't tell you how frustrated and angry I feel when I see my work “pirated”by a commercial website which hasn't even asked my permission to reprint it, let alone offer me  payment. Copyright law needs reform for the digital age. There needs to be an easy way for creators of content to receive payment from those who have stolen their work. The trouble is, the EU has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
Look at the way the ability to link to, and quote from, other work without payment, is threatened by the directive.
Sites like RT's ‘Op-ed’ section, which you are reading now, would be adversely affected and may be even put out of action. One of the advantages of writing an article for an online site over print is that links to articles mentioned can easily be inserted. This enables the reader to see for him/herself the original source. But Article 11 of the Directive raises fears that payment may, in certain circumstances, have to be paid to sites which are linked to. Being able to quote freely from other articles, so long as they are credited, is surely a good thing. It's essential for instance when you are writing a piece dissecting another. But under the new legislation all but the very briefest quotes may have to be paid for. Think how much that would restrict quality journalism and hinder the free exchange of knowledge.
Then there's the threat to memes, one of the most entertaining aspects of online life. It's true that memes are often based on material which technically is copyrighted. But isn't legislating against them taking it all too far? Article 13 states that “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.” That could mean you tweeting a GIF of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho showing great disinterest in a topic could fall 'foul' of the law.

So to get over this, you might think of going to a football match yourself, taking a photo of the player, manager, team, or the stadium, and then tweeting that. Be careful, you could be “red-carded” under Article 12a, as Wired in their 'Explainer' piece points out here (do we have to pay them for the link, Ed?).
The overall impact of the legislation, if it becomes law in member states, will be stultifying. We'll all be turned into nervous wrecks, worried that we have infringed the new laws in one way or another. Don't we have enough stress already in our lives without the European Parliament adding to it?  What's made the Internet so fandabidozi (will we have to pay The Krankies copyright to use that term?!), is that it has, up to now, been free to grow organically. Blogs that attract readers thrive, those that don't go to the wall. But the very fact that it's been a relatively free space, alarms the control freaks and brain-washers.
The EU legislation, bad as it is in its own right, must be seen as part of a wider attempt to clamp down on free expression and the free exchange of ideas in the West at a time when fewer people than ever before believe establishment narratives. This month a British MP by the name of Lucy Powell, launched a bill in Parliament entitled the 'Online Forums Bill' to ban private Facebook groups which promote “hate”“racism” and “fake news”. But who defines what these terms actually mean?
The authorities, that's who, and they will use their powers selectively and hypocritically to silence anyone who poses a threat to those living very comfortable lives inside the castle. Just look at how the 'fake news' debate has been framed in such a way to equate 'fake news' with 'Russian news', ignoring the promulgation of 'fake news' by non-Russian media about Iraqi WMDs which led to a war which killed over 1m people.
Powell's bill comes on top of the enormous pressure that companies like Facebook have been placed under to toe the line and flag up content from non-approved providers. We were told that in July, Twitter had purged of about 70 million accounts. Censorship is coming back under the guise of “fighting extremism”,“countering fake news”, or “countering the scourge of anti-Semitism.” If they want to censor it they'll find a noble sounding, virtue-signaling excuse. We need to resist this, and resist it strongly.
In free societies it should be up to internet users themselves to decide what articles and outlets they read, what Facebook groups they join (closed or otherwise), and what Twitter accounts they follow, and not Big Brother or any other kind of politically correct thought police. And the EU should be concerning itself not with trying to control the internet, through manufactured 'concerns' over copyright, but in solving the pressing problems affecting Europe's economies. Youth unemployment stood at around 43 percent in Greece, 33 percent in Spain and 32 percent in Italy, the last time I looked What help will the Copyright Directive be to the young jobless?

Colossal Icelandic Volcano Threatens To Wreak Havoc On Northern Europe

Roar of the ‘evil sorceress': Colossal Icelandic volcano threatens to wreak havoc on northern Europe

A volcanic explosion so colossal it unleashes gouts of toxic ash into the atmosphere capable of poisoning more than 200,000 people to death.
Europe’s temperatures plummeting for years, crop failures, mass hypothermia, transport chaos as Europe’s commercial flights are grounded for weeks, if not months. Swathes of land flooded by melted ice, farmland poisoned and villages wiped out.
A hyperbolic doomsday scenario? No, say scientists. It’s all too real a prospect.

So why are we worrying about this now? Because local monitoring experts warn that it is displaying ominous activity, pouring carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere on a huge scale, a classic precursor to eruption because it signals the build up of magma within the volcano.
Deep underground the rumblings have already begun.
Last July, a flood of water burst from the ice on top of Katla, washing away a bridge.
This indicated that a powerful pulse of heat had struck the base of the 3,000ft-thick Myrdalsjokull glacier that sits on top of the volcano’s crater. Since then, scientific monitoring equipment has shown erratic geological movements and strong bursts of earthquake activity.

One of the worries is that this geological time bomb is long overdue. Historical records show that Katla erupts once every 60 years on average, and has now been dormant for a century

Because deep beneath a glacier in Iceland, a cataclysmic giant is stirring. Known in local lore as the ‘evil sorceress’, she is gearing up to unleash her deadly wrath on the whole of northern Europe, according to experts.
They fear that if the Katla volcano erupts, its devastating effects would dwarf those of its near neighbour Eyjafjallajokull, which exploded in 2010, releasing an ash cloud that led to the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights. It was the largest commercial air-traffic shutdown since World War II as millions were stranded across Northern Europe between mid-April and mid-May.
These cataclysmic predictions are based on a similar eruption from the Laki volcanic system, 30 miles north-west of Katla, in 1783.
That explosion killed a fifth of Iceland’s population and created an ash cloud that obscured the sun’s rays across the Northern Hemisphere for months, sending temperatures plummeting by 3c.

Prevailing winds brought millions of tonnes of lethal sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid swirling almost 1,000 miles across the ocean to land on Britain. In the UK, an estimated 23,000 people died from poisoning and extreme cold. Local newspapers reported how poisonous ash precipitated fog so thick that boats stayed in port, unable to navigate, and the sun was ‘coloured like it has been soaked in blood’.
The Hertfordshire poet William Cowper wrote of farmers struggling to gather harvests: ‘The labourers having been almost every day carried out of the field incapable of work and many die.’
All told, it was one of the greatest natural disasters to befall our country in the past 300 years.

The last time Katla erupted was 100 years ago, when it threw five times more ash into the sky than Eyjafjallajokull did in 2010 — so much that it extended Iceland’s south coast by three miles.
The glacial melt also unleashed a torrent of water, mud and icebergs that was claimed to be similar in volume to the Amazon river. Astonishingly, no one was killed, one spot of comfort when we’re considering the disaster that could be on its way shortly.
One of the worries is that this geological timebomb is long overdue. Historical records show that Katla erupts once every 60 years on average, and has now been dormant for a century.
In Iceland, autumn is the peak time for earthquake activity — and along with it the highest risk of eruptions. The build up of power inside Katla is massively intensified by the presence of the glacier on its crater, which acts much like the lid on a giant pressure cooker.
As a result, when the volcano erupts scientists say it will eject a much larger ash plume than Eyjafjallajokull — even if the eruption’s actual strength is only comparatively small.
This is because high-pressure explosions cause the ejected magma to break up into very fine ash particles, so light in weight that they create vast toxic clouds that can remain airborne for weeks or months.
This is the major problem for aeroplanes. When it is sucked into a jet engine, ash is initially heated to a temperature so high that it turns into molten glass. When the molten glass reaches the back of the engine, it cools and solidifies on the turbine blades, jamming the engine and causing the plane to plunge from the sky.
Yet despite having recently witnessed at first hand the destruction and misery wrought by Eyjafjallajokull, it is Katla that the people of Iceland fear most.

More Threats To Israel: Russie To Give S-300 Missile System To Syria, Iran Warns Of 'Devastating Revenge' For Parade Attack

After plane downed, Russia to give Syria advanced S-300 anti-aircraft system

The Russian defense ministry said Monday that President Vladimir Putin will outfit the Syrian military with its sophisticated S-300 air defense system and jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean, in the wake of the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli strike last week.
“This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops” in Syria, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement.
“(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defense system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks.”

Putin has ordered the defense ministry to take several measures in response to the incident, the defense ministry said.

“In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean Sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory.”
Russia had originally agreed to sell the system to Syria in 2010, but scrapped the plan at Israel’s behest. However, the Syrian military has already received training to use the system.
“We are certain that the realization of these measures will cool the ‘hot heads’ and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen,” Shoigu said.

Israeli fighter jets conducted the airstrike last Monday night on a weapons facility in the coastal city of Latakia that the IDF said was going to provide weapons to the Hezbollah terror group and other Iranian proxies. During a Syrian air defenses counterattack, the Russian spy plane was shot down by an S-200 anti-aircraft missile and its 15 crew members were killed.
Russia already has its own S-300 air defense system in Syria, along with the more advanced S-400 system.

The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Monday warned Israel and the US that they can expect a “devastating” response from Iran, repeating accusations of their involvement in Saturday’s attack on a military parade despite competing claims of responsibility from Islamic State and an Arab separatist group.
“You have seen our revenge before … You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done,” Hossein Salami said in a speech shown on state television, Reuters reported.
Threatening what he called the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States, Salami said: “You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions… We warn all of those behind the story, we will take revenge.”

Salami was speaking during a live broadcast ahead of the funerals of some of those killed Saturday when gunmen disguised as soldiers attacked an annual military parade marking the anniversary of the start of its 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Thousands gathered at the Sarallah Mosque at the city’s Taleghani junction, carrying caskets in the sweltering heat. Of the 25 people killed at Saturday’s parade, 12 were from Ahvaz and the rest from elsewhere in Khuzestan province.
The attack saw gunfire sprayed into a crowd of marching soldiers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, bystanders, and government officials watching from a nearby riser.

Intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi announced the arrest of a large network of suspects, the judiciary’s news agency Mizan reported according to Reuters.
A news agency affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group released a video Sunday which purported to show the perpetrators of a shooting attack at a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz which left at least 29 people dead, including women and children, and wounded dozens more, some of them critically.

In a further claim, Yaghub Hur Totsari, a spokesman for the Arab Struggle Movement to Liberate Ahvaz, told Reuters the Ahvaz National Resistance umbrella organization of Arab anti-government armed movements was behind the attack, but did not specify which particular group carried it out.
Iranian officials blamed a number of different targets, including Israel, the US, and regional-arch enemy Saudi Arabia, while two groups — the Islamic State and an anti-government Arab group — claimed responsibility.