A delegation from Syrian opposition is reportedly in talks with US officials over the targets they want to attack to weaken the Syrian government and the arms they want America to provide to do it. A “Libya lite” operation in Syria may be imminent.The unnamed US official reportedly said that “the intervention will happen. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.”The Syrian rebels have brought with them two lists for American approval. One is that of targets in Syria they want to attack to hurt President Assad’s government. The second is a list of heavy weapons they need to carry out the attacks, which they want to get from the US, the report says.The US is also close to deciding on the format of its own military operation in Syria, which the site’s source described as “Libya lite” – a small-scale version of the no-fly zone and air strikes carried out by NATO forces in Libya, which resulted in the toppling of its leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Russia is preparing to send two amphibious assault ships to the Syrian port of Tartus where Moscow operates a naval base to ensure of its nationals, the Interfax news agency reported Monday. "Two major amphibious ships -- The Nikolai Filchenkov and The Tsezar Kunikov -- are preparing to be dispatched to Tartus outside of their ," the Russian news agency quotedThe Tsezar Kunikov can carry 150 landing troops and various armaments including tanks, while The Nikolai Filchenkov can carry up to 1,500 tonnes of cargo and , the report said. Interfax said that the ships could be used to evacuate Russian nationals. "The crews of The Nikolai Filchenkov and The Tsezar Kunikov and SB-15 rescue tug together with marines on board are able to ensure of Russian nationals and evacuate part of the property of the logistical support base if need be," Interfax quoted a source as saying. The protracted conflict between the ruling regime and the opposition in Syria shows no signs of easing.
A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped in its tracks off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the behest of the British government.
The British marine insurer Standard Club said it had withdrawn cover from all the ships owned by Femco, a Russian cargo line, including the MV Alaed.
"We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria," the company said in a statement. "We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage."
British security officials confirmed they had told Standard Club that providing insurance to the shipment was likely to be a breach of European Union sanctions against the Syrian regime.
They said they were continuing to monitor the ship, which has been the subject of a fierce international row since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week revealed it was adding to the arsenal of weaponryavailable for Mr Assad to use against rebellious Syrian towns.
"We have various ways of keeping track of this ship and that is what we are doing," a source told The Daily Telegraph.
The MV Alaed picked up its cargo of Mi25 helicopters – known as "flying tanks" – from the Russian port of Kaliningrad, where they had been sent to the state-owned manufacturer Mil's "Factory 150" for servicing and repairs.
The ship headed south through the North Sea towards the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean and, most likely, the Syrian port of Tartous, also home to a Russian naval base.
But under sanctions announced last year, the EU has banned not only exporting arms to Syria but also providing related services such as insurance.Classified US satellite images last week indicated that loading work had begun on two amphibious landing vessels, the Nikolai Filchenkov and the Caesar Kunikov, at the Crimean naval base of Sebastopol.
If fully loaded, the two vessels could carry as many as 600 troops and 24 tanks.
Yes, it is officially time to start freaking out about the global economy. The European financial system is falling apart and it is going to go down hard. If Europe was going to be saved it would have happened by now. The big money insiders have already pulled their funds from vulnerable positions and they are ready to ride the coming chaos out. Over the next few months the slow motion train wreck currently unfolding in Europe will continue to play out and things will likely really start really heating up in the fall once summer vacations are over.
Most Americans greatly underestimate how much Europe can affect the global economy. Europe actually has a larger population than the United States does. Europe also has a significantly larger economy and a much larger banking system. The world is more interconnected today than ever before, and a collapse of the financial system in Europe will cause a massive global recession. Once the global economy slides into another major recession, it is going to take years to recover. The pain is going to be immense. Yes, that is going to include the United States. Sadly, we never recovered from the last recession, and it is frightening to think about how much farther this next recession is going to knock us down.
If you are looking for some kind of a global financial miracle you can stop watching.
If European leaders had a master plan to save Europe they would have shown it by now.
If Barack Obama had a master plan to fix things he would have implemented it by now.
If the Federal Reserve had a master plan to fix things we would have seen it by now.
The entire house of cards is starting to come down and things are going to get really messy.