Friday, January 16, 2015

Anti-Terror Raids Conducted In Belgium, Germany, France - Israel: Will EU Condemn Countries For 'Excessive Force'?

In an interesting turn of events, FM Liberman makes a very good point: 

Belgian police have wrapped up a major anti-terror operation in which two suspected Islamist militants who were alleged to be planning imminent attacks were shot dead, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Friday.

“Operations on the ground are now over. We are now exploiting the information” from the deadly raid in the town of Verviers and other searches around Belgium, he told France’s iTele news channel.

“The threat was to the police forces,” he said of the planned attacks.

Meanwhile, Germany arrested two suspects said to be plotting an attack in Syria, and 12 people were detained in France on suspicion that they were linked to the Paris supermarket killer

Hundreds of Berlin police raided 11 residences at dawn Friday, taking two Turkish men into custody on suspicion of recruiting fighters and procuring equipment and funding for the Islamic State group in Syria.
Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors, told The Associated Press the raids, which involved 250 police officers, were part of a months-long investigation into a small group of Turkish extremists based in Berlin.
In France, the Paris prosecutor’s office said 12 people have been arrested in anti-terrorism raids, targeting people linked to a gunman who attacked a kosher supermarket — killing four Jewish men — and claimed ties to the Islamic State.

Spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said the arrests began overnight and continued in three towns Friday morning.
Authorities were on high alert in France and neighboring Belgium, where authorities moved swiftly Thursday night to preempt what they called a major impending attack.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday rebuked the European Union for its frequent cond
emnations of Israel’s counterterrorism efforts, as Belgium, France, and Germany launched a crackdown on radical Islamists.

Two people were killed and one wounded during a raid in eastern Belgium on Thursday night, Paris police rounded up a dozen terror suspects, and Germany detained two Turkish nationals.

In a statement on Friday, Liberman wrote: “I wonder if the EU will issue a condemnation to the governments of Belgium and France for the use of excessive force and call on them to negotiate with terrorists and resolve the issues around the negotiation table… interesting.”

The foreign minister was referencing the frequent denunciations and calls for restraint from the 28-country bloc in response to Israeli operations, and repeated calls to reinstate peace talks with the Palestinians.
Police arrested several Islamist suspects in anti-terror raids across Europe on Friday as a deadly shootout with militants in Belgium and the aftermath of the Paris attacks kept the continent on alert.
Belgium beefed up security a day after police killed two suspected jihadists in the eastern town of Verviers near the German border, foiling what police called “imminent” attacks by a cell that had recently returned from Syria.
Belgian police arrested 13 people during a dozen raids overnight, smashing a plot to kill police officers “in public roads and in police stations,” prosecutors said Friday.

The US military has announced it will send about 400 specialists and hundreds more “enabling forces” to train the rebel Syrian opposition as Washington takes its fight against the Assad government and Islamic State to a new level.
The Pentagon mission, expected to begin as early as March, envisions US specialists training Syrian opposition forces from military bases in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, was quoted by the Army Times as saying.
In addition to the 400 military specialists, so-called “enabling forces,” which are to serve as a security detail, will also accompany the trainers, Smith said.

The US-led coalition, which began its bombing campaign over Syrian territory against the jihadist forces of Islamic State [also known as ISIS, or ISIL] in September 2014, includes Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Arab states will be expected to contribute troops to the US operation, which expects to train about 5,400 rebel forces each year for three years, according to Defense One, which first broke the news on the number of US specialists preparing for deployment. 

News of the Pentagon’s mission to train Syrian rebels, some of whom are reported to be affiliated with terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda, has already attracted criticism from those who say the US military offensive against Islamic State forces in Syria, carried out without the consent of Damascus, is a thinly veiled effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

In September 2013, shortly after UK Prime Minister David Cameron failed to secure support in the House of Commons to participate in a US-led military strike against Syria, forces from Islamic State suddenly appeared on the scene, giving the US a pretext for entering Syria.

The brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization that has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria continues to impose Islamic Sharia lawsprinkled with generous helping of executions - one of its favorite methods, crucifixion, was put on display this week in rare form.
In the last two days, ISIS terrorists crucified 15 Syrian civilians in severalvillages of the Deir ez-Zur region in the country's east, over accusations of "opposing" the Islamic State.
Two of the murdered were from the Shitat tribe, which has come in for mass executions by ISIS recently for daring to question the administrative authority the organization has claimed for itself in eastern Syria.
ISIS has perfected its brutal execution techniques, first shooting its victims and then crucifying their bodies and leaving them in the town square for three days as a message of deterrence to the rest of the residents to fear their iron rule.
The Syrian human rights group "Al-Musad" reported that in the northern city of Kara, ISIS also executed a man who was accused of photographing ISIS bases and one of their terrorists, and putting thepictures on Facebook.

The EU Parliament has called for keeping sanctions against Russia in place, urging the EU to set certain “benchmarks” for lifting them, even as top European officials – including the EU's foreign policy chief – seek to restore cooperation with Moscow.
On Thursday, the EU Parliament voted on a resolution urging the EU Council at its March meeting to“maintain current EU sanctions against Russia and approve 'benchmarks' for lifting them,” according to the legislative body’s press release.
Among such benchmarks the resolution named “respecting the ceasefire, unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops and illegal armed groups, exchanging all prisoners and restoring Ukraine’s control over its whole territory, including Crimea.”
However, Moscow has stated multiple times that there were and are no Russian troops in Ukraine, and that Russia has been fully committed to implementing the September Minsk documents.
Political analyst Aleksandar Pavic says such “perfidious” tactics are nothing new and that since at least Yugoslavia in the 90s, the West has been pressuring adversary states into producing results of actions they didn't have full control of – and then punishing them for failing to do so.

Ukraine has renewed accusations of a Russian military build up on its border and approved fresh troop mobilisations as a wave of violence threatened all-out conflict in the country's war-torn east.
A national day of mourning was held for 13 people killed on Tuesday when a rocket explodednear a commuter bus travelling towards the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the worst loss of civilian life since a September truce that only partially halted the violence.
An upsurge in fighting has rocked eastern Ukraine in recent days, with a planned peace summit between President Petro Poroshenko and the leaders of Russia, Germany and France having been postponed.
Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of Ukraine's national security council, evoked a dire scenario before parliament, saying a resumption of major attacks by rebels could lead to a "large-scale continental war" if Russian troops were to also become more directly involved.

Russia strongly denies sending troops and weapons into the war zone despite witness claims to the contrary. On Thursday, Turchynov claimed some 8,500 Russian army soldiers were backing around 30,000 rebels in eastern Ukraine.
He also alleged that some 52,000 Russian troops were stationed near the Ukraine border along with tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery systems and combat helicopters.

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