Thursday, January 22, 2015

Russia: U.S. Plays 'Instigator's Role' In Ukraine, Iran Tightens Grip On Yemen's Capital

U.S. Plays 'Instigator's Role' In Ukraine Crisis - Russia

Washington has played the role of instigator throughout the entire Ukrainian conflict, said Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin. He added that Kiev authorities have not taken any steps to start dialogue with the militia in eastern Ukraine.
“Throughout the whole Ukrainian crisis, the US have been playing a destructive – or to call a spade a spade – instigative role,” Churkin said during the Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Ukraine. According to Churkin, after every visit by senior US officials to Ukraine, Kiev authorities have been “stepping up the confrontational nature of their actions.” 

READ MORE: Donetsk shelled as Kiev ‘orders massive fire’ on militia-held E. Ukraine

“The current military escalation has miraculously coincided with the visit of US Army Europe chief [Lt. General Frederick Ben Hodges] to Kiev,” he added. Hodges held a press conference in Kiev on Wednesday, during which he said that the US is planning to expand military cooperation with Ukraine.

“Wherever Washington is turning its eyes – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine – there is destabilization, crisis, blood,” the Churkin said.

The Russian diplomat responded to the speech of Ukraine’s UN envoy, Yury Sergeev, who accused Moscow of aggression towards Ukraine. 

The snowball which began rolling in September under total media blackout in the west can no longer be swept under the rug. In a previous report a couple of months ago – titled Iran just took over Yemen – we concluded this Iranian power grab could be silently backed by Washington. Now that the standoff in Sanaa is near boiling point, forcing its coverage by said western media, more signs pointing in this direction begin to emerge.
Keep in mind that the Sunni militants in Yemen have been targeted extensively by US drone strikes, especially after the CIA orchestrated the “Arab spring” in 2011, which resulted in the overthrow of Yemen’s president Saleh. Meanwhile the Shiite Houthis were allowed to rampage across the country without the fear of US drones buzzing over their heads.
Was\Is “Al qaeda in Yemen” nothing more than a gaggle of useful idiots, lead by Pentagon dinner guest Anwar al Awlaki, whose sole function was to weaken the central government on behalf of the CIA, thereby clearing the path for the Houthis, without realizing what they were doing? The more the events unfold before our eyes, the more this theory gains plausibility. It remains to be seen what kind of dirty deal Washington and Tehran are planning to implement in Yemen in the near future.
The fierce fighting has given the Houthis nearly total control over the capital, raising fears of a coup. But the Shiite group stopped short of overthrowing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Reuters says the reason for that decision could be “to keep the enfeebled leader at their mercy rather than claim the burden of seizing power.”

Abdel Malik al-Houthi, the Houthi leader, warned in a televised speech Tuesday that the insurgents would take further “measures” if the president failed to carry out the political changes they demanded to increase their power.
The Christian Science Monitor’s Dan Murphy writes that while Mr. Houthi’s speech was short on details, the fact that Shiite rebels now hold Yemen’s capital is bad enough news for Yemen’s Sunni majority.

Iranian general Mohammed Allahdadi was the target of Israel’s alleged aerial strike on the Golan Heights Sunday, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported Thursday, denying anonymous Israeli claims that it was unaware of Allahdadi’s presence in the targeted convoy.

A source also told the paper that Iran was unlikely to respond directly but would instead continue to arm Hezbollah.

An unnamed Israeli official told Reuters on Tuesday that Israel was sure it was striking “an enemy field unit that was on its way to carry out an attack on us at the frontier fence” rather than a high-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) general.

But anonymous “knowledgeable sources” told Kuwaiti daily al-Rai that Israel knew exactly who was in the convoy, and why he was visiting the Golan Heights.

Allahdadi was killed along with six Hezbollah members, including two top commanders, in an airstrike in the Syrian Golan Heights Sunday. The attack, which Jerusalem has declined to officially comment on, served to raise regional tensions, as Israel braced for a possible retaliatory action.

“The Israeli statements are an attempt to bury their heads in the sand. Israel knew full well who was in the car convoy it attacked through its monitoring of communications,” the source told al-Rai. “The target was not Jihad Mughniyeh, who worked in [Hezbollah’s] Protection Agency, but the IRGC commander.”

Allahdadi and Hezbollah commander Muhammad Issa, who was also killed in the strike, were touring the Golan as part of a strategic bid to turn the Syrian border with Israel into a confrontation zone, just as Hezbollah had done along the Lebanese border during the 1990s, the report claimed.

After the strike, many assumed that Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of a senior Hezbollah fighter killed in a 2008 operation widely attributed to Israel, had been the target of the strike.
Reports also indicated that the strike had targeted a team setting up a missile base to launch strikes against Israel.
Issa had gained experience in highland warfare against Israel as commander of the Tuffah region in southern Lebanon; and was in the process of translating his expertise to Syria as head of Hezbollah’s special operations unit in the country.
Allahdadi was also no stranger to the Syrian Golan, and had visited the area before as Iran’s most senior adviser to the Hezbollah fighters, a position he assumed in late 2014

US President Barack Obama briefly, but pointedly, addressed a year of tense relations with Russia over Ukraine during his State of the Union address this week, saying the United States was "upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small".
Today Russia replied: Who are you calling a bully?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov railed against Mr Obama's address during his annual year-in-review news conference on Wednesday, charging that Mr Obama's speech "showed that the United States intends to dominate the world".
"The Americans have chosen a path toward confrontation, and do not evaluate their own steps critically at all," Mr Lavrov said. "Yesterday's address by President Obama showed that the central principle of the United States' philosophy is based on only one thing: The we're No. 1 and everybody else has to recognise that."

But it's not the first time in recent months that a Russian leader has accused the United States of bullying the world into submission.

In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of international experts at the Valdai Club that the US was destabilising the entire global order in its attempt to "reshape the world", based on what Mr Putin diagnosed as an undeserved sense of post-Cold War victor's justice.
On Wednesday, Mr Lavrov noted that Russia "does not want and do not support any new Cold War".

There has been a spike in hostilities in the past week between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine, marked with fierce battles reminiscent of the worst days of the conflict last summer. Ukrainian leaders have charged that Russia is once again sending troops over the border to support the rebels - a charge Russia denies, but that US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt appeared to support on Tuesday, according to Russian news wire Interfax.
The Kremlin maintains that it is Kiev that is intent on furthering hostilities - and that the US is using the Ukraine conflict to stick it to Russia and Mr Putin.
"The matter here isn't Crimea and it's not Ukraine. If it weren't Crimea, they would come up with another excuse," Mr Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian magazine Argumenty i Fakty in an interview posted online on Tuesday.
Mr Lavrov also said he considered the United States' approach to international relations "outdated" and "not a proper thing for a great power".

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