Saudi Arabia is to deploy military jets and personnel to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in the south of the country, Ankara said. The base is already used by the US Air Force for their sorties in Syria.
The deployment is part of the US-led effort to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
"At every coalition meeting, we have always emphasized the need for an extensive result-oriented strategy in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group,” he said, referring to IS by an Arabic-language abbreviation.
Cavusoglu spoke to the Yeni Şafak newspaper after addressing a security conference in Munich, Germany, where the Syrian crisis was one of the top issues on the agenda.
"If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.
Russia, which supports the government of Bashar Assad, seeing it as the only regional force capable of defeating IS on the ground, has warned against a ground intervention, which, Moscow believes, would only serve to prolong the war in Syria.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev called on his Western counterparts "not to threaten a ground operation" in Syria, stressing that Moscow is doing its utmost to pave the way for a lasting peace in the war-torn country.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said tensions between Russia and the West have sent the world into a 'new Cold War', while speaking at the Munich Security Conference today.
'We have slid into a new period of Cold War,' he said. 'Almost every day we are accused of making new horrible threats either against NATO as a whole, against Europe or against the US or other countries.'
His comments comes after France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on Russia to stop bombing civilians in Syria, saying this was crucial for achieving peace in the country.
Mr Medvedev insisted that there was 'no evidence' that Russia had bombed civilians in Syria.
'France respects Russia and its interests ... But we know that to find the path to peace again, the Russian bombing of civilians has to stop,' Valls said in a speech at a security conference in Munich.
Valls also warned that the European project could 'disappear' if policymakers were not careful.
'The European project can go backwards or even disappear if we don't take care of it,' he said.
'If Europe doesn't show it can respond, not only to economic challenges but also to security challenges, then the European project will be finished because the people won't want it anymore.'
It was just two days ago when Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar invade Syria in a transparent attempt to shore up their Sunni proxy armies currently under siege by Moscow’s warplanes and Hezbollah, a “new world war” would be inevitable.
He also indicated that such a conflict would likely drag on for “decades.”
“Do they really think they would win such a war very quickly? That's impossible, especially in the Arabic world,” Medvedev said. “There everyone is fighting against everyone... everything is far more complicated. It could take years or decades."
On Saturday, Medvedev was back at it with the hyperbole (or at least we hope it’s hyperbole) in Munich where more than 60 foreign and defense ministers are gathered for the 52nd Munich Security Conference. In his speech, the PM challenged NATO’s military maneuvers in the Baltics as well as the alliance’s general approach towards relations with The Kremlin.
“The political line of NATO toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed,” he said in a speech to the conference. “It can be said more sharply: We have slid into a time of a new cold war.”
“NATO on Wednesday approved new reinforcements for eastern Europe, including stepped-up troop rotations on its eastern flanks and more naval patrols in the Baltic Sea,” Bloomberg notes. “In response, the Kremlin dismissed the alliance’s argument that the move was merely defensive.”
“Russia’s rhetoric, posture and exercises of its nuclear forces are aimed at intimidating its neighbors, undermining trust and stability in Europe,” NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told the conference earlier. “We strive for a more constructive and more cooperative relationship with Russia.”
All of this comes on the heels of a year in which NATO made a concerted push to place new weapons and troops near Russia’s borders and prepare allies for a rapid deployment in the event Moscow invaded a neighboring state. The Kremlin says those fears are unwarranted, but the West points to Crimea and Ukraine as examples of “Russian aggression.”
“Russia has a simple choice: fully implement Minsk or continue to experience economically damaging sanctions,” Kerry said in Munich on Saturday, referencing the fragile ceasefire agreement that has at various times fallen apart in Ukraine. “Russia can prove by its actions that it will respect Ukraine’s sovereignty just as it insists for respect for its own.”
Kerry also lambasted Russia for what he calls “repeated aggression” in Ukraine and Syria.
“Kerry said Russia is defying the will of the international community with its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and its military intervention in Syria on behalf of President Bashar Assad,” AP wrote earlier this morning, adding that “He [also] repeated allegations that Russian airstrikes in Syria have not been directed at terrorists but rather at moderate opposition groups supported by the U.S. and its European and Arab partners.”
Your name is Hillary Clinton. You run for president. Six different dead-locked precincts tossing tie-breaking coins all fall your way. Per Las Vegas odds makers, six consecutive appearances of heads-or-tails is a statistical probability of 1.5%. That's 64-to-1 against, an exceedingly lucky outcome.
For Democrats, there is no hand-wringing, no equivalent "hanging chads" controversy. Unlike Bush/Gore in 2000 in Florida, there are no recounts demanded, no cadre of lawyers dispatched to Iowa, no lawsuits filed. Mrs. Clinton claimed victory before all the results were tallied, ultimately managing a microscopic victory of four delegates. That's people, not percentage points. (Does she know something the rest of us don't?)
In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders – an avowed Socialist who took his blushing bride to Russia for their honeymoon – gave Madame a real shellacking by 22 percent. A Donald Trump-like primary performance. That translates into 15 delegates for him to her 9. However, despite the Iowa virtual tie and the clear New Hampshire win, it turns out today that Bernie's been burnt. That's because in the all-important delegate count – the convention electors who ultimately select the Democrats' presidential nominee – she leads him going into Clinton-friendly South Carolina 394 to 44.
Nonexistent in the Republican Party for the very good reason that they can easily thwart the voters' intentions, the discrepancy lies in little-understood Democrat super-delegates. These are the "important" people, party insiders like Bill Clinton (no nepotism there). Instituted in 1982 – no doubt due in large part to Ronald Reagan's landslide 1980 victory over unpopular incumbent Jimmy Carter – super-delegates are designed to prevent brokered conventions and their result: weak or insurgent candidates. They make up 712, a whopping 30% of the 2,382 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.
Importantly, unlike with Republicans, the Democrats' modern election "process" is ironically autocratic, not democratic. Super-delegates may ensure a unified decision-making process, but it is top-down and based upon the party's stamp of approval rather than a generalized expression of whom the voters want. In this way, a top-down process is antithetical to the traditional bottom-up process the Founding Fathers intended: common people choosing informed electors who in turn choose the nominee.
But it's worse than that. Super-delegates beholden to no one – save the party itself – make this nominating process inherently corrupt, based upon backroom dealing completely removed from the American people's influence. Case and point is New Hampshire. With two uncommitted, six of the eight super-delegates support Hillary. That evens the scale in the contest to a tie of 15 apiece. Indeed, months before a single vote was cast, Hillary started the race with 15% of the total she needs.
Simply put, Hillary wins even though she loses. Super-delegates prove that the fix is in; the creeping Clinton coronation is actually in full swing. Likewise, the MSM-moderated debates are a complete sham – extended political commercials peppered with softball questions. In the final analysis, how is this at all different from Russia when Vladimir Putin is the only name on the ballot?
Apparently untroubled, debate handshaking Bernie comfortably plays his role in this "Democratic" farce that guarantees Hillary the nomination.
On Wednesday, United Technologies decided to reinforce both of these trends all at once, when the company announced it would be eliminating 1,400 jobs at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis in favor of hiring some new "foreign-born" employees - only these "foreign-born" workers will be hired in Mexico.
"Two Indiana plants that make products for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry are shifting their manufacturing operations to Mexico, which will cost about 2,100 workers their jobs," The Indianapolis Star reports. "Carrier is shuttering its manufacturing facility on Indianapolis' west side, eliminating about 1,400 jobs during the next three years [and] United Technologies Electronic Controls said that it will move its Huntington manufacturing operations to a new plant in Mexico, costing the northeastern Indiana city 700 jobs by 2018."
Watch below as 1,000 soon-to-be Donald Trump voters react to the announcement:
Economists called the move "highly unusual." "Today’s surprise announcement was without warning," the mayor said.
Actually, it's neither "highly unusual" or "surprising." Here's why (again from The Star): "Carrier’s workers are separated into a two-tier wage system. A quarter of the workers make about $14 an hour, or about $30,000 a year. The rest make about $26 an hour, or about $55,000, but make well above $70,000 a year with overtime."
Something tells us labor costs will be "slightly" lower south of the border.
Who's "peddling fiction" now?
The US military has deployed additional Patriot missile systems in South Korea, citing Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch.
The Seoul HQ of the US Forces Korea (USFK) said Saturday that the deployment of additional assets is part of an emergency readiness exercise being carried out in cooperation with the South Korean military.
"North Korea’s continued development of ballistic missiles against the expressed will of the international community requires the Alliance to maintain effective and ready ballistic missile defenses. Exercises like this ensure we are always ready to defend against an attack from North Korea," said Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, Commanding General of Eighth Army, the commanding formation of the USFK.