Putin Just Ignored Obama Admin’s Desperate Pleas In A Huge Way- ‘Russian Strikes Will…’

Russia plans to continue airstrikes against Syrian villages despite a direct appeal by Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to starving civilians.

Fox News reports not only has the Putin-led government refused the ceasefire, it has escalated its involvement, introducing four of its most advanced fighter jets to assist in the airstrikes. Some of the Russian targets include CIA-backed rebel fighters who oppose the Assad regime.

“The decision to send the Su-35S jets poses yet another hurdle for Kerry’s efforts to proceed with peace talks. The Su-35S is Russia’s most advanced warplane, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions,” one official familiar with the jet told Fox News

Russia’s move comes despite two UN resolutions calling for a ceasefire and caused peace talks in Geneva to derail Wednesday.

“[T]here will be a ceasefire,” Kerry predicted Tuesday in Rome. “We expect a ceasefire. And we expect adherence to the ceasefire. And we expect full humanitarian access.”

Kerry said he was assured by Russia’s foreign minister the airstrikes would end. “I talked to Foreign Minister Lavrov a couple of days ago and I specifically discussed a ceasefire with him, and he said they are prepared to have a ceasefire,” the secretary of state said.

Two days later, the bombing missions continue.

“Russian strikes will not cease [in Syria] … I don’t see why these airstrikes should be stopped,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday in Oman.

Hours later, the UN talks fell apart, according to Fox. 

The top U.S. general in Iraq made it clear that America wants to avoid a confrontation with Russia, despite Putin’s strikes against the U.S.-backed rebels.

“I wouldn’t characterize it as a proxy war. I would say that we are pursuing different goals,” Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland told reporters, speaking from Baghdad earlier this week.

The U.N. chief humanitarian coordinator says close to 500,000 Syrians are cut off from food assistance, surrounded by Bashar Assad’s forces, Fox reported. 

“We saw people who are clearly malnourished, especially children, we saw people who are extremely thin, skeletons, that are now barely moving,” Yacoub El Hillo, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria, told Reuters.

Kerry said Tuesday that some besieged Syrians have been reduced to eating leaves and grass. “Starvation as a tactic of war is against the laws of war and it is being used every single day as a tactic by the Assad regime,” he said

The Washington Post editorial board blamed Kerry’s willingness to compromise with Putin for the unfolding humanitarian crisis. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s handling of the Syrian crisis appears to be enabling those very war crimes,” the paper wrote.

The Post charges the administration is only offering strong rhetoric, but nothing to back it up. “On that, Mr. Kerry has had exactly nothing to say. Expect the sieges, the bombing, the starvation — and the statements — to continue.”

WATCH: Syria Lies In Ruins While Major Escalation Looms After Failure Of Geneva Talks

After only three days of talks, the UN-sponsored conference about Syria in Geneva has ended abruptly.

UN special envoy Staffan Di Mastura had trouble admitting the talks were a failure and insisted they would resume at the end of this month.

“This is not the end or the failure of the talks, but I’m not prepared to have talks for the sake of talks,” he said Wednesday during a press conference after the parties already started to blame each other for the failure of the conference. Di Mastura called upon all the parties to work harder to make the talks a success.

In a follow-up statement, he seemed to blame the Assad regime for what he calls the suspension of the talks. Di Mastura said in the statement “the government’s failure to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria by allowing food and medicine into rebel-held towns had prevented any serious discussions,” The New York Times reported.

A spokesman for the Syrian government said the suspension of the talks was the failure of everybody except the government of the Syrian Arab Republic (Assad’s regime), because they had arrived on time while the opposition arrived six days late and refused to engage directly with the other parties. The Syrian spokesman also said the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) that consists of several opposition groups — but not Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic State and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), who were not invited to the conference — was disorganized and contained “terrorists.”

The Kurds left Geneva after they discovered their participation had been blocked by the other opposition bloc supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The Obama administration reportedly abandoned the Kurds after Turkish pressure.

The government spokesman especially blamed the Turks, the Saudis and the government of Qatar because they are “the handlers and the masters” of the High Negotiations Committee.

The HNC and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, blamed the Assad regime and its allies for the failure of the talks.

Kerry issued a statement that said the Assad government must cease the bombing of rebel forces and added it is “past time for them to meet existing obligations and restore the international community’s confidence in their intentions of supporting a peaceful resolution.”

The opposition held the Assad regime fully responsible for the scuppered talks. The HNC pointed to the fact that government forces launched a major offensive in the Aleppo region at the moment the conference started. The offensive succeeded to cut off a major supply route to the city from the Turkish border.

Opposition groups in Aleppo now fear that the city will soon be encircled by Assad’s army who receive air support from Russian warplanes.

At the same time, government forces backed by Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militias succeeded to break a three-year rebel siege of the Shiite villages of Nubl and Zahraa west of Aleppo.

This move enabled the militia of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to advance along the Turkish border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Thursday the Kurdish YPG militia had taken control of Al-Ziyara and Khuraybika—two villages in the Shirawa region of the Afrin Canton a couple of kilometers from the liberated Shiite villages. The Kurds seek to connect the Kurdish Afrin Canton to the already autonomous cantons Cizire and Kobane along the Turkish border. If they succeed they will control the whole border area with Turkey in Syria.

The Kurdish move has exacerbated tensions with Turkey. Russian military officials think the Turkish army has now received orders to prepare for an invasion of Syria. The Turkish invasion should halt the YPG advances and open supply routes to Islamist rebel groups supported by Ankara.

The situation has also increased tensions between Russia and Turkey. Russia claims Turkish forces killed a Russian military advisor earlier this week and accuses Turkey of shelling Syria. The Russians claim they have video evidence of the Turkish military activity in Syria and have demanded an explanation from NATO about the Turkish aggression.

Turkey claimed a Russian warplane again breached its airspace Jan.30 and now accuses Russia of supporting the YPG advances along the Turkish border. The Turks have threatened they will not tolerate new territorial gains of the YPG in the direction of the Mediterranean coast.

“The PYD (YPG) has been getting closer with both the United States and Russia of late. We view the PYD as a terrorist group and we want all countries to consider the consequences of their cooperation,” a Turkish official told Reuters. “With support from Russia, the PYD is trying to capture land between Jarablus and Azaz, going west of the Euphrates. We will never accept this.”

The alleged alliance between Russia and the Syrian Kurds will no doubt cause Obama to have a severe headache.

When Turkey makes good on its threat to stop the Kurdish advance in the direction of the Afrin Canton (see map) by intervening in Syria, Washington will face a dilemma. The Obama administration will have to choose between support for the YPG the only force that has been effective in the battle against Islamic State and its staunch ally Turkey that allows the U.S.-led coalition to use the Incirlik airbase for attacks on Islamic State.

KurdishMap

The collapse of the conference in Geneva is related to this looming major escalation in the 5-year-old Syrian war. It has become clear that several parties in the talks have no interest in ending the war at this point. Russia is one of these parties, and the Islamist opposition is another. What we thus can expect is an escalation of the fighting and more death and destruction.

To give you an idea about the shocking level of destruction in Syria we advise you to watch this video of Homs, the third largest city in the country. The images were made by Russian drones:

Police Get Call About What’s Being Thrown Out Of Window, Then HORRIFYING Discovery Is Made

Tight, cramped and inadequate living conditions are being blamed for violence against women and children of Syrian refugees. Families living with families and sharing facilties has created stress, leading to atrocities, authorities say.

In Lohmar, Germany, the latest horrific crime committed by a Syrian refugee has made international headlines. A Syrian man has been arrested on attempted murder charges for tossing his three young children out of the first-floor window of the apartment where they had been living with other refugee families.

The three children survived, but two suffered serious head and internal traumas.

Authorities said the man was taken into custody without incident.

The building, along with all of its inhabitants, were relocated as the scene is now a crime scene. The edifice used to be a Chinese restaurant but was converted for emergency use as housing. Aid workers familiar with the facility complained it was too small for so many people and a lack of privacy was noted.

The news of the attempted murder is the latest in a series of criminal activities committed by migrants. Over the New Year’s Day celebrations in Cologne, Germany, hundreds of migrant men in gangs committed scores of sexual assaults on German women.

With Carnaval fast approaching, Cologne mayor Henriette Reker has warned the migrant community that a repeat of the criminal behavior will not be tolerated, adding that everyone has a right to enjoy the festivities without fear of becoming victimized.

Cologne has enlisted the help of 2,500 police officers for the event — double the number from 2015 — but the police chief has warned there is no such thing as complete security.

WATCH: How Al-Qaeda’s Branch In Syria Has Become A Bigger Danger To The World Than ISIS

While all eyes are on the Islamic State’s activities in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Israel and other countries in the Middle East and beyond, an even bigger danger is threatening the world but has remained largely unnoticed say the Institute of War (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

According to the think tanks new report, the West has been ‘dangerously underestimating’ what al-Qaeda is doing in Syria. Both think tanks believe al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra is an even more dangerous group than the Islamic State (Daesh).

According to Business Insider, the report says Jabhat al-Nusra poses ‘one of the most significant long-term threats’ of any jihadist group.

Furthermore, it says that Jabhat al-Nusra has established a huge network of partnerships with Syrian opposition groups that have sworn allegiance to the organization. “It’s defeat and destruction must be one of the highest priorities of any strategy to defend the United States and Europe from al-Qaeda attacks,” the report warned.

“Jabhat al-Nusra has weakened the moderate opposition and penetrated other Sunni opposition groups in Syria so thoroughly that it is poised to benefit the most from the destruction of ISIS and the fall of the Assad regime,” the IWS and AEI reported.

The think tanks wrote that the most likely outcome of the current strategy in Syria will be the establishment of an Al-Qaeda emirate because Jabhat al-Nusra has the backing of many other militias and significant parts of the Syrian population.

At the end of 2015, VICE News released a revealing video report on Jabhat al-Nusra’s strategy in Syria that showed the group is much more than simply a militia fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The group provides, for example, education to children who are trained to become Jihadi’s and are brainwashed into believing that killing Jews is the holy duty of every Muslim.

You can watch the documentary here:

 

ISW and AEI predict that after achieving its goals in Syria Jabhat al-Nusra will join al-Qaeda in a new offensive against the West. Kimberly Kagan, the president of ISW told Business Insider that the United States is too focused on ISIS and is ignoring the threat Jabhat al-Nusra is posing.

The group is working according to a long-term strategy, Kagan said.

“ISIS is overt about its presence and al-Nusra is covert about its activities in Syria,” the ISW director said.

This is one of the reasons the U.S. is not sufficiently focused on the activities of the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, according to Kagan. Al-Nusra wants to be underestimated because it serves it’s long term goals. A defeat of the Islamic State in Syria will “likely increase the capability and strength of Jabhat al-Nusra,” Kagan added.

With or without an ISIS defeat, Jabhat al-Nusra is on the march in Syria.

Yesterday the group staged a massive show of force in Aleppo, the second city in Syria. The al-Qaeda branch drove a huge convoy of 200 vehicles with heavily armed fighters through the streets of the city ahead of a re-deployment in the area.

The El-Dorar news site reported that al-Nusra was reinforcing its troops north of Aleppo in anticipation of a new offensive by the Russian-Iranian-led pro-Assad coalition. The reinforcements arrived from Idlib province in northwest Syria near the Turkish border where al-Nusra is controlling large swaths of territory.

Syrian and Lebanese sources reported that the pro-Assad coalition aims to lift al-Nusra’s siege on two Shiite villages north of Aleppo. The villages have been surrounded by the al-Qaeda branch since the summer of 2012. Jabhat al-Nusra fighters have also taken control over neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. Residents of the city fear that al-Nusra’s ultimate goal is to gain control over all of Aleppo and to impose Sharia law on the city.

The Free Syrian Army in Aleppo expects that a battle for control of Aleppo will start soon after a large number of masked Nusra fighters deployed in the city and began setting up checkpoints in residential areas. A commander of Jabhat al-Nusra denied that the group will start an offensive in residential areas and said that the checkpoints were erected for security reasons only.

If you want to get a better idea about Al-Nusra’s fighting capabilities, this video gives more information about the assault on the Syrian village of Banes in South Aleppo on December 8 2015.

Putin Strikes Back: He Just Made A Hugely Aggressive Military Move Seeking ‘Revenge’

In November, Syrian rebels gleefully paraded before the camera as they made a video mocking the fate of the Russian pilot killed when his jet was shot down near the Turkish border.

Now, there is a price to pay.

On Monday, Russian forces rampaged through a Syrian town on the lookout for a man who has claimed to have killed the pilot.

Not long after Turkish jets downed the Russian plane, Turkish citizen Alparslan Çelik said in a video he had killed the pilot after the Russian parachuted to what he thought was safety. Çelik said he killed the man in revenge for Russian bombing raids.

“There is no place for a person who has bombed civilian Turkmens every day,” Çelik said, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. He reportedly added, “Reprisal is the most natural right.”

Russia agrees.

Russian state media has said Russia would “take revenge” when Çelik was found. Previously, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova ordered Turkey to “take immediate steps to apprehend Alparslan Çelik and his accomplices and bring them to justice for the murder of the Russian pilot.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Nov. 24 downing of the jet as a “stab in the back” carried out by “accomplices of terrorists.”

Both Russian fliers parachuted from the jet. One landed safely and was eventually returned to Russia. The other was killed.

After the pilot was killed, his killers celebrated. A video released by the Syrian rebels shows about a dozen men surrounding the body of a man in military fatigues.

“Allahu Akbar (God is great),” shouted several men in the video.

h/t: Fox News