Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 25/09/15

Massenbach-Letter. News – Volkswagen-der Super Marketing GAU für Deutschland – wie Snowden + NSA für U.S.

· Congress rethinks anti-Assad stance * Putin setzt sich durch: USA akzeptieren Eingreifen Russlands in Syrien * New York Times: U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria

· France May Have Found a Buyer for Its Two Mistral Warships – to Egypt? * Alert: France Confirms Sale of Two Mistrals Built for Russia to Egypt

· Son of a Bitch"- Der Weg über die UNO kann und muss wieder eingeschlagen werden.

· Federated Defense in the Middle East* US forces on ground in Syria – assisting Kurdish rebels * Germany starts training Peshmerga in WMD

· China’s Silk Road project gets port in Turkey

· Volkswagen’s cheating and China’s exports showcase diesel woes

Massenbach* Putin setzt sich durch: USA akzeptieren Eingreifen Russlands in Syrien

Deutsch Türkische Nachrichten | Veröffentlicht: 17.09.15, 09:27

Die russische Initiative, in Syrien gemeinsam mit den Amerikanern gegen den IS zu kämpfen, findet nun doch die Zustimmung der USA. Die bezieht sich zunächst nur auf den militärischen Bereich. Doch auch die Tage von Syriens Präsident Assad könnten gezählt sein. Tragisch für alle Kriegsopfer und Vertriebenen: Die Russen hatten dem Westen bereits 2012 einen Plan für Syrien präsentiert. Er wurde jedoch von der Allianz in einer völlig Fehleinschätzung der Lage abgelehnt.

Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin scheint sich in der Frage einer militärischen Intervention Russlands durchgesetzt zu haben: Die USA und Russland erwägen nun ein gemeinsames militärisches Vorgehen gegen die Terrormiliz IS in Syrien. Im Gespräch seien Absprachen auf militärischer Ebene, sagte US-Außenminister John Kerry am Mittwoch beim Treffen mit seinem südafrikanischen Kollegen Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Der Vorschlag kam nach Kerrys Angaben Kerry von russischer Seite.

Die Amerikaner mussten sich sicherlich überwinden, diesen Schritt zu gehen – schließlich hatten ihnen die Russen in Syrien zu Beginn der Krise die Schau gestohlen und verhindert, dass es zu einer breiten Militäraktion der Amerikaner gegen Präsident Baschar al-Assad kommt. Die Reputation der Russen stieg danach noch einmal deutlich, als unter Vermittlung Moskaus die syrischen Chemiewaffen vernichtet wurden.

Russland hatte bereits vor einigen Wochen damit begonnen, sowohl eine militärische als auch eine diplomatische Initiative in Syrien zu ergreifen.

Es war lange unklar, ob diese Initiative mit der US-Regierung abgesprochen gewesen ist. US-Präsident Barack Obama soll nach Informationen von Robert Parry von Consortiumsnews die Russen sogar ermuntert haben, sich militärisch zu beteiligen. Tatsächlich kann Russland, so Parry, den Amerikanern in Syrien entscheidend helfen, ihre nationalen Interessen durchzusetzen.

Die nunmehrige Aussage von Kerry bestätigt, was der russische U-Botschafter Vitali Tschurkin dem US-Sender CBS sagte: Dass es nämlich weitreichende Absprachen zwischen den USA und Russland geben dürfte. Tschurkin sagte, dass die USA nicht mehr auf einem Sturz von Syriens Präsident Baschar al-Assad bestehen, sondern alle Kräfte auf den Kampf gegen den IS konzentrieren wollen. Die Russen ihrerseits haben seit längerem angedeutet, dass sie ihrerseits nicht auf dem Verbleib von Assad bestehen. Ironischerweise sind es ausgerechnet die Russen, die allerdings fordern, dass Assad nicht durch Druck von außen, sondern durch eine demokratische Wahl abgelöst werden soll. Passend dazu hat sich Assad selbst in mehreren Interviews in russischen Medien geäußert und gesagt, dass ein Präsident, wenn er abgewählt wird, sofort von der Bühne abtreten müsse.

Wie die militärische Kooperation zwischen den USA und Russland aussehen soll, ist noch völlig unklar. Die Russen verfolgen mit Sicherheit weitergehende Ziele. So berichtet die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur TASS, dass das russische Militär nicht ausschließen will, eine Luftwaffenbasis in Syrien zu errichten.

Die vermehrte Aktivität der Großmächte in Syrien könnte einerseits zu ungewollten Zwischenfällen zwischen den Großmächten führen. Zum anderen ist unklar, inwieweit von den immer neuen Waffenlieferungen auch radikale Gruppen an anderer Stelle profitieren: Israels Premier Benjamin Netanjahu hat angekündigt, nach Moskau zu reisen, um mit Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin über die Lage zu sprechen. Das berichtet die Times of Israel. Israel hat sich aus Syrien bisher bewusst herausgehalten und fürchtet, dass neue Waffen in den Besitz der Hisbollah gelangen könnten, die unverändert eine erhebliche Bedrohung für den Norden Israels darstellt.

Für Tschurkin ist die Entwicklung in gewissen Weise eine persönliche Genugtuung: Russland hatte dem Westen bereits im Jahr 2012 angeboten, den syrischen Präsidenten Baschar al-Assad zum Rücktritt zu bewegen. Dies erklärt der ehemalige finnische Präsident und Friedensnobelpreisträger Martti Ahtisaari im Interview mit dem Guardian. Er war zu dieser Zeit in Hinterzimmergespräche involviert, die mit Vertretern der fünf ständigen Mitglieder des UN-Sicherheitsrats (USA, Russland, Frankreich, Großbritannien und China) stattfanden.

Am 22. Februar 2012 nahm Ahtisaari als Vermittler an einer solchen Gesprächsrunde teil. Dort habe er mit dem russischen Gesandten Vitali Tschurkin gesprochen, der ihm folgenden Drei-Punkte-Plan vorgeschlagen haben soll: „Erstens: Wir sollten der Opposition keine Waffen geben. Zweitens: Wir sollten sofort einen Dialog zwischen der Opposition und Assad einleiten. Drittens: Wir sollten einen eleganten Weg für Assad finden, um abzutreten.“ Es solle zu Friedensgesprächen zwischen Regierung und Opposition kommen und nach einer gewissen Zeit wäre Assad zurückgetreten, so der Vorschlag.

Ahtisaari hatte die Vertreter der USA, Großbritanniens und Frankreichs über den Vorschlag informiert. Doch der Westen sei so überzeugt gewesen, dass Assad sowieso nur noch wenige Wochen im Amt durchhalten würde, so Ahtisaari. Deshalb haben die westlichen Gesandten den Vorschlag ignoriert.

Es war eine Gelegenheit, die 2012 verlorenen gegangen ist“, so Ahtisaari über das Angebot aus Moskau. Die vergebene Chance hatte für das Land verheerende Folgen: Tausende Tote und Millionen Vertriebene mussten seither den Preis für eine falsche Einschätzung der Lage durch den Westen bezahlen.

http://www.deutsch-tuerkische-nachrichten.de/2015/09/518011/putin-setzt-sich-durch-usa-akzeptieren-eingreifen-russlands-in-syrien/ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Congress rethinks anti-Assad stance*

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are openly questioning whether toppling Syria’s Bashar al-Assad should still be a priority amid steady gains by the Islamic State*

The issue came to a head Sept. 16 as a key Senate panel held its first IS hearing since the first batch of 54 US-trained rebels was routed in late July by al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra as soon as it entered Syria. Reports that Russia is beefing up Assad’s forces with tanks, troops and artillery has only added to the calls of some Democrats for a new strategy.

"I don’t know that it helps for us to keep banging the table about Assad," panel member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., told Al-Monitor. "I think it would be better for us to be as effective as possible in fighting [IS] and restoring some kind of security environment that shifts back the flow of refugees."

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., shared similar misgivings.

"I think we’ve come to a point where we should be reassessing what our strategy [should be] with respect to Assad and Syria and the conflict there," she said. "I don’t have the answer on me about what I think that should be, but I really think we’re at a point where we need to reassess, because what we’ve been doing is not working."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he’s worried about the "void" left by Assad’s removal in the absence of any viable moderate opposition.

"Who are you going to replace him with? What are you going to do? Leave a void?" he told Al-Monitor. "That hasn’t worked with Saddam [Hussein] or with [Moammar] Gadhafi. It’s a royal, royal mess, and we’re just throwing more money at it and making it messier."

And Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., cautioned against open calls for toppling Assad. Instead, he has backed the creation of humanitarian safe zones for civilians brutalized by the regime’s barrel bombs as well as Islamist extremists.

"I don’t think regime change should be an official policy of the United States," Kaine said. "Our batting record is very poor."

The growing angst follows repeated assurances by the Barack Obama administration that Assad "must go" and that his days were "numbered." Four years and more than 200,000 deaths later, the only groups making much progress on the ground appear to be IS and other extremist militant groups.

During the hearing, McCaskill warned Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of the US Central Command, that the Pentagon’s $600 million request for the train-and-equip program for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 "seems very unrealistic to me." Austin didn’t help his case when he admitted that only "four or five" US-trained rebels — out of 5,400 the Obama administration had hoped to train by year’s end with the $500 million appropriated last year — were currently fighting in Syria.

Defense spending bills in the House and Senate set aside $600 million and $531.5 million for the program over the next two years, respectively, but that was before the extent of the program’s failure was known. The House-passed defense policy bill, meanwhile, calls for setting aside $531 million for the program in FY 2016.

Shaheen agreed with McCaskill that the program is in jeopardy.

"I do think it will be challenging to continue to support that kind of money," Shaheen told Al-Monitor. "There are other initiatives that have potential to have significant impact, such as efforts to counter [IS] propaganda. There’s a center in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] that we’ve been working with to try and do that; perhaps that’s a better place to put those resources."

And McCaskill and Manchin recommended using the money to pay fighters with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. The YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist group, has increasingly been coordinating with Assad’s forces in their joint fight against IS.

"What we ought to do is rethink that $500 million that we’ve committed, how much we’ve spent already as far as trying to recruit in Syria," Manchin told Al-Monitor. "Knowing that the Kurds will fight, you can get a much better bang for your buck right there. See if you can back the Turks off from trying to kill the Kurds that are fighting in Syria, and make some peace on that end of it and then you have a united front in terms of a good ground force."

Even Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., a longtime proponent of greater US involvement to counter Assad through no-fly zones and other means, warned that the train-and-equip program was doomed absent "major changes."

McCain has lambasted Russia’s full-fledged entry into the fight as proof that President Obama has allowed US foes to gain traction in the Middle East. But others see an opportunity.

"I would suspect that the reason for the Russian [moves] is the belief that the Assad regime is at least pulling back, and there’s some significant instability," Kaine told Al-Monitor. "I don’t think they care at all about Assad. I think what they care about is stability. And if that is the case, and they see [Jabhat] al-Nusra and especially [IS] as the same threat that we do, then there are some possibilities there."

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, agreed. He maintained the need for getting rid of Assad, but said the Obama administration was clearly going about it the wrong way.

"Part of good strategic thinking is that you modify your strategy according to changed circumstances," King told Austin during the hearing. "You mentioned Assad is losing his capabilities every day — I’m sorry, general, I’ve been hearing that since 2013: Assad is about to go, he’s about to collapse. We’ve got to find a strategy that allows us to move Assad aside in some way, working with the Russians, if necessary, or the Iranians, because he’s the irritant that’s keeping this thing stirred up."

The comments follow reports that Russia in 2012 offered a compromise that would have seen Assad step down. Western officials have questioned the Kremlin’s ability to ever deliver on a proposal that ended up going nowhere.

King went on to embrace McCain’s calls for a humanitarian corridor that would be defended against incursions by Assad’s air force. Kaine endorsed the idea in an April 21 letter to Obama along with McCain and Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"You would need military support, but I think you would get it," Kaine told Al-Monitor on Sept. 16. "The European nations, I think they would participate in militarily providing safety — with us, with Turkey — to staunch the flow of refugees. You could still have so many more come out of Syria. I actually think that if you do that, and you do it well, that will actually increase the odds of some political resolution of the situation in the country."

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/congress-democrats-assad-regime-change-isis.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=96c4f7b649-September_17_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-96c4f7b649-93106913#

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New York Times: U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry, during an appearance with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates in London on Friday, said he hoped military talks with Russia on Syria would take place soon.

Video: http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/middleeast/100000003921923/kerry-on-military-talks-with-russia.html?action=click&contentCollection=world&module=lede&region=caption&pgtype=article

By REUTERS on Publish Date September 18, 2015. Photo by Evan Vucci/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

LONDON — As the first Russian combat aircraft arrived in Syria, the Obama administration reached out to Moscow on Friday to try to coordinate actions in the war zone and avoid an accidental escalation of one of the world’s most volatile conflicts.

The diplomatic initiative amounted to a pivot for the Obama administration, which just two weeks ago delivered a stern warning to the Kremlin that its military buildup in Syria risked an escalation of the civil war there or even an inadvertent confrontation with the United States. Last week, President Obama condemned Russia’s move as a “strategy that’s doomed to failure.”

But the White House seemed to acknowledge that the Kremlin had effectively changed the calculus in Syria in a way that would not be soon reversed despite vigorous American objections. The decision to start talks also reflected a hope that Russia might yet be drawn into a more constructive role in resolving the four-year-old civil war.

At Mr. Obama’s instruction, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Friday opened a dialogue on Syria with his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu, aimed at making sure that American and Russian forces avoid running into each other by mistake. The Russians have sent tanks, other equipment, marines and now combat aircraft to their new military hub near Latakia in western Syria. The Americans have flown hundreds of air missions in Syria striking the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Photo

Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday after what activists said was an aerial bomb attack by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Credit Reuters

But while Mr. Carter’s initial military-to-military talks were limited in scope, officials indicated that the larger goal was to draw the Russians into a political process that would ultimately replace Syria’s government of President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime ally of the Kremlin.

“The president believes that a mil-to-mil conversation is an important next step,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday in London, where he was visiting to consult with allies. “It will help to define some of the different options that are available to us.”

Still, the stakes have become even higher, as a senior United States official on Friday confirmed that four Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft had been deployed to the air base in recent days, along with four large Hip troop-transport helicopters and four Hind helicopter gunships. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence reports, said that more than 20 Condor transport plane flights had delivered weapons and equipment to the air base in the past 10 days.

The Russian military buildup in Syria could serve the Kremlin’s interests in several ways. It could help strengthen Mr. Assad, whom Russia has long backed and who has suffered a number of military reversals in recent months. It could put Moscow in a stronger position to shape the formation of a new Syrian government if Mr. Assad is pushed out of power. It also helps Russia cement its strategic interests in what experts say is its most important new Middle East military outpost in decades.

But after failing to impede the buildup by convincing nations to close their airspace to Russian transport planes — Bulgaria banned the flights but Iraq did not — the White House is trying to make the best out of a situation it feels it is powerless to prevent.

Administration officials have long argued that Mr. Assad’s brutal and often indiscriminate crackdown against its foes has encouraged support for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And they seem intent on exploring the closed-door comments by Russian diplomats that they are not wedded to the Syrian leader.

As Western officials look for a political solution, they appear to be demonstrating some flexibility. Though the Obama administration has long said that Mr. Assad must go in order for there to be a durable solution to the Syria crisis, Mr. Kerry allowed for the possibility that Mr. Assad might remain in power in the short term.

“Our focus remains on destroying ISIL and also on a political settlement with respect to Syria, which we believe cannot be achieved with the long-term presence of Assad,” Mr. Kerry said at the start of a meeting here with Abdullah bin Zayed, the United Arab Emirates foreign minister. “But we’re looking for ways in which to try to find a common ground.”

Philip Hammond, the British foreign secretary whom Mr. Kerry is scheduled to meet on Saturday, made a similar point earlier this month.

“We are not saying Assad and all his cronies have to go on day one,” Mr. Hammond told a parliamentary committee. “If there was a process that was agreed, including with the Russians and the Iranians, which took a period of months and there was a transition out during that period of months, we could certainly discuss that.”

The Russian aircraft that arrived in Syria this week followed the deployment of modern T-90 tanks, howitzers, and armored personnel carriers. More than 200 Russian marines have been sent to the air base, and temporary housing has been built for as many as 1,500 personnel.

Mr. Carter’s call to Mr. Shoigu was his first conversation with his Russian counterpart since he took office seven months ago, and it followed Moscow’s proposal that the two sides begin military-to-military talks on Syria. The two men agreed to continue discussions on “mechanisms for deconfliction” in Syria, Peter Cook, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. Mr. Shoigu told Mr. Carter that the Russian military buildup in Syria was defensive in nature, Pentagon officials said.

The prospect that military talks could lead to a broader agreement, however, seemed distant to some former administration officials.

“With respect to getting the Russians to be a useful partner in a political settlement, we’ve tried that twice under better circumstances and failed,” said Michael A. McFaul, a former Obama adviser and ambassador to Russia.

Moreover, experts said both sides were approaching the issue from weakened positions that could complicate a common diplomatic strategy. “The positions of both Moscow and Washington’s proxies are worsening,” said Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“The Russians are going into Syria because the regime’s position in the north is deteriorating,” he noted. “The Pentagon has been unable to recruit and train a viable opposition to fight the Islamic State because the rebels’ main interest is in fighting Mr. Assad. Given divisions between Moscow and Washington, it’s hard to see how you turn convergence on tactical military issues into a collective and viable political strategy to stabilize Syria and end the war.”

But that appears to be precisely Mr. Kerry’s goal. “They allege that they also share the goal of a political transition that leads to a stable, whole, united, secular Syria,” Mr. Kerry said of the Russians on Britain’s Channel 4. “The question always remains, Where is Assad’s place and role within that? And that’s what we need to have more conversation on.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/19/world/europe/us-to-begin-military-talks-with-russia-on-syria.html?emc=edit_au_20150918&nl=afternoonupdate&nlid=42724716&_r=0

US, Russian defense chiefs discuss Syria’s “deconfliction”

DEBKAfile September 19, 2015, 10:57 AM (IDT)

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu held talks Friday on “areas where their perspectives overlap and areas of divergence,” according to the Pentagon spokesman. He said that Carter emphasized the importance of these consultations running in parallel with diplomatic talks to ensure a political transition in Syria and defeat ISIL. DEBKAfile: The two powers differ on two major issues:: US Secretary of State John Kerry has insisted that Bashar Assad cannot have “a long-term presence in power,” whereas Russia says that helping Assad’s military is the best way to fight ISIS. Russia has set up a military operations base in the coastal province of Latakia and is pumping in personnel and hardware to the embattled country to shore up the Assad regime.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/12747/US-Russian-defense-chiefs-discuss-Syria%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cdeconfliction%E2%80%9D

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China’s Silk Road project gets port in Turkey

By Asia Unhedged on September 18, 2015

Chinese economic cooperation with Turkey is yet to reach catalytic proportions and has been complicated by issues involving ethnic Uyghurs in China.

But COSCO, China’s state-owned shipping and logistics giant, is turning things around. It joined a consortium to buy a controlling stake in a Turkish container terminal, giving China’s new “Silk Road” route into Europe a big step forward.

COSCO Pacific, a subsidiary of shipping company China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO) entered a joint venture with two state-owned enterprises: the shipping firm China Merchants Holdings (International) and CIC Capital, a subsidiary of the state investment firm China Investment.

Kumport area in Port of Ambarli

The joint venture bought about 65% of Kumport Terminal in the Port of Ambarli from Fina Liman Holding for $940 million, said China Merchants Holdings on Thursday. This will be China’s first facility in Turkey, and China Merchants linked the deal to China’s “belt and road” plans.

The terminal’s port is on the European side of the Marmara Sea about 35 kilometers from the Bosphorus Strait, a gateway to the Black Sea. COSCO Pacific said the terminal can handle 1.84 million standard containers a year, but the figure can grow to 3.5 million, reported Caixin. The terminal could also develop businesses with Piraeus Container Terminal in Greece, in which COSCO Pacific in an investor.

The remainder of the terminal is owned by the State General Reserve Fund in Oman.

http://atimes.com/2015/09/chinas-silk-road-project-gets-port-in-turkey/

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Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* FT:German banks at risk of ‘alarming’ profit fall

German banks are at risk of suffering an “alarming” fall in profits in the next four years because Europe’s persistently low interest rates are wiping out their income, the country’s financial watchdogs warned on Friday.

Profits at banks across the eurozone have been squeezed since the financial crisis, as the European Central Bank has held rates unusually low in an attempt to revive the bloc’s battered economy…..BaFin and the Bundesbank did not review the 21 biggest banks in Germany, including the likes of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, which are supervised directly by the ECB. However, the lenders that they did cover play a significant role in the German economy, as they are important lenders to the Mittelstand — the bevy of small and medium-sized companies central to Germany’s economic strength.

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Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* Federated Defense in the Middle East

This study examines the potential for a “federated defense” approach to U.S. action in the Middle East, the constraints to closer military cooperation in the region, and specific capability areas that would benefit from federated defense. Stabilizing the Middle East requires continued attention and investment from the United States and its global allies and partners.

Federated defense involves building partner capabilities in a way that shares the burden of providing security in a more effective and efficient manner. Federated defense would, over time, create partner capabilities that augment and complement U.S. capabilities. Doing so requires identifying discrete areas of cooperation between the United States and its allies and partners that would leverage partner capabilities in pursuing common security objectives. A more clearly defined strategic approach would improve communication, more effectively distribute the financial burden, better leverage complementary capabilities, and institutionalize senior-level dialogue on strategic goals and priorities.

http://csis.org/publication/federated-defense-middle-east

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Putin in greeting to Netanyahu: We will act responsibly

DEBKAfile September 21, 2015, 2:34 PM (IDT)

President Vladimir Putin Monday received Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a large military delegation at the presidential residence outside Moscow. Netanyahu: We are meeting to avert collisions between the Russian troops posted to Syria and the IDF. Putin: We have always acted responsibly in military matters and will continue to conduct ourselves in the same manner in Syria.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/12774/Putin-in-greeting-to-Netanyahu-We-will-act-responsibly

Netanyahu in Moscow: Joint mechanism to avert misunderstandings

DEBKAfile September 21, 2015, 6:28 PM (IDT)

Prime Minister Binyamin told reporters after his talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Monday that they had agreed to set up a joint mechanism to prevent misunderstandings occurring between IDF and Russian forces. “My purpose – which was to initiate coordination for preventing misunderstandings on our northern border – was accomplished.” He said he informed Putin in no uncertain terms that “we would not put up with Iran setting armed groups against us and would pursue operations as we have hitherto to foil such actions.” He went on to say: “I don’t think I heard any questions about this right.” Netanyahu said he found in Putin a willingness, regardless of Russia’s intentions in Syria, to stay out actions Iran might wage against Israel from Syria.” DEBKAfile: The prime minister’s words indicate that Putin offered no commitment to prevent Iranian aggression against Israel from Syria, indicating that this was not up to Moscow..

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/12778/Netanyahu-in-Moscow-Joint-mechanism-to-avert-misunderstandings

Turkish president meets Putin to discuss Syrian military aid

DEBKAfile September 23, 2015, 7:50 PM (IDT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan met in Moscow on Wednesday and discussed Russia’s arming and strengthening of the Syrian military, which Ankara opposes. Erdogan also attended the opening of the new mosque in Moscow where he mentioned the ongoing refugee crisis, saying that his country has taken in two million Syrian refugees. The Turkish leader is also scheduled to meet Putin again on Thursday to discuss the restarting of a project to supply Russian gas to Turkey via the Black Sea.

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Most Palestinians no longer support two-state solution*

RAMALLAH, Palestine: More than half of Palestinians no longer support a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel, a survey released Monday showed, rejecting the goal that has underpinned four decades of international diplomacy. The poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a leading research group in the Palestinian territories, found that 51 percent of Palestinians oppose the two-state solution while 48 percent support it.

The figures were down from 51 percent support and 48 percent opposition three months ago. The survey was carried out on 1,270 people in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza from Sept. 17-19.

The two-state solution – an independent Palestine existing side-by-side with Israel – has been the broad objective of negotiations since the mid-1970s and the overriding focus of U.S.-led diplomacy for the past 20 years.

Perhaps more worrying from a sentiment point of view is that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (65 percent) said they did not believe the two-state solution was any longer practical because of Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank.

The survey was conducted at a time of heightened Israeli-Palestinian tension, particularly over a Jerusalem shrine holy to Muslims and Jews.

It also comes amid deep rifts in Palestinian politics between the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist group Hamas, which is in charge in Gaza.

“Additionally, the developments indicated in this poll might have also been triggered by anger at the Arab world as the overwhelming majority believes that Arabs no longer care about the fate of the Palestinians,” the director of the poll, Khalil Shikaki, wrote in a commentary.

As well as increased doubts about the prospects for a peaceful resolution with the Israelis, there is deep-seated mistrust of Abbas and the Palestinian leadership and growing support for a return to armed conflict with Israel.

Nearly two-thirds of Palestinians (65 percent) want Abbas, who has been president for 10 years, to resign. Furthermore, satisfaction with his performance as president has fallen from 44 percent three months ago to 38 percent.

If new elections were held in the Palestinian territories, 35 percent say they would vote for Hamas and 35 percent for Fatah, down from 39 percent three months ago.

Asked what the most effective way of establishing an independent Palestinian state next to Israel would be, 42 percent said armed action and 29 percent said negotiation. Three months ago only 36 percent said armed action.

The day before Israeli elections in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch, only to reverse himself days later and recommit to the longstanding objective of a two-state solution. However, the survey showed 78 percent of Palestinians think the chances of getting their own state in the next five years are “slim to non-existent.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 22, 2015, on page 9.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Sep-22/316161-most-palestinians-no-longer-support-two-state-solution.ashx

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Middle East

Who’s Who in Egypt’s New Cabinet*

Egypt’s new cabinet, headed by former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail, was sworn in before president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday. Ahram Online compiles biographies

of the Prime Minister, and his 33-minister cabinet.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/141883/Egypt/Politics-/Whos-Who-in-Egypts-New-Cabinet.aspx

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*Massenbach’sRecommendation*

France May Have Found a Buyer for Its Two Mistral Warships – to Egypt?

Alert: France Confirms Sale of Two Mistrals Built for Russia to Egypt*

(Anmerkung: Russia has a say whom to sell. UvM)

September 18, 2015 by Reuters

The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, November 25, 2014.

PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – France is confident it will wrap up the sale of two Mistral warships to a new buyer in the next few weeks after it cancelled their delivery to Russia, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the newspaper Le Monde.

“Several countries have lined up to buy the two boats,” Le Drian said in an interview published on Friday. “I am rather optimistic about the fact we’ll find a buyer in the coming weeks.”

Sources close to the matter told Reuters last month that France was in talks to sell the two helicopter carriers to Egypt after their sale to Russia was cancelled.

Cairo has sought to boost its military power in the face of a two-year-old insurgency based in the Sinai peninsula and a conflict in neighbouring Libya that could spill over into Egypt.

A sale would also fit France’s recent strategy of favouring predominantly Sunni Arab nations, both politically and commercially, over their Shi’ite rival Iran. (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015

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IPG: Unser "Son of a Bitch" – Der Weg über die UNO kann und muss wieder eingeschlagen werden.

Schluss mit "Regimechange" in Syrien! Der Zwei-Fronten-Krieg gegen den Islamischen Staat und Baschar al-Assad führt in eine Katastrophe.

Das anhaltende Blutvergießen in Syrien ist nicht nur die mit Abstand größte humanitäre Katastrophe weltweit, sondern auch eine der gravierendsten geopolitischen Gefahren. Und der aktuelle Ansatz der Vereinigten Staaten – nämlich einen Zwei-Fronten-Krieg gegen den Islamischen Staat und das Regime von Präsident Baschar al-Assad zu führen – ist kläglich gescheitert. Die Lösung der Syrien-Krise und damit auch der sich verschärfenden Flüchtlingskrise in Europa muss über den Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen erfolgen.

Die Syrien-Strategie der USA gründet in einer seltsamen – und erfolglosen – Vereinigung zweier Plattformen amerikanischer Außenpolitik. Die eine umfasst den etablierten amerikanischen Sicherheitsapparat, einschließlich Militär, Geheimdienste und deren getreue Anhänger im US-Kongress. Die andere Plattform hat ihren Ursprung in der Menschenrechtsgemeinschaft. Die eigentümliche Fusion der beiden wurde in zahlreichen US-Kriegen im Nahen und Mittleren Osten sowie in Afrika deutlich. Leider waren die Ergebnisse bisher durchwegs verheerend.

Das Sicherheits-Establishment bezieht seine Motivation aus der Tatsache, dass die politischen Entscheidungsträger der USA ihr Heil seit langem in militärischer Gewalt und verdeckten Operationen zum Sturz von Regimen suchen, die man als abträglich für amerikanische Interessen betrachtet. Angefangen bei dem Sturz der demokratisch gewählten Regierung von Mohammad Mossadegh im Iran im Jahr 1953 und dem „anderen 9/11“ (dem von den USA unterstützten Militärputsch gegen den demokratisch gewählten chilenischen Präsidenten Salvador Allende 1973) über Afghanistan, Irak, Libyen und mittlerweile auch Syrien: die Devise des US-Sicherheitsapparates lautete Regimewechsel.

Gleichzeitig unterstützten Teile der Menschenrechtsgemeinschaft die jüngsten Militärinterventionen der USA auf Grundlage der „Schutzverantwortung”. Diese von der UN-Generalversammlung im Jahr 2005 einstimmig verabschiedete Doktrin besagt, dass die internationale Gemeinschaft zur Intervention verpflichtet ist, eine von ihrer eigenen Regierung massiv attackierte Zivilbevölkerung zu schützen. Angesichts der Brutalität von Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Gaddafi und Assad machten einige Menschenrechtsaktivisten gemeinsame Sache mit dem amerikanischen Sicherheits-Establishment, während China, Russland und andere argumentierten, die Schutzverantwortung diene als Vorwand für die von den USA angeführten Regimewechsel.

Die Menschenrechtsaktivisten hätten schon vor langer Zeit erkennen sollen, dass das vom amerikanischen Sicherheits-Establishment propagierte Modell des Regimewechsels nicht funktioniert. Was wie eine „rasche Lösung“ zum Schutz der lokalen Bevölkerungen und der US-Interessen aussieht, schlägt oftmals in Chaos, Anarchie, Bürgerkrieg und aufkeimende humanitäre Krisen um, wie in Afghanistan, dem Irak, Libyen und mittlerweile auch in Syrien zu sehen ist. Die Gefahr eines Misserfolgs vervielfacht sich, wenn der UN-Sicherheitsrat als Ganzes den militärischen Teil einer Intervention nicht unterstützt.

Die US-Intervention in Syrien kann auch auf Entscheidungen des Sicherheits-Establishments vor 25 Jahren zurückgeführt werden, die damals von der Sowjetunion unterstützten Regime im Nahen und Mittleren Osten zu stürzen. Der damalige stellvertretende Verteidigungsminister Paul Wolfowitz erklärte gegenüber General Wesley Clark im Jahr 1991: „Wir fanden heraus, dass wir in der Region ungestraft intervenieren konnten, ohne dass die Sowjets etwas unternahmen, um uns aufzuhalten… [Uns stehen nun] etwa fünf bis zehn Jahre zur Verfügung, um diese alten sowjetischen „Stellvertreterregime” – Irak, Syrien und andere – auszuschalten, bevor die nächste Supermacht [China] auf den Plan tritt, um uns in der Region herauszufordern.”

Ebenso wie die USA hat auch Russland ein starkes Interesse an Stabilität in Syrien und an einer Niederschlagung des Islamischen Staates, aber man hat kein Interesse, den USA zu erlauben, in Syrien ein Regime ihrer Wahl zu installieren.

Als die Al-Kaida am 11. September 2001 die USA attackierte, wurde dieser Anschlag vom etablierten US-Sicherheitsapparat als Vorwand für den von ihr lang ersehnten Krieg zum Sturz Saddams benutzt. Als ein Jahrzehnt später die Proteste des Arabischen Frühlings ausbrachen, betrachtete das Sicherheits-Establishment die plötzliche Verwundbarkeit der Regierungen Gaddafis und Assads als ähnliche Gelegenheit, in Libyen und Syrien neue Regime zu installieren. So jedenfalls lautete die Theorie.

Im Falle Syriens forderten auch Amerikas regionale Verbündete die Administration von Präsident Barack Obama auf, gegen Assad vorzugehen. Saudi Arabien wollte Assad eliminiert wissen, um einen Klientelstaat des Iran – des Erzrivalen Saudi Arabiens um die regionale Vorherrschaft – zu schwächen. Israel wollte Assad eliminiert wissen, um die Versorgungslinien des Iran zur Hisbollah im Südlibanon zu schwächen. Und die Türkei wollte Assad eliminiert wissen, um ihre strategische Reichweite auszudehnen und die südliche Grenze zu stabilisieren.

Die humanitäre Gemeinde stimmte in den Chor des Regimewechsels ein, als Assad auf die Forderungen der Demonstranten des arabischen Frühlings nach politischer Liberalisierung mit dem Einsatz der Armee und paramilitärischer Verbände antwortete. Von März bis August 2011 töteten Assads Truppen etwa 2.000 Menschen. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt erklärte Obama, dass Assad „weichen“ müsste.

Das volle Ausmaß der danach erfolgten amerikanischen Operationen in Syrien ist unbekannt. Auf diplomatischer Ebene organisierten die USA die hauptsächlich aus westlichen Ländern und ihren Verbündeten im Nahen Osten bestehende Gruppe der „Freunde Syriens“, die sich zum Sturz Assads bekannte. Die CIA begann verdeckt mit der Türkei zusammenzuarbeiten, um Waffen, Geld und nicht tödliche Unterstützung für die so genannte „Freie Syrische Armee“ und andere Aufständische zu organisieren, die Assad stürzen wollen.

Herausgekommen ist eine einzige Katastrophe. Während von März bis August 2011 etwa 100.000 Zivilisten getötet wurden– also ungefähr 3.200 pro Monat – erreichte die Zahl der Todesopfer, einschließlich der Kämpfer, zwischen September 2011 und April 2015 einen Wert von etwa 310.000, monatlich also 10.000. Und angesichts der Tatsache, dass der Islamische Staat und andere brutale extremistische Gruppen Kapital aus der Anarchie aufgrund des Bürgerkriegs schlagen, ist die Aussicht auf Frieden weiter entfernt als je zuvor.

Von den USA angeführte oder unterstützte militärische Interventionen in Afghanistan, dem Irak und Libyen haben zu ähnlichen Debakeln geführt. Der Sturz eines Regimes ist eine Sache; es durch eine stabile und legitimierte Regierung zu ersetzen, eine ganz andere.

Wenn die USA bessere Ergebnisse anstreben, sollte man die Alleingänge beenden. Die USA können ihren Willen anderen nicht unilateral aufzwingen und die entsprechenden Versuche haben lediglich andere mächtige Länder, einschließlich China und Russland, gegen sie aufgebracht. Ebenso wie die USA hat auch Russland ein starkes Interesse an Stabilität in Syrien und an einer Niederschlagung des Islamischen Staates, aber man hat kein Interesse, den USA zu erlauben, in Syrien oder anderswo in der Region Regime ihrer Wahl zu installieren. Aus diesem Grund sind bisher auch alle Bemühungen des UN-Sicherheitsrates, eine gemeinsame Position zu Syrien zu finden, gescheitert.

Doch der Weg über die UNO kann und muss wieder eingeschlagen werden. Das Nuklearabkommen zwischen dem Iran und den fünf ständigen Mitgliedern des Sicherheitsrates (USA, China, Frankreich, Russland und Großbritannien) plus Deutschland, bot gerade eine eindrucksvolle Demonstration der Führungsfähigkeit des Sicherheitsrates. Diese Führungsqualität kann man auch im Hinblick auf Syrien an den Tag legen, wenn die USA von ihrer unilateralen Forderung nach einem Regimewechsel abrücken und mit dem Rest des Sicherheitsrates, einschließlich China und Russland, hinsichtlich eines gemeinsamen Ansatzes zusammenarbeiten.

In Syrien führt nur Multilateralismus zum Erfolg. Die UNO bleibt die größte – und eigentlich einzige – Hoffnung der Welt, das Blutbad in Syrien zu beenden und die Flüchtlingsströme nach Europa einzudämmen.

(c) Project Syndicate

Von: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Veröffentlicht am 18.09.2015

Zur Person

Jeffrey D. Sachs

New York

Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs ist Professor für Sustainable Development, Health Policy und Management sowie Direktor des Earth Institutes an der Columbia University in New York. Er ist zudem Special Adviser des Generalsekretärs der Vereinten Nationen für die Millennium Development Goals.

http://www.ipg-journal.de/kolumne/artikel/unser-son-of-a-bitch-1072/

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Volkswagen’s cheating and China’s exports showcase diesel woes

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Sept 22 (Reuters) – – It may seem to be stretching a rather long bow to link the overbuilding of refining capacity in Asia and the Middle East to Volkswagen’s woes in the United States, but the common thread is the threat to diesel’s dominance of the oil barrel.The commissioning in recent years of a slew of advanced refineries, which aim to maximise diesel output and run on heavy, sour crude grades, has boosted supplies of the transport fuel in both Asia and Middle East.While some of these refineries were built in order to serve domestic demand, some were aimed at snaring export markets in Europe, Africa and elsewhere.

However, refining capacity appears to have been overbuilt, particularly in China, resulting in rising exports of refined products, particularly diesel.These exports are hitting the market at the same point that the outlook for diesel appears to be weakening. While not directly related, the admission by Volkswagen that the German carmaker rigged emissions tests of diesel-powered vehicles in the United States is symptomatic of a wider problem.

While Volkswagen’s motivation is most likely commercial, insofar as it wanted to make its cars pass the emissions tests without the need for expensive engine modifications or additional pollution control devices, it does underline that diesel’s popularity is waning.

For several years diesel gained market share over gasoline, particularly in Europe, where governments encouraged motorists to switch to diesel in the belief that its superior fuel economy would outweigh the higher pollutants per litre burned.

This trend was starting to be replicated in Asia, especially given the increase in popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which tend to perform better and with greater economy when fitted with diesel motors instead of gasoline units.

In turn, refiners spotting this trend and invested in building plants to produce more diesel, normally by upgrading fuel oil into the higher value product.

Volkswagen’s troubles aren’t the only problem facing diesel, with some countries considering changing arrangements that favour diesel over gasoline, with France leading the way by stating it wanted to progressively phase out diesel cars from this year onwards – a big step in a country where diesel vehicles used to represent about two-thirds of total sales.

In what may be seen as ironic, Volkswagen is one of the leading manufacturers helping to make gasoline cars more attractive by producing small-capacity turbocharged units that offer similar power, torque and fuel economy to diesel units, as well as arguably a more enjoyable driving experience.

EXPORTS RAMP UP AS DEMAND GROWTH SLOWS

In Asia, several countries that used to heavily subsidise diesel, such as India and Indonesia, have phased out support, leaving diesel more exposed to market prices and thereby discouraging the purchase of diesel vehicles.

Slower industrial demand in China and a weak mining sector in Australia are also limiting demand growth in the Asia region.

Chinese trade data is a case in point for the issues surrounding diesel in Asia, with exports DL-CNEXP rising to a record 722,516 tonnes in August, equivalent to about 174,800 barrels per day (bpd).

This was a 77 percent jump on July’s figure, taking the year-to-date gain to 9.3 percent.

To put this in perspective, China’s diesel exports have been trending sharply higher since the recent low in September 2014, when they were about 15,650 bpd.

These Chinese exports are finding their way into an increasingly oversupplied diesel market, given the cargoes now coming from new refineries in the Middle East, such as the 400,000 bpd Yanbu plant in Saudi Arabia, which started exports last year, barely a year after the similar-sized Jubail refinery, also in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

In addition, the shale oil boom in the United States has seen that country turn into a large exporter of diesel as its refineries maximise output in order to cash in on high margins for gasoline in the domestic market.

Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts estimates that the total supply of diesel from the major exporting regions of Asia, the Middle East and the United States have gained 5 percent more than 8 million tonnes, or about 2 million bpd, in 2014-15 from the 2011-13 period.

With more refineries due to come on line in the next few years, the likelihood is that the diesel surplus will grow, cutting into refinery margins.

The profit from refining a barrel of diesel from Dubai crude in Singapore has dropped from almost $20 a barrel in December last year to a low of $7.39 on July 30, although it has since recovered to $14.73 on Monday.

Nonetheless, it has spent most of this year below the $15 level, which is viewed as the margin most refiners would want to see maintained in order to make their plants sustainable on a long-term basis.

Worryingly for refiners, it appears that diesel margins have moved structurally lower and will struggle as supply growth is likely to outweigh demand growth for years to come.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/column-russell-fuel-asia-idUSL4N11S1G320150922

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Serbien

moderated by Srecko Velimirovic

MAGDEBURG – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic received on behalf of the OSCE the Kaiser-Otto-Prize 2015 at Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany, on Saturday, stressing that receiving this prestigious award is a particular honor as this is the first time it has been presented to an organization. http://www.tanjug.rs/full-view_en.aspx?izb=200016

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BELGRADE – The conditions for more comprehensive cooperation between Serbia and Iran have been created, especially in the sector of energy and mining, Iranian Deputy Minister for Industry, Mine and Trade Valiollah Afkhamirad said on Friday.

During the meeting of the Iranian delegation with Serbian businessmen in the Iranian Embassy in Belgrade, Ambassador of Iran Majid Fahim Pour stated that he is ready to provide assistance in every possible way in view f strengthening the two countries‘ relations. http://www.tanjug.rs/full-view_en.aspx?izb=199892

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Kurdistan

US forces on ground in Syria – assisting Kurdish rebels

DEBKAfile September 17, 2015, 8:17 AM (IDT)

US CENTCOM chief Gen. Lloyd Austin reportedly revealed Wednesday that US Special Operations Forces are “engaged” with Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) rebel forces fighting in Syria. He said they were there to “advise and assist” and “not engaged in any combat operations.” YPG combatants have seized large stretches of northern Syria from ISIS and Syrian government forces. Turkey, which is America’s ally against ISIS, is also fighting the Turkish-Kurdish PKK, which is a partner of the YPG.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/12715/US-forces-on-ground-in-Syria-%E2%80%93-assisting-Kurdish-rebels

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Centcom Spokesman: Syrian Kurd Fighters Disrupt ISIL Movement

WASHINGTON, September 19, 2015 — Gains made by Syrian Kurd fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have also lent support to Iraq’s fight against the extremist group by disrupting ISIL’s freedom of movement between the two countries, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference, Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder emphasized U.S. and coalition forces are also supporting and enabling Syrian Kurd opposition fighters in its train-and-equip program.

For nearly a year, other indigenous forces, such as Syrian Kurd fighters, have had support as they fought to save the town of Kobani, Syria, from ISIL, he said. “And the number of forces have continued to grow,” he added.

Since the start of the fight against ISIL, Syrian Kurds have achieved “significant effects” in the Northeast part of Syria, he said.

“[Syrian Kurds] pushed ISIL back and in the process, regained more than 17,000 square kilometers of territory –more than 6,500 square miles — previously held by the enemy,” Ryder noted.

“They’ve also retaken critical border crossing points between Syria and Turkey, including Kobani [and] Tal Abyad, and going forward, this should help abate the flow of foreign fighters into Syria,” he said.

With Syrian Kurds disrupting ISIL’s movement in Iraq and Syria, Ryder said the Kurds’ gains should over time help to further stabilize and improve security inside Iraq.

“So, we want to see these anti-ISIL forces operating in Syria continue to be successful,” he said.

In a fight as complex as fighting ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria, Ryder said “it should be expected” the United States can and will employ every available asset to disrupt and degrade the enemy.

“Going forward, we will continue to pursue opportunities as they present themselves across what is a very complex and dynamic battlefield,” he said.

http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/617879/centcom-spokesman-syrian-kurd-fighters-disrupt-isil-movement?source=GovDelivery

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Germany starts training Peshmerga in WMD defense*

MAINZ, Germany – Germany has expanded its military training for Peshmerga forces to include instruction on defending against weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), following poison gas attacks on the Kurdistan Region’s forces last month.

The German army, or Bundeswehr, released a statement Thursday confirming the expansion of the training to include tactics on protecting against WMDs and fighting with protective gear.

“From putting the masks on properly to caring for wounded comrades under WMD protection, they (Peshmerga soldiers) practice again and again what they have learned. Even targeting will be practiced, due to the restricted view with a mask on,” the Bundeswehr said.

“The entire training team is satisfied,” it added, quoting a German staff sergeant who said: “The (Peshmerga) group is very motivated and eager to learn. They reflect exactly what we tell them in training and make even more suggestions.”

Following a suspected poison gas attack by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) on Kurdish forces on the Makhmour front in August, samples were taken by German military experts, who early this month confirmed the use of mustard gas by the terrorists.

“We have knowledge of ISIS using mustard gas against Kurds in North Iraq,” German Federal Intelligence Service chief Gerhard Schindler said at the time.

Since ISIS overran huge parts of Iraq and reportedly seized an old chemical weapons facility late last year, Kurdish officials had warned about possible chemical weapons attacks by the jihadists.

Erbil had requested allies for special protective equipment against possible poison gas attacks and training in anti-WMD warfare.

According to the German intelligence chief, the combat agent used by ISIS, which is prohibited by the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), originates either from old stocks of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “or the Islamists have managed to produce the toxic gas themselves, after they took the University of Mosul with its chemistry laboratories.”

Although Germany is not an active partner of the US-led coalition against ISIS, it is among countries arming the Kurdish forces directly, providing military supplies and training.

For a year now, about 90 German soldiers have been stationed in the Kurdistan Region to train Peshmerga forces in military tactics, especially in urban warfare. The Peshmerga forces are traditionally used to guerrilla warfare in the mountainous Kurdish regions of the Middle East.

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see our letter on:

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*

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