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30. Juni 2015, 00.49 Uhr:

Zum Stand der syrischen Chemwiewaffen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Das nächste Kapitel über das ach so erfolgreiche Chemiewaffenabkommen mit Syrien:

U.S. intelligence agencies believe there is a strong possibility the Assad regime will use chemical weapons on a large scale as part of a last-ditch effort to protect key Syrian government strongholds if Islamist fighters and other rebels try to overrun them, U.S. officials said.

Analysts and policy makers have been poring over all available intelligence hoping to determine what types of chemical weapons the regime might be able to deploy and what event or events might trigger their use, according to officials briefed on the matter. (…)

Since then, the U.S. officials said, the Assad regime has developed and deployed a new type of chemical bomb filled with chlorine, which Mr. Assad could now decide to use on a larger scale in key areas. U.S. officials also suspect the regime may have squirreled away at least a small reserve of the chemical precursors needed to make nerve agents sarin or VX. Use of those chemicals would raise greater international concerns because they are more deadly than chlorine and were supposed to have been eliminated.

The intelligence is “being taken very seriously because he’s getting desperate” and because of doubts within the U.S. intelligence community that Mr. Assad gave up all of his deadliest chemical weapons, a senior U.S. official said.

29. Juni 2015, 16.00 Uhr:

'Erfolgreichster persischer Imperialist'

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

In wenigen Worten:

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stands as one of the most successful Persian imperialists in the history of modern Iran. Today, Khamenei has essential control of much of the Iraqi state, he is the most important external actor in Syria, and Hizbullah provides him with not just a means of manipulating Lebanon’s politics but also shock troops who can be deployed on various war fronts. Iran has embarked on a dramatic new mission and is seeking to project its power into corners of the Middle East in ways that were never possible before. But without an arms control agreement and the financial rewards it will bring, Iran would find it difficult to subsidize this imperial surge.
The massive financial gains from the prospective deal would enable the Islamic Republic’s imperial surge while allowing a repressive regime that was on the brink of collapse in 2009 to consolidate power.

27. Juni 2015, 11.48 Uhr:

Moscheen zu

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die tunesische Regierung zieht Konsequenzen:

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid announced on Friday that the government will be shutting 80 mosques that are outside of state control on the grounds that they may incite violence. The plan, which will be carried out in the next week, follows an attack on a tourist resort hotel in the coastal city of Sousse, around 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of the capital Tunis.

Tunis also plans to crack down on financing for certain associations as a countermeasure against another attack.

26. Juni 2015, 23.43 Uhr:

Vergessener Krieg

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Jemen? Ein Krieg, der keine Schlagzeilen mehr macht:

Talks in Geneva last week ended without a resolution to the conflict, which has claimed more than 2,800 lives, as the Iran-allied Houthi movement and Saudi-backed President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi refused to back down. (…)

Hadi’s Foreign Minister Riad Yassin Abdullah said his government had no interest in organizing a new meeting in Geneva, Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Friday, and would instead work with all parties to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216.

The Houthis reject that resolution, which calls for them to withdraw from captured areas, return seized arms and allow Hadi to return from his Riyadh exile.

Three months after an Arab coalition began air raids in support of Hadi on March 26, the Houthis and allied military units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh remain the dominant force on the ground, and have stepped up attacks on Saudi border posts in recent weeks.

Houthi fighters fired artillery into Saudi Arabia Thursday, killing three Saudi soldiers and one from the United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition. (…)

The United Nations has estimated that more than 21 million people, or 80 percent of the Yemeni population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

26. Juni 2015, 15.46 Uhr:

Erneutes Attentat von Terroristen in Tunesien. Mindestens 27 Tote

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Gastbeitrag von Hannah Magin

Heute am frühen Mittag haben Terroristen am frühen Mittag in der tunesischen Touristenstadt mindestens 27 Menschen getötet und etliche verletzt, so ein Sprecher des tunesischen Innenministeriums. Einer der Attentäter wurde getötet, mindestens ein weiterer ist noch auf der Flucht.

Sousse ist wegen seiner Strände beliebtes Reiseziel für Touristen aus Europa und Nordafrika. Die Attentäter schossen anscheinend auf Touristen vor dem Hotel Marhaba am Strand von Kantawi. Einer Attentäter warf angeblich Granaten nach Touristen, die sich verstecken wollten.

Der Anschlag scheint Teil einer weltweiten konzertierten Aktion von ISIS zu sein. In Kobane starben mindestens 150 Menschen bei einem Angriff von ISIS auf die Stadt nahe der türkischen Grenze. In Kuwait riss ein Selbstmordattentäter in einer Moschee nach den Freitagsgebeten mindestens vier Menschen mit sich in den Tod. In Frankreich versuchte ein Terrorist eine Chemiefabrik zu sprengen, scheiterte aber. Ein Mensch wurde vor Ort geköpft. Der vermeintliche Attentäter wurde von französischen Behörden festgenommen.

ISIS hatte bereits vor einigen Tagen dem tunesischen Staat in einem Video mit Anschlägen gedroht. In dem Video waren Aufnahmen von Deichdämmen und deren Sicherheitsvorkehrungen in Tunesien zu sehen. Damit sollte deutlich gemacht werden, dass selbst Orte von hoher Sicherheitsstufe von den Terroristen erreicht werden können. In Tunesien kam es schon im März zu einem Anschlag mit 22 zivilen Opfern im Museum von Bardo in der Hauptstadt Tunis. Seitdem kam es immer wieder zu Kämpfen zwischen Sicherheitskräften und den terroristischen Gruppen im Land, die Al-Qaida und ISIS nahe stehen. Zuletzt wurden Angehörige des tunesischen Militär in Sidi Bouzid, im Inneren Tunesiens, bei einem Anschlag durch eine Granate getötet.

Etwa 3.500 Tunesier kämpfen für den islamischen Staat und stellen damit die größte ausländische Fraktion. Tunesier sind direkt in die Führung des IS involviert. Heutige Anhänger vom islamischen Staat töteten schon im Februar und August 2013 zwei Oppositionspolitiker in Tunesien.

Seit den Ereignissen im Januar 2011, als das damalige Regime um Machthaber Ben Ali gestürzt wurde, hat sich die wirtschaftliche Krise in Tunesien weiter verschäft. Das Land ist zu einem großen Teil vom Tourismus abhängig, der seitdem eingeknickt ist. Der heutige Anschlag wird die Krise des Tourismussektor noch weiter verschärfen.

Freitag ist der heilige Wochentag für Muslime. Außerdem ist derzeit Ramadan, der heilige Monat im islamischen Kalender. Der Monat Ramadan ist ein beliebter Zeitraum bei Terroristen für Attentate. Letztes Jahr wurden 11 Militärs bei einem Anschlag im Westen Tunesiens von Terroristen getötet, als die Soldaten das Fastenbrechen gemeinsam begangen hatten.

26. Juni 2015, 10.52 Uhr:

Kein Geld für Flüchtlinge

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Internationale Solidarität:

United Nations aid agencies said on Thursday that a $4.5 billion appeal to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 was less than a quarter funded, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk, and had already led to cuts in vital assistance.

The shortfall has meant 1.6 million refugees have had their food assistance cut this year and 750,000 children are not attending school, the agencies and partner organizations said, calling on countries to deliver on their pledges.

“We are so dangerously low on funding that we risk not being able to meet even the most basic survival needs of millions of people over the coming six months,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in the statement which represented more than 200 groups involved in the appeal. (…)

Of the money for the agencies and NGOs only $1.06 billion had been received by the end of May, leaving a $3.47 billion funding gap, the statement said. It did not specify which donors had failed to deliver on their pledges.

23. Juni 2015, 15.23 Uhr:

Regime Change statt Nukleardeal

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Warum Regime Change die einzige Alternative zu einem Nukleardeal ist. Auf den Punkt gebracht von Hussain Abdul-Hussain:

Iran is not about history alone. It is a vast and resourceful country. Its people are smart, funny, generous and loyal. Its tasty cuisine has won international acclaim.

The problem, however, is that instead of helping Iran restore its glory, the world looks at the country from a security prism only. And because a group of ayatollahs with crazy, messianic perspectives have dominated the country since 1979, and because they have been stirring up trouble around the world since then, containing Iran’s despots has become the world’s top priority. Iran’s nuclear program has further aggravated the world’s security fears.

But Iran’s antiquated nuclear program should not have become the world’s obsession. Crazy as they are, Iran’s ayatollahs know that nukes are not toys. They know that the first nuclear missile that leaves Iran will spell the nation’s end as the world responds with force that will leave the country devastated.

Iran’s problem is that — despite its long history and superb potential — it lingers near the bottom of every human rights and freedom index. And, unsurprisingly, Iran’s nepotistic and corrupt despots drove the economy into the ground, placing Iran near the bottom of all kinds of economic and human developments indexes.

For Iran to restore its past glory and live up to its potential, it is imperative that the country replace its current Islamic government with a more inclusive, secular, tolerant and transparent one.

There is no shortcut to change in Iran — it will be long and laborious. Change in Iran requires domestic will and international support, but this must include maintaining the sanctions currently leveraged against the regime.

The current sanctions on Iran are crippling for its despotic government. With some aid to dissidents inside and outside the country, a process of gradual change might give Iranians hope of a better and more representative government.

The Iraq War and the Arab Spring have given change a bad reputation. Yet that should not mean despair or succumbing to autocratic rulers. Democracy, freedom and human rights — not the number of centrifuges — remain ideals that the free world should support anywhere, anytime.

Those who want the sanctions on Iran to remain are not warmongers or Iran-haters. On the contrary, they are supporters of a free and democratic Iran; an Iran worthy of its great history and lovely people. Supporters of the sanctions on Iran want to see change happen the old-fashioned way, rather than change engineered in hotel lobbies in Geneva that gives Iran’s oppressive regime a new lease on life.

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