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Sat, 22nd July 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “israel” Tag

“Islamic State Leader Baghdadi Is Still Alive” Iraq, Kurds Claim

Less than a week after Reuters confirmed a previous report from the Russian foreign ministry, that Islamic State head Aby Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed during an airstrike in Syria, conflicting reports have emerged about Baghdadi’s death, with the Iraqi interior ministry first cited by Al-Arabiya that the terrorist group head is “likely still alive and hiding near Raqqa”, and subsequently a top Kurdish counter-terrorism official echoing the same, and telling Reuters that “he was 99 percent sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after reports that he had been killed.”

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“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview, adding “don’t forget his roots go back to al Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing.”

 By now, however, it no longer matters whether the “leader” is alive or dead: after Iraqi security forces retook Mosul from ISIS control last week, and the group under growing pressure in Raqqa, ISIS is scattered and on the run. If anything, Baghdadi has become a liability to others and himself.

Recall that it was the Islamic State which originally reported Baghdadi’s death, perhaps as a means of easing the blow from the ongoing ISIS failure:

“Daesh organisation (IS) circulated a brief statement through its media in the (IS-held) town of Tal Afar in the west of Mosul, confirming the killing of its leader al-Baghdadi without giving further details,” Xinhua news agency cited Iraqi news agency al-Sumaria News as saying. “Daesh called on the (IS) militants to continue their steadfastness in the redoubts of the caliphate and not being dragged behind the sedition.”

Still, Talabany said the Islamic State was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group. After defeat, Islamic State would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on “steroids”, he said. Which likely means more unrest in Europe.

As Reuters also adds, the future leaders of Islamic State were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin which originally reported news of Baghdadi’s death now appears to be backing off, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying the Kremlin has “no precise info on ISIL leader al-Baghdadi’s death”, adding that “conflicting reports on the matter keep coming.”

Emerging Markets :An Update

  • Malaysia’s central bank said it will allow investors to fully hedge their currency exposure.
  • Egypt declared a 3-month state of emergency after two deadly church attacks.
  • South Africa’s parliamentary no confidence vote has been delayed
  • Argentina central bank surprised markets with a 150 bp hike to 26.25%.
  • Brazil central bank accelerated the easing cycle with a 100 bp cut in the Selic rate.
In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, South Africa (+3.1%), Turkey (+2.5%), and the Philippines (+0.9%) have outperformed this week, while Russia (-3.9%), Peru (-3.4%), and Brazil (-2.6%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -0.3% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.7%.
 
In the EM local currency bond space, South Africa (10-year yield -18 bp), Poland (-8 bp), and Indonesia (-8 bp) have outperformed this week, while Brazil (10-year yield +11 bp), Peru (+9 bp), and Colombia (+9 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield fell 15 bp to 2.24%.
 
In the EM FX space, ZAR (+2.5% vs. USD), RUB (+1.9% vs. USD), and ARS (+1.2% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while HUF (-0.9% vs. EUR), KRW (-0.5% vs. USD), and PLN (-0.5% vs. EUR) have underperformed.

Egypt Officials Release First Footage Of EgyptAir Debris; Find Airplane Black Boxes

Following two days of searching, Egyptian crews have located the data recorders for EgyptAir Flight 804 close to an area where human remains and debris from the crashed flight have been found, CBS News reports citing government sources.

Planes and vessels from Egypt and five other countries – Greece, Britain, France, the United States and Cyprus – continued searching a wide area of the eastern Mediterranean on Saturday, a day after the Egyptian military found debris from the passenger jet in the sea 180 miles north of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. The waters in the area are 8,000 to 10,000 feet deep, and the pings from the black boxes can be detected up to a depth of 20,000 feet.

Once found, the black boxes will determine the reason for the crash. On Friday, the widely accepted theory that a terrorist attack was responsible for the crash was put in question when new information was transmitted from the flight indicating that smoke was detected on the plane before it crashed. According to the sources, the information indicates smoke was coming from one of the engines. The data was transmitted through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which sends snapshots of engine performance throughout the flight.

Adding to the confusion, however, is the insistence of Egyptian authorities who believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight suggests a bomb blast or a struggle in the cockpit. But so far no hard evidence has emerged.

Arab League to Hold Emergency Meeting Over Netanyahu’s

The Council of the Arab League will hold on Thursday an extraordinary meeting at the level of permanent envoys to discuss Israeli Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu remarks about the Golan Heights, local media reported Tuesday, citing Kuwait’s permanent representative at the organization.

On Sunday, Netanyahu held Israel’s first Cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights, declaring the territory would remain permanently under the country’s control.

“Kuwait has demanded to hold this meeting to discuss the challenges due to the dangerous statements regarding the occupied Arab-Syrian Golans. These statements are steps toward escalation and constitute a blatant violation of the principles of international law and international decisions,” the Kuwaiti diplomat was quoted as saying by Egypt’s al-Ahram newspaper.

The meeting will be convened upon Kuwait and Bahrain’s request, the daily specified.

The Golan Heights, internationally recognized as Syrian territory, was seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 1981, the Israeli parliament voted to annex two-thirds of the region.

Turkey’s Erdogan tells Russia not to play with fire

Turkish president on the wires with strong words for Russia

He’s been speaking for a few minutes but the comments are getting stronger

  • Does not want to harm relations with Russia
  • Warns that Russia must not play with fire
  • Dismisses the allegations that Turkey buys IS oil as slander
  • Says US has documented evidence that Russian companies and IS are selling oil to Syria
  • Says Putin’s comments after meeting Hollande were unacceptable
  • Turkey did not intentionally down Russian jet
  • Will try to talk to Putin at climate summit in Paris (oh to be a fly on that wall)

How he’s trying to suggest that they unintentionally shot down the jet is beyond me. According to Turkey they warned it 10 times then pulled the trigger. That’s hardly unintentional

Russia working on ‘package of measures’ to respond to incidents

Comments from Russian defense minister

  • Downing of Russian plane is ‘hostile act’
  • Issued formal protest to Turkish defence attaché
  • Working on a package of measures to respond to such incidents
  • Russia to continue fighting terrorists in Syria

Let’s see what Russia has in store. The important line is ‘hostile act’ not ‘act of war’. It’s a good signal that Russia isn’t going to hit back at Turkey with its military.

US Issues Worldwide Travel Alert

In light of the recent wave of terror attacks, the US State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert.

 “US citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation,” the alert reads, citing concerns of Boko Haram, al-Quada, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and other terrorist groups.

“Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq.”

The State Department advises US citizens to:

-Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor media reports as it relates to travel.

-Be prepared for additional security screening.

-Keep family members informed of travel plans.

-Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

The announcement after a series of recent attacks, in particular, the hostage situation at a hotel in Mali last week, the coordinated attacks in Paris on November 13, and the downing of Russian Metrojet A321 over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31.

Russian passenger plane with over 200 onboard crashes in central Sinai, confirms Egypt PM

egypt plane, egypt plane crash, egypt plane crash, egypt news, egypt plane news, world news, egypt live, breaking news, latest news, africa newsA Russian passenger plane with over 200 people on board crashed in Sinai, confirmed Egypt PM.

Egypt’s air accident chief said on Saturday that a missing passenger plane on its way to Russia had safely left Egyptian airspace and made contact with Turkish air traffic control.

 Egyptian air traffic control had lost contact with a civilian airliner carrying 212 people shortly after it had took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to head to Russia, aviation sources said on Saturday.

The sources said the passenger plane was mainly carrying Russian tourists.

Jerusalem should be capital of two states: Top EU diplomat

The European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said on Saturday that Jerusalem “should be the capital of two states”, as tensions gripped the holy city hit by Israeli-Palestinian violence.

“I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” Mogherini told reporters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, touching on a sensitive issue that has blocked peace efforts for decades.

Her appeal, at a joint news conference with Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, came hours after the killing of an Arab-Israeli by police fanned tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

The shooting in northern Israel came after another night of clashes in east Jerusalem between youths hurling stones and firecrackers at police, who retaliated with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

The violence has spiked as Israel has pushed ahead with its policy to build Jewish settlements on lands the Palestinians want for a future state and against the background of efforts by Jewish extremists to secure rights to pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.

“Jerusalem is not just a beautiful city, the challenge is to show that Jerusalem can be shared in peace and respect,” said Mogherini.

“The message is not for the people who live here, the message is to the rest of the world,” she said.

“It is not a Palestinian-Israeli situation, it is a global issue.”

On Friday, Mogherini met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who dismissed her criticism of Israeli settlement building in annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“Jerusalem is our capital and as such is not a settlement,” he insisted.

It’s Time For The BRICS To Act To Counter US Destabilization Efforts

It had to happen!  The blame game on that horrendous airline incident, Malaysian Flight MH17, has reached the expected loud monotone of pointing fault, lock, stock and barrel at Russia… and, more specifically, to that villain ex-KGB Slav, Vladimir Putin.
 
US media barrage of grotesque and obscene propaganda against America’s former foe and competitor, whether filtering down from the top or randomly finding placement in the emotions of a brainwashed citizenry, has found a leader of this warring marching band in Barack Obama.  The neocon ruling forces in the US State Department together with the bellicosarians running the Pentagon have found a perfect mouthpiece in the president of the US, an unlikely candidate just a few years ago, to do their bidding in Leo Strauss’ messianic vision to rule the World.
 
America’s few leadership voices of dissent and reasonableness against such ill-conceived propaganda, those of Libertarian Ron Paul and Professor Stephen Cohen (NY University) uniquely standing out, are drowned in a sea of US-poisoned waters where an armada of sanctions is unjustly landing on a nation, Russia, which dares stand for a right to secure its own historic geopolitical status… doing so without expressed or implied ambitions to extend its power and influence over others in the world… as the US does.
 
If blame is to be directed at any nation for the downing of this aircraft, the investigation needs to be pointed at what has transpired during this past year in Ukraine.  It was not Russia, or separatists in Eastern Ukraine, that created Ukraine’s political chaos.  It was the United States using its money and influence over a subservient European Union that brought down the democratically elected government in Kiev and stirred the ultimate separatist unrest.  So, if anyone is deserving of the ultimate, root-cause blame for this sordid loss of life, it should be the United States Machiavellian players now running Washington.  However, we might honor the memory of these innocent victims of flight MH17 by reaching a modus operandi consensus so that incidents such as this do not occur again.
 
But how is the world to counter the power of any nation, or block of nations, running amok to establish some form of supremacy over the rest?