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Glenn Diesen

Putin is right about the West’s 
endless attempts to woo Kiev: 
Rejecting Ukraine’s history with 
Russia could destroy the country
August 3rd, 12:04pm (RT)
By Glenn Diesen, Professor at the University of South-Eastern 
Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. 
Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has penned an article arguing 
that Russians and Ukrainians, despite the differences between
 their two governments since the 2014 Maidan, are actually 
one people, with a shared history and culture.
Unsurprisingly, the message of unity and regret over current 
political disputes has been met with apoplexy, both among 
Kiev’s more zealous anti-Russia campaigners and the 
West’s political and media classes. For some, Putin’s 
words are even tantamount to a call for the 
annexation of Ukraine.
One people – rocky relations
The article, published just weeks ago on the Kremlin’s website, 
faced an immediate backlash. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr 
Zelensky, immediately came out to reject Putin’s argument 
that Russians and Ukrainians are one people, and that 
there is hope for better relations because of these 
deep ties.
However, inconveniently for Zelensky, it quickly emerged that 
in 2014 he had said the same thing. “We cannot be against 
the Russian people at all, because we are a single people,” 
the then-comedian and TV personality concluded in a 
newspaper article.
Worse still, the Kyiv Post has since published a new poll 
suggesting that 41 percent of Ukrainians, agree with 
Putin’s argument that the two nations are really one
 people. However, there is no suggestion that 41%
 want to give up independence and statehood, 
and Putin made no such defence of the idea 
of absorbing Ukraine into Russia.
NATO has embarked on an expansionist project legitimized 
by the assumption that Russia’s neighbours can only
remain sovereign under the protection of the US-led 
military bloc. The counterargument put forward by 
Putin ---  is that converting Ukraine into an anti-
Russian bulwark, undermines its sovereignty.
Attempting to tear up centuries of common civilizational ties 
has made Ukraine ungovernable, riven with social divisions 
as the multicultural nation is told to turn on its roots. This 
much is clear, from the self-harm inflicted by Kiev’s ‘anti-
terrorist operations’ against its own people, the banning 
of Russian-language cultural products, severing vital 
economic connectivity with Moscow, clamping down 
on the media, and the arrest of the main opposition
 leader, Viktor Medvedchuk.
Putin argues it is already difficult to consider Ukraine a 
sovereign state, as the administration of its politics, 
economy, civil society, and foreign policy has 
largely been outsourced to the US.
“A major geopolitical disaster of the century”
Ideological conformity compels NATO states to celebrate 
the collapse of the Soviet Union as simply a victory of 
liberal democracy over authoritarianism, which 
obscures the challenging legacy of what was 
left in its place. Any efforts, by Moscow, to 
address the problems stemming from the 
new state borders cutting through their 
common civilizational and geopolitical 
space are opportunistically demonized
& propagandized by Western powers.. 
as a nefarious Russian plot to
the Soviet Union.
Putin famously referred to the collapse of the Soviet Union 
as “a major geopolitical disaster of the century” in a 
speech to the Federal Assembly in 2005. The phrase
 is almost mandatory to quote, for Russophobic 
journalists, academics, and politicians who 
seek evidence for the conclusion that 
Putin longs for the restoration of
Soviet Union.
To reach this conclusion, the quote is deprived of all context. 
Putin spoke - at length - about the consequences of having 
tens of millions of Russians left outside Russian territory. 
The Russian president explained how the collapse broke 
apart families, industries, ideals, and institutions, and 
gave rise to terrorism, oligarchs, poverty, and socio-
economic desperation. Thus, the collapse of the 
Soviet Union threatened to also fragment the 
sovereign states that emerged from the 
Soviet Union.
It should not be a controversial argument that the former 
Soviet republics are not traditional Westphalian states 
and have a mutual interest to find ways to cooperate 
across state borders. Yet, translated into rampant 
Russophobia, Putin wants to restore the Soviet 
Union - and NATO must step up to this new 
conflict between liberal democracies 
and authoritarians.
At a summit in April 2008, NATO promised Ukraine future 
membership of the bloc in an effort to supposedly 
protect it from Russia, despite the fact that only 
17% of Ukrainians backed such a move at the 
time. While the West believed this would 
bolster Ukrainian sovereignty, it instead 
set in place the destruction of the 
country’s independence, as Kiev 
could not maintain cohesion
support, for such an
Russian project.
Putin cautioned then-President George W. Bush that attempting
to completely divorce Ukraine from Moscow, would eventually 
undo its statehood, which is also frequently cited as evidence 
of Russian imperialism.
Spheres of interest
In the aftermath of the war in Georgia, in August 2008, the
then President, Dmitry Medvedev, outlined the principle 
of Russian “spheres of interest”   ...to avoid similar 
conflicts in the future. While spheres of influence 
- often used as a term by political scientists -
that a country is under the exclusive
sway of 
another, spheres of interest is a
concept that merely
demands that other 
recognize the complex 
relations at play.
The principle requires the need for real multilateralism 
to include the reality of Russia’s centuries of common 
history, that produced deep socio-economic and 
civilizational ties. Ignoring these spheres of 
interest in the effort of converting Russia’s
neighbours into anti-Russian bulwarks of 
NATO, will predictably create internal 
chaos in these states... and compel 
Moscow to respond.
In 2014, a similar and predictable crisis developed in Ukraine. 
The EU presented Kiev with a civilizational choice between
 the West and Russia in the form of an Association 
Agreement in late 2013, and supported riots
 against President Yanukovich, when he 
failed to make the ‘European choice’.
Before the Maidan, Kiev and Moscow proposed a trilateral 
EU-Ukraine-Russia agreement to resolve the underlying 
problem - Ukraine cannot remain a sovereign state and 
will be torn apart - if it must choose between Russia
 the West.
Simply put, Russia did not demand “spheres of influence” 
as exclusive influence, but acknowledged that such 
spheres exist --- and that disregarding them would 
drive a wedge between Russians and Ukrainians. 
Predictably, Brussels rejected any trilateral 
solution, as all Russian civilizational 
connections with Ukraine, were 
scorned as imperial remnants 
obstructing democracy and 
European integration ---
no intended irony.
Is Ukrainian sovereignty anti-Russian?
In his recent article, Putin wrote that, “I am confident that true
 sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with
 Russia.” This was yet again interpreted as nothing less 
than a Russian veto of Ukrainian statehood. However, if 
we cut through the usual anti-Russian narratives, is
 argument not self-evident? Can Ukraine remain
sovereign state as a NATO frontline against 
Russia? Is it not already tearing itself 
in two?
Recognising the common history of the two countries is
necessary for rational politics. Putin has argued Russia 
and Ukraine have a shared origin, and have “spiritual, 
human and civilizational ties formed for centuries.”
That common ground does not mean it must be part of a
shared state ruled by Moscow – any more than it does 
for, say, Belarus. However, it does make it impossible
 for Ukraine to develop... as an ‘anti-Russia’ project. 
Putin correctly noted, that the new authorities in 
Kiev seek to denounce & criminalize all aspects 
of the shared Soviet history, except for staking 
a claim to large historical Russian territories 
that were transferred to Ukraine. This mass 
of contradictions, Putin believes – as do 
many Ukrainians themselves – risks 
unravelling the country altogether.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in 
this column are solely those of the author and do 
not necessarily represent those of RT.

NATO has a Scandinavian
'leftist' as its head - WHY?


Efran and Poet's tribute to
 all those killed by wars



Civilian wounded in
Ukrainian army
at Kominternovo dies
August 3rd, 11:12am (DAN)
The civilian who was wounded in the Ukrainian forces’ 
strike at Kominternovo in the south of the Donetsk 
People’s Republic, on Monday, has died, head of 
the Novoazovsky district administration, Oleg 
Morgun, told the Donetsk News Agency.
The strike was delivered on Monday evening. A 58-year-
old man and a 57-year-old woman suffered shrapnel 
wounds. Both were taken to the district hospital.
“The woman who was wounded during the shelling by 
Ukrainian armed formations yesterday has died,” 
Morgun said.
The other victim of the shelling has already 
been discharged from hospital, he added.

 UN Calls for Ceasefire 
as 40 Afghan Civilians
 Killed in One Day's 
Fighting in Lashkaga
August 3rd,10:45am (Sputnik) 
 The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan 
(UNAMA) on Tuesday said that 40 civilians were killed 
and 118 injured over the past day only, as the Taliban 
and the Afghan government fight for control of the
city of Lashkagah.
Fighting in Lashkagah, the capital of the country's 
largest province of Helmand, reportedly 
intensified on August 1st.
"Deepening concern for Afghan civilians in #Lashkagah 
as fighting worsens. Latest reports show 118 civilians 
injured & 40 killed within last 24 hours as Taliban 
continue ground assault & Afghan Army attempts
 to repel. UN urges immediate end to fighting in 
urban areas," UNAMA tweeted.
An earlier update by UNAMA said at least 10 civilians were 
killed and 85 wounded in Lashkagah over the past three 
days. In Kandahar, at least 5 were killed and 42 
wounded over the same period.
According to the UN agency, civilian casualties in Afghanistan 
in the first half of 2021 increased sharply since May, when
 international military forces began their withdrawal from 
the country. The agency documents 1,659 killed and 
3,524 injured, a 47% increase compared to 2020.
The agency also cautioned about the indiscriminate shooting 
and occupation of medical facilities, stressing that the impact 
would be catastrophic.
“Taliban ground offensive & ANA airstrikes causing most harm. 
Deep concerns about indiscriminate shooting & damage to/
occupation of health facilities & civilian homes. Parties must 
do more to protect civilians or impact will be catastrophic,”
 UNAMA added.
Several international platforms have hosted discussions on 
Afghan reconciliation, including Doha, where peace talks 
between Kabul and the Taliban movement began in 
September 2020. In the latest two-day round of 
peace negotiations between the Afghan 
delegations in mid-July 2021, the sides
agreed - to facilitate a countrywide 
availability of COVID-19 vaccines, 
& avoid deaths among civilians. 
Civilian casualties are, how-
still on the rise.

Fighting rages between 
Taliban, Afghan forces 
over Lashkargah
August 3rd, 10:40am (PressTV)
Fighting continues between Afghan government forces 
and Taliban militants, who have pushed deeper into 
Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand Province.
The Taliban militants on Monday closed in on government 
buildings, including the National Directorate of Security, 
the prison, and the police headquarters in Lashkargah, 
Reuters quoted an unnamed government official as 
saying. The coordinated attacks on the city centre
 and its prison took place just hours after the 
government deployed hundreds of 
commandos to Lashkargah to 
stop the militants’ advances.
Medical charity Doctors without Border on Monday
 warned that civilian casualties were mounting in
 the city.
“There has been relentless gunfire, airstrikes, and mortars 
in densely-populated areas. Houses are being bombed, 
and many people are suffering severe injuries,” Sarah
 Leahy, the aid group’s coordinator for Helmand, 
claimed in a statement.
Tolo News cited security sources as saying that the Taliban 
had taken control of 12 districts in Helmand and seized nine
 out of the 10 districts in Lashkargah.
Amid intensified fighting in Lashkargah, all media outlets in 
Helmand suspended broadcasts, Tolo News reported, 
adding that the Taliban on Monday had taken control 
of the national TV office in the city.
Later on Monday, the government forces reportedly 
managed to push the Taliban back.
“In the afternoon, the level of intensity of the fighting (in 
Lashkargah) decreased as the Taliban suffered heavy 
casualties following the air and ground operations,” 
Sayed Sami Sadat, the commander of the Maiwand 
army corps, told Reuters.
Fighting continues as peace negotiations between the Kabul 
government and the Taliban have so far failed to produce an
 agreement to end the war. The Taliban militants are now 
intensifying their attacks as US-led foreign forces 
complete a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday blamed the 
deteriorating security situation in the country on the 
“sudden” decision by the US to pull back its troops. 
But he assured the Afghan nation that the situation 
would change in the next six months and the 
government would bring everything under 
control due to a security plan.
The Taliban militants are believed to be in control of about half 
of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts. Most of the militants’ 
advances have focused on rural areas, and no major city 
has fallen to the militants yet.
US, UK accuse Taliban of potential war crimes
In a joint statement posted to their Twitter accounts, the US and 
British Embassies in Kabul on Monday said the Taliban might 
have committed war crimes by carrying out revenge killings 
in the border town of Spin Boldak, which the militants 
captured last month.
“These murders could constitute war crimes; they must be
 investigated & those Taliban fighters or commanders 
responsible held accountable,” the US Embassy 
wrote on Twitter.
“The Taliban’s leadership must be held responsible for the 
crimes of their fighters. If you cannot control your fighters
 now, you have no business in governance later,” it said 
in another tweet.
The accusations came as Afghanistan’s Independent Human 
Rights Commission said, “The Taliban chased and identified 
past & present government officials and killed these people 
who had no combat role in the conflict,” adding that at least 
40 such people had been killed by the militants in 
Spin Boldak.
Speaking to Reuters, Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban negotiating 
team member based in Doha, denounced the accusations 
as “baseless.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, told reporters on Monday
 that reports of the Taliban committing atrocities were “deeply 
disturbing and totally unacceptable.”
The United States, along with its NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan 
in October 2001. The invasion, which has led to the longest war 
in US history, removed the Taliban from power, but worsened 
the security situation in the country.
UK watchtowers meant 
to monitor Hezbollah: 
Lebanese officer
August 3rd, 10:01am (PressTV)
A senior Lebanese military officer says the real objective 
of the United Kingdom, in planning to build more 
watchtowers along the border between
 Lebanon and Syria, is to monitor the 
Hezbollah resistance movement.
Speaking in an interview with The Cradle, an anonymous 
senior officer in the Lebanese Armed Forces said the 
stated reason for the construction of the current 
towers, funded by Britain, had been to keep an
 eye on the movements of the Takfiri 
Daesh militants.
Britain has built scores of sophisticated watchtowers on 
the border between Syria and Lebanon in recent years,
 allegedly to support the Lebanese armed forces to 
protect the country from an invasion by terrorist 
groups. But the Takfiri terrorist groups have 
been dislodged from the area. Yet, a new 
unannounced plan, seeks to further 
increase the number of the watch
-towers, according to The Cradle.
The Lebanese officer said the goal was “clearly to achieve
 full control of the northeastern border --- with the aim of 
establishing authority over all the borders with Syria” 
and “to monitor the movements of Hezbollah and 
the Syrians.”
According to the media outlet, resistance axis sources 
believe that the goal of the towers is to “cover border 
points to reveal Hezbollah’s supply lines, weapons
 caches, and movement of individuals across 
the borders.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Lebanese military officer 
ruled out a confrontation between the Lebanese army 
and Hezbollah.
“Both the army and the Americans know that such a 
confrontation would lead to army defections,” the 
officer said, answering a question by The Cradle.
“Besides, the balance of power is vastly in favour of
 the resistance, which prevents such a scenario.
 No one wants such a confrontation,” the 
source added.
Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion
 and occupation of southern Lebanon. Since then, the 
movement has grown into a powerful military force, 
dealing repeated blows to the Israeli military,
 including during a 33-day war in 
July 2006.
Hezbollah backs the Damascus government in its fight 
against the foreign-backed Takfiri militants who have 
been wreaking havoc in Syria, since March 2011.

Nikonorova: resumption of 
face-to-face meetings in Minsk
 should help overcome
 stagnation in talks
August 3rd, 9:29am (DAN)
Donetsk and Lugansk are ready to resume face-to-face 
talks over Donbass, the Donetsk People’s Republic 
Foreign Minister, DPR representative in the 
Contact Group, Natalia Nikonorova, told 
the Donetsk News Agency on Monday.
Earlier reports said that Russia suggested holding the 
next round of talks which are due in late August in the 
Belarussian capital. Russian representative in the 
Contact Group, Boris Gryzlov, said on Monday, 
that “there are all opportunities for it.”
“Personal acquaintance with the new participants and 
an exchange of authentic and up-to-date information 
during the onsite meeting, will contribute to a more 
productive and intensive search, for a way out of
 the situation which developed at the Minsk
due to Ukraine’s destructive
Nikonorova said.
The People’s Republics are ready to work on
productive proposals to enhance the 
effectiveness of the negotiations, 
she said.
“So far, we have not seen the slightest will to bring forward 
and coordinate such constructive proposals on the part of 
Ukraine, which makes any progress on the Minsk track 
impossible,” the DPR representative said.
The appointment of Finnish diplomat Mikko Kinnunen as the 
OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative in Ukraine and
 in the Trilateral Contact Group, who will take office on 
August 1st, is another reason to return to onsite 
talks, Nikonorova said.
The Donbass settlement talks have been conducted via video 
conferences for more than a year. Face-to-face meetings 
were suspended, due to the threat of the spread of the 
coronavirus infection. Meanwhile, Kiev repeatedly 
called for moving the venue of the talks 
from Minsk.
Ukrainian forces shell DPR
 fives times over 24 hours, 
two civilians wounded
August 3rd, 8:33am (DAN)
 Kiev army units opened fire at the Donetsk People’s Republic
 five times over the past 24 hours, the DPR Office at the Joint 
Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) reported 
on Tuesday.
“Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian armed formations violated 
the ceasefire five times expending 34 rounds of ammunition 
(the amount of expended ammunition of calibre up to 
12.7mm is not added to overall daily statistics – eds
 Donetsk News Agency),” the report said.
Fire was delivered at the Vesyoloye village on the Donetsk axis, 
Shakhta Gagarina settelment on the Gorlovka axis and 
Kominternovo village on the Mariupol axis. The enemy 
employed 82mm mortars, grenade launchers and 
small arms. Two civilians in Kominteronovo 
were wounded in shelling by Ukrainian 
forces, the JCCC said.
In the previous reporting period, Kiev 
forces violated the ceasefire twice.
The package of tighter ceasefire control measures has been
 in effect in Donbass since July 27th, 2020. The document 
bans the use of all weapons, deployment of hardware, 
special operations, engineer works and unmanned 
aerial vehicle flights.

David Cameron's Afghan Translator 
Whom Taliban Dubbed 'Infidel Who'd
 Die Like a Dog' Denied Refuge
by Svetlana Ekimenko
August 3rd, 7:08am (Sputnik)
More than 40 former military commanders earlier signed 
an open letter: warning “time is of the utmost essence” 
to help Afghans who served alongside British forces to
settle in the UK -- in the face of a “resurgent Taliban” 
as US and NATO withdraw forces from the country.
A former Afghan interpreter who once worked with ex-UK 
Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been repeatedly 
denied sanctuary in Britain -- preventing him from 
being rescued from the Taliban, a retired senior
 British officer has warned, according to the 
Daily Mail.
Known as Shaffy, the 32-year old father-of-five worked for 
the British military in Afghanistan until January 2013, both
 on the frontline and with visiting senior officials, such as 
Cameron. The translator has had his application rejected
 multiple times, in line with the Afghan Relocations and 
Assistance Policy (ARAP), because of how he was 
dismissed from his job, which he calls “an 
injustice that could cost me my life”.
Shaffy was cited as saying he had six weeks to “save my family… 
before the official pull out of Western forces that will give the 
Taliban the freedom to hunt us down as they have told us 
they will”.
US and coalition forces began the Afghan pullout in May, when 
US President Joe Biden promised to have all troops out of the 
country by September and the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 
terror attacks. The latter had served as the pretext for the 
US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
‘Infidel Spy’
Retired Major General Charlie Herbert, who worked with 
Shaffy, has taken up the case of the man he extols as
an “awesome guy”.
“Shaffy worked in Helmand for the best part of six years for 
a dozen different British Army units and during that time 
received numerous commendations. When I met him in 
2010 he was the interpreter for the battlegroup Chief
 Staff. He was an outstanding interpreter – held in
highest regard by all who worked with him,” 
former commander of British Forces in
 is cited as saying. He adds:
“Of all the interpreters I know of still left in Afghanistan, this 
case stands out as perhaps the most significant miscarriage 
of justice. I believe he was badly wronged when dismissed 
without right to appeal in 2013, and to abandon him now, 
to the hands of the Taliban, is to multiply that injustice
 thousand fold.”
According to UK Defence sources, Shaffy’s employment was
 terminated for sexually threatening a female officer. The 
Afghan translator vehemently denied the allegations.
“Given the questionable circumstances of his dismissal after
 six years of exemplary service, his application should be 
reconsidered and he should be allowed to put forward 
representation,” added the former NATO adviser.
Shaffy, once a senior translator with British forces stationed 
in Afghanistan, was branded an “infidel spy” by the Taliban, 
with the group vowing he would “die like a dog” after he 
was shown on British and Afghan TV, standing along-
side then-prime minister David Cameron, during a 
visit to Helmand in 2011.
Herbert is described as having spoken to key figures in the 
Afghan interpreter’s case, who now deny he was involved 
in any sexual threats. It also appears, that Shaffy and 
other interpreters may have “clashed” with a female 
interpreter manager who had then arrived on what 
was her first operational tour. The translator was 
subsequently dismissed “without any apparent 
due process or right to appeal,” according
 to Herbert.
‘Time is of the Essence’
Retired Major General Charlie Herbert was one of 40 
senior officers who last week signed an open letter, 
co-ordinated by the Sulha Alliance, to PM Boris 
Johnson, warning that “time is of the utmost 
essence” to help Afghans who served 
alongside British forces to settle in
the UK.
In the letter, they described the existing Afghan Relocation 
and Assistance Policy (Arap) as a “positive step”, but 
added the policy is not “being conducted with the 
necessary spirit of generosity required to protect
 our former colleagues from an indiscriminate 
and resurgent Taliban”.
It was added that “far too many applications” to settle in 
the UK, are currently being rejected. Qualifying for 
relocation requires that interpreters prove they 
were in an “exposed” role by serving with 
foreign troops in the country... that now 
puts them in “imminent danger”.  Over 
1,000 – 35 percent of the total number 
of Afghans who worked for the UK – 
had their employment terminated 
by Britain, without the right of 
appeal or challenge.
U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan
The Taliban are now said to control 80 percent of the country, 
with Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani on Monday 
blaming the US’s swift withdrawal of troops, for the
sweeping gains by the group.
“An imported, hasty” peace process not only failed to bring 
peace but created doubt and ambiguity" among Afghans,
 said Ghani, in his address to Parliament.
He claimed that Afghan forces had the “capacity" to defeat 
the insurgents. Ferocious fighting is taking place in 
Lashkar Gah, in southern Helmand province, 
despite persistent US and Afghan air 
strikes, with the Taliban believed
have seized a TV station. 
Attempts to capture Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-
largest city, have continued, after rocket strikes hit
airport on Sunday.

Top Israeli court defers 
decision on expulsion 
of Palestinian families
 from Sheikh Jarrah
August 3rd, 6:23am (PressTV)
Israel’s so-called Supreme Court has delayed a final verdict 
on the expulsion of four Palestinian families from their 
homes in the occupied East al-Quds neighbourhood 
of Sheikh Jarrah... saying it has not sufficiently
 arguments from both sides of the case.
On Monday, the court suggested a compromise deal 
stipulating that the Palestinian families would 
concede ownership of their homes to the far-
right settler organization, Nahalat Shimon,
the plaintiff seeking to take over the 
homes, in exchange for being 
allowed to remain in their
 homes as “protected 
However, no agreement was reached on the suggested deal, 
which notably required that the families pay rent to Nahalat 
The court decision to postpone the final verdict means
 it has neither accepted nor rejected the appeal of the 
Palestinian families.  
“This means we’d have to concede ownership. This is 
something we definitively reject because the owner-
ship is ours,” Alaa Salaymeh, one of the Palestinian 
residents of Sheikh Jarrah  facing eviction, said
 outside the courthouse.
She added, “And we brought papers from 
Jordan that say the ownership is ours.”
“This entire entity (Israel) was established on land theft 
and stealing homes from Palestinians. I don’t think this 
system will ever be fair or just to me,” Mohammed 
el-Kurd, a journalist from one of the families, 
told reporters.
“I have zero faith in these courts but I do have some hope. 
But, you know, this is an entity that has behaved for so 
long, with such impunity, that I don’t think a dozen 
diplomats are going to change the tide,” 
he added.
“Although, I hope. All I can say is that I hope. I hope things
 go in my favour. Who doesn’t want that?” Kurd said.
Sami Ershied, a lawyer representing the Sheikh Jarrah 
families, said the “protected tenants” proposal, was 
unacceptable, but added it was “a good indication” 
that the judge did not reject their appeal out 
of hand.
“So far, we did not hear an offer that was fair enough and
 preserves the rights of residents. Therefore, we did not 
reach any compromise,” Ershied said.
He added, “We hope that the judges will continue listening 
to our arguments and take into consideration all the new 
details we’ve submitted and at the end of the day, 
conclude in favour of the residents of 
Sheikh Jarrah.”
Earlier on Monday, hundreds of people gathered outside 
Israel’s top court in al-Quds, ahead of the decision, in 
order to show support for the Palestinian families 
facing eviction from the Sheikh Jarrah 
Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli 
settler organizations have claimed ownership of land 
in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits
evict Palestinians from the area.
Earlier this year, an Israeli district court in al-Quds ruled 
that the homes of the four families legally belonged to 
Jewish families.
Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns 
by Israeli police, on Palestinians protesting against the 
threatened expulsion of dozens of Palestinian families 
from their homes, in favour of hardline Israeli 
settler groups.
Israel calls it “a real estate dispute” ...while
 and rights groups say the case
highlights the 
discriminatory policies
aimed at pushing 
out of al-Quds.

Yemen's army continues
 advancing toward Ma'rib
August 2nd, 9:41pm (PressTV)
New advances have been made by Yemen's armed forces 
backed by local tribes, toward the oil-rich province of 
Ma'rib, to liberate it from the Saudi-backed forces.
The recent advances were made in conjunction with a major 
victory of the Yemeni army against the Saudi-backed 
militant groups in Al-Bayda province.
Military experts said the Yemeni army attacked the Saudi-
backed forces in the Baqatha area in Rahaba directorate 
of southern Ma'rib as well as al-Belq al-Qebli mountains 
overlooking the western neighbourhoods of the city
 of Ma’rib.
The Yemeni army, the experts said, is now
 surrounding the city from all sides.
For many months now, the Yemeni army has intensified its 
operations to take control of strategic Ma’rib province.
Observers say Yemen's army has made remarkable advances 
against the Saudi-backed forces, meaning that Saudi Arabia 
is about to lose its last stronghold in northern Yemen.
Yemenis say their army will eventually liberate Ma'rib
the Saudi-backed forces and flip the table over
 Arabia and its allies.
They believe that this is the only way to push Riyadh 
to stop its years-long war and siege and accept the 
political solution.

‘Israel’ Contacting Lebanese 
Figures, Influencers: Both 
Sides Share Hostility 
against Hezbollah
August 2nd, 6:17pm (al Manar)
According to the Zionist media,  ‘Israel’ has been contacting 
Lebanese figures, artists and influencers to coordinate 
anti-Hezbollah political movements in Lebanon, 
including demonstrations.
Israeli analysts revealed contacts between Lebanese and
 Israelis in the context of finding common political view 
points pertaining to the situation in Lebanon and that 
of Hezbollah.
National security advisors in the Zionist entity indicated that 
Tel Aviv must utilize the crisis in Lebanon in order to cope 
with the threat of Hezbollah’s precision-guided missiles, 
adding that ‘Israel’ must also be ready for any military 
confrontation on the Palestinian-Lebanese borders.
Source: Al-Manar English Website

Palestinian PM calls on
intl. community: 
to end
Israel’s racism, ethnic
in al-Quds
August 2nd, 6:14pm (PressTV)
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called
 upon the international community to put an end to the 
Israeli regime’s policies of persecution, racism, and 
ethnic cleansing against Palestinians in the 
occupied East al-Quds neighboUrhood of 
Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, which are 
being carried out, in order to make 
way for extremist Jewish settlers.
Speaking during a weekly cabinet meeting in the central 
West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, Shtayyeh 
described the Israeli judicial system as a cover 
for the regime’s policies against Palestinians
 throughout the entire occupied territories.
He noted that such policies are in blatant violation of the 
international law as well as the Universal Declaration of 
Human Rights (UDHR) – adopted by the United Nations 
General Assembly as Resolution 217, stressing that 
Israeli authorities are exercising the policies and 
practices of apartheid --- as numerous 
distinguished human rights bodies 
have pointed to the fact in 
their reports.
The Palestinian prime minister also warned, that the Israeli 
authorities are seeking to seize control of Palestinian land 
in al-Quds, by advancing settlement construction plans.
He said the Tel Aviv regime is trying to usurp Palestinian-
owned land, confiscate their property and forcibly 
evict them from their homes by means of the 
so-called Absentee Property Law of 1950.
The measure was enacted for the permanent expropriation of 
property left by the 750,000 Palestinian refugees displaced 
during the 1948 war.  It actually prevents Palestinian 
refugees from returning to their homes.
Shtayyeh finally called on Israel to stop its settlement 
expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, as 
the occupying regime has no right to do so.
Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns 
by Israeli police on Palestinians protesting against the 
threatened expulsion of dozens of Palestinian families 
from their homes, in favor of hardline Israeli 
settler groups.
Israel calls it “a real estate dispute” while Palestinians and 
rights groups say the case highlights discriminatory 
policies aimed at pushing Palestinians out 
of al-Quds.
Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside
 the walls of the Old City of al-Quds and its sacred sites.
Israeli officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the
 neighbourhood since the 1980s, and currently several 
hundred settlers live there in heavily protected 
settlement compounds.
This has resulted in numerous human rights violations,
 including the forced eviction and displacement of 
Palestinian residents.
The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed 
by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works 
to strengthen the Jewish presence in East al-Quds.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements 
built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West 
Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law 
as they are built on occupied land. The United Nations 
Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement 
activities in the occupied territories, in 
several resolutions.

Hezbollah’s Islamic Health Organization
 Responds to MP Roula Tabsh:
False Claims Threaten 
the Safety of Medics
August 2nd, 3:45pm (al Manar)
Hezbollah’s Islamic Health Organization refuted,
on Monday, 
the false claims of the member of
parliamentary bloc, MP
RoulaTabsh, who had 
claimed that
the association’s ambulance cab
which had carried the body of
the martyr, Ali Shible, 
to his
house in Khaldeh, was
loaded with 
In a statement, the association stressed that Tabsh’s remarks
 threaten the safety of all the medics and expose them to 
aggression, calling for denouncing her unfair claims 
about those who sacrifice their souls for the sake 
of all the citizens.
The association reiterated that it is keen on serving all  
citizens in accordance with the highest international 
standards of their humanitarian activities.
After the military attack of the Khaldeh gangs on the funeral 
procession of martyr Ali Shible claimed three martyrs, 
Tabsh falsely claimed that the ambulance cab, 
which carried Shible’s body, was loaded 
with military weapons.

Shibli Family Stresses 
Funeral Procession Was 
Ambushed, Calls for 
Speedy Arrest
of Attackers
August 2nd, 3:40pm (al Manar)

The Shibli family on Monday called on the competent
and judicial authorities, to speed up the
arrest of those 
responsible for the attack on
the funeral procession 
of the martyr Ali
Shibli, warning of dire 
--- if the killers 
remain unpunished.
Ali Shibli was shot dead at point blank range while attending 
a wedding on Saturday. His funeral procession came under
 fire in the region of Khaldeh; three mourners were 
martyred, and several others were injured.
“While we were bidding farewell to our martyr son Ali
and while the procession reached his home
in the region 
of Khalda... [the procession] was
subjected to a precise 
and calculated
the family said, in
a statement.
“We maintain that our martyr son is not a killer, and that 
what was claimed by his murderers is untrue,” the 
statement added.
“We call on the competent security and judicial
for the speedy arrest and fair
punishment of the killers, 
lest there be
dire consequences,”
it said.
Source: Al-Manar English Website


Gryzlov says all opportunities exist 
for resuming Contact Group 
offline meetings
August 2nd, 1:54pm (DAN)

 Russia’s representative in the Contact Group,
Boris Gryzlov, 
said there is every opportunity
to hold the next round of
 talks offline.
“Another meeting is scheduled for August. At the latest 
meeting Russia suggested that the sides meet in
 face to face. The time has come to get
back to offline 
meetings. All the
opportunities to do it exist.”
He reminded that almost all material results 
were achieved at offline meetimgs.
Another argument in favour of returning to traditional 
meetings is the reshuffle of the OSCE-affiliated 
coordinators of the subgroups.
New OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative in Ukraine
 Ambassador Mikko Kinnunen, replaced his predecessor 
Haidi Grau, on August 1st.
Gryzkiv said that Ukraine voiced no objections when 
Russia suggested to move meeting back in Minsk.
“Now the responsibility to continue the talks 
in a constructive way, is upon Kiev.”

Chronic power shortages 
endanger health of Gazans
-- ICRC warns
August 2nd, 10:34am (PressTV)
The International Committee of the Red Cross, in Gaza, 
has warned that power shortages pose a threat to the 
health and daily life for the population of the besieged 
Gaza Strip, saying 80% of Gazans live much of their
 day in the dark.
In a new study, the ICRC found that electricity supply 
reaches 10-12 hours a day in the coastal enclave, 
noting that “extreme heat and import restrictions
 of fuel to run the Gaza power plant, pose a 
threat to health and daily life for Gazans.”
According to the study, most of Gazans are unable to 
refrigerate food and wastewater treatment plants
unable to operate because of the
power crisis.
It also said that 94% of those surveyed by the ICRC 
said the prolonged situation had affected their
 mental health.
The ICRC noted that the electricity supply decreased to 
three to four hours a day during the latest Israeli 
aggression on Gaza, in May, that damaged
Tel Aviv launched a brutal bombing campaign against the 
besieged Gaza Strip on May 10th, following Palestinian 
retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at al-
Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a 
number of Palestinian families out of their 
homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighbour-
hood of East al-Quds. About 260 
Palestinians were killed in the 
11-day Israeli offensive.
In the study, Palestinians describe how daily life in Gaza has
 become extremely difficult for years due to the unavailability
 of electricity where “it is almost impossible to do housework,
 devices frequently malfunction when power is out, there is
 no running water, schoolwork cannot be finished, people 
have to shoulder a massive financial burden to buy extra
 power (in the form of generators) and the power cuts 
even contribute to environmental pollution that 
impacts people's health”.
"It feels just like a cemetery when the power is out. Pitch black. 
I light up the oil lamp. Even the LED lights, they are insufficient 
because the batteries are not fully charged. I also don't always 
have oil for the lamp, and it is also insufficient for my kids to 
study on," said Mariam Hunaideq, a mother of six who lives 
in Nahr al-Barid in the southern Gaza Strip.
The head of ICRC's Sub delegation in Gaza urged the international
 community to work towards improving the situation in the coastal 
"Electricity has become an issue in Gaza that profoundly impacts 
basic services like water supply, wastewater treatment, health 
facilities, as well as businesses and irrigation of crops and 
fruit. Particularly in urban contexts like Gaza, people's well
-being and public health conditions strongly depend on 
electricity, even after the fighting has ended. In 2021, 
Gazans should not be living like this. We are calling 
on the authorities concerned and the international 
community to recognize the situation and work 
towards improving it," Mirjam Muller said.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli land, air and sea 
blockade since June 2007, after Hamas, which has vowed 
to resist the Israeli occupation, rose to power in the 
enclave, where two million people live. 
The crippling Gaza blockade has caused a sharp decline
 in the standards of living as well as unprecedented
 levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty
 in the strip.

Kiev forces violate
in 24 hours
August 2nd, 9:18am (DAN)
 Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire twice over the 
past 24 hours, the DPR mission to the Joint Centre 
for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said.
“Over the past 24 hours, the number of registered 
violations was two, the number of rounds fired is 11.”
Kominternovo and Yakovlevka came under fire of 82 mm 
calibre mortars, grenade launchers and machine guns.
All the attempts to reinstall the ceasefire through the 
coordination mechanism failed, as Ukrainians
 ignored the requests.
The Additional Measures to Strengthen the Ceasefire 
were signed at the Contact Group meeting on July 22 
to reinforce and control the indefinite ceasefire in 
effect since July 21st, 2019, the latest in the
of more than 20 reconfirmation and
ments of the “silence regime”.
The package 
came into effect on
July 27th. 

 United States:
Pressure to vote
August 1st, 12:15pm (Prensa Latina)
Restricting voting will particularly affect African
and Latino communities, says
Rosemarie Mealy.
Civil rights groups, activists... and a growing number of 
Democratic lawmakers are at odds with a White House 
that suggests the bipartisan path, as the tide of 
Republican attacks on the access of 
Americans to the ballot box, 
rolls in.
African American lawyer and writer Rosemarie Mealy told 
Orbe, that the issue puts new pressure on President Joe 
Biden's domestic agenda, arguing that such maneuvers 
undermine the integrity of the democratic process.
We have bills that need to be passed in Congress,' she said, 
'and Biden is insisting that he could get bipartisan support 
from Republicans, who have historically opposed it.
Civil rights leaders are pressuring the president to do more
 and not wait for the same people who brought him to office 
to meet this challenge, said Mealy, who is also a member of 
the National Conference of Black Lawyers of America.
The president must respond to those voters who supported 
him in each of his promises, stressed Rosemarie Mealy,
 who was also a volunteer in the Democrat's 
2020 campaign.
The issue is of utmost importance, she said, because so far 
this year the Republican opposition has passed 253 bills in
 43 states, that are likely to make voting more difficult, 
especially in black and Latino communities, which 
are more likely to vote for the Democrats.
Several of the laws will give state legislators more power 
over the conduct of elections, and make it easier to 
challenge the results, she said.
For observers this is an issue that would provide favorable
gaps for Republicans --- considering the multiple lawsuits 
filed by Donald Trump after his defeat, with unfounded
 allegations of voter fraud.
In mid-July, more than 150 civil rights groups called on Biden 
to endorse 'by any means necessary' the broad voting 
rights protections they expect on Capitol Hill.
A letter signed by those groups, including the Leadership 
Conference, and the National Association for the 
Advancement of Coloured People, warned that 
the 'idea of bipartisan cooperation on voting 
rights' is unlikely... in a sharply 
divided Senate.
Last July 13th, in a fiery speech in Philadelphia, the U.S.
 president admitted --- that the current hurdles are the 
'most important test of our democracy since the
 Civil War (1861-1865).'
But the president and voting rights advocates are
increasingly at odds over how to pass that test, 
noted an article in The New York Times.
One of the two federal bills in Congress is the Act for 
the People, a sort of overhaul of existing ordinances 
that was considered more of a political statement 
than workable legislation, when it was first 
introduced in 2019.
The other... is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement 
Act --- which would restore important parts of the Voting 
Rights Act, that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013.
(Taken from Orbe)

Four Donetsk Republic militia killed 
in Ukrainian forces’ bombardments
August 1st, 11:52am (TASS) 
Four militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic 
(DPR) were killed in the Ukrainian armed forces’ shelling on 
Friday, the DPR Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.
"The Ukrainian army opened fire in the area of the settlement 
of Petrovskoye yesterday evening. One DPR fighter was 
wounded. The ambulance vehicle that was sent to 
evacuate him was also attacked," the 
statement says.
The Contact Group on settling the situation in eastern Ukraine
introduced additional measures... that have been in effect 
since July 27th, 2020 to control the ceasefire in Donbass.
Under the agreement, the conflicting parties in Donbass are 
prohibited from carrying out offensive, reconnaissance and 
subversive operations, using any types of aircraft, opening
 fire or deploying heavy weapons in populated localities. 
One of the key provisions is the use of disciplinary 
measures for ceasefire violations. Furthermore, 
any retaliatory fire in the event of an offensive 
is allowed only after a commander's 
direct order.
Despite these accords, the situation in Donbass has worsened 
since late February. Intensive exchanges of gunfire re-ignited 
on the engagement line, resulting in casualties on both sides.
 Kiev pins the blame on the Donbass republics for the 
escalation. In return, the Donbass republics 
castigated Ukraine’s accusations, 
pointing to Kiev breaching the
 July accords, as the main 
cause for the escalation.
Russia’s intelligence chief
warns of 
at upcoming elections
August 1st, 11:34am (TASS)
 Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) 
Sergei Naryshkin, warned about 'provocations' being 
plotted from outside at the upcoming parliamentary 
elections in September 2021 and the presidential 
elections in 2024, in Russia.
"Our opponents are preparing to the fullest," Russia’s 
foreign intelligence chief said in a live broadcast of 
the Solovyov Live YouTube channel, shown on the 
Rossiya-1 TV Channel.
"This will be both in 2021 and 2024, of course," Naryshkin 
said, in response to a question about when such 
provocations might be staged.
Russia possesses information on "what points they will 
act upon and what points they will hit at," the SVR 
chief said.
"Our corresponding agencies are aware of that, in 
particular, thanks to our activity," Naryshkin said.

Iran Rejects Israeli Claim 
of Ship Attack as
 Blame Game
August 1st, 11:13am (FNA)
The Iranian foreign ministry dismissed Israel’s claim 
that Tehran has attacked an Israeli ship near Oman, 
describing it a childish blame game.
“The illegitimate existence of the Quds occupying regime 
should desist from raising baseless allegations. It is not 
the first time that the regime raises such allegations. 
These allegations are childish and within the frame
-work of the rented and famous lobby of the Quds 
occupying regime,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman 
Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press 
conference in Tehran on Sunday.
“The officials of the Zionist regime should know -- that they 
cannot cure their pains with such blame games,” he added.
Khatibzadeh said that the Israeli regime is passing bitter days 
of its life and puts the blame of its problems on others, and 
added, “Wherever the Quds occupying regime has set its
 foot, it has brought insecurity, violence, terror and war, 
and for this reason, those who paved the ground for 
the regime's presence in this region, should 
be blamed.”
An oil tanker operated by an Israeli-owned company came 
under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea,
British military said Friday, with the company,
confirming the reports.
The vessel is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a London-
based company belonging to Israeli tycoon Eyal Ofer.
Israeli officials have claimed without citing any proof 
that the attack appeared to have been carried out by 
several unmanned Iranian drones that crashed into
 living quarters underneath the ship’s command 
centre, or bridge.

newsflash ---

Rockets hit Kandahar airport
in Afghanistan, all flights
are suspended.
August 1st, 10:15am (PressTV)
The Taliban have fired rockets at a key airport in southern 
Afghanistan causing flight cancelations, and declaring 
that the attack was meant to thwart airstrikes by 
Afghan government forces on the 
militants' positions.
“Kandahar airport was targeted by us, because the enemy 
were using it as a centre to conduct airstrikes against
 Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, told
on Sunday.
Airport chief Massoud Pashtun also confirmed that
 the airport was hit with three rockets overnight.
“Last night three rockets were fired at the airport and two 
of them hit the runway... Due to this, all flights from the
 airport have been cancelled,” he told AFP.
Authorities suspended all flights as the runway was partially 
damaged. There were no immediate reports of casualties, 
the officials said.
Pashtun said the airport is expected to be operational later
 in the day, as work to repair the damage is underway.
Clashes underway between Taliban,
Afghan forces in major cities
The attack on the airport comes as Afghan government forces
 are engaged in fierce clashes with the Taliban to prevent the
 militants from advancing on several major cities.
The Taliban now control more than 200 of the country’s 
419 district centres, according to the US military. 
Clashes continued Sunday between the militants and 
Afghan forces in two provincial capitals of Herat and
 Lashkar Gah.
The militants advanced closer to the central parts of 
the western city of Herat, as clashes entered the 
fourth day on Sunday.
On the city's outskirts, government forces also
 targeted Taliban positions with airstrikes,
Herat provincial governor's spokesman Jailani Farhad
 said that around 100 militant fighters were killed in
 the attacks.
Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said hundreds 
of reinforcements arrived in the city on Sunday morning.
“At the moment the fighting is ongoing in the
 south and southeast,” Governor Qani said.
Four days of fighting forced scores of families to flee their 
homes and seek shelter closer to the heart of the city.
In the meantime, the authorities in the southern city of 
Lashkar Gah, called for more troops to rein in 
the assaults.
"Fighting is going on inside the city and we have asked 
for special forces to be deployed in the city," Ataullah 
Afghan, head of Helmand provincial council, told AFP.
Violence surged across Afghanistan after the United States 
failed to meet a May 1st deadline for a complete withdrawal 
of its forces from the country, under a deal it had reached
 with the Taliban last year.
The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan ousted the Taliban from 
power, but it worsened the security situation in the country. 
The invasion, which has led to the longest war in US history,
 has left the nation “poor, aid-dependent, and conflict-
affected,” according to the latest report submitted 
to the US Congress.
On Friday, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
 Reconstruction (SIGAR) provided a grim view of the war
Afghanistan, saying the Afghan military appeared 
“surprised and unready, and is now on its back 
foot” in the fight against the Taliban militants.
An inspector general appointed by the US Congress to examine
 the war in Afghanistan enumerates Washington’s failures in 20
 years of war in the Asian country and says the US will repeat 
those mistakes.
“Civilian casualties hit a record high in May and June... 
the overall trend is clearly unfavorable to the Afghan 
government, which could face an existential crisis 
if it isn’t addressed and reversed,” the report said.
The US is largely blamed for the surge in violence 
in Afghanistan, as it has failed to stabilize the 
security situation there after two decades 
of war and occupation.

Palestinians Protest Against 
Evictions of Families From 
Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah
by Max Gorbachev
July 31st, 6:48pm (Sputnik) 

Local residents and activists have been holding 
demonstrations since the beginning of May, 
when a district court approved a decision
 to vacate six families from their homes, 
where Jewish settlers have claimed 
ownership of the land.
Sputnik is live from East Jerusalem, where Palestinians 
are protesting against the eviction of families from the 
Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. This development 
comes as the Israeli High Court is expected to 
have a hearing on the issue on August 2nd. 
The lower courts have already given the 
green light for the evictions.
The issue has drawn international attention since protests
 in May led to clashes with Israeli police and sparked 11 
days of hostilities between Israeli forces and Hamas 
militants, the worst violence in years. More than 
250 Palestinians were killed, including 100 
women and children, while over 2,000
were wounded. Thirteen people
 were killed in Israel in rocket
including 2 women.
Follow Sputnik's live feed for latest.

US lawmaker calls plan
 to evacuate 'allies' from 
Afghanistan 'complete
July 31st, 6:22pm (PressTV)

A US lawmaker has described the Biden administration’s
plan to evacuate Afghans, who worked with US forces 
in Afghanistan, a "complete disaster".
The Biden administration decided to grant special visas 
to Afghan interpreters, drivers, guides and other locals
 after US President Joe Biden vowed to withdraw US
 troops from the country.
However, a US lawmaker, who was involved in the 
congressional process for granting special visas 
to the Afghan interpreters & their families, said 
the Department of Defense (DoD) had not fully 
anticipated the move...  describing the DoD’s 
plan in this regard as a "complete disaster".
Americans still in limbo over Afghan ‘friends’
Americans are still in limbo, as to where to
 former employee "friends" fleeing
from Taliban
 retribution in Afghanistan.
“When they finally made the decision of a hasty
surrender &
 withdrawal, they didn’t anticipate
some of the 
unintended consequences or
really play out a 
lot of the details —
[visas] among them,” 
to Rep. Mike Gallagher 
At a classified briefing with top national security officials 
on Capitol Hill, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was 
asked to detail the US military’s plan to evacuate 
thousands of Afghan nationals, who aided the 
US invasion and occupation of the country.
Austin didn’t have a plan, according to two people
in the 
room, and a military official familiar with
the April 
meeting, as cited by Politico.
“We’ll get back to you on that,” Austin replied.
Gallagher said Austin's reply showed a lack of any
which has resulted in a "complete disaster".
“This whole thing is just a complete disaster...  and it’s 
not getting better any time soon,” Gallagher lamented.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is still seeking
 pave the way for the evacuation of some 20,000 
interpreters and their families, fearing retribution
at the hands of Taliban
 militants, after the
complete exit
 of US forces
from Afghanistan.
On Friday, 200 Afghans out of an initial group of 2,500
roughly 700 visa applicants and members of their 
immediate families – arrived in the US, as part
“Operation Allies Refuge”.
The others are still in Afghanistan, waiting for exit from 
Afghanistan and a possible entry to the United States.
The process could take years and some 300 interpreters 
have already died, waiting, according to a report.
“These people stood up and fought shoulder and shoulder
to [US forces]… and we’re closing our eyes and leaving 
them there, leaving them to die,” said one interpreter 
who had in the past, received the Special Immigrant 
Visa (SIV) issued by the US State Department.
The Biden administration has asked Congress for one 
billion dollars of emergency funding to expedite the 
SIV process for the Afghans.
In the meantime, US military and intelligence sources have 
warned, that the Afghan Taliban militants have made huge
 territorial gains & could retake the country within months.
Battle in Herat forces more Afghan civilians from homes
“At the moment the fighting is ongoing in the 
south and southeast,” Governor Qani said.
According to US military sources the group
now controls
 over 200 of the country’s
419 district centres.
Under a deal with the Taliban, which was signed
last year, 
the US has pulled out most of its
troops from Afghanistan.
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ousted
Taliban from power, but it also worsened the
 situation in the war-torn country.
The United States has been blamed for the surge of 
violence --- as it has failed to stabilize the security 
situation after 2 decades of war and occupation.

All But One District of Afghanistan's
 Herat Province Under Control of 
Taliban - Reports
July 31st, 6:03pm (Sputnik) 
The Taliban (a terror group, banned in Russia) have 
seized outskirts of the city of Herat, moving to the 
downtown area, the national media reported 
on Saturday.
Sixteen out of 17 districts of the N. Western province 
are now... under control of the Taliban. The only 
exception is Guzara, which has been liberated 
by the government troops earlier in the day, 
TOLOnews said, citing security sources.
Defense Ministry spokesman, Fawad Aman, however, 
tweeted that the security situation in Herat's out-
is normalizing.. due to the active presence
of pro-
government forces in the liberated areas.
Afghanistan is witnessing a flare-up of tensions between
 the government forces and the Taliban, as the latter 
have seized large swathes of rural areas and 
stepped up their offensive on large cities. 

The violence is rising amid the with-
drawal of international troops 
which is to be completed by 
September 11th.

14 African States Agree 
to Expel Israeli Regime
 from AU
July 31st, 2:55pm (FNA)
 Algiers has reached an agreement with 13 other African 
countries to expel Tel Aviv from the African Union as an
 observer member, Algerian media reported.
Algeria has officially begun the process of forming an 
African group to reject Tel Aviv's membership in the 
African Union, the online newspaper Rai Al-Youm 
reported on Saturday.
Algeria's goal is announced to be preserving the
 of the African Union and to support
the Arab state 
of Palestine.
According to the report, South Africa, Tunisia, Eritrea, 
Senegal, Tanzania, Niger, ‌ the archipelago of Qamar,
 Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Liberia, and the 
Seychelles, have all agreed with 
the decision.
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has stressed
 that Algerian diplomacy would not back down from the 
move by Tel Aviv and the African Union, which was 
taken without consulting members.
The foreign minister added these diplomatic moves are, in 
fact, a reaction to Tel Aviv's membership in the African 
Union as an observer member, and that this is a 
development that Tel Aviv diplomats have 
been working on for years.
Lamamra noted that the Zionist regime had previously gained
 membership as an observer in the Organization of African 
Unity, but in 2002, the title was taken back from the
 as the African Union replaced the
Organization of 
African Unity.
The daily further wrote that Lamamra is expected to discuss 
the issue of Tel Aviv's membership in the African Union in 
his upcoming trips to the four African countries of 
Tunisia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced in a statement 
that Adamsu Alali, Tel Aviv's Ambassador to Addis Ababa, 
had submitted his credentials as an observer member 
of the African Union.
US to Give UK Troops 
Access to Its Military 
'Combat Cloud' to 
Oppose China
July 31st, 2:54pm (FNA)
 The US Department of Defense (DoD), is ''mulling'' giving
to its "combat cloud" to UK military members,
to boost the
 interoperability of allied forces, in a
scenario involving a 
confrontation with China,
according to Vice Chairman 
of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten.
Recent war games simulating a US response to an attack on 
Taiwan by China, were reportedly a trigger for the change, 
as the US forces in the drills lost "miserably" & simulated
 trials showed, that the US military could not effectively 
work with one of its greatest military assets: Its own
allies, Sputnik reported.
"We have to address a classification problem...  because we are 
way over-classified. Even if we do that, we still have a problem 
because we like to label things 'SECRET NOFORN [No Foreign
 Nationals]'. Then, even our closest allies can't get on to our 
basic secret system SIPRNet," Hyten stated.
Although the Pentagon did not declassify all of the information 
regarding the outcome of the recent war games, Hyten said 
that a key problem was that the "red team" knocked out the 
US military's information systems at the onset of the 
hypothetical conflict.
These essential systems are used to relay data and intelligence 
between US forces and units. The latter ended up amassed in 
one spot, becoming easy prey to a fictional Chinese 
military offensive.
"Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive 
'red team' that had been studying the United States for the last 
20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we
 were going to do before we did it," Hyten added.
The Pentagon is now overhauling its entire concept of waging 
war against modern enemies -- purportedly in the event of a 
war with China. US forces will reportedly now be amassing 
only to land a strike, dissipating immediately after, to 
survive a possible enemy assault.
The US military will also replace military information systems
 with a "combat cloud", presumably immune to Chinese 
hacking efforts. This cloud is expected to not only 
provide US soldiers with combat data, but also 
do the same for their British allies – via the
use of a personal biometrics login.
Despite being "overly classified" and limiting access to allies,
the Pentagon network for secret documents became the 
source of one of the biggest and most embarrassing US 
data leaks in history. In 2010 a US military intelligence 
analyst, Chelsea Manning, leaked hundreds of 
thousands of US war logs from Afghanistan 
and Iraq, as well as Department of State 
cables, to WikiLeaks and its founder, 
Julian Assange. 
The documents revealed multiple cases that
allegedly constitute 
war crimes and
misconduct by members of the US
as well as laying open
extremely sensitive US
diplomatic cables.

Yemen's army 
liberates more areas
 in central Yemen
July 31st, 2:53pm (PressTV)
A new victory against the Saudi-backed militant groups 
was made by Yemen's armed forces, in the second 
phase of the al-Nasr al-Mubeen operation.
The spokesman of the Yemeni army, Yahya Saree, said 
No'man and Nate'e regions of the country's central 
province of al-Bayda were fully liberated from the 
control of the Saudi-backed terrorists. He said 
the military operation, had left hundreds of 
Saudi-backed militants killed and injured, 
adding that the Yemeni forces had also 
captured a number of the militants.
Saree also said the Yemeni forces have confiscated 
militants’ weapons, which are US-made according 
to military experts. They say this is yet another 
proof of the US military support for Daesh
al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen.
Two weeks ago, the Yemeni army took control of large 
areas in al-Bayda in the first stage of the al-Nasr 
al-Mubeen operation that was launched on
July 13th. The operation was part of 
military efforts to push members 
of al-Qaeda and Daesh - out of 
their strongholds in al-Bayda.
Observers say the US support for the terrorist groups 
in Al-Bayda is aimed at hampering the Yemeni army’s 
advances toward Ma’rib --- the last stronghold of 
Saudi-backed militants in northern Yemen.
However, the Yemeni army says it will continue the 
operations until the liberation of all Yemeni 
territories, and putting an end to the
years-long Saudi-imposed war.
Taliban Militants Attack UN Office
 in Afghanistan’s Herat - Amid
 Clashes, Gov’t Says
July 31st, 2:48pm (Sputnik)
This comes a day after the terrorist group launched a 
similar attack in the country's third-largest city. No
personnel were hurt; however, Taliban*
killed one police officer and
injured several 
others, during
the assault.
Taliban militants... have attacked the UN Assistance
in Afghanistan, Fawad Aman, spokesperson
for the 
Afghan Defence Ministry, wrote in a state-
on Twitter. He said the Afghan National
and Security Forces (ANDSF) are
now fighting 
against the militants, with
more and more 
Afghan forces going
to Herat, where the
 UN’s main
compound is located.
No information on casualties has been reported so far.
Violence has continued unabated in Afghanistan for several 
weeks, with the Taliban launching an offensive on entire 
cities. Reports say the militant group now controls
more territory than they did in 2001, when it was
 toppled during the US-led invasion...  Experts 
say the group has been emboldened by the 
withdrawal of US and NATO troops. The 
departure is in accordance with the 
peace deal the US and the Taliban 
signed in February 2020.

EU Adopts Framework for... 
Sanctions Against Lebanon,
 US Welcomes Move
July 31st, 12:07pm (FNA)
The EU adopted a legal framework for targeted 
restrictive measures, against Lebanon, which
has already 
been grappling with an economic
crisis and political 
turmoil, amid Western
interference in the country’s 
domestic affairs.
In a statement released on Friday, the European Council, the 
EU's agenda-setting body, said the framework provides for
 the possibility of imposing sanctions against individuals 
& entities that it deems responsible for “undermining 
democracy or the rule of law in Lebanon".
The sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU as well as an 
asset freeze for persons and entities, the statement read, 
adding that EU persons and entities are forbidden from 
making funds available to those listed.
The sanctions regime sets out three criteria under which 
people may be targeted by the 27-nation bloc, including 
the obstruction of the democratic political process in 
Lebanon, the undermining of reforms in governance 
and the financial sector, and serious financial 
misconduct concerning public funds.
“Despite repeated calls on Lebanese political forces and 
stakeholders to act in the national interest, and to no 
longer delay the formation of a fully empowered 
government... capable of meeting the country’s 
urgent needs, & implementing critical reforms, 
there is no progress. Meantime, the economic,
 social and humanitarian situation in Lebanon
 continues to deteriorate... and the people 
continue to suffer,” the statement read.
It is, however, of the utmost importance that the Lebanese
 leadership put aside their differences and work together 
to form a government and enact the measures required 
to steer the country towards a sustainable recovery, 
according to the statement.
The EU diplomats stated targets are ''not likely'' 
to be decided, before the end of the summer. 
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken & Treasury
Janet Yellen welcomed the EU's move,
stating Washington 
"looks forward to future
cooperation with the EU, in our 
shared efforts".
The EU’s measure came a few days after Lebanese
 businessman Najib Mikati was appointed
as Lebanon's new 
prime minister-designate tasked
with forming a government 
and ending a year of
political deadlock.
Lebanon has been mired, since late 2019, in a deep
crisis -- that caused the Lebanese pound
to lose around 90% 
of its value to the dollar.
US seizes oil tanker vessel 
over alleged violation of 
sanctions against 
North Korea
July 31st, 9:14am (PressTV)
The United States has seized a Singaporean-owned tanker 
vessel over alleged violation of international sanctions by 
making shipments of petroleum products to North Korea.
The US Justice Department (DoJ) announced in a statement 
on Friday the seizure of a 2,734-ton tanker it said was 
owned and operated by a Singaporean national and 
used to transfer oil products to North Korean 
vessels and to make direct shipments to
 North Korean port of Nampo.
The DoJ said in the statement that the oil tanker M/T 
Courageous, was seized by Cambodian authorities 
in March 2020 in accordance with a US warrant.
"Criminal charges of conspiracy to evade economic sanctions 
on the DPRK and money laundering conspiracy are pending 
against the alleged owner and operator of the Courageous, 
Kwek Kee Seng, a Singaporean national, who remains at
 large," the department said, using the acronym of
Korea's official name, the Democratic
Republic of Korea.
The statement stopped short of saying why the charges
 Kwek had not yet been brought, more than a
year after the ship 
was seized -- but added that a
New York federal court had 
entered a judgment
of forfeiture regarding the vessel, 
on Friday.
The DoJ statement claimed that over a 4-month period between
 August and December 2019 the M/T Courageous stopped 
transmitting information of its location and during this 
time, satellite imagery showed it transferring more 
than $1.5 million worth of oil to a North Korean 
ship, the Saebyol.
The statement added that payments to purchase the oil
made, using US dollars, through unwitting US
banks, in 
violation of US law and UN resolutions.
"Kwek and his co-conspirators overseas sought to conceal 
these sanctions-evading transactions by, among other 
things, using front companies to disguise the nature 
of the transactions," the DoJ said, without further
 elaboration on the alleged co-conspirators.
North Korea has long been under harsh United Nations
over its nuclear and missile programs. The
US has spearheaded 
those sanctions, and has
imposed several rounds of its own.
N Korea does not rule out either ‘dialogue’ or war with US
Former US president Donald Trump attempted to court
But even though he met with North
Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, 
three times, he
refused to relieve any of the sanctions
in return... 
for several steps taken by
Pyongyang toward denuclearization. 

That hampered further diplomacy between Pyongyang
Washington, and prompted Kim to announce an
end to a 
moratorium on the country’s
missile tests.
Pyongyang has blasted the new administration in
Washington for
 pursuing a "hostile policy" after
President Joe Biden said 
he would deal with
the “threat” posed by the North's 
program, "through diplomacy, as
well as by stern deterrence."
Kim stresses military readiness ahead of US-S Korea drills
Separately on Friday, the North Korean leader was reported to 
have met with the country’s military officers, and called for 
a stronger capability to cope with any foreign provocation 
ahead of annual drills between South Korea and the 
United States, next month.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said
Kim held
 the workshop of military commanders and
political officers, 
from July 24-27, to discuss ways
to enhance the North’s
 military strength.
During the meeting, Kim “stressed that commanders
and political 
officers should focus all efforts on
completing preparations for 
actively and
offensively coping with any military
provocation of 
KCNA said.
South Korea and the United States are scheduled 
to hold a smaller joint military drill, starting on 
Monday, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kim said “the hostile forces,” an apparent reference
to the US and 
South Korea, were bolstering their
capabilities for making 
preemptive attack,
and intensifying "all sorts of frantic 
persistent war drills for aggression.”
The North Korean leader ordered the country’s military
to put greater efforts into boosting their units'
combat efficiency, 
KCNA added.
North Korea defends its nuclear and ballistic
missiles programs, 
as a deterrent against
potential foreign aggression.
Pyongyang views the joint war games between the US
& its 
neighbours, including the South, as a rehearsal
for war, and 
has repeatedly urged Seoul to stop
participating in 
those drills.


A ‘New Cold War’ has already started, 
but Russia & China are winning 
against a ‘weakening’ West,
says former Kremlin adviser
by Jonny Tickle
July 31st, 8:15am (RT)

The Soviet Union might have lost the first Cold War, but 
Russia is ahead, in the rematch with the US, and this 
time, has every chance of coming out on top. 
That's according to well-known Moscow 
scholar, Sergey Karaganov.
Speaking to Russian newspaper Argumenty I Fakty, the 
academic argued that Moscow is now much stronger 
than it was during the late Soviet period, and the 
West has weakened in that time.
Karaganov has been one of Russia’s top foreign-policy 
theorists for decades, and has also advised President 
Vladimir Putin in the past. He is currently the head of 
the World Economy and International Affairs faculty 
at the Higher School of Economics (HSE), a 
prestigious university in Moscow. 
He is also well-known, for the eponymous ‘Karaganov 
doctrine’ - which states that Moscow should act as a 
defender of human rights for ethnic Russians living
 in the near abroad.
“There are several factors that allow us to talk about 
good chances for success,” the professor explained.
Firstly, he claims, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union 
was concerned with enemies on more than one front. 
Now, with Beijing on the side of Moscow, Russia can 
utilize China as a strategic resource, he went on to 
say. Secondly... Russia is much more prosperous
 than it was during the latter years of the USSR.

 And, most importantly, the West is
less powerful,
than it was in the past.
But, to win even against a weakening but still powerful
West --- we need to pursue the right policies, both at 
home and abroad,” Karaganov warned.
He also pointed to the “burdens” of the Soviet Union that 
don’t apply to Russia, such as, what he described as 
Moscow’s need to feed half of the world -- despite 
local food shortages, as a benefit in its current 
situation. He sees the lack of dependent 
client states as an advantage, in 
Russia's current situation.
“Georgia received the most money per capita in the USSR, 
and Ukraine received the most money in absolute terms,” 
he explained. “It is no coincidence that, with the loss of 
these subsidies, all of them are dramatically poorer.”
When it comes to China, Karaganov dubs the relationship 
a “semi-alliance,” noting that it came about due to the 
West’s geostrategic failures. However, the political 
scientist warned against “selling the country’s 
sovereignty” to Beijing... repeating the 
mistakes of Europe’s close friend-
ship with Washington, in
the past.
Karaganov is well-known for his favorable opinion of relations 
between Russia and China, and has pushed for a closer
 relationship between Beijing and Moscow.
“Knowing Russian history... and the psychology of our people 
and political class, I think that we will not sell our sovereignty
to anyone,” he added. “I also hope for the wisdom of the 
Chinese political class. If I were Chinese, I would never 
do anything against Russia.”
Furthermore, China isn’t Russia’s only close partner, 
Karaganov stated. Moscow now has friendly 
relations with most Arab countries, Iran, 
India, and even with some European 
Union states, such as Hungary 
and Austria.
We are seeing a watershed. We will find out who will be 
part of ‘Greater America’ – like the US and Northwest 
Europe – and who will be on the side of 
‘Greater Eurasia.’”
“The big question is, where Germany will end up,” he 
concluded, referring to the dominant NATO power 
that has embarked on the controversial Nord 
Stream 2 project with Russia --- despite 
staunch objections from NATO allies 
and Washington.

Putin approves Russia's 
participation... as
 observer in SICA
 July 30th, 7:09pm (Prensa Latina)
President Vladimir Putin approved his government's 
proposal for Russia to participate as an observer in
 the Central American Integration System (SICA), 
the country's official legal information portal
published, today. 
According to the presidential decree, the local Foreign 
Ministry was entrusted with the task of signing the 
agreement with SICA, 'allowing the introduction 
of non-fundamental amendments' in the 
project approved by the Russian 
government last week.
In this way, Moscow will be able to attend as an observer 
country in summits and meetings of the SICA councils 
of ministers, as well as in other institutions or 
organizations involved in the promotion of
 integration and cooperation projects.
Established in 1991, the Central American Integration System
 is made up of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, 
Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, and the Dominican Republic.
Its main purpose is the integration of Central America, to 
turn it into a region of peace, freedom, democracy and 
development, according to its founding statutes.

Nearly 170 Palestinians injured 
in Israeli attack on anti-
settlement protests
July 30th, 6:01pm (PressTV)
Nearly 170 Palestinians have sustained injuries in an attack 
by Israeli forces on anti-settlement protesters near the 
occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
The violence broke out after the Friday prayers, when 
the Israeli regime forces opened fire on Palestinians 
protesting against the construction of a settlement 
outpost on Jabal Sabih in the town of Beita, south 
of Nablus, according to Palestinian media.
Palestine's official Wafa news agency said 29 civilians were 
wounded with live and rubber-coated metal bullets, and 
dozens more suffocated with tear gas, as Israelis 
attacked the protest.
"168 injuries occurred during the confrontations with the 
occupation forces, including 5 with live bullets, 24 with
 rubber-coated metal bullets, while 132 others suffered 
from suffocation as a result of the Israeli forces firing 
tear gas canisters, while seven others were injured," 
Ahmed Jibril, director of ambulance and emergency
 services at the Red Crescent in Nablus, told the 
Palestinian Ma'an news agency.
Local Palestinian sources told Ma'an that confrontations 
erupted in three locations with the occupation forces at 
the Beita Junction, Jabal Sabih, and the al-Houte area.
The sources added that the occupation forces used 
drones to drop tear gas canisters on Palestinians.
The Eviatar settlement outpost near Nablus has for the 
past two months become one of the focal points of 
clashes between settlers backed by regime
 and the Palestinians.
At least five Palestinians were recently shot dead by
 Israeli troops, as they protested the appropriation 
of more than five acres of their land - previously 
used for the cultivation of olives - for the
 construction of the Israeli settlement 
of Eviatar.
The Israeli authorities have decided to turn Eviatar into
 a military base. But the Beita town residents have 
rejected the decision and pledged to continue 
their protests until the outpost is removed.
Tensions have reached boiling point as Israeli settlers 
continue their expropriation of Palestinian land, in 
some cases defying Israeli authorities by refusing 
to evacuate land that Palestinians depend on for 
their livelihoods.
However, decades of successive Israeli regimes' economic 
and political support for the settler movement, including 
prevarication and indifference to illegal outposts, have 
emboldened the settlers.
Villages in the occupied West Bank often hold Friday 
demonstrations against land confiscations, house 
demolitions, and Israeli settlements. Israeli
usually respond to the protests
disproportionate violence.
Israeli soldiers clash with mourners in Hebron
Elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories on Friday,
 Israeli forces violently clashed with Palestinian mourners 
attending the funeral of a young man shot dead by the 
regime’s soldiers near the city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
The Tel Aviv regime fired tear gas and rubber bullets against
 the mourners, injuring a number of Palestinians.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the 20-year-old 
Shawkat Khaled Awad was shot by Israeli soldiers on 
Thursday and was critically wounded in Beit Ummar 
town, north of the southern West Bank city 
of Hebron.
Palestinian media reported that the young man was shot in
 the head and abdomen before being admitted to hospital, 
where he succumbed to his injuries, hours later.

Informed sources: Raid on
 Israeli-managed vessel was 
retaliation for Israeli raid 
on Syria
July 30th, 4:25pm (PressTV)
Informed sources have told Al-Alam television that an 
attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum products 
tanker off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea 
that killed two crew members was in response
 to an Israeli missile attack on Syria that killed 
two resistance forces.
The Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned 
ship, came under attack about 152 nautical miles 
(280 km) northeast of the Omani port of Duqm 
on Thursday, according to the UK Maritime 
Trade Operations (UKMTO), which 
provides maritime security
In a statement on Friday, Zodiac Maritime, the Israeli-
owned firm managing the oil tanker, claimed that 
two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian, had 
been killed in the assault.
“Details of the incident are still being established and 
an investigation into the incident is currently under-
way. We continue to work closely with the UKMTO
and other relevant authorities,” London-based 
Zodiac said, on its website.
It also said it was “not aware of harm to any other 
personnel” than the British and Romanian crew
-men, who were, allegedly, killed.
According to Refinitiv ship tracking, the medium-size 
tanker was headed to Fujairah, a port and oil terminal 
in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from Tanzania. 
Earlier on Friday, the firm described the incident 
as suspected piracy --- but the UKMTO 
categorized it as not piracy-related.
The company said the vessel was now sailing under 
the control of its crew and on its own power, to a 
safe location... with a US naval escort.
In recent months, several other Israeli ships have come 
under apparent attacks on various maritime routes 
across the world. Earlier in the month, a fire broke
 out on an Israeli-owned cargo ship after it was 
struck by an “unidentified weapon” in the 
northern Indian Ocean. Lebanon’s al-
Mayadeen television network said 
the Israeli vessel had been on 
route to the coast of the UAE 
when it was attacked.
Back in February, an Israeli-owned ship was hit by an 
explosion in the sea of Oman. In April, another Israeli 
ship came under attack off the coast of the UAE.
The attacks come against a backdrop of the Israeli 
regime’s various assaults on cargo ships across 
the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.

US will repeat mistakes
 of Afghanistan war:
July 30th, 1:58pm (PressTV)
An inspector general appointed by the US Congress
 to examine the war in Afghanistan has enumerated 
Washington’s failures in 20 years of war in the 
Asian country and says the US will repeat 
those mistakes.
John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan
 Reconstruction (SIGAR), said Thursday, that Washington 
had shifted its goals & set unrealistic timelines, among 
other mistakes, in the Afghanistan war.
“Don’t believe what you’re told by the generals, or the 
ambassadors, or people in the administration saying 
we’re never going to do this again. That’s exactly 
what we said after Vietnam,” Sopko said, at a 
Defense Writers Group discussion with 
reporters. “We will do it again.”
Sopko also said that US officials “knew
 how bad the Afghan military was.”
“But the average American, the average taxpayer, the 
average congressman, the average person working 
in the embassy, wouldn’t know how bad it was,” 
he said.
The inspector general made the remarks... after his office 
submitted its latest quarterly report to the US Congress, 
which provided a grim view of the war in Afghanistan.
The report came as the US military has withdrawn most 
of its troops from Afghanistan, under a deal with the 
Taliban militant group that was reached last year.
The US’s 2001 invasion of Afghanistan ousted the Taliban 
from power, but it worsened the security situation in the 
country. The invasion, which has led to the longest war 
in US history, has left the nation “poor, aid-dependent, 
and conflict-affected,” according to the SIGAR report.
The document also said that the Afghan military appeared 
“surprised and unready, and is now on it back foot” in the
 fight against the Taliban militants.
“Civilian casualties hit a record high in May and June...
 overall trend is clearly unfavorable to the Afghan 
government, which could face an existential 
crisis if it isn’t addressed and reversed,”
 the report said.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley had 
claimed last week that he had confidence in the ability 
of Afghan forces to fend off a Taliban takeover of the 
country. “I don’t think the end game is yet written,”
 Milley said then.
The Taliban, who have intensified attacks across Afghanistan, 
now control about 212 of the country’s 419 district centres,
 according to the US military. The US is also blamed for 
the surge in the Taliban violence, as it has failed to 
stabilize the security situation in Afghanistan... 
after two decades of war and occupation.

Yemeni Forces Liberate More Areas
 in Al-Bayda Province from 
Saudi-led Mercenaries
July 30th, 1:57pm (al Manar)

Spokesman of the Yemeni Armed Forces, General Yahya Sarea,
 announced, in a statement on Friday, that the offensive against
 the Saudi-led mercenaries in Al-Bayda province has made 
more advances.
General Sarea indicated that the Yemeni army and popular 
committees liberated the two directorates of Noaman and
 Natea from the the Saudi-led mercenaries, and inflicted 
heavy losses upon them.
Hundreds of Saudi-led militants and mercenaries were 
killed, injured, or captured, according to General Sarea.
The Yemeni military spokesman added that the Yemeni forces 
will eradicate the remnants of the mercenaries in Al-Bayda, 
stressing that the operations across Yemen will continue 
until the full liberation and the end of the Saudi 
aggression and blockade.
Yemen has been, since March 25th, 2015, under aggression 
by the Saudi-led coalition, in a bid to restore power to 
the fugitive Hadi, who is Riyadh’s ally. Tens of 
thousands of Yemenis have been killed 
or injured by Saudi-led airstrikes.
The Arab country has been also under harsh blockade by
 the coalition which includes, in addition to the Kingdom, 
the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco 
and Sudan.
Source: Al-Manar English Website
US Convoy Comes under 
Attack in Iraq’s Babil
July 30th, 1:23pm (al Manar)
A US convoy was targeted in the southern Iraqi 
province of Babil, local media reported 
on Friday.
The Telegram channel “Saberin News”, reported 
that a US logistics convoy was targeted in Babil 
in the south, the third such attack on US forces 
in the last 24 hours.
Saberin News has said that the footage of the attack 
was recorded and will publish it as soon as it 
receives the scenes from the “Qassem 
al-Jabarin” group.
The new attack on the US troops comes a day after 
Iraqi sources reported yesterday that several US 
convoys had been attacked in al-Diwaniyah, 
Babil and al-Nasiriyah provinces in
 the country.
Dozens of attacks on US troops have been reported 
in the last months. A piece of legislation approved
in the Iraqi parliament in early 2020 after the US 
assassination of Iranian and Iraqi Resistance 
commanders, General Qassem Suleimani 
and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis --- near 
Baghdad airport in January 2020.
Calls for an end to the presence of the foreign troops 
in the country have escalated in the wake of the
assassination Suleimani and Al-Muhandis. 
However, the US withdrawal has yet to 
be fulfilled.
Source: Iraqi media
Save the Children censures 
Israel - for excessive force 
against Palestinian kids
July 30th,1:23pm (PressTV)
An international aid group has censured the excessive
 of force by Israeli soldiers against children in the 
occupied Palestinian territories.
Save the Children released a press statement on Thursday 
after three Palestinian children were killed across the
Bank, as a result of extreme violence
exercised by the 
troops over
the past week.
It added that Israeli forces killed a Palestinian boy in the
 town of Beit Ummar, north of the West Bank city of 
al-Khalil (Hebron), after shooting him in the chest
 while he sat in a car with his sister and
on Wednesday.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Mohammad Mouayyad 
Allamy was shot in the chest and suffered bleeding in his
 lungs, when Israeli forces opened fire at the car and 
added that the boy was evacuated by medics in a
critical condition to al-Ahli Hospital, but later 
died of his injuries.
According to Save the Children, another 17-year-old Palestinian
 teenager was also shot in the back and died in hospital after 
four hours of surgery on Saturday, after Israeli forces
 stormed the town of Beita, south of Nablus.
It said a third teenager died from gunshot wounds earlier this
 week -- he sustained in the neck more than eight weeks ago.
“Three children shot in the chest, neck and back: this is totally
 unacceptable that any life should be cut short so young,” said 
Jason Lee, Country Director for Save the Children in Palestine.
He added that the families and friends of these children would 
suffer “lasting emotional scars” on their losses, emphasizing,
 “Children have special protection under international law 
and must be protected from violence at all times.”
He added that Israeli forces must respect children’s rights and 
the Israeli regime must open an investigation into all
 instances involving the use of force against the
 Palestinian children.
“Israeli security forces must fully respect, protect and fulfill the 
rights of all children and act in accordance with international 
law. Israel should promptly, transparently and independently 
investigate all instances of use of force against children,”
 Lee said.
The non-governmental organization Defense for Children 
International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) said in a press 
statement that Israeli soldiers had, in the early hours
 of Thursday, raided its headquarters in Sateh 
Marhaba neighbourhood, in al-Bireh city
 near Ramallah.

Iraqi Groups Vow to 
Force US Troops to
 Leave in Humiliation
July 30th, 12:35pm (FNA)
Iraqi Kata'ib Hezbollah resistance movement emphasized 
that US military troops must withdraw from the Arab 
country, and it is ready to force the occupation
 troops to do so.
The anti-terror group, which is part of the Popular Mobilization 
Units – better known by the Arabic word Hashd Al-Sha’abi -- 
announced in a statement on Thursday, that it has and 
will, firmly oppose the dominance of “evil” colonial 
powers, over the natural resources of Iraq, 
presstv reported.
The statement noted that Kata'ib Hezbollah will continue 
to carry out its duties, regardless of the pressures and 
challenges it might face.
“All resistance groups have become a thorn in the eye of 
the American enemy. We are fully prepared to, once
drive US forces out of Iraq in humiliation,”
it also read.
Kata'ib Hezbollah warned that further surprises await American
 occupation forces in case they insist on their presence on the
 Iraqi soil.
Jafar Al-Hussaini, spokesman for Kata'ib Hezbollah movement, 
said Iraq's resistance factions would not target diplomatic 
missions in the country, describing attacks on the US 
embassy in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, as false
-flag operations aimed at deceiving the Iraqi nation.
"Diplomatic facilities in Iraq are not on the list of targets by 
resistance forces. Attacks on the evil US embassy in 
Baghdad are meant to disrupt equations and trick 
Iraqi people,” Hussaini told Lebanon’s Arabic-
language Al-Mayadeen TV on Thursday.
He added, “The perpetrators of attacks on the evil embassy
 are pursuing destructive interests, and their affiliations
 are suspicious.”
Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq movement, said 
the United States does not intend to withdraw its forces 
from Iraq --- stressing that the cost of the continued 
presence of US forces in the country will be heavy.
“US overflights in Iraq are aimed at espionage purposes. 
Baghdad-Washington negotiations will not result in the 
withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. This is just a 
deception game,” he added.
Khazali described the Iraqi government's negotiations 
with the United States and the agreement purportedly 
ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 
2021, as “deceptive” and “bogus”.
He said the agreement does not explicitly state the with-
drawal of US forces from Iraq, and fails short of 
addressing violations of Iraqi airspace, by
military aircraft.
“The agreement has simply been struck, in order to change 
the title of US forces. This is what we had earlier reported 
about. US overflights in Iraq are being carried out to spy 
on resistance groups. Our demand concerning the 
pullout of foreign military forces is legitimate,”
 Khazali said.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa 
Al-Kadhimi on Monday sealed an agreement formally
 ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of
 the current year, more than 18 years after US 
troops were sent to the Arab country.
Under the agreement, however, US military forces will 
continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed 
as an “advisory role”.

More than 70 people killed in DPR 
since Additional Measures
 came into force
July 30th, 12pm (DAN)
 More than 70 people in the DPR were killed since the 
Additional Measures to reinforce the ceasefire came 
into force, the Republic’s Ombudswoman, Daria 
Morozova, said.
“Since July 27th, 2020, when the Measures came into force, 
68 DPR service members and five civilians have been killed 
as a result of Kiev’s aggression, one child is among 
the victims.”
According to the report, 84 defenders 
and 15 civilians were injured.
Morozova added that all the diplomatic efforts
 to settle the conflict, are eroded by the 
actions of the Ukrainian military.
“I believe that the situation requires an immediate 
and objective legal assessment by international 
human rights organizations. Those who 
committed war crimes, must be held 
responsible,” she said.
On July 28th, three DPR service members were 
killed in a mortar barrage of Novaya Mariyvka, 
by Ukrainian forces. 
Lebanon: LAF Commander Vows 
to Confront Challenges --- on 
76th Army Day Anniversary
July 30th, 11:26am (al Manar)
Lebanese Armed Forces Chief Major General Joseph Aoun 
addressed soldiers, in Order of the Day, on the 76th Army 
Day Anniversary.
“On the first of August this year, Lebanon is at the threshold 
of the first anniversary of the fateful port blast that hit the
heart of the capital and claimed 206 lives. This coincides 
with the most severe economic and financial crisis in
 recent history amid the ongoing coronavirus 
pandemic,” Aoun said, in the Order
of the Day.
He noted that all eyes are on the military institution, “which
 remains the point of convergence for Lebanese hopes.”
The army commander called on soldiers not to allow anyone 
to exploit the poor living conditions to question their faith in
 your country and institution.
“Lebanon is entrusted to us, and under no circumstances 
we will allow it to plunge into chaos and lose its security 
and stability.”
“We will be facing additional challenges, stand ready to face 
them wisely, patiently and carefully. Do not let sedition
 infiltrate our homeland, and do not allow exploiters
 to achieve their aims.”
Source: Lebanese media
‘Israeli’ Ship Targeted
 Off Oman: Reports
July 30th, 9:27am (al Manar)
An ‘Israeli’ ship was reportedly targeted off the coast of Oman 
in the Arabian Sea, a British military group said on Friday, 
offering few other details.
Relatively, ‘Israel’ Hayom newspaper cited the British Defense 
Ministry as saying the reports suggest that the ‘Israeli’-owned 
merchant ship was attacked on Thursday in the Arab Sea.
According to Associated Press, the brief statement from UK
 Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was 
underway into the incident, which it described as 
happening late Thursday night, just northeast 
of the Omani island of Masirah.
The location is over 300 kilometres 
southeast of Oman’s capital, Muscat.
The statement did not elaborate, other to say that it suspected 
the attack did not involve piracy. Earlier on Thursday, the 
British military group had said it was investigating 
another unexplained incident in the same area, 
but did not elaborate.
Oman did not immediately acknowledge an attack 
and officials there did not respond to requests
 for comment.
Additionally, the US Navy’s 5th Fleet did not immediately 
respond to a request for comment, according to AP.
Source: Agencies

Ukrainian forces violate ceasefire 
four times in 24 hours – JCCC
July 30th, 8:45am (DAN)

 Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire four times
 over the past 24 hours, the DPR mission to the 
Joint Centre for Control and Coordination
 (JCCC) said.
“Over the past 24 hours, the number of registered 
violations was four, the number of rounds fired 
was 35 (of 12.7 mm calibre and higher)″.
Four townships were targeted with artillery and mortars.
All the attempts to reinstall the ceasefire through the 
coordination mechanism failed as Ukrainians
 ignored the requests.
On Thursday, Ukrainian army violated the ceasefire
 eight times.

Yemeni army troops, allies, foil 
infiltration bids in Hudaydah, 
kill Saudi mercenaries
July 30th, 8:15am (PressTV)
Yemeni army soldiers, supported by fighters from allied Popular
 Committees, have thwarted two infiltration attempts by Saudi-
led coalition forces and their Takfiri mercenaries in Yemen’s 
strategic western province of Hudaydah, leaving scores of
 them dead.
A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, 
said the Yemeni troops and allies confronted two separate 
groups of Saudi-led forces and militants who were 
attempting to sneak into al-Faza area, south of 
the provincial capital city of Hudaydah, 
on Thursday.
Saudis violate Hudaydah truce 190 times in 24 hours
Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said the Saudi-led 
military coalition and their mercenaries had violated 203 
times, during the past 24 hours, a ceasefire agreement  
on Hudaydah.
Citing an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and 
Coordination Officers Operations Room, the 
television said the violations included 34
 reconnaissance flights... over various
 regions, in addition to 98 counts of 
artillery shelling and 136 shooting
Saudi warplanes bomb Ma’rib
Later in the day, Saudi warplanes carried out nearly two 
dozen airstrikes against Rahabah and Jabal Murad 
districts in the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib.
There were no immediate reports about 
possible casualties and the extent 
of damage.

Israeli Defense Minister
 to French Officials: 
Hezbollah Must Be 
Politically Isolated
 in Lebanon
July 29th, 7:56pm (al Manar)
The Israeli defense minister, Benny Gantz, arrived in Paris 
to discuss with the French officials their concerns about 
the case of spying on the phone of the French president 
via the Zionist Pegasus malware.
Reassuring the French officials regarding the spy reports, 
Gantz attempted to utilize his visit to provoke France
 against Hezbollah.
The Israeli DM warned the French officials against providing 
Lebanon with any aid before mitigating the power and 
influence of Hezbollah, calling for isolating the
 Resistance Party politically.
Gantz also offered the Rench officials with maps and data 
reports about what he claimed to be the positions of 
Hezbollah precision-guided-missiles, and the
nuclear program.
Source: Al-Manar English Website
US Reportedly Plans to Slap
 Iran's Missile, Drone Building
 Industry With Sanctions
by Tim Korso
July 29th, 7:55pm (Sputnik)
Iran strongly rejected attempts to limit its ballistic missile 
programme's capabilities, in addition to the limits 
imposed on its nuclear programme, in 2015. 
Tehran noted that it has the sovereign 
right to develop its own weapons, 
excluding nuclear weapons.
The White House is planning to slap new sanctions against Iran 
as it struggles to negotiate the lifting of those existing in 
exchange for Tehran's return to compliance with the 
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also 
known as the Iran nuclear deal - The Wall Street 
Journal reported, citing anonymous US officials. 
The new sanctions will reportedly target Iran's 
guided missile and drone building capabilities.
"It’s part of a comprehensive approach so we’re dealing with all 
aspects of the Iranian threat", the outlet cites an unnamed US 
official as saying.
The WSJ claims the decision is prompted by an assessment that
 the Islamic republic's guided missiles and drones currently 
present a bigger threat than the prospect of the manufacture
 of nuclear weapons to Middle East stability. Tehran has 
repeatedly rejected notions that it either seeks to build
 nuclear weapons, or is responsible for destabilising
 the region. According to the Iranian authorities,
US and Israel are the most significant
sources of 
disturbance in the
Middle East.
In the past, Washington imposed sanctions against Iran's ballistic
 missile programme, which was never ruled illegal by the UN 
Security Council, despite a disapproval of its development 
by Tehran. Now, the US will reportedly be targeting guided
 missile and drone programs, undermining the supply 
chain for parts needed in their production, WSJ 
sources claim. Last week, the same outlet 
claimed that the White House also eyes 
slapping sanctions on the allegedly 
continuing oil trade between 
Tehran and Beijing.
New Sanctions Amid Failing Iran Nuclear Deal Talks
The reported plans for new sanctions against Iran are bound 
to complicate things for the US in the field of returning Tehran 
to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal – a 2015 accord that 
started to collapse in 2018 after former US President Donald 
Trump unilaterally withdrew the country from the agreement. 
The Biden administration tried to negotiate Iran's return to 
compliance with the JCPOA, which it had been gradually 
abandoning since 2019, in exchange for lifting most of 
the sanctions introduced against the country's oil 
trade and other industries. However, these efforts 
have proved to be fruitless -- with talks failing by 
June 2021, ahead of Iran's presidential election.
Who is Iran's New President and What Can
 Be Expected of Him Both Domestically
 and Globally?
Tehran's anti-West hardliner Ebrahim Raisi won the election, 
but he generally supported the idea of returning to the 
JCPOA if it means the complete removal of sanctions 
from the country. Raisi refuses, however, to restart 
the failed talks unless Washington lifts sanctions – 
a prerequisite first introduced under outgoing 
President Hassan Rouhani. The US not only
 refuses to lift the sanctions in advance, 
but is also reportedly mulling leaving 
some in place, regardless of the 
outcome of the talks.

Donbass situation worsens
 as Kiev increases strikes 
several-fold, JCCC warns
July 29th, 6:22pm (DAN)
 Tensions have mounted on the contact line between Ukraine 
and the Donetsk People’s Republic, the DPR Office at the 
Joint Centre for Control and Coordination reported 
on Thursday. 
“As of today, the situation on the contact line continues to 
worsen; Kiev has increased strikes at the Republic by 
several times with weapons banned by the Minsk 
Agreements,” the report said. “Mounting 
tensions on the southern border of the 
Republic in recent times, are of 
particular concern.”
In the period from July 26th to July 29th, Ukrainian forces 
opened fire with 122mm artillery eight times (which is 
more than during the previous three weeks,) and 
also used 120mm mortars (with higher intensity 
compared with the previous two weeks) and 
grenade launchers to shell settlements on 
the Mariupol axis, expending 87 rounds
of ammunition, the DPR Office said.
As a result, three DPR militiamen aged 40, 49 and 42 
were killed, and a 28-year-old militiaman suffered 
serious shrapnel wounds, it said.
Pentagon’s Use of Private
 Security Contractors 
Requires Better
 Oversight - GAO
July 29th, 4:57pm (Sputnik) 
The US Department of Defense's use of private security 
contractors requires better oversight, to ensure they 
operate within international law, the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report 
on Thursday.
"The Department of Defense (DOD), has been unable to 
comprehensively identify private security contractor 
(PSC) contracts.. and the personnel supporting 
contingency, humanitarian, peace-keeping, 
or other similar operations...  limiting
ability to readily & accurately
the use of PSCs,” the
report said.
"Without better identifying and tracking its PSC
and personnel, DOD will not
be able to accurately 
its use of PSCs."
GAO’s report was prompted by allegations the private security
 contractors have violated the Montreux Document - signed 
by 57 nations, including the United States, in support of 
oversight and accountability of such organizations.
The report issued recommendations to improve oversight... 
including to comprehensively determine which contracted 
activities fall within the definition of a private 
security function.
GAO also recommended developing  a data source 
containing info about the personnel and contracts 
that fall within that definition, and create a senior
-level Defense Department position, responsible 
for monitoring oversight.
Israel allows extremist settlers to
 seize vast swathes of Palestinian
-owned lands in occupied
West Bank
July 29th, 4:23pm (PressTV)
Israeli authorities have allowed dozens of extremist Jewish
 settlers, to seize thousands of acres of Palestinian-owned 
agricultural lands around six illegal outposts in the West 
Bank, as the Tel Aviv regime continues with its land 
expropriation policies irrespective of international 
outcries and UN Security Council resolutions.
According to a report published by Palestine’s official WAFA 
news agency on Thursday, the so-called Civil Administration
 – the Israeli body that handles agricultural and building 
permits, roads, water and electricity issues in the West 
Bank – has allocated 8,719 dunams (over 2,154 acres) 
of land to be taken over by the settlers.
The report, citing Peace Now – an Israeli anti-settlement group 
that monitors settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, 
noted that the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural 
Development has given, over the past few years, 
approximately 2.6 million Israeli shekels 
($800,000) to the Hashomer Yosh 
organization to purportedly 
cultivate or graze the land 
at the six agricultural 
settlement outposts
 in the occupied 
West Bank.
Peace Now went on to highlight that the ministry has actually
 funded two other associations that work in the illegal 
agricultural outposts.
The two associations of Kedma and Beit Yatir Preparatory are 
said to be active in tens of thousands of dunams of land.
“The Ministry of Agriculture takes millions of shekels of public 
assets, and gives them to associations which are intrinsically
linked to illegal activities,” Peace Now said.
It stressed the need for Israeli authorities to change their policies 
“immediately and stop supporting outposts and illegal activities.”
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since
 the 1967 occupation of the West Bank & East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities 
in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, 
which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East
 Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under
 international law.”
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The 
UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement 
activities in the occupied territories in 
several resolutions.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future
 independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds 
as its capital.
Terrorist Groups Bombard 
National Hospital and 
Residential Neighbour-
hoods in Syria’s Daraa
July 29th, 4:08pm (al Manar)
Terrorist groups targeted with shells the National 
Hospital and the citizens’ homes in the Syrian
 city of Daraa.
SANA reporter said that the terrorist groups, positioned
in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood, targeted neighbour-
hoods in Daraa city with shells, one of which fell
 the National Hospital, damaging equipment
supplies in the Renal Department.
The reporter pointed out that a mortar shell fell in al-Sahara
 neighbourhood, adjacent to Daraa al-Balad, causing
 material damage to properties.
Source: SANA

Iraq’s Resistance Groups Say
Will Not Accept US Military
Presence Under Any Role,
Call for Full Withdrawal
July 29th,  3:15pm (FNA)
 Iraqi resistance groups said they are adamantly opposed
 to a continued US military presence in their country, in 
any shape or form, after President Joe Biden declared 
that the US combat mission in Iraq will shift to an 
advisory role by the end of the year.
Spokesman of Kata'ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada group Kadhim 
Al-Fartousi stated the talks between the Iraqi govern-
 and the Biden administration on the withdrawal
of US 
troops, are “aimed at legitimizing the US
presence in
 Iraq", presstv reported.
Al-Fartousi added that "the Iraqi government made a grave 
mistake when it undertook the role of a mediator between 
the Resistance and the US”, in response to an agreement
reached between Baghdad and Washington, on the end 
of the US military combat mission in Iraq.
“By doing so, it (the Iraqi government) recognized the 
presence of US combat troops in Iraq," he continued.
Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced 
an agreement on Monday, enabling the end of the US combat 
mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, with the US president 
claiming US forces will, however, operate in the Arab 
country in an advisory role.
"Our role in Iraq will be ... to be available, to continue to train, 
to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS (Daesh or ISIL) as it 
arises, but we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, 
in a combat mission," Biden told reporters, as he and 
Al-Kadhimi met.
There are currently 2,500 US troops in Iraq, who Washington 
claims are focusing on countering the remnants of the 
Daesh terrorist group. Washington says the role in 
Iraq will shift entirely to training and advising the
 Iraqi military to defend itself, but the move is 
dismissed as a simple rebranding of the 
US occupation.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq 
resistance group, Qais Al-Khazali, rejected the Iraqi
 Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein's statement about 
the need for the US forces to stay. 
Al-Khazali stated, "The statement is rejected and does
 not reflect the reality of the capabilities the Iraqi 
forces have attained."
Speaking at a joint press conference alongside his US
counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday, 
Hussein noted Baghdad still required Washington's 
help, and called for maintaining bilateral security 
"We need to work with the International Coalition, led by
 the United States, against the terrorists of Daesh," 
Hussein alleged, adding, "We need cooperation 
in the field of intelligence. We need help with 
training. We need troops to help us in
 the air.”
Al-Khazali criticized on Wednesday the agreement reached 
between Biden and Al-Kadhimi on ending the US combat 
mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, but still keeping US
 troops there... with what is called a training and 
advisory role.
He warned about the harmful presence of the US military
 in the country and said, “We need the prime minister’s 
unequivocal confirmation --- that no US air base will 
remain in Iraq.”
He added that the government should set up a parliamentary 
committee to pursue the non-violation of Iraqi sovereignty
by the United States, and introduce the bases hosting 
US military personnel, and that the committee must 
have the right to enter the Ein Al-Assad airbase 
without prior notice.
He also stated... that the US drones are actually spying on 
and monitoring resistance factions and Hashd Al-Sha’abi
 in Iraq’s Southern and Central provinces.
“The US government has no real intention to leave Iraq. 
The strategic dialog between Washington and Baghdad 
is a deceptive move that will not lead to the pullout of 
US troops from Iraq --- and any agreement [in this 
regard] is only a play of words,” he continued.
“The United States has occupied Iraq and will not leave 
easily, and without strong resistance... The cost of
keeping US troops in Iraq will be high,” Al-Khazali
 said, adding, “The resistance movements will 
not be deceived, unless practical steps are 
taken to oust the Americans.”
“The resistance will continue until a real withdrawal 
of foreign troops from Iraq comes about,” he noted, 
describing the demand for the pullout of US forces 
as “national, legal and legitimate".
Al-Khazali stressed that US training during the existence 
of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, proved to be a 
failure --- as Iraq performed better when it was
under US training.
Meantime, Nasr Al-Shammari, Spokesman of Iraq's 
Al-Nujaba movement, opposed any US 
military presence.
Reacting to some politicians who are now calling for the 
continuation of the US presence in Iraq, Al-Shammari 
said, “Whoever demands a continued US military 
presence in Iraq, aims to gain internal power... 
through the foreign powers.” 
"US forces in Iraq did not provide an early warning against