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Pro-Russians seize more territories from Ukraine army

By , September 2, 2014 1:44 am

Pro-Russians seize more territories from Ukraine army
By: Press TV on: 01.09.2014 [05:34 ] (286 reads)

Pro-Russians seize more territories from Ukraine army
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:27PM GMT
‘Ukraine bombing own people’‘West seeks sanctions war with Russia’Related Viewpoints:
Red Cross wins aid convoy battlePro-Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine have reportedly seized swathes of territory from government forces who abandoned vehicles and ammunition as they retreated.

Witnesses said they saw no signs of government troops south of the city of Donetsk.

According to reports, pro-Russian forces have pushed their way into the eastern port of Novoazovsk.

The mayor of the town on the Sea of Azov said that the activists had entered, but Ukrainian army claimed it was still in “total control” of the town.

After weeks of military operations that have seen government forces push deep into the last bastions of pro-Russians, the tide appears to be turning once again in the four-month conflict.

Kiev is now calling on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for help. Evidence of the deteriorating situation emerged just hours after the first meeting in three months between President Petro Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence the pro-Russians in mid-April.

The political unrest in eastern Ukraine has so far claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people, according to figures released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Nearly 300,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes due to fierce fighting in the east, according to the UN.

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Can China Do More For Iraq?

By , August 27, 2014 5:10 am

Can China Do More For Iraq?

By John Lee.

China expert Simone Van Nieuwenhuizen has written an opinion piece for The Diplomata foreign affairs journal that covers events in Asia. She argues that it would be in China’s interests to do more for Iraq.

In the piece, Van Niewenhuizen notes that not only has China been threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but also supports a UN Resolution condemning terror groups in Iraq and Syria and imports a significant amount of Iraq’s oil.

But despite China’s involvement in investment and reconstruction in Iraq, the Asian giant has so far avoided any counter-terror commitments currently being pursued by both NATO and Russia, among other countries with interests in the Middle East.

Van Nieuwenhuizen argues this situation may soon change if China wishes to safeguard her MENA region interests. Read the full piece here.

(Source: The Diplomat)

Iraq Business News

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By , August 25, 2014 2:04 pm
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US Considers Sending More Advisers

By , August 22, 2014 11:09 am

US Considers Sending More Advisers

By Patrick Schmidt.

American officials have announced that more US troops may be deployed to Iraq in the coming weeks. The additional troops would be based in the capitol city of Baghdad. Approximately 748 US troops have been deployed to Iraq since the rise of the Islamic State (IS).

These troops supplement the usual 100 troops that are stationed in Iraq for the purpose of security cooperation. President Obama has authorized up to 775 additional troops in Iraq.

Department of Defense officials estimate the additional team would number under 300 soldiers. They would be tasked with providing extra security. However, the proposal has yet to be approved by top-ranking officials.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

Iraq Business News

U.S. Delivers More Aid to Iraq Refugees, More Airstrikes to ISIS

By , August 20, 2014 1:43 pm

U.S. Delivers More Aid to Iraq Refugees, More Airstrikes to ISIS

(CNN) — The United States resumed airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq Wednesday, a day after the jihadist militants released a video showing the beheading of an American journalist.

U.S. forces carried out 14 airstrikes on Wednesday, destroying or damaging six ISIS humvees, two armored trucks and other targets, the Defense Department said.

The airstrikes were in the vicinity of the Mosul Dam, which Kurdish forces recently recaptured from ISIS with support of U.S. air power.

In the same video that shows the beheading of journalist James Foley, a second American, believed to be journalist Steven Sotloff, appears.

Whether Sotloff lives or dies, the executioner says on the video, depends on what Obama does next.

Humanitarian operation under way

A plane carrying the first load of humanitarian aid as part of a multiday operation to help hundreds of thousands of displaced people in northern Iraq has landed in Irbil, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday.

It’s one of the largest aid pushes the agency has ever undertaken. And it’s much needed. Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes as ISIS militants have advanced.

The first Boeing 747 to land carried 100 tons of aid, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. Three more flights will follow from Jordan into Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, with the last on Saturday.

The airlift will be bolstered by deliveries made by road and sea over the next 10 days, with 175 trucks ferrying cargo from warehouses in Turkey, Jordan and Iran.

The shipments include thousands of tents, plastic sheets, kitchen sets and jerrycans, destined for families who fled with little more than the clothes on their back.

In total, the UNHCR intends to bring 2,410 tons of aid into northern Iraq between now and the start of September.

Many have been sleeping rough where they can, finding shelter in schools, parks or unfinished buildings, the UNHCR said. The agency is working to set up a dozen or more tent cities in Dohuk and Irbil governorates where some 140,000 people can be housed.

“This is a massive logistics operation to bring in relief supplies by air, land and sea to help the hundreds of thousands of desperate people who have fled suddenly with nothing but their lives, and are now struggling to survive in harsh conditions,” said U.N. High Commissioner Antonio Guterres.

“It’s the largest single aid push we have mounted in more than a decade.”

The ISIS militants, who are Sunni Muslim extremists, have carried out brutal attacks on towns and villages as they’ve advanced across Iraq, targeting Iraq’s Christians, minority sects such as the Yazidis, centered in the northern Sinjar area, and Shia Muslims.

The UNHCR estimates that 1.2 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes so far this year, including more than a half-million in the western Anbar province and a similar number in northern Iraq.

Executions, beheadings

As the massive aid operation swings into gear, fierce fighting continues between the militants and Kurdish forces for control of northern Iraq.

On Monday, U.S. airstrikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces take control of the key Mosul Dam, fighting back the militants who had seized it.

The stakes were huge for the millions of Iraqis who live downstream from the dam, the largest in the country, amid fears that if it were breached floods would have threatened lives in Mosul and downriver in Baghdad.

Now that the dam is cleared of ISIS militants, Iraqi forces are moving to grow their area of control, the Pentagon said.

The ISIS militants have carried out numerous executions, including beheadings, as part of its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate that stretches from Syria into Iraq. In many cases, ISIS — which refers to itself as the Islamic State — has videotaped the executions and posted them online.

Assyrian International News Agency

UN Declares Iraq ‘Level 3 Emergency’ to Trigger More Resources, Speed Up Aid Delivery

By , August 15, 2014 8:18 am

UN Declares Iraq ‘Level 3 Emergency’ to Trigger More Resources, Speed Up Aid Delivery

The distribution of tents and non-food aid continues as the population of Newroz camp grows as more and more Yazidis arrive from Mount Sinjar in Iraq (photo: UNHCR).The United Nations has designated its highest level emergency for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, citing the scale and complexity of the situation, which is impacting tens of thousands of people that have been forcefully displaced by the armed group, Islamic State (IS).

The “Level 3 Emergency” designation will “facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.

UN officials are particularly concerned about the situation on Sinjar Mountain, where families remain trapped and the health conditions are quickly deteriorating.

Among them, Marzio Babille, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Iraq, who also confirmed that the agency and other humanitarian actors are stepping up efforts to meet the growing needs of those who are being extracted from the Mountain, while helping a further 12,000 displaced Christians sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

The town of Zakho near the Turkish border is hosting some 100,000 displaced Iraqis, mainly from Sinjar and Zumar, who fled in the previous week. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that the Dohuk Governorate, in which Zakho is located, is now hosting close to 400,000 displaced Iraqis, including Yazidis, Christians, Shabak, Kakai, Armenian and Turkman minorities — some of whom have endured repeated displacement.

UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Jane Pearce and UNHCR Representative Shoko Shimozawa pledged to support the Dahuk Governorate in its considerable efforts to meet the needs of those displaced.

In addition, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is working the local authorities and partners to distribute hygiene supplies and clothing to more than 1,300 pregnant women, and medical supplies to support 150,000 people.

There are only three other countries in the world that share a Level 3 emergency status: Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Syria.

Speaking by telephone from Iraq on behalf of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Kieran Dwyer said the priority status will allow aid workers to “do everything to save lives right now.”

“Humanitarian organizations, in a time that there are so many crises, have to be able to prioritize,” said Mr. Dwyer. “It means that when we make decisions about rapidly mobilizing staffing and resources… Iraq is right up there in the top priority for immediate emergency action now.”

The decision to raise the level was made by a coordinating body comprised of UN representatives and non-governmental organizations. Based on Mr. Dwyer’s briefing, the decision was made in the context of the 1.2 million people displaced in Iraq since January, coupled with the rapidly deteriorating security situation that continues to cause people to be displaced.

Earlier today, the UN official visited Dohuk Governorate and spoke with people displaced, as well as aid workers and local officials, about the situation on Sinjar Mountain.

“They do not feel safe to go home,” he told the journalists. “Nobody went up that mountain because they really wanted to. They fled for their lives. And they have not been able to return to their homes, and they know they cannot return to their homes.”

There are at least several thousand people still on the mountain, Mr. Dwyer said. He confirmed, however, that based on accounts from local authorities, “large numbers” of people were able to come off the mountain in the last few days.

The support of the international community and the commitment of the regional authorities are “extraordinary,” he said, but more needs to be done to provide the displaced people with the protection and the shelter they urgently need.

Meanwhile in New York, a UN spokesperson reported that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson met with Bishop Sarhad Jammo and Bishop Francis of Iraq’s Chaldean American Community, leading a delegation of Iraqi Christian representatives and community leaders from throughout the United States.

According to the spokesperson, Mr. Eliasson recognized the serious plight of religious minorities in Iraq at the hands of so-called Islamic State forces. He expressed his deep compassion for the victims and affected communities.

He assured the delegation that the United Nations is now taking urgent humanitarian action. He also underlined the need for global solidarity and support to address the needs of these afflicted communities.

Assyrian International News Agency

San Francisco Assyrians Call For More International Military, Humanitarian Involvement In Iraq

By , August 9, 2014 4:05 am

San Francisco Assyrians Call For More International Military, Humanitarian Involvement In Iraq

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Assyrian American Association of the Bay Area was staging a rally Friday morning at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco to call for urgent humanitarian aide and international military support in Iraq against ISIS militants.

The protest was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. with an observance of the 99-year anniversary of the Assyrian Martyr’s Day to memorialize the fallen Assyrians in Iraq and Syria. The group will then march to San Francisco Federal Building to voice desires for a larger international effort.

This comes after U.S. fighters dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq Friday, redeeming President Barack Obama’s promise of military force to counter the advancing militants and confront the threat they pose to Iraqi civilians and Americans. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it.

Firas Jatour, a volunteer for Assyrian American Association of San Jose and an engineer at a Silicon Valley tech company, said the Assyrian overwhelmingly community supports Obama’s decision to launch airstrikes, but more needs to be done.

“These people could be eliminated from their ancestral homeland,” Jatour said.

He heard Obama’s televised speech Thursday night threatening to renew U.S. military involvement in Iraq’s long sectarian war. Obama said that American military planes already had carried out airdrops of food and water, at the request of the Iraqi government, to tens of thousands of Iraqi religious minorities atop a mountain surrounded by militants and desperately in need of supplies.

Regardless, “we feel the current international action is not proportional,” Jatour said, who is calling on UN forces to go in to keep peace and create a safe haven for refugees adding that “500,000 people have moved out of their home and are living in limbo.”

There’s anywhere from 5-10,000 Assyrians living in the Bay Area, predominately in San Jose with an older community in San Francisco from the early 1900s.

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, who represents California 18th District in Silicon Valley, is one of two Assyrian members of Congress. The Democrat has a history of protecting Assyrian Christians in Iraq from religious and political persecution.

On July 25, she penned a letter to Narsai David, President of the Assyrian Aid Society and a KCBS food critic, detailing her recent efforts for Christians in Iraq. She’s introduced a resolution “calling for urgent international intervention on behalf of Iraqi civilians facing a dire humanitarian crisis and severe persecution in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq.”

The situation has become so severe that the Kurdish regional group is now considering leaving the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. Jatour said his family and friends are lining up at the city’s airport to try to get tickets out.

In Thursday’s somber speech from the White House, Obama outlined a rationale for airstrikes if the Islamic State militants advance on American troops in Irbil and the U.S. consulate there in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The troops were sent to Iraq earlier this year as part of the White House response to the extremist group’s swift movement across the border with Syria and into Iraq.

The president has faced persistent calls to take military action in Syria on humanitarian grounds, given that more than 170,000 people have been killed there.

Critics, including some Republicans in Congress, have argued that Obama’s cautious approach to Syria has allowed the Islamic State group to flourish there, growing strong enough to move across the border with Iraq and make swift gains.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she supported the president’s immediate actions in Iraq but added that she was pleased “by the president’s continued assurances that he will not send U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq.”

There’s no American military solution in Iraq, Pelosi said, and Iraq’s leaders need to “see beyond their divisions and come together to fight this common threat.”

In light of the militants’ advances, Obama dispatched about 800 U.S. forces to Iraq earlier this year, with those troops largely split between joint operation centers in Baghdad and Irbil.

More than half are providing security for the embassy and U.S. personnel. American service members also are involved in improving U.S. intelligence, providing security cooperation and conducting assessments of Iraqi capabilities.

Assyrian International News Agency

Bans may make Russia more independent: Lavrov

By , July 28, 2014 2:02 pm

Bans may make Russia more independent: Lavrov
By: Press TV on: 28.07.2014 [14:04 ] (93 reads)

Bans may make Russia more independent: Lavrov

Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:56AM GMT

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says West’s sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine would not achieve their goal and instead may make Moscow more economically independent.

Lavrov made the remarks at a news conference on Monday in the Russian capital Moscow.

“(Sanctions) simply cannot achieve (their aim) … I assure you, we will overcome any difficulties that may arise in certain areas of the economy, and maybe we will become more independent and more confident in our own strength,” said Lavrov.

The top Russian diplomat added that Moscow would not take tit-for-tat moves or act “hysterically” in response to imposed sanctions by the United States and the European Union.

Lavrov’s remarks come as members of the European Union are due to make a final decision on Tuesday on widening its sanctions against Russia.

The measures include closing EU’s capital markets to Russian state banks, an arms sales embargo and restrictions on dual-use and energy technologies.

On July 25, the European Union added another 15 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and 18 entities to its sanction list, bringing the totals of those affected by bans to 87 people and 20 organizations.

The European Union has been accusing Moscow of playing a key role in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which broke out when Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests in April.

Threats of sanctions against Russia intensified further after Malaysian Flight MH17, heading from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was reportedly shot down on July 17, over Ukraine’s volatile Donetsk region.

Western powers accuse pro-Russia forces of downing the civilian airliner. The pro-Russians deny any involvement in the tragedy. (en) RSS feed for articles and news

Israeli Envoy: Our Military Deserves Nobel Peace Prize for Not Killing More Gazans

By , July 25, 2014 3:17 pm

Israeli Envoy: Our Military Deserves Nobel Peace Prize for Not Killing More Gazans
By: Jason Ditz on: 23.07.2014 [05:44 ] (127 reads)

Israeli Envoy: Our Military Deserves Nobel Peace Prize for Not Killing More Gazans
Says ‘Israeli Soldiers Are Dying So That innocent Palestinians Can Live’
by Jason Ditz, July 22, 2014

While the rest of the world stands aghast at the soaring civilian toll of Israel’s ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer thinks the hundreds of dead civilians, many children, were proof of Israel’s remarkable mercy.

“The truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize,” Dermer insisted, “a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint.” This speech was delivered less than 24 hours after Israel bombed a Gaza hospital.

“Israeli soldiers are dying so that innocent Palestinians can live,” Dermer claimed, going on to contrast Israel’s attacks on densely populated residential neighborhoods in Gaza to deadliest British carpet bombings of German cities during World War 2, which is apparently the standard by which he believes all wars are to be waged.

Lest you think this was an unusual outburst for Dermer, his speech also included a whole section calling Iran “the Great Evil” and another accusing human rights groups of “aiding Hamas” for complaining about all those dead children.

Dermer was appointed Israeli Ambassador to the US last year, replacing outgoing Michael Oren. His appointment was controversial because he had openly campaigned for Mitt Romney in 2012 and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to distance himself from Obama in the lead-up to that election.

He was also controversial because of his history as an outspoken opponent of the two-state solution, which he dubbed “childish,” at a time when Israel was desperately trying to convince the US they were serious about peace. In the midst of an endlessly escalating war, his bellicosity is less out of place, though still remarkably undiplomatic. (en) RSS feed for articles and news

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

By , July 22, 2014 8:22 am

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash
By: RT on: 22.07.2014 [06:35 ] (162 reads)

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash
Published time: July 21, 2014 23:23

Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.
1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.
2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?

“The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”
3. Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes?

“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)
4. Why did Kiev deploy Buk missile system right next to the militia-controlled area straight ahead of the tragedy?

“We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on July 14. The first photo shows Buk launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures.

“Here’s a photo of the same area made on July 17. Please note that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of Buk missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on July 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)
5. On the day of the crash Kiev increased activity on its Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are components of the Buk system in the area. Why?

“Also, July 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on July 15, eight radars operating on July 16, and nine radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”
6. What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights?

“There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.”

“Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing.”

“The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”

7. Why was the military jet flying at almost the same time and the same altitude with a passenger plane?

“At 17:21’35, with the Boeing’s velocity having dropped to 200 kilometers per hour, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters – most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft,” said Makushev.

“Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation.

“Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”
8. Where did the launcher – from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia – come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?

“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems – unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.

“For example, media circulated a video supposedly showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia. This is clearly a fabrication. This video was made in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, as evidenced by the billboard you see in the background, advertising a car dealership at 34 Dnepropetrovsk Street. Krasnoarmeysk has been controlled by the Ukrainian military since May 11.”

9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.
10. Why haven’t US officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia?

“US officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a US satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on July 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time.

“This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.” (en) RSS feed for articles and news