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Air Bombardment or “Chemical Attack”: Suspense Surround Idlib Endgame

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Air Bombardment or “Chemical Attack”: Suspense Surround Idlib Endgame

~By Saeed Naqvi

The Byzantine and Roman sites of Ebla and Idlib, in North West Syria, may well be reduced to dust if an explosion occurs on a scale many expect. Sadly these archaeological losses will not even be noticed. They will be submerged in the looming human catastrophe.

Ever since the manufactured civil war was launched in 2011 to turn the tables on the Arab Spring, the Syrian theatre has seen many climaxes: Homs, Hama, Deraa, Raqqa, Aleppo, 50 kms, North East of Idlib. But there is unanimity that Idlib will shake the region like nothing else has so far. This hyperbole is not based on personal observational, though I have visited Syria in the midst of the civil war.

White House National Security Adviser, John Bolton has been warning repeatedly that the Syrian government was about to use chemical weapons in Idlib. Even before Bolton’s warning, Hassan Nasrallah, much the shrewdest leader in the region, had raised an alarm: we have information that a plot was being hatched to foist on Damascus the allegation that it had used chemical weapons. The alert eye being kept on Idlib by the Syrian government, Hezbollah, Iran, Turkey, Russia and the US exposes a population of three million to all manner of unpredictabilities.

It is an irony of our times that great and medium powers are riveted on Idlib not because its ancient monuments or the civilian population but because of the 60 to 80 thousand of militants scattered through the governorate. These militants are from half a dozen different groups. There are quarrels galore between these groups claiming proximity to major powers with stakes in the Syrian pie. Among the bewildering range of groups are the Al Nusra Front, Haya Tehrir e Shaam, Turkestan Islamic Front with links to Uigur groups in Xinxian. There are off shoots of the PKK, keeping Turkey on sixes and sevens. Not to be forgotten are the Chechens focused on the Caucasus. Then there is the Free Syrian Front.

Read More: Syrian Militants Secretly Flown To Afghanistan, China Raises a Battalion

For Damascus a militant is a militant and should be eliminated. Turkey, on the other hand, may see some groups – Tehrir e Shaam, for instance – as assets in Ankara’s conflict with Kurdish groups. The US would like most of the militant groups to be protected because they will always come in handy whenever it becomes necessary to mount extra pressure on Bashar al Assad. Washington may be inclined to negotiate the future of some of the assets if Assad allowed them more bases in Syria.

Air Bombardment or “Chemical Attack”: Suspense Surround Idlib Endgame

Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, even far off Kosovo, everywhere, Americans a super power by habit, if not in substance any longer, develop multiple interests. After the 72 day bombing of Serbia, removing Slobodan Milosevic, creating an independent enclave of Kosovo, the US moved on only after they had created Bond Steel, abutting Macedonia, the largest military base since Vietnam. Likewise, they entered Afghanistan ostensibly to remove Osama bin Laden but have, over the past 17 years, developed multiple interests – minerals, UNOCAL pipeline, Helmand Poppy fields, keeping an eye on the world’s only Muslim nuclear bomb in Pakistan, keeping Iran, Central Asian Republics, Xinxian, the Caucasus under surveillance – and within range.

Read More: Syrian War Being Dragged On Basis Of Lies For Ulterior Reasons

In Idlib too US interests are varied. Notice I have not mentioned Syria because that involvement is of epic proportions. Idlib in Syria is the enclave where all the regional and global stakeholders, have nudged and pushed their respective “militants”, “terrorists” and “moderate groups”. For Syria, Russia and Iran they are all the same and need to be exterminated.

This remedy is anathema to Turkey. The country is already host to 3.5 million refugees. Bombing of Idlib will cause another 2.5 million civilian to cross the Turkish border.

Further, there are among the motley crowd of militants those who will checkmate a “Kurdish enclave” contiguous with the territory the PKK claims. The enclave would be the thin end of the wedge for an expansive Kurdish idea.

The US would like to create just such an enclave. Not only would it like to have bases, an American habit as I have indicated earlier, but it would have another potential state under its control. It would be the second home away from home in West Asia just as Israel is – on a much smaller scale though.

Read More: Saudi Crown Prince, Trump Together Staring At Syrian Exit Door

The other, bigger idea is to divide Syria to the satisfaction of Israel and those with a steady gaze on the gas pipelines. The idea of dividing Syria into four is as old as the hills. But all the other powers – Iran, Turkey, Russia, for instance – will not allow this to happen. When the three powers met in Tehran last week there was unanimity on one issue: the territorial integrity of Syria.

The presence of 1000 European Jihadis in the brew adds further pungency to the vapours of confusion. The great European nations, their noses up, do not wish these “tainted” citizens to return. Should they be put away then? No, say European Intelligence agencies. There are so many “militants”, “terrorists”, “moderate rebels” in Idlib. Let the Europeans gestate among them.

How long will this uneasy status quo last? Already, Russians have detected activity on the “chemical weapons” Front. There are reports that cameramen have already shot little boys being bathed to remove the “chemicals they have been exposed to”. White Helmets, the miracle men who save people by appearing in the epicentre of the attack without being burnt have been seen here and there.

Remember, the eight year old Syrian boy with burnt skin in October 2016, in the midst of the US election campaign. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour flourished a photograph of the boy before Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov in the course of an interview in Moscow.

“Is this not a crime against humanity?” shouted Amanpour.

“Very sad” said an amused Lavrov. This was the first time Lavrov publicly expressed the fear that Americans were helping terrorists in Syria.

When the photograph did not make much of an impression on the Russian Foreign Minister, the very same photograph materialized in candidate Hillary Clinton’s hand during the last Presidential debate in Las Vegas. With expert histrionics, Clinton simulated a lump in her throat for maximum effect.

Is Idlib about to yield a crop of pictures of white helmets and little boys with burns?

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Zombie Virus memes storms internet after Russian scientists’ revelation

Scientists that researched the virus found that it may be contagious and hence pose a health danger.

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Zombie Virus memes storms internet after Russian scientists’ revive the virus

Zombie virus has been trending on twitter following the Russian scientists’s reviving a 48,000-year-old virus.

After the Covid-19 epidemic, it is impossible for anyone to handle the terms virus or lockdown. The zombie virus, which had been hidden for decades under a frozen lake in Russia, has suddenly been discovered. Over a dozen ancient viruses were revealed by researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research, and the so-called “zombie-virus” was found in the Siberian permafrost. The oldest is known to be 48,500 years old and is called as Pandoravirus yedoma.

A twitter user, going by the name of Mr. Stark took the meme game to whole another level by taking a snap from last edition of film Avengers and said that we were in the endgame now.

Another Twitter user asked the question that how did a virus got buried under a lake and what could have been the possible reason behind scientists digging it?

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Taking a funny scene of Joey’s reaction, a character from the popular American TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S., a social media attributed how afraid the people were of another pandemic.

Is there really cause for alarm, even though Twitter is fully anticipating the zombie virus to inflict some sort of retaliatory vengeance upon humanity? In any case, scientists that researched the virus found that it may be contagious and hence pose a health danger. Twitter has begun disseminating memes to handle the news, as it normally does.

The reports claim that the thawing of old permafrost layers increases the likelihood of older virus particles remaining contagious and re-entering the population. Therefore, if the scientists are isolating live viruses from ancient permafrost, it is possible that the even smaller, simpler mammalian viruses will also survive frozen for aeons, according to University of California virologist Eric Delwart.

Similar responses were made earlier on Twitter when the India lockdown started to trend as if another wave of Covid-19 had arrived over night. Thank goodness it hadn’t. A film titled India lockdown directed by director Madhur Bhandarkar is going to premiere on OTT. The #IndiaLockdown began to trend on Twitter after the movie’s teaser was unveiled.

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All monks at Buddhist temple in Thailand fail drug test, defrocked

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday

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monks at Buddhist temple

A Thailand official on Tuesday stated that a Buddhist monastery in central Thailand is now without monks after all of its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked.

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.

According to the authority, the monks have been transferred to a medical facility for drug rehabilitation.

The monks have left the temple, and the local villagers are worried that they cannot perform any merit-making, he said. Worshipers might earn merit by giving food to monks as a good deed.

More monks will be dispatched to the temple, according to Boonlert, so that the locals can fulfil their religious duties. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims that Thailand is a significant transit country for the methamphetamine that enters the country via Laos from Myanmar’s unstable Shan state.

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Pills can be purchased for less than 20 baht (about $0.50) on the street. In recent years, authorities in Southeast Asia have seized unprecedented amounts of meth.

Earlier in January 2022, a Buddhist monk was detained on suspicion of consuming and dispensing methamphetamine pills in a village in the Chaiyaphum region of northeastern Thailand.

According to authorities, the 40-year-old monk Phra Suthorn, who resided at a nearby monastery, had been peddling meth pills, also known as ya ba, or crazy medicine, to youths in the area.

After receiving numerous complaints from locals about the monk’s actions earlier this week, law enforcement officials decided to look into the matter.

Phra Suthorn refuted the allegations, but a later search of his residence turned up a plastic packet containing 36 methamphetamine pills hidden under his bed.

According to authorities, the monk then admitted to consuming and selling drugs, informing investigators that he had been doing both.

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Who is Nadav Lapid, the Israeli filmmaker who made comments on Kashmir Files?

The Israeli filmmaker’s 47-year-old love-hate connection with his own country was on display in Ahed’s Knee, which he submitted for competition at the Cannes Film Festival the previous year.

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Who is Nadav Lapid, the Israeli filmmaker who made comments on Kashmir Files?

Nadav Lapid, an Israeli screenwriter and director, reopened the discussion on Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files on Monday by labelling it vulgar and propaganda. The jury was disturbed and shocked by the movie, according to Lapid, who spoke at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) closing ceremony, and they found it unacceptable for an artistic competitive part of such a prominent film festival.

We were all surprised and horrified by the fifteenth movie, The Kashmir Files. That seemed like a crass, propagandist film that had no place in the artistic competition of such a prominent film festival.

The National Film Development Corporation of India, which is part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Goa government jointly organised the Indian Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which included a screening of The Kashmir Files on November 22. Many took Lapid’s remark as an embarrassment for the government because The Kashmir Files had received a roaring endorsement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March of this year, as the speech’s video clip instantly went viral on social media.

On social media, Lapid’s speech garnered both scathing criticism and applause.

Who is Nadav Lapid?

Nadav Lapid, an Israeli screenwriter born in Tel Aviv, is best known for his work in Synonymes (2019), The Kindergarten Teacher (2014), and Policeman (2011). The director has served as a jury member for the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2015, the International Critics’ Week jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, and the jury for the Official Competition at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in 2021.

The Israeli filmmaker’s 47-year-old love-hate connection with his own country was on display in Ahed’s Knee, which he submitted for competition at the Cannes Film Festival the previous year.

Lapid also signed an open letter against the establishment of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund together with 250 other Israeli filmmakers. According to the filmmakers, the Fund’s sole objective was to get Israeli filmmakers to actively assist in whitewashing the Occupation in exchange for financial support and rewards.

The official mission of the Shomron Film Fund is to distribute funds to Israeli citizens who produce films in the West Bank and to Jewish settlers who live in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

In one of his interviews, Lapid had remarked that the Israeli collective spirit is a sick soul when discussing his movie Synonymes.

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