NATO’s allies killing each other and civilians in Libya


This video, recorded in Britain, says about itself:

Libyan human rights activist forced to flee Libya

25 April 2013

Magdulien Abaida is a Libyan human and women rights activist who was abducted, beaten and threatened by an Islamist militia in Benghazi. She was forced to flee to gain asylum in the UK and this is her exclusive story speaking out about her ordeal – which she was not able to do whilst in Libya. This was a BBC Newsnight film produced by Sharron Ward, reported by Tim Whewell. Director’s cut version.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Battle in Libya’s second city

Added: Wednesday 15 Oct 2014, 17:37

In the second city of Libya, Benghazi, a fierce battle has been raging all day between radical Islamic militia men and troops of former general Haftar.

Not only a former general. Also a (former?) CIA agent.

Who announced yesterday he would reconquer the city from the Islamists.

Benghazi since this summer has been in the hands of the radical militias, who are united in a coalition. Only small parts of the city and the airport of Benghazi are still in government hands.

Egypt

Residents of the city report to international news agencies that there was fighting in various districts. They also said warplanes were flying over the city. According to news agency AP these are Egyptian aircraft.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are said to actively support the militias; Turkey and Qatar are, on the contrary, on the side of the government.

NOS TV had that wrong, and deleted that last sentence in an update. Quite the contrary, Associated Press says:

Egypt‘s direct military involvement, however, reinforces the notion that Libya has become a proxy battleground for larger regional struggles, with Turkey and Qatar backing the Islamist militias while Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are supporting their opponents.

Whether the wrong earlier NOS version or the presumably correct later Associated Press version: supposed allies of the USA and other NATO countries in the war ‘against ISIS‘ (really against ISIS? The Turkish government against ISIS? Or about oil?) are killing each other and Libyan civilians in Libya.

Egypt says Erdogan’s UNGA speech ‘full of lies and fabrications’. The Turkish president accused Egypt’s President al-Sissi of coming to power in a coup in his speech at the annual UN meet: here.

Warriors of Ansar al-Sharia, one of the militias, are said to have attacked an army base this afternoon. Ansar al-Sharia is held responsible by the United States for the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi in 2012, where the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

Parliament fled

The armed militias in Libya make a central administration of the country impossible since the fall of former dictator Gaddafi. Also in the capital, Tripoli, the government has no power at all. A militia from Misrata, a city east of Tripoli, is calling the shots there.

The Libyan government and parliament have fled to Tobruk, in the northeast of the country near the border with Egypt.

From Associated Press today:

Egyptian warplanes are bombing positions held by Islamist militias in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi as part of a large-scale operation to rid the city of militants who have held sway there for months, two Egyptian government officials said on Wednesday.

From Middle East Eye:

Pentagon officials have claimed that Egyptian airbases were used by United Arab Emirate pilots in a mysterious series of airstrikes that have hit the Mistratan [sic; Misratan] Led Alliance (MLA) in Tripoli last month. Ten Libyans, picked up in August, are thought to be in the custody of Abu Dhabi‘s State Security Agency (SSA) and are at risk of being tortured, according to Human Rights Watch who called for the UAE to reveal their whereabouts earlier this week.

United States Vice President Biden apologizes for honesty on Turkey and ISIS


This video is called [United States Vice President] Biden blames allies for ISIS rise.

After a German President sacked for honesty about the economic aims of the Afghan war, now a United States Vice President ashamed about his honesty about ISIS.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Biden apologises for blaming Turkey for growth of Isis

Sunday 5th October 2014

Vice-President ‘sorry’ for rare moment of honesty

A FURIOUSLY backtracking US Vice-President Joe Biden apologised to Turkey at the weekend after making surprisingly frank remarks about the growth of jihadist group Isis.

Mr Biden told Havard University students last week that Middle Eastern US allies such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates had inadvertently strengthened extremist groups in their bid to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He said the states had supplied anyone willing to fight Mr Assad with millions of dollars and thousands of tonnes of weapons.

“Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

“We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” he said.

But Mr Biden irked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telling students that his “old friend” had told him: “You were right. We let too many people through. Now they are trying to seal their border.”

The Turkish leader denied ever making such comments, saying that the US Vice-President “will be history for me if he has indeed used such expressions.”

Mr Erdogan added: “Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”

Turkey has prevented 6,000 suspected jihadis from entering the country and deported another 1,000, he claimed.

Mr Biden phoned up his chum and “apologised for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of Isis,” the White House said on Saturday.

Turkish MPs voted on Thursday to expand military operations in Iraq and Syria and allow foreign forces to launch attacks from the country.

Many have accused Turkey of collaborating with and supplying the militants.

Mikail Cicek, who lives on the Turkish side of the border, told Etkin News agency that a convoy of 10 large military vehicles crossed into Syria on Saturday evening, driving towards Isis positions before returning half an hour later.

Speaking to students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum Thursday, US Vice President Joseph Biden committed what the US media characterizes as a “gaffe.” In other words, he told an embarrassing truth about US government policy, one that is usually obfuscated in the remarks of government officials and the commentaries of media pundits: here.

Turkey fighting to the last Kurd: here.

US, Turkey at odds over Syria intervention: here.

Abu Dhabi dolphins research


This video says about itself:

Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins at Tin Can Bay, Queensland, Australia

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, also known as Chinese white dolphins, are a common sight around the northern parts of Australia. In Australia, you can interact with these cool cetaceans at Tin Can Bay, and if you want, you can even feed them for $5.

In Abu Dhabi, like in Bahrain, there are human rights violations.

However, like beautiful dolphins swim off Bahrain, dolphins swim off Abu Dhabi as well.

From Wildlife Extra:

Results from Abu Dhabi dolphin survey revealed

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) recently undertook the first vessel-based survey of dolphins in coastal waters of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as part of its new Dolphin Conservation Programme, which has the goal of monitoring the Emirate’s dolphin population and supporting their long-term conservation.

The survey identified two species; the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin, and the Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphin. In total, 77 bottlenose were recorded, of which 19 were calves, and 61 humpback, of which 10 were calves. The team also sighted two new born calves, which could indicate that dolphin calving season might occur late spring to early summer in Abu Dhabi.

The 15-day survey – which was conducted in partnership with the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute in Spain – was carried out using a custom-made 45-foot boat fitted with an observation platform, and covered 2,000km of Abu Dhabi’s coastal waters, extending from Sila Peninsula in the west to the border of Dubai in east.

The team used photo-identification, taking high-definition images from cameras mounted on drones, in order to identify and track individual dolphins by looking at the unique markings on their dorsal fins. From this they were able to determine the population size.

Results revealed that there were regional differences in which species of dolphin was most dominant: around EAD’s Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were more prevalent, while bottlenose were the most common from Al Dhabbaiya to Ras Ghanadah, and between Al Sila and Sir Bani Yas Island.

Commenting on the survey, Director of Marine Biodiversity at EAD Ayesha Yousef Al Blooshi said: “The data collected from the survey will support us in further developing our conservation initiatives for our marine biodiversity, as well as helping us conserve the natural heritage of Abu Dhabi for future generations.”

Dolphin populations might be seeing better days ahead in Jamaica as the Government aims to implement new regulations on the use of the animals for tourism purposes, addressing the trading of dolphins and their use for attractions: here.

New nature reserves in Abu Dhabi


This is a greater flamingo video from France.

From Wildlife Extra:

Abu Dhabi opens new wetland reserve and national park

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has recently opened two new nature reserves, with a third to follow.

Through the Eco-reserve Programme, the community will be able to explore Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage at three ecosystems that are immensely important for local biodiversity: Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, Mangrove National Park, and Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area.

“As city life increasingly insulates us from our natural world, we need to seek out experiences to reconnect with it,” said HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD.

“The Eco-Reserve Programme offers residents of Abu Dhabi nearby opportunities to re-establish their relationship with nature.

“We want visitors to experience the flight of migrating flamingos, see the mangrove forests, and set foot on the same land as the Arabian oryx.”

The openings are timed so that the public will be able to welcome home more than 4,000 migrating greater flamingos to Al Wathba Wetland Reserve after their summer in Kazakhstan. They first successfully bred on the wetlands in 1998.

It was during the flamingos’ absence, that EAD developed public walking trails, wildlife viewing areas, and visitor infrastructure.

“The landscape around Al Wathba has changed considerably over the past decade and we are making sure that the necessary resources are allocated to the reserve to ensure its proper protection,” said Dr Al Dhaheri, executive director at the agency’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity sector.

“Protecting such an area is crucial in the preservation of Abu Dhabi’s biodiversity.”

Al Wathba is also home to 237 species of invertebrates, 11 of mammals, 10 of reptiles and more than 250 species of birds.

Visitors to the reserve, located 45km from central Abu Dhabi, will be able to enjoy activities such as bird watching, hiking and educational tours, and learn more about EAD’s Flamingo Monitoring Programme, which enlists flying drones and satellite technology to study Abu Dhabi’s flamingo population, track their numbers, migration and breeding patterns and foraging habits.

The second eco-reserve, the Mangrove National Park, is located on the city’s east coast and is primarily accessible by kayak trips through tour operators.

It encompasses 19 sq km of mangrove forest which provides a rich habitat for various marine and bird species.

In addition to providing kayak landing zones, designated walkways and waterways, and educational experiences, EAD will carefully monitor activities within the park to ensure the safety of both wildlife and visitors.

Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area, EAD’s third eco-reserve, is home to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Programme, which is helping the oryx recover from the brink of extinction.

Visitors to the reserve will learn about EAD’s programmes to protect Abu Dhabi’s indigenous species, including the oryx, gazelle, reptiles and plants.

The area will open to the public at a later date.

Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD said: “EAD manages several protected areas on land, sea, and air that cover more than 13 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s total area.

“While EAD maintains many protected areas; our three new eco-reserves are being opened to promote greater appreciation for our natural heritage.”