Tag Archive | Libya

Manchester attack: Love Conquers Fear as Didsbury Mosque Overwhelmed by Support*

 

Manchester attack: Love Conquers Fear as Didsbury Mosque Overwhelmed by Support*

The wider community has shown ‘love and support’ for worshippers, say Muslims in Manchester

Muslims pray for victims of the Manchester Arena attack at a mosque in Manchester on 23 May (Reuters)

 

By Arwa Ibrahim

The mosque bustles with worshippers waiting for special Ramadhan prayers. Groups of boys and girls stand at the main entrance to read piles of messages of support from the wider community, nestled within heaps of bouquets laid by well-wishers.

Just over a week after Salman Abedi killed 22 people in a suicide attack at Manchester Arena, fears of a wedge being driven between Manchester’s Muslims and the wider community have been unfounded. At Didsbury, indeed, the effect has been the reverse.

“I’ve attended Didsbury mosque since I was a child,” 25-year-old Laila, a student at Manchester University, told Middle East Eye before 11pm prayers on Tuesday.

“I will keep coming because I know this place had nothing to do with the ideas or actions of that bomber.”

Ramadhan at Didsbury had always been a special time that she enjoyed with her friends and family, she said.

Members of the centre’s management said the mosque had received much more support than hate.

“Although the EDL did come by, we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of support from the wider community,” said Sulefa Benali, director of public relations at the mosque.

“We usually receive around 10 non-Muslims every open day, but this Sunday we had around 60 people, all of whom made a point to show their solidarity.”

Hundreds of people have been worshipping at any one time at the mosque, which opens its doors to the community at large every Sunday where groups of visitor from all faiths and non-faiths attend to learn about Islam and the centre’s activities.

In a strongly worded statement last week, the mosque called the bombing an act of cowardice and insisted it had worked peacefully at the heart of the community for half a century.

Reports said the bomber regularly attended Didsbury mosque and the Manchester Islamic Centre in the south of the city.

A police officer stands outside Didsbury mosque in Manchester, UK on 24 May (Reuters)

 

Didsbury’s management and members of the community rejected those claims.

“We were deeply shocked and saddened by the incident,” Bara Abdul-Salam, an executive board member at Didsbury mosque told MEE.

“We did not think anyone would be making accusations against Didsbury mosque, a place that has always been open to the whole community, both Muslims and non-Muslims.”

While Abedi’s brother volunteered as a teacher here, and his father carried out the call to prayer before he left for Libya in 2011, Salman himself was rarely seen at the mosque.

“I remember seeing Salman a few times but unlike his father and brother he wasn’t a regular,” said Mohamed Fadil, a spokesman for the Libyan community in south Manchester and a regular at Didsbury mosque.

“I knew little about him but I remember him as withdrawn and distant person who had few friends within the Libyan community.”

Unfazed Mancunians

Based in a red-brick 19th-century chapel on a leafy street, the mosque has operated since 1967 when the building was bought by donors from the Syrian Arab community. The centre, which includes a prayer hall, library and multipurpose activity hall, acts as both a mosque and community centre.

The congregation includes Muslims from a variety of communities including the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. It numbers many taxi drivers, businessmen and doctors, some of whom helped in the aftermath of the bombing.

One doctor who helped treat victims of the bombing said that he was never concerned about the religious messaging at Didsbury Mosque and does not see link between it and the incident.

“Didsbury has always been a hub for moderation and peacefulness and will continue to be so,” said Ahmed, a regular worshipper at the mosque and a junior doctor at the Manchester Royal Infirmary where 32 of the injured victims were treated. 

Didsbury mosque is seen in Manchester on 23 May (Reuters)

 

Since the events, police cars have been stationed outside the centre at all times as well as 24-hour police surveillance camera, which Abdul-Salam said was offered by Greater Manchester Police to safeguard worshippers.

Some worshippers were more hesitant to attend to the mosque since the events.

“I felt a little uncomfortable seeing the police cars outside and wondered if I should do my prayers here,” said 44-year-old Kamal, a local shop keeper.

“But I realised that the police had only come to support us and I knew that I needed to show my solidarity too.”

A chief inspector from Manchester police delivered a talk to the congregation following night prayers on Tuesday, and encouraged members of the community to report incidents of Islamophobia.

Libyans in Manchester

Many of Didsbury’s mosques attendees hail from Manchester’s Libyan community, which numbers in the thousands. Two of the mosques current imams are Libyan as well as many of the former leaders at the centre.

Libya descended into chaos following the NATO-backed toppling of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations emerging and well-armed militias vying for control of the country’s vast oil wealth. 

The infighting and lawlessness allowed extremist groups such as IS to seize several coastal regions, creating a stronghold in Sirte until Libyan forces defeated the group in late 2016.

One of the mosque’s imams, who is of Libyan origin, Mustafa Graf, posted a statement on Facebook condemning the bombing.

His statement emphasised how events in the Middle East are keenly felt in south Manchester.

“As a community we have lost many hundreds of people who bravely fought and defeated Isis in Sirte, Libya, only a few months ago, and so we are affected by grief again.”

Graf was captured and tortured by Gaddafi’s forces in 2012 when he visited the country to see his mother.

Fawzi Haffar, a trustee at the Didsbury mosque, speaks to journalists outside the mosque in Manchester on 24 May (Reuters)

 

A deep divide has developed among the various political factions in Libya, with some being supporters of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the east of the country.

Haftar launched a military campaign dubbed Operation Dignity in May 2014, aimed at rooting out Libya’s many rival militant groups, with support from foreign powers, notably Egypt and the UAE.

But the Libyan community in Manchester insists there is divide does not influence daily relations among the community members in Manchester and cannot be used to explain the actions of the bomber.

According to 35-year-old teacher Sondes: “Although the political divide in Libya has come to Manchester, it hasn’t reached the level of people preaching hate or fighting each other as it has been in Libya.”

“I’ve never heard anyone speak in support of IS in any of the Libyan communities in Manchester,” Sondes told MEE.

“Differences in opinion over the situation in Libya don’t mean that people will have differences of opinion over the actions of the bomber.”

Fadil, a spokesman for the south Manchester Libyan communit, agreed.

“Whether you’re a supporter of Haftar or not, we all agree that we need to get rid of the extremists.”

Reports that Abedi had gone to Libya in 2011, suggesting that he had become radicalised during the revolution. But members of the community refuted this narrative.  

“I do not see a link between the attack and people who went to Libya in 2011,” said Fadil.

“People were going to help as doctors, charity workers and translators or to just visit their families. Some did go to fight but they came back to their normal lives.”

According to Fadil, it was unlikely that Salman, who would have been 16 at the time, was allowed on the battlefield.

Flowers and tributes to the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena fill St Ann’s Square in Manchester on 29 May (Reuters)

 

“I was in Libya and I know how they dealt with the under-18s. He might have expressed interest in fighting but it is highly unlikely he was actually allowed to fight,” said Fadil.

According to Sarah, a 34-year-old British Libyan dentist, the Libyan community is well integrated into Manchester.

“Obviously there’s a problem and we’d be daft to say there isn’t,” said Sarah.

“But Manchester is a very multicultural city with Muslims well-integrated and Libyans are especially intertwined,” she added explaining that a large number of her friends within the community were half Libyan, half English.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.N. Criticised Britain’s Anti-terror Strategy Two Days before Manchester Bombing*

Lockerbie Lies to Subvert Independent Sovereign Countries *

If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home*

The Official 7/7 London Bombing Story is a Lie*

MOSSAD Agent – ‘We Did the London Bombing’

U.S./NATO Atrocities Against Libya

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Obama and Clinton brought slavery to Libya*

Obama and Clinton brought slavery to Libya*

By Margaret Kimberley

The deliberate destruction of Libya was a war crime by all standards of international law. That country was just one victim of the American plan to eliminate secular governments in the Middle East. Under the guise of a phony ‘responsibility to protect’, American propaganda gave an atrocity the appearance of a humanitarian act.

Nearly every day there is a new report of desperate migrants rescued at sea in the Mediterranean. Some are less fortunate and are among the estimated 12,000 who have died there in the last three years alone. Their point of embarkation is Libya, a nation now a haven for human traffickers because of President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

Their deliberate destruction of Libya was a war crime by all standards of international law. That country was just one victim of the American plan to eliminate secular governments in the Middle East. Under the guise of a phony “responsibility to protect” and with cover from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, American propaganda gave an atrocity the appearance of a humanitarian act. Now come reports from media and the International Organization for Migration that African migrants are being openly bought and sold in Libya. This practice would not be taking place if Muammar Gaddafi not been murdered by American backed jihadists in 2011.

Obama’s evil success in Libya set off an endless trail of disasters. Libya is a hot bed of ISIS activity along with Iraq and Syria. It is not a coincidence that all three countries were targets of American regime change. Even the American ambassador in Libya fell victim to his government’s machinations in Benghazi.

Obama and Clinton hoped to continue their victory in Syria, but president Assad was stronger than they anticipated. When the Russians proved to be fickle allies who were willing to push Assad under the proverbial bus, Obama and Clinton wouldn’t take yes for an answer. They insisted that Assad had to go and they didn’t care how many Syrians they killed or turned into refugees in the process. Now the bloodshed continues under a new administration.

European countries struggle to contend with the flow of people from Syria and Libya who would be in their homelands were it not for America’s designs on that part of the world. Yet the corporate media say nothing. They may report on the refugee crisis and the migrant crisis without ever stating what is easily provable, that the United States is entirely responsible for the suffering.

There can be no plan for reviving the peace movement that doesn’t include a reckoning of responsibility for the disasters that Obama and Clinton brought to the world.

“We came, we saw, he died,” is one of the more memorable Hillary Clinton statements, memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Obama knew better than to be so crass, but he privately called Libya a “shit show” as if he were a bystander and not the perpetrator.

While the corporate media make hay out of very dubious evidence of atrocities allegedly committed by the Syrian government, the atrocities caused directly by the American government go unmentioned. Or rather they are reported absent of any context of American responsibility.

Even press reports of slave trading in Libya follow the same proscribed language. They will say that Gaddafi was an autocrat and a dictator, but omit that the humanitarian disaster was carried out by the United States, NATO, and Gulf monarchs. The dismemberment of Libya is one of many crimes that are conveniently shoved down the memory hole.

Now we see the supreme and awful irony. America’s first black president is responsible for slavery taking place in a once prosperous African country and his role is covered up by people who once would have condemned his actions.

Black people defended Muammar Gaddafi if no one else did. American presidents made a show of castigating Gaddafi, calling him crazed, fanatical, dictatorial and mentally ill. Black Americans were unanimous in their support whenever he was attacked, whether militarily or even rhetorically. But that support ended when he fell under Obama’s cross hairs. Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the presidency was a curse on black America’s political heritage.

That curse is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. There was never a great willingness to point out his wrong doing, and now that the despised Trump is president the selective amnesia grows worse.

The corporate media do not fulfill their most basic obligations. They repeat lies if they are told by people they decide to protect. They hide the truth if it is told by the people they decide to disappear from discourse and from history. But that dissembling should not silence people who put themselves in the anti-war camp. When they read or hear about refugees and migrants dying or being sold as slaves they must state loudly and clearly that Obama and Clinton are the villains in the story.

Source*

Related Topics:

Africa Mourns the Long Sojourner

“U.S. Destroyed Libya to re-colonize Africa”*

Being Profiled for Economic Slavery*

Slavery: The Anniversary of the Official Ending of a System that Bankrolled and Civilized Cameron’s British Empire*

Quarterback Sits in Protest of the Celebration of Slavery*

Nestlé’s Bid To Squash a Child Slavery Suit Rejected*

Israel, Organized Crime, White Slavery, and the Sex Trade*

Trauma and the Lineage of Illness*

Proof that “World Government” is Banker Tyranny*

No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning*

Washington Blocks Former Palestinian PM from leading U.N. Mission in Libya*

Washington Blocks Former Palestinian PM from leading U.N. Mission in Libya*

Washington has blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to lead the UN’s political mission in Libya, while accusing the world body of being “unfairly biased” in favor of the Palestinian Authority.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the Trump administration “was disappointed” by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ intention to appoint Salam Fayyad as the U.N’s next special representative to Libya, which was announced in a letter to the Security Council.

“For too long, the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” Haley said, as quoted by AP.

Palestine is a non-member observer state at the United Nations, and its independence has been recognized by 137 of the 193 UN member nations so far. However, Haley noted that Washington doesn’t recognize a Palestinian state “or support the signal” that Fayyad’s appointment would send within the United Nations.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, UN diplomats told AP that Fayyad, a Texas-educated former International Monetary Fund official, is recognized for his efforts to reform Palestine. He served as the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister from 2007-2013. Fourteen Security Council members have thrown their weight behind Fayyad’s appointment to succeed Martin Kobler in the Libya job.

Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro lambasted the decision to block the appointment.

“True it’s farce, ridiculous,” he wrote on Twitter. “But if you know Fayyad – decent, smart, honest, ethical, hardworking – it’s much more outrageous,” Shapiro said.

Despite its objection to Fayyad, Haley said Washington is looking forward to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution,” she said.

True it’s farce, ridiculous. But if you know Fayyad — decent, smart, honest, ethical, hardworking — it’s much more outrageous. https://t.co/AEYetiULnM

— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) February 11, 2017

Israel met Haley’s statement with applause.

“This is the beginning of a new era at the UN, an era where the US stands firmly behind Israel against any and all attempts to harm the Jewish State,” said Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon.

“The new administration proved once again that it stands firmly alongside the state of Israel in the international arena and in the UN in particular,” he added, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

According to Danon, “the new administration is working towards the joint interest of the United States, Israel and the special alliance between our two nations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with President Donald Trump next week.

In December of last year, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities” on occupied Palestinian territories, with the US abstaining. It was the first resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in nearly eight years.

Israeli-American activist and author Miko Peled told RT that the move was clearly “a blow for Israeli diplomacy” that could even lead to the end of Netanyahu’s political career.

Shortly after the resolution passed, Trump criticizing the Obama administration for abstaining from the vote.

“As for the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” he tweeted.

As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016

Israel seized the Palestinian territories in 1967, and over 500,000 Israelis currently live in settlements built on the occupied land. The Palestinians have been demanding that both the U.N. and the international community fully recognize their territories as an independent, sovereign state for decades.

Source*

Related Topics:

Neo-Nazis Help Israel Block Recognition of Palestine*

Egypt Blocking Iran Humanitarian Aid to Palestine*

Israel Weaponizes it’s Rape Culture against Palestinians*

Dutch Reject Calls to Cease Funding Palestinian Groups*

Australia’s Aboriginal Artist’s Message Resonates in Palestine*

Iceland’s Capital Bans All Israeli Products Over Palestine*

Anonymous To Facebook: “For Every Palestinian Account You Ban, We Will Hack an Israeli Website”*

Church in California Bans HP Products*

Israeli Oppression Stoking another Palestinian Uprising*

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

By Susan Seager

A Los Angeles federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of part of President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban. This order may be the most sweeping order yet against Trump’s executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ordered the federal government late Tuesday to allow the 28 Yemeni-American plaintiffs in the new lawsuit to be granted entry to the United States on the grounds that they obtained valid visas overseas and were unlawfully blocked from entering the United States.

Unlike the previous federal court orders that appeared to focus on mandating the release of detained travelers who already arrived at U.S. airports,  Birotte’s order requires federal officials to allow persons from the seven banned countries to come to the United States even though they are still overseas, so long as they have valid U.S. immigration visas.

Birotte, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, is the sixth federal judge to issue an order freezing part of Trump’s travel ban. This new case is Mohammed v. United States.

Birotte’s order was broadly worded and not restricting to helping the plaintiffs.

Not only did Birotte block federal officials “from … removing, detaining, or blocking the entry of Plaintiffs,” but the judge also froze the removal, detention and blocking the entry of “any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa.”

Judge Birotte also ordered the federal government “to IMMEDIATELY inform all relevant airport, airline, and other authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and International Airport in Djibouti that [the Yemeni] Plaintiffs are permitted to travel to the United States on their valid immigrant visas.”

The lawsuit and related filings were filed Tuesday under seal. The plaintiffs are 28 Yemeni-Americans, including United States citizens living here and family members who remained behind in Yemen but had received immigrant visas to come to the U.S., according to a newspaper report.

Before Birotte issued his order,  judges in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Boston, Seattle and Alexandria, Virginia issued different temporary injunctions restraining federal enforcement of parts of  Trump’s travel ban last weekend, although the other orders dealt with immigrants who had already arrived in the United States, not those  stranded overseas.

Trump’s executive order blocks citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from coming to the U.S. for at least 90 days, bans refugees for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. No new travel or immigration visas are being given to people from these countries.

When the refugee ban is lifted, Trump’s order says that the United States will give preference to minority religions in the seven Muslim-majority countries, and Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his executive order would give priority to Christians.  “So we are going to help them,” he said of Christians in the Middle East.

Judge Birotte’s order did not order the federal government to issue new immigration visas, but requires the government to honor “valid immigration visas” issued before Trump’s executive order. The order does not apply to refugees or those with tourist visas.

Under Birotte’s order, government officials apparently can no longer instruct airlines and border officials outside the United States to block immigrants from the seven countries from boarding airplanes to the United States even though those immigrants had obtained valid visas before Trump’s order.

In the Los Angeles lawsuit, the Yemeni families argued Trump’s order violates their right to due process, unlawfully targets Muslims based on their religion in violation of the First Amendment, among other constitutional arguments.

The plaintiffs had left war-torn Yemen and obtained their U.S. immigration visas in the nearby country of Djibouti, Africa, after completing the U.S.’s vetting process and before Trump issued his executive order, but were blocked from leaving Africa.

Birotte instructed government attorneys to file written arguments defending the executive order and both sides to appear at a Feb. 10 hearing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Congress Just Passed Part of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan in the Budget Bill*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

When the Sahara was Green*

When the Sahara was Green*

Researchers Peter deMenocal and Jessica Tierney examine a core of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa. The two used that and other marine cores to figure out the Sahara’s climate 25,000 years into the past. (Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Researchers Peter deMenocal and Jessica Tierney examine a core of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa. The two used that and other marine cores to figure out the Sahara’s climate 25,000 years into the past. (Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

A UA-led team has identified the climate pattern that generated a “Green Sahara” from 5,000 to 11,000 years ago. The region had 10 times the rainfall it does today.

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

By Mari N. Jensen

Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year “Green Sahara” period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist.

What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to ‘hunter-gatherers’ who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region’s savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.

“It was 10 times as wet as today,” said lead author Jessica Tierney of the University of Arizona. Annual rainfall in the Sahara now ranges from about 4 inches to less than 1 inch (100 to 35 mm).

Although other research had already identified the existence of the Green Sahara period, Tierney and her colleagues are the first to compile a continuous record of the region’s rainfall going 25,000 years into the past.

The team’s paper, “Rainfall regimes of the Green Sahara,” was scheduled for publication in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.

The multi-corer device being lowered into the ocean takes eight one-foot cores from the seafloor. Scientists analyze such cores for clues to the climate of the past several thousand years. (Photo: Peter deMenocal)

The multi-corer device being lowered into the ocean takes eight one-foot cores from the seafloor. Scientists analyze such cores for clues to the climate of the past several thousand years. (Photo: Peter deMenocal)

Archaeological evidence shows humans occupied much of the Sahara during the wet period, but left for about a thousand years around 8,000 years ago — the middle of the Green Sahara period.

Other investigators have suggested the Sahara became drier at the time people left, but the evidence was not conclusive, said Tierney, a UA associate professor of geosciences.

Her team’s continuous rainfall record shows a thousand-year period about 8,000 years ago when the Sahara became drier. That drier period coincides with when people left, she said.

“It looks like this thousand-year dry period caused people to leave,” Tierney said.

“What’s interesting is the people who came back after the dry period were different — most raised cattle. That dry period separates two different cultures. Our record provides a climate context for this change in occupation and lifestyle in the western Sahara.”

Tierney and her colleagues also used their rainfall record to suggest ways current climate models can better replicate the Sahara’s ancient climate and therefore improve projections of future climate.

Tierney’s co-authors are Francesco Pausata of Stockholm University in Sweden and Peter deMenocal of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Swedish Research Council funded the research.

Researchers had long known the Sahara was much greener in the past, but how much of the Sahara was wetter and how much wetter was not well understood, Tierney said. Although scientists can learn about past climate by examining ancient lake sediments, in the Sahara the lakes dried up long ago and their sediments have blown away.

Instead of lake sediments, Tierney and her colleagues used cores of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa at four different sites. Because the cores were taken over a north-south distance of about 800 miles (1,300 km) — from offshore Cape Ghir, Morocco, to the northwestern corner of Mauritania — the cores revealed both the ancient rainfall patterns and the areal extent of the Green Sahara.

In terrestrial plants, the chemical composition of a leaf’s wax changes depending on how dry or wet the climate was when the plant was growing. Leaf wax also washes into the ocean and can be preserved in the marine sediments that are laid down year after year.

“The waxes record the climate conditions on land,” Tierney said.

By analyzing the leaf wax from ancient marine sediments, the team determined the region’s past rainfall patterns and also gathered clues about what types of plants were growing.

The team also wanted to know whether the conditions on land interacted with the atmosphere to affect climate, because most of the current climate models don’t simulate the Green Sahara period well, she said.

The amount of solar radiation the Earth receives during the Northern Hemisphere summer depends on where the Earth’s “wobble,” known as precession, is in its 23,000-year cycle.

At the beginning of the Green Sahara, the Northern Hemisphere was closer to the sun during summer. Warmer summers strengthened the West African monsoon and delivered more rain. Toward the end of the Green Sahara, the Northern Hemisphere was farther from the sun and the West African monsoon was weaker.

There’s a feedback between vegetation, dust and rainfall, Tierney said. Right now the Sahara Desert is the planet’s biggest source of dust — but a vegetated Sahara would produce much less dust.

Co-author Francesco Pausata added additional factors — more vegetation and less dust — to a climate model. His changes improved how well the model replicated the amount of rainfall during the Green Sahara and dry periods.

“Getting a better handle on the important influence of the vegetation and dust feedback will help us simulate future climate change in the Sahara and Sahel,” Tierney said.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Sahara and the Amazon, a Tale of Interdependence*

Rare Snow Falls on the Sand Dunes of Algeria*

The Igbo’s Traditional View on the Sanctity of Life*

Hidden Human History*

Biblical Garden of Eden Discovered in Iraq’s Marshes?*

Rujm el-Hirri: The Stonehenge of Syria

Looted Palmyra Treasures Discovered in Geneva Warehouse*

Olmecs: The People behind the Long Count were not Mayans*

Secret History of the British People*

The Genocide of the Peoples of Europe*

Erasing a People from History: Australian Pygmies*

Last Member of 65,000-year-old Tribe Dies*

The End of Times and ‘The Lost Book of Enki’: Sumeria

Egyptian Hieroglyphs in Australia Prove the Ancient World Was Connected*

A 200,000 Year-Old City in Southern Africa pre-Dates Sumer*

DNA study Proves Indigenous Australians Date Back 50,000 yrs*

DNA Testing Proves Genealogy of indigenous Americans is One of the Most Unique in the World*

After Only 6 Months Daesh Defeat in Sirte, Libya*

After Only 6 Months Daesh Defeat in Sirte, Libya*

Libyan forces have announced that after six months of fierce fighting to vanquish Daesh from the coastal city of Sirte, the city has been liberated.
“Our forces have total control of Sirte,” Reda Issa, a spokesperson for pro-government forces, told AFP. Earlier on Monday the final few dozen Daesh insurgents, left in the Ghiza Bahriya district, surrendered to the Libyan forces, officials said.

It is likely that the extirpation of Daesh from the city will throw into stark relief the tensions between the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and the opposition government based in the country’s eastern city of Tobruk, supported by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA). Both sides have been grappling for political credibility since the 2011 ouster of Libyan strongman colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Forces loyal to Haftar and the GNA have been locked in hostilities with Daesh over Sirte for approximately six months. Analysts have argued that both parties see capturing Sirte and defeating Daesh as an avenue to increasing credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of Libyans.

The international community has called upon Haftar and his forces — the Libyan National Army — to accept the authority vested in the GNA by the benediction of the U.N. However, the characteristic vicissitude of post-Gaddafi Libyan politics has recently brought an unexpected twist of fate for the country’s political trajectory.

Haftar and the LNA launched a military operation named ‘Sudden Lightning’ which sought to take control of Libya’s oil crescent ports on the country’s coast from the Petroleum Guard Forces (PGF). The PGF has acted as custodian to the oil ports for the GNA, which has earned them the contempt of Haftar and the opposition government in Tobruk, who have argued that oil — which is Libya’s most lucrative export commodity — should be controlled by all parties, not only the GNA.

Libya boasts Africa’s largest oil reserves, estimated at 48 billion barrels. Back in 2010 before the revolution and NATO bombing, Libya was producing approximately 1.65 million barrels per day. However, the post-Gaddafi security fallout and crisis has caused production rates to drop from 1.6 million barrels per day to under 260,000. The Libyan National Oil Company has estimated that costs of losses in production since 2014 have been approximately US$100 billion dollars.

Following the LNA’s successful takeover of the oil crescent (which includes the ports Ras Lanuf, Sidra, Zueitina and Brega), Haftar declared the opening up of the ports for business, and announced he would be handing over control of the ports to the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) to begin the process of exportation.

The GNA came out in condemnation of Haftar’s takeover of the ports and initially the USA, Britain, Italy, Spain and France released a joint statement that they would be enforcing sanctions upon those who illegally export Libyan oil. However, following the capture of the ports, Haftar followed through on his word and handed over the ports to the NOC, which says it is politically neutral and loyal to both the GNA and the Haftar-supported parliament.

The following week, an oil tanker left the port of Ras Lanuf bound for Italy, carrying with it 776,000 barrels of oil. This was in fact the first shipment of oil to leave Ras Lanuf port since November 2014.

It appears that Hafar’s victory may have dealt a decisive blow to the GNA’s credibility by shifting the balance of political as well as military power in his favor. Moreover, Haftar’s proclamation that the ports be reopened will no doubt be perceived as a positive development, thus possibly cementing his credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary Libyans. Not long after the takeover, Western powers suddenly struck a more conciliatory tone, saying that they “welcomed the transfer of the oil facilities in the oil crescent to the National Oil Corporation as well as the plans to increase oil production and exports.” Therefore effectively legitimising the LNA’s grabbing of the oil ports and handing them over to the NOC.

“By taking control of the oil terminals, Haftar firstly increased his popularity and his legitimacy within Libya, but also he convinced the international community that he is a force that is able to act. So he has managed to position himself as a credible actor on the ground in the eyes of Libyans, but also now for much of the international community,” Mohamed Eljarh of the Atlantic Council told Sputnik.

It is undeniable that the ramping up of oil production is a welcome move by Libyans. However, whether or not Haftar and the LOC will be able to maintain the exports in the medium to long term is a point in question.

John Hall of the energy consultancy firm Alpha Group told Sputnik:

“Exports from Libya are not regarded as being stable or reliable. But the real issue here is — who is actually in control? Because even discerning that simple fact is difficult at this stage, discussions of the future of the exports is very difficult.”

Nevertheless, there is strong reason to believe that by removing the oil crescent from the control of the GNA-backed militias, Haftar has managed to expose the GNA’s inability to maintain its hold over a key state asset —oil — thus making it appear a weak actor.

In the eyes of many Libyans this is a grim portent for how effective the GNA might be into the future, considering that it was not able to defend the country’s primary economic lifeline from being taken by force. The oil crescent remains a powder keg between the two governments, as control over it is seen as vital to gaining legitimacy in the eyes of the Libyan people, and now seemingly the international community. Both the GNA and the Haftar-backed parliament in Tobruk walk a tightrope into Libyans political future and may recognise the need to reconcile and work together to ramp up oil production and improve the socioeconomic prospects of ordinary Libyans.

At the end of September at an interview with AFP in Paris, the leader of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, struck a new and placatory tone, saying that Haftar should be represented in a new, more “inclusive” government.

Barely two weeks after the LNA seized the oil crescent, Serraj said that, “no one wants an escalation or a confrontation between Libyans.” Whether or not both sides will be able to reconcile and focus on rectifying Libya’s political woes remains to be seen. However, one thing is for sure — the control of the oil crescent may have unexpectedly brought the GNA and Haftar closer together, meaning it might turn out to be Libya’s political saving grace. The recent defeat of Daesh in Sirte marks a new chapter in Libya’s fratricidal conflict. Forces loyal to the GNA announced on December 5th that they were responsible for driving Daesh out of its last remaining pocket in Sirte. On the other hand, Haftar’s LNA argues that it has been waging the war of attrition against the group that has contributed to the slow erosion of its battlefield capabilities over the last six months. Both groups will claim the defeat was meted out by their own hand in the hope of winning over the majority of Libyan people to their camp.

Regardless of who delivered the coup de grace to Daesh in Sirte, if a semblance of stability and unity is to return to Libya, then both parties bust mutually recognise the legitimacy that the other commands and come together to forge a new political future for Libya.

Source*

Related Topics:

British Parliament Confirms Libya War Was Based On Lies …*

Cameron’s Role in Destroying Libya Compares with Blair’s in Iraq*

“U.S. Destroyed Libya to re-colonize Africa”*

ISIS Suffers Major Setback in Libya*

The West Negotiates with former ‘Al Qaeda’ Leader to Empower Libya’s Unity Government*

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

This is the sort of thing that Britain’s hamstrung media are covering up. It’s just one reason why people go to the alternative media, such as RT and Global Research, to find out what’s going on. It’s hardly surprising that last week’s Commons debate on Aleppo was a farago of lies and ignorance. It’s what we’ve come to expect from our brainwashed, idiot MPs. – Gordon Logan

Dead Yemeni child – one of thousands that the British government has helped to kill.

Dead Yemeni child – one of thousands that the British government has helped to kill.

By Mark Curtis

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars.

To cover themselves, Ministers are now often resorting to lying about what they are authorising. While Britain has identified Islamic State (among others) as the enemy abroad, it is clear that it sees the British public and parliament as the enemy at home.

Syria

Britain began training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012. This was also when the SAS was reported to be ‘slipping into Syria on missions’ against Islamic State. Now, British special forces are ‘mounting hit and run raids against IS deep inside eastern Syria dressed as insurgent fighters’ and ‘frequently cross into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army’ from their base in Jordan. British special forces also provide training, weapons and other equipment to the New Syrian Army.

British aircraft began covert strikes against IS targets in Syria in 2015, months before Parliament voted in favour of overt action in December 2015. These strikes were conducted by British pilots embedded with US and Canadian forces.

Britain has also been operating a secret drone warfare programme in Syria. Last year Reaper drones killed British IS fighters in Syria, again before parliament approved military action. As I have previously argued, British covert action and support of the Syrian rebels is, along with horrific Syrian government/Russian violence, helping to prolong a terrible conflict.

 

Iraq

Hundreds of British troops are officially in Iraq to train local security forces. But they are also engaged in covert combat operations against IS. One recent report suggests that Britain has more than 200 special force soldiers in the country, operating out of a fortified base within a Kurdish Peshmerga camp south of Mosul.

British Reaper drones were first deployed over Iraq in 2014 and are now flown remotely by satellite from an RAF base in Lincolnshire. Britain has conducted over 200 drones strikes in Iraq since November 2014.

Libya

SAS forces have been secretly deployed to Libya since the beginning of this year, working with Jordanian special forces embedded in the British contingent. This follows a mission by MI6 and the RAF in January to gather intelligence on IS and draw up potential targets for air strikes. British commandos are now reportedlyfighting and directing assaults on Libyan frontlines and running intelligence, surveillance and logistical support operations from a base in the western city of Misrata.

But a team of 15 British forces are also reported to be based in a French-led multinational military operations centre in Benghazi, eastern Libya, supporting renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. In July 2016, Middle East Eye reported that this British involvement was helping to coordinate air strikes in support of Haftar, whose forces are opposed to the Tripoli-based government that Britain is supposed to be supporting.

Yemen

The government says it has no military personnel based in Yemen. Yet a report by Vice News in April, based on numerous interviews with officials, revealed that British special forces in Yemen, who were seconded to MI6, were training Yemeni troops fighting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also had forces infiltrated in AQAP. The same report also found that British military personnel were helping with drone strikes against AQAP. Britain was playing ‘a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program’. In addition, the UK spybase at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire facilitates US drone strikes in Yemen.

Britain has been widely reported (outside the mainstream media) as supporting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, most of them due to Saudi air strikes. Indeed, Britain is party to the war. The government says there are around 100 UK military personnel based in Saudi Arabia including a ‘small number’ at ‘Saudi MOD and Operational Centres’. One such Centre, in Riyadh, coordinates the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen and includes British military personnel who are in the command room as air strikes are carried out and who have access to the bombing targets.

The UK is of course arming the Saudi campaign: The British government disclosed on 13 October that the Saudis have used five types of British bombs and missiles in Yemen. On the same day, it lied to Parliament that Britain was ‘not a party’ to the war in Yemen.

A secret ‘memorandum of understanding’ that Britain signed with Saudi Arabia in 2014 has not been made public since it ‘would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship’ with the Kingdom, the government states. It is likely that this pact includes reference to the secret British training of Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia, which has taken place since mid-2015. Operating from a desert base in the north of the country, British forces have been teaching Syrian forces infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the public was told that British forces withdrew at the end of 2014. However, British forces stayed behind to help create and train an Afghan special forces unit. Despite officially only having ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan, in August 2015 it was reported that British covert forces were fighting IS and Taliban fighters. The SAS and SBS, along with US special forces, were ‘taking part in military operations almost every night’ as the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul.

In 2014, the government stated that it had ended its drone air strikes programme in Afghanistan, which had begun in 2008 and covered much of the country. Yet last year it was reported that British special forces were calling in air strikes using US drones.

Pakistan and Somalia

Pakistan and Somalia are two other countries where Britain is conducting covert wars. Menwith Hill facilitates US drone strikes against jihadists in both countries, with Britain’s GCHQ providing ‘locational intelligence’ to US forces for use in these attacks.

The government has said that it has 27 military personnel in Somalia who are developing the national army and supporting the African Union Mission. Yet in 2012 it was reported that the SAS was covertly fighting against al-Shabab Islamist terrorists in Somalia, working with Kenyan forces in order to target leaders. This involved up to 60 SAS soldiers, close to a full squadron, including Forward Air Controllers who called in air strikes against al-Shabab targets by the Kenyan air force. In early 2016, it was further reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose troops operate with UK special forces, was saying that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go ‘over the border’ to attack al-Shabaab.

Drones

The RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of 10 Reaper drones, has been in permanent operation in Afghanistan since October 2007, but covertly began operating outside Afghanistan in 2014. The NGO Reprieve notes that Britain provides communications networks to the CIA ‘without which the US would not be able to operate this programme’. It says that this is a particular matter of concern as the US covert drone programme is illegal.

The Gulf

Even this may not be the sum total of British covert operations in the region. The government stated in 2015 that it had 177 military personnel embedded in other countries’ forces, with 30 personnel working with the US military. It is possible that these forces are also engaged in combat in the region. For example, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has said that in the Gulf, British pilots fly US F18s from the decks of US aircraft carriers. This means that ‘US’ air strikes might well be carried out by British pilots.

Britain has many other military and intelligence assets in the region. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the US.

The state of Qatar houses the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid airbase. The government says it has seven military personnel ‘permanently assigned to Qatar’ and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ working at the airbase. These are likely to be covert forces; the government says that ‘we do not discuss specific numbers for reasons of safeguarding operational security’.

Similarly, the government says it has six military personnel ‘permanently assigned’ to the United Arab Emirates and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ at the UAE’s Al Minhad airbase. Britain also has military assets at Manama harbour, Bahrain, whose repressive armed forces are also being secretly trained by British commandos.

Kenya and Turkey

Kenya hosts Britain’s Kahawa Garrishon barracks and Laikipia Air Base, from where thousands of troops who carry out military exercises in Kenya’s harsh terrain can be deployed on active operations in the Middle East. Turkey has also offered a base for British military training. In 2015, for example, Britain deployed several military trainers to Turkey as part of the US-led training programme in Syria, providing small arms, infantry tactics and medical training to rebel forces.

The web of deceit

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament in July that the government is ‘committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter’. This is plainly not true, as the extent of British covert operations show.

Similarly, it was first reported in May that British troops were secretly engaged in combat in Libya. This news came two days after Fallon told MPs that Britain was not planning ‘any kind of combat role’ to fight IS in Libya.

There are many other examples of this straightforward web of deceit. In July 2016, the government issued six separate corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes in Yemen. However, little noticed was that these corrections also claimed that ‘the UK is not a party’ to the conflict in Yemen. This claim is defied by various news reports in the public domain.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging

Source*

Related Topics:

British Parliament Confirms Libya War Was Based On Lies …*

New Colonial Carve-up of Africa? British firms vying for £1trn Natural Resources*

British air strikes in Iraq and Syria increase by 85%*

The “Free Syrian Army” Media Campaign is a British Government Operation*

British Government Killed 10 Million Iranians In 1919*

British Banking System the Pumping Heart of Terror Finance and Global Drug Trade*

British Military Has Only Killed 7 Terrorists after More Than 600 Airstrikes*

British Airstrike Kills 20 Civilians in Hasaka*

British Soldiers Throw War Medals to the Floor*

“Official” British Intel Report on Iraq Copy-Pasted from the Internet*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria*

U.K. – U.S. Responds to Aleppo Siege with More Sanctions against Syrian Civilians*

French Troops with U.K., U.S. Support Engaged In War on Libya*

U.K. Illegally at War in Yemen*

Radiation from Iraq War Detected In U.K. Atmosphere*

U.K. Base Used by U.S. to Kill Thousands in the Middle East*

U.K.-based Israeli-owned Drone Factory Faced Forced Shutdown*

U.K. to Re-establish Military Bases East of Suez*

U.K. Starts Building New, Permanent Navy Base in Bahrain*