8:00 [Democracy Now!/YouTube] (E)
Erik Prince, the founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, helped recruit former spies to infiltrate and gather intelligence about Democratic campaigns and labor organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, according to an explosive report by The New York Times.
18:08 [Mint Press News] (E)
France’s support for extremist groups in Syria, particularly near Idlib, dates back to the earliest days of the 2011 CIA-backed anti-government rebellion. Mideast Discourse — FRANCE 24’s Wassim Nasr, a specialist in jihadist networks, recently spoke via Skype with French recruiter Omar Omsen, the head of the jihadist group Furkat-al-Ghuraba, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Idlib. There are numerous French terrorists in Idlib today, fighting to establish an Islamic state out of a small piece of secular Syria. Their dream is a Sunni utopia on the Turkish border, where they can enjoy the full support of the Turkish President Erdogan, who is the head of the AK party which is a Muslim Brotherhood party which has dominated Turkey for about 20 years.
6:53 [WikiLeaks] (E)
When three officers of Germany`s foreign intelligence service the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), were arrested in Pristina November 19, it exposed that country`s extensive covert operations in the heart of the Balkans.
7:29 [Anti Empire] (E)
When Syrian rebel groups disallowed their members from signing up for Libya, Turkey stopped paying their salaries
9:24 [FDD`s Long War Journal] (E)
BY JOE TRUZMAN - In 2012, Hezbollah committed itself to armed conflict in defense of its Syrian ally, Bashar al Assad, against rebels and Islamic State fighters attempting to overthrow the Assad government. With the backing of Iran and Russia, they successfully supported the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in largely putting down the armed insurgency. But Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias fighting on behalf of the Bashar al Assad’s government have suffered heavy losses since late January fighting Sunni militant groups in the Aleppo countryside located in northwestern Syria. The area has become a strong-hold for jihadist groups like Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, al Qaeda linked militants and various Turkish-backed groups. Many of these groups operate under or are affiliated with the Incite the Believers Operation Room.
14:27 [Tass] (E)
An unidentified small drone approaching Russia’s air base at Syria’s Hmeymim from the Mediterranean was downed by the base’s Pantsyr missile defense system, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday. According to the ministry, an unidentified small unmanned aerial vehicle was stopped by the airbase’s radars when it was approaching the Russian base from the northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea after dark. "The target was destroyed by the Panstyr-S missiles at a distance from the airbase. No one was hurt. No material damage was done," the ministry said, adding that the airbase is operating routinely.
7:27 [Tass] (E)
Servicemen of the Russian airbase at Syria’s Hmeymim replied an attack of drones launched from the territory of the terrorists-controlled Idlib de-escalation zone, Major General Yuri Borenkov, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Sunday. "At about 23:00 Moscow time on February 1, airspace control tools of the Russian airbase at Hmeymim stopped a cluster air target of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) launched from militants-controlled territory of the Idlib de-escalation zone. The base’s electronic warfare systems took over control of the UAVs and deactivated their control systems," he said.
14:51 [Tass] (E)
Large arsenals of weapons and munitions, including of the Western make, were found by Syrian government troops on territories liberated from militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone, Major General Yuri Borenkov, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Friday. "After militants retreated deeper into the Idlib de-escalation zone, Syrian troops found a great number of military hardware, munitions and weapons, including of the Western make, left by illegal armed groups," he said. According to the Russian general, the counteroffensive of the Syrian government army prevented a massive terrorists’ attack on the densely populated cities on Hama and Aleppo.