Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of bombing its embassy in Yemen

© AFP / Fayez Nureldine | A picture taken on November 16, 2015 shows a Saudi F-15 fighter jet landing at the Khamis Mushayt military airbase, as the Saudi army conducts operations over Yemen.

Saudi jets “deliberately” struck Iran’s embassy in Yemen in an air raid that wounded staff, Tehran’s foreign ministry said Thursday, as tensions between the two regional powers mounted

“This deliberate action by Saudi Arabia is a violation of all international conventions that protect diplomatic missions,” foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by state television.

“The Saudi government is responsible for the damage caused and for the situation of members of staff who were injured,” Ansari added, without specifying when the alleged strike took place.

(AFP)

 

Syria: regime accuses rebels of killing 25 in chemical weapons attack

Russia and America have been drawn into a dispute between the Syrian regime and rebel fighters over reports that chemical weapons were used in an attack on an Aleppo suburb that killed up to 25 people.

3:42PM GMT 19 Mar 2013

 • White House: ‘no evidence’ rebels used chemical weapons

• Russia points finger at Syria opposition
• Attack has not been independently confirmed
• Reuters photographer: ‘The air smelled of chlorine’

Syria’s regime accused rebel fighters of firing a chemical weapon at a town in the country’s north. The regime has claimed that up to 25 people were killed in the attack but the rebels claimed only Damascus can deploy chemical weapons.

The Russian foreign ministry said it also had information showing that the rebels had carried out a chemical weapons attack.

This afternoon the White House said it was “looking carefully” at allegations that a chemical weapons attack had taken place, with a spokesman saying there was “no evidence” yet to substantiate the claim that the rebels were responsible.

Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: “We are deeply skeptical of a regime that has lost all credibility and we would also warn the regime against making these kinds of charges as any kind of pretext or cover for its use of chemical weapons.”

He said that US President Barack Obama has warned of the consequences should chemical weapons be used in Syria, but would not elaborate on measures under consideration.

Mr Obama has previously said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a “red line” that could trigger an American intervention.

Britain said on Tuesday it was aware of the reports, adding that the use or proliferation of chemical weapons there would demand a serious response from the international community.

But a spokesman for Syria’s rebel command said the regime had fired Scud missile equipped with a chemical warhead on the area.

A young boy is treated in an Aleppo hospital after what the Syrian government claims was a chemical weapons attack. Picture: REUTERS/George Ourfalian

The official news agency, Sana, said the attack had occurred in Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo, killing 25 people. Syria has one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons and both sides have made claim and counter-claim about use of the weapons.

“Terrorists fired a rocket containing chemical substances in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo and initial reports indicate that around 15 people were killed, most of them civilians,” Sana, the state news agency, said in an initial report. The agency later upped its report of the death toll to 25.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said officials were investigating the claims and warned the consequences could be very serious.

“We’re aware of today’s press reports alleging that a chemical weapon was fired in the north of Syria and are looking into them.

“The use of chemical weapons would be abhorrent and universally condemned. The UK is clear that the use or proliferation of chemical weapons would demand a serious response from the international community and force us to revisit our approach so far.”

A little girl is treated in hospital in Aleppo after what the regime claimed was a chemical weapons attack. Picture: Reuters

The head of an international anti-chemical weapons body said this afternoon that he had no independent confirmation of the attack.

“I don’t think we know more than you do at the moment,” Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told a seminar in Vienna.

A Reuters photographer on the scene said the victims were sent to four hospitals in government-controlled areas of Aleppo and some were having trouble breathing.

“I saw mostly women and children,” he said. “They said that people were suffocating in the streets and the air smelt strongly of chlorine.”

“People were dying in the streets and in their houses,” he said over the phone after visiting the University of Aleppo hospital and the al-Rajaa hospital.

Medics transport a Syrian Army soldier wounded in what they said was a chemical weapon attack near Aleppo (Reuters)

Twenty-six people were killed in the rocket attack, a human rights monitoring group with a network of sources of the ground said.

“Sixteen Syrian regular army soldiers were killed in Khan al-Assal,” Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “Ten more died in hospital but I cannot confirm if they are civilians or soldiers.”

Omran al-Zoabi, Syria’s Information Minister, said the country’s armed forces would never use internationally banned weapons.

“Syria’s army leadership has stressed this before and we say it again, if we had chemical weapons we would never use them due to moral, humanitarian and political reasons,” Mr Zoabi said in a televised news conference today.

“Our armed forces absolutely could not use, not now, nor at any time, nor in the past, any weapon banned by international law.”

Medics attend to a man at a hospital in Khan al-Assal in the northern Aleppo province (AFP/Getty Images)

He said Turkey and Qatar, which have supported rebels, bore “legal, moral and political responsibility” for the strike – a charge dismissed by a Turkish official as baseless.

The Russian foreign ministry pinned the blame for the attack on the rebels, though it was not clear if Moscow was relying on information from Syria or had independently confirmed the incident.

“According to information we are getting from Damascus, early in the morning on March 19, in Aleppo province there was a case of the Syrian opposition using chemical weapons,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it was “seriously concerned by the fact that weapons of mass destruction have fallen into the hands of the rebels, which even further complicates the situation in Syria”.

The statement once again called on all sides to renounce violence and negotiate to end to the two-year conflict.

Syrian citizens carry an injured man from a damaged building that was hit by a Syrian forces airstrike in the al-Marjeh neighborhood of Aleppo (AP)

Russia is viewed as one of Syria’s closest allies and has three times blocked UN sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The allegation emerged as the Syria National Coalition (SNC) picked Ghassan Hitto, an exile who ran an IT company and was involved in Islamic activism in the US, as the prime minister charged with establishing services in the north.

An executive in the west for 25 years, Mr Hitto moved to southern Turkey late last year to head the Assistance Co-Ordination Unit, which helps move supplies from supporters to Syrian populations in “free areas” of the country.

The SNC has been under pressure from its Western and Arab backers to form an interim government that would attract weapons and humanitarian aid from the international community.

But there were divisions over the choice of Mr Hitto, who won 35 out of 49 votes recorded. SNC members unhappy about the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the exiled opposion had backed a defector with strong family ties to the regime.

The SNC leadership defended the choice of Mr Hitto, who is a member of the Kurdish minority. “This is a transparent, democratic vote,” said Moaz al-Khatib, the chairman.

 

Others fear his lack of military experience will perpetuate the divisions between politicans and soldiers that has granted the initiative to Islamic fundamentalists.

But the commander of the armed wing said his officers would recognise the political leadership provided by Mr Hitto.

“Any institutions not following this government would be considered to be acting illegitimately and would be prosecuted,” Gen Selim Idriss said.

Meanwhile a US official said Baghdad is “looking the other way” as Iran sends military equipment through Iraqi airspace to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime .

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, called on Iraq to randomly search Iranian planes flying to Syria, and said Washington had complained to “all levels of the Iraqi government” about the lack of inspection.

“It’s reasonable to stop the planes and inspect them,” the official said. “At least do some randomly and legitimately to see. They (Iraq) have cause to be suspicious. Instead, they are suspending their disbelief, looking the other way, and averting their gaze.”

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Security group suspects Chinese military is behind hacking attacks

A Chinese People's Liberation Army soldier stands guard in front of 'Unit 61398', a secretive Chinese military unit, in the outskirts of Shanghai, February 19, 2013. The unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, a U.S. computer security company said, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

 

(Reuters) – A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, a U.S. computer security company said, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

The company, Mandiant, identified the People’s Liberation Army’s Shanghai-based Unit 61398 as the most likely driving force behind the hacking. Mandiant said it believed the unit had carried out “sustained” attacks on a wide range of industries.

“The nature of ‘Unit 61398’s’ work is considered by China to be a state secret; however, we believe it engages in harmful ‘Computer Network Operations’,” Mandiant said in a report released in the United States on Monday.

“It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively,” it said.

China’s Defense Ministry issued a flat denial of the accusations and called them “unprofessional”. It said hacking attacks are a global problem and that China is one of world’s biggest victims of cyber assaults.

“The Chinese army has never supported any hacking activity,” the Defense Ministry said in a brief faxed statement to Reuters. “Statements about the Chinese army engaging in cyber attacks are unprofessional and not in line with facts.”

Unit 61398 is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, China’s financial and banking hub, and is staffed by perhaps thousands of people proficient in English as well as computer programming and network operations, Mandiant said in its report.

The unit had stolen “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations across a diverse set of industries beginning as early as 2006”, it said.

Most of the victims were located in the United States, with smaller numbers in Canada and Britain. The information stolen ranged from details on mergers and acquisitions to the emails of senior employees, the company said.

The 12-storey building, which houses the unit, sits in an unassuming residential area and is surrounded by a wall adorned with military propaganda photos and slogans; outside the gate a sign warns members of the public they are in a restricted military area and should not take pictures.

There were no obvious signs of extra security on Tuesday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the government firmly opposed hacking, adding that it doubted the evidence provided in the U.S. security group’s report.

“Hacking attacks are transnational and anonymous. Determining their origins are extremely difficult. We don’t know how the evidence in this so-called report can be tenable,” spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.

“Arbitrary criticism based on rudimentary data is irresponsible, unprofessional and not helpful in resolving the issue.”

Hong cited a Chinese study which pointed to the United States as being behind hacking in China.

“Of the above mentioned Internet hacking attacks, attacks originating from the United States rank first.”

“ECONOMIC CYBER ESPIONAGE”

Some experts said they doubted Chinese government denials.

“The PLA plays a key role in China’s multi-faceted security strategy, so it makes sense that its resources would be used to facilitate economic cyber espionage that helps the Chinese economy,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer and co-founder of CrowdStrike, one of Mandiant’s competitors.

Though privately held and little known to the general public, Mandiant is one of a handful of U.S. cyber-security companies that specialize in attempting to detect, prevent and trace the most advanced hacking attacks, instead of the garden-variety viruses and criminal intrusions that befoul corporate networks on a daily basis.

But Mandiant does not promote its analysis in public and only rarely issues topical papers about changes in techniques or behaviors.

It has never before given the apparent proper names of suspected hackers or directly tied them to a military branch of the Chinese government, giving the new report special resonance.

The company published details of the attack programs and dummy websites used to infiltrate U.S. companies, typically via deceptive emails.

U.S. officials have complained in the past to China about sanctioned trade-secret theft, but have had a limited public record to point to.

Mandiant said it knew the PLA would shift tactics and programs in response to its report but concluded that the disclosure was worth it because of the scale of the harm and the ability of China to issue denials in the past and duck accountability.

The company traced Unit 61398’s presence on the Internet – including registration data for a question-and-answer session with a Chinese professor and numeric Internet addresses within a block assigned to the PLA unit – and concluded that it was a major contributor to operations against the U.S. companies.

Members of Congress and intelligence authorities in the United States have publicized the same general conclusions: that economic espionage is an official mission of the PLA and other elements of the Chinese government, and that hacking is a primary method.

In November 2011, the U.S. National Counterintelligence Executive publicly decried China in particular as the biggest known thief of U.S. trade secrets.

The Mandiant report comes a week after U.S. President Barack Obama issued a long-awaited executive order aimed at getting the private owners of power plants and other critical infrastructure to share data on attacks with officials and to begin to follow consensus best practices on security.

Both U.S. Democrats and Republicans have said more powerful legislation is needed, citing Chinese penetration not just of the largest companies but of operations essential to a functioning country, including those comprising the electric grid.

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Let’s stop the bickering Children of God!

Hey folks, brothers and sisters in Christ.

Hope all is well with everyone.  I pray for God to open everyone’s eyes to the truth before reading this post.  Amen

I am not here to give a feel good, pleasant, how do you do presentation in this post.

I have received several comments on when the rapture will occur or if there will even be a rapture of the church.  I have encountered it on other blogs, websites and in the community as well.

Although I believe that this is a very important event, it is not directly vital to our salvation.

There are those who make accusations of other believers, saying that they are teaching lies about the word of God.  That they are condemning others to Hell, because they believe in a pre-trib or a mid-trib, etc. rapture of the church.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am getting sick and tired of it.  I can hear God now saying “Put away your petty grievances and do the work that you were commanded to do.  I gave you my Spirit to guide you, enlighten you and speak for you.  Now use it how I intended it to be used or else!!!”

What does matter is the salvation of the lost.  Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and being a light that shines brightly in a dark world.  How can we be a bright light when we Christians are fighting among ourselves?  It is one thing to disagree, share our thoughts and study the scripture together, but it is a completely different thing to denigrate and make accusations against a brother or sister in Christ.  What kind of example is that to an unbeliever?

Therefore, we must, as children of the Almighty God, respect and encourage one another in our faith with the Lord.  Don’t we all worship the same God?  What on earth are we doing bickering and accusing each other.  I am not saying that all Christians are doing this, but I see it happening way to often.  I feel that God is upset with us for such inane accusatory statements.

We don’t have time to waste.  What does it matter if the rapture is pre, post, mid or no tribulation?  Jesus gave us signs to watch for.  That is what I am doing.  Watching and warning.  That is a command of Jesus.  It is scriptural.  I can quote scripture without any confusion.  It is so very clear.   Others accuse Christians of teaching prophecy and warning of prophetic signs.  This is all scriptural folks.  Jesus told us, commanded us, to keep watch and look for prophetic signs.  Anyone want to argue that with me?!  It is scriptural.  You argue with me on this you are arguing with God!  I can quote scripture:  Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  There is plenty more where that came from.  If you don’t believe me then study the bible!

I hear people tell me that if I don’t believe in mid or post tribulation then I will not be prepared for what is to come.  Hogwash!  If I am a true believer in Christ then I will be prepared.  I will walk with the Lord daily.  He said in his words to us that he will keep us from the hour of temptation and from his wrath.  Does anyone want to argue that point?!  No, I thought not.  Because I can quote it from right out of the bible.  If anyone argues with me on that statement they are arguing with God.  Because those are his Words, not mine!

I truly believe that some people just want to argue.  Once again, don’t get me wrong here, there is legitimate discussion and study going on, and that is wonderful.  We should be teaching each other and studying the Word of God together as believers.  That is not what I am talking about.

We need to be warriors for Christ!  We need to be strong.  We need to be courageous.  We need to be steadfast.  We need to seek the truth.  We need to see evil and sin for what it is and call it out in the open.  We need to seek the Lord and listen to his Spirit speak to us.  We need to humble ourselves before God Almighty!  We need to serve the Lord.  We need to Love God with ALL of our heart.  

This is not a time to be weary, to fall away.  This is the time to seek the Lord.  Seek and ye shall find saith the Lord!  Ask and ye shall receive.  Blessed are those that keep the prophecies of this book, says God!  I can also quote scripture for this statement.

Darkness is coming, and coming quickly.  God shall provide and protect those that love him.  If you do not already know God than you should do it now.  Before it is too late!

I know that there will probably be many people including other Christians who will not agree with this post.   The Spirit has led me to write these words.  I am not saying that these words are from God.  However, the conviction is from God.

You may not agree with my beliefs in a pre-tribulation rapture.  But, I do!  So I will not be responding to any more comments on the subject.  You can read my “Rapture” page to see why I believe this.   You have every right to disagree with me, and that’s ok.  It does not bother me one bit.  But, if anyone condemns me for it, their post will be deleted!  I DO NOT CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT ME!!!  I only care what GOD thinks about me.  That’s what matters to me!  Pleasing my heavenly Father!

I don’t mean to sound to harsh, but sometimes that is what it takes to get a point across!  Especially when God is getting angry!!!

This is not a game!  This is the real deal.

Let us love one another in peace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Let us encourage one another in seeking the Lord and understanding his Word.  Let us work together to bring the lost to salvation!  These are my prayers.  Amen

God Bless everyone reading this post.   Praise God Almighty, give glory to God, serve the Lord Jesus with all of your heart.

🙂

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