Posts Tagged ‘ISIS’

In their first conversation since Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president, he and President of Russia Vladimir Putin discussed improving cooperation between their countries in the fight against terrorism and the importance of rebuilding bilateral trade and economic ties.

Moscow sees Washington as its most important partner in fighting international terrorism, Putin told Trump, according to the Kremlin’s official statements on the conversation. Both leaders reportedly supported the idea of improving “real coordination” between their nations in the fight against Daesh and other terrorist groups active in Syria.

Trump and Putin also expressed their willingness to work together to “develop and stabilize” US-Russia interaction and assured each other that their nations’ citizens view the other’s positively.

In addition, the two world leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation on the Korean peninsula, and the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin reports, as well as nonproliferation issues.

Trump and Putin also expressed their willingness to work together to “develop and stabilize” US-Russia interaction and assured each other that their nations’ citizens view the other’s positively.

In addition, the two world leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation on the Korean peninsula, and the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the Kremlin reports, as well as nonproliferation issues.

Trump and Putin are expected to speak again to discuss possible dates and places for a face-to-face meeting.

By Paul Craig Roberts

A month ago I wrote a column , “He Who Hesitates Is Lost—And Russia Hesitated.” http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/09/24/he-who-hesitates-is-lost-and-russia-hesitated-paul-craig-roberts/ The consequences of this hesitation are now apparent:

1. A UN report orchestrated by Washington has accused Syria and Russia of war crimes in Aleppo. According to the report, “indiscriminate airstrikes across the eastern part of the city by Government forces and their allies [Russia] are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties. These violations constitute war crimes. And if knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against civilians, they constitute crimes against humanity.” http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20723&LangID=E

The UN Human Rights Council has now voted to start an “independent” investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to indict Russia and Putin as war criminals and to “bring to justice those responsible for the alleged abuses.” Moreover, “the situation should be urgently referred to the International Criminal Court. Every party to this conflict must know that they will be held accountable for the international crimes they commit – all, without selective protection or discrimination.” Keep in mind that Washington provides the largest share of the UN’s budget, and the UN will overlook that it was Washington that sent ISIS to Aleppo.

Obviously, neither Washington nor the UN will be able to drag Putin into the International Criminal Court, but a war criminal charge can serve Washington’s purpose by stopping Putin from traveling abroad and curtailing his diplomatic efforts. The purpose of this orchestrated exercise is its propaganda value. Among Washington’s many concerns is that some Eastern European countries, alarmed by the conflict that Washington is leading them into with Russia, will threaten NATO with a non-participation statement. If Russia is branded a war criminal, it becomes even more difficult for countries that foolishly and thoughtlessly joined NATO to extricate themselves from the consequences.

2. Washington has succeeded in bringing to power in Poland the far right-wing Law and Justice Party. These agents of Washington have re-opened the matter of the death of Poland’s President Kaczynski in a plane crash, making wild claims that the crash was a terror attack by Russia aimed at depriving Poland of its political leadership. https://www.rt.com/news/363726-polish-plane-crash-conspiracy-tusk/

Despite massive and convincing evidence to the contrary, the Law and Justice Party’s claims will find traction thanks to the scary portrait of Russia painted by Washington’s demonization campaign. The intended result is to further blacken and isolate Russia and its government.

3. As the anointed spokesperson for the neoconservative warmongers, Hillary wants Washington to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria. A no-fly zone would require Washington to attempt to prevent Syrian and Russian air strikes against ISIS positions. It seems clear enough that Syria and Russia would not accept any attempt to deny Syria the use of the country’s own airspace in the conflict against forces sent by Washington to overthrow the Syrian government, as happened to Gaddafi in Libya. Unless Russia and Syria surrender, Hillary’s no-fly zone would result in military conflict between Russia and the US.

To advance the no-fly zone proposal, the “use of chemical weapons” ruse has been resurrected. Fabricated reports are appearing that the Syrian air force is guilty of dropping chemical weapons on the Syrian population. On October 22, the Indian Express reported that on October 21 the UN-Led Joint Investigative Mechanism informed the UN Security Council that the chemical attack on Qmenas “was caused by a Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopter dropping a device from a high altitude which hit the ground and released the toxic substance that affected the population.” The report concluded that three of the chemical attacks investigated were made by Syria and one by the Islamic State. http://indianexpress.com/article/world/un-says-syrian-army-used-chemical-weapons-in-qmenas-village-in-2015-3096558/

The fact that the Russians resolved the chemical weapons issue in 2014, a year before the alleged attack on Qmenas, by taking possession of the weapons and removing them from Syria means that the report has little credibility. http://www.wsj.com/articles/removal-of-chemical-weapons-from-syria-is-completed-1403529356 However, at no time during Washington’s 15-year-old attack on Muslim countries have facts played any role, and certainly facts have played no role in Washington’s demonization of Russia.

4. Diana Johnstone has concluded that Hillary intends regime change for Russia and will use the presidency for that purpose.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/hillary-clintons-strategic-ambition-in-a-nutshell-regime-change-in-russia-putin-is-an-obstacle/5552264

It is impossible to imagine a purpose more reckless and irresponsible. Many members of the Russian government have stated that Washington’s provocation and demonization of Russia have brought trust between the nuclear powers close to zero and that Russia will never again fight a war on her own territory. Sergey Karaganov told the German news magazine, Der Spiegal, that if Washington and NATO move from provocations to encroachments against Russia, a nuclear power, they will be punished. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-putin-foreign-policy-advisor-sergey-karaganov-a-1102629.html

Many foolish people believe that nuclear war cannot happen, because there can be no winner. However, the American war planners, who elevated US nuclear weapons from a retaliatory role to a pre-emptive first strike function, obviously do not agree that nuclear war cannot be won. If nuclear war is believed to be unwinnable, there is no point in a war doctrine that assigns the weapons the role of surprise attack.

The Russians are aware and disturbed that Washington has made the situation between the US and Russia more dangerous than during the Cold War. Vladimir Putin himself has stated that the West does not hear his warnings. In an effort to avoid war, Putin wrings everything possible out of diplomacy. He enters into agreements with Washington that he must know will not be kept.

So much has happened to teach him this lesson— the Washington instigated invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia while he was at the Beijing Olympics, Washington’s coup in Ukraine while he was at the Sochi Olympics, Washington’s abandonment of the Minsk Agreement, the advantage Washington took of the Syrian ceasefire agreements, the violation of Washington’s promise not to move NATO to Russia’s border, Washington’s sacking of the Anti-ABM Treaty, the orchestrated blame of Russia for MH-17, Hillary’s hacked emails, etc.

Washington clearly intends to use Russia’s military and diplomatic assistance to Syria to convict Russia in world public opinion of war crimes. It was Russia’s hesitancy in Syria that enabled Washington to recover from the defeat of its ISIS mercenaries and substitute control of the explanation for defeat on the ground.

Russia’s air assault on ISIS in Syria caught Washington off guard and quickly rolled up the Washington-supported ISIS forces, completely reversing the tide of war. Had Russia finished the job, Syria would have been cleared of hostile forces before Washington could catch its breath.

Instead, pressured by the Atlanticist Integrationist element in the Russian elite, the Russian government withdrew, announcing mission accomplished and relying on the Syrian Army to complete the job. This strategic error allowed Washington not merely to replenish the ISIS munitions that had been destroyed and to muster more mercenaries, but more importantly to come up with a plan for Russia’s and Assad’s undoing.

By the time that the Russian government realized that early withdrawal was a mistake and re-entered the conflict, Washington had decided that if Dasmacus could not be “liberated,” Syria could be partitioned and pressure kept on Assad in that way. Yet the Russian government continued to postpone victory by cease fire agreements that Washington used to rearm ISIS and as propaganda weapons against Russia.

Whatever the outcome of the military conflict in Syria, Russia faces a war criminal conviction by the Western media, if not by the UN Human Rights Council, and a no-fly zone in Syria if Hillary becomes president of the US.

This is the huge cost that Putin paid for listening to the unrealistic, American-worshiping Atlanticist Integrationists who are determined that Russia be accepted by the West even if it means being a semi-vassal. If there is nuclear war, the Russian Atlanticist Integrationists will share the blame with the American neoconservatives. And all of us will pay the price for the disaster produced by these few, the neoconservatives demanding war and the Atlanticist Integrationists demanding appeasement of Washington.

by Stephen Lendman

She’s Obama’s neocon UN envoy, a despicable character, complicit in his high crimes by outrageously supporting them.
Edward Herman once called her a member of “the cruise missile left.” She glorifies US-sponsored genocides outrageously called humanitarian interventions, ignoring or shamelessly justifying Washington’s sordid record of repeated supreme crimes against peace.
She disgraces the office she holds, part of Obama’s permanent war criminal cabal. Her notion of responsibility to protect is mass slaughter and destruction to advance America’s imperium.
Responding to Russia’s calling an emergency Saturday Security Council session to address US naked aggression against Syrian forces earlier in the day, flagrantly breaching Geneva ceasefire terms, she shamelessly changed the subject, turned truth on its head, bashed Russia’s “uniquely hypocritical and cynical” attempt to make her explain her government’s lawless aggression.
“Why are we having this meeting tonight,” she asked? “It is a diversion from what is happening on the ground. If you don’t like what is happening on the ground then you distract.”
“It is a magician’s trick…(W)e encourage the Russian Federation to have emergency meetings with the Assad regime and deliver them to this deal.”
“What Russia is alleging tonight is that somehow the United States is undermining the fighting against ISIL. The Russian spokesperson even said that the United States might be complicit in this attack.”
Truth about Obama’s war, its support for ISIS and virtually all other terrorists groups operating regionally and elsewhere is too much reality for her or other rogue US officials to admit publicly.
Playing the blame game instead, she disgracefully holds Assad and his democratic government responsible for Obama’s genocidal war – typical US arrogance and hubris.
“We are investigating (Saturday’s US terror-bombing) incident,” she ranted. When America investigates its own high crimes, whitewash follows every time.
Neocons infesting Washington don’t “regret the loss of life,” as Power claimed. They mass slaughter defenseless victims over and over again endlessly, civilians considered legitimate targets.
Power’s remarks were more despicable than usual, calling Russia’s legitimately convened Security Council session on Saturday “a stunt with moralism and grandstanding…uniquely cynical and hypocritical.”
She lied accusing Assad of “intentionally striking civilian targets with horrifying, predictable regularity.”
She lied saying Syria “prevent(s) life-saving humanitarian aid from reaching people” in need.
She lied claiming Syrian forces steal humanitarian aid for themselves.
She lied accusing its military of double-tapping civilian targets (striking the same ones twice to target rescue personnel rushing to the scene to aid victims of the first strike).
She lied claiming Syria used chemical weapons against its own people.
She lied saying Syria “tortured tens of thousands of people in its prisons, which now double as torture chambers.”
She lied about what she called Syria’s “worst practices: hitting hospitals, hitting refugee camps, hitting markets without a single public expression of remorse” – these and other civilian sites routine US targets in all its wars of aggression.
She lied accusing Syria of numerous other atrocities, calling them “some of the most systematic (ones) that we have seen in a generation.”
She lied claiming America doesn’t support ISIS or other terrorist groups – imported death squads it  created and uses as imperial foot soldiers.
She lied saying Saturday’s US willful, malicious and lawless terror-bombing of Syrian military personnel was done “in error.”
There was nothing accidental about it, a flagrant breach of Geneva terms, a high crime of war, more proof America reviles peace and stability.
Power sounded buffoon-like claiming “(t)he United States is extremely serious about making (Geneva) work.” It was dead-on-arrival because Washington rejects cessation of hostilities and diplomatic conflict resolution.
Power is paid to lie for Washington’s criminal cabal in charge. Her despicable remarks show she does it with relish.

By Pepe Escobar

So Turkish President, a.k.a. Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to make a high-profile visit to Tehran – the date has not yet been set – to essentially kick start the ATM (Ankara-Tehran-Moscow) coalition in Syria.

Anyone as much as hinting at such a massive geopolitical tectonic shift a few weeks ago would be branded a madman. So how did the impossible happen?

A major strategic game-changer – Russia using an airfield in Iran to send bombers against jihadis in Syria – had already taken place, with its aftermath spectacularly misreported by the usual, clueless US corporate media suspects.

Then, there’s what Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, said last Saturday in Istanbul: “The most important priority for us is to stop the bloodshed [in Syria] as soon as possible.” The rest are irrelevant “details.”

Yildirim added Ankara now agrees with Moscow that Bashar al-Assad “could” – and that’s the operative word – stay in power during a political transition (although that’s still highly debatable). Ankara’s drive to normalize relations with Moscow had an ‘important share’ in this ‘policy shift’.

The ‘policy shift’ is a direct consequence of the failed military coup in Turkey. Russian cyber-surveillance aces – in action 24/7 after the downing of the Su-24 last November – reportedly informed Turkish intelligence a few hours before the fact. NATO, as the record shows, was mum.

Even minimalist optics suggests ‘Sultan’ Erdogan was extremely upset that Washington was not exactly displeased with the coup. He knows how vast swathes of the Beltway despise him – blaming him for not being serious in the fight against ISIS and for bombing the YPG Kurds – Pentagon allies – in Syria. The record does show Erdogan has mostly ignored ISIS – allowing non-stop free border crossing for ISIS goons as well as letting Turkish business interests (if not his own family) profit from ISIS’ stolen Syrian oil.

Compared to Washington’s attitude Moscow, on the other hand, warning Erdogan about serious, concrete facts on the ground in the nick of time. And for Erdogan, that was highly personal; the putschists reportedly sent a commando to kill him when he was still in Marmaris.

Fast forward to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif’s surprise visit two weeks ago to Ankara. Zarif and his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu did discuss serious options by which the budding ATM coalition could come up with a viable exit strategy in Syria. One week later Cavusoglu went to Tehran and talked again to Zarif for five hours.

It’s an uphill battle – but doable. Tehran knows very well IRGC officers as well as Hezbollah, Iraqi and Afghan fighters were killed in the Syrian war theater, and that shall not be in vain. Ankara for its part knows it cannot afford to remain forever trapped in an ideological dead end.

BREAKING: Turkish tanks cross Syrian border in military op to retake city of Jarablus from ISIS https://t.co/Hz1GBbWjNB

— RT (@RT_com) August 24, 2016

Rojava, where and for whom?

And then there’s the rub – the intractable Kurdish question. Iran, unlike Turkey, does not face active Kurdish separatism. A minimum understanding between Ankara and Tehran – central to the current flurry of meetings, face-to-face and ‘secret’, via mediators, necessarily points toward a united, centralized Syria.

That implies no Rojava – a possible independent Kurdish mini-state alongside the Turkish border, part of a not so hidden Washington/Tel Aviv balkanization agenda. Actually what is now in effect official Pentagon policy contains a mob element of Ash “Empire of Whining” Carter’s revenge on Sultan Erdogan; payback because Erdogan did not do enough to smash ISIS.

And that brings us to the current Turkish offensive – for all practical purposes invasion – of Jarabulus. That’s the last fort – as in the last town that allows ISIS back and forth from southern Turkey to Raqqa in terms of smuggling goons and weapons.

Ankara would never allow the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take Jarabulus. After all, the SDF – fully supported by the Pentagon – is led by the Kurdish nationalist YPG, which Ankara sees as a mere extension of PKK separatists.

Imagine Ankara’s terror at the YPG seizing Jarabulus. They would have crossed the ultimate Turkish red line; closing the gap between two Kurdish cantons across the border and for all practical purposes giving birth to the Rojava Kurdish mini-state.

Yet even if for Ankara an independent Rojava remains the supreme red line, there are declinations. A Rojava might come as quite handy if it became a dumping ground for Turkish PKK fighters. Arguably the PKK would not complain; after all they would have “their” state.

No one seems to be considering what Damascus thinks about all this.

And no one, for the moment, has a clue about the precise geography of a putative Rojava. If it includes, for instance, the recently liberated city of Manbij, that’s a major problem; Manbij is Arab, not Kurd. Kurds once again seem to be thrown into disarray – forced to choose whether they are allied with Washington or with Moscow.

Moscow, for its part, is crystal clear on ISIS. It is dead set on smashing for good, by all means necessary, any militants who consider Russia their enemy.

Erdogan certainly calculated that a rapprochement with Russia had to include being serious against ISIS. Extra incentive was added by the fact the bombing this past Sunday in Gaziantep was most certainly an ISIS job.

So Erdogan’s Syria master plan now boils down to – what else – another wilderness of mirrors. By crossing to Jarabulus, Ankara wants to establish a sort of remnants of the Free Syria Army (FSA)-controlled enclave. The Americans can’t blame him because this will be against ISIS – even though it’s mostly against Rojava. And the Russians won’t make a fuss because Moscow is in favor of Syria’s unity.

#ISIS ‘likely perpetrator’ of fatal #Gaziantep wedding attack – #Erdoganhttps://t.co/A5zYYYTCJipic.twitter.com/ij3RLQrUGb

— RT (@RT_com) August 21, 2016

Got ATM, will travel

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, previously of “zero problems with our neighbors” then converted into “nothing but problems with our neighbors” is now history. Yildirim is a pragmatist. So the opening to Russia had to be inevitable.

And that leads us back to the – alleged – end of Team Obama’s obsession, “Assad must go”. He may stay, for a while. Yildirim has confirmed this is now Turkish official policy. Although that does not mean Ankara – and Washington for that matter – have given up on regime change. They will keep up the pressure – but tactics will change.

As it stands, the major fact on the ground is that ‘Sultan’ Erdogan seems to have had enough of the Americans (NATO of course included) and has pivoted to Russia.

Thus the sending of certified Keystone Cop Joe Biden to Ankara to plead “not guilty” on the military coup (forget it; most Turks don’t believe Washington) and to implore Erdogan not to pursue his massive purge (pure wishful thinking).

Considering Erdogan’s notoriously erratic record, his embrace of ATM may be just a gigantic illusion, or may open yet another unforeseen can of worms. But there are signs this may be for real.

Cavusoglu has already intimated that Ankara is aiming for a military/technological upgrade that is impossible under NATO’s watch. In his own words; “Unfortunately, we see countries in NATO are a bit hesitant when it comes to exchange of technology and joint investments.

Moscow has every reason to be quite cautious regarding myriad aspects of Erdogan’s pivoting. After all the Turkish military has been part of NATO for decades. As it stands, there’s no evidence Moscow and Ankara are looking at the same post-war Syria. But if we’re talking about the future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), then it starts to get really interesting.

Turkey is already a “dialog partner” of the SCO, while Iran may become a full member as early as next year. Moscow is certainly envisioning Ankara as a valuable ally in the wider Sunni world, way beyond a role in repelling Salafi-jihadis in Syria. With Ankara and Tehran also talking serious business, this could eventually spill out into a serious debunking of the alleged apocalyptic Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian divide, which is the only Divide-and-Rule strategy spun and deployed non-stop by the US, Israel and the House of Saud.

It’s this enticing SCO-enhancing possibility that’s freaking Washington out big time. Russia pivoting East, Turkey pivoting East, Iran already there, and China now also actually involved in a stake in post-war Syria, that’s a geopolitical reconfiguration in Southwest Asia that once again spells out the inevitable; Eurasia integration.

By Roger Stone

Judicial Watch proved it. Under a Freedom of Information Act request, Judicial Watch was able to obtain a (heavily redacted) copy of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) directive that initiated the creation of ISIS in 2012. the DIA report states, 

“THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION . . . [SUPPORT] ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA . . . IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME . . .”. 

Not even Judicial Watch seems to have appreciated the significance of this document, where its press release focused on the Benghazi attack. Recent releases of Hillary’s emails, moreover, confirm that taking out Assad has nothing to do with his alleged abuse of the Syrian people but because it will help Israel.

Just in case it has slipped anyone’s mind, Hillary was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Barack was inaugurated in 2008 and steps down in 2016. It happened on their watch. It could not have happened without their approval. They really did create ISIS!

The chemical attacks on Syrian citizens on 21 August 2013 was meant to justify lobbing cruise missiles into Syria. Obama was ready, but Americans were not. And when the ploy was debunked by a 50-page dossier the Russians provided to the UN, they resorted to “Plan B”, which was the creation of ISIS by the DIA.

The chemical weapons are widely believed to have been provided to the “rebels” by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, to whom the Bush family refers as “Bandar Bush”. But recent releases of Hillary’s emails suggest that she was directing the transfer of weapons from Libya to Syria and chemical weapons may have been among them.

The Benghazi attack appears to have been initiated because Ambassador Christ Stevens was concerned that some of the weapons being sent to Syria could be used against the civilian population. The Obama administration has stonewalled inquiries as to whether Benghazi had anything to do with transferring weapons to the rebels. That means “Yes!”

The signs have been there right along the way, but the media has not been reporting them. Here are some of the facts reported in a recent study about ISIS:

* On 23 February 2015, *FARS* reported that the (much maligned) Iraqi Army had downed 2 UK cargo planes carrying weapons for ISIS, which was among the first signs that things were not as the world was being told by Western—and especially US—news sources.

* On 1 March 2015, *FARS* reported that Iraqi popular forces are known as “Al-Hashad Al-Shabi” shot down a US helicopter carrying weapons for ISIL in Al-Anbar province of which they had photographs.

* On 10 April 2015, *Press TV* reported that, in response to a request by Syrian that ISIL be named a terrorist organization, the US, Britain, France, and Jordan refused, which was rather baffling on its face.

Photographs were appearing contemporaneously showing ISIS members sporting “US Army” tattoos, which the American media has yet to acknowledge. Confirm this for yourself by searching for “ISIS members sporting US Army tattoos” online.

On 19 May 2015, Brad Hoof of levantreport.com, “2012 Defense intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State ‘in order to isolate the Syrian regime”, based upon the release of a selection of formerly classified documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the US Department of Defense and Department of State.

On 22 June 2015, ex-CIA contractor, Steven Kelley, explained the US “created ISIL for sake of Israel” and to have a “never-ending war” in the Middle East, which would make the countries there “unable to stand up to Israel” and to provide “the constant flow of orders for weapons from the military-industrial complex at home, which is feeding a lot of money to the senators pushing for these wars”.

There’s more–a lot more, including photographs of Sen. John McCain with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. You can find dozens of them on the internet. In Washington, ISIS is widely known as “John McCain’s army”. So what’s wrong with a candidate for president making the point that his opponent and her most prominent support actually created ISIS?  Trump is right.

 

Video – English Subs

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reveals why the US created Daesh.
Subtitled excerpt from speech delivered on 14/08/2016.- Posted August 17, 2016

The attack occurred early Monday morning at the North Gate Hotel in the Afghan capital City of Kabul, but there is still no word on the number of casualties associated with the major terrorist strike.

A large explosion rocked the Afghan capital city of Kabul early Monday, knocking out the city’s electricity. Local reporters claim a truck bomb was involved in the incident and said that there was ongoing attack by four gunmen at the Northgate hotel.

The blast occurred in the middle of the night, at around 1:30 am local time. Some witnesses on Twitter claimed that the electricity had actually gone off in Kabul shortly before, and not after, the explosion.

The blast has been described on Twitter as being so loud that it woke up people “all over the city.”

TOLOnews reports that Afghan security forces have cordoned off the area around the North Gate Hotel.

There is still no word from officials on the total number of casualties from the terrorist attack, who was responsible for the strike, or what their motives were.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the North Gate hotel attack in the Afghan capital, local media said Monday.

Earlier, a truck bomb explosion hit the Northgate guesthouse, located on Jalalabad Road in the Pul-e-Chakri area and frequented by foreigners. Several militants attacked the building after the blast.

“It was a place of luxury for foreigners and hotel was far from civilian homes,” the Taliban said, as quoted by the TOLOnews channel.

Afghan security forces have now cordoned off the area, with sounds of gunfire no longer audible.

The attack occurred at Camp North Gate, a hotel that caters to mostly US military contractors serving in Afghanistan. The facility has diplomatic status. It was the target of a similar terror strike at the hands of Taliban militants in 2013.

It said by local reporters that there have been dozens of casualties although no official figure has been offered.

MORE TO COME.