Iran: IRGC Commander: Iran Test Fires New Missile

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

IRGC Commander: Iran Test Fires New Missile

Saturday, 24 August, 2019 – 10:15
Iran launches a ballistic missile in a Reuters file photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran has test fired a new missile, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said on Saturday, according to the Tasnim news agency.

“Our country is always the arena for testing a variety of defense and strategic systems and these are non-stop movements towards the growth of our deterrent power,” Salami said. “And yesterday was one of the successful days for this nation.”

He did not provide any additional information about the missile.

Iran displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defense system on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program last year and stepped up sanctions on Tehran in order to curb its development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq. The two countries have been exchanging threats and warnings since then.

Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June, nearly setting off a conflict with the United States.

Trump says he wanted to give himself Medal of Honor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

WHITE HOUSE

Trump says he wanted to give himself Medal of Honor

President Donald Trump claimed to laughter on Wednesday that he sought to give himself a Medal of Honor, but decided not to after being counseled against the move by aides.

The offhand remark from the president came during his address to the 75th annual national convention of American Veterans, a volunteer-led veterans service organization also known as AMVETS.

At the event in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump singled out for praise WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams.

“Thank you, Woody. You’re looking good, Woody. Woody’s looking good,” Trump said.

“That was a big day, Medal of Honor. Nothing like the Medal of Honor,” he continued. “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify, Woody. I said, ‘Can I give it to myself anyway?’ They said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’”

Amid scattered chuckles, Trump concluded: “Great, great people. These are great, great men and women that get congressional Medal of Honor. Thank you, Woody.”

The president’s assessment that he should receive the nation’s highest award for acts of military valor followed his statement earlier Wednesday afternoon that he is “the chosen one” in relation to his administration’s trade conflict with China — a proclamation he turned to the sky to deliver.

Trump never served in the military and was granted five draft deferments — four for college and one for bone spurs in his heel.

US, Russia gave Israel green light to strike Iran in Syria, Iraq

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Report: US, Russia gave Israel green light to strike Iran in Syria, Iraq

Under alleged agreement, Jerusalem allowed to conduct attacks against Iranian threats in Middle East, but can’t publicly acknowledge them

Explosions at an arms depot of a Shiite militia group in Iraq, August 20, 2019 (video screenshot)

Explosions at an arms depot of a Shiite militia group in Iraq, August 20, 2019 (video screenshot)

Israel has conducted several strikes on Iranian-controlled bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks with permission from the United States and Russia, a Western diplomatic source told a Saudi-owned newspaper Wednesday.

Moscow and Washington agreed that the Jewish state could conduct these attacks on Iranian targets in order to “ensure Israel’s security,” the source told the London-based Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat.

In recent weeks, a number of explosions have been reported in Iraqi military installations connected to pro-Iranian Shiite militias, including on Tuesday night in an arms depot north of Baghdad.

As part of the reported agreement, Israel would not publicly acknowledge carrying out the strikes. However, this has not prevented Israeli officials from hinting at their involvement in these attacks.

See someone🇸🇦‘s other Tweets

Asked about Tuesday night’s blast at the pro-Iranian militia base, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli reporters, “Iran has no immunity, anywhere… We will act — and currently are acting — against them, wherever it is necessary.”

The explosions have occurred in bases and warehouses belonging to militia groups under the umbrella of the mainly Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The state-sanctioned PMF militias have fought alongside Iraq’s regular armed forces against the Islamic State group.

Iraqi MP Karim Alaiwi told pro-Hezbollah Lebanese network al-Mayadeen on Wednesday that evidence pointed to Israel being behind recent attacks on Shiite militias, adding that the Jewish state was trying to weaken the PMF.

Alaiwi said American forces controlled Iraqi airspace and reasoned that no one could be conducting airstrikes without US knowledge.

The Iraqi Civil Defense said in a statement that Tuesday’s blast occurred near Balad air base, one of the country’s largest. A Shiite militia group is stationed nearby.

Iraqi security forces’ vehicles are seen at the delivery ceremony of four new US- made F-16 fighter jets at Balad air base, 75 kilometers (45 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The officials who confirmed the explosion spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They said the blast occurred in a depot belonging to the PMF and that an investigation was underway.

The mysterious blasts have given rise to a host of theories, including that Israel may have conducted airstrikes.

No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s blast or other recent explosions.

In July, an explosion took place at a PMF base in Amirli, in Iraq’s northern Salaheddin province, killing two Iranians and causing a huge fire.

Last week, a massive explosion was also reported at the al-Saqr military base.

Israel has struck Iranian bases in neighboring Syria on numerous occasions, and there has been speculation that it might be expanding its campaign to target Iranian bases in  Iraq. However, neither the Iraqi government nor Israel has addressed the reports.

Satellite photo of a weapons depot in southern Baghdad controlled by a pro-Iranian militia that was hit in an alleged Israeli operation on August 12, 2019. (ImageSat International)

Israeli officials have identified Iraq as a likely growing base of operations for Iran-backed efforts against the Jewish state. But Israeli officials have so far neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the strikes.

Raphael Ahren, AP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

READ MORE:
COMMENTS

2-minute history of the U.S. Air Force

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

2-minute history of the U.S. Air Force

From Civil War era hot-air balloon spying to modern stealth fighter jets, the United States has been always been involved in achieving military air superiority during wartime. And let’s not forget that the first NASA astronauts were former Air Force fighter pilots and test pilots, as well. In terms of the entity today that is the air branch of the United States Armed Forces, the history of the United States Air Force begins as a subset of another department long before airplanes became part of the picture.

Early air force alternatives

Credit: Kletr/Shutterstock

These days, the United States Army Signal Corps, a division of the Department of the Army, manages communications and information systems for the command and control of combined arms forces. When it was established in 1860, though, the corps played an important role in the Civil War, especially in terms of its control over military intelligence, weather forecasting, and aviation — all of which eventually became their own armed services divisions or were transferred to the control of other departments.

This was the case for the Air Force, the next iteration of which came into existence following the Civil War with the establishment by the Signal Corps in 1893 in the form of the War Balloon Company based at Fort Riley, Kansas. The next step, the Aeronautical Services Division of the Signal Corps, existed from 1907 to 1914, and was the direct progenitor of today’s Air Force. During its time, the Aeronautical Division took delivery of the military’s first powered military aircraft in 1909, and organized aviation flight schools to train its future pilots.

What department is this?

Credit: Michael Fitzsimmons/Shutterstock

In 1914, the United States Congress issued a statutory authorization for an Aviation Section in the Signal Corps, and this division continued as the primary organizational component of the fledgling Air Force until 1918. When the Aviation Section failed to mobilize effectively for World War I, the War Department replaced it with a department outside the signal corps, which was titled the Army Air Service.

Another shift, to the Army Air Corps, lasted from 1926 to 1941, just before the ramp up to World War II. This precipitated the final designation, when in September 1947 the United States Air Force officially became a separate military service division. This came as part of the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947, which created the National Military Establishment. Today we know it simply as the Department of Defense, which comprises the modern Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force.

Today’s ever-changing mission

Credit: Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock

Before 1947, military aviation was divided between the other branches, with the Army handling land-based air operations and the Navy and Marines taking charge of airplane and helicopter deployments from aircraft carriers and amphibious aircraft.

Since then, technology has only continued to make the role of the Air Force more important in national security. We can take a strong sense of pride and protection when expert fighter pilots of the Air Force Thunderbirds flash overhead at an air show, flying tight formations wing to wing. Just as important for our protection these days as the roaring jets, though, are the Air Force-launched military satellites floating silently in space to help fight our next cyber wars.

 

 

Kashmir cross-border fire ‘kills 3 Pakistani, 5 Indian soldiers’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AL JAZEERA NEWS)

 

Kashmir cross-border fire ‘kills 3 Pakistani, 5 Indian soldiers’

India denies Pakistani army’s statement that five of its troops were killed in exchange of fire across Line of Control.

Indian soldiers patrolling near the LoC on Tuesday [Channi Anand/AP Photo]
Indian soldiers patrolling near the LoC on Tuesday [Channi Anand/AP Photo]

Pakistan‘s army has said at least three Pakistani and five Indian soldiers have been killed after a cross-border soldiers killed

exchange of fire in the disputed region of Kashmir, prompting a denial by New Delhi that there were fatalities among its forces.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesman of Pakistan armed forces, wrote on Twitter on Thursday that its three soldiers had died along with five of India’s when Indian forces opened fire along the contested border, known as the Line of Control (LOC).

“Intermittent exchange of fire continues,” Ghafoor tweeted.

He told Al Jazeera that three civilians were also killed on Thursday in the same cross-border firing at Batal sector on the Pakistani side of the LoC.

DG ISPR

@OfficialDGISPR

In efforts to divert attention from precarious situation in IOJ&K,Indian Army increases firing along LOC.
3 Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat. Pakistan Army responded effectively. 5 Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
17.4K people are talking about this

An Indian army spokesperson denied the Pakistani army’s statement. “No casualties. This assertion is wrong,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

In a statement quoted by news agencies, the Indian army said that from around 7am Pakistan violated a ceasefire between the two nations in the heavily militarized LoC.

Kashmir status scrapped

The developments come during a period of increasing tensions between India and Pakistan after New Delhi’s Hindu nationalist government last week revoked special status for Indian-administered Kashmir.

The decision by India blocks the right of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there.

Telephone lines, internet and television networks have been blocked and there are restrictions on movement and assembly.

READ MORE

Kashmir: India’s Modi hails ‘path-breaking’ changes amid lockdown

In the lead-up to its controversial move on August 5, India also deployed thousands of additional troops and arrested political leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

“Details are emerging that there were some damage to homes in the area. Tensions remain high on this border,” Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid, reporting from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said.

“We’ve have been visiting some of these villages, where people have been telling us it is very difficult for normal life to continue there because they live under constant fear.”

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the local legislative assembly of the Pakistani-administered Kashmir in Muzaffarabad.

He vowed the time had come to teach New Delhi a lesson and promised to “fight until the end” against any Indian aggression.

Khan has also likened India’s moves in Kashmir to Nazi Germany, accused them of ethnic cleansing, and appealed to the international community to take action.

Pakistan formally asked the United Nations Security Council late on Tuesday to hold an emergency session to address the situation.

READ MORE

Indian activists release report after visiting ‘desolate’ Kashmir

Islamabad has also expelled the Indian ambassador, halted bilateral trade and suspended cross-border transport services.

“I think there is huge lack of trust on the part of the Kashmiri people and more importantly because India jailed a number of moderate pro-India politicians and leaders of the political party, there are really no intermediaries between the Muslim majority population of Indian citizens in the Kashmir valley,” Adnan Naseemullah, a senior lecturer at King’s College London, told Al Jazeera.

“That I think, the lack of ability for representation, to be part of this process, is also going to be very concerning in terms of economic development moving forward.”

Earlier this year Pakistan and India came close to all-out conflict yet again, after a militant attack in Indian-held Kashmir in February was claimed by a group based in Pakistan, igniting tit-for-tat air strikes.

UN to meet Pakistan and China

The UN Security Council is due to meet behind closed-doors on Friday at the request of China and Pakistan to discuss India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, diplomats said.

Any action by the 15-member council is unlikely as the United States traditionally backs India and China supports Pakistan.

READ MORE

Kashmir special status explained: What are Articles 370 and 35A?

“Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Tuesday.

“If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defense, with all its capabilities.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to refrain from any steps that could affect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Guterres also said he was concerned about reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir.

The Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of the mostly Muslim Kashmir.

Another resolution also calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation”.

Is Pakistan able to counter India's move in Kashmir?

INSIDE STORY

Is Pakistan able to counter India’s move in Kashmir?

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

UN: 40 Killed, 260 Wounded in Clashes in Yemen’s Aden

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) 

 

UN: 40 Killed, 260 Wounded in Clashes in Yemen’s Aden

Sunday, 11 August, 2019 – 11:45
A member of the southern separatist movement rides an armored military vehicle in Yemen’s government-held second city Aden on August 11, 2019, following clashes between pro-government forces and separatists. – AFP photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
As many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden since Aug. 8, when the latest round of fighting broke out, the office of the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for the country said in a statement on Sunday, citing preliminary reports.

“It is heart-breaking that during Eid al-Adha, families are mourning the death of their loved ones instead of celebrating together in peace and harmony,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande said, AFP reported.

“Our main concern right now is to dispatch medical teams to rescue the injured,” she noted.

“We are also very worried by reports that civilians trapped in their homes are running out of food and water,” Grande added.

“Families need to be able to move freely and safely to secure the things they need to survive.”

Grande further called on authorities to guarantee “unimpeded access” for humanitarian organizations.

Hong Kong: The Next Bloodbath

Hong Kong: The Next Bloodbath

 

I very much fear that Hong Kong is going to be the next Tienanmen Square except on a much larger scale. The Communist government in Beijing have used the financial muscle generated in Hong Kong to build their country and their military power ever since England turned it back over to them. Now the Chinese government is facing a quandary of sorts. If they do nothing and the protesters continue to stay united against the intrusions of Beijing then the government would have to either back down which would make them look weak or use their military to stop the protesters. Personally I believe that the government will use force to end the peoples blockades of government buildings, stores, and the streets. I can’t help but wonder how many people will be murdered by China’s military in this process. How many protesters will sacrifice their lives in hoping that the West will come to their aid? Personally I do not believe that the U.S. nor the UN will do anything accept talk and issue sanctions which will save no lives in Hong Kong. This is just as I believe that Beijing will totally get away with attacking the legitimate government of China that resides on Taiwan as the world sits back and wrings their hands and whine. Obviously this is just my opinion but this is how I honestly see these events playing out.

 

 

Israel: Hamas: Hezbollah and Iran will join war if Israel tries to ‘break resistance’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Hamas: Hezbollah and Iran will join war if Israel tries to ‘break resistance’

Official from Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist group tells Lebanese paper of understandings reached in Tehran meeting last month

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets Hamas deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, second right, and the Hamas delegation, in Tehran, Iran, July 22, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets Hamas deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, second right, and the Hamas delegation, in Tehran, Iran, July 22, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

An official with Palestinian terror group Hamas on Saturday told a Lebanese newspaper that in the next major conflagration, should the Gaza rulers feel that Israel is trying to “break” the group, its regional allies will join forces with Hamas.

This was one of the understandings reached between Hamas and Iran during a high-level meeting last month in Tehran, the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese paper al-Akhbar reported (in Arabic) on Saturday.

“If the Israeli enemy launches aggression against the Gaza Strip, and we estimate that it is a confined battle that will not develop into a war to break us, we will face it alone,” the official was quoted by the paper as saying.

“But if the enemy [Israel] tries to break the resistance, the rest of the axis will join the battle,” he went on, in reference to Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.

The Islamic Republic is a longtime financial supporter of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, sworn to Israel’s destruction, and the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military branch. Iran also funds Hezbollah, which is similarly sworn to Israel’s annihilation.

In the July meeting between nine senior Hamas officials — including Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy chief of the Hamas politburo, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — Iran agreed to massively increase its monthly payments to the terror group in exchange for intelligence on Israeli missile capabilities, Israel’s Channel 12 reported earlier this month.

Tehran expressed willingness to raise its monthly financial backing to the terror group to an unprecedented $30 million per month, according to the report citing an unnamed Arab source.

That will represent a massive increase in Iranian support for the Gaza rulers. A report by the Ynet news site from August 2018, citing Palestinian sources, said Iran’s payments to Hamas at the time amounted to $70 million per year (less than $6 million per month).

In exchange for the funding, Tehran asked Hamas to provide intelligence about the location of Israel’s missile stockpiles, the report said. It was not immediately clear if the raise was strictly conditioned on the intelligence provided by the terror group.

The Hamas members said they would convey the request to the movement’s leaders in Gaza.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran, September 18, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

According to the report, Qassem Soleimani, the head of  the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds Force, also joined the meeting and members of Hamas’ military wing explained the difficulties they were facing and shortages in arms and equipment.

Hamas also reportedly asked Iran to act as a mediator for the terror group with Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, after ties were cut off during the Syrian civil war.

The report also noted that ahead of the visit Saudi Arabia had unsuccessfully been trying to pressure Hamas to cut ties with Iran.

During his visit to Tehran, al-Arouri said that Hamas and Iran stand on “the same path” in fighting Israel, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported at the time.

“We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic — the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones,” he said, according to the report.

Arouri visited Iran with several other high-ranking Hamas officials, including Moussa Abu Marzouk, Maher Salah, Husam Badran, Osama Hamdan, Ezzat al-Rishq and Ismail Radwan.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh told a group of Turkish journalists at the time that he hoped the delegation’s visit would achieve “important results.”

Arouri, who was elected as Hamas’s deputy chief in October 2017, has traveled to Iran at least five times over the past two years. He has frequently heaped praised on Iran.

“Iran is the only country that says that entity [Israel] is cancerous and should be uprooted from the region,” he told the pro-Hamas Al-Quds TV in February 2018. “It is the only country that is prepared to provide real and public support to the Palestinian resistance and others to confront the entity.”

report in August by the Haaretz daily said that Israeli intelligence officials believe Hamas and Iran have come to an agreement for the terror group to open a war front against Israel from the southern coastal Strip in the event of conflict breaking out with Iran’s allies on the Jewish state’s northern border.

The report quoted a senior security official as saying the intelligence establishment estimates Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group will try to force Israel to move forces and air defense systems to the south at the expense of troops fighting in the north.

The report said that Israeli intelligence sources believe Iran has increased its involvement in the Strip in order to turn Hamas into its operational arm against Israel.

READ MORE:

Marine Corps’ first female F-35 pilot makes history

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TASK & PURPOSE)

 

Marine Corps’ first female F-35 pilot makes history

NEWS

Capt. Anneliese Satz conducts pre-flight checks prior to a training flight aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, March 11. Satz graduated the F-35B Lighting II Pilot Training Program June and will be assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 in Iwakuni, Japan.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ashley Phillips)

The Marine Corps’ first female F-35 pilot will soon join her squadron in Japan, Corps officials have announced.

Capt. Anneliese Satz, 29 completed her F-35B training in June, according to a Marine Corps press release, which came out the day after a news story about a female Marine who will soon begin training to fly the F-35C.

Satz held a commercial license to fly a Robinson R44 helicopter before joining the Marine Corps and has spent the past four years learning how to fly the F-35B, which will eventually replace the Marine Corps’ fleet of AV-8B II Harriers and other aircraft.

After arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina in July 2018, she flew the F-35B for the first time that October.

“The first flight in an F-35 is by yourself,” Satz said in the news release. “The syllabus thoroughly prepares you for that first time you take off and for every flight after that, it’s an exhilarating experience.”

Satz is now headed to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 in Iwakuni, Japan.

“I’m very grateful for the instructors, the maintainers, and countless others at [Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501] who lent me their expertise and time while I was going through the syllabus,” Satz said.

“This is a phenomenal program made possible by all of their hard work. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from all of them. I am incredibly excited to get to VMFA-121 and look forward to the opportunity to serve in the Fleet Marine Forces.”

China: Protests pushing Hong Kong into ‘dangerous abyss’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Protests pushing HK into ‘dangerous abyss’

Xinhua

A SPOKESPERSON yesterday urged people in Hong Kong to stop the violence and chaos and bring back order.

It is the immediate task facing all Hong Kong residents, which is very clear given the severe state of affairs in the region today, said Yang Guang, spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, at a press conference in Beijing.

Yang called on people in Hong Kong to stand firm and guard their beautiful homeland, stressing that now is the crucial moment.

“Here we sincerely hope the compatriots in Hong Kong to think calmly about the questions: Who will suffer if the situation becomes irremediable, and who will benefit in the end?”

The radical protests in Hong Kong, which have continued for nearly two months, have severely impacted the region’s prosperity and stability and are pushing it into a “dangerous abyss,” Yang said.

The protests over the past two months have gone beyond the freedom of assembly, demonstration or protest and have escalated into extremely violent acts, said Yang.

“With upgraded means, escalating intensity and aggravating destructiveness, these acts are shocking,” he said.

All departments and organs of Hong Kong should never be soft on violent violations of the law, Yang stressed.

Reiterating the central government’s unswerving support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the spokesperson said the opposition’s attempt to force her to resign is doomed to fail.

“We hope that the people of Hong Kong understand the nature of the current situation, and firmly support Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam in leading the HKSAR government’s law-based governance, the Hong Kong police in enforcing laws rigorously, and departments of the HKSAR government and the judiciary body in punishing violent criminals in accordance with the law,” Yang said.

He then made it clear to “the very small group of unscrupulous and violent criminals and the dirty forces behind them” that those who play with fire will perish by it, and that whoever participates in violent and criminal activities would be held accountable according to the law.

“All in all, the fate of Hong Kong will be decided by all Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots,” Yang said.

A small number of violent radicals are at the front with some kind-hearted citizens misguided and coerced in the middle, but the masterminds behind the scenes are the anti-China forces in and out of Hong Kong which have been trying to mess up Hong Kong, the spokesperson said.

“They have called black white and spared no efforts in playing up fallacies and absurdities such as the so-called ‘civil disobedience’ and even the fallacious view that ‘only violence can solve problems,’” he said.

The protests have seriously affected Hong Kong’s economy and people’s livelihoods, citing that the region’s gross domestic product in the second quarter increased by only 0.6 percent in real terms year on year, and 18 countries and regions have issued travel safety reminders against Hong Kong.

Yang said the protesters have whitewashed and instigated violence, attempting to drag all Hong Kong residents into political wrangling and intensifying social contradictions.