All posts filed under: conflict zones

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Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

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Leaked John Kerry audio: White House wanted ISIS to rise in Syria

South Front reports: On Wednesday, Wikileaks released new evidence of US President-elect Donald Trump’s assertion that Barack Obama was the founder of ISIS – a leaked audio of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with members of the Syrian opposition at the Dutch Mission of the UN on September 22. The audio also is an evidence of the fact that mainstream media colluded with the Obama’s administration in order to push the narrative for regime change in Syria, hiding the truth about arming and funding ISIS by the US, as it exposed a 35 minute conversation that was omitted by CNN. Kerry admits that the primary goal of the Obama’s administration in Syria was regime change and the removal of Syrian President Bahar al-Assad, as well as that Washington didn’t calculate that Assad would turn to Russia for help. In order to achieve this goal, the White House allowed the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group to rise. The Obama’s administration hoped that growing power of the IS in Syria would force Assad to search …

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Video: Aleppo did not “fall”, Aleppo was liberated

Syrian women take a selfie in front of Aleppo’s Citadel after armed groups were evacuated from the eastern part of the city. Photo Omar Sanadiki/Reuters Our reporter Charlotte d’Ornellas [French writer and Christian activist] comes back from Aleppo. What she saw there is not what western mainstream media have been saying in the last weeks. Related video: Civilians returning to their homes in Aleppo (1070 housing project) after area was cleansed out of occupying rebel forces. pic.twitter.com/UeX5jJ1Lrq — Bassem (@BBassem7) December 30, 2016  

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Liberation of Aleppo is the most serious setback for the US in 15 years

by Tim Anderson, via Khamenei In late 2016, at the cost of many young lives, Syrian forces took back the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, occupied by NATO and Saudi backed terrorists for more than four years. The liberation of Aleppo, Syria’s second city and an ancient marvel, represents the most serious setback for the 15-year long Washington-led aggression on the entire region. An effective re-colonization of the region has stretched from Afghanistan to Libya, under a range of false pretexts. Invasions and proxy wars have been backed by economic sanctions and wild propaganda. But this great war of aggression – called the creation of ‘New Middle East’ by former US President George W. Bush – has hit a rock in Syria.  The massive proxy armies bought and equipped by Washington and its regional allies the Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and Israel, have been beaten back by a powerful regional alliance which supports the Syrian nation. The endgame in Aleppo involves a handful of foreign agents – US, Saudi, Israeli and others – said …

Syrian Army soldier holds up Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) flag in the Umayyed Mosque, Old City, after government troops liberated terrorist-occupied East Aleppo this week (Image: Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire)

At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Allegedly Captured by Syrian forces in East Aleppo Bunker

According to two reports coming out of Aleppo, at least 14 US Coalition military officers were captured in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces. This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”

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Eva Bartlett on Syria: Responding to Buzzfeed

by Eva Bartlett Last Friday, December 9, just as the liberation of East Aleppo was taking place on the ground, the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations held a press conference at which Eva Bartlett, Canadian journalist well known for her first-hand reporting about the proxy war in Syria, presented an outstanding analysis of the deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign the Western mainstream media have carried out since 2011, part of their countries’ regime-change agenda in Syria.  Following her appearance at the UN, widely publicized across social media, Bartlett was contacted for an email interview by Buzzfeed’s Ishmael N. Daro.  We are posting here the full text of Eva Bartlett’s response, followed by the full text of Daro’s email to her. Hello.  You have a number of facts wrong.  I will spell them out. — [The] Press Conference was only meant to be a report back by myself and the others on the panel.  Yes, Ambassador al-Ja’afari was originally going to be present but solely to introduce me.  Due to …

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Russian MoD: 50,000 civilians evacuated from east Aleppo in past two days (w/videos)

Civilians fleeing east Aleppo are greeted by the Syrian army. RT reports: Over the past 48 hours, up to 50,000 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov has reported. “More than 20,000 residents left eastern Aleppo in the first part of Saturday, and 1,217 militants laid down their weapons,” Konashenkov said. “The Russian Center for Reconciliation, through humanitarian corridors near Karim El-Hun and Mahayar, has organized the evacuation of civilians from the eastern parts of Aleppo to the safe areas of the city,” Konashenkov added. “We warn terrorists and militants of the so-called ‘moderate opposition,’ and also their patrons: Do not attempt any provocations, especially attacks on civilians leaving through humanitarian corridors,” the Russian Defense Ministry statement says. Konashenkov also addressed those who, over the past few months, have declared their readiness to send humanitarian aid to Aleppo. “Representatives of the US, UK, France, Canada, the European Union, and international organizations: Over the past two days, nearly 50,000 civilians have been evacuated by the Russian Reconciliation Center …

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Syrian army suspends operations in Aleppo, jihadis to surrender remaining positions in city

The Syrian flag was hoisted over the Aleppo Citadel after the recent advances of the army in the city RT reports: Syrian government forces have suspended “active military activities” against militants in eastern Aleppo to enable the withdrawal of civilians from the city, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced while speaking in Hamburg, Germany. Lavrov was speaking on Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting of ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Russian foreign minister also urged the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to “stop sabotaging” the Geneva Syria peace talks. Speaking to reporters, he also expressed hope that those responsible for the recent attack on a Russian mobile hospital in western Aleppo will be brought to justice. The assault happened earlier this week and left two female paramedics dead and one chief pediatrician severely injured. “We are just doing our job, probably not everyone likes it, and a recent targeted strike against our hospital is yet more proof of that. But I am convinced that all …

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Two Russian paramedics killed in rebel attack on mobile hospital in Aleppo

Aftermath of the attack against a Russian mobile hospital in Aleppo. RT reports: Two Russian medical specialists were killed and another injured when militants shelled a mobile military hospital in Aleppo, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, while calling on the international community and human rights organizations to condemn the attack. One Russian medic was killed immediately at the Russian military mobile hospital set up in western Aleppo, and another died later in a hospital after succumbing to her injuries, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The doctors are now fighting for the life of Russian pediatrician, who was also severely injured in the attack. “Today, between 12:21 and 12:30pm [local time], a medical center of the Russian Defense Ministry’s mobile hospital in Aleppo was shelled by the militants during the reception time,” ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists. Some local residents attending medical appointments were also injured during the shelling that targeted one of the field hospitals set up in the government held part of the city, the ministry added. “We demand that the international …

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Syrian opposition’s response to the offensive in Aleppo

by Sophie Mangal According to The Washington Post, the ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition is considering the possibility of closer cooperation with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.  Bashar al-Assad’s opponents are now afraid to remain without the US support as the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid to the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three years ago. It is worth mentioning that the new president-elect of the USA has stressed he adheres to a completely opposite position on Syria.  Moreover, Trump has also noted that it is necessary to stop the supply of weapons to the Syrian opposition because the US has no understanding of what they (the opposition) really are. Realizing the complexity of the situation and the fact that Syrian opposition’s war crimes would never be forgotten and forgiven, its leaders are beginning to look for alternatives. First of all, the rebels’ agenda is to strike a close alliance with the better armed Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.  A massive outflow of the fighters from the ‘moderate’ opposition to groups such as Jabhat …

Aleppo: the moment of truth for the United Nations

by Anna Jaunger On December 2, the official representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dyuzharrik said that during the operation of government forces to liberate Aleppo districts of militants there were released more than 30,000 peoples, including 14,000 children among them. Thus, today the ability to begin providing large-scale humanitarian aid to the Syrian population in the liberated areas in the eastern part of Aleppo will be the moment of truth for the United Nations. It should be mentioned that the question of the humanitarian disaster in militant-controlled eastern Aleppo has been repeatedly raised by the US State Department, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, the Foreign Ministries of Great Britain and France. There have also been lots of loud statements about the need to help ordinary Syrians. Recently, the representatives of these countries and organizations, in particular, UN Humanitarian Official Jan Egeland, insistently demanded to permit humanitarian convoys to get into the eastern districts of Aleppo. In addition, on December 2, British Prime Minister Theresa May, in an interview to local …

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Russia to deploy mobile hospitals to Aleppo

Photo taken yesterday in an area of East Aleppo from which jihadi rebels were expelled by the Syrian army and its allies.   RT reports: Russia will soon deploy mobile hospitals to Aleppo region to provide treatment to residents, according to the Kremlin. The President ordered the Defense Ministry and the Emergencies Ministry to send to Syria’s Aleppo mobile hospitals, which will provide treatment for residents of the city and its neighborhoods,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday. The Defense Ministry will operate a special 100-bed clinic with trauma equipment for treating children, he added. This hospital will be able to service about 420 outcare-patients daily. The Emergencies Ministry is also to deploy a 50-bed clinic capable of treating 200 outcare-patients each day. The facilities will be operational “very soon,” Peskov said. It comes as the Russian military announced a breakthrough in Syria’s operation to retake the militant-held part of Aleppo. Tens of thousands of civilians, who were previously kept by armed groups as human shields, are now in the government-controlled part of the city …

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Syria: 1000s of East Aleppo citizens flee for govt. controlled areas after army advances (w/ videos)

Civilians escaping from East Aleppo today after a massive advance by the Syrian Army.   Geopolmonitor reports: The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that almost 10,000 civilians have fled Eastern Aleppo to government-held parts of city’s west and Kurdish controlled northern district of Sheikh Maksoud. The Coventry-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information, said that in the last 24 hours, families had managed to escape areas controlled by armed militant factions, seeking refuge in government and Kurdish held areas. In the city’s northern part, now mostly controlled by government forces, “rebels have lost at least 30 percent of the territory they once controlled in Aleppo,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said Rapid advancement and recent gains by the Syrian army have allowed civilians to escape districts held by armed groups, who have been accused of withholding aid and preventing non-combatants from seeking refuge in the government controlled west and the Kurdish dominated north of the city. […] That civilians in E Aleppo are fleeing from "rebels" to govt & …

EC head Juncker: Obama calling Russia ‘regional power’ was big error

A night view of Moscow’s financial district in 2012. Photo by Dmytro RT reports: Outgoing US President Obama made a big mistake calling Russia a “regional power,” the European Commission chief said in an interview. Europe, instead, should treat Russia as “one big entity and a proud nation,” and there is a lot to learn about it. “The EU occupies 5.5 million square kilometers, Russia takes up 17.5 million. Russia must be treated as one big entity, as a proud nation,” Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, the EU executive body, told Euronews on Saturday. He admitted that the EU is “very ignorant about Russia” at this point, and that “we have a lot to learn.” Juncker, who has been leading the European Commission for the past two years, went on to criticize US President Barack Obama, who in 2014 branded Russia “a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness.” “Russia is not, as President Obama said, ‘a regional power.’ This was a big error in …

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Western weapons falls into the hands of terrorists

by Sophie Mangal British organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR) has examined the ways arms have been supplied to the areas of military conflict around the world and has published a new investigation on Syria (link: http://www.conflictarm.com/publications/). CAR experts have found that weapons supplied by Western countries not only get into the hands of the Syrian opposition fighters but also into the hands of IS terrorists. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the Syrian conflict IS militants used mainly weapons captured during the fighting with the Syrian and Iraqi government troops.  But after 2012 the terrorists gained new sources such as illegal supplies of weapons from the Western countries, buy and capture arms shipments destined to the Syrian opposition, as well as its own domestic arms industry. According to CAR’s James Bevan, the first evidence of illegal weapons turnover showed up as his staff found a box of ammunition with serial numbers not far from Mosul. It turned out that the ammunition had been manufactured in the factories of Eastern Europe, but it was …

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Video: Trapped civilians in Aleppo protest against rebel leadership

The protests in rebel-occupied East Aleppo are reported to have caused hundreds of victims. The footage on this video from 0:25 to 1:20, of the protesters being shot at, has not been published in OffGuardian before. […] “Yesterday, at least 27 people were killed and hundreds wounded when terrorists attempted to disperse protest crowds in al-Amria and al-Fardus districts [in Aleppo],” Konashenkov said. […] Read in full Terrorists Executing Militants Ready to Surrender in Aleppo – Russian MoD at Sputnik News

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McCain to Trump: Don’t You Dare Make Peace With Russia!

US Senator John McCain on a “secret” visit to Syria in 2013 to meet the armed opposition to the Assad government Daniel McAdams writes in The Ron Paul Institute: Sit down. This is going to shock you. (Not). We reported yesterday on the telephone call between US president-elect Trump and Russian president Putin, where the current and future presidents discussed the need to set aside differences and look to more constructive future relations. With serious observers of this past year’s increasing tensions between US and Russia openly worrying about a nuclear war breaking out, with some 300,000 NATO troops placed on Russia’s border, with sanctions hurting average businesspersons on both sides, a normal person might look at the slight thaw in Cold War 2.0 as an early positive indicator of the end of the Obama Era. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) begs to differ. In a blistering statement he released today responding to the Trump/Putin telephone call, Sen. McCain condemned any efforts by President-elect Trump to find common ground with Putin. Any claim by Putin that he …

A damaged classroom is pictured after shelling in the rebel held town of Hass, south of Idlib province, Syria October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

HRW conducted a biased investigation for the school “bombing” in Idlib?

by Mehmet Ersoy On November 6, Human Rights Watch published a report in which the Syrian government and its allies were accused of carrying out an airstrike on a school in Idlib province in late October, 2016. According to the report, on October 26, the school was hit by two Su-24 jets used by the Syrian and Russian AFs. Citing some witnesses, the organization claims the jets dropped from 7 to 9 parachute bombs on the school and nearby road. It says no military facilities were in school or by it and all the casualties were among civilians. It should be noted that, basing on HRW’s report, the Western media went off blaming Assad and his allies for murdering civilians. The artificial information hysteria even forced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon make a hasty loud statement on military crimes in Idlib. In its turn, the next day only the Russian side could provide sound evidence of the fact that the Syrian aviation and its allies had nothing to do with the attack on the school in …