All posts filed under: conflict zones

Those Magical, Fantastical Russians vs. U.S. Empire

Glen Ford in Black Agenda Report: “This induced ‘state of emergency’ is designed to prepare the American public, politically and psychologically, to maintain the momentum of the U.S. imperial offensive in the world.” The only people that can make Russiagate fade away are the ones that invented it in the first place: the spooks, Wall Street Democrats and institutional servants of capital that gathered in Hillary Clinton’s overstuffed campaign tent, last year, to plot the next moves of a beleaguered U.S. empire. Although a Bernie Sanders’ upset in 2016 had always been a statistical impossibility, Donald Trump’s capture of the Republican Party machinery had destabilized the duopoly political system at a time of great stress for U.S. imperialism. The previous year, the Russian military had set up shop in Syria, blocking U.S.-backed jihadists from ousting the secular, Arab nationalist government of Bashar al Assad. It was Vladimir Putin’s answer to the global military offensive launched by Barack Obama in 2011, with NATO’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, followed immediately by the jihadist push into …

Syria declares victory over Islamic State

A Syrian army soldier removes an Islamic State flag from the historic ruins of Palmyra.   Reuters reports: BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year, hardline reign in the in the region. The army and its allies are still fighting Islamic State in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria, near the border with Iraq, the army said. But the capture of the town ends Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across Iraq and Syria and in which millions suffered under its hardline, repressive strictures. Yet after ferocious defensive battles in its most important cities this year, where its fighters bled for every house and street, its final collapse has come with lightning speed. Instead of a battle to the death as they mounted a last stand in the Euphrates valley towns and villages near the …

VIDEO: Eva Bartlett Exposes the Lies on Syria

In this episode, James Corbett is joined by Eva Bartlett of InGaza.wordpress.com to discuss her reporting from Syria. They talk about the lies, propaganda and outright fabrications that have attempted to paint the terrorist insurgency as a “civil war” led by “moderate rebels,” including the use of children like Omran Daqneesh and Bana Alabed as unwitting icons for the fake narrative. They also discuss recommended sources for real information about what’s happening in Syria. Sources, links and show-notes can be found here.

Terrorists are Equipped with Western Weapons in Syria

by Anna Jaunger, from the Inside Syria Media Center Inside Syria Media Center continues publishing some evidence of the U.S.-made weapons supply to ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) terrorists in Syria. According to Syrian General Ali Al-Ali, the United States illegally delivered at least 1,500 trucks with military equipment and weapons for terrorists in Syria between June 5 and September 15 this year. The General reported that all Washington’s statements regarding this military equipment was intended for the U.S. allies were false. Ultimately, the weapons almost always come into the hands of terrorists. In support of his words, Ali Al-Ali analyzed some NATO weapons captured by the Syrian army from ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham army depots. The Austrian Glock 19 pistol especially is among the most popular weapons. In 2014, ISIS released footage, where terrorists executed several hostages using such kind of pistols. Later, it turned out that the pistols were delivered to the Iraqi law enforcement agencies by the U.S. in 2003-2004. The U.S.-made M16 Assault Rifle has become a …

The Fifth Assault Corps to Defend Deir Ezzor

by Anna Jaunger, via Inside Syria Media Center As the Syrian Army’s advance towards the province of Deir Ezzor, some new details of the upcoming operation on the total elimination of ISIS terrorists in the eastern region of Syria continue to appear in the mass media. According to Inside Syria Media Center, the General Command of the Syrian Army intends to actively cooperate with fighters of the Fifth Assault Corps, the elite volunteer-based military force that was created by the Syrian government together with Iran and Russia in 2016. According to expert estimates, warriors from ISIS Hunters, Tribal Forces, Assad Shield, and the Ba’ath Brigades military groups, which are in service of the Fifth Assault Corps, could be at the forefront of the upcoming offensive operation in Deir Ezzor. Such a decision is conditioned by many reasons. Firstly, the units of the Corps are well-trained and show high efficiency in fighting terrorists. These qualities are the result a full course of combat training organized by military instructors from Iran and Russia. The Lebanese As-Safir reported …

NYT Laments ‘Forever Wars’ Its Editorials Helped Create

Marine Corps jets flew over the pyramids of Egypt during a military exercise in 1999. Credit Staff Sgt. Jim Varhegyi/United States Air Force Adam Johnson in FAIR: Corporate media have a long history of lamenting wars they themselves helped sell the American public, but it’s rare so many wars and so much hypocrisy are distilled into one editorial. On Monday, the New York Times (10/22/17) lamented the expansion of America’s “forever wars” overseas, without once noting that every war mentioned is one the editorial board has itself endorsed, while failing to oppose any of the “engagements” touched on in the editorial. The Times began by noting the sheer scope of US military reach: “The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories…. American forces are actively engaged not only in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen that have dominated the news, but also in Niger and Somalia, both recently the scene of …

Syrian Victory Will Reshape the Middle East and Recalibrate Global Hegemony

A Syrian Arab Army soldier soldier celebrates the lifting of the three year long siege of Dier ez-Zor by ISIS. Alastair Crooke* in Consortium News: Plainly, Syria’s success – notwithstanding the caution of President Bashar al-Assad in saying that signs of success are not success itself – in resisting, against the odds, all attempts to fell the state suggest that a tipping point in the geopolitics of the region has occurred. We have written before how the Syria outcome dwarfs that of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, significant though the result of that war was, too. Both events taken together have brought America’s unipolar moment in the Middle East to an end (though not globally, since the U.S. still retains its necklace of military bases across the region). The successes have corroded badly, the reputation of the Gulf States and have discredited fired-up Sunni jihadism as a “go-to” political tool for Saudi Arabia and its Western backers. But, aside from the geopolitics, the Syria outcome has created a physical connectivity and contiguity that has not existed for some …

Pepe Escobar: The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Pepe Escobar in Asia Times: What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally. The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy. Now, losing all its battles from Syria to Yemen, losing regional influence to both Iran and Turkey, indebted, vulnerable and paranoid, the House of Saud has also to confront the ghost of a possible coup in Riyadh against …

First Opinion Poll held in War-torn Syria

Sophie Mangal, Inside Syria Media Center There had been general public opinion poll conducted by independent sociologists and political scientists from all around the world in war-torn Syria. The citizens of the state shared their views on the main events and situation now taking place in the country, their attitude towards other countries acting actively on the fate of the country and also called the main problems of the state. This analysis led to the identification of the population of Syria’s relationship to the conflict with the participation of various parties, as well as to find out at last where the truth that the media usually publish lies and how big is the falsehood. It is noticed that the survey was conducted in all the Syrian provinces including those under pressure of war. According to preliminary data, 97% of respondents believe that the country is currently suffering from the crisis caused by corruption, internal weakness of the state and the collusion of other countries against Syria, consequences of which fuel and enhance a humanitarian catastrophe …

A Doctor’s Report from Yemen

by Adrian Rossi, Sanaa, Yemen, October 2, 2017 I will start this by saying I’m not a very sentimental person. Perhaps it has to do with not having reached a certain emotional maturity yet in order to feel at ease with being publicly vulnerable, so this post will be a bit of that in the hope that I will be able to offer all of you, a glimpse into the horrors Yemenis experience on a daily basis, at what is an emotional and psychological level. I lost my parents at age 7 while in Angola. Had to witness them being shot in the head, then set on fire in what was a mass grave. Their deaths had been instantaneous, so their eyes had stayed open. Watching them at what was still a tender age, I remember thinking to myself maybe they were still alive and could feel the pain. Most of it is a blur that comes every now and then. What I do remember best is the desperate instinct to jump in there after …

Middle East, post-Daesh: Some Possible Scenarios

by Denis Churilov, October 2, 2017 ISIS/Daesh is likely to be defeated in Syria and Iraq very soon. But will it bring peace to the region?  No. There are many potential local conflicts that can break out in the nearest future. Some of them are already going on, some of them are in the dormant state, waiting to be triggered.  Other conflicts might be created spontaneously out of thin air. Let’s try to predict the upcoming conflicts in the Middle East.  The following list contains the worst case scenarios that are not mutually exclusive and can, in fact, facilitate one another in a domino effect style: A civil war in Iraq between Kurdish Erbil and Iranian-backed Baghdad government. We have already seen reports on the clashes between Peshmerga forces and the Shia militias in 2016. The recent developments with the referendum may soon exacerbate the situation, especially considering that ISIS has been seriously weakened and now can’t serve as a unifying common threat factor. Kurds in Turkey. The clashes between various Kurdish militants and Erdogan’s …

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar

The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.

Syria: Breaking the ISIS siege of Deir ez-Zor was “a historic day”

  Screencap from the video below […] RT:  The siege of Deir ez-Zor has now been broken, and the Syrian president has congratulated the country’s military. How big a victory is this? What is the strategic or symbolic importance? Ammar Waqqaf: This is in Syrian terms a historic day. There are many aspects to why this is hugely significant. The first aspect is that there is a group of Syrians, a segment of the Syrian population, who refused to say at a certain moment in time when all the omens said something different – that the government in Damascus is going to collapse imminently and so on. They refused to succumb to the incoming forces of Islamic fanatics, unlike other places. They stuck with their government, and they stuck with their army, and now their suffering has been vindicated. This marks a huge shift in the whole set of choices that have been made by various segments of the Syrian population throughout this crisis. Another aspect of significance is that the government of President Bashar …

Video: In Syria, Deir ez-Zor civilians celebrate imminent lifting of IS blockade (updated)

RT reports: Encouraged by reports that the lifting of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) blockade of Deir ez-Zor was days away, defenders of the city celebrated the news on Sunday night, as footage from inside the city shows. The video was reportedly shot in the Jura district of the city, which has been besieged by the Islamic State terrorist group since 2014.Syrian government forces are advancing from several directions to break the blockade of the provincial capital, with the Russian Air Force supporting the offensive from the air. Related: Mohammed Ibrahim Samra, the governor of Deir ez-Zor has stated that the Syrian Arab Army is 24 to 48 hours away from storming the gates of Deir ez-Zor city which for years has been besieged by ISIS. Furthermore, Deir ez-Zor has subsumed the role as the major ISIS stronghold in Syria as fighters continue to flee the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa. While the United States and its Kurdish proxies who lead the SDF are struggling to break into Raqqa city, which is being held …

Spectator: Iran is our natural ally, not Saudi Arabia

Photo from Women in Iran are too hip to handle – even with strict religious dress laws in Metro John R. Bradsley in The Spectator: The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya’s entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions. More than a dozen Shia, including a three-year-old boy, were killed. Hundreds of young men were rounded up. At least 500 homes were flattened, and 8,000 residents were forcibly removed from those that remained. Saudi soldiers recorded themselves dancing and singing amid the rubble of the town’s once-beautiful old city. They stomped on a …

Homage to Syria

Aidan O’Brien in Counterpunch: A strange thing happened the other week. The US president officially ordered the CIA to halt it’s war against Syria. So it wasn’t global warming then, or “Assad” or neoliberalism, it wasn’t even a civil war. The war maker in Syria was the CIA. Of course, the CIA will unofficially continue it’s war against Syria. But we can savour for a moment the truth. And an “official CIA defeat”. And why only savour? Why not rejoice? Because this momentous “victory” may be the turning point in the century old Western assault on the Muslim people. What many call the “arc of resistance” (Shiite and Secular) has now solidified, while the Western imperial offensive has faltered. US general Wesley Clark gave the game away years ago when he revealed US intentions in the Middle East after 9/11: seven countries were to be invaded (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran). France’s ex-foreign minister Roland Dumas also gave the game away when he revealed that the British State (a definite CIA asset) …

The West Just Might Be Giving Up On Syrian Regime Change At Last

In the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, sieged by ISIS, residents watch a speech by president Assad projected on a wall. Caitlin Johnstone in Medium: The Guardian has published a new article titled “Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria”, which is just as significant for what it says as for who is saying it. The Guardian has long been one of the most virulent promulgators of establishment lies about the Syrian government, giving extensive coverage to the transparent Bana Alabed psy-op, the western-instituted propaganda outlet known as the White Helmets, as well as advancing establishment narratives about Aleppo and Assad and many other blatant falsehoods. And indeed the article itself does a good job of retaining that vintage Guardian propaganda feel, portraying the failure to unseat Bashar al-Assad as something unfortunate and talking about poor refugees who are afraid to return home now that regime change is looking unlikely. But it also describes how the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and other nations have been coming to terms with …

Russia Slowly but Surely Putting an End to the American Empire

A russian soldier on a humanitarian mission in Syria. A Darius Shahtahmasebi op-ed in AntiMedia: Over the past few weeks, some dramatic stories and a potential nuclear war have taken the media’s attention away from the non-story that is the Russiagate-election scandal. But as attention veers away from the Russian hacking narrative, why are genuine stories regarding Russia’s actual influence in the world almost completely ignored? Russia is slowly but surely nabbing small but significant pieces of the American empire. Not only did Russia foil the U.S. military establishment’s plan to dominate Syria by inserting its military in the country and setting up a quasi-no-fly-zone of its own, but Russia is also acquiring pieces of the global chessboard through other means. Let’s start backward. Washington’s violent, stalwart ally and regional power player Saudi Arabia has been cozying up to Russia over the course of the year amid Russia’s demonstrable successes in Syria. As Al-Jazeera explains: “In late May, then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman went to Russia to discuss with President Vladimir Putin the oil market and the situation in Syria. The visit came just three weeks before Crown Prince Mohammed …

US Pundits, Politicians Tacitly Admitting They Lied About Russia

An anti-Trump, anti-Russia demonstration  in the US. Caitlin Johnstone writes in Medium: It has been nearly three weeks since The Nation pushed an explosive memo from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity into mainstream consciousness with an article detailing the evidence that the DNC leaks last year could not have been the result of a Russian hack. By continuing to ignore it, the US intelligence community and all the pundits and politicians who have advanced the Russian hacking narrative are tacitly admitting that they lied. The report is unequivocal. Not only could Russian hackers not have obtained the DNC emails in the way they are alleged to have obtained them, but metadata was in fact manipulated to implicate Russia in the leak. Since publication of the viral Nation article, even more evidence has come to light showing that a hack is far more improbable even than originally suspected. This means that there is currently more publicly-available evidence indicating that Russia did not hack the DNC than there is that it did. These earth-shattering revelations have …

Lawlessness in Ukraine

by the Collective of Investigative Journalists, August 20, 2017 The Russians treated Nadiya Savchenko like a lady; the Ukrainians beat up women. August 13-14th,2017: Darya Mastikasheva the civil partner of our colleague the famous Russian investigative reporter Sergey Sokolov is visiting her mother and son at their dacha outside the city of Dnepro, Ukraine. She receives a call from Alexander, a friend, asking her to meet him that evening, they agreed on a venue in Dnepro. Darya drove to the venue, whilst parking her car she was suddenly blocked in by two black cars, four armed and masked men jumped out and ordered her out of her vehicle. They took hold of her, put a bag over her head, handcuffed her and bundled her into a car. She had been kidnapped. She was driven to what appeared to be an empty building and thrown into a locked basement room. Some hours later, two masked men came in and proceeded to beat her up. They demanded that she must make an on-camera statement that she is …