All posts tagged: conflict zones

Open Thread – Russian Plane Brought Down in Syria

Last night, a Russian IL-20 military surveillance plane went missing over Syria, presumably shot down. Fifteen Russian personnel are presumed dead. This took place during an (illegal) attack by Israeli F-16 jets. At the same time, RT reported that Russia had detected missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

This morning, Russia has formerly complained to Israel – claiming the Israeli military gave less than 1 minute of warning, and then used the Russian plane as cover, causing the Syrian air defenses to bring down the friendly plane.

Intelligence Veterans Warn of US-Russia Conflict in Syria

A group of veteran intelligence officers calling themselves the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, have composed an open memo to President Donald Trump, warning of the very real possibility of a US-Russia conflict in Syria.

NEWS: Syria & Russia Accuse U.S. Coalition, ‘White Helmets’, of Preparing Chemical Weapons Attacks in Idlib

Eric Zuesse The Governments of Syria and Russia claim to have proofs that the U.S. coalition that has invaded and now occupies Syria has prepared chlorine and sarin gas attacks for Idlib and other areas where Syria and Russia are trying to destroy all jihadists — prepared attacks designed to be blamed against Syria’s Government. Headlining on Friday, September 7th, “New details surface about terrorists’ preparations to stage chemical attack in Idleb and Hama”, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports from its sources in both Idlib and Hama in Syria, that: The White Helmets have picked three new locations for carrying out the attacks after information was leaked about the previously-planned locations, and the three locations are: al-Najia town in Jisr al-Shughour countryside, al-Hamawsh town in the northwestern countryside of Hama, and Kafr Nubbul town in Idleb countryside. The sources affirmed that sarin gas and chlorine gas shipments have been transported to these three areas, and that dozens of children ages two to ten who had been abducted recently from a camp near Salqin now …

Russia Squelches Trump’s New Plan to Invade Syria

Eric Zuesse On Friday, August 31st, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Russia has handed to the OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), and to the U.N., “proof” that the U.S. Government has been working with Al Qaeda to set up a chemical incident in Syria. The U.S. and its allies will then use that incident as a supposed justification for invading Syria as a ‘humanitarian’ response to a chemical attack allegedly by Syria’s Government, but actually done by U.S.-backed forces. The goal is to re-ignite the 7-year-old ‘civil war’ between Syria’s Government and U.S.-backed ‘rebels’, who consist almost exclusively of fundamentalist-Sunni jihadists that are trained and led by Al Qaeda in Syria, with U.S. help and Saudi financing. On August 29th Global Research headlined “Video: US Creates Strike Force to Attack Syria”, and posted an August 28th report from South Front saying: Reports are appearing that the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF) have already started preparing to repel an expected US-led missile strike by deploying additional specialists and air defense systems near the …

Yemen: Fake ‘News’ in America’s Mainstream Outlets

Eric Zuesse On Friday, August 10th, CNN headlined “Saudi-led strike kills dozens of children on school field trip in Yemen” and reported as if the United States doesn’t have any important role to play in targeting and supplying the bombs and missiles for what the news-report refers to as “the Saudi-led coalition.” It even says at 0:15 in the video, “Saudi Arabia, through air strikes, leads the coalition, including the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Sudan” and doesn’t even mention there the main party, other than the royal Saud family — the U.S. Government itself — which provides not only detailed authorization of each target but also the weapons and the training on how they’re used. The accompanying printed CNN news-article says nothing at all about the U.S. Government’s involvement until the very end of the article, where a U.S. propagandist is quoted: After the strike, the United States, which largely supports the coalition’s campaign, issued a statement. “US military support to our partners mitigates noncombatant casualties,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich, according to the statement. …

Turkish-Syrian Border: Confusion, Destruction and Grief

“One day, true leaders of the world will come, and they’ll cut off all the gas and petrol supplies to you, and you’ll find yourself in even deeper shit than the one into which you are throwing this part of the world! You’ll have to burn your designer clothes and shoes, just to stay warm. You forgot, but you will soon be reminded, Europe: we are all human beings!”

America’s Genocide in Yemen Starts Tuesday

by Eric Zuesse The Houthis in Yemen are expected to start being slaughtered en-masse on June 12th. The U.S.-Saudi-UAE plan is to destroy the Yemenese port city of Al Hudaydah, which is the only entry-way by which food reaches approximately seven million Shiites, members of the Houthi tribe, who occupy the western third of Yemen, and who had recently ruled all of Yemen. The U.S. provides the weapons and the training, and the United Arab Emirates supplies the pilots for this operation, which is financed mainly by the Saudis. The objective is to establish a joint UAE-Saudi-run government of Yemen. On Monday, June 11th, the New York Times bannered “U.N. Pulls Out of City in Yemen, Fearing Bloody Assault by Arab Coalition”. That report didn’t mention that this is America’s fundamentalist-Sunni coalition of Arab monarchies, using American weapons, in order to bomb and blockade, and now starve to death, approximately seven million Houthis, and that it’s part of a broader war in which the U.S. and Israel are allied with fundamentalist-Sunni monarchies, which are trying …

Let’s talk about the Golan Heights

Yesterday an Al-Monitor piece by Akiva Eldar contrasted Netanyahu’s success in getting Trump out of the Iran deal, and ‘recognising’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with his failure to pull off the same with Europe.

Why did State Dept. Freeze White Helmets Funding?

by Sophie Mangal A breaking piece was published via CBS news recently that the U.S. frozen funding for Syria’s “White Helmets”. Why did it happen, probably you would like to ask us… First, the delay in approving the financing may be connected with the revision of the strategy of using White Helmets as East Ghouta had been lost for the opposition. It impossible now to use the pretext of ‘regime crimes in Ghouta’ using Civil Defense. The militants have lost both an enclave and the resources invested (chemical laboratories, chemicals, studios, staff, weapons, money etc). Second, some activities in Idlib are hampered by the growing influence of Turkey, which gradually gains control over terrorist groups previously backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. That is why there are numerous reports of a possible transfer of White Helmets activities from Ghouta to Deir Ezzor province where US-controlled terrorists operate and there are a lot of room to work for White Helmets. The more so, State Dept. support is only a visible part of the funding. The participation …

Israel’s Legislature Votes War Against Syria

Eric Zuesse The key decision now will be made by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On May 1st, Al Masdar News headlined “Netanyahu is granted the ability to wage war without the Knesset”, and reported that Israel’s Knesset or legislature had voted late on Monday night April 30th, to hand entirely to the far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to his extremely far-right Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman the decision as to whether or when to invade any country — the main actual target is Syria, but Iran and Lebanon are also in Israel’s gunsights. Israel’s newspaper Haaretz reported about this on April 30th, while explaining that this legislation was “transferring responsibility for declaring war from the full cabinet to the smaller security cabinet. The joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee rejected his request but it was later voted for by the Knesset plenum.” The real change that the new law introduces is to transfer Israel’s war-making decisions away from both the Knesset and the …

What was the success-rate of the April 14th missiles against Syria?

by Eric Zuesse The U.S. and Russia provide diametrically opposite accounts of the percentages of U.S.-and-allied missiles that hit their targets in Syria on the night of April 13th-14th. On the 14th, Russia’s military said that 71 of the 103 U.S.-and-allied missiles were shot down by Syria. But on this very same day, the U.S. announced that 105 missiles had been launched and “none intercepted.” So: Was the U.S. side’s success-rate 100%, as America claimed; or, instead, 31%, as Russia claimed? This difference is, obviously, huge. During the subsequent days, U.S.-and-allied media celebrated their side’s alleged victory; for example, on April 22nd, USA Today bannered “105 to 0: Why Syria’s air defenses failed to intercept a single incoming missile”, and reported that: U.S., French and British forces launched 105 missiles from aircraft and ships at three chemical weapons facilities in Syria last weekend in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack launched by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia claimed that Syrian defenses knocked down many incoming missiles, but the Pentagon said every …

USA: No Restitution to Syria

by Eric Zuesse On April 22nd, an anonymous U.S. “Senior Administration Official” told a press conference in Toronto, that the only possible circumstance under which the U.S. Government will agree to pay anything for the harms (bombings of infrastructure etc.) it’s doing to Syria, would be if Syria will agree to cede, to U.S. control, a portion of its land: QUESTION: When you say no reconstruction money for areas that are under Assad’s control, there is some reconstruction money that’s currently frozen or under question for areas that are not under Assad’s control? MODERATOR: That’s stabilization, which is different from reconstruction, just to clarify. “Stabilization” is the solidification of control by the U.S. Government, via its proxies (‘rebels’ trained by U.S. and financed by the Sauds) who are fighting to overthrow Syria’s Government; and the U.S. won’t pay any reconstruction unless it’s “stabilizing” that particular part of Syria. If America’s 7-year-long effort at regime-change in Syria turns out to be a total failure (grabbing no part of its territory), then the U.S. won’t pay even …

Douma Chemical Attack: Timeline of facts so far

A brief post, collating all the known events surrounding the build up to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on the 7/8th of April 2018.

Syrian Refugees are Going Home, the West is Ready to Attack

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek. Originally published by New Eastern Outlook. “How many years have you been living in Beirut?” I asked my barber, Eyad, after he told me, beaming, that in three months from now, he will be returning home, to Damascus. Even one year ago, such conversations would not be easy to commence. But now, everything has been changing, rapidly and, one wants to believe, irreversibly. Although nothing is truly irreversible, the better things are on the ground in Syria, the more threatening the West is becoming, particularly the United States. Now it is, once again, intimidating Damascus, ready to attack the Syrian army, something that could easily drag Russia and others into a lethal confrontation. The war! The West is clearly obsessed with perpetual war in Syria, while most of the Syrian people are passionate about bringing back an everlasting peace. “6 years,” replied my barber, preparing his razor. I detected sadness and indignation in his voice, “6 years too many!” “After you go back, then what? Are you going to …

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 …

Hezbollah and Syrian Army Finishing Off Terrorists of Al-Nusra

From Lebanon, text and photos: Andre Vltchek It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries. Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone. More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, heroic and well coordinated. The group was forced into accepting a ceasefire agreement, which went into effect on 27 July, and which stipulates that all of its fighters will be transferred by the army to a designated area inside Syria (Idlib). Vanessa Beeley, Associate Editor of the 21st Century Wire, wrote this comment for my essay, literally from “the rubble of East Aleppo”: This is a momentous victory for …

“The regime will be there” – U.S. Concedes Raqqa…and the Syrian East?

from Moon of Alabama A new Wall Street Journal piece, primarily about the ISIS held city of Raqqa on the Euphrates, casts doubt on long term U.S. plans for such an occupation. Its core quote: “We won’t be in Raqqa in 2020, but the regime will be there.” There were already doubts that a big U.S. move in east-Syria was really going to happen. Jordan opposes any such move. While the U.S. and Jordan have trained, equipped and paid Syrian “rebels” to hold a zone of control in south-west Syria, little preparations have been seen for a large move in the south-east. The U.S. has so far vetted and trained at most 2,000 local Arab fighters in the area. Fewer are ready to go. Even with U.S. special forces embedded with them these forces are way too small to take an ISIS defended city or to capture or to hold a significant area. At least ten to twenty thousand troops would be needed (likely more) for such an endeavor. The current force is probably only …

Mad-Dog Mattis Going Rabid

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On Monday, April 25th, the AP headlined, “US general in Afghanistan suggests Russia arming the Taliban” and reported that U.S. Pentagon chief James “Mad Dog” Mattis was accusing Russia of violating the sovereignty of unnamed nation(s) and was supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan — the very same group that the U.S. back in 1979 had begun arming in Pakistan so that the Taliban would invade Afghanistan and lure Soviet forces into Afghanistan, so as to make the Soviets “bleed” there, as the U.S. itself had bled in its Vietnam War. The U.S. National Security Advisor at that time went to Pakistan and rallied the Taliban there by saying “Your cause is right, and God is on your side!” (see above video). Mattis was also quoted in this news-report as saying, “We’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries.” The United States has, in fact, invaded Syria — routinely violating the sovereignty of …

Just Back From Syria, Rep. Gabbard Brings Message: ‘There Are No Moderate Rebels’

by Susan Jones from cnsnews.com Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) meets with Syrian religious leaders in Aleppo, led by Archbishop Denys Antoine Chahda of the Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo, and joined by Archbishop Joseph Tabji of Maronite Church of Aleppo, Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, and others. Each called for peace, and an end to foreign support of terrorists who are trying to rid Syria of its secular, pluralistic, free society. (Photo from Gabbard’s website, courtesy of Abraham Williams) (CNSNews.com) – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, says she made a secret, four-day trip to Syria — meeting with ordinary people and even President Bashar al-Assad — because the suffering of the Syrian people “has been weighing heavily on my heart.” “I wanted to see if there was in some small way, a way that I could express the love and the aloha and the care that the American people have for the people of Syria, and to see firsthand what was happening there, to see that situation there,” …