All posts tagged: ISIS

The US takes Syria’s Al-Qaeda off Terror Watch-lists

by Nauman Sadiq According to a recent report [1] by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year. The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles. The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that …

Philippines ‘Dirty’ Duterte facing ‘same ISIS dynamic’ as Assad in Syria

Beleaguered residents, including women and children, bring whatever they can as they flee Marawi City to escape the fighting between government troops and terrorists who have occupied portions of the city. —AFP   RT interviews Patrick Henningsen, Executive Editor of 21st Century Wire.com: Someone has unleashed ISIS, which forces the Filipino government to come down hard, to declare martial law, and then the international organizations will demonize Duterte, Patrick Henningsen, Executive Editor of 21st Century Wire.com, told RT. Fighters linked to ISIS went on a rampage in the Philippines’ city of Marawi. The country’s President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law there. RT:With terrorism as his new target, do you think Duterte will receive much international support, given that his war on drugs was condemned by many and called too brutal? Patrick Henningsen: This President is already under intense scrutiny by the sort of wider international community, if you will, and specifically by the US. He has sort of gone at loggerheads with Washington on more than one occasion. This is a bit of a …

Lebanon – Hedonism and War

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek, first published on New East Outlook Palestinian refugee camps are up in flames, across the country, a result of the disputes between the rival factions, but also of ‘unsavory’ influences from abroad. As everyone knows here, there are, for instance, the Al Qaida-affiliated militants hiding in the South. There are Israeli incursions into Lebanon, both by land and by water. There are also drones, flying habitually from Israel into and through the Lebanese airspace. There is great tension between Israel and Hezbollah, over Syria, but not only. Lebanese forces are fighting DAESH, mainly in the Northeast of Lebanon, on the mountainous border with Syria. Hezbollah is fighting DAESH, too, but ‘independently’. In the 7th year into the war in Syria, there are still more than 1 million Syrian refugees living on Lebanese territory, some in awful conditions and many with extremely uncertain future. The exact number is unknown (UNHCR stopped the registration of all new arrivals approximately 2 years ago), but is believed to fluctuate between 1 and 2 million. …

“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 …

The plain truth about terrorism

or why the “oops we accidentally let ISIS get our guns” excuse does not work… We get a few people here saying some variant on “ISIS, al Qaeda etc are all the unlooked-for by-producet of the criminal western policy in the Middle East.” It’s one of the would-be middle-of-the-road positions occupied as much through fear of what lies beyond it than for any inherent value it contains. It’s still possible to be considered relatively mainstream and hold this position. Sensible people like Robert Fisk and Noam Chomsky promote it. There’s only one problem with it really, namely that it is not true. Recent leaks/releases of government documents have put it beyond question that the US, its Gulf allies and NATO at very least willingly got behind the creation of extreme jihadist groups and have been funding such groups in their attempts to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government. So we thought we’d address that claim very quickly with the help of this graphic originally made by professor Tim Anderson. It makes the point more clearly than …

Libyan Labels: a journey through the Guardian’s coverage of the Libyan disaster

In this analysis we examine Libya’s recent history looking through the eyes of the Guardian, the flagship of liberal western outlets, and its reporting. As with most other western media, the Guardian was an enthusiastic supporter of the NATO intervention that overthrew Gaddafi and threw the country into the disaster that we are about to describe. Faithful to western interests then, the Guardian remains faithful afterwards as well. But imperial designs are laden with contradictions and sometimes drastically change course, but the Guardian dutifully follows.

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,” …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Elite U.S. Special Forces Fight For Mosul

by Ahmad Salah The fierce battle for the city of Mosul keeps on shocking Iraq and the whole Middle East and there are no significant results. The leading role belongs to the assault of the Iraqi army and Kurdish Self-Defense Forces which still lack experience and skills to capture the city in the shortest time. However, 500 elite commandos of the U.S. Special Forces which had been transferred this week at Mosul should give new impetus to the assault. U.S. combatants are supported by Apache and Chinook helicopters. According to the Inside Syria Media Center, the U.S. Special Forces are located at the forefront of Iraqi and Kurdish combat formations. Military experts believe these combat conditions are atypical for the special operation forces which are aimed to carry out reconnaissance and other specific tasks. Elite combatants in Mosul perform actually the functions of infantry soldiers resulting in inevitable great losses which are going to be covered up and silenced by the Washington officials in the usual manner. Although the U.S. officials have repeatedly stated Mosul …

The Brilliant Boris Johnson Explains Syria Conflict in Four Short Points

by Dean Parker from Russia Insider Nobody does the UN, or ziplines, quite like Boris Johnson. He didn’t quite get to speak at the actual Security Council meeting on Syria (guess Britannia no longer “rules the waves“), but he did find some reporters in the hallway to speak to, which technically makes it “Johnson’s speech at the UN”. He told them: What is absolutely clear is that the Russians bear the moral responsibility for what is taking place,” “You have got aid convoys with UN markings on them being targeted, you have got medical facilities being blown up. “This is not a civil war, this is a proxy war conducted by puppeteers and those puppeteers are principally in the Kremlin.” “They have an opportunity to bring an end to this. They could tell the Assad regime not to fly, not to bomb, to engage with the whole negotiation.” “Instead, I’m afraid you’re seeing a cynical and barbaric protraction of violence and it is tragic.” Leave it to Boris to cut through the clutter and point …

Syria Bombing Exposes Cracks in American Facade

Yesterday, the USA committed what is – essentially – an act of war against the legitimate government of Syria. The official position is that, due to a breakdown in communication (or possibly bad intelligence), the US Air Force – with Australian support – bombed SAA men and vehicles resulting in the deaths of at least 60 Syrian soldiers.

If they are atruly committed to the Kerry-Lavrov authored peace plan, how did this happen?

“Gulen-Gate” Islamic Terrorists at the Democratic National Convention

by GH Eliason Why are known terrorists at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia? Doesn’t the Secret Service vet people that are in the same building as the President of the United States anymore? What the hell is going on? Invited as a guest to the 2016 Democratic National Convention is none other than Kadri Veseli, the Speaker of the Kosovo Assembly. Veseli is a former Kosovar Albanian leader of the KLA and its spy organization SHIK. He’s being indicted along with the current president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci for small things like organ trafficking and crimes against humanity. A new investigation into the shadowy spy group, known as Shik, could also prove embarrassing for western intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and France’s DGSE, whose support for prime minister Hashim Thaçi, the PDK and Shik dates back to the 1998-9 Kosovo war. At the time, the Americans and French backed Thaçi as the most effective Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander fighting the Serbian military, which was conducting a brutal counter-insurgency and “ethnic-cleansing campaign”…The launch of the new enquiry, which will be conducted by Kosovan …

In Attempt to Dodge Suit, White House Argues Funding War Makes War Legal

by Nikita Knight, for Common Dreams A lawsuit filed earlier this year charging President Barack Obama with waging an illegal war against the Islamic State (or ISIS) was met on Tuesday with a motion from the Obama administration asking the court to dismiss it. In its motion to dismiss (pdf), the administration argues that congressional funding for the war amounts to congressional approval for it. The lawsuit (pdf) was filed in U.S. district court by Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, an intelligence official stationed in Kuwait, in May. Smith has been assigned to work for “Operation Inherent Resolve,” the administration’s name for the nebulous conflict against the terrorist group ISIS. “How could I honor my oath when I am fighting a war, even a good war, that the Constitution does not allow, or Congress has not approved?” Smith wrote. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.” According …

British Troops Enter Syria and Libya to Ensure That War Outlives ISIS

by Dan Glazebrook, via CounterPunch The Normandy landings, launched 72 years ago this week, saw the opening of a second front against the Nazis in Europe by the US and the UK after years of procrastination. Despite the signing of a ‘mutual assistance’ agreement with Britain in 1941, and the Anglo-Soviet alliance in 1942, for years very little was done by the US or Britain to actually fight the Nazi menace. In a joint communique issued in 1942, they agreed to open a second front in Europe that same year, an agreement they broke and then postponed repeatedly, leaving the Soviets to fight the strongest industrial power in Western Europe alone for three years – at an eventual cost of 27 million lives. The US and Britain, it seemed, were following what International Relations theorist John Mearsheimer has termed a ‘bait and bleed’ policy, allowing Germany and the Soviet Union to “bleed each other white” whilst they themselves stood on the sidelines. “If we see Germany winning, we ought to help Russia,” declared US Senator …

It’s about time to unmask the Axis of Evil: 23 million Syrians are besieged

by Mark Taliano, via American Herald Tribune The West and its allies are perpetrating unspeakable yet well-documented crimes against humanity as Washington forges ahead with its pre-planned agenda to destroy non-compliant areas in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in favour of its Wahhabi-inspired proxy armies, which include ISIS and al-Qaeda/Jabhat al-Nursra. US led NATO and its allies, including Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Apartheid Israel, are perpetuating these crimes beneath ridiculous banners of “humanitarian interventions” and/or the “Global War On Terror” (GWOT). This rampaging project of deception, death, and destruction follows a predictable colonial script wherein domestic populations are deceived as target countries and their peoples are destroyed and subjugated. Most of the colonial military strategies are on full display in the terrorist invasion of the democratic Syrian Arab Republic (SAR), led by its reformer president, Bashar al-Assad. The coercive strategies being used include these: Destroying hospitals and infrastructure Starvation Disinformation campaigns/erasing “history” Balkanization/partitioning Bombing civilian populations The end-game is to de-populate and to destroy target countries and to subjugate the remaining population. A …

Video: Syrians cheer up the liberation of Palmyra

A picture showing the Temple of Bel before it was destroyed by Isis in September 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The structure dated back to 32AD. Photo Joseph Eid / AFP Retaking the ancient city of Palmyra from the hands of the Islamic State last march, was achieved by the Syrian Army and its allies to confront ISIS, benefiting from the Russian-American cease-fire. This victory paves the way to the next period resulted by the international discussions in Geneva if the government and opposition delegations agreed. People of Syria are the major winner of this victory, and they expressed their opinions about it.

The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

by TutisIceCream A very short study of the schizophrenia transfixing US security as reflected in the psychopathy gripping the Guardian. One could be forgiven for thinking that the relationship between the US and Russia might be on the up and up after the recapture of Palmyra. Also with the increase in diplomatic rapprochement which has been happening lately between Messrs Kerry and Lavrov, leading to the opportunity of a thaw in East West relations. However the time to light a candle for peace may not have arrived. What once appeared as relative security only a few years ago across Europe has been replaced with increasing chaos and sectarianism. Where once growing accord was, has been replaced by discord. There has been no clearer an example of this than the US intervention in Ukraine, once destined to be an East West bridge, but now a bridge too far, collapsing into a US outpost some say an imperial colony. An example of US sponsored regime change at the heart of Europe which now has resulted in the …