All posts tagged: ISIS

Safe-Zone Judo as Syrian Forces Cross the Euphrates

by Tony Cartalucci, October 2, 2017, via Land Destroyer Report Syrian forces with the support of their Russian and Iranian allies, have crossed the Euphrates River near the city of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. The move is not only a significant step forward in restoring security nationwide and ensuring the nation’s territorial integrity, it is also a significant step toward turning the tables on the very interests who provoked and have perpetuated this conflict since 2011. US policymakers as early as 2012 openly declared their intent to partition Syria through the use of “safe zones” or “buffer zones.” From these zones – established with and protected by direct US military intervention – militant proxies would attempt to expand deeper into Syrian territory until the nation could either be toppled entirely, or sufficiently partitioned, effectively eliminating the Syrian Arab Republic as it was known before the conflict began. Understanding “Safe Zones”  A March 2012 Brookings Institute paper titled, “Middle East Memo #21: Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), proposed the concept of “safe zones” …

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 …

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 …

Terror Incognita: ‘Demistifying’ the Fog of War

by Sean Stinson, August 28, 2017 “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken Corporate propaganda is flying so thick and fast lately it’s dizzying just keeping up with it. For regular readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, Vladimir Putin is the new Fuhrer of American …

VIDEOS: Is ISIS finished?

Al Masdar news reports: BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – According to at least one ISIS member who very recently surrendered himself to pro-government forces, the terrorist group to which he belonged is “finished.” This confession, captured by pro-government media, came about during a very brief and sombre conversation between a Hezbollah reporter and an elderly ISIS militant (who had surrendered earlier on) near the Zumrani crossing point in the western Qalamoun region of Syria. In the footage below, the Hezbollah reporter holding the camera asks “why did you surrender?” In response, the ISIS fighter simply replies “because we’re finished.” The video emerges at a time when some pro-government sources are reporting that over fifty (50) ISIS militants in western Qalamoun have surrendered themselves to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) amid an ongoing pro-government offensive against the terrorist group throughout the region. See also Iran’s Press TV debate on the subject of the defeat of Daesh. A ten year war of attrition. That is how long most high-ranking U-S army officials estimated it would take to …

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 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?