All posts tagged: Syria

Pepe Escobar: And the winners in the post-Daesh era are… (updated)

Syrians walk past Aleppo’s citadel as life returns to normal after the expulsion of Jihadi terrorist groups by the Syrian army and its allies Russia and Iran. Photo from the #believe_in_aleppo hashtag in Twitter. An excerpt from Pepe Escobar’s latest article in Asia Times: […] Mesopotamia and the Levant, in the post-Daesh era, are indeed unrecognizable compared to the state of play in the early 2010s. The facts on the ground in the Syrian war theater are stark. While the Beltway was blinded by regime change, Moscow swooped in and with a small expeditionary force turned the Middle East game upside down. While Russian jets fully coordinated with an array of forces on the ground, Russian diplomacy ended up closing down all manner of war fronts and imposing ceasefires or de-escalation zones. A New Syrian Army (NSA?), instead of those walking dead FSA, is now fully battle-tested, in both conventional and guerrilla warfare, and with morale extremely high to the point that Hezbollah now needs to deploy only a few of its officers to coordinate …

Why have over 600,000 Syrian refugees returned to an evil dictator who only wants to kill them?

A girl is seen at a damaged site in Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, Syria. © Omar Sanadiki / Reuters   Caitlin Johnstone in Medium, via SottNet: Al Jazeera, not often known to rock the establishment boat when it comes to the official narrative about Syria, has published an interesting new report on some recent findings of the International Organization for Migration. According to IOM, nearly 603,000 Syrian refugees returned to their homes in Syria between January and July of 2017. And, naturally, those hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians who are returning home are all returning to areas that are securely protected from the bloodthirsty tyrant Bashar al-Assad by the Freedom Fighters and Moderate Rebels who oppose him, right? They’d never willfully return to an area ruled by a sadistic dictator who routinely drops barrel bombs on his own people for no reason and kills children with poison gas, would they? Well yes, if you believe the things that the western mass media have been saying about Assad, they would. IOM reports that of those …

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 …

Russia: a target, not a superpower

by Sara Flounders, via Workers.org The corporate media’s constant use of Cold War terminology to describe the meeting of the U.S. and Russian presidents as a meeting of the “two superpowers” masks the present relationship of forces. U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin met at the Group of 20 summit on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany. Old preconceptions and terms must be challenged in order to have an accurate view of the present international situation. Russia today, as a capitalist country, is not even a fifth-rate economic power. The Russian economy is smaller than the economy of Brazil, south Korea or Canada. According to World Bank and International Monetary Fund measurements, Russia now ranks 12th globally in its gross domestic product. This measurement is the market value of goods and services. Today’s Russian Federation is a vastly different state — socially, politically, economically and militarily — from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of even 27 years ago. It is important to understand what Russia is today in order to understand …

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn’t even built on trading-blocs. In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said: In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly. It goes on to observe: Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and …

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

By Ray McGovern via Information Clearing House The U.S. mainstream media remains obsessed over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in last fall’s election, but the real test of bilateral cooperation may come on the cease-fire in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. July 09, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out? These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart. But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines …

Our media are not fit for purpose

by Philip Roddis This morning, just after eight, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys interviewed an American ‘expert’ – didn’t catch the name – on the first meeting, today, of Trump and Putin. In the time between my reaching for the bread bin, and two slices of the moderately browned popping from the toaster, said expert had presented as incontestable truth – no need to back up such a claim – Russia’s ‘aggression’ as against America’s ‘caution’. People buy this crap, you know, if only subliminally. Why? Because the west, anglo saxon west in particular, long ago traded independence of foreign policy for favoured status in Washington, so framing the boundaries for mainstream discourse on global affairs. And because, thanks to English as world lingua franca, most of us grew up on a cultural diet of the US as force for good: the orientalist corollary being the inscrutable asiatic; untrustworthy and capable of unspeakable acts. (Nowadays no one says such things out loud of course. An age that’s given rise to so many new and useful …

The Economic Motive for America’s Current Wars

Russia has long been the chief seller of energy — mainly gas and oil — in the world’s largest energy-market: the EU, or Europe. This means that U.S.-based energy companies, such as Exxon and Halliburton, aren’t the ones who dominate in supplying oil, gas, pipelines, and other energy-supplying needs, to the consumers and businesses in the world’s largest energy-market: Europe.

Trump’s cave-in on Russia

by Philip Roddis A friend asked my thoughts on the allegations of Russia having hacked the US election. I’ve no inside knowledge but we’d have to be super credulous to accept them purely on FBI/CIA say-so. For one thing, no other other state is so brazenly weird in projecting its own sociopathies onto those that stand in its way. This after all is the state that overthrew Yanukovych to install a semi fascist regime in Kiev; Zelaya to aid a military coup in Honduras: the state we know, from an Ed Snowden Obama wanted locked up with key thrown away, to have spied on Chancellor Merkel and other ‘allies’. (These being specimen charges. A fuller list is given in the previous post.) For another, US moves in Syria and Ukraine, and the express view of elements within its Deep State that a nuclear war can be won, betray a waning empire determined to ‘contain’ Russia. I’ve noted this before but it’ll stand repeating. Too many of the left/liberal intelligentia fail to grasp the true extent …

Why the West Will Not and Cannot Let Syria Live in Peace

For all those who have become awake and conscious or have escaped the Western media pit of lies and brainwashing, the six-year-long resistance of the Syrian people in the face of the Anglo-Zionist empire and its terrorist proxy troops ISIS, Al Qaeda et al has been a deeply tragic but historically heroic inspiration. They survived four years almost totally alone until Russia entered to fight the US, EU, and Israeli proxy terrorist fighters that were gaining ground on government held territory in Syria.

Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned

by Ray McGovern, via Information Clearing House The mainstream media is so hostile to challenges to its groupthinks that famed journalist Seymour Hersh had to take his take-down of President Trump’s April 6 attack on Syria to Germany, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. June 26, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out. In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his national security sources offered a distinctly different account, revealing President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase on April 6 despite the absence of intelligence supporting his conclusion that the Syrian military was guilty. Hersh draws on the kind of inside sources from whom he has earned longstanding trust to dispute that there ever was a “chemical weapons attack” and to assert that Trump was told …

Trump Has Been Continuing Obama’s Syria-Policy

by Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama’s publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria’s government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th “Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There”, and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia’s demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama’s publicly stated Syria-policy. As also will be shown here, Obama’s publicly stated policy — to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad — was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 …

Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria

Late on Monday the 19th, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

MSM headlines ignore heightened tensions in Syria conflict

The US shot down a Syrian warplane a few days ago, the pilot is currently being “held” by Kurdish forces on the ground. The plane was targeting moderate fighters under American protection, according to the Americans, and bombing terrorists according to the Syrian government. As a result of this, Russia has ceased cooperation with the US on air-missions over Syrian air-space, and issued several statements which amount to, essentially, an ultimatum. The Syrian government has written letters to the UNSC and intends to address them soon. Australia, in what appears to be a panicked “well, this is none of our business” move, has ceased all missions over Syria with immediate effect. You’d be forgiven for not knowing any of this was happening, given the front pages of Britain’s five major papers all chose to focus a on a collection of non-events and nothing issues: Considering that media-complicity in spreading anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda is a big reason the US-Russia tensions have been allowed to get this bad, that they should stick their heads in the …

Why Americans Don’t Understand Terrorism, At All

by Joe Giambrone “Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Seymour Hersh, The Redirection, 2007 We live in an invisible empire, and so the mechanics of the empire are never openly discussed with the rabble. Americans don’t comprehend how power actually works across the planet that their country seeks to control. They live from momentary headline to headline without any honest, in-depth analysis of why events like the Manchester bombing occur and keep occurring. When it comes to terrorism it is dire, urgent, and desperate that the public understand, if anything is to change. But it certainly appears that Americans never will. Perhaps Britons may, and then lead the effort to stop it. In the United States, a bigoted faction demonizes all Muslims. That faction calls for more weapons and for their own wanton terror …

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 …

State Dept.: “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”

by Ricardo Vaz from InvestigAction After the previous hit singles, “Russia hack 2016: take our word for it” and “Assad used sarin: bomb first, never ask questions”, US government agencies are at it again with their new chart-topping release “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”. With journalism standards in the mainstream media at an all-time low, this is a sure bet to become a fake news hit! On May 15th all the mainstream media screamed more or less the same bombshell headline, “State Dept. says Assad is burning people in a crematorium”. The source was a State Department press briefing which was then uncritically plastered everywhere. Assistant Secretary Stuart Jones claimed that the Syrian government had built a crematorium next to Saydnaya prison (more on this later), which was being used to burn 50 bodies of hung prisoners a day. Then came the “evidence”, in the form of satellite pictures. The earliest indictment that this evidence was on the embarrassing side of the scale came from the fact that many outlets …

Manchester Bomber Was Product of West’s Libya/Syria Intervention

by Daniel McAdams, for RPI Here’s what the media and politicians don’t want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and “regime change” policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi’s secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed “rebel” in Syria, fighting for the US and UK “regime change” policy toward the secular Assad government. The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East. According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied “liberation” of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the …

Aleppo: Where hospitals were turned into Sharia gaols

Photo of the Aleppo hospital visited by Gail Malone after its liberation from jihadi rebels by the Syrian Army. All other photos also by her. Gail Malone, an Australian peace activist who recently visited Syria, writes in her blog: In April [2017], as part of our fact finding mission, we travelled to Aleppo.  We visited a hospital there which MSF has accused Assad and Russia of deliberately bombing. MSF also mentioned that they had not given either Syria or Russia the co-ordinates of ‘their’ hospital.  As you will see from the photographs the hospital has not been bombed, although mortar and small weapons fire is obvious.  Factors to note; no one from MSF are actually on the ground to verify what they are being told.  There was no aerial bombardment at the time of the report and the liberation. Aleppo was predominately a ground offensive … suburb to suburb, block to block, street to street and house to house and room to room.   This building (photo 1) was turned from a modern hospital, servicing …