All posts tagged: Turkey

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria” – Is Trump telling the truth?

Eric Zuesse At 11:52AM on Wednesday, December 19th, CBS News headlined “White House orders Pentagon to pull troops from Syria immediately” and reported that, “Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a veteran of the US Air Force who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it’s ‘simply not true’ [which Trump, had said there, that] ISIS is defeated in Syria.” CBS News didn’t indicate which political Party Kinzinger represents, but he is a Republican, and he represents the rural Illinois 16th Congressional District, where Donald Trump had beaten Hillary Clinton by a 17% margin in 2016. So, Kinzinger is an anti-Trump Republican on this matter. He’s credible about that, not partisan about it. Who is telling the truth, Trump’s “We have defeated ISIS in Syria” or Kinzinger’s contrary, and what explains the contradiction between the accounts by Trump and Kinzinger? As the CBS News report says, “Two weeks ago, Special Envoy Brett McGurk said the end of ISIS will be a long-term initiative, and “nobody is declaring mission accomplished.” CBS’s …

China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part

by F. William Engdahl, via NEO In recent months Western media and the Washington Administration have begun to raise a hue and cry over alleged mass internment camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang where supposedly up to one million ethnic Uyghur Chinese are being detained and submitted to various forms of “re-education.” Several things about the charges are notable, not the least that all originate from Western media or “democracy” NGOs such as Human Rights Watch whose record for veracity leaves something to be desired. In August Reuters published an article under the headline, “UN says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.” A closer look at the article reveals no official UN policy statement, but rather a quote from one American member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN, a member with no background in China. The source of the claim it turns out is a UN independent advisory NGO called Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The sole person making the charge, American committee member Gay …

Haftar and Sarraj on the way to Libyan settlement

Firas Samuri Another meeting on the Libyan settlement was held in Palermo, southern Italy, November 12-13. The leaders of the warring factions, EU and UN representatives, as well as the parties concerned, took part in the summit. After two days of intense talks, the participants agreed to arrange a new conference in Libya by the beginning of the next year. It’s expected the date of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections would be announced there. On the one hand, the result of the current meeting on Libya is conditional as the talks in Palermo haven’t brought something specific for the Libyans. Since the politicians meet and seek for the ways of resolving the crisis, the nation continues to suffer from the consequence of foreign intervention and Gaddafi overthrow in 2011. On the other hand, Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar who was in Italy as a private person and met the conference participants on the sidelines. Haftar and Sarraj held an extensive private discussion during the informal talks of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, …

The New U.S. Strategy in Syria is Bound to Fail

Firas Samuri The leading analysts repeatedly stated that the U.S. has failed to overthrow President Bashar Assad. Recently, The National Interest reporter and researcher, Doug Bandow, has made sure of it during his trip to Damascus. He claims “at long last, the conflict is winding down. Assad has won, and Washington has lost, and America’s approach has been a disastrous failure.’ Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering the possibility of changing the current political course that previously hasn’t led to any success. Today a new strategy for the war in Syria is hastily working out. According to Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence platform and publisher, the U.S. is focused on the full withdrawal of the Iranian military and their proxies from Syria, as well as on changing the current Syrian government. The ‘war strategy’ particularly highlights the Russian and Iranian approach. However, the United States could hardly be expected to force Moscow and Tehran to leave Syria, as these states are acting officially in fighting terrorism at the invitation of the Syrian President. Due to …

Syria: The Creeping Partition

by Peter Ford, October 24, 2018, Syriana Analysis The September crisis over Idlib was brought to a conclusion by the Russian Turkish agreement to create a partially demilitarised border strip. This should have been implemented by 16 October but hasn’t. Idlib Some armed groups have pulled back their heavy weapons from the 15-20 km wide 250 km long strip but others haven’t, while the groups internationally categorised as a terrorist, including Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham (HTS), Hurras Ad Deen, and the Turkmenistan militia, have not vacated the area as the Turks promised. Russia was supposed to be allowed into the area to monitor but isn’t. In blatant violation of the ceasefire, some of the groups are shelling neighbouring government-controlled areas including the outskirts of Aleppo and northern Lattakia. The Turks claim all is well. The Russians, putting a brave face on a very unsatisfactory situation, call for patience. The reality appears to be that the Russians don’t think the Syrian government forces are strong enough to overcome the approximately 90,000 jihadi fighters in Idlib, many …

The Earthquake in International Alliances

Eric Zuesse America’s international alliances are transforming in fundamental ways. The likelihood of World War III is increasing, and has been increasing ever since 2012 when the U.S. first slapped Russia with the Magnitsky Act sanctions. In fact, one matter driving these changing alliances now toward unprecedented realignments is that some nations’ leaders want to do whatever they can to prevent WW III. On October 17th, America’s Military Times bannered “Why today’s troops fear a new war is coming soon” and reported, “About 46 percent of troops who responded to the anonymous survey of currently serving Military Times readers said they believe the U.S. will be drawn into a new war within the next year. That’s a jarring increase from only about 5 percent who said the same thing in a similar poll conducted in September 2017.” Their special fear is of war against Russia and/or China: “About 71 percent of troops said Russia was a significant threat, up 18 points from last year’s survey. And 69 percent of troops said China poses a significant …

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!”

The U.S. won’t say ‘genocide’ but cares about Armenian democracy?

by Max Parry “Did Armenia just dance its way to revolution?” Mass demonstrations that have shut down Armenia leading to the replacement of its prime minister have queued the obligatory western media push for regime change. Already dubbed a ‘Velvet Revolution’ after the 1989 protests that collapsed communist Czechoslovakia, there have been so many ‘color revolutions’ in former Soviet states that the colors are being recycled by the NGOs. The first crowds gathered in April in response to the Republican Party of Armenia’s decision to nominate outgoing leader Serzh Sargsyan as the sole candidate for Prime Minister after having already served as the country’s President since 2008. Despite its constitutional legality, this was perceived by many to be a consolidation of power as he would have retained the same authority since the country just transitioned to a prime ministerial system. Predictably, the western media commentary has framed the protests in the context of the new Cold War by emphasizing the ruling party’s links to ‘Kremlin oligarchs’ and Armenia’s presence within Russia’s sphere of influence. However, …

Do you want to travel around the Middle East? Think twice!

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek Do you think it is that simple to travel around the Middle East? Think twice! Ask Palestinians, about trying to get from a point A to a point B in their own nation. Some time ago, sitting in an old Ottoman hotel in Bethlehem, I asked a waiter what it takes to travel from there to Gaza, where he said, several of his relatives were living. He looked at me as if I had fallen from the Moon: “There is no way I could travel there. If my relatives get very sick or die, then, in theory, I could apply for an Israeli travel permit to go there, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they would approve, or that I could get to Gaza on time…” I tried to appear naïve: “And what if someone from an Arab country which does not recognize Israel, wants to come here, to Bethlehem? Like, a Lebanese pilgrim or just a tourist? Could he or she enter from Jordan?” The waiter weighed …

Syria and Chemical Weapons: Debating the Regime-Change War in Syria

by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, April 24, 2018  Like the rest of Canada’s corporate media, the state-run CBC is virulently anti-Russia and a constant voice favouring the regime-change war in Syria. So it was something of a surprise to hear its national radio news report on April 22 provide evidence that counters the claims of a chemical weapons attack against the town of Douma, Syria in the region east of Damascus on April 7. Photo provided to Western media by the Western-funded ‘White Helmets’ agency purporting to show victims of a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on April 7, 2018 The CBC reported some of the information first reported by Robert Fisk of the UK Independent on April 17. He spoke to medical personnel who treated what were later claimed by Western media to be victims of a chemical attack. They explained to Fisk that the victims treated that day were suffering from respiratory ailments caused by the dust, debris and concussion symptoms of explosions. The medical personnel were interviewed separately and …

Why is NATO moving its Airbase from Turkey to Jordan?

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek, previous published by New Eastern Outlook People in the Middle East are joking, cynically: “From Incirlik, Turkey to Al-Azraq, Jordan with love.”. That is, if they pay any attention to the movement of NATO troops in this part of the world. They should. At least one substantial part of an incredibly deadly and aggressive force has been gradually relocated, from an ‘uncertain’ and according to the West suddenly ‘unreliable’ country (Turkey), to the impoverished but obedient Kingdom of Jordan. It is now clear that NATO is not sure, metaphorically speaking, which direction is Turkey going to fly in, and where it may eventually land. It is panicking and searching, ‘just in case’, for an exit strategy; almost for an escape plan from the most important regional power. Is the West really losing Turkey? Nobody knows. Most likely, nobody in Ankara is sure, either, including Mr. Erdogan. But what if … What if Erdogan moves closer to Russia, even to China? What if Turkey’s relationship with Iran improves? What if …

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.

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

by Stephen Gowans, July 11, 2017 A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown [in our cover illustration], under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus.  The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified. Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms.  Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates.  Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab …

Documentary: Aleppo Renaissance

Screencap from the video below. Documentary about the theft and destruction of the industrial cities of Aleppo by Sinan Saeed and Tom Duggan with Fares Shehabi (MP for Aleppo).  

Issues at Stake in Syria’s Peace Talks

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Syria’s peace-talks are about settling a horrific six-year-long war, but this is more of an international war that’s being waged on the battlefields of Syria, than it is a civil war within Syria itself. This fact is often ignored by the press, but the peace-talks are really more between the foreign powers than between their proxies who are killing each other (and Syria’s civilians) within Syria. These peace-talks are international because the principals in this war are international. And, because the principals are international, the principles that are being fought over are, too — they are so basic that the end-result from these talks will be not only some sort of new peace, but some sort of new Constitution for Syria: really a new nation of Syria. The main issues which are being negotiated at the Syrian Peace Talks that resumed on February 23rd in Geneva, are constitutional in nature: whether Syria is to be governed under Sharia (or Quran-based) law, or whether instead it is to be a …

Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

Bait & Switch – Fake News, propornot, the Real Inform & Influence Operation

by GH Eliason A few days before the 2016 election I contacted several publishers and told them they were on a list to be dealt with/ taken down after what was supposed to be a Clinton victory. This effort was against news sites and websites that spoke or wrote against current US policies that Clinton supported. As I was writing this Glen Greenwald’s great article came out specifically about propornot. That plays a small part in this. Journalists that said or wrote anything damaging to the Clinton campaign or supported her opponents in any way were targeted. News sites and journalists that failed to criticize Vladimir Putin, or worse; they were sympathetic of this or that Russian or Syria policy at any time are on the lists. The implication isn’t that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with this. She didn’t, at least not directly. We’re going to take a clear look at this, who is behind it, and why. The political stakes and stakeholders go far beyond the presidency. It was about setting the …

The Revealed Cynicism of ‘Benevolent Hegemony’

Since the collapse of the USSR, and the inception of the unipolar world order with the United States at its center, the term ‘benevolent hegemony’ has entered the lexicon of international relations and geopolitics. The full fleshing out of this idea was revealed in the 1996 essay by American neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, ‘Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy’. Its essence is an excuse for the United States to pursue whichever diplomatic and military means are believed to forward the goals of an American Empire, on the basis that unlike past empires, this one is not based on the prestige of the American people, or indeed any given leader, but instead on a set of ‘universal values and principles’ which are supposedly positive for all who live under them. One need only look at the neoconservatives themselves and come to the conclusion that they certainly do not represent the interests of the American people, as their international operations rarely have any positive impact for working men and women, and in fact very often engender negative consequences for them. Nor could it be said that neoconservatives aid the prestige of a given leader, as their legacy of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan destroyed the presidential legacy of George W. Bush, and notably his British ally Tony Blair.

Military Blogger Alleges U.S. Now Aids ISIS to Oust Assad

by Eric Zuesse A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq. On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets had bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from that City, and 62 Syrian soldiers were killed, and over a hundred were injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Subsequently, Syria brought more troops to that location and retook control there, but if and when the ISIS jihadists from Mosul take control there, the forces of Bashar al-Assad will be beaten not by U.S. …

Aleppo: How the US manipulates humanitarianism for imperialism

by Steven Chovanec The United States is manipulating humanitarian concern in an effort to protect its proxy militias and its imperial regime-change project in Syria.  The media and intellectual classes are dutifully falling in line, promoting a narrative of military aggression under the cover of “protecting civilians.”  These same “responsibility to protect” arguments led to the invasions of Iraq and Libya, exponentially increasing the massacres, chaos, and proliferation of violent extremism within those countries.  They are hypocritical, designed to further interests of conquest and domination, and will lead to more death and destruction in Syria as well. The United States has no stake in the wellbeing of Syrian civilians, despite their condemnations of Russia’s offensive in Aleppo.  This is clearly shown in the fact that the people they are supporting are guilty of the same crimes they accuse Russia and Syria of: indiscriminate attacks, targeting of civilians, destruction of schools, hospitals, etc.  Furthermore, the offensive in Aleppo is really no different from what the US did in Manbij, where they are said to have incorporated a “scorched earth …