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UN ‘deeply concerned’ about US-led Raqqa airstrikes that reportedly killed dozens of civilians

RT | August 22, 2017

The UN has expressed “deep concerns” over the mounting number of civilian casualties in Raqqa inflicted by US-led coalition airstrikes, condemning “any attack directed against civilians or civilian infrastructure.”

“Our humanitarian colleagues tell us they are deeply concerned by unconfirmed reports of a high number of civilians killed by airstrike in Raqqa city over the last 24 hours,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters at a daily briefing Tuesday.

“In recent days and weeks scores of civilians have reportedly been killed and injured in Raqqa due to airstrikes and shelling and up to 25 thousand people remain trapped in the city,” Dujarric said.

At least 78 civilians have died in the al-Sakhani and al-Bado streets and al-Tawasuaeh neighborhood in Raqqa city as a result of the US-led coalition airstrikes over the past 24 hours, Syrian news agency SANA reported earlier Tuesday, citing local and media sources.

“The UN condemns any attack that is directed against civilians or civilian infrastructure. We urge all parties fighting in Raqqa and across Syria to take every possible measure to spare and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure as in line with obligations under international humanitarian law.”

“Yesterday unconfirmed reports indicate that over 30 people were reportedly killed in the Al-Sakhani neighborhood, while eight internally displaced people from the same family were killed in a separate attack in another part of the city. These attacks, if confirmed, are a shocking reminder that civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in many parts of Syria.”

August 22, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Israel’s Alarm over Syrian Debacle

By Daniel Lazare | Consortium News | August 22, 2017

There’s a rumor going around that the Syrian civil war is finally winding down and that the Baathist government is nearing its goal of driving out thousands of ISIS-Al Qaeda head-choppers financed and supplied – directly or indirectly – by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the other Persian Gulf oil monarchies.

 (Screenshot from White House video)

It would be good news if true. But most likely it’s not. While one stage in the Syrian conflict is coming to an end, another is beginning, and this time the results could be even worse.

The reason is Israel, until now the odd man in the latest Mideast wars. Despite intervening sporadically on the rebel side in Syria, the Jewish state generally held itself aloof from the conflict in the belief that events were breaking its way regardless of whether it stepped in or not. After all, why go to war when your enemies are doing a fine job of tearing each other apart on their own?

With President Bashar al-Assad expected to step down eventually, Israel figured that it only had to wait and watch as a hostile regime collapsed under its own weight as it thrashed about unable to restore order to Syria. Never in the Arab-Israeli hundred years’ war had Israel seemed stronger and the Arabs weaker and in greater disarray.

But then the unthinkable happened. Assad not only survived but prevailed. Backed by Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Shi‘ite militia Hezbollah, he has bottled up Al Qaeda in East Ghouta and Idlib province in the extreme northwest and is racing to lift ISIS’s siege on Deir-Ezzor along the Euphrates. If successful, the effect will be to clear a path straight through to the Iraqi border some 30 miles to the east.

U.S. military enclaves may remain in the northeast and in the southern border town of Al-Tanf. But it’s hard to see how they’ll have much of an impact as the Damascus regime tightens its grip on the country as a whole.

Israeli Outrage

But rather than making a wider war less likely, the upshot is to make it even more. Having bet on the wrong horse, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now finds himself facing a nightmare scenario in which Iran takes advantage of Assad’s winning streak to extend its reach from Iraq and Syria into Lebanon beyond. It’s not just a question of political influence, but of the emergence of a powerful Iranian-led military bloc.

Eleven years after fighting a vicious 34-day war in southern Lebanon, Israel thus finds itself facing not only Hezbollah but the Syrian Arab Army, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and Iraqi Shi‘ite militias – all backed by Russian military might – in a front extending across its entire northern border. All are battle-hardened after years of combat, better armed, better led, and more self-confident to boot. Israel finds itself confronting a new threat that is many times more powerful than Hezbollah (or Syria) alone.

Israeli consternation is not to be underestimated. One news outlet says the official attitude is one of “grave concern” while an anonymous government minister heaped blame on the U.S. for sacrificing Israeli interests:

“The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border. What is most worrisome is that this time, it was President Donald Trump who threw us to the four winds – though viewed as Israel’s great friend. It turns out that when it comes to actions and not just talk, he didn’t deliver the goods.”

Netanyahu is meanwhile off to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to confer with Russian President Vladimir Putin while, in Washington, Israeli military and intelligence officials are meeting with top Trump officials such as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt.

Israel has also engaged in saber-rattling with regard to a missile factory that it says Iran is building in the Syrian port city of Baniyas. Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli military’s chief of staff, said that stopping efforts by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to equip themselves with accurate missiles capable of striking deep inside the Jewish state “is our top priority.”

Adds Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-right defense minister: “We know what needs to be done….  We won’t ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon.”

Neocon Chorus

Words like that should not be taken lightly. Meanwhile, influential neoconservatives are joining the me-too chorus. At the Atlantic Council – the hawkish Washington think tank partly funded by the United Arab Emirates and pro-Saudi interests that functioned as an arm of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – former Obama administration official Frederic C. Hof recently argued that the U.S. wouldn’t be in such a pickle if it had invaded Syria years ago:

“A Syrian opposition recognized by Washington in December 2012 as the ‘legitimate representative of the Syrian people’ should have been tasked with preparing for post-ISIS governance, and assisted to that end by an American-organized, multi-national effort. An all-Syrian stabilization force should have been built in a protected eastern Syria to pacify the area, facilitate humanitarian aid, and spur reconstruction.”

But now the U.S. is seemingly “indifferent” to what comes next once Islamic State is gone. As a consequence, Hof said, the Trump administration is effectively “install[ing] Iran as Syria’s suzerain, with the Assad entourage sifting through the country’s ruins for spoils and setting the stage for successive waves and varieties of extremism arising in response.” The only solution, according to Hof, is a radical strategic change “to prevent Iran and Assad doing their worst for the security of the United States, its allies, and its partners.”

With the Zionists and their neocon yes-men agreeing that something must be done, it seems that something WILL be done sooner rather than later.

Of course, a few complications could get in the way. One involves Russian President Vladimir Putin who, despite his close alliance with Assad, enjoys a solid working relationship with Israel and is none too eager to see war break out between the two countries. Another is the Syrian government in Damascus, which, under the leadership of the careful and cautious Assad, is none too eager to rush into a conflict that could conceivably prove even more ruinous than the one it is trying to finish up.

A Sick Kingdom 

But even sober politicians like Putin and Assad may be unable to cope with the forces raging across the Middle East. The sectarian war that the Saudis unleashed more than a decade ago with U.S, help shows no signs of letting up. The kingdom is mired in an anti-Shi‘ite crusade in Yemen that it is desperate to escape, but doesn’t know how. It has suppressed a Shi‘ite uprising in Awamiyah, a city of 25,000 people in its own oil-rich Eastern Province, killing dozens according to Iranian sources and flattening an entire neighborhood, but dissent continues to bubble up ominously.

Saudi Arabia also has imposed an economic blockade on Qatar, and it is backing a repressive regime in Bahrain that has imposed a reign of terror on the country’s 70-percent Shi‘ite majority. Riyadh continues to engage in a dangerous war of words with Iran, which the royal family believes is engaged in an Elders of Zion-like Shi‘ite conspiracy to dismember the kingdom and wrest away control of Mecca and Medina.

The more paranoid Saudi leaders become, the more threatening Saudi Arabia grows – and the more resolved Iran becomes to make the most of its victory in Syria by fulfilling the ancient Persian goal of opening a corridor to the Mediterranean Sea. Aggression on one side leads to counter-aggression on the other, a process of mutual escalation that seems impossible to reverse.

Finally, there is the question of political stability – or, rather, an increasing lack thereof. In Iran, newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani is locked in a growing confrontation with hardline Shi‘ite Islamists with little appetite for compromise.

In Saudi Arabia, power is in the hands of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, a rambunctious 31-year-old who launched the disastrous war in Yemen in March 2015 – and then disappeared on a vacation in the Maldives as U.S. officials tried desperately to reach him by phone – and who more recently unveiled an ambitious economic reform program that so far has done nothing to stem the kingdom’s alarming decline. Despite vows to diversify the economy, non-oil revenue actually shrank by 17 percent this spring while foreign reserves have fallen by nearly a third since 2014. But that didn’t stop MbS, as he’s known, from committing himself to $110 billion in U.S. arms purchases in May or his father, King Salman, from spending a reported $100 million on a summer vacation in Morocco.

Saudi Arabia is thus becoming the sick man of the Middle East, one whose collapse could trigger a “geopolitical tsunami” sweeping across much of the region.

Trump’s Imbalance

Then there is the United States, where politics are even more unsettled. As President Trump careens from one disaster to another, foreign policy has grown both unpredictable and bellicose. One day, America’s second popular-vote-losing president in 16 years is calling for regime change in Tehran, the next he’s threatening Pyongyang with “fire and fury,” and then he’s blustering about some unspecified “military option” with regard to Venezuela.

The fact that Trump has so far demonstrated little follow-through is hardly reassuring. Sooner or later, rash rhetoric can only lead to rash actions, if not on America’s part then someone else’s. The shakier Trump grows, the greater the likelihood that he will engage in some risky adventure in order to strengthen his grip.

A number of forces are thus converging: political instability in Tehran, Riyadh and Washington, a growing thirst for more war on the part of Israel and the U.S. foreign-policy establishment, and a growing defensiveness on the part of a “Shi‘ite crescent” stretching from Yemen to southern Tehran. The United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others have already plunged Syria into death and destruction by sponsoring a murderous Sunni Salafist assault on one of the most diverse populations in the Middle East. The big question now is whether, with Israeli help, they are about to impose another.

Given the vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East, one that the U.S. has done its level best to worsen at every step of the way, it’s hard not to believe that even worse may be ahead.


Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

August 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Should Anyone Believe U.S. State Department Promises on Syria?

By Sophie Mangal | Inside Syria Media Center | August 21, 2017

On August 18, during a regular briefing, the Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, Heather Nauert, stated that the United States doesn’t intend to extend its stay in Syria after the Islamic State is defeated.

“That is our intent, to defeat ISIS and not do anything more than that. Syria must be governed by its own people and not by the United States or other forces,” Nauert added.

Thus, Ms Nauert commented on the statement of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) official Talal Silo, who in interview with Reuters noticed that the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria long after the jihadists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region.

According to Silo, Washington has a strategic interest in staying in the country following the defeat of terrorism for another several decades.

Actually, such a statement by the U.S. officials sounds a little bit strange and slightly hypocritical. Reuters correspondents have previously found out that seven American military bases are deployed on the territory of Syrian Kurdistan, which is located near the Syrian-Turkish border. However, the exact location of the bases is not revealed by the military command of the coalition, referring to security requirements.

Meanwhile, Reuters journalists witnessed how American military helicopters (Blackhawk and Apache) took off from the territory of a concrete plant to the southeast of the city of Kobani – where allegedly the largest American airbase in Syria is located. At the same time, the spokesman for Central Command Colonel John Thomas confirmed in April this year that this base is an additional location to launch aircraft to support U.S. and other anti-ISIS forces in the campaign to recapture the city of Raqqa.

After setting up the military bases in the northern part of Syria, Washington will unlikely hand over them to the Kurdish militia and moreover to the Syrian authorities. Most likely, even after theoretical victory over ISIS, the U.S. will reserve these areas as dividends for ‘fighting terrorism’.

Reserving vast territories in Syria, Washington will continue to wreak havoc and instability in the region by supporting the Kurds and attempting to dissect Syria and create several independent quasi-states on its territory.

The participation of Americans in military campaigns (Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan) shows us that if Washington comes into conflict it rarely leaves. But this pathological pattern can be broken in new geopolitical conditions.

August 21, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

Why Damascus Claims on US, UK Supplies of Chemicals to Syria ‘Cannot Be Ignored’

Sputnik – August 21, 2107

Damascus has accused the US and Britain of supplying toxic materials to Syria. According to political analyst Vladimir Shapovalov, the allegations are very serious and should be investigated.

The claims that the United States and United Kingdom supplied militant groups in Syria with toxic agents could be verified by a UN mission, said Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

Earlier this week, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad accused the US and the UK of supplying toxic agents to terrorists based on evidence found in Aleppo and a Damascus suburb.

These allegations are putting Washington and London in a situation where they cannot refuse an international probe into the matter, according to Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Center for Historical and Political Studies at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute.

“Russia’s stance in this situation is absolutely reasonable. Moreover, I think that the US and Britain should endorse it. If Washington and London block such an investigation the international community may have the impression that the two countries are responsible [for the deliveries of toxic agents to Syria] and trying to hide the facts,” Shapovalov told Radio Sputnik.

According to Shapovalov, the information revealed by the Syrian government is very serious and concerning and must be thoroughly investigated regardless of the current political climate.

“Any activities related to poisonous materials must be closely monitored and investigated. This should not be a one-sided game. It is necessary to consider any possibility of such deliveries, no matter where they can come from. As for the information revealed by Damascus, it is a very solid piece of evidence,” Shapovalov pointed out.

According to the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the toxic materials discovered in Aleppo and a Damascus suburb were produced by one British company and two American companies.”The special equipment found consisted of hand grenades and rounds for grenade launchers equipped with CS and CN toxic agents. … The chemical munitions were produced by the Federal Laboratories company in the US. The toxic agents were produced by Chemring Defence (UK) and NonLethal Technologies (US),” Mekdad said Wednesday.

He also underscored that in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, the use of toxic agents is permitted only to combat riots. It is prohibited to use them in warfare.

Commenting on the allegations, the Pentagon said that its assistance to Syrian opposition groups “does not now, nor has it ever, included chemical agents.”

In turn, a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office told Sputnik that the UK refutes any claims to the alleged supply of lethal equipment, including chemical weapons, to any of the conflicting sides in Syria.Several incidents involving toxic materials have been reported during the course of the Syrian conflict. The deadliest one took place in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013. According to varying estimates, it claimed from several hundred up to 1,500 lives. On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces announced that several dozen people had been killed by a suspected chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s province of Idlib. The US blamed Damascus for the incident without providing evidence to back this theory up. Syrian authorities refuted any involvement in the incident.

In June, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that its fact-finding mission confirmed that man-made chemical sarin was used in the Khan Shaikhoun attack, but did not determine who was responsible.Following the Ghouta attack, Syria joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This was the result of an agreement between Russia and the US on the destruction of chemical weapons in the country under the control of the OPCW and it prevented a US military intervention in Syria. In January 2016, the OPCW reported that all chemical weapons in Syria had been destroyed.

August 21, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Netanyahu to meet Putin amid Syrian army advances

Press TV | August 20, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday in the face of the Syrian army advances against militants, including those backed by Tel Aviv.

In a statement released on Saturday, Netanyahu’s office said the two sides would “discuss the latest developments in the region” during their meeting in the Black Sea resort.

The main issues that are expected to be raised at the meeting include Israel’s worries about a ceasefire agreement in Syria and a foothold which Tel Aviv thinks Iran is finding in the Arab country.

Last week, the Israeli premier claimed that Iran was increasing its presence in Syria as the Daesh terrorist group was being driven out of the country.

“I’ll give you a summary in one sentence—ISIS (Daesh) going out, Iran coming in,” Netanyahu said, summarizing a briefing with Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Later this week, an Israeli military delegation, headed by Cohen, will visit Washington for talks with senior White House and American officials.

Over the past few months, Daesh has retreated from much of the areas under its control amid sweeping gains made by Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters against the terror outfit.

Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said on Friday that the war on Syria had reached its “penultimate stage” as foreign powers that backed militant groups were changing their policies.

Iran has been providing advisory support to the Syrian military in its counter-terrorism operations.

On the contrary, Israel has been regularly attacking positions held by pro-Damascus forces in Syria, claiming that the attacks are retaliatory. Syria says the Israeli raids are meant to shore up the Takfiri terrorists.

There are also reports that Israel has been providing medical treatment to the extremists wounded in Syria and supplying arms to them.

Back in June, United Nations UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the growing interactions between Israeli armed forces and Syria militants could lead to escalation.

August 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Lebanon army discovers US-made weapons cache left by Nusra terrorists

This Photo purportedly shows a discovered weapons cache left behind by Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants in northeastern Lebanon.

This Photo purportedly shows a discovered weapons cache left behind by Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants in northeastern Lebanon.
Press TV – August 19, 2017

The Lebanese army has discovered a weapons cache left behind by defeated militants from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, in the northeast of the country.

The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA), citing an unnamed official from Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security, reported on Friday that a patrol of the intelligence agency had found an ammunition and missile cache in Wadi Hamid Valley east of the border town of Arsal, without providing further details.

However, Reuters quoted an unnamed security source as saying on Friday that the cache contained at least a surface-to air missile (SAM) and a number of US-made TOW anti-tank missiles as well as plenty of other types of shells and rockets.

The following photos of the cache were provided by the security source.

On July 29, commanders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement said the group had successfully concluded a week-long military offensive against al-Nusra on the outskirts of Arsal and the adjacent town of Flita in Syria, seizing land in the rugged, mountainous area and killing about 150 terrorists.

In August 2014, the al-Nusra and Daesh Takfiri terrorist groups overran Lebanon’s northeastern border town of Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.

Since then, Hezbollah and the Lebanese military have been defending Lebanon on the country’s northeastern border.

Friday’s development come as the Lebanese army has been targeting Daesh hideouts along the Syrian border over the past several days, regaining more areas from the terror group. It also comes after Syria accused the US and the UK of supplying chemical weapons to terrorists in the country.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Syria: As the War Continues, WMD Lies Linger

A special investigation team collects evidence

A special investigation team collects evidence
By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 18.08.2017

Despite the now historical lies exposed in the wake of the devastating US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003, the United States has attempted to use similar lies regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) repeatedly as a pretext for similar wars including in neighboring Syria.

The Syrian government – perhaps in an effort to head off another round of accusations,  threats, and direct military aggression carried out by the US – is leveling accusations against the United States itself and terrorist organizations it has funded, armed, and backed for the past 6 years of using chemical weapons – primarily to create a pretext for wider war.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad stated at a press conference that the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun, Idlib chemical attack was staged by US-backed militants, including members of the so-called “White Helmets,” a US and European funded front posing as humanitarian workers but who serve as auxiliaries for listed terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and its various Syrian affiliates.

As the Syrian military retakes territory from foreign-backed militants, munition warehouses and stockpiles, including those used for the production and deployment of chemical weapons for staged attacks, are being systematically uncovered. In them, chemical weapons – both lethal and nonlethal – provided by the United States and its allies are being discovered.

Mekdad would also point out that the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants did not serve any sort of tactical purpose, but was instead being used as a form of blackmail.

While Western-dominated “international” institutions will likely not accept any evidence provided by the Syrian government – the Syrian government’s narrative emerges as a far more logical explanation for the last 6 years of conflict and accusations made regarding chemical weapon use.

Chemical Weapons are Political, Not Tactical 

Despite claims by the Western media made in an attempt to enhance US lies regarding WMDs, chemical weapons are particularly ineffective on the battlefield – with conventional weapons being many times more effective.

This was revealed in detail by a study produced by the United States itself, conducted by the US Marine Corps regarding the devastating Iran-Iraq War fought between 1980-1988 which saw the extensive use of chemical weapons.

wm2

It goes without saying that gas masks were a must during the Iran-Iraq war of the mid 80s

The document titled, “Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War” under “Appendix B: Chemical Weapons,” provided a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the 8 year conflict. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial.

The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added):

Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.

We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.

Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.

According the US military’s own conclusions, the use of chemical weapons only enhance conventional warfare, but are not suitable for wiping out large swaths of enemy troops. Conventional weapons are deemed far more suitable for waging modern war.

The effectiveness of chemical weapons is such that the Syrian government could never justify their use, balancing their limited benefits against the knowledge the US was specifically seeking to use their use as a pretext for direct military intervention.

Thus, neither the Syrian government nor the foreign-backed militants it is fighting would benefit from their use in turning the tide of any specific battle, but should the US use chemical weapon deployments as a pretext, could intervene directly against the Syrian government, delivering victory to foreign-backed militants.

In essence, the only beneficiary of chemical weapon use by any side in Syria would be special interests in the US seeking regime change in Damascus.

Not only are outright lies regarding WMDs a known tactic repeatedly abused by the United States government worldwide, it has been caught repeatedly using this tactic in Syria. The number of ambiguous, unsubstantiated, or proven-false accusations made by the United States as it seeks a pretext for wider and more direct military intervention have multiplied over time as US-backed militants are pushed off the battlefield.

US Provocations, Lies, and Chemical Weapons 

Suspicious circumstances and familiar propaganda and diplomatic tactics were used by the US to rush the world to war – first in 2013 when an alleged chemical attack was carried out at the edge of Damascus. The attack followed multiple claims in 2012 by the US that the Syrian government was preparing such an attack, followed by threats of direct military intervention if the Syrian government did so.

This came at a time when it became apparent that quick regime change in Syria similar to that carried out by the US in Libya in 2011 was not possible and that only through direct military intervention would the US be able to topple the Syrian government.

In response, Syria relinquished its chemical weapons under a Russian-brokered deal, confirmed by UN inspectors. Despite this, chemical weapons continued turning up on the battlefield – followed by repeated attempts by the US to expand direct military intervention within Syrian borders each and every time.

No logical explanation has ever been provided by the United States – either by its politicians or its policymakers – as to why the Syrian government would repeatedly use ineffective chemical weapons in battles it was already winning with far more effective conventional weapons – and risk US military intervention.

Conversely, many of these attacks are carried out in areas held by terrorist organizations with direct access to the borders of their foreign sponsors. The more recent April 2017 alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun took place within the Idlib Governorate, directly on the border with NATO-member Turkey who has armed, supplied, and provided direct military support for Al Qaeda and its affiliates since the conflict began in 2011.

Consider the Source

The city of Idlib occupied by radical Islamists

The city of Idlib occupied by radical Islamists

Idlib has been controlled by Al Qaeda for years with even the New York Times and LA Times finally admitting as much.

The New York Times in a piece titled, “In a Syria Refuge, Extremists Exert Greater Control,” would admit:

“Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,” Brett H. McGurk, the United States envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said last month. “Idlib now is a huge problem.”

The LA Times in a piece titled, “Humanitarian groups fear aid is being diverted to terrorist group after militant takeover of Syrian province,” would reveal that torrents of supplies provided by the US, Europe, and their regional allies are still being poured into a city quite literally occupied by Al Qaeda, stating (emphasis added):

The recent takeover of the Syrian province of Idlib by an extremist organization has created a dilemma for the United States and other countries that send humanitarian aid to civilians and military aid to various rebel factions fighting the Syrian government.

It has become impossible to provide assistance without inadvertently supporting Al Nusra Front, a former affiliate of Al Qaeda that has been deemed a terrorist group by the U.S. government.

In reality, Al Qaeda’s domination of a region allegedly held by “rebels” provided billions in supplies, weapons, vehicles, training, and even direct military support by the West could only happen if Al Qaeda itself was receiving even more in state sponsorship – or were the recipients of this aid all along.

Both the New York Times and the LA Times in their articles, lace it with language meant to disarm readers from truly understanding the full scope of what the US has done in Syria. Claiming that the Al Nusra Front is a “former affiliate of Al Qaeda,” for instance, is supposed to create in the minds of readers the notion that they are no longer Al Qaeda, or terrorists when they are in fact very much still both.

The LA Times would even go as far as suggesting Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front would provide Western-backed organizations with “independence and neutrality.”

The LA Times also claims:

But cutting off the aid could spur a humanitarian disaster among the estimated 2 million civilians who live in Idlib and derail efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Efforts to “topple Syrian President Bashar Assad,” however, can only be done with an armed opposition – and as both the New York Times and LA Times admit, the only armed militants left in Syria are Al Qaeda.

What both newspapers are actually saying is that Al Qaeda has been cornered in Idlib where the US and its allies are still flooding with support, and that support quite literally for Al Qaeda will continue in an effort to topple the Syrian government.

This means that the process of fabricating chemical weapon attacks and using it as a pretext to directly intervene – on behalf of Al Qaeda – will continue as well, either to topple the government outright, or create a safe-haven protected by the US military for Al Qaeda in Idlib.

It is in this context then, that “humanitarian organizations” in Al Qaeda-held Idlib are claiming they are being targeted by chemical weapons allegedly deployed by the Syrian government.

The Syrian government and its allies have all but won the conflict and they have done so using conventional military weapons. They are also attempting in every way to expose these lingering and repetitive lies regarding WMDs wielded by the US, by inviting UN inspection teams to further explore newly liberated Syrian territory and further confirm that the Syrian government did indeed give up its chemical weapons as it agreed to in 2013.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

UN Calls for Syria Peace Talks in Oct./Nov.

Al-Manar | August 17, 2017

The United Nations hopes for “serious negotiation” between the government and a still-to-be-formed unified Syrian “opposition” in October or November this year, the U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.

“Regarding the [Syrian] government, we are counting very much on Russia, on Iran, on anyone who has got major influence, and on the government of Syria to be ready finally to initiate when they are invited to Geneva, a genuine, direct negotiation with whatever [opposition] platform comes out,” he told reporters.

De Mistura also said that a letter from Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu in August had paved the way for Russian military police to be staged along the route of a U.N.-Red Cross convoy which reached Douma in eastern Gouta near Damascus on Thursday, the first time since May.

De Mistura added that the aid convoys are being prepared to be sent to Foaa & Kefraya in addition to other towns.

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Pentagon Denies Sending Chemical Agents to Syrian Opposition Groups

Sputnik – August 16, 2017

The Pentagon said Wednesday it had never sent chemical agents to so-called Syrian opposition groups after Damascus accused the United States of supplying terrorists with toxic agents.

US military assistance to vetted Syrian opposition forces is limited to those fighting against the Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) and has never included chemical agents, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Wednesday.

The statement comes after Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad accused US and UK-based companies of supplying toxic agents to terrorists, adding that CS and CN substances, allegedly produced by NonLethal Technologies and Chemring Defence, were found in Aleppo and Damascus.

“Department of Defense assistance to Vetted Syrian Opposition groups is limited to those groups fighting ISIS [Daesh]. That assistance does NOT now, nor has it ever, included chemical agents like you describe,” Pahon said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the fact that the United States and the United Kingdom could have supplied toxic agents to militants in Syria is “beyond understanding.” The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in June that its fact-finding mission confirmed that man-made chemical sarin, a gas used as a chemical weapon, was used in an attack on Khan Shaikhoun in Idlib in early April, but did not determine who was responsible.

The US-backed militias blamed the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian government, despite Syrian President Assad told Sputnik following the attack in April that there was no chemical weapons  in Idlib.

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu Backs Partitioning Iraq for Kurdish State

teleSUR | August 14, 2017

During a meeting with a U.S. delegation, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed interest in partitioning Iraq.

The Prime Minister told the group of 33 congressmen that he favored the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the Arab country. Israel has a longstanding relationship with the Kurds, who remains one of its few non-Arab allies in the area.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a source who attended the meeting said Netanyahu referred to the Kurds as “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

Netanyahu previously spoke on the issue in 2014 when he said in a speech that Israel should “support the Kurdish aspiration for independence.”

Two months ago Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned about bids to break up Iraq, saying the partitioning of Arab countries serves the interests of Israel. “The Zionist regime seeks Iraq’s disintegration,” Larijani accused during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran.

A report published in the New Yorker magazine in 2004 said Israeli military and intelligence operatives were active in Kurdish areas and providing training for commando units.

According to the report, Israel has been expanding its presence in Kurdistan and encouraging Kurds, its allies in the region, to create an independent state.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

State owned Qatari propaganda bullhorn links Bashar al-Assad with US far-right

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | August 13, 2017

State owned Qatari propaganda bullhorn Al-Jazeera has tried to link Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad with the American far-right and in particular with the man currently under arrest for yesterday’s vehicle ramming incident in the United States.

First of all, Bashar al-Assad is a socialist. He is a member of Syria’s ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. Although the clue is in the name, it helps to understand the intellectual origins of Ba’athism.

The three leading founders of Ba’athism Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Zaki al-Arsuzi and Michel Aflaq were all Syrian Arabs, Aflaq being a Christian Arab with Salah and al-Arsuzi were Muslims. Ba’athism’s essence combines traditional Arab cultural values with the anti-imperialist concept of Arab nationalism while harnessing the ideas of traditional socialism as both a bulwark against imperialist aggression and as a means of allowing post-colonial peoples to elevate their economic independence efficiently and rapidly.

Ba’athism, unlike Marxist-Leninism is not anti-religious and encourages the integration of Islam and Christianity with modern forms of government. Ba’athist organisations throughout the Arab world continue to attract all varieties of both Muslim and Christian men and women. Religious tolerance under a secular government and female rights are key features of Ba’athism.

But somehow Al-Jazeera thinks this philosophy is a talking point of the America far-right.

The following is a quote from an Al-Jazeera piece on the man whose car was used in the attack on marches in Virginia.

“Others (other far-right Americans) showed support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who alt-rightists and other far-right activists have publicly stood with in recent months”.

There are several grave problems with this statement. Most so-called far-right and alt-right groups online are a combination of parody, semi-intelligible and often random rage, support for the iconography of Adolf Hitler and extreme hatred of anything that actually is or is falsely assumed to be Islamic or Arabic in nature. This is hardly a place where the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party would find support and in fact it does not find support in such places.

Of course many people in the United States and throughout the world support the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party of the Syrian President. They support it because they generally prefer a secular tolerant vision for the Middle East to the extremist Wahhabi Sunni dictatorship that the terrorists fighting the Syrian government seek to establish.

People who support a secular, tolerant Syria are not far right, they are best called ‘moderates’. Ironically, the Wahhabi extremists were called  ‘moderate rebels’ by the US, Turkish, Qatari and Saudi media throughout the duration of the conflict. A more accurate term for such people might be the far-right of the Middle East or perhaps better yet ‘alt-Islam’.

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Crying Wolf on Iran’s ‘Radical Empire’

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | August 10, 2017

At 94, Kissinger is living proof that bad spirit doesn’t mellow with age, yet still finds a market. Speaking at a forum alongside others with similarly dubious credentials in June – the “Margaret Thatcher Conference on Security 2017”, Dr Kissinger talked of his admiration for the “Iron Maiden”, and of how they shared a similar vision of a world controlled by London and Washington; an Atlanticist NATO vision.

Unlike Thatcher, Kissinger’s appraisal of “Putin’s Russia” reflected a certain sympathy for Russia’s position, and evident approval of Russia as a “vital element of European security”, but his view is hopelessly myopic:

“Is the wisest course to pressure Russia, and if necessary to punish it, until it accepts Western views of its internal and global order? Or is scope left for a political process that overcomes, or at least mitigates, the mutual alienation in pursuit of an agreed concept of world order?

Is the Russian border to be treated as a permanent zone of confrontation, or can it be shaped into a zone of potential cooperation, and what are the criteria for such a process? These are the questions of European order that need systematic consideration. Either concept requires a defence capability which removes temptation for Russian military pressure.”

I guess he means a THAAD capability… and the “agreed concept of World Order” means Russia should submit to the US world order. The deployment of the US missile defence system in Poland and Romania has already destroyed the possibility of any such agreement with Russia, just as the current deployment in South Korea has pre-empted any honest agreement with China over North Korea.

It was however Kissinger’s presentation of the crisis over Syria and Iraq which is of most interest. In common with much of the US establishment as well as that of Israel and Saudi Arabia, Kissinger sees Iran’s hands all over the region, while being blind to those of the US and its allies. Iraq has not been destroyed as a result of America’s “intervention”, motivated by a ruthless quest for oil and strategic control; by removing Saddam Hussein, America inadvertently facilitated Iranian influence on Baghdad, which is now a puppet of Tehran.

Even the “rise of ISIS” can be blamed on Iran, as a reaction to the alleged sectarian policies of the Baghdad government, in the same way that President Assad has been blamed for “allowing” IS to take over part of Syria. It’s necessary to point out that both assertions are egregious lies.

Into this fog of misinformation coming from the heart of Imperial power in London however, Kissinger inadvertently shone some light, exposing the workings of the “North Atlantic” deep state.

In a remark that might have been dismissed as the musings of a senescent Iranophobe still hoping to outlive the Islamic Republic, Kissinger claimed that the destruction of ISIS could lead to “the emergence of a radical Iranian empire” – stretching from Tehran to Beirut. He framed it like this:

“The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers—including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states—agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran? The answer is elusive because Russia and the Nato countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire.”

Leaving aside some details, such as his failure to mention that the “territory” to be “inherited” already belongs to Syria, so the answer to his disingenuous question is anything but “elusive”, we might notice that this is hardly a new idea. Not only has the threat of an “Iranian empire” been the excuse for Israeli belligerence and unprovoked aggression in Lebanon and Syria for decades, but there is convincing evidence that the creation of the “Islamic State” and the covert support for Da’esh/IS forces was a conspiracy specifically aimed at Iran.

The DIA document from 2012 that described this conspiracy, whose veracity was confirmed by former DIA chief Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has been quoted so often that it hardly needs repeating:

 “8.C. If the situation unravels (following the movement of AQI into Syria) there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Deir al Zour), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian Regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”

Some useful extra analysis on this conspiracy – and what else could we call it? – is provided by Nafeez Ahmed here, and of course by Flynn himself in his August 2015 interview with Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera.

Well now the situation IS “unravelling” for the US and its co-conspirators, as the forces that came in the Da’esh Trojan Horse are nearly routed and Syria’s Russian and Iranian allies decide how to deal with their increasingly desperate back-up crew. With Syrian forces advancing on Deir al Zour from the North and West, and Iraqi forces closing in from the East, the years of planning and billions invested in the American project to cut off Iran look set to be wasted.

Crying wolf on Tehran’s “radical empire” just isn’t going to work again!

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments