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‘Israel is Lying, What They Bombed in 2007 Wasn’t a Nuclear Facility’ – Analyst

Sputnik – March 22, 2018

Israel’s Defense Forces stated that four Israeli jets destroyed a nuclear facility in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor in 2007. Sputnik discussed the reasons why this announcement has been made now with Dr. Taleb Ibrahim, a Syrian political analyst and deputy director of the Damascus Centre for Strategic Studies.

Sputnik: Why has this information been disclosed only now, after eleven years?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that Israel, the Israelis are lying because what they bombed in 2007 was not a nuclear facility because it is very well known that Syria doesn’t have such kinds of facilities and actually there isn’t any nuclear program in Syria. They targeted a certain military base in Syria under the pretext of attacking a nuclear facility, so because of that at the present time they are revealing that to send a signal to Iran that they are ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities and the Israeli air force is able to reach any place in the region; I think this is only a message of deterrence against Iran or physiological deterrence against Iran, not any more.

Sputnik: Do you think Israel is able to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, does it have the capability?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: No, never, because let us be realistic here, Iranian nuclear facilities are buried in the depth of the ground in remote places, this is first, because when Israel bombed the Iraqi [civilian] nuclear reactor in 1982 and when they bombed Syria’s [military] facility, that attack gave a message to the Iranian leadership that something might happen in Iran.

Sputnik: How will this announcement affect Israeli-Syria relations? What impact would it have on the already tense situation in the region now?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that the revelation about bombing the Syrian facility will add more and more tension to the explosive situation between Syria and Israel. I think Syria will finally respond to all Israeli attacks on Syrian territory that [have transpired] from 2007 until the present time, and I think the shooting down of the Israeli aircraft a few weeks ago was a message to Israel that everything is changing, the rules of the game have changed, and now Syria is much stronger than at any time in its history, it enjoys an active Russian military presence and active Russian support and active Iranian support. So I think Syria will bomb but when and how I’m not sure about that but, of course, there will be a response, and the Middle East should be stable until a permanent and just peace changes the situation between Syria and Israel.

Sputnik: What are your hopes and wishes for the future moving forward for relations between Israel and Syria? What can you advise both leaders in terms of the best advice?

Dr. Taleb Ibrahim: I think that the most important advice and the most important vital issue is to make peace between the two countries. I’ve read an article by Uri Sagi who was Director of the Israeli Military Intelligence years ago, and he said we’ve lost a very great chance when we couldn’t reach peace between Syria and Israel in the era of ex-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. So making peace between the two countries will stabilize the Middle East, and at that point there will be no tension even between Israel and Iran and no tension between Israel and Lebanon. I think that a permanent and complete peace in all of the region can be reached by regaining the Golan Heights and by giving the Palestinians their own state, this is something that will normalize the situation for all populations living in the area.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Russian Military Warns: a Major War in Syria Is Imminent

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.03.2018

On March 17, the Russian General Staff warned about an imminent attack on Syria. The statement did not elaborate. Of course, some information is classified but an independent and impartial analysis of publicly available information leads one to the same conclusion. Let’s look at the facts.

There are warships deployed by US Navy in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. They are ready to launch roughly 400 long-range Tomahawks against a target in the Middle East on any given day. Sea-launched cruise missiles were used to strike Syria in April. Anything that is at all related to the military operations on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is hush-hush information, but it’s an open secret that the strategic bombers based there can launch at least a hundred cruise missiles and then use other high-precision munitions in a follow-up attack. On average, one bomber carries 20 AGM-86 ALCMs. Five bombers are believed to be normally stationed on this island that is off-limits to inquisitive outsiders. This means that at least 500 cruise missiles can be fired on short notice.

On March 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Great Britain, France, and some additional countries besides the US had special forces operating in Syria that were engaging the Syrian Army directly. But it’s not just commandos.

It was reported on March 16 that the UK would be stationing a significant number of troops at the US-controlled Al-Tanf military base, adjacent to the Iraqi border. This facility is prominently featured in NATO’s war planning in Syria. It blocks the corridor linking Iran to Lebanon via Syria and Iraq. The size of the deployment — about 2,300 troops accompanied by tanks and helicopters — is too significant just to be intended to fight Islamic State militants who are already on the run.

Before that, the US had already sent 600 troops with armored vehicles to the base. And American reinforcements have also been sent to the Omar oil field.

On March 12, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened military action against Syria. Experience has shown that the US will strike first and think about explanations later. It’ll no doubt “invent” some pretext to justify its actions.

Tensions have risen since last week. For instance, the mainstream media raised a ruckus over a mysterious “large underground” North Korean military base in Syria! This story about Pyongyang helping Syria to rebuild its chemical stockpiles and other urban legends are going viral.

The escalation coincided with the March 16 meeting between the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish foreign ministers in Astana to discuss further plans to bring peace to Syria, including expanding the concept of the de-escalation zones. That meeting laid the ground for a summit in Istanbul on April 4. There are about two weeks still to go. This top-level event could produce landmark decisions that might foil the West’s plans in Syria. Not much time is left. From the American perspective, this calls for urgent action to stymie that process.

Washington’s plan includes the goal of partitioning Syria in such a way that a large chunk of it would remain under the control of the US-led coalition. The Americans are already assembling municipal councils on the lands east of the Euphrates River. This area must be retained at any cost in order to ensure that Washington has a say in the future settlement of this war-torn country, otherwise all the hard work put in so far will go down the drain, undercutting America’s global standing and diminishing its clout in the Middle East. Losing Syria would be tantamount to suffering a major defeat in its confrontation with Iran, which it considers its arch-enemy. The plans include a rollback of Russian forces. Syria is the right place to do that. If the Russian military is openly warning the world of an imminent strike, that is a serious threat. And it does not look like a one-strike operation. This time we’re in for something much more serious — a large-scale operation to “contain” Russia, beat back Iran, win the support of the rich oil-exporting Arab nations and make them pay huge sums for American weapons, and show the world the US is omnipresent and adamant in its desire to dictate its will.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel admits to launching military attack on Syria in 2007, warns region of more

Press TV – March 21, 2018

Israel has formally admitted that it had attacked and destroyed a site in eastern Syria back in 2007, warning the region of more such assaults.

The announcement by the Israeli military through declassified documents came on Wednesday about “Operation Out of the Box” against what Israel claims to be a nuclear reactor in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

For over 10 years, the Israeli military had prohibited discussions about the already well-known and widely reported secret.

The new declassified materials included photographs and cockpit video said to show the moment that an airstrike targeted Syria’s Al-Kubar facility.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Mossad confirmed the existence of the Syrian site in March 2007. In the months that followed, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to pressure former US President George W. Bush to attack the site.

In July 2007, after Bush refused Israel’s demands, Olmert convened his security cabinet, which ultimately concluded that the alleged reactor had to be destroyed.

Before midnight on September 5, 2007, four F-15 jets and four F-16 warplanes entered the Syrian airspace via Turkey, dropping nearly 17 tons of bombs on the facility.

On Wednesday, the Israeli minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, said the 2007 strike was a message to Israel’s enemies.

He claimed, “The motivation of our enemies has increased in recent years, but the strength of our army, our air force and our intelligence capabilities have increased compared with the capabilities we had in 2007.”

Syria, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has always dismissed reports that the site was a nuclear reactor. Damascus said that the destroyed complex was a military site under construction.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vehemently denied that his country had built a nuclear reactor in violation of its commitments under the NPT and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 2017, Syria’s Permanent Representative at the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari lashed out at the Security Council and the IAEA for their failure to denounce Israel’s blatant military attack in 2007, noting that Israel refused to cooperate with the IAEA in investigating the possible contamination caused by the Israeli rockets and the materials used to destroy the site.

Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with more than 200 undeclared nuclear warheads. Tel Aviv has rejected global calls to join the NPT and does not allow international inspectors to observe its controversial nuclear program.

Syria has on numerous occasions slammed the Western countries for supplying Israel with nuclear materials in a blatant violation of the NPT and even helping it to keep its nuclear activities secret.

There has been a sharp hike in Israeli acts of aggression against Syria since 2011, when the Arab country plunged into a foreign-backed crisis targeting the government in Damascus.

Israel has, ever since, launched military attacks on targets in Syria in an apparent attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats on the battlefield with Syrian government forces, who are fighting to liberate the countries from the clutches of foreign-backed militant groups.

The latest such attacks took place on February 20, when Israeli warplanes bombed a Syrian army facility in central Syria. The Syrian military hit at least one Israeli F-16 returning from the bombing raid.

On several occasions, the Syrian army has confiscated Israeli-made arms and military equipment from militants fighting pro-Damascus forces. Israel has also been providing medical treatment to the extremist militants wounded in Syria.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

US War Plans: Kurdish land bridge to Israel?

By Petri Krohn | The Duran | March 19, 2018

Russia, Turkey and the United States have come to a tacit agreement that the final settlement of the Syrian civil war will include population transfers, where isolated problem populations are “ethnically cleansed” and moved to larger, economically and logistically more viable larger enclaves.

The relationship of these “cantons” to each other and to the Syrian state will be a matter for the political peace negotiations.

The United States did not protest the ethnic cleansing of Afrin of its almost exclusively Kurdish population. These Kurds are needed to strengthen the US occupation zone east of the Euphrates. America nor Israel has any use for Afrin, especially since dreams of a Kurdish or ISIS corridor to the Mediterranean have permanently been curtailed.

On the other hand, the US has shown its willingness to massacre hundreds of Syrians and Russians to demonstrate its ownership of some key points of Syrian geography. The locations of these points of contention might reveal a grand geopolitical scheme of the US and its allies.

The points:

  • Everything east of the Euphrates, including the eastern bank of Deir ez-Zor.
  • The oilfields east of Deir ez-Zor.
  • Al Tanf border crossing and surrounding area on the main road from Damascus to Baghdad.
  • The Daraa border crossing, just south of Daraa.

Several key places are held by ISIS, possibly with the tacit support of US.

It is claimed that the reason the U.S. needs to occupy the Al Tanf border crossing is to block the land corridor between Iran and Lebanon and thus prevent Iran from supplying Hezbollah. The real reason may be different. If pro-U.S. and pro-Israel forces managed to take control of the Syrian side of the Jordan–Syria and the Iraq–Syria borders then it would enable Israel to supply a Kurdish protectorate in eastern Syria.

The area from the rebel enclave around Daraa to Abu Kemal on the Euphrates is mainly desert. If pipelines could be built on this strip of land then Israel could steal oil from “Kurdish” oilfields and even water from the Euphrates.

The United States may be about to start a land invasion of Syria. The offensive would start from the US base at the Al Tanf border crossing and extend through Abu Kemal to the American and Kurdish-held areas on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The troops would be supplied through Jordan. It is possible that Britain would also take part in this operation.

The 2,400 man strong U.S. 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Haifa in Israel on March 14, 2018 aboard the three US Navy ships of the Iwo Jima amphibious ready group. The Marines may be on their way to the Al Tanf base through Jordan. Another 200 U.S. troops are said to have arrived in Al Tanf the previous week. Unconfirmed rumors claim that an additional 2,300 British troops also arrived at the base along with Challenger tanks and Cobra and Black Hawk helicopters.

The attack would start with with a massive cruise missile launch on Damascus from NATO warships. The ships are said to be assembling in the eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Russia has promised to retaliate against any ships launching missiles at Syria.

This warning was first stated by the Russian General Staff on March 13 and again on March 17. The missile attack would however be only the first part of a NATO attack. It would be quickly followed by a land invasion from Al Tanf. As I am writing this, I hear talk of even larger attack plans.

Attacks by the U.S. and U.S. proxies have the tendency to coincide with ISIS attacks in the same area. ISIS has recently launched massive attacks along the Euphrates river and more may be planned.

Any Western aggression on Syria would have to be preceded by a false-flag provocation by Syrian opposition forces. Britain pays lip service to international law and it could not launch a war of aggression without an effective propaganda campaign. Russia claims to have information that a staged chemical weapons attack is being prepared. The March 17th warning specifically says that the preparations are happening in southern Syria near the Jordanian border under U.S. supervision.

It now seems evident that to real reason for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal‎ was to drum up British support for a war against Syria and Russia. One must must thus ask who would most gains from such a war. If the above analysis is correct, then the answer would be Israel.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Scramble for Syria opens up disturbing scenarios

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | March 20, 2018

The US State Department issued a strong statement on March 19 following the fall of Afrin, the Kurdish city in northwestern Syria to the Turkish forces. The statement is highly critical of Turkey’s military operation in Afrin. It expresses concern over the humanitarian situation and of looting in Afrin by the occupation forces. Importantly, it alleges once again that the Turkish operation “has distracted from the ‘Defeat ISIS’ campaign and provided opportunity for ISIS to begin reconstituting in some areas. This is a serious and growing concern.”

The statement can be seen as an expression of sympathy toward the Kurds who suffered a crushing defeat in Afrin. This is the least that Washington could do to salvage its reputation among the Kurds. The US claims that it “does not operate in the area of northwest Syria, where Afrin is located. We remain committed to our NATO ally Turkey, to include their legitimate security concerns.” But Turkish President Recep Erdogan has contradicted the US stance of non-involvement in Afrin. He now alleges that the US tried to “deceive” Turkey. Erdogan said today in Ankara at a meeting of the ruling party,

  • “If we are strategic partners, you (US) will have to respect us and move along with us. You tried to deceive us. You sent 5,000 trucks of weapons there. You sent more than 2,000 trucks of ammunition there. We wanted weapons from you to buy with our money, but you did not give any to us. What kind of a strategic partnership or solidarity is this?”
  • “The U.S. spokesperson makes a comment and says, ‘We are concerned about the situation in Afrin.’ Where were you when we transmitted our concerns to you? Where were you when we said ‘let’s clean the terrorist organization from there?”

It is apparent that Washington is indulging in doublespeak. At any rate, Washington’s priority at the moment will be to pile pressure on Turkey over the chaotic situation in Afrin (which was captured by Turkish forces on March 18) and, in reality, to somehow dissuade Erdogan from extending the military operation to the northeastern region (east of Afrin), which are under the control of the Kurdish militia and the US forces.

Erdogan is keeping the Americans on tenterhooks as regards his next move. He asserted on Monday that Turkish troops would indeed press eastward, targeting territory where US forces are stationed, all the way into Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains. There is no reason to disbelieve him. The point is, there is massive popular support in Turkey for Erdogan’s muscular policy towards the Kurds – and for standing up to the US. In political terms, Erdogan can hope to exploit the wave of nationalism sweeping Turkey. The parliamentary and presidential elections are due next year in Turkey.

Unsurprisingly, Moscow and Tehran have kept quiet and left the field to Turkey and the US to throw brickbats at each other. They have reason to be pleased that the US is unable to protect the Kurdish militia, its key ally in Syria, from the Turkish assault. Besides, they are able to press ahead with their own operations against the extremist forces (that used to be previously aligned with the US and Turkey) in Ghouta in eastern Damascus and Idlib province in the extreme northwest.

Evidently, from the Russian and Iranian perspective, Erdogan is doing a magnificent job by undermining the US strategy in Syria to maintain an open-ended military presence. The Kurdish militia who are having an existential fight on their hands with the Turkish military are not going to be in a position to be the US’ proxies for very long.

On the other hand, Russia and Iran also remain wary of Turkey’s intentions, especially a Turkish attempt to create a ‘buffer zone’ in northern Syria. As it is, the US has carved out a huge swathe of land in northern Syria east of Euphrates, which comprises some of Syria’s best agricultural lands and water resources and over half of Syria’s entire oil and gas fields. (A trilateral Turkish-Russian-Iranian presidential summit is due to take place in Istanbul on April 4.)

Another complicating factor is that Russia has its own interests to pursue vis-à-vis Turkey and the Kurds. Then, there is also the overarching US-Russia competition to placate Turkey. All in all, the Syrian war is not ending as many observers had earlier envisaged, but is actually mutating into new forms. Read an insightful interview, here, with a leading expert on Syria, Professor Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

US Planning a Terrorist False Flag Chemical Attack to Justify Bombing Syria: Russia Says It Will Respond

By Federico PIERACCINI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 20.03.2018

Events in Syria increasingly resemble a direct confrontation between major powers rather than a proxy war. Lavrov’s words, delivered a few days ago, reveal the critical phase of international relations the world is going through, with a potentially devastating conflict ready to ignite in the Middle East region.

An alarming warning by Sergei Lavrov and Chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, was announced via the RT broadcaster and several Russian media. The content is explosive and deserving of the widest possible dissemination. Gerasimov claimed that Moscow had “reliable information that fighters are preparing to stage the use by government troops of chemical weapons against the civilian population.” He alleged that the US intends to accuse Assad’s troops of using chemical weapons against civilians, and then “carry out a bombing attack” on Damascus. Gerasimov warned that Russia would “take retaliatory measures” if the US targeted areas where its military are located in the Syrian capital. “Russian military advisers, representatives of the Center for Reconciliation and members of military police” are currently in the Syrian capital, Gerasimov said, adding that in the event that the lives of Russian military personnel are placed in danger, the Russian Armed Forces will respond with certain measure to both “missiles” and their “launchers”. A few hours earlier, Lavrov responded, “criticizing the remarks by the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, about Washington’s readiness to “bomb Damascus and even the presidential palace of Bashar Assad, regardless [of the] presence of the Russian representatives there.” “It is an absolutely irresponsible statement,” the Russian top diplomat added.

The words of Gerasimov are even more dire, since he explains how the United States and its allies are preparing the ground to justify an attack on Syria. According to reports, terrorists stationed in Al-Tanf (an illegal US military base in Syria) received 20 tons of chlorine gas and detonators, disguised as cigarette packs, in order to attack in an area under the control of the terrorists that is densely inhabited by civilians. What would then happen is already obvious, with the White Helmets (AKA Al-Qaeda) and mainstream media ready to broadcast the images of the victims of the attack, tugging at the heartstrings of Western viewers otherwise unaware of the conspiracy being played out. Efforts to frame Russia have already reached the highest alert levels, with the false-flag poisoning of the Russian spy in the United Kingdom. It seems that there is a significant effort by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany to provoke a military confrontation with Moscow. How else are we able to interpret threats from Macron to strike Damascus, together with his ominous advice to foreign journalists not to go to Damascus in the coming days and, for those already there, to leave the capital immediately? There has even been chatter within diplomatic circles that suggest that UN personnel are leaving Damascus. This could be psychological warfare, or it could be a prelude to war. With the stakes so high, we cannot afford to ignore any detail, even if it may be disinformation. The American attack seems imminent, with mounting signs of movements of American and Russian warships in the Mediterranean in attack formation.

Russian military representatives have reiterated that in the event of an attack, they will respond by hitting both the missiles launched as well as the ships from which the missiles were launched. Things are getting pretty dicey, and the risk of a direct confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation are rising with every passing hour. The transfer of numerous US aircraft from Incirlik, Turkey, to Al-Azrak, Jordan, is another indication of preparations for an attack, since the forces moved to Jordan are close to the Al-Tanf base. The proposed strategy could involve an assault on the city of Daraa, for the purposes of securing the borders between Syria and Jordan and Syria and Israel.

The warnings raised by Lavrov and Gerasimov appear unprecedented, given that they detail a plan already set in course, evidently approved at the highest levels and aimed at provoking and justifying an attack on Syria; and attack that would encompass the Russian forces in Syria. Tensions continue to grow, following Russia’s shooting down of a drone by two surface-to-air missiles launched from its Hmeimim Air Base. Moscow has even deployed to the Mediterranean the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate Admiral Essen and the Krivak II-class anti-submarine frigate Pytivyy. Both are prepared for anti-ship and anti-submarine operations. Sources claim that this deployment was planned some time ago and is part of a routine deployment of the Russian navy. But during such a delicate moment, it pays to focus on every detail. Without resorting to excessive alarmism, if Lavrov said that “the movements of the warships of the United States and its allies in the Mediterranean seem compatible with the strategy of using this chemical attack to justify an attack on the Syrian Arab army and government installations”, then it is reasonable to speculate on whether the Russian ships are moving in to the area to counter any provocations.

There are two fundamental flaws in the reasoning of US policy-makers and the US military establishment. They are convinced that an American demonstration of strength (involving a large number of cruise missile launched against Syria through a significant involvement of aircraft carriers as well as bombers) would stun Russia into passivity. Furthermore, US military generals are convinced that Syria and Russia do not have the ability to defend themselves for an extended period of time. They seem to be fooling themselves with their own propaganda. As their Israeli colleagues have already learned, such an assumption is mistaken. While the idea that a high level of firepower would meet with some kind of success, the possibility of a response from Syrian and Russian forces remains. And this possibility seems not to have been given sufficient weight by the US and her allies.

How would the American military and the Trump presidency react to a US warship being sunk by anti-ship missiles? It would only serve to demonstrate how vulnerable American naval forces are when confronted with such advanced weapons. It would represent a tremendous shock for the US military, possibly the biggest shock since the end of WWII. What would Trump and the generals in charge do? They would respond with further bombardment of Russian forces, leaving themselves open to a devastating Russian response. The conflict could escalate within the space of a few minutes, leading to a situation where there could be no possible winners.

The normal reasoning I employ when considering total annihilation is placed to one side when US special forces deliver 20 tons of chlorine gas to Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria order to execute a false flag for the purposes of blaming Damascus and Moscow. If we connect this event to what is currently happening in the United Kingdom, and the hysteria in the United States surrounding alleged Russian hacking during the American elections, we can understand just how much international relations have deteriorated. This situation is reminiscent of Ukraine in 2015. Ukrainian forces suffered repeated defeats at the hands of the Donbass resistance, being contained in the thousands in different “cauldrons. Within NATO headquarters in Brussels during that time, there was open discussion over sending a contingent to support Ukrainian troops. The plan, however, was never realized, given the possibility of direct confrontation in Ukraine between the Russian Federation and NATO.

In recent months, the possibility of a war on the Korean Peninsula has also been evoked and perhaps simultaneously averted by the unpredictable consequences for both Seoul and the American forces in the region.

In Syria, the approach of Washington and its diplomatic and military emissaries seems more reckless and less tied to a chain of command where the buck stops at the American president. It seems that the US deep state in Syria has a greater and more hidden control over American forces, sabotaging every agreement made between Moscow and Washington. We saw this during the Obama presidency, where the US Air Force bombed government troops in Deir ez-Zor only a few hours after a ceasefire had been reached between Lavrov and Secretary of State Kerry.

The grave circumstances about which we write seem to be without precedent, seeming as they do to lead towards a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. Alas, in such circumstances, we can only hope for the best but prepare for the worst; we can only wait to read on the mainstream media notifications of the latest chemical attack in Syria. We can only hope that there is someone in Washington retaining enough sense to factor in the devastating consequences of an attack on Damascus and the Russian forces in the region.

Never before has the region been on the verge of such an explosion as in the next few hours — as a result of the typically reckless actions of the United States.

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

US Splurges More Cash on Balkans Arms for Syria

Pentagon shopping spree for Balkans arms to equip Syrian rebels shows no sign of abating, after plans have emerged for US to buy a further 25,000 Kalashnikov-style rifles and 20 million bullets.

By Lawrence Marzouk, Ivan Angelovski, Juliana Ruhfus, Jelena Cosic | Balkan Insight | March 15, 2018

The Pentagon is planning to spend $162.5 million on weapons, ammunition and other equipment in 2019 to arm Syrian forces fighting Islamic State, ISIS, a recently released budget report reveals.

The amount comes on top of the $2.2 billion already designated by the US for arms to Syrian fighters [and other Pentagon-backed groups] from former Eastern Bloc countries – which BIRN revealed in investigation in September last year.

The operation of arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with former Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition, known as the Syria Train and Equip programme, has drawn almost entirely from the Balkans and Central Europe to date, a trend that is likely to continue throughout 2018 and 2019.

The new details of the spending have emerged as Al Jazeera English broadcasts “America’s Guns – Pipeline to Syria”, a joint investigation with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

The probe found further evidence that arms were flowing from the Balkans to the Pentagon’s military projects in the Middle East.

BIRN tracked more than 20 Pentagon-commissioned flights leaving the island airport of Krk, Croatia, carrying unidentified military equipment to US bases, mostly in the Middle East.

The pattern of these airlifts being accompanied by inbound flights from the Azeri cargo firm Silk Way, first revealed by BIRN last October, has continued.

Serbia’s air aviation directorate told BIRN that a Silk Way flight from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Rijeka on October 5, 2017, which overflew their airspace, was given a permit for the “transportation of arms and dangerous goods”.

The Croatian authorities have refused to confirm or deny whether the flights are carrying weapons to Syria.

Questions have been raised about the ability of the US to keep track of its deliveries to anti-ISIS fighters, with evidence that Pentagon-purchased equipment is finding its way also to Islamist groups.

James Bevan, executive director of Conflict Armament Research, has documented more than 40,000 items found with ISIS in Syria, and found that many had originally been supplied by the Pentagon to its allies.

“The main issue is that if you supply weapons to non-state actors, you have very little control over what happens to those weapons,” Bevan explained, “particularly in a situation like Syria, where we have multiple competing groups.”

“That means, as somebody who is supplying weapons into that conflict, you really have no control over where they are going,” he added.

The Pentagon insists that US weapons deliveries to Syria are “incremental” and intended only for specific operations.

The new batch of weapons is needed, according to the latest Pentagon budget, to create a force capable of ensuring ”a safe and secure environment and capable of countering ISIS 2.0 and AQ [Al Qaeda].”

The equipment will be provided to 65,000 “Vetted Syrian Opposition” fighters – 30,000 of which will be tasked with offensive combat missions while the remaining 35,000 will become part of the new “Internal Security Forces”, whose job it will be to maintain security in “liberated areas”.

Currently, the Pentagon has around 30,000 vetted fighters on its books, mostly from the 50,000-strong Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF.

The US military said in January that half of the new “Internal Security Forces” – branded the “Border Security Force” at the time – would be made up of former members of the SDF.

The SDF is a coalition of different militia, widely considered to be Kurdish-led but, according to the Pentagon, split equally between Kurds and Arabs.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, YPG, is one of its most important elements and played a critical role in the battle for Raqqa, the former “capital” of the Islamic State group.

The Turkish government, however, argues that it is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara considers a terrorist group. It launched an offensive against the YPG in January, placing it on a collision course with its NATO allies.

The Pentagon has sought to assuage Turkey fears by insisting that the weapons’ pipeline to these vetted forces is “mission-specific” and that new recruits would be “comprised of local forces that are demographically representative”.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

The US Warns Damascus over the Use of Deadly Substances: Blaming Others for One’s Own Sins

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 18.03.2018

On March 12, US Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, announced at a Security Council meeting that the US will take action on its own if that organization fails to establish a cease-fire and end the chemical attacks and suffering of civilians as it pushes for a new 30-day truce in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta. She forces the circulation of a new draft resolution, in view of the failure of the previous one. In a nutshell, the US has adopted a “do what I tell you or else” approach. Sounds like an ultimatum! The UK expressed its readiness to join the US. So did France.

Washington blames Russia, Syria, and Iran for ignoring a 30-day cease-fire mandated by the UN last month. Defense Secretary James Mattis declared that the US is concerned over the reports of chlorine-gas use by Syria’s government. CIA director Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated for secretary of state, stated that President Donald Trump will not turn a blind eye to chemical attacks.

It should be noted that Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons (CW) before. This fact has been established by UN investigators. In 2017, the use of toxic agents by rebels was acknowledged by the US State Department. But the US is denying any possibility that the rebels might have staged a provocation in Eastern Ghouta, just as the Russian General Staff had warned. Just a few days ago the Syrian army found a CW lab in that area.

Nikki Hailey’s statement prompted a warning from Moscow that it will take measures to protect the lives of its servicemen and strike back if need be. On March 13, the Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, alleged that the militants were preparing a provocation in Syria that would use chemical agents, intended to justify a massive US strike on Syria’s military sites and troops.

So, the US is adopting a “J’accuse” tone, threatening the use of force with no evidence to support its CW accusations while pointing its finger at Syria’s government, blaming it for firing on the fighters of Al-Nusra, the group excluded from the cease-fire agreements. But it’s Russia, not the US, who enforced five-hour daily breaks in the fighting to enable the evacuation of civilians and the injured from the embattled areas, allowing some deliveries of humanitarian aid.

Now — about the US concern over civilians suffering from chemical attacks. Here we go again: the pot calling the kettle black.

Exactly one year ago, US officials had to confirm that they had used depleted uranium (DU) on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. DU is a bit of a gray area, as no international agreement explicitly bans it. In 2012, the UN General Assembly tried to adopt a resolution restricting its use. The move was supported by 155 states. Twenty-seven states abstained, and only four voted against it. Of course, the US was among those four, not the 155. In 2014, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report on depleted-uranium munitions. The paper concluded that direct contact with DU could “result in exposures of radiological significance.”

The US-led coalition used white phosphorus, a potentially lethal substance, in populated areas during its operations in Iraq and Syria. One of those places was Mosul — the second largest Iraqi city. This fact was confirmed by high-ranking commanders on the field amidst rising criticism. The substance was used during the operation to push the Islamic State (IS) out of the Syrian city of Raqqa — the unofficial IS capital. American cluster bombs have been used in Yemen. The US Defense Department says it won’t give up cluster munitions because they have a legitimate use in military operations. Field commanders are authorized to use them at their discretion. While America is concerned over chemical attacks in Eastern Ghouta, the world is concerned over America’s use of deadly substances in Iraq and Syria that have resulted in civilian casualties.

The US-led coalition wants the rebels to stay in the embattled area — the only springboard from which to strike Damascus. It also wants to demonstrate to the Arab countries its own allegiance to the principle of “responsibility to protect,” while painting those who are backing Syria, such as Russia, as evildoers. It’s part of the current campaign to make Russia look like a rogue state. The clamor over its support of Syria’s offensive in Eastern Ghouta has been timed to coincide with the British accusations of Moscow’s complicity in the “spy poisoning scandal.” These are links in one and the same chain.

March 18, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Syria: The Horrible End Versus the Endless Horror

By Randy Shields • Unz Review • March 17, 2018

Neocon Max Boot now says it’s better for the Syrian people if Assad stays in power. But we still can’t get the American left to come to its senses about Syria.

Louis Proyect says in Counterpunch that the suffering coming out of East Ghouta is “on a massive scale reminiscent of Leningrad in 1941.”

According to Wiki, a million and a half people died during the Leningrad siege. According to the authoritative-sounding Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — one anti-Assad guy in a Coventry flat, relying mostly on reports from anti-Assad fighters — 1,000 people have been killed in East Ghouta, horrible to be sure but not Leningrad. In Leningrad, people were reduced to cannibalism. There was cannibalism in Syria in 2013: a commander for the left’s beloved Free Syrian Army cut the lungs out of a Syrian Army soldier and ate them on camera. A “moderate” rebel eminently worthy of CIA dollars — and spicy recipes.

While bringing up Lou-dicrous comparisons to 1941 Leningrad, Proyect fails to mention the US-destroyed Raqqa and Mosul from which dead bodies are still being found and dragged out of the rubble. Rest assured that the Great Satan will not rebuild those cities as Assad is doing with Palmyra and Aleppo. To the colonized mind of the American left, the crimes of America’s enemies are always worse and more worth talking about than the crimes of America itself. US airstrikes were responsible for most of the 40,000 dead civilians in Mosul and over 3,000 in Raqqa.

By the way, two thirds of the casualties in Syria have been Syrian soldiers and anti-government fighters. The anti-Assad left and the mockingbird media would have us believe that all 345,000 Syrian deaths have been civilians who Assad and Putin deliberately, personally and exclusively killed. The pressitutes tell us how unpopular the Alawite Assad is while the entire world sees a Sunni majority army fighting to the death for him and the rest of Syria by killing off Wahhabist Sunni fanatics. Huh? (Syria has never been a “civil war” or a “sectarian conflict” — it’s been a pre-planned destruction led by the US, piggy-backing on legitimate grievances of the Syrian working class.)

Interestingly, the anti-Assad left never tells us the names of the armed opposition groups that it supports. Why? Is it because they are al-Qaeda offshoots? Is it because they are so tiny and few in number that they are inconsequential and/or the Syrian working class majority don’t support them? Is it because they collaborated with the most regressive fundamentalist groups and/or got wiped out by them? The anti-Assad left seems to live in an ivory tower that got destroyed somewhere around 2012 — they never say what should be done now.

Then Proyect makes a false equivalency between Israel bombing Gaza in response to Hamas’ largely ineffectual rockets and the Syrian government bombing terrorists in East Ghouta who have been shelling Damascus for years with howitzers, mortars and GRAD rockets, killing and wounding thousands of civilians. Gazans are occupied and have legitimate rights under international law to resist, including violently.

Proyect quotes Counterpunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair that aerial bombing of cities is a war crime. I couldn’t agree more and I’ll raise you an aerial bombing of jungles also. And I think shooting a barrage of GRAD rockets into downtown Damascus is a war crime too. (What parts of war aren’t a crime?) So, where does that put us? It puts “us” safely and snugly in the belly of the beast. It puts the Syrian working class majority wanting its government to protect them from a minority of al-Qaeda metastases, funded and armed by the most reactionary regimes on earth, trying to win violently what they can’t win intellectually, socially or politically. The left just won’t cut its intellectual (“moderate” rebels) or political (Russia-gate) losses. And isn’t it interesting how so much of what the left does is in harmony with what the Pentagon, the CIA and the empire wants.

And since Proyect brought up Gaza and the Palestinians… It was the Palestinian Liwaa al-Quds force who stormed the al-Shaaher roundabout in Aleppo on September 24, 2016 which liberated the Handaraat Camp which turned around the battle for Aleppo which turned around the fight for Syria which is turning the American empire upside down with indispensable help from Russia and Iran. On that memorable September day eastern Aleppo residents were cheering on Liwwa al-Quds, Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army as they hunted down and killed the members of the CIA-funded Nour al-Din al-Zenki who beheaded the 12-year-old Palestinian boy on film. The Syrian working class doesn’t actually like the 31 flavors of takfiri terrorists that some western leftists find so sweet.

In fact, during the December 2016 liberation of Aleppo, Syrians who lived for years under the rule of the fanatics were outraged that the Syrian army put the terrorists on buses to Idlib instead of killing them outright. A day later it was discovered that, just before they surrendered, the terrorists had summarily executed over 100 hostages and prisoners in basement prisons, including many Syrian soldiers.

Then Proyect attempts to make a case for the fanatics in East Ghouta by contrasting their poverty-stricken area with wealthier Damascus. A splendid insight. Now, how about you leading the charge of South Central against Beverly Hills? Oh, that’s right — the impotent defeated American left has been on the run for 40 years and can only mind the business of the Assads, Saddams, Gadaffis and the ayatollahs — all Israeli enemies and sitting atop large energy resources [allowing economically viable resistance]  — while “our” own government remains the chief engine of destruction in the world. Blessedly, the brown working classes of the world don’t give a flying fuck about what white western leftists think because they know they aren’t going to get any help from us. We’re irrelevant. Ask a Yemeni, ask a Honduran, ask a Congolese.

Christmas and New Years have been celebrated for the last two years in Aleppo and some semblance of normalcy is returning. Right now, in liberated areas of East Ghouta, people are welcoming the return of the Syrian Arab Army and telling the media how they’ve been used as human shields. In non-liberated areas, civilians are demonstrating against the terrorists and negotiating with them to leave. As with Aleppo in 2016, people in East Ghouta have been telling the SAA the locations of terrorist commanders, ammo dumps, jails and headquarters. Also, as with Aleppo, terrorists are sniping and shelling humanitarian corridors so civilians have difficulty leaving. There are also now civilians rallying in Raqqa for the occupying American monster to GTFO.

The future of the world is being fought for in Syria — that’s why the propaganda of the mockingbird media has been unrelenting in its lies, hypocrisy, hysteria and demonization for seven years. Tel Aviv and Riyadh are going crazy and they are making sure Mordor-on-the-Potomac goes crazy with them. Putin is killing off America’s regime-changing terrorist mercenary army although, characteristically, he’s been too slow and cautious and Daesh has now set up shop in Afghanistan to harass, delay and destroy China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Assad and Putin are bringing a horrible end to the carnage in Syria as opposed to the Saudi, Israeli and US-preferred endless horror.

One last thing. People have not been paying proper attention to the written transcript of several lines toward the end of Putin’s March 1st address to the Russian Federal Assembly: “I should note that our military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threatens the very existence of the state. This all is very clear and specific. As such, I see it as my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.”

An attack with other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its “allies.” Who does Russia consider allies? China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela? Turkey? The Donbass? Did Putin just tell the criminal neocon filth who rule America to never attack Iran and North Korea — or ever attack the Syrian government again? No sane person in the world should test that out. Perhaps the previously mentioned neocon Max Boot is one of the first to “listen.”

The last time no one paid careful attention to Putin was his September 28, 2015 address to the United Nations where he condemned the US use of terrorists to further its regime change operations throughout the world, saying “We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.” Two days later Russia began bombing hundreds of ISIS oil tankers in Syria that US satellite surveillance had been contentedly watching grow for years. Wake up, Americans. “Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.” The three horses’ asses of the apocalypse — Trump, Satanyahoo and Saudi Clown Prince Mohammad bin Salman — are leading the world to disaster.

Randy Shields can be reached at His writings and art are collected at

March 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Syria Partition Plans Must Be Foiled – Lavrov

Sputnik – March 17, 2018

During an interview with the television and radio company of Kazakhstan’s President, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has commented on a wide range of issues: from the situation in Syria to Skripal’s poisoning and beyond.

While stressing that the level of violence in Syria has significantly decreased, the foreign minister emphasized that “the process of deescalation in Eastern Ghouta could start only if militants stopped shelling Damascus.”

“This process has not been underway for a very long time, now there seems to be some hope that these armed formations will separate from Jabhat al-Nusra, ” Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, “any plans on Syria’s partitions should be abandoned.”

“I do not think that we should even talk about a potential partition of Syria, but it is our duty to demand that these plans be immediately stopped, some bear it,” the minister said in an interview with the television and radio company of the president of Kazakhstan.

The decrease of violence in the country was discussed during a ministerial meeting on Syria between foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey as part of the Astana reconciliation process.

“Those armed groups that could be a part of the negotiating process are, unfortunately, operating under the umbrella of Jabhat Fatal al Sham. They created a joint command and in fact three groups: Faylaq al-Rahman, Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham — became allies of Jabhat Fatal al Sham, which is designated by the UN Security Council as a terror organization,” Lavrov said, adding that the Russian servicemen were urging the three groups to distance themselves from the terrorists.

He has also condemned illegitimate presence of foreign forces in Syria, saying that it “contradicted international law and the UN Charter.”

“US, French, UK special forces are ‘on the ground’ in Syria. So it is not a ‘proxy war’ anymore, but direct engagement in the warfare,” Lavrov added.

Furthermore, the foreign minister said that Americans “plant local authorities” on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River.

“What is happening on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, where Americans have indeed liberated vast territories from terrorists with the help of Kurds, but plant local authorities, who are intentionally isolating themselves from Damascus, and declare that they will support these authorities without any contacts with the Syrian government,” he said.

Earlier this week, the minister stated that the progress achieved at the Astana talks on Syria, including due to Russia’s efforts, was not being welcomed by those striving to divide the country into small territories under their control.

“Those who, in violation of all norms of international law, in violation of Resolution 2254, obviously seek to divide Syria, to replace the regime so that this important Middle Eastern country is replaced by small principalities, controlled by external players, certainly do not welcome what we are doing in Astana, we are trying to achieve in Astana,” Lavrov said in a welcoming speech before the talks with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Astana.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against terrorists in Syria without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

UK, Russia Diplomatic Standoff Over Skripal’s Poisoning

Commenting on the resonant case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, Lavrov said that “the western propaganda becomes more brazen and primitive.”

On March 4, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found collapsed after being exposed to a chemical substance, later identified by UK police as the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, allegedly developed in Russia. British authorities have accused Moscow of “attempted murder,” although declined Russia’s request to provide samples of the substance in question.

As a response to the alleged attack, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country since the Cold War. Moscow, in turn, has declared 23 British diplomats personae non grata, with the Foreign Ministry revoking its agreement on the UK General Consulate’s operation in St. Petersburg.

Russia-US Relations

The interview has also touched upon relations between Russia and the United States, with Sergei Lavrov insisting that Russia would not sign treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

“Five official nuclear powers, as well as unofficial ones will not accept it,” he said, adding that the US plans to expand its missile defense system and the fact that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty had not entered into force yet, “mainly due to Washington’s reluctance, influence strategic stability as much as nuclear weapons do.”

As for the role of the United States in the UN, Lavrov said that ultimatums during the Security Council’s sessions were “unacceptable.”

“When our American colleagues bring any resolution in to the UNSC, and we suggest holding talks on the matter because there are alternative views, we are being accused of blocking the proceedings, and they decide to do it solo. Immediate ultimatums, sanctions, etc are absolutely unacceptable according to the UN Charter,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister has also commented on the statement made by the US Envoy to the UN Nikky Haley on Washington’s “readiness to strike Damascus,” calling it “absolutely irresponsible.”

“I don’t know who has empowered the US permanent representative to UN Nikky Haley to declare that the United States will be ready to bomb Damascus… […] It’s an absolutely irresponsible statement,” he concluded.


Russian FM Lavrov Slams US Threats to Strike Syria as ‘Unacceptable’

‘I Think Skripal Attempted Murder Staged by US, UK Intel’ – Political Scientist

March 17, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Syrian Army Intercepts Truck Heading to Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta

Sputnik – March 17, 2018

The Syrian armed forces carried out a successful military operation intercepting a truck containing weapons and ammunition intended for terrorists, a representative of Syrian intelligence told Sputnik.

“We organized an ambush, as a result of which a large truck carrying ammunition and weapons has been intercepted; some of the equipment is made in America. Also there were medicines and equipment for satellite communication there. All this was intended for militants in Ghouta,” the spokesman said.

The operation was carried out after Syrian intelligence received information on the transfer of a large batch of weapons, ammunition and equipment for armed groups in the region.

A video that appeared online shows ammunition and weapons found in the truck, including smoke grenades with the inscription “Salisbury England.”

According to the officer, it is not the first time that the Syrian army manages to intercept a cargo intended for the militants.

A few days earlier, Syrian forces intercepted a car that was carrying ammunition, mortar shells, guns and missiles to the region.

The success of the operation will be a serious blow for the terrorists and will contribute to the weakening of armed groups in Eastern Ghouta, the spokesman concluded.


Humanitarian Pause in Action: Nearly 13,000 Civilians Flee E Ghouta — MoD

March 17, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

US training Syria militants for false flag chemical attack as basis for airstrikes – Russian MoD

RT | March 17, 2018

Russia’s Defense Ministry says “US instructors” are training militants to stage false flag chemical attacks in south Syria. The incidents are said to be a pretext for airstrikes on Syrian government troops and infrastructure.

“We have reliable information at our disposal that US instructors have trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of At-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare agents in southern Syria,” Russian General Staff spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday.

“Early in March, the saboteur groups were deployed to the southern de-escalation zone to the city of Deraa, where the units of the so-called Free Syrian Army are stationed.”

“They are preparing a series of chemical munitions explosions. This fact will be used to blame the government forces. The components to produce chemical munitions have been already delivered to the southern de-escalation zone under the guise of humanitarian convoys of a number of NGOs.”

The planned provocations will be widely covered in the Western media and will ultimately be used as a pretext by the US-led coalition to launch strikes on Syria, Rudskoy warned.

“The provocations will be used as a pretext by the United States and its allies to launch strikes on military and government infrastructure in Syria,” the official stated.

“We’re registering the signs of the preparations for the possible strikes. Strike groups of the cruise missile carriers have been formed in the east of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.”

Another false flag chemical attack is being prepared in the province of Idlib by the “Al-Nusra Front terrorist group, in coordination with the White Helmets,” Rudskoy warned. The militants have already received 20 containers of chlorine to stage the incident, he said.

March 17, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , , | Leave a comment