Damascus – President Bashar al-Assad said the policy of the US administration in the region goes against the interests and values of the American people, adding that they are getting increasingly violent at the expense of logic and common sense.
During his meeting on Thursday with the US Peace Council delegation currently visiting Syria led by Henry Lowendorf, President al-Assad said the US policies are at a collision course with the interests of the US citizens and the peoples of the world, indicating that the role of the United States as a superpower should otherwise be positive and based on fostering knowledge, science and technology instead of chaos and destruction.
President al-Assad gave a concise review of the events in Syria since the start up until now, indicating that the crisis which later morphed into a war on the Syrian people was prompted by Syria’s rejection to have a regional role that runs counter to the interests of its people.
The delegation members said their visit is aimed at having a close look into the situation in Syria and conveying their first-hand accounts to the US public opinion, vowing to do their best to stop the war and US and Western interference in Syria.
They underlined their vehement opposition to the US belligerent and interventionist policies, pledging to exert efforts to change this policy.
President al-Assad, for his part, praised such visits for their importance in helping governments change their policies if they are willing to.
In a statement to journalists, Lowendorf said the delegation held “fruitful and constructive” talks with President al-Assad.
“We had the honor to meet President al-Assad. He was straightforward and wanted us to be so. We related to him what we saw and he provided rational, accurate and wise answers for our questions… He impressed us with his insight not only about the situation in Syria but also about world powers,” he added.
As Hillary Clinton begins her final charge for the White House, her advisers are already recommending air strikes and other new military measures against the Assad regime in Syria.
The clear signals of Clinton’s readiness to go to war appears to be aimed at influencing the course of the war in Syria as well as U.S. policy over the remaining six months of the Obama administration. (She also may be hoping to corral the votes of Republican neoconservatives concerned about Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.)
Last month, the think tank run by Michele Flournoy, the former Defense Department official considered to be most likely to be Clinton’s choice to be Secretary of Defense, explicitly called for “limited military strikes” against the Assad regime.
And earlier this month Leon Panetta, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director, who has been advising candidate Clinton, declared in an interview that the next president would have to increase the number of Special Forces and carry out air strikes to help “moderate” groups against President Bashal al-Assad. (When Panetta gave a belligerent speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, he was interrupted by chants from the delegates on the floor of “no more war!”
Flournoy co-founded the Center for New American Security (CNAS) in 2007 to promote support for U.S. war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then became Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration in 2009.
Flournoy left her Pentagon position in 2012 and returned to CNAS as Chief Executive Officer. She has been described by ultimate insider journalist David Ignatius of the Washington Post, as being on a “short, short list” for the job Secretary of Defense in a Clinton administration.
Last month, CNAS published a report of a “Study Group” on military policy in Syria on the eve of the organization’s annual conference. Ostensibly focused on how to defeat the Islamic State, the report recommends new U.S. military actions against the Assad regime.
Flournoy chaired the task force, along with CNAS president Richard Fontaine, and publicly embraced its main policy recommendation in remarks at the conference.
She called for “using limited military coercion” to help support the forces seeking to force President Assad from power, in part by creating a “no bombing” zone over those areas in which the opposition groups backed by the United States could operate safely.
In an interview with Defense One, Flournoy described the no-bomb zone as saying to the Russian and Syrian governments, “If you bomb the folks we support, we will retaliate using standoff means to destroy [Russian] proxy forces, or, in this case, Syrian assets.” That would “stop the bombing of certain civilian populations,” Flournoy said.
In a letter to the editor of Defense One, Flournoy denied having advocated “putting U.S. combat troops on the ground to take territory from Assad’s forces or remove Assad from power,” which she said the title and content of the article had suggested.
But she confirmed that she had argued that “the U.S. should under some circumstances consider using limited military coercion – primarily trikes using standoff weapons – to retaliate against Syrian military targets” for attacks on civilian or opposition groups “and to set more favorable conditions on the ground for a negotiated political settlement.”
Renaming a ‘No-Fly’ Zone
The proposal for a “no bombing zone” has clearly replaced the “no fly zone,” which Clinton has repeatedly supported in the past as the slogan to cover a much broader U.S. military role in Syria.
Panetta served as Defense Secretary and CIA Director in the Obama administration when Clinton was Secretary of State, and was Clinton’s ally on Syria policy. On July 17, he gave an interview to CBS News in which he called for steps that partly complemented and partly paralleled the recommendations in the CNAS paper.
“I think the likelihood is that the next president is gonna have to consider adding additional special forces on the ground,” Panetta said, “to try to assist those moderate forces that are taking on ISIS and that are taking on Assad’s forces.”
Panetta was deliberately conflating two different issues in supporting more U.S. Special Forces in Syria. The existing military mission for those forces is to support the anti-ISIS forces made up overwhelmingly of the Kurdish YPG and a few opposition groups.
Neither the Kurds nor the opposition groups the Special Forces are supporting are fighting against the Assad regime. What Panetta presented as a need only for additional personnel is in fact a completely new U.S. mission for Special Forces of putting military pressure on the Assad regime.
He also called for increasing “strikes” in order to “put increasing pressure on ISIS but also on Assad.” That wording, which jibes with the Flournoy-CNAS recommendation, again conflates two entirely different strategic programs as a single program.
The Panetta ploys in confusing two separate policy issues reflects the reality that the majority of the American public strongly supports doing more militarily to defeat ISIS but has been opposed to U.S. war against the government in Syria.
A poll taken last spring showed 57 percent in favor of a more aggressive U.S. military force against ISIS. The last time public opinion was surveyed on the issue of war against the Assad regime, however, was in September 2013, just as Congress was about to vote on authorizing such a strike.
At that time, 55 percent to 77 percent of those surveyed opposed the use of military force against the Syrian regime, depending on whether Congress voted to authorize such a strike or to oppose it.
Shaping the Debate
It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for figures known to be close to a presidential candidate to make public recommendations for new and broader war abroad. The fact that such explicit plans for military strikes against the Assad regime were aired so openly soon after Clinton had clinched the Democratic nomination suggests that Clinton had encouraged Flournoy and Panetta to do so.
The rationale for doing so is evidently not to strengthen her public support at home but to shape the policy decisions made by the Obama administration and the coalition of external supporters of the armed opposition to Assad.
Obama’s refusal to threaten to use military force on behalf of the anti-Assad forces or to step up military assistance to them has provoked a series of leaks to the news media by unnamed officials – primarily from the Defense Department – criticizing Obama’s willingness to cooperate with Russia in seeking a Syrian ceasefire and political settlement as “naïve.”
The news of Clinton’s advisers calling openly for military measures signals to those critics in the administration to continue to push for a more aggressive policy on the premise that she will do just that as president.
Even more important to Clinton and close associates, however, is the hope of encouraging Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have been supporting the armed opposition to Assad, to persist in and even intensify their efforts in the face of the prospect of U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria.
Even before the recommendations were revealed, specialists on Syria in Washington think tanks were already observing signs that Saudi and Qatari policymakers were waiting for the Obama administration to end in the hope that Clinton would be elected and take a more activist role in the war against Assad.
The new Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yildirim, however, made a statement on July 13 suggesting that Turkish President Recep Yayyip Erdogan may be considering a deal with Russia and the Assad regime at the expense of both Syrian Kurds and the anti-Assad opposition.
That certainly would have alarmed Clinton’s advisers, and four days later, Panetta made his comments on network television about what “the next president” would have to do in Syria.
Israel and the United States have reportedly staged a joint secret war game in southern Israel amid growing military cooperation between the two sides.
Israeli media said on Thursday that the drill dubbed ‘Noble Shirley’ was held in Negev Desert to improve cooperation between American and Israeli forces.
The drill, which was said to have been conducted during day and nighttime hours over the past week, involved the US Marine Corps as well as special units from the Israeli air, naval and ground forces.
During the exercise, the troops and commandos took part in drills simulating helicopter landings behind enemy lines, and urban warfare above and below ground. They also practiced close-range combat and military takeover techniques.
Israel’s so-called ‘David’s Sling’ missile system, which targets medium to long-range missiles, was also used in the maneuver.
Moreover, forces also simulated both night-time and day-time combat situations at the Ze’elim training facility, which was built to look exactly like a Palestinian city.
The drill comes some three weeks after Israel’s ministry of military affairs and the US Missile Defense Agency completed a test aimed at ensuring Israeli and American missile systems can operate cooperatively in a future war.
During the trial, the physical connectivity between the systems was tested. The test involved sites scattered around the United States, Europe and Israel.
Elisra Group, which is an Israeli manufacturer of high-tech electronics, led the trial, which was designed to see if Israel’s David’s Sling and Arrow systems could link up with American systems.
Also in February, the US and Israel held joint ‘Juniper Cobra’ exercise in Israel. The drill is held every two years between United States’ European Command and the Israeli military.
Israeli and US authorities claim that growing military cooperation is aimed at countering terrorism. However, critics blame the US and its closest ally Israel for pursuing a vicious agenda amid ongoing militancy in the Mideast region.
‘Safe zone’ in Syria
Meanwhile, Kamal al-Labwani, a Syrian opposition figure with strong ties to Israel, has confirmed an increased interest in the creation of a so-called safe zone in southern Syria.
On July 11, the Israeli army deployed several bulldozers and a tank 300 meters (328 yards) inside Syrian territory in Quneitra and began digging, threatening to shoot anyone who approached them.
According to Labwani, the zone is supposed to run 10 kilometers deep into Syrian territory and approximately 20 kilometers along the Syrian border.
The developments come as the Damascus government says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri militant groups operating inside the Arab country.
The Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.
Reports say Tel Aviv has set up field hospitals in the Israeli-occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights for the treatment of injured militants.
In December 2015, the Daily Mail said the Israeli regime had saved the lives over 2,000 Takfiri militants at the cost of around USD 13 million since 2013.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
By Afraa Dagher – Activist Post – July 27, 2016
On June 23, 2016, The Daily Star reported that the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party announced that it would hold a vote next month in order to choose a new leader after a party tribunal rejected the re-election of incumbent Asaad Hardan.
There is now a new movement inside the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP) which calls itself the Movement of July 8 which has worked to overthrow Hardan.
The opposition to the re-election of Assad Hardan has criticized him for his policy towards the leadership in Syria. In other words, he has been criticized for his support of Syria in its war for sovereignty and unity, an idea that is supposed to be a basic principle of the SSNP itself.
Under the SSNP’s own document and the section entitled “The Aim Of The Syrian Socialist National Party,” the SSNP clearly states:
I. THE BASIC PRINCIPLES
The eight basic principles of the SSNP embody the doctrine of Syrian nationalism. They proceed in a logical order from a declaration of the existence and nature of the Syrian nation (first principle), to an identification of the character of its cause (second and third principles), to a clarification of its genesis (the fourth principle) and its homeland (fifth principle). The basis of national unity (sixth principle), the sources of national character and consciousness (seventh principle), and the guiding principles of national militancy (eighth principle) are then defined.
First Basic Principle: Syria is for the Syrians and the Syrians are a complete nation.
Second Basic Principle: The Syrian cause is an integral national cause completely distinct from any other cause.
Third Basic Principle: The Syrian cause is the cause of the Syrian nation and the Syrian homeland.
Fourth Basic Principle: The Syrian nation is the product of the ethnic unity of the Syrian people which developed throughout history.
Fifth Basic Principle: The Syrian homeland is that geographic environment in which the Syrian nation evolved. It has distinct natural boundaries and extends from the Taurus range in the northwest and the Zagros mountains in the northeast to the Suez canal and the Red Sea in the south and includes the Sinai peninsula and the gulf of Aqaba, and from the Syrian sea in the west, including the island of Cyprus, to the arch of the Arabian desert and the Persian gulf in the east. (This region is also known as the Syrian Fertile Crescent).
Sixth Basic Principle: The Syrian nation is one society.
Seventh Basic Principle: The Syrian Social Nationalist movement derives its inspiration from the talents of the Syrian nation and its cultural political national history.
Eighth Basic Principle: Syria’s interest supersedes every other interest.
In order to make it appear as if they are being reasonable, the SSNP attempts to present Hardan as a “government agent” by saying “Assad Hardan is supporting the Syrian government,” and then going on to criticize the relationship saying that the SSNP is a secular socialist party, not a sectarian or Alawite party. Of course, using the words “Alawite” or “sectarian” is simply a sneaky way to abandon Syria and all of Syrians under a false pretext. The Syrian government is not “Alawite” or “Sectarian” and this has been proven time and time again. This specific use of language is that which has been used by the U.S.-backed rebels and the West itself. The idea is to present the Syrian government and Syrian society as being comprised of sects in order to misrepresent both and divide everyone amongst themselves in Syria.
Another tactic used by these critics is to claim that Hardan is too concerned with what is happening inside Syria and that he should focus on the war with Israel. This is a clear attempt to force the SSNP to stop fighting with the Syrian government against terrorists because who could ever separate the war on Syria from Israel? Even the most naïve people, those who may not belong to any party or have any education, should be able to recognize this. You do not have to be Syrian or Arab or know anything about Syria’s history to recognize this ploy.
Without a doubt, especially after over five years of war, it should be clear that this war is not against one sect. It is a war waged by deception, a proxy war against the unity of Syria and the whole region for Israel’s benefit and the creation of “Greater Israel.”
The critics of Hardan are nothing but tools of the United States. The U.S. has its own agenda which involves the shredding of Syria and creating another strange entity within the wider country called Rojava in Northern Syria, for one thing. But the opposition faction within the SSNP also supports this idea of a Kurdistan in Northern Syria.
At this point, I should mention a point about the Kurds and their Constitution.
As Al-Monitor reports,
The name Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System was chosen from among three proposed names, including Rojava-Kurdistan Democratic Federal System Marbo Beth Nahrin and Northern Syria Democratic Federal System. The regulatory committee members have indicated in previous statements that the Constituent Assembly is based upon the Swiss model.
According to some media analyses, the Kurds prepared and approved the draft constitution too soon. Article 5 specifies that the federation shall have an independent flag, and Article 66 paved the way for the establishment of diplomatic relations with foreign countries, despite the Syrians having yet to agree on the form of the future Syrian state. The majority of them fear that the declaration of the federation would be the beginning of a project to divide Syria, since it would be made by the Kurds and the Kurdish self-administration, which the Syrians view as enemies.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the Kurds forces are fighting along with the US backed forces, like the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces!
With all of this in mind, one can see why the U.S. is interested in working with the SSNP in order to manipulate it and further divide the Syrian opposition to Western aims. Of course, whenever the United States praises a party or attempts to work closely with it, it is never for a good reason. It is always so that it can use that party in its war or somehow at the negotiating table when it wants to wrest some type of “political solution” for the countries whom the United States is trying to destroy.
So here, in a nutshell, is the U.S. plan:
The United States is interested in using the SSNP against Syria and the Ba’ath party in the future but they cannot do so with a pro-Syria leader like Asaad Hardan. The opposition faction within the SSNP like Hardan’s critics, however, tend to support the “federalization” of Syria and the creation of a Kurdistan within Syrian territory. These individuals can indeed be useful to the United States.
As Andrew Korybko wrote in his article “The Democratic Partition Of Syria,” Additionally, the US establishment curiously seems to be on the verge of accepting the SSNP as a legitimate party in Syria, which is extraordinarily odd because it has hitherto only held out this “right” for the “moderate rebel” terrorists that it and its regime change coalition support.
The al-Ba’ath Party (Ba’ath meaning “renaissance” or “resurrection”), is a mixture of Arab nationalism, pan-Arabism, Arab socialism, and anti-imperialism. It calls for unification of the Arab world into a single state and its motto is “Unity, Liberty, Socialism” which refers to Arab unity and freedom from non-Arab interference and control.
Despite all of the U.S. treachery, the Ba’ath Party and the SSNP have a mutual interest – the unity and sovereignty of Syria. Hopefully, the opposition within the SSNP that is currently arrayed against Hardan and who are falling into the hands of the United States, will not succeed in assisting in the division of Syria and the Syrian people.
The United States has made many attempts to destroy Syria from the inside. Whether it is by the proxy terrorists known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, a plan for “federalization,” or by corrupting and infiltrating Syrian political parties like the SSNP, the U.S. has not given up on its attempt to destroy the secular government of our country.
The Syrian Constitution welcomes every political party and does not base recognition on religion. Syria needs all of its patriotic parties. If the SSNP is now working with the U.S., it needs to be revealed. Syria must never be divided.
Afraa Dagher is a political analyst currently residing in Syria. She has made numerous media appearances commenting on the current state of affairs inside Syria as well as the nature of the current crisis. She has appeared on RT, PRESS TV, and is a regular guest on Activist Post writer Brandon Turbeville’s Truth on the Tracks radio program.
“Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him?” – St. Stephen.
The terrorist attack today on a church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray where a Catholic priest was murdered and several hostages taken and killed, is part of the ‘Islamic State’s (Da’esh) attempt to spread their war on ‘Western civilisation’ from the metropolis to the provincial town. This now generalises the heightened fear experienced by the French public in the wake of the Nice attack.
Reports indicate that the attackers have been ‘neutralised’. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has taken the opportunity to show his political prowess. “Legal quibbles and precautions and pretexts for incomplete actions are now not admissible”, he said. French President Francois Hollande said, “Da’esh has declared war on us”. The rule of law will soon be suspended and people will be imprisoned or worse without trial, this is what the statements of Sarkozy and Hollande mean. Once again, we see that the terrorists have been shot dead before they could be interrogated. It seems taser-guns and highly sophisticated non-lethal weapons are of no use when it comes to Da’esh. Adel Kermiche, one of the terrorists shot dead, was known to police and he had reportedly attempted to join Da’esh in Syria twice. He had been released from prison in March 2016 and wore an electronic surveillance bracelet. Father Jacques Hamel, was known among the local community for his efforts at inter-religious dialogue.
Da’esh is an army of mercenaries which was formed in US prison Camp Bucca in 2006 under the supervision of the US military. The group has been used as a proxy force against the reconstituted Iraqi state allied to Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic, also a close ally of Russia. Troops for the Islamic State are recruited in Europe with the approval of Brussels, according to Israeli intelligence sources. The public are being told that the Islamic State is the enemy of the West. The facts show, however, that the Islamic State is a fake enemy created to destroy countries resisting subservience to global financial, corporate and military agencies of imperial power or, in short, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
As terrorist attacks now become a daily occurrence in Europe with the Nice and Munich atrocities followed by minor assaults such as the machete attack in Germany a few days ago, the descent into civilisational suicide is accelerating. The attack on a Catholic church may be significant. The attack occurred in the church of Saint Stephen. One of the proto-martyrs of the church, Saint Stephen, is famous for his damning critique of the Jews in the Acts of the Apostles. The Jewish Sanhedrin court sentenced him to death by lapidation (stoning). St. Stephen is considered ‘anti-Semitic’ by some scholars. The Sanhedrin Courts were re-established in Israel. In 2015, the Sandedrin Court in Jerusalem declared it would put Pope Francis on trial for the Vatican’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state. He has also been criticised by the self-declared Jewish court of being too friendly with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein.
Although the Catholic church is currently more subordinate to Judaism than at any point in its history, the Vatican’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state is a thorn in the side of hard-line Zionists. We have shown before that the Islamic State is a proxy army of Israel, which is being used to pave the way for a Greater Middle East or, in other words, a Greater Israel. Tel Aviv has not disguised its support for the Islamic State in Syria. Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has said that he would prefer Da’esh in Syria, to Assad.
The same terrorists who attacked today have been beheading and torturing priests and nuns in Syria for years, yet the Vatican has been obmutescent. The Vatican is a key actor in the Western/Zionist empire but it has not yet been completely taken over. Christendom, or what is left of it, is another target of the Zionist New World Order. The creation of a right-wing Christian Zionist movement in France would drive religious and ethnic divisions further, thus sabotaging efforts to awaken working-class consciousness and solidarity – the only hope we have of winning the war on terror, which is, and always has been, both a class war and a spiritual war.
Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the US authorities of instigating the civil war in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, and called on senior politicians in these states to set aside their differences and unite in the face of what he sees as a common enemy.
“During the 37 years of the war in Afghanistan peace has not become closer, not even by a single step. The United States used the excuse of fighting their own Bin Laden to unleash a decades-long civil war there. America and NATO could have solved the Afghan problem in just two years, but they need this eternal bloody cauldron in Afghanistan that takes the lives of many thousands of young Muslims,” the acting head of the Chechen Republic stated in comments on the latest terrorist attack in Kabul.
Kadyrov expressed his position in a post on Instagram – a medium he normally uses for communication with the public.
In the message, he emphasized that the United States and its NATO allies have artificially created the instability in the region. “Step by step they start wars in Muslim countries. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen are now facing the threat of losing their sovereignty,” Kadyrov wrote.
The Chechen leader also called on all Afghanistan’s leaders to set aside personal ambitions and ethnic and religious differences to unite in the face of the common threat. “Once Pashtu, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Sunnis, Shia all join their ranks, no one would ever be able to impose some external will on you,” he wrote.
At least 80 people were killed and 231 injured as a result of a bomb blast at a mass rally in Afghanistan capital Kabul on July 23. The Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kadyrov has repeatedly accused the United States and other Western nations of deliberate policies aimed at destroying Muslim countries and the Muslim faith. In February last year he said IS had been “spawned” by the West to incite hatred towards Muslims all over the world. Kadyrov also suggested the West was backing the terrorist group in order to distract public attention from numerous problems in the Middle East, in the hope of destroying Islamic nations from within. In November he accused the Turkish authorities of aiding Western nations’ plot to weaken and destroy Islam by assisting Islamic State and its allies in Syria.
Kadyrov also previously claimed that he possessed information that the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been personally recruited to work for the US by General David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. At that time, Kadyrov claimed IS “was acting on orders from the West and Europe.”
By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | July 22, 2016
While the United States attempts to back away from its association with terrorist group Nour al-Din al-Zinki, the “moderate” terrorist organization whose members recently videotaped themselves beheading a young boy and discussing whether or not to boil his body afterwards, previous reports coming the from the mainstream media reveal that Obama, Kerry, Clinton and crew will not be able to cover their tracks so easily this time around. That is, if they even care to.
This is because reports coming from Business Insider in 2015 reveal that the United States had indeed supported and armed Nour al-Din al-Zinki in the lead up to the heinous act. What’s even more damning, however, is the fact that the group was considered one of the U.S. “vetted” organizations, a designation that was touted as a sure way to avoid arming “extremist” terrorists like ISIS or al-Qaeda.
The lie of vetting and “moderation” is now thoroughly debunked if, for no other reason, than the public beheading of a child.
But there is more! Not only has the United States “vetted,” endorsed, and armed Nour al-Din al-Zinki, it has armed them with TOW missiles, a type of guided missile that is capable of piercing and damaging tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other forms of vehicles found on the battlefield. These missiles are especially dangerous for a number of reasons including the fact that they can be used from a considerable distance.
As Jeremy Bender wrote for Business Insider in his article, “These CIA-Vetted Syrian Rebel Groups Fighting Assad Are Russia’s Primary Targets,”
Since 2013, the CIA has been training and equipping various moderate rebel elements in the Syrian civil war in an effort to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and force him to the negotiating table.
Among the range of munitions and supplies that the CIA has funneled to the various brigades of the Free Syrian Army and other moderate groups through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey are TOW anti-tank missiles.
. . . . . .
These weapons have helped decimate Syrian armour and pushed a recent regime offensive against rebel-held territory to a standstill in reported “tank massacres.”
For instance, on October 8, a Syrian armoured offensive suffered massive casualties as, rebels armed “with US-made TOW missiles … [and] other guided rockets … caused the destruction … of over 15 armoured cars, vehicles, and tanks,” according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
What is striking is just how many CIA-vetted groups now exist throughout Syria receiving TOWs.
According to Syrian observer Hasan Mustafas, no fewer than 42 vetted groups now receive TOWs from a Saudi supply originally provided by the US. These weapons are funneled into Syria through Military Operations Command (MOC) posts in Turkey and Jordan that are co-operated by Western and local intelligence agencies.
The various groups are well documented due to the nature of TOW provisions. Saudi Arabia can not deliver the US-supplied TOWs without prior CIA approval. Additionally, Mustafas notes, the various vetted groups must apply to receive the TOWs. They are then provided with small batches of arms.
Bender provides a list of the groups who received the TOW missiles but, among them, is the name of Nour al-Din al-Zinki, the child beheading and carcass boiling “moderate” rebels that allegedly representing freedom and democracy.
Still, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner is only stating that the beheading of the boy might only cause the United States to “pause” and reflect upon its relationship with the group, meaning arming and supporting it.
At the end of the day, the horrific atrocity that was committed by Nour al-Din al-Zinki was really nothing more than several more pints in a massive ocean of blood created by the United States, Israel, the GCC, and NATO. Still, it stands as yet another example of why this treacherous and immoral war against Syria must be ended immediately.
The list of terrorist organizations “vetted” and provided with TOW missiles as reported by Business Insider is as follows:
13th Division (Forqat 13)
101st Division Infantry (Forqat 101 Masha’a)
Knights of Justice Brigade (Liwa’ Fursan al-Haqq)
Falcons of the Mountain Brigade (Liwa’ Suqour al-Jabal)
Grouping of the Falcons of Al-Ghab (Tajamuu Suqour al-Ghab)
1st Coastal Division (Forqat Awwal al-Sahli)
Gathering of Dignity (Tajammu al-Izza’)
Central Division (Al-Forqat al-Wasti)
46th Division (Forqat 46)
Sultan Murad Brigade (Liwa’ Sultan Murad)
Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, (Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki)
Mujahideen Army/Army of Holy Warriors (Jaish al-Mujahideen)
Revolutionaries of al-Sham Brigades (Kata’eb Thuwar al-Sham)
1st Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal)
Ahmed al-Abdo Martyrs’ Force (Quwwat al-Shaheed Ahmad al-Abdo)
Al-Rahman Legion (Faylaq al-Rahman)
Martyrs of Islam Brigade (Liwa’ Shuhadah al-Islam)
Yarmouk Army (Jaish al-Yarmouk)
Lions of Sunnah Division (Forqat Usood al-Sunnah)
the 18th March Division (Forqat 18 Adhar)
Southern Tawhid Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid al-Junoub)
Hamza Division (Forqat al-Hamza)
1st Artillery Regiment (Al-Fauj al-Awwal Madfa’a)
Syria Revolutionaries Front — Southern Sector (Jabhat Thuwar Souriya)
The First Corps (Faylaq al-Awwal)
The Dawn of Unity Division (Forqat Fajr al-Tawhid)
Salah al-Din Division (Forqat Salah al-Din)
Omari Brigades (Tajammu Alwiyat al-Omari)
Unity Battalions of Horan Brigade (Liwa’ Tawhid Kata’eb Horan)
Youth of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Shabbab al-Sunnah)
Moataz Billah Brigade (Liwa’ Moataz Billah)
Sword of al-Sham Brigades (Alwiyat Saif al-Sham)
Dawn of Islam Division (Forqat Fajr al-Islam)
Supporters of Sunnah Brigade (Liwa’ Ansar al-Sunnah)
Horan Column Division (Forqat Amoud Horan)
Emigrants and Supporters Brigade (Liwa’ Muhajireen wal Ansar)
Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan
United Sham Front (Jabhat al-Sham Muwahidda)
69th Special Forces Division (Forqat 69 Quwwat al-Khassa)
11th Special Forces Division (Forqat 11 Quwwat al-Khassa)
Partisans of Islam Front (Jabhat Ansar al-Islam)
Al-Furqan Brigades (Alwiyat al-Furqan)
Soon there could be an influx of Syrian refugee families settled in America. They would be typically settled in a small city, let’s say like Flint, Michigan. The city authorities would receive help and a few special federal programs to assist in supplying the needs of these newcomers to USA. They would be given a house or an apartment, which would be subsidized under a county housing program which in turn is paid from federal money. They would be given free medical coverage under an existing county or state medical program, and they could visit the local medical centers free of charge. The county medical bills would be sent to a federal source for payment.
These new Syrian refugees are not your typical group, who we have seen on TV, walking through Europe in summer 2015. These newcomers to America are not from the refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan which the media has followed for years.
This is a special group with direct ties to the federal government of America. These are the fighters of the Free Syrian Army and their wives and children. To the Americans welcoming them into their communities, they would appear to be Syrian families who have suffered over 5 years of war and untold stories of loss and hardship. But, in reality these were the fighting men, the mercenaries of the US CIA program in Turkey and Syria. Some people labeled them “The John McCain’s Army”, in honor of the Republican Senator of Arizona, who was the FSA’s main supporter in Congress. Sen. McCain gave such passionate speeches in Congress; he was able to convince his fellow Senators of the need to send American military weapons, satellite imagery and technical training to these fighters. These men were paid large monthly paychecks, much more that the average income of uneducated laborers in Syria. In 2011 their monthly pay was $1,000. As the years went by, their salary was increased. The payroll was managed by an official of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who was playing a key role in the regime change program in Syria. The paychecks were issued in Turkey, payable in US dollars.
USA, UK, NATO, EU, Australia, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia each had instrumental roles in the international attack on Syria for the purpose of regime change. People questioned: how could democratic countries promote armed terrorism for the purpose of bringing democracy to Syria? Experts pondered how democracy could be achieved from the barrel of a gun. The Americans never wondered how monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar could bring democracy to Syria, when there has never been any freedom or democracy in either country.
In the Vietnam War, the American government used a local tribe to fight for USA. They were a close-knit mountain tribe called Hmong. They were trained and given weapons. They were sent on specific missions to kill both North Vietnamese troops, and also others. It was a highly secret covert program. Those Hmongs fighting had made a specific deal with the US federal government. That in the event of failure on the US side in the war, they would be evacuated to USA and would be safely placed into new lives with full benefits to care for them. I am sure there were sleepless nights among them, wondering who will win the war, and would the Americans fulfill their promises to them. In the end, the US government stood by their word and evacuated the Hmong people, in the thousands, to Fresno, California. There, they were put into free houses and apartments; all paid by the Fresno county Section 8 program. Section 8 was a program designed to help the poorest people, typically with young children. Fresno county government offices then billed the US federal government offices to cover the free housing for the Hmong ‘refugees’. They were given free medical coverage at Valley Medical Center, which is the Fresno county funded hospital. Each was given a Medi-Cal card, which entitled them to free medical. The Medi-Cal program was a California State funded program to cover the poorest Californians.
They were given coverage on the Food Stamp program, which gave free foods to the Hmongs, through the existing welfare program.
History is about to repeat itself, as the Syrian Arab Army with their allies inside Syria have taken strategic areas in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Palmyra, Homs, Deir Ez Zor and many other locations, and the US sponsored ‘rebels’ appear to be facing defeat on the battlefields. The FSA spokesman has already predicted defeat.
When and if this happens in the coming days or weeks, the FSA will pull back into Turkey and the US agents, who are headquartered in Adana, will coordinate the safe and swift removal of the FSA and their wives and children. They will be put on chartered planes from the Adana airport to arrive finally at their new home, which could be Flint, Michigan.
Flint is a troubled community. It has severe water problems as well as economic problems. The Flint city and county officials could be more than happy to have special federal money coming their way, which would be tied to the “Syrian Refugee” settlement. The local churches, mosques and various charities would all rally around their newcomers. The American people are well known for their generous and welcoming nature. Everyone in USA can trace their ancestry back to newcomers at some point in time. America is a melting-pot and they are proud of that heritage.
At first glance, these Syrian refugees may appear to be war-weary and looking for a new life of security and peace. It might take years for some incident to happen, where their military training and terrorist background could re-surface. Their American neighbors will not be aware that the Free Syrian Army was founded on the principals of Radical Islam. The founders of the FSA were all fighting for the purpose of regime change in Syria, in order to establish Sharia law, and to transform the secular government of Syria into an Islamic State. The FSA fighters were all strictly Sunni Muslims, even though Syria is made up of 18 different sects, and millions of Christians, but the FSA were an exclusive ‘one-sect-militia’.
The American CIA plan of attack on Syria was formulated in 2006, and the wheels put into motion. The Radical Islamic political ideology was keeping pace with the CIA regime change plan. The Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated every major city in USA and UK, and had portrayed themselves as legitimate political persons, who just happened to be Muslims. Knowing that the US and UK protect religious rights; they found safe haven and grew stronger and stronger. The CIA decided to formulate the FSA, and describe it as “Freedom Fighters” to the western audiences, through the network of mainstream media. Political propaganda machines went to work through CNN, BBC, France24 and Al Jazeera as they cranked out story after story of Syrian ‘regime’ atrocities, while never mentioning the FSA war crimes and atrocities. Knowing that most Americans never check the details of news report independently, they could fabricate stories and use fabricated videos to change the hearts and minds of western viewers into believing that the “John McCain’s Army” were freedom fighters, akin to the founding fathers of America.
There are already hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Germany, and scattered through various European countries. The Europeans are fearful that terrorists could be hiding among the mainly normal refugees. They are fearful of future terrorist attacks which could be committed by the very refugees they welcomed in and housed, clothed and fed.
Welcoming in hundreds of past terrorists, such as the FSA, could have disastrous results in USA. When you ask the people of Aleppo: “Who made you leave your homes?” they answered, “The FSA.” When you ask the Christians in Homs: “Who destroyed your churches and killed the Priests?” they answered, “The FSA.” When you ask the 16 year old Christian girl near Homs: “Who captured you and gang raped you for 6 months in 2012?” she answered, “The FSA.”
Given the facts and past history of the Free Syrian Army, would you want them living next door to your family?
Recently Paul Craig Roberts recounted a conversation he had with James Jesus Angleton, a former head of CIA counterintelligence, in which they discussed strategies that the CIA employs to dupe the American and global public, with a view to perpetrating criminal agendas, cloaked beneath the lie of “national interests”. Angleton explained to Roberts that,
“intelligence services create stories inside stories, each with its carefully constructed trail of evidence, in order to create false trails as diversions. Such painstaking work can serve a variety of purposes … Then if the official story gets into trouble, the backup story can be released in order to deflect attention into a new false story or to support the original story.”
The strategy of “stories within stories”, and using competing narratives to confuse, to distract, and to lead the public down false paths (red herrings) is entirely consistent with the 9/11 crimes, the subsequent “War On Terror”, and the criminal invasion of Syria.
The official stories explaining the 9/11 false flag are bundled with hidden stories, “limited hangouts”, and “distance from accountability” strategies — all serving to daze and confuse North Americans in particular, to the point where we revert to passively accepting the narrative of the day and the overarching lie that supporting the neo-con war agenda is patriotic.
The first 9/11 story – Story A – identified al Qaeda and Bin Laden as the primary perpetrators, but this story is being supplanted by another story – story B – which features Saudi Arabia as the villain. No doubt Saudi Arabia played a role in the crime and the on-going cover-up, but “Story B” is also a “limited hangout” in the sense that only a limited part of the story is “hanging out”. It also serves to provide cover or “distance from accountability” for some of the major villains who are still shielded from the glare of the spotlight. Additionally, it serves to lead us down false trails (red herring) that divert public attention from the hidden agenda of global war and poverty.
The Saudi Arabia limited hangout does beg an important question though: Will the CIA’s Wahhabi mercenary outfits — ISIS, al Qaeda/ al Nursra Front, and all the fraudulently labelled “moderates”, be targeting Saudi Arabia next?
The same strategy of “stories within stories” is occurring with the West’s criminal war of aggression on Syria.
Professor Tim Anderson explains in an interview that,
“Washington’s plan for a New Middle East – with compliant states across the region – is failing. Their Plan B is to partition or otherwise divide Syria and Iraq. Their Plan C will be to withdraw while pretending that they have helped bring peace to the region.”
The original Plan A: to quickly destroy democratic, pluralist, non-sectarian Syria with Western and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) backed terrorist invaders — with a view to setting up a stooge Wahhabi-style dictatorship, is failing. Not only are the terrorists being defeated on the battlefield, but the psy op “strategy of disassociation” is crumbling as well. More and more people are seeing through the lies of the “moderate rebel” story: the Western/GCC – backed “moderates” (all of whom share the same strategic ambitions as ISIS and the West) are at least as bad, maybe worse than their “comrades in arms”, “ISIS”. When U.S State Department spokesperson Mark Toner explained that they might put a “pause” on funding the so-called “moderates”, who publicly and brazenly chopped off the head of a Palestinian boy, the “strategy of disassociation” was beheaded as well.
Plan B is also failing, at least in Syria, since the “balkanization” efforts at creating ethnically or religiously-based enclaves within Syria is hitting the wall of Syria’s longstanding culture of religious freedom and pluralism. Syrians identify themselves first and foremost as Syrians, and not according to their religious affiliations.
Hopefully, Plan C is around the corner. The West will pretend that it has achieved peace, and it will withdraw its disgusting terrorist proxies.
The ugly truth about the genocidal Western designs for Syria – well documented for years by sources including former Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Michael Flynn, by Generals Dempsey, and Clark, by Vice-President Biden, and by publicly available Defence Intelligence Agency documents, as well as from other open source documents — is increasingly being accepted.
Despite the fake reporting, the fake NGOs, the “stories within stories”, the indolence and criminality of the corporate presstitutes, the ugly truth is imposing itself on Western audiences, whether they like it or not.
Just peace requires this uncomfortable foundation of truth.
Adam J. Szubin, US Treasury Department’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence
The United States has imposed new sanctions on Syria, targeting the arms and financial networks of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Department of the Treasury on Thursday included eight individuals and seven entities to its sanctions blacklist, which aims to cut them out of the global financial system.
The Treasury said the Syrian firm Hesco Engineering and Construction is operating energy production facilities in Syria, and added its Russia-based representatives to the sanctions list.
The Treasury also claimed that Yona Star International and T-Rubber are supplying the Syrian defense ministry, air force and other military bodies from their international offices and slapped sanctions on them.
Sanctions were also imposed on many individuals and businesses involved in international money transfers.
Adam Szubin, Treasury Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the Assad government is engaged in “destabilizing behavior.”
“Treasury will continue to act against those responsible for fueling the Assad regime’s repressive actions and dangerous weapons proliferation,” Szubin added.
Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against Syria.
The conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.
In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.
In September of last year, Russia launched its own air offensive against the terrorists who were still wreaking havoc in Syria. The Russian campaign, analysts say, has broken the backbone of ISIL and other militants.
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | July 21, 2016
Events in Turkey just become stranger with each passing day.
We now have Middle Eastern and Persian sources, cited by Russian and German papers, that Russia’s security agencies overheard helicopter radio transmissions by the coup participants, and President Putin warned Erdogan about what was happening, likely saving his skin.
If true, this would help explain the apparent ineptness of the coup forces. My first hypothesis explaining this ineptness plus other peculiarities of the coup was that the plotters were unwittingly working in a dark operation run by Turkish security forces, intended to make them fail while flushing them out and giving Erdogan a free hand.
This possibility of Russian advance warning put together with Erdogan’s own belief that the coup originated in America should yield some serious geopolitical shifts in the region.
We could have an even stronger rapprochement between Turkey and Russia than was already underway, a rapprochement, by the way, which could well have helped tip the United States into giving a wink and a nod (and of course, as always, some cash) to Turkish rebel forces.
But that would not be the only reason for America’s supporting a coup. The truth is, from the American point of view, Erdogan’s erratic behavior – shooting down a Russian war plane, firing artillery into Syria at American Kurdish allies, blackmailing Europe over large numbers of refugees resident in Turkish camps, and still other matters – over the last few years has added uncertainty and potential instability to a strategically important region.
Even if the United States were not involved in the coup, although right now Turkey’s government appears to believe firmly that it was, Putin’s warning would add a powerful positive element to Russian-Turkish relations.
Just as America’s failure to warn Erdogan adds a new negative element to Turkish-American relations. After all, no one is better equipped for international communication interception than the NSA. If the United States were not involved, why didn’t it warn Erdogan? Either way, the outcome is negative for Turkish-American relations.
One of the strongest suggestions for American involvement is the fact that Turkish jets, for bombing and fuel supplies, took off from the İncirlik Airbase during the coup. This airbase is Turkish, but has many Americans resident, including some high-level ones since there is not only a sizable air force stationed there but an estimated fifty thermonuclear bombs. The Turkish commander, Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, was in daily contact with the Americans and sought asylum in the United States before he was arrested by Turkey.
If it is true that Putin warned Erdogan, this would also be the second time Putin has blunted the success of a major American-inspired coup, as he very much did in Ukraine.
Seems as though poor old America, for all its grossly swollen and over-paid security services, just cannot run a good coup anymore.
Putin is disliked by Washington’s establishment precisely because he successfully blunted a huge and costly operation in Ukraine, so disliked that NATO has been pushed dangerously into something resembling the terrifying preparations for Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa in Eastern Europe, 1941.
And, of course, Putin also has thwarted the American effort to overthrow President Assad with paid and supplied proxy forces of mercenaries and religious maniacs. Interestingly, Erdogan has been a key player there. French intelligence has just estimated that even now about a hundred thugs cross the border from Turkey into Syria each week.
If Putin has now also stopped a Turkish adventure, the hissing in Washington will likely become much louder.
A new relationship between Turkey and Russia offers a lot of possibilities, none of them favorable from America’s point of view, the restart of the Turkish Stream natural gas project being just one.
And if Europe speaks up or acts too strongly against Erdogan’s counter-coup measures, there’s always the possibility of a new release of refugees from Turkish camps, something which could genuinely destabilize the EU after so many other recent woes. And smooth control of the EU has been one of America’s chief policy objectives for years.
Of course, we should remember that Churchill’s famous quote originally applied to Russia in the days of Stalin. It does not apply to contemporary Russia, and Putin’s deft moves have made some of America’s clumsy efforts at re-ordering the world rather make it resemble Stalin in international affairs.
Prensa Latina transmits below the full text of the exclusive interview with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad:
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, thanks for giving Prensa Latina this historic opportunity of conveying your point of views to the rest of the world about the reality in Syria, because as you know, there is a lot of misinformation out there about your country, about the foreign aggression that is taking place against this beautiful country.
Mr. President, how would you evaluate the current military situation of the external aggression against Syria, and what are the main challenges of Syrian forces on the ground to fight anti-government groups? If it is possible, we would like to know your opinion about the battles or combats in Aleppo, in Homs.
President Assad: Of course, there was a lot of support to the terrorists from around the world. We have more than one hundred nationalities participating in the aggression against Syria with the support of certain countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar with their money and Turkey with the logistical support, and of course with the endorsement and supervision of the Western countries, mainly the United States, France, and the UK, and some other allies.
But since the Russians decided to intervene in supporting legally the Syrian Army in fighting the terrorists in Syria, mainly al-Nusra and ISIS and some other affiliated groups, the scales have been tipped against those terrorists, and the Syrian Army has made many advancements in different areas in Syria.
And we are still moving forward, and the Syrian Army is determined to destroy and to defeat those terrorists. You mentioned Homs and Aleppo.
Of course, the situation in Homs, since the terrorists left Homs more than a year ago, the situation has been much, much better, more stable.
You have some suburbs of the city which were infiltrated by terrorists. Now there is a process of reconciliation in those areas in which either the terrorists give up their armaments and go back to their normal life with amnesty from the government, or they can leave Homs to any other place within Syria, like what happened more than a year ago in the center of the city.
For Aleppo it is a different situation, because the Turks and their allies like the Saudis and Qataris lost most of their cards on the battlefields in Syria, so the last card for them, especially for Erdogan, is Aleppo.
That is why he worked hard with the Saudis to send as much as they can of the terrorists – the estimation is more than five thousand terrorists – to Aleppo.
PRENSA LATINA: Through the Turkish borders?
President Assad: Yes, from Turkey to Aleppo, during the last two months, in order to recapture the city of Aleppo, and that didn’t work.
Actually, our army has been making advancement in Aleppo and the suburbs of Aleppo in order to encircle the terrorists, then, let’s say, either to negotiate their going back to their normal life as part of reconciliation, or for the terrorists to leave the city of Aleppo, or to be defeated. There’s no other solution.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, which are the priorities of the Syrian Army in the confrontation with the terrorist groups? What is the role that the popular defence groups are playing in the theatre of operations?
President Assad: The priority of the Syrian Army, first of all, is to fight ISIS, al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Cham and Jaish al-Islam. These four organizations are directly linked to Al Qaeda through the ideology; they have the same ideology, they are Islamic extremist groups who want to kill anyone who doesn’t look or doesn’t feel or behave like them.
But regarding what you called the popular militia groups, actually, at the beginning of the war, the terrorists started an unconventional war against our army, and our army is a traditional army, like any other in the world, so the support of those popular defence groups was very important in order to defeat the terrorists in an unconventional way.
That was very helpful to the Syrian Army, because those fighters, those national fighters, they fight in their regions, in their cities, in their villages, so they know the area very well, they know the region very well, I mean the pathways, the terrain, let’s say, very well.
So, they can be very huge assets for the Syrian Army. That is their role.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, how does the resistance of the Syrian people take place in the economic front to foreign aggression, I mean the economy, and please, what is your opinion on which sectors of the Syrian economy have remained functioning despite the war, economic blockade, looting, and so forth?
President Assad: Actually, the war on Syria is a full-blown war; it is not only supporting terrorists. They support the terrorists, and at the same time they launched a political war against Syria on the international level, and the third front was the economic front, in which they dictate to their terrorists, to their surrogate mercenaries, to start destroying the infrastructure in Syria that helped the economy and the daily needs of the Syrian citizens.
At the same time, they started an embargo directly on the borders of Syria through the terrorists and abroad through the banking systems around the world. In spite of that, the Syrian people were determined to live as much normal life as they can.
That prompted many Syrian businessmen or the owners of, let’s say, the industry, which is mainly medium and small industry, to move from the conflict areas and unstable areas toward more stable areas, on a smaller scale of business, in order to survive and to keep the economy running and to keep the needs of the Syrian people available.
So, in that regard, most of the sectors are still working. For example, the pharmaceutical sector is still working in more than 60 percent of its capacity, which is very important, helpful, and very supportive to our economy in such circumstances.
And I think now we are doing our best in order to re-expand the base of the economy in spite of the situation, especially after the Syrian Army made many advancements in different areas.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, let’s talk a little bit about the international environment, please, give me your opinion about the role of the United Nations in the Syrian conflict, the attempts of Washington and its allies to impose their will on the Security Council and in the Geneva peace talks.
President Assad: Talking about the role of the United Nations or Security Council could be illusive, because actually the United Nations is now an American arm, where they can use it the way they want, they can impose their double standards on it instead of the Charter.
They can use it like any other institution within the American administration. Without some Russian and Chinese stances in certain issues, it would be a full American institution.
So, the Russian and Chinese role has made some balance within these institutions, mainly regarding the Syrian issue during the last five years. But if you want to talk about their role through their mediators or their envoys, like recently de Mistura, and before that Kofi Annan, and in between Brahimi, and so on. Let’s say that those mediators are not independent; they reflect either the pressure from the Western countries, or sometimes the dialogue between the main powers, mainly Russia and the United States.
So, they’re not independent, so you cannot talk about the role of the United Nations; it is a reflection of that balance. That is why so far, there is no United Nations role in the Syrian conflict; there is only Russian and American dialogue, and we know that the Russians are working hard and seriously and genuinely in order to defeat the terrorists, while the Americans always play games in order to use the terrorists, not to defeat them.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, how do you see at the present time the coexistence among Syrian ethnic and religious groups against this foreign intervention? How do they contribute or not in this regard?
President Assad: The most important thing about this harmony between the different spectrums of the Syrian fabric, is that it is genuine, because that has been built up through the history, through centuries, so for such a conflict, it cannot destroy that social fabric.
That is why if you go around and visit different areas under the control of the government, you will see all the colors of the Syrian society living with each other.
And I would say, I would add to this, that during the conflict, this harmony has become much better and stronger, and this is not rhetoric; actually, this is reality, for different reasons, because this conflict is a lesson.
This diversity that you have, it is either to be a richness to your country, or a problem. There’s no something in the middle. So, the people learned that we need to work more on this harmony, because the first rhetoric used by the terrorists and by their allies in the region and in the West regarding the Syrian conflict at the very beginning was sectarian rhetoric.
They wanted people to divide in order to have conflict with each other, to stoke the fire within Syria, and it didn’t work. And the Syrians learned that lesson, that we had harmony; we had had harmony before the conflict, in the normal times, but we have to work more in order to make it much stronger.
So, I can say without any exaggeration that the situation regarding this part is good. In spite of that, I would say the areas under the control of the terrorists – and as you know those terrorists are mainly extremist groups affiliated to Al Qaeda – in which they worked very hard in order to indoctrinate the young generation with their dark ideology, and they succeeded in some areas, this dark ideology with the killing and beheading and all these horrible practices.
With the time, it is going to be more difficult to deal with this new generation of young people who have been indoctrinated with Al Qaeda and Wahabi doctrine and ideology. So this is the only danger that we are going to face regarding our society, harmony, and coexistence that you just mentioned.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, I would like to go again to the international arena. What is in your opinion the role of the U.S.-led international coalition in relation to the groups that operate in northern Syria, in particular regarding the Kurds group. I mean the bombing of the American airplanes and the coalition in the northern part of the country. What to do you think about that?
President Assad: You know, traditionally, the American administrations, when they had relations with any group or community in any country, it is not for the sake of the country, it is not for the interest of the people; it is for the agenda of the United States.
So, that is what we have to ask ourselves: why would the Americans support any group in Syria? Not for Syria. They must their agenda, and the American agenda has always been divisive in any country. They don’t work to unite the people; they work to make division between the different kinds of people.
Sometimes they choose a sectarian group, sometimes they choose an ethnical group in order to support them against other ethnicities or to push them in a way that takes them far from the rest of the society.
This is their agenda. So, it is very clear that this American support is not related to ISIS, it is not related to al-Nusra, it is not related to fighting terrorism, because since the beginning of the American intervention, ISIS was expanding, not shrinking. It has only started to shrink when the Russian support to the Syrian Army took place last September.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, what is your opinion about the recent coup d’état in Turkey, and its impact on the current situation in that country, and on the international level, and on the Syrian conflict also?
President Assad: Such a coup d’état, we have to look at it as a reflection of instability and disturbances within Turkey, mainly on the social level. It could be political, it could be whatever, but at the end, the society is the main issue when you have instability.
Regardless of who is going to govern Turkey, who is going to be the president, who is going to be the leader of Turkey; this is an internal issue. We don’t interfere, we don’t make the mistake to say that Erdogan should go or should stay. This is a Turkish issue, and the Turkish people have to decide.
But what is more important than the coup d’état itself, we have to look at the procedures and the steps that are being taken by Erdogan and his coterie recently during the last few days, when they started attacking the judges; they removed more than 2,700 judges from their positions, more than 1,500 professors in the universities, more than 15,000 employees in the education sector. What do the universities and the judges and that civil society have to do with the coup d’état?
So, that reflects the bad intentions of Erdogan and his misconduct and his real intentions toward what happened, because the investigation hasn’t been finalized yet. How did they take the decision to remove all those?
So, he used the coup d’état in order to implement his own extremist agenda, Muslim Brotherhood agenda, within Turkey, and that is dangerous for Turkey and for the neighboring countries, including Syria.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, how do you evaluate the Syrian government’s relations with the opposition inside Syria? What is the difference between these opposition organizations and those based outside Syria?
President Assad: We have good relations with the opposition within Syria based on the national principles. Of course, they have their own political agenda and they have their own beliefs, and we have our own agenda and our beliefs, and the way we can make the dialogue either directly or through the ballot boxes; it could be a different way of dialogue, which is the situation in every country.
But we cannot compare them with the other oppositions outside Syria, because the word “opposition” means to resort to peaceful means, not to support terrorists, and not to be formed outside your country, and to have grassroots, to have real grassroots made of Syrian people.
You cannot have your grassroots be the foreign ministry in the UK, Franceor the intelligence in Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the United States. This is not opposition, this is called, in that case, you are called a traitor.
So, they call them oppositions, we call them traitors. The real opposition is the one that works for the Syrian people and is based in Syria and its agenda derived its vision from the Syrian people and the Syrian interests.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, how do you evaluate the insistence of the U.S. and its allies that you leave power in addition to the campaign to distort the image of your government?
President Assad: Regarding their wish for me to leave power, they have been talking about this for the last five years, and we never responded even with a statement.
We never cared about them. Actually, this is a Syrian issue; only the Syrian people can say who should come and go, who should stay in his position, who should leave, and the West knows our position very well regarding this.
So, we don’t care and don’t have to waste our time with their rhetoric. I am here because of the support of the Syrian people. Without that, I wouldn’t be here. That is very simple.
About how they defame, or try to demonize certain presidents, this is the American way, at least since the second World War, since they substituted British colonization in this region, and maybe in the world, the American administrations and the American politicians haven’t said a single honest word regarding anything.
They always lie. And as time goes by, they are becoming more inveterate liars, so this is part of their politics. So, to demonize me is like how they tried to demonize President Vladimir Putin during the last two years and they did the same with the Cuban leader Fidel Castro during the last five decades.
This is their way. So, we have to know that this is the American way. We don’t have to worry about it. The most important thing is to have good reputation among your own people. That is what we have to worry about.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, what is your opinion on Syria’s relation with Latin America, particularly the historical links with Cuba?
President Assad: In spite of the long distance between Syria and Latin America, we are always surprised how much the people in Latin America, not only the politicians, know about this region. I think this has many reasons, but one of them is the historical similarities and commonalities between our region, between Syria and Latin America.
Latin America was under direct occupation for long time ago but after that it was under the occupation of the American companies, and the American coup d’états and the American intervention.
So, they know what is the meaning of being independent or not to be independent. They understand that the war in Syria is about independence.
But the most important thing is the role of Cuba. Cuba was the spearhead of the independence movement within Latin America and Fidel Castro was the iconic figure in that regard.
So, on the political level and the knowledge level, there is a strong harmony between Syria and Latin America, especially Cuba. But I do not think we work enough to improve the other part of the relation; to be on the same level mainly on the educational and the economic level.
That was my ambition before the crisis and that is why I visited Latin America, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentine and Brazil, in order toinvigorate this relation. Then, we had this conflict started and it was a big obstacle to do anything in that regard, but I think that we have not to restrain the relation on the historical and the political levels. That is not enough. You have so many other sectors, people should know more about each other. The long distance could be an obstacle, but it shouldn’t because we have strong relations with the rest of the world, east and west.
So, it is not an obstacle in these days. So, I think if we overcome this crisis and this war, we should work harder in order to invigorate the different sectors of this relation with Latin America and especially with Cuba.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, would you tell me your opinion about the electoral process in the United States mainly for the president? Now, there are two candidates; the Republican one is Mr. Donald Trump and the Democrat one is Mrs. Hillary Clinton, what is your opinion about this process, about the result of this process and how it could impact the conflict here, in the war in Syria?
President Assad: We resumed our relation with the United States in 1974. Now, it has been 42 years since then and we witnessed many American presidents in different situations and the lesson that we have learned is that no one should bet on any American president, that is the most important thing. So, it is not about the name.
They have institutions, they have their own agenda and every president should come to implement that agenda in his own way, but at the end he has to implement that agenda.
All of them have militaristic agendas, and the only difference is the way. One of them sends his army like Bush and the other one sends mercenaries and proxies like Obama, but all of them have to implement this agenda.
So, I do not believe that the president is allowed completely to fulfill his own political convictions in the United States, he has to obey the institutions and the lobbies, and the lobbies have not changed and the institutions’ agenda has not change.
So, no president in the near future will come to make a serious and dramatic change regarding the politics of the United States.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, one final question: what message would you send using this interview with Prensa Latina to the governments and people of Latin America, the Caribbean, and also why not the American people, about the importance of supporting Syria against terrorism?
President Assad: Latin America is a very good and important example to the world about how the people and their governments regain their independence.
They are the backyard of the United States as the United States sees, but this backyard was used by the United States to play its own games, to implement its own agenda and the people in Latin America sacrificed a lot in order to regain their independence and everybody knows that.
After regaining their independence, those countries moved from being developing countries, or sometimes under-developed countries, to be developed countries. So, independence is a very important thing and it is very dear for every Latin American citizen.
We think they have to keep this independence because the United States will not stop trying to topple every independent government, every government that reflects the vast majority of the people in every country in Latin America.
And again, Cuba knows this, knows what I am talking about more than any other one in the world; you suffered more than anyone from the American attempts and you succeeded in withstanding all these attempts during the last sixty years or more just because the government reflected the Cuban people.
So, holding strongly to this independence, I think, is the crucial thing, the most important thing for the future of Latin America. Regarding Syria, we can say that Syria is paying the price of its independence because we never worked against the United States; we never worked against France or the UK. We always try to have good relations with the West.
But their problem is that they do not accept any independent country and I think this is same for Cuba. You never tried to do any harm to the American people but they do not accept you as an independent country.
The same is true for other countries in Latin America and that’s why you always have coup d’états mainly between the sixties and the seventies.
So, I think preserving the independence of a certain country is not only an isolated case; if I want to be independent, I have to support the independence in the rest of the world. So, the independence anywhere in the world, including Latin America, will support my independence. If I am alone, I will be weak.
Supporting Syria will be mainly in the international arena. There are many international organizations, mainly the United Nation, in spite of its impotence, but at the end, their support could play a vital role in supporting Syria and, of course, the Security Council; it depends on who is going to be the temporary member in the Security Council, and any other organization supporting Syria will be very important.
PRENSA LATINA: Mr. President, we know you are a very busy person, that is why I appreciate very much your time that you have dedicated to Prensa Latina interview in this moment. I hope this would not be the last interview that we have with you.
President Assad: You are welcome anytime.