Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it, those that do understand are doomed to watch in horror while everyone else repeats it. The run up to overthrowing President Assad of Syria was occurring before The Fifth Column existed. I covered it when I wrote daily for The Anti-Media, and even before then when I wrote for a Canadian outlet called Digital Journal. It began long before that though.
It started in 2006 when the US decided it wanted to oust Syrian President Assad and started laying the ground work. This was proven by leaked Saudi Arabian intelligence cables hosted on Wikileaks. Julian Assange said of the leaks: Continue reading »
Why is John Kerry so eager to convene an emergency summit on Syria now when the war has been dragging on for four and a half years?
Is he worried that Russia’s air campaign is wiping out too many US-backed jihadis and sabotaging Washington’s plan to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad? Continue reading »
Two members of the Turkish parliament gave a press conference this week saying that they have wiretapped recordings and other evidence showing that Turkey supplied the sarin used in Syria. As reported by Turkey’s largest newspapers, Today’s Zaman:
CHP deputies Eren Erdem and Ali ?eker held a press conference in ?stanbul on Wednesday in which they claimed the investigation into allegations regarding Turkey’s involvement in the procurement of sarin gas which was used in the chemical attack on a civil population and delivered to the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to enable the attack was derailed.
Taking the floor first, Erdem stated that the Adana Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into allegations that sarin was sent to Syria from Turkey via several businessmen. An indictment followed regarding the accusations targeting the government. Continue reading »
On Tuesday, we noted how absurd it is for Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir to suggest that it will be “difficult” for Iran to play a part in “resolving” Syria’s years-old civil war. Here’s how we put it yesterday:
It’s rather strange for the Saudis to make statements like “it will be difficult for Iran to play a role in finding a solution to the conflict.” We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Iran is already playing a role in finding a “solution” – they’re summarily wiping out the groups funded by the Saudis on the way to restoring the regime. If anyone is going to have a “difficult” time playing a part, it’s the Saudis.
That same logic applies to the US and any of Washington and Riyadh’s regional allies. Continue reading »
Watching the US attempt to explain to the public why Washington can’t join the Russians in targeting extremists in Syria has been entertainment gold. The fundamental PR problem revolves around the fact that the West has gone out of its way to hold up ISIS as the quintessential example of pure, unadulterated evil that must be eradicated at all costs and yet when Moscow began bombing ISIS targets and publicly implored the US to join in, Washington said no. Continue reading »
“The big battle preparations in that area are clear,” said one of the officials familiar with the plans. “There is a large mobilization of the Syrian army … elite Hezbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians who arrived in stages in recent days.”
As those who follow Mid-East affairs are acutely aware, the regime in Syria has enjoyed both military and financial support from Iran for the duration of the country’s civil war.
Syria cannot fall to the West if Tehran intends to preserve the regional balance of power and an Iran-friendly Damascus ensures the supply lines remain open between the IRGC and Hezbollah. Lose Syria, and suddenly, the Mid-East tide turns in favor of the Saudis and Qatar and that, clearly, is an unacceptable outcome. Continue reading »
As the twin blasts that ripped through Ankara on Saturday underscore, being around large gatherings of people who are protesting (peacefully or otherwise) in public places can be dangerous if you’re in a Mid-East war zone. Large crowds make for easy targets and as we’ve seen in Turkey, at least some governments seem to believe that inflicting casualties on civilians is a legitimate tool for shaping public opinion.
With that in mind, consider that on Tuesday, “insurgents” hit the Russian embassy in Damascus as more than 300 people gathered to express their support for Moscow’s intervention in Syria. As AFP reports:
Two rockets struck the Russian embassy compound in Damascus on Tuesday sparking panic as several hundred people gathered to express their support for Moscow’s air war in Syria, AFP journalists said.
Some 300 people had begun to gather for a demonstration backing Russia’s recent intervention in Syria when the rockets crashed into the embassy compound in the Mazraa neighbourhood of the capital, the journalists at the scene said.
There was widespread panic among the demonstrators, who moments earlier had been waving Russian flags and holding up large photographs of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One week ago, when summarizing the current state of play in Syria, we said that for Obama, “this is shaping up to be the most spectacular US foreign policy debacle since Vietnam.” Yesterday, in tacit confirmation of this assessment, the Obama administration threw in the towel on one of the most contentious programs it has implemented in “fighting ISIS”, when the Defense Department announced it was abandoning the goal of a U.S.-trained Syrian force. Continue reading »
Over 1,000 terrorists laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian authorities over the past 24 hours in Daraa, the Syrian local sources also confirmed.
The militants also turned over their cache of ammo to the authorities, both sources added. Continue reading »
Alexander Zhilin, Colonel in the army and military expert of the Russian Federation, explains in layman’s terms Russia’s national interests in supporting Assad.
A number of Russians, and Westerners as well, have some misunderstandings about Russia’s involvement.
Zhilin explains why this is not an optional fight for Russia. In the event that Syria fell, it would free up ISIS fighters for a renewed campaign in Chechnya, Dagestan and east of the Caspian as well, pushing north from Afghanistan into former Soviet central Asia. Continue reading »
On Sunday, France proudly announced that it had launched its first strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Here’s The New York Times:
In France’s first airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, warplanes destroyed a training camp, President François Hollande announced on Sunday.
At a news conference in New York, where he had arrived for the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Hollande said that the warplanes had attacked the training camp in eastern Syria after it had been identified by French air surveillance with help from the coalition of Western and Middle Eastern states conducting the air campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Continue reading »
As US President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to the White House on Friday, Sept. 25, and spoke of the friendship between the two countries, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, accompanied by a guided missile cruiser. This is revealed exclusively by DEBKAfile.
Beijing is not finding it hard to dance at two weddings, wooing the US for better relations, while at the same time backing Russia in its military intervention in Syria. Coupled with the warm smiles and handshakes exchanged at the lavish reception on the White House lawn, Beijing was clearly bent on showing muscle – not just in the South China Sea, but by allying itself with the Russian-Iranian political and military buildup in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime. Continue reading »
Now that Europe’s worsening refugee crisis and Russia’s stepped up support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad have (finally) focused the world’s attention on Syria’s four-year, bloody civil war, inquiring minds want to know: how did it happen that the country, which is now at risk of becoming a failed state, descend into chaos?
Of course when we speak of “inquiring minds” we mean those of the general public which, to this point, has remained largely ignorant of the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are dying in a place that shares a border with the country the US supposedly just got done “liberating.” Continue reading »
Earlier this week, Bashar al-Assad served notice to ISIS that the tide may have just turned in the battle for Syria. The Kremlin’s move to increase its “logistical” and “technical” support for government forces at Latakia appears to have breathed new life into the regime which carried out a series of air raids in the de facto ISIS capital Raqqa on Thursday.
This came amid reports that Assad’s forces were using new “highly effective and very accurate” weaponry. “There are modern weapons that the regime didn’t previously have, be they rocket launchers or air to ground to missiles,” The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters. Continue reading »
H/t reader M.G.:
“So much for western propaganda……..the greedy guts want a war, what do they care if millions have lost their homes causing the worst immigration crisis since WW2 and the loss of thousands of lives???? What swine……..”
– “Be Our Guest”: Russia Warns Washington Of “Unintended Incidents” In Syria (ZeroHedge, Sep 11, 2015):
On Thursday evening, we chronicled the latest in the drama that is Syria’s horrific civil war, noting that, according to an Israeli defense source, “hundreds” of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are on the ground in Syria fighting alongside the Russians to support Bashar al-Assad’s depleted forces as they battle to regain control of the country.
If true, that would answer the following question which we’ve been asking for quite some time: will Iran remain on the sidelines and allow the Houthis to be routed in Yemen and Assad deposed in Syria, or will Tehran, like Moscow, finally decide that the time for rhetoric has come to an end? Continue reading »
– The phoney « refugee crisis » (Voltairenet, Sep 7, 2015):
While the European media arouse emotion by showing photographs of a drowned child and reports of crowds of refugees crossing the Balkans on foot, Thierry Meyssan demonstrates that these images have been fabricated. It’s certain that they serve the purposes of the head of the Federation of German Industries, Ulrich Grillo, and also NATO. But they do not show the phenomenon in its totality, which leads the Europeans to offer inadapted responses.
- The left-hand part of this photo has been widely published by the Atlantist Press. The victim, a Syrian Kurd child, Aylan Kurdi, is supposed to have been washed up by the sea. However, his corpse is perpendicular to the waves instead of being parallel. On the right-hand part, the presence of an official Turkish photographer reinforces the suggestion of a staged event. In the background we can see people bathing.
Since we know that only NATO is capable of publishing false information on the front page of all the newspapers of its member states, it is very probable that it has organised the present campaign. Besides which, the fact that all migrants are represented as refugees fleeing the war zones, and the insistance about the supposed Syrian origin of these migrants, allows us to suppose that NATO is preparing a public action linked to the war which it is secretly waging against Syria.
– Read This Before The Mainstream Media Uses A Drowned Refugee Boy To Start Another War (Anti Media, Sep 8, 2015):
A baby boy turned to flotsam. Washed up on the shore, face down in the mud. His family, refugees from Syria’s civil war, had tried to reach Greece, but their over-crowded raft overturned in the Mediterranean Sea and he drowned along with his brother and mother. The viral image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless little body on a Turkish beach has shaken the conscience of the West and wrenched America’s attention to the refugee crisis now rocking Europe.
Newsflash to the oblivious citizenry of the power-projecting “free world”: this is what war looks like. This times ten million. That which is mere “foreign policy” to you and your government is desperation and death to those on the receiving end of it. Continue reading »
– Russian Military Presence In Syria Risks “Confrontation” With US-Backed Forces, Kerry Warns Lavrov (ZeroHedge, Sep 5, 2015):
On Friday, Vladimir Putin conceded that the scope of Russian military involvement in Syria is “quite serious.”
In a replay of the Kremlin’s official line regarding Russian involvement in Ukraine, Putin did not admit that his soldiers were on the ground to play a direct combat role.
However, the Russian President’s comments did suggest that Moscow’s logistical and technical assistance goes far beyond the purely “political” cover the Kremlin has granted Assad via Moscow’s Security Council veto. It also suggests that Russia isn’t prepared to accept a Syrian state controlled by a puppet government likely to be sympathetic to Washington and Riyadh. Continue reading »
– Additional Details Emerge on How U.S. Government Policy Created, Armed, Supported and Funded ISIS (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 17, 2015):
Telling Hasan that he had read the document himself, Flynn said that it was among a range of intelligence being circulated throughout the US intelligence community that had led him to attempt to dissuade the White House from supporting these groups, albeit without success.
Despite this, Flynn’s account shows that the US commitment to supporting the Syrian insurgency against Bashir al-Assad led the US to deliberately support the very al-Qaeda affiliated forces it had previously fought in Iraq.
The US anti-Assad strategy in Syria, in other words, bolstered the very al-Qaeda factions the US had fought in Iraq, by using the Gulf states and Turkey to finance the same groups in Syria. As a direct consequence, the secular and moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army were increasingly supplanted by virulent Islamist extremists backed by US allies. Continue reading »
“And we should be uncompromising – using all the means at our disposal – including military force – to hunt down these extremists …”
That does incl. their commanders, right Mr. Cameron?
– British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria (Global Research, Aug 4, 2015):
By Stephen Lendman
On August 2, Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper headlined “SAS dress as ISIS fighters in undercover war on jihadis,” saying:
“More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country” covertly “dressed in black and flying ISIS flags,” engaged in what’s called Operation Shader – attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of combatting ISIS. Continue reading »
– Amid Escalating Violence In Turkey, Erdogan Says Putin Ready To “Give Up On Assad” (ZeroHedge, Aug 3, 2015):
As opposition lawmakers accuse Tayyip Erdogan of blocking efforts to form a coalition government, Ankara says the PKK orchestrated a suicide attack that killed three Turkish soldiers. Meanwhile, Erdogan says Vladimir Putin is ready to “give up on” Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
– Putin Reiterates Russian Support for Assad’s Syria, Promises Aid (Moscow Times, June 29, 2015):
AMMAN/BEIRUT — Syria’s foreign minister said in Moscow on Monday Russia had promised to send political, economic and military aid to his country, where the army is coming under some of the heaviest pressure since the start of the civil war.
Insurgent groups have made gains against government forces in northwest, central and southern Syria in the past two months but Damascus has voiced confidence that it can hold on to important territory with the help of its allies.
“I got a promise of aid to Syria – politically, economically and militarily,” Walid al-Moualem said at a televised news conference after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. He did not give details.
– The End Draws Near For Syria’s Assad As Putin’s Patience “Wears Thin” (ZeroHedge, July 28, 2015):
Early last month in, “The Noose Around Syria’s Assad Tightens” we outlined the latest developments in the country’s prolonged civil war. Here’s what we said then:
The US-led alliance realizes very well that as long as Assad has to fight three fronts: i.e., the Nusra Front in the northwestern province of Idlib and ever closer proximity to Syria’s main infrastructure hub of Latakia, ISIS in the central part of the nation where militants recently took over the historic town of Palmyra, and the official “rebel” force in close proximity to Damascus, Assad’s army will either eventually be obliterated or, more likely, mutiny and overthrow the president, putting the Ukraine scenario in play.
In short, the US and its Middle Eastern allies are simply playing the waiting game; watching for the opportune time to charge in and “liberate” Syria from whatever army manages to take Damascus first, at which point a puppet government will be promptly installed. Continue reading »
– Russia Promises “Economic And Military” Aid To Syria As US Refloats Assad “Chemcial Weapons” Trial Balloon (ZeroHedge, June 29, 2015):
It has been a while since the US State Department, with the help of the UK-funded and US-supported Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, floated doctored YouTube clips of hundreds of Syrians dead as a result of Assad’s chemical attacks. In fact, it has been almost exactly two years since the last time the US nearly launched an all out proxy war in Syria, one involving an axis of western powers and Qatar (whose natural gas this whole charade is all about) against another axis of Russia and China who were supportive of the Syrian government. Luckily, a last minute snafu by John Kerry allowed a de-escalation, which in turn resulted in the appearance of ISIS, whose entire purpose has been, as leaked Pentagon memos have revealed, to topple Assad.
And with collective memories short, and with the “diplomatic” playbook of the US State Department even shorter, the time has come to once again rekindle this particular fabulation. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“If Vlad has Bashir’s corner, and Iran is actively pursuing ISIS in Iraq, with Iraq’s nod, we might see a different outcome, but in the meantime, to the jubilation of the sick israelis………”
– Sisi expects Assad regime in Syria to fall ‘at any moment’ (The Ugly Truth, June 20, 2015):
– Sisi expects Assad regime in Syria to fall ‘at any moment’ (Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2015):
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expects Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria to fall “at any moment,” according to a report that appeared over the weekend in the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal.
The newspaper said that Sisi made the remarks during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam that took place earlier this week in Cairo.
– Putin reaffirms support for Syria’s Assad, hopes for Iran deal soon (The Ugly Truth, June 19, 2015):
– Putin reaffirms support for Syria’s Assad, hopes for Iran deal soon (Jerusalem Post/Reuters, June 19, 2015):
Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Russia’s support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Friday and said he opposed any use of external force to try to end the Syrian civil war.
Putin showed no sign of wavering in his policy of trying to shield Assad from pressure from the West in a 4 1/2-year-old conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions. Continue reading »
Aaaand where is Putin???
Don’t look now but ISIS fighters are just a few short miles away from Bashar al-Assad’s Presidential Palace in Syria after taking control of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus where some 18,000 are trapped in what the UN calls a “beyond inhumane” situation. The camp, which has been under siege by the Assad regime for years came under attack by ISIS earlier this month who reports indicate may be working alongside al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm al-Nusra in what would be a break with recent precedent. Some Palestinian factions — who, alongside the Free Syria Army are battling ISIS for control of the camp — have reportedly agreed to acquiesce to an operation by the Assad regime which has offered to provide arms to the Palestinians if it means helping them expel ISIS from the area, although, as the BBC reports, the main Palestinian militia fighting ISIS, Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis (who pledge allegiance to Hamas and are also battling al-Nusra in Yarmouk) have agreed to no such thing. Meanwhile, the Assad government is allegedly using “indiscriminate” barrel bombing in an effort that’s ostensibly designed to weaken ISIS forces.
So summing that up, ISIS, possibly in conjunction with al-Qaeda, have taken control of a strategic refugee camp in Damascus, which was previously under siege by Assad and previously controlled by Hamas-linked militiamen who are not keen on cooperating with Assad, who is offering to arm the Palestinians while simultaneously bombing everyone. As Al Jazeera notes, this is a “siege within a siege”: Continue reading »
– Syria “Welcomes” Larger Russia Presence (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2015):
Following Vladimir Putin’s demands for an “immediate cessation of military activities” in Yemen, AFP reports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s comment during a recent interview that “with complete confidence that we welcome any widening of the Russian presence in the eastern Mediterranean and on Syrian coasts and ports,” including the port of Tartus. Amid the Western-backed opposition National Coalition’s planned boycott of talks, Assad pointedly remarked, “the negotiating parties must be independent and must reflect what the Syrian people want… people would not accept that their future, their fate, or their rules are decided from outside.”
Syria would welcome an increased Russian military presence at its sea ports, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian news channels published Friday. As AFP reports,
“I can say with complete confidence that we welcome any widening of the Russian presence in the eastern Mediterranean and on Syrian coasts and ports,” including the port of Tartus, Assad said. Continue reading »
Here we go again!
– John Kerry: “Military Pressure May Be Needed To Oust Syria’s President “ (ZeroHedge, March 5, 2015):
Last week, after reading a Time article titled “Why Bashar Assad Won’t Fight ISIS” written by a journalist whose recent work includes “The YouTube War“, and who sourced two unnamed, anonymous sources to reach the conclusion that Syria’s president Assad is in cahoots with ISIS, we made a simple conclusion: “The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion.” Barely a week has gone by and the wheels for the Syrian invasion are indeed turning: earlier today, US Secretary of State John Kerry (who one hopes doesn’t use kerryemails.com as a work email server) who is on a trip to Saudi Arabia unveiled the next steps when he said that “military pressure may be needed to oust Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.”
But wait, wasn’t Obama’s war in Iraq, authorized by Congress, solely a means to fight the stateless Islamic State of Syria and Iraq “scourge”? Or was all of that merely a pretext to do what the US tried once already in 2013 and failed?