With the Trump administration rapidly shifting its foreign policy stance in recent weeks as the Goldman-led group inside the White House steamrolls all opposition, in the process dashing hopes of a detente between DC and Moscow which now appear set to continue the “cold war” diplomatic ways set under Obama and Hillary Clinton, another foreign leader who is losing faith that Trump will bring any notable change is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who in an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix said U.S. forces in Syria were “invaders” and that he had yet to see “anything concrete” emerge from U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to prioritize the fight against Islamic State.
Quoted by Reuters, Assad said he initially saw promise in Trump’s vows to battle the Islamic State in Syria, where U.S. policy under President Barack Obama had mostly backed rebels fighting Assad and shunned him as an illegitimate leader. That promise, however, has now faded, especially after Trump recently stated he would boost US troops in Syria in an attempt to create “safe zones” in the nation, in the process likely further escalating the 6 year old proxy war in Syria. Continue reading »
Remember what I told you about Russia vs Turkey?
The Kurds realize that preserving a secular Syria is all that matters now
Ankara is trying to carve up Syrian territory in Idlib — and it looks like they might get away with it. But Moscow has shut down any dreams Erdogan might have had about seizing Manbij and the surrounding countryside.
For those who missed it: Yesterday it was revealed that Russia had mediated a deal between the Kurdish Manbij Military Council (MMC) and Assad, in which the Syrian government would take control of the region.
Russia swooped in and united the Kurds and Assad, while Washington and Ankara were busy squabbling over who should control Manbij. Continue reading »
A newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse at a time when Hafez al-Assad’s government was embroiled in a covert “dirty war” with Israel and the West, and in the midst of a diplomatic crisis which marked an unprecedented level of isolation for Syria.
The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria. The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
The claims in this article can be verified in John Pilger’s WORLD IN ACTION DOCUMENTARY about the Nixon/Kissinger annihilation of innocent Cambodia & Laos, a war based on lies…again.
The furor unleashed by the remarks of President Donald Trump in response to Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian President Vladimir Putin “a killer” during an interview broadcast Sunday has continued to reverberate, drawing hypocritical condemnations from leading figures in both the Republican and Democratic parities.
In response to O’Reilly’s denunciation of Putin, Trump stated: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump went on to cite Iraq in support of his statement. O’Reilly’s face went slack. He clearly did not know what to say. The new leader of the “Free World” had wandered seriously off message. Continue reading »
“Every place that I went, every person that I spoke to, I asked this question to them. And, without hesitation they said ‘there are no moderate rebels. Who are these moderate rebels that people keep speaking of?’ Regardless of the names of these groups, the strongest fighting force on the ground in Syria is Al Nusra or Al Qaeda and ISIS. That is a fact.”
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By Tulsi Gabbard.
As much of Washington prepared for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, I spent last week on a fact-finding mission in Syria and Lebanon to see and hear directly from the Syrian people. Their lives have been consumed by a horrific war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and forced millions to flee their homeland in search of peace.
It is clear now more than ever: this regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people.
I traveled throughout Damascus and Aleppo, listening to Syrians from different parts of the country. I met with displaced families from the eastern part of Aleppo, Raqqah, Zabadani, Latakia, and the outskirts of Damascus. I met Syrian opposition leaders who led protests in 2011, widows and children of men fighting for the government and widows of those fighting against the government. I met Lebanon’s newly-elected President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, Syrian President Assad, Grand Mufti Hassoun, Archbishop Denys Antoine Chahda of Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, humanitarian workers, academics, college students, small business owners, and more.
Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between “moderate” rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS — they are all the same. This is a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government. They cry out for the U.S. and other countries to stop supporting those who are destroying Syria and her people.
I heard this message over and over again from those who have suffered and survived unspeakable horrors. They asked that I share their voice with the world; frustrated voices which have not been heard due to the false, one-sided biased reports pushing a narrative that supports this regime change war at the expense of Syrian lives.
I heard testimony about how peaceful protests against the government that began in 2011 were quickly overtaken by Wahhabi jihadist groups like al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) who were funded and supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the United States, and others. They exploited the peaceful protesters, occupied their communities, and killed and tortured Syrians who would not cooperate with them in their fight to overthrow the government. Continue reading »
Comment: This article has been translated by SOTT.net. Original article can be found here.
The Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.”
Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?
“The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.
Comment: Notice that Al Jazeera did the exact same thing in Libya: Continue reading »
Back in 2013, the catalyst used by the US to intervene in the Syrian conflict which started in the aftermath of the Arab Spring (which according to some was inspired by CIA intervention), was a YouTube clip allegedly showing a sarin gas attack by Assad troops on his own people in the town of Ghouta, which reportedly led to hundreds of casualties. Subsequently, the video was shown to have been a hoax, but by then it was too late as the US was actively involved in the proxy war, which in the summer of 2013 nearly escalated to a naval conflict between the US and Russia. The war has since continued, although it may be finally tapering now that the Obama administration is on its way out. Continue reading »
For all his faults, Bashar Assad has always protected minority groups in Syria.
Hundreds of residents gathered at Al Azizieh Square in western Aleppo on Tuesday, to watch the Christmas tree lights being turned on, in an attempt to establish some sense of normality in a city that has been a focal point of the Syrian conflict.
H/t reader kevin a.
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— Enrico Ivanov ☦ (@Russ_Warrior) December 14, 2016
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For months as terrorists backed by the United States, Turkey, and their Persian Gulf allies lost significant ground to the Syrian Arab Army in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, the battle was characterized by the Western media and Western politicians as a brutal assault on the city’s residents – the extinguishing of a 6-year-long uprising.
However, in reality, that was never the case. And this reality is something careful readers will note even if they read the latest from one of the most prominent sources of pro-terrorist propaganda, the Washington Post.
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The Syrian war is on the verge of the biggest shift in the balance of power since 2011, with the Assad regime – with support from Russian forces – having retaken Aleppo. And, as Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin notes, an arrangement has been reached for militants to leave the besieged areas of eastern Aleppo “within hours”, confirming earlier media reports that Assad is about to have full reign of the hotly contested city – a symbolic center of the anti-Assad insurgency.
With Assad on the verge of retaking Aleppo, and with it, regaining full control in the ongoing Syrian proxy war, we asked last week in “With Assad On Verge Of Historic Victory, Syrian Rebels Request A Ceasefire” how long before the US intervenes in an attempt to derail the sudden Syrian (and Russian) momentum. We got the answer this morning, when US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday that the US is sending 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help drive Islamic State from its de facto capital of Raqqa.
Speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, Carter said the 200, including special forces trainers, advisers, and explosive ordnance disposal teams, would join 300 US special forces already in Syria. “These uniquely skilled operators will join the 300 US special operations forces already in Syria, to continue organizing, training, equipping, and otherwise enabling capable, motivated, local forces to take the fight to ISIL,” Carter said quoted by AP. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
I watched a BBC interview with an anti Assad plant claiming the Assad Gov were killing ordinary folk in Syria and Russians were also murdering ordinary Syrian citizens.
It’s good we’re awake now and question everything we’re told.
Nothing is as it first appears.”
These images and videos will never see the light of day in the corporate media editing rooms because they expose their almost six year narrative on Syria as one of the most criminal propaganda projects ever deployed against a sovereign nation,its people, its state and its national army.
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The battle for one of the most contested Syrian cities in the nation’s long-running civil war, Aleppo, is approaching its climax. According to Reuters, the Syrian army and its allies announced the capture of a large swath of eastern Aleppo from rebels on Monday – by some estimates as much as 40% of the militant held part – in an accelerating attack that threatens to crush the opposition in its most important urban stronghold.
In a major breakthrough in the government’s push to retake the whole city, regime forces captured six rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo over the weekend, including Masaken Hanano, the biggest of those. On Sunday, the 13th day of the operation, they also took control of the adjacent neighborhoods of Jabal Badra and Baadeeen and captured three others. Continue reading »
Tensions continue to rise as the war drums for Syria beat louder and louder and in this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth shows how if the US intervenes any further, sending in ground troops and attacking Syrian military bases — the result could be a direct war with Russia, and perhaps even China.
Now that the gloves have come off in the faux diplomacy between Russia and the US, which yesterday culminated with Putin halting a Plutonium cleanup effort with the US, shortly before the US State Department announced it would end negotiations with Russia over Syria, the next step may be one which John Kerry warned last week is “back on the table“, namely the launch of military strikes on the Assad regime.
As WaPo reports, meetings have been going on within US national security agencies for weeks to consider new options to recommend to the president to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo. A meeting of the Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet-level officials, is scheduled for Wednesday while a meeting of the National Security Council, which could include the president, could come as early as this weekend. Continue reading »
Late Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported, 51 State Department officials signed a statement condemning U.S. policy in Syria in which they repeatedly call for “targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat Islamic State.”
“In other words,” as Zero Hedge summarized, “over 50 top ‘diplomats’ are urging to eliminate [Syrian Pres. Bashar al] Assad in order to ‘defeat ISIS’, the same ISIS which top US ‘diplomats’ had unleashed previously in order to … eliminate Assad.”
This gordian knot created by United States foreign policy — and intensified by that same policy — means not only could war with Syria be on the horizon, but if that happens, the U.S. could be facing a far more serious threat. Continue reading »
As we reported yesterday, over 50 US State Department officials are now calling for “targeted military strikes” directly against Assad’s Syrian government as a means to defeat ISIS.
The irony of course is that we’ve now come full circle. The US created ISIS in hopes of toppling Assad, and now that the ISIS strategy is losing momentum (due in large part to Russia’ relentless pounding of the group), the US now wants to just fast forward to the end game, which is to take out Assad directly (using ISIS as a reason of course).
What has also emerged is that Saudi Arabia has now grown impatient with the fact that Assad is still in power, and have started to press the US to provide more sophisticated weapons to the rebels. Saudi foreign minister Adel al Jubeir who is visiting the US just confirmed as much yesterday when he said that “Saudi Arabia supports a more aggressive military approach in Syria to get Assad to agree to a political solution.” Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Another piece of the jigsaw leading up to WW3…..”
As President Obama nears the end of his second term, his administration’s patience over the Syrian state of affairs is running out: indeed, a five-year war has not resulted in ousting Syria’s legitimate president Bashar al-Assad.
On Wednesday US Secretary of State John Kerry “warned” Damascus and Moscow that Washington’s “patience was not infinite,” while commenting on ceasefire violations in Syria.
“Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite, in fact it is very limited with whether or not Assad is going to be held accountable,” Kerry told reporters after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Oslo, Norway. Continue reading »
In an exclusive interview with various Russian news agencies, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced that Syria is on the verge of completely eradicating all terrorists from the country, including ISIS, without assistance or interference from the West.
Speaking to RIA Novosti and Sputnik, Assad criticised supposed US-led coalitions aimed at ‘fighting terrorism’ as failing to play a role in the liberation of Palmyra.
Syrian Free Press reports:
He added that the occupation of Palmyra by terrorists less than a year ago was evidence of the failure of the coalition and that it is not serious about fighting terrorism, particularly fighting IS.
The following is the full text of the third part of the interview: Continue reading »
The UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura announced on Friday that UN-supervised Syrian elections should be held in 18 months.
“New elections should be held 18 months from the start of [peace] talks, this is from 14 March,” de Mistura told the Russian RIA Novosti state news agency. Continue reading »
(TFC) Damascus, Syria – It may be hard for many consumers of Western media to remember the original reasons for the Syrian civil war but those who have been paying attention remember the conflict was originally started as an effort to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in a manner similar to Libya. After being billed as a dictator similar to Saddam Hussein in Iraq or Muammar Gaddafi in Libya; Assad was targeted by Western intervention in the same way yet has retained power longer than his enemies ever suspected and has now promised to play his part in ending the conflict in surprising ways. Continue reading »
Some unexpected statements emerged in Al-Jazeera’s interview with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who acknowledged that Ankara was supporting armed groups in Syria, while ruling out a Turkish invasion and accusing Russia of ethnic cleansing.
Davutoglu praised the militants currently in control of the strategic city of Aleppo, who are engaged in a war against Damascus, for repelling attacks from various forces.
“How would they be able to defend themselves if there was no Turkish support of the Syrian people? … If there’s today a real moderate Syrian opposition, it’s because of the Turkish support. If today the [Assad] regime isn’t able to control all the territories [it’s] because of Turkish and some other countries’ support,” he told Al-Jazeera earlier this week. Continue reading »
State Department is making noises about willingness to abandon regime change and settle for a ‘mere’ partition of Syria, but Russia is having none of it
It wasn’t so long ago that London was accusing Russia of plotting to partition Syria. The context of the allegation was that supposedly Russia has begun to see it will not be able to win in Syria and had now settled for carving out an Alawite mini state for Assad.
Yet three weeks later and one Turkey-rebel supply route less and it’s Washington which is talking up partition instead. And furthermore doing so from a position of weakness that UK’s Philip Hammond had been earlier deluding himself that the Russians were working from. Continue reading »
The Washington neocons have managed to muck things up in Syria blurring and confusing boundaries between who’s who amongst warring factions in its now half decade old regime change proxy war that the US has been losing. With the US Empire’s agenda to destabilize every potential threat to US-Israel hegemony in the region, the latest highly disturbing developments unfolding within this last week in Syria paint a very grim yet clear picture of America’s revised regional strategy. The key lens by which to analyze and understand what the US Empire does geopolitically in the Middle East, North Africa or anywhere has everything to do with maintaining US-Israel regional hegemony and its obsessive, relentless strategy opposing the greatest threat to America’s unipolar global hegemony – Russia, China and Iran. Underlying this neocon insanity behind US foreign policy’s global agenda has been destabilization of the entire world through chaos and destruction militarily achieved through either direct Empire invasion-occupation war or more recently indirectly through the latest installment of Empire’s manufactured war on terror deploying its created ISIS-al Qaeda terrorists as proxy war allies doing Empire’s blood-soaked bidding by proxy. But when that strategy fails as it has in Syria recently, now the neocons are resorting to sending in its Islamic nation state puppets Turkey and Saudi Arabia as yet more proxy war allies to do yet more of their dirty work. Continue reading »
Things are getting hot again over in Syria, and not just because of the weather. Russia just said that if the United States jumps into the war in Syria, it’ll end up being the Third World War! Now, there’s no reason to believe that Russia can’t make good on that threat. This is a superpower, even though the United States likes to engage in the make-believe that they lost that coveted title when the Soviet Union collapsed. I fear that the threat of another world war might be too good an offer for the United States government to pass up. “What?! We could have another world war?! Why, that would be swell! We haven’t gone out and had a world war in a long time! It’s always been having to settle for wars that end up in cease-fires and we’re hungry for another war an hour later! Gosh, we haven’t had a world war since 1945! Honey, do you know where my good tie is? I want to look nice! I’ll call the UN and make reservations.” Continue reading »
Nine months ago, things weren’t look good for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Four years into his country’s bloody civil war, he found himself fighting a multi-front war against a long list of largely Sunni extremist elements and the government’s forces were stretched thin. The rebels enjoyed the support not only of the US, but of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. That meant that their resources were essentially unlimited. Continue reading »
It appears that after a protracted fight, Russia and Hezbollah are poised to recapture Aleppo where militants are now surrounded. Critically, Russia and Iran have now cut off supply lines from Turkey. With the deck now stacked against the opposition, John Kerry and, to a greater extent Turkey, are getting visibly desperate.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s plane will be escorted by four Russian fighter jets during his upcoming visit to Iran, reports said, adding that the US coalition has been alerted to stand down as the Russian jets will have the permission to fire at will at any incoming aircraft.
“Four strategic Russian fighter jets will accompany the plane carrying the Syrian president during the visit to and from Iran,” the Lebanese al-Diyar daily reported on Sunday. Continue reading »
“The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change [and] there is no policy of the United States, per se, to isolate Russia.”
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 »