Syrian choppers drop thousands of leaflets demanding jihadists surrender northwest Aleppo

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 P.M.) – Syrian helicopters dropped thousands of leaflets over the ‘Anadan Plain of northwest Aleppo, Monday, demanding the jihadists surrender or leave this area immediately.

The leaflets were specifically dropped by the Syrian Air Force over the towns of Hayyan, ‘Anadan, Haritan, and Kafr Hamra.

The Syrian military has issued this warning to the jihadist rebels in northwest Aleppo before; however, they refrained from carrying out their ‘Anadan offensive because of a short-lived ceasefire that was declared in the region.

For the jihadist rebels, the ‘Anadan Plain is their most important stronghold in the province; if lost, it would likely lead to their expulsion from the western part of Aleppo.

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America Declares Economic War Against Europe

Global Research, July 31, 2017

On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have “knowingly provided goods or services … for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.” 

Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is the European Union (EU). The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s.

President Trump had gotten Congress to agree to limit the application of this provision only to “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States, may impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 with respect to a person if the President determines that the person knowingly, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, makes an investment described in subsection (b) or sells, leases, or provides to the Russian Federation, for the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, goods, services, technology, information, or support.” 

But the new law still does include “SEC. 232. SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF PIPELINES IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.” That Section punishes “Goods, services, technology, information, or support described in this subsection are goods, services, technology, information, or support that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of the construction, modernization, or repair of energy export pipelines by the Russian Federation.” That includes the crucial Nord Stream pipeline, which is maintained by Russian and German companies to transport gas from Russia to the EU.

U.S. firms have thus now gotten their stooges in Congress to punish European and Russian companies that will be determined by “The President, in coordination with allies of the United States,” to be working together in these ways, to get Russia’s gas to Europe’s markets.

North Stream, or Nord Stream, “has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic metres (1.9 trillion cubic feet), but its capacity is planned to be doubled to 110 billion cubic metres (3.9 trillion cubic feet) by 2019, by laying two additional lines.[5] Due to EU restrictions on Gazprom, only 22.5 billion cubic metres (790 billion cubic feet) of its capacity is actually used.[6] The name occasionally has a wider meaning, including the feeding onshore pipeline in the Russian Federation, and further connections in Western Europe.(Wikipedia)

So, already, the U.S. oligarchs have greatly reduced the effectiveness of this enormous European and Russian investment, and this is already war by the U.S. oligarchs (and their congressional agents) against both the European Union and Russia; but, the new sanctions aim to go even further to absolutely cripple Europe and Russia.

President Trump is to be credited for having weakened this provision to such an extent that it will be virtually meaningless; but, the intention of the oligarchs who control the U.S., to force Europe to buy from them, and from their allied Saudi, UAE, Kuwaiti, and the other royal fundamentalist Sunni Arabian families, is clear.

Other highlights from this new U.S. law are well summarized in the July 28th article from Zero Hedge, “Trump Confirms He Will Sign Russia Sanctions Bill”.

The biggest concession that Trump made was to allow that this new law, “H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, “Codifies existing US sanctions on Russia and requires Congressional review before they are lifted.” This is an Executive-Legislative agreement (an agreement between the President and Congress), but the U.S. Constitution doesn’t include any provision allowing an Executive-Legislative agreement to violate the Constitution; and there are a number of provisions in the U.S. Constitution that H.R.3364 might be determined by courts to be violating, as regards relinquishment to Congress of certain Executive powers over the negotiation of treaties, and over the President’s powers as Commander-in-Chief. This is presuming, of course, that key judges cannot be bought-off.

When a country is being ruled by its oligarchs, anything that the nation’s Constitution says, can be viewed as little more than an impediment, not any outright ban, because the actual Constitution, in any such country, is whatever they want it to be. Just how bad the U.S. government has become, can’t yet be determined, but might become clear fairly soon.

Meanwhile, some senior journalists in Europe (such as this) are already beginning to argue that American policy toward Russia is not only draining massive funds from EU countries, but is driving a split in the EU, and also within NATO, which might break Europe apart, into the Eastern European, former Soviet countries, allied with the U.S.; versus the Western European countries, allied with Russia — driving potentially toward the termination of NATO, and of the EU, into an entirely new system of alliances: “Eastern Europe is a powder keg with several, burning lances. Twenty-eight years after the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of democracies, the region is sinking into a political crisis,” which has the United States backing the most far-right Eastern European countries, against Russia, but in which the Western European countries become increasingly allied with Russia.

It could happen.

It would not produce an anti-U.S. Western Europe, except to the extent that U.S. policies aim against Russia.

It would thus mean the end of the secret anti-Russia operation that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush initiated on the night of 24 February 1990, and that has been carried out by the U.S., EU, and NATO, uninterrupted, ever since.  

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.

Hezbollah Victory in Arsal Eliminated Israeli War against Lebanon: Official

July 31, 2017

Head of Hezbollah politburo, Sayyed Ibrahim Amin Al-Sayyed

Head of Hezbollah politburo, Sayyed Ibrahim Amin Al-Sayyed, stressed that the Zionist entity will never consider any launching wars against Lebanon after the Resistance victory in Arsal outskirts.

The imminent victory in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq will overthrow those who have bet on the takfiri groups, including USA, the Zionist entity, the Gulf countries and some parties in Lebanon, according to Hezbollah official.

His eminence hailed the role of President Michel Aoun in detecting the takfiri threat against Lebanon and taking the necessary measures in this context, unlike some political parties that wanted the terrorists to invade Lebanon in order to strike the Resistance.

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Source: Al-Manar Website

Emil Lahoud: Exposing Lebanon’s and Arab zionists

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JULY 31, 2017: TIGER FORCES ENTER DEIR EZZOR PROVINCE

South Front

Government forces, led by the Syrian Arab army (SAA) Tiger Forces liberated more villages on the west bank of the Euphrates River in Raqqah province and entered the northwestern part of Deir Ezzor province.

Last weekend, the Tiger Forces and their allies captured Muqla Saghira, Al-Rabyeh, Al-Jubayli, Salim al-Hammad, Abu Hammad and Ghanim al-Ali, Wadi Al Tarab, Tal Al-Tarab, Al-Rujum, Wadi Al Kharayj and Wadi Hamamiya. ISIS had counter-attacked near Ghanim al-Ali and allegedly destroyed 3 SAA vehicles with ATGMs and killed over 20 SAA servicemen. However, the terrorist group was not able to retake the village.

On Monday, government forces started clearing the ISIS pocket in the Sabkah area. The crossroad town of Madaan located in about 67 km from the city of Deir Ezzor besieged by ISIS will likely become the next target of the operation. The Bishri Triangle is another high priority target for the advancing government forces. Capturing these sites, the SAA will establish control over the two key road heading to Deir Ezzor from the northwestern direction.
In Deir Ezzor city, the Republican Guard repelled an ISIS attack in the Al-Makbarah area and separately cut off the ISIS supply line to the cemetery area with a 280 meters long trench trapping the terrorists between the airbase and the government-held part of the city. An intense fighting is ongoing.

A new group of tribal fighters called the Euphrates Hawks joint the government advance on Sukhna signaling that more and more members of the Syrian tribes join the ranks of the Syrian government forces. Currently government forces are clashing with ISIS terrorists southwest of the town. The SAA controls a number of important high points, including Rajm Sabboun, Mount Qulaylat, Um Khasm hills and a part of Jabal Tuntur, that allows to predict that they will be able to develop advance further in coming days.

At least 18 ISIS members, two vehicles and a fuel tanker as well as a large fuel tanks convoy were destroyed by Syrian and Russia airstrikes in the eastern Hama countryside. The Russian and Syrian air forces had intensified airstrikes in the area ahead of another upcoming attempt to reach the key ISIS defense point of Uqayribat.

According to pro-Kurdish sources, last weekend, Turkish soldiers entered the villages of Siftik Wastani, Siftik Fawqani and Bubana in northern Aleppo but were pushed to retreat after a short confrontation with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurdish militias. If true, Ankara has just been testing the US reaction to possible limited military operations against Kurdish militias in northern Syria.

GOVERNMENT FORCES FULLY ENCIRCLED ISIS TERRORISTS IN SABKAH AREA (MAP)

31.07.2017

Government Forces Fully Encircled ISIS Terrorists In Sabkah Area (Map)

Click to see the full-size map

Syrian government forces, led by the Syrian Arab (SAA) Army Tiger Forces and pro-government tribal forces, have liberated the villages Wadi Kharrar, Subayat, Salim Hammad, Abu Hammad, Muqla Saghir and Muqla Kabir and fully encircled ISIS terrorists in the Sabkah area in the southern part of Raqqah province.

Following the full encirclement of the area, the SAA and its allies have started pressuring on ISIS in Zawr Sham, Jibil, Rahbi and Sabkah. When these villages are liberated, government forces will likely advane on the ISIS-held town of Madaan east of the Sabkah pocket.

 

MILITARY SITUATION IN SOUTHERN RAQQAH AND EASTERN ALEPPO ON JULY 31, 2017 (MAP UPDATE)

 31.07.2017

On Monday, government forces started clearing the ISIS pocket in the Sabkah area. The crossroad town of Madaan located in about 67 km from the city of Deir Ezzor besieged by ISIS will likely become the next target of the operation. The Bishri Triangle is another high priority target for the advancing government forces. Capturing these sites, the SAA will establish control over the two key road heading to Deir Ezzor from the northwestern direction.

Military Situation In Southern Raqqah And Eastern Aleppo On July 31, 2017 (Map Update)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has reached the the northern border of the Deir Ezzor Governorate for the first time in several years after liberating three villages near the Islamic State (ISIL) held town of Ma’adan.

Following a tumultuous 24 hours that saw both the government lose more than 40 soldiers during the Islamic State’s counter-offensive near Ghanem Al-‘Ali, the Syrian Arab Army struck against the terrorist forces to reestablish a supply line to the aforementioned town.

Unable to hold their ground, the Islamic State militants were forced to withdraw from Ghanem Al-‘Ali, Al-Rabiyah, and Al-Jabilah after the Syrian Army fractured their main line of defense.

With their forces descending upon Ma’dan, the Syrian Arab Army is looking to seal the southeastern border of Al-Raqqa by forcing the Islamic State out of the aforementioned town along the Euphrates River.

 

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Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians becomes official israel policy

‘Transferring’ Palestinian Citizens of Israel Become Policy

Transferring’ Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian state goes from outrage to Netanyahu policy

 

The Israeli press reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now adopted an idea that had been beyond the pale: transfer– stripping Israeli Palestinians of citizenship without their OK and making them citizens of another country, all of course on a religious-ethnic basis.

A Palestinian lawmaker in Israel’s parliament accused Netanyahu of endorsing a “war crime.”

The news is that in talks with Trump administration officials, Netanyahu has reportedly endorsed the idea of swapping portions of Israeli land containing Palestinian communities for portions of occupied land in the West Bank containing Jewish settlers as a means to establish a Palestinian state.

This idea has long been advocated by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Defense Minister, who promptly tweeted his pleasure over Netanyahu’s shift.

The idea is shocking to liberals, including liberal Zionists. Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace writes:

Message of Bibi’s endorsement of populated land swaps: citizenship of Jews is inalienable right; citizenship of Arabs is revocable privilege

Marian Houk explains the “Jewish state” angle on this policy:

For this precise reason Palest Arab Israeli MKs insisted that Palestinian leadership reject Bibi’s demand for recognition of *Jewish* state

Haaretz reports the news:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed with Washington in recent weeks the idea of redrawing the borders in any future agreement with the Palestinians, incorporating the major settlement blocs into Israel, while drawing out the heavily populated Israeli-Arab area of Wadi Ara and making it part of a future Palestinian state… The discussions, first reported by Channel 2, mean that Netanyahu – in conversations with US President Donald Trump’s advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt – has adopted a proposal put forward years ago by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been advocating for several years to hand over Wadi Ara to the Palestinians in a future peace agreement, tweeted on Thursday night: “Mr. prime minister, welcome to the club.”

Wadi Ara is an area in Israel southwest of Afula, and west of Jenin across the old Green Line, that has several Palestinian towns.

Palestinian Israelis are of course enraged by this idea. Again from Haaretz:

[Member of Knesset] Aida Touma-Suliman responded on Thursday to the report about Netanyahu’s proposal. “The cat is out of the bag and Netanyahu has shown his true colors regarding the Arab population,” she said. “Lieberman’s plan has been adopted by the prime minister,” she said.

“The Ara residents are not only Israeli citizens, they’re also indigenous people who dwell on their land, and are not to be compared with settlers dwelling on another nation’s land. We the Arab citizens aren’t part of any such equation and aren’t willing to pay the price again for Israel’s policy of occupation and settlements

Another Palestinian official in Knesset with the Joint List, Yousef Jabareen, said in a statement this morning:

“Netanyahu actually calls to commit war crimes!”

“Netanyahu does not miss any opportunity to continue with his campaign of incitement and de-legitimacy against the Arab population and its leadership. He also exhibits a lot of ignorance when he compares between Arab citizens of Israel and settlers. Arab citizens of Israel were not granted citizenship by grace, but were granted citizenship by the fact that they live in their historical homeland. This is in a stark contrast to the settlers of the West Bank who are illegally occupying the lands they stole by force from their Palestinian owners.”

Jabareen added, “Practically speaking, Netanyahu calls to carry out two war crimes: transfer for Arab citizens, and annexation of illegal settlements. The fate of the war criminals will be at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

When Lieberman gave a speech advocating this policy at the U.N. 7 years ago, the Netanyahu government distanced itself from the idea and American Jews condemned it. From Haaretz:

Netanyahu’s advisers tried to downplay the embarrassment caused by Lieberman’s speech, saying a coalition government would be impossible without Lieberman and that ministers can express their personal opinions even in international arenas.

“The international community is aware that this is not the position of the government,” one of the advisers said…

Lieberman’s speech also outraged many American Jews, and some Jewish leaders demanded his resignation.

“If Lieberman can’t keep his personal opinions to himself, he ought to resign from the cabinet,” said Seymour Reich, a former president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

Let’s see how many U.S. Jewish groups condemn the idea now. As Israel keeps heading to the right, more and more U.S. Jewish leaders have accommodated themselves to the shift. Even veteran liberal Zionists like Aaron David Miller have accepted the idea of Israel defining itself as “the nation state of the Jewish people.”

Thanks to Ofer Neiman and Allison Deger.

More Illegal US-Led Coalition Activity, Strikes Hospital in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor

US-Led Coalition Strikes Hospital in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor – Reports

Sputnik – July 30, 2017

The US-led coalition’s aircraft has attacked the Syrian settlement of Abukamal in the Deir ez-Zor province, SANA reported on Sunday.

The news agency said the airstrike hit a hospital, among other sites. Six people were killed and 10 others wounded.

This is the fourth air raid of the coalition in Deir ez-Zor over the month, according to SANA.

On Saturday, SANA reported that the coalition, which ostensibly fights Daesh, hit houses in al-Mayadeen, killing 10, including five children.

© REUTERS/ Rodi Said

US-Led Coalition Explained Why It Used White Phosphorus in Syria’s Raqqa

On July 27, the news agency reported that a US-led coalition airstrike in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor claimed the lives of 18 civilians and left over 20 injured. Eyewitnesses specified that the attack hit Tayba, located in the western part of the province near Mayadeen, also damaging houses and local infrastructure, according to SANA.

In late June, the coalition conducted three airstrikes killing 90 civilians, including women and children, in a village and al-Mayadeen.

 

The US-led coalition of 68 nations started to carry out airstrikes against Daesh in Syria and Iraq in 2014, with the strikes in Syria not being authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council

 

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