First Day of Astana-14 Talks on Syria Kicks Off With Russia-Iran Meeting

First Day of Astana-14 Talks on Syria Kicks Off With Russia-Iran Meeting

By Staff, Agencies

The first day of the 14th round of Astana-format talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital has started with a bilateral meeting between the Russian and Iranian delegations.

A number of closed-door bilateral and multilateral meetings among the representatives of ceasefire guarantor states [Russia, Turkey, and Iran], Syrian parties [government and opposition] and the United Nations will take place on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a plenary session will be held with Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq joining as observers.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee’s work and the situation in Idlib are the main topics on the agenda.

Earlier in the day, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov told reporters that all the delegations had arrived in Nur-Sultan. He also said that the Jordanian delegation is being led by its ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Russia’s delegation is headed by Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev and includes Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin as well. The Turkish delegation is led by the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, and the Iranian delegation is headed by Ali Asghar Khaji, senior assistant for political affairs of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Damascus is traditionally represented by Syria’s Envoy to the United Nations in New York Bashar Jaafari, while the Syrian opposition is represented by Ahmad Tomah.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen is attending the talks on behalf of the United Nations. Moreover, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have come to hold a regular meeting for the working group on the release of detainees.

“The Victory of Syria over Global Terrorism Will Benefit Humanity”: Vanessa Beeley on Syria War

Global Research, December 10, 2019

Mark Taliano: Why is the truth about Syria important?

Vanessa Beeley: It is important because in Syria the “humanitarian” hybrid war strategy of the Globalist powers in the so-called civilised “global north” is being exposed real time as Syria sweeps to a military victory against the heavily financed proxy invasion of their country, orchestrated by the US alliance that includes aligned Gulf States, Turkey and Israel. By pushing back against the dominant establishment narrative on Syria, we, as journalists and activists, are effectively defending international law which is being violated by our own rogue states. We are standing in solidarity with an unprecedented resistance against global terrorism which has also enabled the  formation of an axis of resistance that has turned the tide of neoconservative hegemony in the region. We are defending the right of the Syrian people to decide their own future without foreign meddling. The precedents being set by this externally imposed conflict and its outcome will define the future of global security for all Humanity – what more important principle is there to defend?

MT: Why are people trying to “de-platform” you? Who is trying to de-platform you?

VB: People – all aligned media, think tanks, UN agencies – are trying to de-platform me because diverging views, including those of the “disappeared” Syrian people, challenge and confront their fabricated narrative that has “manufactured consent” for the US Coalition criminal aggression against Syria for nine years. The revelations provided by many independent voices exposes the corruption and corrosion of established institutions that should be ensuring world peace and who are, instead, promoting, sponsoring and enabling world instability in order to provide resource scavenging opportunities for the plutocrats who reign over us. Freedom of speech, thought and expression is being eroded and this is the principle we should all be defending or we are ALL Julian Assange – tortured, oppressed by the pseudo “free world”.

MT: Should Canadians believe the White Helmets? Amnesty International? Human Rights Watch?

VB: Canadians should use international law as their yardstick to determine truth, the violators of international law are their own government which is a vassal state of the US and UK. The White Helmets, AI and HRW are all compromised organisations which are sponsored and were established by the same governments as part of their smart power complex – an integral and now crucial part of their hybrid war strategy which are established to infiltrate prey nation society, always on the side of the US Coalition foreign policy agenda – predominantly to ensure the vilification of the target government or leader in order to provide justification for proxy or direct military intervention or economic terrorism under the guise of sanctions.

MT: When Syria wins this war, the world will be a safer place. Why?

VB: As I have explained above, the victory of Syria over global terrorism will benefit humanity. Syria has had a policy of containing these terrorist groups within Syrian borders in order to prevent the same fate befalling the EU, UK and US citizens with the inevitable return or flow of these radicalised extremist factions to those regions. Syria and her allies have adhered to international law both from a military and a diplomatic perspective, thus ensuring a stable future for mankind. Syria’s victory will ensure that history is written by the targeted nation – exposing the destructive hegemony of the US alliance in the region and globally.

MT: What should Canadians do to spread the truth about the war on Syria?

VB: Canadians must fight for freedom of speech and against the de-platforming of diverging views. They should join genuine anti-war movements and defend  the principles of international law which have been cynically abused and abandoned by the UK, US and France on the security council.

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Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist, peace activist, photographer and associate editor at 21st Century Wire. Vanessa was a finalist for one of the most prestigious journalism awards – the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism – whose winners have included the likes of Robert Parry in 2017, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk, Nick Davies and the Bureau for Investigative Journalism team. Please support her work at her Patreon account. 

Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017. Visit the author’s website at https://www.marktaliano.net where this article was originally published.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

Voices from Syria 

ISBN: 978-0-9879389-1-6

Author: Mark Taliano

Year: 2017

Pages: 128 (Expanded edition: 1 new chapter)

List Price: $17.95

Special Price: $9.95 

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الحريري ـ باسيل: من يصمد أكثر؟

 الأخبار

الثلاثاء 10 كانون الأول 2019

لم يعد في الميدان سوى سعد الحريري. في الجولة الأخيرة أنهى مرحلة البدائل. من يُرد أن يشكّل الحكومة عليه أن يرضخ لشروطه. لكن ذلك ليس موقف رئاسة الجمهورية. في بعبدا إصرار على تحمّل الحريري مسؤولية أفعاله. من استقال عليه أن يتفاوض مع الكتل النيابية للوصول إلى تشكيل الحكومة. وفي حال أراد استبعاد جبران باسيل، فإن لذلك كلفة سياسية عليه أن يتحمّلها

يوم استيعاب الصدمة كان أمس. لا تواصل جدياً بين أي من الأطراف. لكن مع ذلك، فإن الجميع تصرّف على قاعدة أن التكليف أنجز، ويبقى التأليف، الذي يفترض أن يبتّ قبل الإثنين المقبل. سعد الحريري صار رئيساً مكلفاً، قبل الاستشارات النيابية. سبق للرئيس نبيه بري أن أعلن أن الحريري هو مرشّحه الوحيد لرئاسة الحكومة، أما حزب الله فلطالما نُقل عنه أنه يفضّل الأصيل على الوكيل. لكن الأصيل كانت حساباته مختلفة. تلاعب بالجميع على قاعدة «ليس أنا بل أحد غيري»، ثم وضع الألغام في طريق كل من رُشّح ليكون «غيري». المرشح الأخير، أي سمير الخطيب، خرج من دار الفتوى مبشّراً بأن قيادات وفعاليات الطائفة السنية سمّت الحريري لرئاسة الحكومة.

ببساطة، ولىّ زمن اقتراح أسماء بديلة. وهذا يعني أن الخيارات ضاقت كثيراً أمام رئيس الجمهورية والتيار الوطني الحر. لا بد من الحريري ولو طال الزمن، لكن ذلك لن يكون سهلاً. عودته إلى السراي الحكومي، مرهونة بإيجاد مخرج لمسألة مشاركة الوزير جبران باسيل في الحكومة، في ظل إصرار الحريري على استبعاده. باسيل من جهته كان وافق على الخروج شرط خروج الحريري معه. أي أمر آخر ما زال مرفوضاً حتى اليوم. في الأساس، سبق أن طرح الوزير غطاس خوري على رئيس الجمهورية تشكيلة حكومية يترأسها الحريري ولا تضم باسيل. لكن لم يتأخر عون في رفضها، وإعادة فرض قاعدة إما الحريري وباسيل خارج الحكومة معاً وإما داخلها معاً. يُنقل عن عون أنه هدّد بعدم ترؤس اجتماعات مجلس الوزراء إذا وصل الحريري إلى رئاسة الحكومة. وهذا يعني أن المشكلة بين الطرفين طويلة الأمد. لكن في المقابل، يتردد أن عون حاسم في رفضه التام لتأجيل الاستشارات مرة جديدة. في الأساس، هو كان يريد تأجيلها حتى الخميس فقط وليس الإثنين. يعتقد أن الحريري الذي أوصل الأمور إلى ما وصلت إليه باستقالته، عليه أن يتحمّل مسؤولية الحل. وهذا يعني أن لا خيار أمام الأخير سوى السعي إلى الوصول لتفاهمات قبل الإثنين المقبل. أي أمر آخر، سيعني وصوله إلى رئاسة الحكومة، مجرداً من دعم الأكثرية. العونيون، على الأرجح سينتقلون إلى المعارضة، ورئيس الجمهورية لن يسهّل له عمله. صحيح أنه يصعب الحصول على إجابة بشأن موقف ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله من الحكومة في حال خروج العونيين منها، لكن حتى مع افتراض مشاركتهم في الحكومة، فإنهما لن يكونا إلى جانب الحريري.

كل ذلك يشير إلى أن تسمية الخطيب كانت فرصة جدية للخروج من النفق الحالي. وهذا يقود إلى السؤال التالي: هل الحريري حصراً هو من أطاح الخطيب؟ ماذا عن دور باسيل؟ هل صحيح أنه أبلغ حلفاءه يوم الجمعة أنه لن يسير بالخطيب رئيساً للحكومة؟ مصادر متابعة تؤكد ذلك، وتشير إلى أنه قرن موقفه هذا بالتهديد بعدم المشاركة في المشاورات. ولأن ذلك يعني تلقائياً أنه لن يُشارك أكثر من 40 نائباً في الاستشارات، لم يجد الخطيب أفضل من دار الفتوى ليلجأ إليها معلناً انسحابه.

لكن لماذا تراجع باسيل؟ ثمة من يعتبر أن الأخير حسبها جيداً ووجد أن خروجه من الحكومة لن تكون له سوى انعكاسات سلبية على مستقبله السياسي. وبالرغم من أن الاتفاق يقضي بأن لا تستمر الحكومة لأكثر من تسعة أشهر، إلا أنه في المقابل لا أحد يضمن ألا تبقى حتى نهاية العهد، بما يعنيه ذلك من قضاء على حظوظ باسيل الرئاسية، وربما مستقبله السياسي، فكان أن أعاد الأمور إلى النقطة الصفر. وقد تلقّف الحريري ذلك، خاصة أنه وافق على الخطيب على مضض. ثمة من يشير إلى أن زيارة الخطيب إلى دار الفتوى بعد ظهر الأحد، بالرغم من أن أمر انسحابه كان حسم باكراً، إنما هدفت إلى إرباك رئاسة الجمهورية في مسألة الاستشارات.

حجة الحريري في الإصرار على رفض إعادة توزير باسيل، هي الإشارة إلى رفضه توزير أسماء مستفزة للناس المنتفضين منذ 17 تشرين الأول. يضع جبران باسيل على رأس اللائحة، ثم يضم إليها علي حسن خليل وآخرين، مستثنياً نفسه، ومتوهّماً أنه الأنظف كفاً بين الجميع. وصل به الأمر إلى حد اعتبار أنه والسيد حسن نصر الله هما الوحيدان اللذان يريدان مكافحة الفساد في البلد.

باسيل أبلغ الخطيب الجمعة تراجعه عن دعمه

بالنتيجة، لا يريد الحريري لباسيل أن يكون شريكاً على طاولة مجلس الوزراء، وهو الأكثر تعرضاً للهجوم منذ خمسين يوماً. أما باسيل، فيرفض أن يكون كبش محرقة السلطة، كما يطالب الحريري بالتزام التسوية الرئاسية التي تفترض الشراكة في الحكومة لمدة ست سنوات. لكن مع ذلك، ثمة من يترك باباً موارباً للحل. يؤكد أن أياً من الأطراف لم يعلن موقفه علناً. لا الحريري أعلن أنه حاسم في رفضه مشاركة باسيل، ولا الأخير ربط مصيره بمصير الحريري. ولذلك، فإن الرهان يبقى على مخارج متوافرة على الطريقة اللبنانية، أي لا غالب ومغلوب. أما متى يأتي وقت هذه المخارج، فهذا ما لا إجابة عنه.

في مقدمة «أو تي في» أمس، إشارة إلى أن مصادر التيار الوطني الحر «ترفض المشاركة في لعبة سياسية مكشوفة يقوم بها سواه، تماماً كرفضه أداء دور الشاهد الزور، لأن ما يحدث يؤذي البلد، ولا يؤدي إلى تحقيق الإصلاح الذي ينشده الناس، بل إلى إلغاء آخرين، تنفيذاً لغايات سياسية في الداخل والخارج».

وفي سياق متصل، كان لافتاً قول رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة النائب محمد رعد «نريد أن نعرف ماذا يريد الحريري»، معتبراً أن «في النهاية سنجد حلاً لموضوع الحكومة، ولو طال الأمر شهراً أو شهرين».

الحريري متّهم من خصومه – شركائه بأمرين، أوّلهما الرضوخ لوصايا غربية جعلته يستقيل، وثانيهما الرضوخ لفيتو أميركي على توزير باسيل. هذا لا يعني تغييب الشق الداخلي للأزمة. الحريري لم يعد قادراً على التعايش مع باسيل، ولذلك سيعمل على خطين في الأيام المقبلة: إبعاد الأسماء المستفزة عن الحكومة، والسعي لحشد الدعم الدولي للبنان، حتى تكون عودته إلى الحكومة مقرونة بالقدرة على مواجهة الأزمة.

الإشارة الأولى في هذا الصدد ستكون الاربعاء، حيث تستضيف فرنسا «اجتماع عمل» دولياً «بغية مساعدته (لبنان) على الخروج من الأزمة السياسية»، وفقاً لما أعلنته وزارة الخارجية الفرنسية. وجاء في بيان الخارجية الفرنسية إن «اجتماع مجموعة الدعم الدولي للبنان الذي تتشارك في رئاسته فرنسا والأمم المتحدة، «يجب أن يتيح للمجتمع الدولي الدعوة إلى تشكيل حكومة فعّالة وذات مصداقية سريعاً، لتتخذ القرارات اللازمة لإنعاش الوضع الاقتصادي وتلبية التطلعات التي يعبّر عنها اللبنانيون». أضاف البيان «أنها مسألة تحديد المطالب والإصلاحات التي لا غنى عنها، المتوقعة من جانب السلطات اللبنانية، حتى يتمكن المجتمع الدولي من مرافقة لبنان».

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IOF’s Eisenkot: Lebanon Protest “Opportunity to Save Lebanon from Hezbollah”

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot

December 10, 2019

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot described the protests in Lebanon as an “opportunity to set the country free from Hezbollah.”

At a conference at the National Security Studies Institute on Monday, the former IOF Chief said that people in Lebanon “took to streets and clashed with Hezbollah members.”

“This is an opportunity for Western countries to return Lebanon to Lebanon and to save it from (IRGC’s) Al-Quds Forces and Hezbollah. ”

“I have no doubt that the IDF’s ability has improved dramatically over the years and great efforts must still be made to deter war and to dismantle Hezbollah,” he said, as reported by Maariv, referring to IOF.

Meanwhile, Eizenkotvoiced concern over Iran’s capabilities concerning the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), noting that “what happened in the Saudi oil fields should plague us and our neighboring countries,” referring to drone attack by Yemeni forces on Saudi oil fields last Sepember, which the Zionist entity accuses Iran of being behind it.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and Israeli media

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Google blocks access to YouTube accounts of Iran’s Press TV, Hispan TV

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Google renews attacks on accounts of Iranian media outlets. (Illustrative image)

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 3:03 PM

Google has targeted Iranian broadcasters Press TV and Hispan TV once again, blocking access to their official YouTube accounts without any prior notice.

Over the past years, the US tech giant has recurrently been opting for such measures against Iranian media outlets. It has taken on Press TV more than any other Iranian outlet given the expanse of its viewership and readership.

The most recent move came on Tuesday. Users shortly flooded both the networks with messages asking why the international networks’ YouTube channels had been put out of service.

The two networks were last targeted in April, when Google similarly shut their YouTube and Gmail accounts.

The previous attack also denied the networks any advance notification, sufficing to cite a nebulous “violation of policies.”

Previously, Press TV’s YouTube channel was closed in September and November 2013 and April 2014.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting — which runs Press TV and Hispan TV as part of its World Service — has called such attacks clear examples of censorship.

‘Paying price for giving voice to the voiceless’

Reacting to Tuesday’s move, Press TV’s Website and Social Media Director Habib Abdolhossein said, “We have been adhering to Google policies, including those concerning user content and conduct policy. Even if we had violated any rules, they could have let us know.”

“Social media outlets were supposed to be a platform for the alternative views, but unfortunately they are rather politicized than socialized!” he said. “I think we are paying the price for being the voice of the voiceless.”

Following Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president in 2016, Washington ramped up its efforts to target the Islamic Republic.

The campaign even assumed the self-styled title of “maximum pressure” under the current US president. The drive has seen the US leaving a multi-party nuclear agreement with Iran last year, and returning the nuclear-related sanctions that the deal had lifted.

As part of the campaign, the US State Department has called on social media companies Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to block the accounts of Iranian government leaders, and iOS — a mobile operating system created by US company Apple Inc. — disabling Iranian applications.

Why Does ‘Israel’ Think It Can Threaten Iran With Own Vietnam In Syria?

Why Does ‘Israel’ Think It Can Threaten Iran With Own Vietnam In Syria?

By Staff

It has become crystal clear that the US and ‘Israel’ are not satisfied with the successive blows dealt to their tools in Syria, that’s one reason why they are inciting against the forces that are legally providing help to the Middle Eastern country.

The United States, that was once defeated in Vietnam, is trying to apply its own experience on Iran.

That’s why the Zionist entity’s war minister, Naftali Bennett, was pushed to brag that Syria can become Iran’s ‘Vietnam’, even more boldly vowing to prevent Tehran from gaining a foothold there, as if the latter really needs this to happen! This even comes after Tel Aviv threatened Iran with a pre-emptive strike.

At the same time, the ‘Israeli’ regime, which is breaching the Syrian sovereignty by making incursions into the country on almost a daily basis, pummeling the war-ravaged country with missiles, and claiming to be targeting “Iranian positions” there, vowed retaliation as it claimed that Iran was establishing “a ring of fire” around the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories.

Bennett, declaring that the Zionist military would “work tirelessly” to fend off the alleged “Iranian threat,” claimed that it’s high time ‘Israel’ moves to the level of offense.

“We need to move from containment to attack,” he said.

Doubling down on his claim that Iran is seeking to establish a permanent presence in Syria, Bennett invoked the disastrous Vietnam War to back up his point.

With as much impudence as he has, Bennett was surprisingly encouraged to tell Iran “Syria will become your Vietnam.”

Bennett and his administration may be, indeed, thinking that the intentions of any other party would be like theirs, because it is the only way of thinking they can use.

Another possibility is that this inner desire of them had its way out and was spoken out loud in front of everybody.

However, the truth is that Iran has repeatedly dismissed the allegations, pointing out that its military advisers embedded with the Syrian armed forces have been in the country legally, as they were invited and permitted to stay by Damascus, unlike the ‘Israeli’ forces that violate international law with their bombing raids.

Bennett unleashed his dire warning days after ‘Israeli’ Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz indicated that Tel Aviv would not shy away from a pre-emptive military strike against Iran if it thinks Tehran is making strides in the development of nuclear weapons.

“It’s an option. We will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If the only option left to us is the military option, we’ll act militarily,” Katz told Italian Corriere Della Sera daily on Friday.

While ‘Israel’, estimated to have an undeclared nuclear arsenal of between 80 and 90 warheads, is fomenting fears over Iran possibly obtaining nukes, it remains conspicuously tight-lipped about its own endeavors in the field. Following a test of a mysterious “rocket propulsion system” by ‘Israel’ on Friday, Tehran accused the Zionist entity of testing a “nuke-missile, aimed at Iran.”

It is believed that the ‘Israeli’ military may have launched little-known Jericho ballistic missiles, said to be capable of carrying a sizeable warhead.

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Haaretz: Hezbollah Commandos Are Back on Border, They’re Armed with the Element of Surprise

Haaretz: Hezbollah Commandos Are Back on Border, They’re Armed with the Element of Surprise

By Staff

The main change that has taken place over the past year on Palestine’s ‘Israeli’-occupied border with Lebanon involves Hezbollah’s new military preparedness, Haaretz reported.

According to the ‘Israeli’ newspaper, members of Hezbollah’s Rudwan commando force have returned to their original positions in Lebanon, near the front line. Some of the units are deployed relatively close to the border with ‘Israel’, with a presence south of the Litani River as well.

The ‘Israeli’ paper confessed that Hezbollah’s years of fighting in Syria have given the organization and its commanders critical experience in fields that were unfamiliar to them in the past.

But the return to the south, Haaretz added, gives Hezbollah another advantage: The proximity of its top units to the border theoretically shortens the time it needs to carry out a surprise attack against ‘Israel’, in the nature of a move talked about it recent years – a surprise takeover of communities or ‘Israeli’ army positions along the border.

In these circumstances, and considering the increasing pace of the changes, it’s no wonder Military Intelligence has updated its evaluation and believes the risk of war has increased in the past year.

Also according to the newspaper, there is in the background another source of danger – Hezbollah’s “precision project.”

Israeli Tank Flips over during Military Drill along Lebanese border

December 9, 2019

Capture

A tank belonging to the Israeli occupation army flipped over during a military drill along the Lebanese border on Monday.

The tank was damaged after being overturned, but no one was hurt, reports added.

“The tank was traveling on a road along the northern border in heavy fog, along a mountainous area,” the reports said, adding “an investigation has been opened into the specific circumstances of the incident.

Source: Websites

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