The Political Scene: Trump’s Policy with Allies – Pay Us and We’ll Protect You

Source

March 23, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump waits to speak by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US president Donald trumps’ policies towards the region have not been crystallized so far.
Many of the political positions and statements announced by the new administration are not clear enough to give a full- fledge  image about the US vision towards the region. Most of the information and conclusions are inferred from tentative analyses and some of his advisors statements.

Nonetheless, the main headline of the US policy towards the friends and allies in the world generally, and the region specifically, “pay us and we will protect you.”

However, it is estimated that the new American policy will go in accordance with the following lines:
Washington will neither wage a war nor will it withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran, but will make sure to tighten the sanctions against it, to downsize its influence in many places in the region.

– The US administration intends to engage more in Iraq by deploying more troops there in an attempt to get rid of ISIL and to make sure to blackmail the Iraqis, thus pressuring them to give more political and economic concessions. Trump aspires to cut off Iraq from its current stances and annex it to the gulf states in an effort to terminate the Iranian influence and coordination with Baghdad.

– As for Palestine, Trump plans to hold an international conference to reach a so-called political settlement, or to hold a tripartite summit that brings him, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas together to reach what his administration envisages as  a permanent solution .

In Yemen, the US urges Saudi Arabia to put a speedy end to its heavy engagement in the Yemeni quick sands, as winning the war there has proved to be almost impossible, along with Saudi dwindling status that affects drastically in other areas which could be in turn detrimental to US interests.

As for Syria, Washington intends to involve itself more, especially in the northern part of the country where it has deployed more troops and military equipments and has supported the Kurdish forces with vital military supplies thus escalating the Turkish worries. The US plans to have the sole and upper hand in liberating Raqqa without any coordination with or help from Russia in order to strike a balance with the culminating, rather towering influence Moscow has in Syria.

Washington wants this at any rate because it deeply understands that the future situation in Syria will play a crucial role and determine the future of the region and far beyond that for long years.

Source: Al-Manar Website

Why israel is ‘Deeply Interested’ in Continuation of Syrian War

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Israel is likely to try to retain the existing status quo in Syria since it has benefited from the ongoing conflict in the war-torn neighboring nation, political analyst Sergei Balmasov asserted, saying that Tel Aviv’s combat missions are not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad, but are rather meant to prevent the crisis from being resolved.

“Israel is deeply interested in the ongoing standoff between the Sunnis and the Shia. Tel Aviv wants them to continue killing each other. Nothing presents a threat to Israel as long as this war is ongoing. The Israeli Air Force launches airstrikes against Shia militias in Syria, tipping the balance. This evens out the chances and the war drags on,” he told RT.

Balmasov, an expert at the Middle East Institute at the Russian International Affairs Council, also suggested that Israel could use a border incident to move its forces into southern Syria.

“One could not rule out that Israel does not deploy its troops to the southern buffer zone which borders the Golan Heights to create a territorial entity on the basis of Druze settlements using some kind of an incident as a pretext,” he said.Israel has largely refrained from taking an active part in the devastating Syrian conflict, but has occasionally sent its warplanes to launch airstrikes on Hezbollah in a bid to eliminate its leaders and destroy its weapons. Several such missions are reported to have taken place in recent days in what marks the most serious incident between Tel Aviv and Damascus since the 2011 foreign-sponsored insurgency in Syria morphed into a large-scale war.

It started on Friday, with the Israeli Air Force launching airstrikes on several Hezbollah targets near the Syrian city of Palmyra, close to an area where Russian experts have been engaged in demining efforts following the successful campaign to push Daesh out of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The operation prompted the Syrian Arab Army to launch three anti-aircraft missiles at the departing Israeli planes, with Israel’s Arrow missile defense system intercepting one of the projectiles.

The incident sparked a war of words among high-ranking officials on both sides. On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman pledged that Tel Aviv would destroy all Syrian air defense systems “without thinking twice” should a similar situation occur in the future. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Tel Aviv would continue to carry out airstrikes on convoys suspected of transferring advanced weapons to Hezbollah.President Bashar al-Assad reiterated that it was Damascus’ right and duty to defend Syrian borders.

“Why has Israel squared off against the Syrian Arab Army? Israel views the SAA’s links to Hezbollah as unacceptable. Tel Aviv is concerned that the group could become stronger,” Irina Zvyagelskaya, a senior research fellow at the Center for Arab and Islamic Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, told RT

SAA foils attempts by al-Nusra mercenaries to break the siege imposed on terrorists north of Jobar

Source


(22/3/2017) ~ Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Syrian Armed Forces units on Wednesday repelled attempts by terrorist groups to break the siege imposed on terrorists trapped in the textiles factories north of Jobar, at the eastern outskirts of Damascus city.



A military source said that army units repelled repeated attempts by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and groups affiliated to them to break the siege imposed on terrorist groups trapped in the textiles factories north of Jobar.

The source said that army units are engaged in violent clashes with terrorist groups north of Jobar, and that they are shelling the terrorists’ gatherings and movements in the depths of Jobar and surrounding areas.

The source added that the operations in Jobar resulted in the death of more than 150 terrorists, including foreigners and some of their leaders, in addition to injuring hundreds of them, destroying 3 car bombs, and killing 7 suicide bombers before they could reach army positions.

In the same context the Syrian Air Force carried out since dawn a number of airstrikes targeting the terrorists’ movements and supply routes coming from the Eastern Ghouta towards the north of Jobar neighborhood, inflicting heavy losses upon them in personnel.

The clashes continue between army units and terrorists that infiltrated the factories area on the northern outskirts of Jobar neighborhood on Tuesday, leaving many of their members dead and injured and destroying large amounts of their weapons and equipment.

Hama

A military source said that Syrian army units, in cooperation with supporting forces, foiled an attack by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization and groups affiliated to it in the direction of Souran and Khattab in the northern countryside of Hama province.

The source also reported that Syrian army units engaged in fierce battles on the outskirts of Souran city and in the surroundings of Khattab town, inflicting heavy losses upon terrorists.


SOURCES:
Syrian News Agency
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/saa-jobar/
~

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دي ميستورا حرّض على التصعيد لتعديل التوازن والجواب سيكون خلال جنيف في الميدان والتفاوض

دي ميستورا حرّض على التصعيد لتعديل التوازن والجواب سيكون خلال جنيف في الميدان والتفاوض

مارس 23, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– ليس لتفجير جبهات القتال في سورية مجرد وظيفة تفاوضية وقد وضعت لها معادلات ممتدة من واشنطن إلى الرياض وتل أبيب وصولاً إلى أنقرة، وصارت حرب وجود بالنسبة لجبهة النصرة التي تقود الحرب ويلتحق بها بإمرة أسيادهم المشاركون في التفاوض، بشقيه الأمني في أستانة والسياسي في جنيف، لكن الأكيد أن التصعيد الذي تشهده سورية بمبادرة من جبهة النصرة وبتغطية وشراكة سياسية وعسكرية من المشاركين في جنيف عن مقاعد المعارضة سيكون الحاضر الأول في جنيف.

– ليس خافياً أن ثلاثية المبعوث الأممي ستيفان دي ميستورا للتفاوض استثنت بند الإرهاب الذي أصرّ الوفد السوري الرسمي على إضافته بنداً رئيسياً، كما ليس خافياً أن نجاح الوفد السوري بدعم روسي في فرض هذا البند عطفاً على اتهامه مشاركين في جنيف بالإرهاب واشتراطه حسم مصيرهم بين معسكري الإرهاب وأعدائه للانضمام إلى المسار التفاوضي الجدي، قد تمّ بقوة ما تم إنجازه في معارك حلب التي شكلت هزيمة مدوية لمشروع الحرب على سورية.

– تواطأ دي ميستورا بقدر ما تتيح موازين القوى لتخديم جماعة الرياض، وحاول التمادي على بنود التفاوض التي حصرها القرار الأممي 2254 بالسوريين، عبر ترويج صيغ للشق الداخلي من حلول تفاوضية تخدم المشروع المعادي لسورية فاستحق رفض دمشق لاستقباله، لكن دي ميستورا لم يكن الوحيد صاحب النصيحة لجماعة الرياض والفصائل بضرورة تغيير موازين القوى قبل جولة جنيف الجديدة وإلا سيكون وضعهم التفاوضي صعباً، وهو مَن قال لهم ستشهد الجولة ضغوطاً روسية سورية لضم ممثلي منصات القاهرة وموسكو لوفد موحّد ومعهم ممثلون للأكراد، وسيكون التفاوض في بند الإرهاب قاسياً ومتعباً، وسيكون السقف السياسي الذي يريد الروس أن تخرج به المفاوضات هو حكومة موحّدة في ظل الدستور السوري والرئيس السوري ، ونصيحة دي ميستورا هي المسعى السعودي والنصيحة الأميركية ذاتهما منذ استرداد الجيش السوري والمقاومة مدينة القصير وكلمة وزير الخارجية الأميركية آنذاك جون كيري من الدوحة، لا عودة للتفاوض قبل تعديل التوازن العسكري.

– دمشق ليست بعيدة عن التقاط الرسالة ولا عن حرفية ومهارة إرسال الأجوبة المناسبة، وأولها رفض استقبال دي ميستورا، والتتمة بالتتابع، من معاملة دي ميستورا بصورة باهتة وجافة في جنيف بمحاسبته على النقطة والفاصلة وفقاً للقرار الأممي وقرار تفويضه ومهمته وصلاحياته وضوابطه كموظف أممي، وسيراً بجدول الأعمال بحسم هوية المفاوضين وتأكيد عدم تشابكها بهويات إرهابية، وفقاً لمواقفها من التنظيمات الإرهابية المصنفة أممياً، وليس لاجتهادات متناقضة للأطراف المشاركة. وهنا لا توجد إلا العلاقة بجبهة النصرة، فمن يقاتل معها ومن يتبنّى قتالها لا مكان له على مائدة الحل السياسي، ومَن يتبرأ من حروبها وتفجيراتها وحده الجدير بالتفاوض.

– ستطول جولة جنيف الخامسة بكلام كثير وشروط وبيانات وخطابات، لكن الرد السوري سيكون في الميدان كفيلاً بتغيير المناخ والأجواء، ووضع دي ميستورا ومفاوضي مسميات المعارضة أمام الحائط المسدود والخيارات الصعبة، ومثلما نجح الهجوم المعاكس في مداخل دمشق بحسم سريع، فقد بدأ الهجوم المعاكس في ريف حماة والساعات والأيام المقبلة تتكفّل بالجواب.

Rania Khalek, Blacklisted, Smeared & Silenced For Exposing NATO Destabilization Of Syria

 

By

MINNEAPOLIS —  Though it’s been nearly six years, the subject of the Syrian conflict remains as contentious as ever. While those who characterize themselves as pro-regime change have monopolized the wider conversation on Syria, even the most tame opposition against foreign intervention, or the CIA-backed rebels—who now come in varying flavors of extremism—continues to be taboo.

Those who refuse to support U.S. military intervention in Syria and the CIA backed regime change operation there that has been well documented for over 25 years — are branded “Assadists” — and if you’re a writer or commentator?

Well, that gets you and your work blacklisted from publications and, in the case of journalists like myself and others who make up a long list of anti-interventionists far too long to mention here, even gets your speaking engagements shut down and kicked off of blogs, regardless of what topic they’re on.

It seems that opposing what clearly amounts to a NATO-imposed regime change operation in Syria in order to create the next Afghanistan in the Middle East and ultimately weaken Russia and Iran gets you characterized as a supporter of genocide.

But this is not a new phenomenon — we’ve been here before as recently as Libya and Iraq.

During the pro-war campaign against Libya, we were told, just as we were during previous conflicts, that military intervention was necessary in order to protect civilians from a madman.

The same loudmouthed pundits who led us down the bloody path of war have since been eerily silent in the aftermath — where Libya is now being overrun by groups like ISIS and the country is being described as a failed state.

In Iraq, we saw an energized anti-war movement smeared as being pro-Saddam, and now, despite what we’ve learned about both conflicts, history seems to be repeating itself. Many are now suffering a kind of collective amnesia over how war is peddled to the public.

Today we’re joined by Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who has become the latest victim  of an organized smearing and blacklisting campaign for her recent reporting on Syria. The organized campaign against her became so aggressive that several of her talks on apartheid in Israel were canceled after student groups were pressured to blacklist her events by pro-Syrian rebel activists who support US intervention and regime change.

The blacklisting of Rania Khalek garnered the attention of many notable scholars, activists and journalists including Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and Glenn Greenwald among others who signed a petition calling for an end to censorship and warning that there needs to be more open dialogue on Syria rather than silencing journalists

US Terror-Bombing in Iraq Massacres Civilians

US Terror-Bombing Massacres Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

US terror-bombing in the battle for Mosul has nothing to do with liberating the city, everything to with destroying it.
A similar strategy is employed in Syria, smashing vital infrastructure on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.
America created and/or supports terrorist groups in both countries and elsewhere – waging war OF terror, not on it.
Civilians in harm’s way are being indiscriminately massacred, residential neighborhoods turned to rubble, terror-bombing burying entire families beneath the wreckage of their homes – media scoundrels ignoring high crimes demanding accountability.
Last week’s mosque bombing in western Aleppo province slaughtered over four dozen worshipers, injured many more. Pentagon authorities lied, claiming an al-Qaeda structure was targeted, not a mosque. Its rubble and death toll proved otherwise.
Overnight Tuesday, US terror-bombing massacred over 30 Syrian civilians about 20 miles west of Raqqa, many others injured, according to residents and eye-witnesses.
Bodies are still being pulled from rubble. A school was struck hosting around 50 displaced families. Two days earlier, US terror-bombing slaughtered 30 civilians in Matab al-Borashid village near Raqqa, including eight children and six women.
In Iraq and Syria, defenseless civilians are being massacred on the phony pretext of combating ISIS – US war crimes unreported in the West.
Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter and destruction follow. Endless US imperial wars rage in Syria, Iraq and other theaters – horrors inflicted on millions ignored by media scoundrels.
Trump wants tens of billions more dollars budgeted for militarism and warmaking. America gives new meaning to the term rogue state.
Since Pentagon warplanes began terror-bombing Syria and Iraq in 2014, thousands of civilians were slaughtered or injured, numerous others displaced, vital infrastructure in both countries destroyed.

US Coalition Air Strike Kills 33 Civilians At Syrian School

US Coalition Air Strike Kills 33 Civilians At Syrian School

Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against ISIS, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.

The destruction in Maysaloun school in #Tabqah after several ِairstrikes on it yesterday in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @@Raqqa_SL)

The destruction in Maysaloun school in #Tabqah after several ِairstrikes on it yesterday in Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Twitter @Raqqa_SL)


suspected US air strike on a school being used as a shelter by families displaced from the Isil-held Syrian city of Raqqa killed at least 33 people on Tuesday, in the latest high civilian casualty raid by the coalition.

A school being used by some 50 families in Mansoura, 15 miles from the capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil)’s so-called caliphate, was leveled by airstrikes on Tuesday morning.

The death toll is expected to rise, according to local activists, who said bodies were still being pulled from the rubble and many families were unaccounted for.

The nearest Isil installation to the site of the air strike was a religious school two miles away, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“All remaining hospitals in the countryside have been rendered inoperable,” said one activist from the anti-Isil group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

“The international coalition indiscriminately bombs the city, civilians expect their death coming down from the sky.”

A coalition raid on a mosque outside the city of Aleppo last Thursday evening left as many as 46 dead, making it the deadliest for civilians alleged against the coalition since it began its campaign against Isil two years ago.

They said the mosque had not been their target, saying they had intended to hit a building nearby which was being used as a meeting place for al-Qaeda-linked rebel fighters.

Earlier this month, the coalition said its raids in Syria and Iraq and unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians. But other monitors say the number is far higher.  Airwars, a UK-based organisation which monitors international air strikes against Isil, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone. 

The White House is considering lifting rules of engagement enacted by the Obama administration that sought to avoid civilian deaths.

The coalition has stepped up its air campaign in recent months as it prepares for a ground assault to retake the strategic Syrian city from the jihadists.

Top officials from the 68-nation alliance fighting Isil are set to meet in Washington later today to hear more about US President Donald Trump’s plan to destroy the jihadists’ remaining strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

Since taking office, Mr Trump has increased the number of US advisers on the ground in Syria as part of his promise to eradicate Islamist terror in the war-torn country.

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