Syrian Army, Allies Carry out Quality Operation against ISIL in Badiya

August 12, 2017

The Syrian army and allies managed on Friday night to carry out a quality operation by landing troops behind the lines of ISIL terrorists in Badiya, a desert that extends over some 90,000 square kilometers from central Syria to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

The Syrian army and allies advanced 20 kilometers in Kadeir village on Homs-Raqqa border, killing a large number of ISIL terrorists and destroying their tanks and booby-trapped vehicles.

Source: Al-Manar Website

More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

Few minutes ago the Syrian media released more info about the Tiger Forces landing operation behind ISIS lines in the province of Raqqah reported earlier today.

According to the report, government troops led by Tiger Forces Commander Suheil al-Hassan were transported by 4 Mi-35 attack helicopters to the eastern Raqqah countryside 21km behind the frontline and Khirbet Makman village, Al-Qadir town and Bir Rahum.

The Russian Aerospace Forces supported the opeartion providing an air cover to the advancing government troops, according to the report.

This was the first ever airlanding operation conducted by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the ongoing war. The operation confirmed the growing SAA military capabilities and its restored ability to conduct rapid operations across the country.

More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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Video Shows Syrian Army in Control of Jordan Border in Sweida

August 11, 2017

Hezbollah Military Media Center posted a video showing the Syrian army and allies controlling posts on the border with Jordan in the southeastern province of Sweida.

 

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center

 

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Syrian Army Controls Border with Jordan

August 10, 2017
Syrian army advancing towards Palmyra

Syrian army and allies controlled on Thursday all posts on the border with Jordan in the southeastern province of Suwayda.

Hezbollah Military Media Center reported that the allied forces controlled the 154th and 143rd border-garrison along with many other prominent positions in Suwayda’s southeastern countryside near the border with Jordan.

Meanwhile, SANA news agency reported that the Syrian army, backed by allies, liberated about 1300 square kilometers and established full control over Tal Assadi, Tal Jarin, Tal al-Rayahin and Bir al-Sabouni, after eliminating the last gatherings of ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Suwayda countryside.

The agency quoetd its reporter as saying that Syrian army units combed the area completely and dismantled the mines and IEDs and fixed their points in it and began to expand their operation in chasing the terrorists in the direction of Bir al-Sout.

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center

 

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 A.M.) – The Islamic State’s (ISIL) last stronghold, Ma’adan, in the southeastern countryside of the Al-Raqqa Governorate is on the verge of falling to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), a military source told Al-Masdar on Wednesday night.

According to the military source, the Islamic State has already begun evacuating Ma’adan and moving many of their fighters to the Deir Ezzor Governorate, where they hope to fend off the Syrian military’s future assault.

For the Syrian Army, the liberation of Ma’adan will allow their forces to enter the Deir Ezzor Governorate’s northern axis  for the first time in years.

 

Unfortunately, the road to Deir Ezzor City will ongoing get tougher once they cross the provincial border, as the governorate’s northern terrain is rather rough and difficult to navigate through.
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SYRIAN-LEBANESE BORDER IS CLEARED FROM ALL HAYAT TAHRIR AL-SHAM MEMBERS

South Front

04.08.2017

The Hezbollah operations room announced on Thursday that the operation to liberate Jorud Arsal in Lebanon and Jorud Flitah in Syria have been finished.

The operations room announced in its official statement that the presence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on the Syrian-Lebanese border has ended, thus the operation has achieved all its goals.

Syrian-Lebanese Border Is Cleared From All Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Members

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On Thursday, nearly 100 buses carrying 7777 HTS fighters with their families along with wounded HTS fighter left to the Syrian province of Idlib.

The exchange was carried out at the Sa’an checkpoint in northern Hama, where HTS released 5 Hezbollah fighters who were captured in previous battles: Mousa Korani, Ahmed Mezher, Mohammed Jawad Yassin, Mohammed Mahdi Shuaib, Hassan Taha.

Moreover, HTS fighters had killed Raad al-Amuri – a field commander in HTS – before they leave. HTS fighters accused Al-Amuri of being an ISIS spy.

Lebanese Security Forces also discovered an explosive belt with an HTS fighter before boarding a bus. The explosive belt was dismantled and the fighter was allowed to leave.

The Hezbollah media win in Syria reported that the fighters of Saraya Ahl al-Sham – a group of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – and their families are still at some points in Jorud Arsal, including Al-Malahi. They will leave in the coming days according to a new agreement.

Syrian-Lebanese Border Is Cleared From All Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Members

Click to see the full-size map

Saraya Ahl al-Sham fighters had refused to leave with HTS fighters to Idlib. They are feared that HTS would kill them in Idlib because they had withdrawn from the battle of Jorud Arsal and handed over their positions to Hezbollah. Thus, they’re expected to leave to the Euphrates Shield-held areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to announce in a public speech the battle to liberate Ras Baalbek in Lebanon and several areas of the western Qalamoun in Syria from ISIS. Dozens of ISIS fighters are still holed up in the area at the Syrian-Lebanese border.

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What Role Has israel Played In the Refugee Crisis?

Source

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Europe has been content to blame its current societal and economic decline on malfeasant leaders like EU Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel or France’s ex-president François Hollande.

If the people of Europe only knew the real actors behind, Israel would not be unscathed in this whole Arab Spring charade. Yes, Europe has the Israelis to thank for sapping what’s left of the EU’s strength. Here’s a story you won’t read in the New York Times, but one the Wall Street Journal will hint at.

This morning I was astonished to find a Wall Street Journal story that framed Israel’s support for Syrian insurgents against the government of President Bashar Hafez al-Assad. In a strange twist of the fates, by reporters Rory Jones in Tel Aviv, Noam Raydan in Beirut and Suha Ma’ayeh in Amman, Jordan, the newspaper owned by Genie Oil investor billionaire Rupert Murdoch suddenly decided to spill some of the beans on Israel’s role in the Syria. The WSJ story is but one of the recent revelations hinting at how Israel played a key role in the conflict that has destroyed Syria, and which has flooded Europe with refugees and potential terrorists. The lead from the WSJ is telling:

“Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.”

But Murdoch’s newspaper only skims the surface on the Israeli operations directly relating to the war to unseat Assad no matter what. For months I’ve asked the question, “How could the Arab nations’ most hated foe keep from being bloodied by ISIL?” Some of the answers now emerge. This story from Syria Deeply was probably sourced from the same informants that the WSJ used. Its intro paragraph points to a bigger story.

“Over the past five years, Israel has been quietly working to establish a foothold in southern Syria to prevent Syrian government-backed forces from controlling the area and to bolster its claim over the Golan Heights.”

There’s some clear reasons the older Syria Deeply story (June 15th versus June 17th for the WSJ version) is different from the new WSJ one. First and foremost, Israel’s claims over the Golan Heights link Rupert Murdoch and several other prominent western figures to the conflict in Syria via Genie Energy. While it’s no secret the whole Arab Spring upheaval was in part over pipelines and energy wars, the carving up of Syria for select interests has been a lesser known fact. On Genie Energy, the reader may be interested to know Genie Oil and Gas (GOGAS) found substantial oil and shale reserves in the Golan Heights. This border region is now seems to be associated with more US and British billionaires and power brokers than any stretch of land east of Manhattan. From dumped Donald Trump security adviser James Woolsey to the homicidal maniac former US VP Dick Cheney, the Genie machinates are in our face trying to profit from Syria’s destruction. By October 2015, Genie Energy Ltd.’s chief geologists assured investors that major oil reservoir were indeed in the Golan, and then in early 2016 Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began losing his mind over the deals the US, Russia and the rest of the West were discussing settlement of the Golan affair as being “Syrian land”. If you’re wondering if Netanyahu has a stake in the western oligarch play for energy in Syrian territory, his later statements were also telling:

“The Golan will always remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.”

Fast forward to this presidency and Donald Trump’s kinship with Netanyahu and Israel. Political analyst Anthony Bellchambers encapsulated what a Trump presidency means for Golan and for Syria overall. He wrote for Global Research on what a Trump White House mean:

“It would almost certainly embolden Israel to unilaterally annex the occupied Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Syrian Golan Heights in gross violation of international law and in contempt of the United Nations…It would increase the likelihood of a global war between the US and Russia, and their respective allies…”

Returning to the Israeli real and logistical support for insurgents inside Syria, this recent UNDOF report spoke of “a significant increase in interaction” in between the IDF and Assad’s opposition across the alpha-beta fence in between Golan and Syria proper. The report speaks of both “personnel and supplies being observed to have been transferred in both directions.”

Instances of the Israelis treating “moderate jihadist” wounds, as well as government organized aid entities trucking in medical aid, food and clothing are well documented (US News & World Report from 2015), but what’s not so publicized are the funding and support for Israel’s own Free Syrian Army faction, known as the Golan Knights (Liwa Forsan al Joulan) made up of between 300 and 1000 fighters. On the wider scale, the Israelis have also been promoting the National Salvation Front leader Fahad al Masri, who has publicly called for Israeli intervention in Syria. All of this activity exactly mirrors what the Israelis did in Lebanon back in the early 1970’s to the mid 2000’s.

Once ISIL reared its ugly head to further the effort to unseat Assad, Israeli officials began expanding Israeli settlements in Golan, as well as infrastructure projects there. Where funding of ISIL is concerned, the Russian air forces bombing black market oil headed from ISIL held territory to Israeli ports was well documented by me and many others. Direct contact in between anti-Assad insurgents, Israel’s military and leadership, and US Senator John McCain has also been documented by Global Research founder, Professor Michel Chossudovsky and others. In the story linked here, there’s a photograph showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon visiting a wounded mercenary at an Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014.

Finally, the underneath support from Israel to anyone opposing the Assad government was made clear by me on my personal blog some months back. Supported by reports from other sources, this was my conclusion on the Israel role in all this back in September of 2015 when the Russia air campaign was about to go into full swing. Israel is set to benefit from Assad’s downfall accordingly:

“With Assad gone, and with US duplicity in these matters, Israel would become the ultimate powerhouse of stability in this region. Her enemies dispersed like wandering nomads, the Jewish state could go ahead and eradicate the Palestinians, expand her territories uninhibited, and dictate policy for the whole region. That is, with Washington’s say so.”

Back then the Jerusalem Post revealed most of Israel’s oil actually came from Kurdistan, so my theories were not unsupported by evidence of Israel’s role. Looking at the situation today, one nation has benefitted more than any other since the onset of what became known as “Arab Spring”. Gabriel Scheinmann, Ph.D. candidate in international relations at Georgetown University, wrote a piece evidencing just such a win. “The Real Big Winner of the Arab Spring” reflects on what I would call “the subterfuge the Israeli lobby inserted” into think tank mentalities from the start, that somehow Israel lost from this upheaval in the Arab world. The article also reveals a more logical reality. To quote Scheinmann:

“There is good reason to think, however, that this assessment is largely incorrect. In fact, the changes wrought by the Arab Spring are likely to be of long-term benefit to Israel. Its most dedicated enemies, especially the Iran-led “Axis of Resistance,” have been seriously weakened, both economically and militarily. The Arab states, hostile and otherwise, will be unable to directly challenge Israel for a long time. “

Israel, surrounded by enemies, is one of a handful of neighboring states that have been totally unscathed by these wars and revolutions. Meanwhile, millions of refugees flood Europe. Terror spreads to the rest of the world. And bankers line up in anticipation of additional military spending, trillions in reconstruction costs in Syria and elsewhere, and the economic loans half a hundred nations will soon need. The EU is sinking under austerity and added pressure from this crisis, and somehow nobody looks at who is benefitting? If there is any real justice in the world, then Israel’s role in all these conflicts will be revealed.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2017/07/15/what-role-has-israel-played-in-the-refugee-crisis/

The Kurds: Washington’s Weapon of Mass Destabilization in the Middle East

Part I of the Three-Part Series

Global Research, July 14, 2017
The Rabbit Hole 13 July 2017

In this three part series, MintPress  and Global Research contributor Sarah Abed analyzes the role that some Kurdish factions have played throughout history in helping major powers create chaos in the Middle East – from the Kurdish uprising in Iraq in the 1960s to the ongoing conflict in Syria today.

SYRIA (Analysis)– Historical accounts of the Kurds have been a subject of mystery and perplexity for years, and have been seldom discussed by major Western media outlets until recently. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing conflict in Syria, Kurds have been romanticized by mainstream media and U.S. politicians alike to justify a Western interventionist narrative in those countries. Ever since the U.S. invaded Syria, the U.S. and Israel have supported the semi-autonomous Kurdistan, with Israel purchasing $3.84 billion dollars worth of oil from them, a move that could have geopolitical and economic ramifications for both parties.

In 2015, the Financial Times reported that Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11. During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi exports, shipped through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1 billion, the report said, citing “shipping data, trading sources, and satellite tanker tracking.”

The sales are a sign of Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing assertiveness and the further fraying of ties between Erbil and Baghdad, which has long harbored fears that the Kurds’ ultimate objective is full independence from Iraq.

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units, (Y.P.G), stand guard next to American armored vehicles at the Syria-Turkey border, Apri, 2017. (Youssef Rabie Youssef/EPA)

In 1966, Iraqi defense minister Abd al-Aziz al-Uqayli blamed the Kurds of Iraq for seeking to establish “a second Israel” in the Middle East. He also claimed that “the West and the East are supporting the rebels to create [khalq] a new Israeli state in the north of the homeland as they had done in 1948 when they created Israel. Interestingly enough, history is repeating itself with their present-day relationship – the existence of which is only acknowledged in passing by either side for fear of retribution.

For much of the conflict in Syria, several Kurdish militias have become some of the U.S.-led coalition’s closest allies within the country, receiving massive amounts of arms and heavy weapon shipments, as well as training from coalition members. Kurdish militias also dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the U.S.-backed group best known for leading the coalition-supported offensive targeting the Daesh (ISIS) stronghold of Raqqa.The weapons that the United States has provided Kurdish and Arab fighters in the anti-Islamic State coalition include heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, armored cars and engineering equipment.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump approved arming Kurdish militiamen in Syria with heavy weaponry, including mortars and machine guns. Within one month of Trump’s approval, 348 trucks with military assistance had been passed to the group, Anadolu added. According to the news agency’s data, the Pentagon’s list of weapons to be delivered to the group includes 12,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 6,000 machine guns, 3,000 grenade launchers and around 1,000 anti-tank weapons of Russian or U.S. origin.

The United States’ shipments included 130 trucks, with 60 cars passing on June 5, and 20 vehicles on June 12, per Sputnik News.

On June 17, Sputnik News reported that the United States is still supplying the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria with ammunition to fight Daesh, delivering 50 truckloads in one day alone, according to Turkish media reports. Earlier in the day, the trucks reached the city of al-Hasakah in northwest Syria.

Both historical and modern day ties between Israel and the Kurds have brought benefits to both sides. In the past, Israel has obtained intelligence, as well as support, for a few thousand Jews fleeing Ba’athist Iraq. The Kurds have received security and humanitarian aid, as well as links to the outside world, especially the United States. The first official acknowledgment that Jerusalem had provided aid to the Kurds dates back to Sept. 29, 1980, when Prime Minister Menachem Begin disclosed that Israel had supported the Kurds “during their uprising against the Iraqis in 1965 to 1975” and that the United States was aware of this fact. Begin added that Israel had sent instructors and arms, but not military units.

Ethnic Kurdish Israelis protest outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2010.

The Kurds are the largest group of nomadic people in the world that have remained stateless since the beginning of time. This fact has allowed Western powers to use the “stateless” plight of the Kurdish people as a tool to divide, destabilize and conquer Iraq and Syria, where colonial oil and gas interests run deep.

The U.S.-led coalition of war criminals is using elements of Syria’s Kurdish population to achieve its goal of destroying the non-belligerent, democratic country of Syria, led by its popular, democratically-elected President Bashar al-Assad. Washington seeks to create sectarianism and ethnic divides in a country that, prior to the Western-launched war, had neither.

However, Kurdologists reject this characterization because it does not fit into their account of historical events that attributes a state to them at one point in time. Their estimated population is 30 million, according to most demographic sources. They also reject the idea that they are being used as pawns.

Responding to a question about where the autonomous administration would “draw the line” on U.S. support and the support of other superpowers, the co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim Muhammad, stated

“Our guarantee is our mindset. It depends on how much we educate and organize our people. If we defend our morals and ideology, then bigger powers cannot use us as pawns.”

Perhaps no other group of people in modern times has been as romanticized in the Western conscience as the Kurds. Consistently portrayed as “freedom fighters” who are eternally struggling for a land denied to them, the Kurds have been frequently utilized throughout history by other countries and empires as an arrow and have never themselves been the bow.

In today’s case, the Kurds are being used by NATO and Israel to fulfill the modern-day colonialist aim of breaking up large states like Iraq into statelets to ensure geopolitical goals. When nations are divided into smaller statelets, they are easier to conquer by foreign entities. This is a signature move that powerful imperialist nations use for the purpose of colonizing smaller and less influential nations. The Kurds have been utilized as pawns in this “divide and conquer” strategy throughout history and continue to allow themselves to be used by colonial powers.

Ultra-leftist opportunists or real revolutionaries?

In an article written in 2007, NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr stated that the Kurds of Iraq have a long history of being used as pawns in regional power struggles. Now, they are finding themselves in the middle of a contest between the United States and Iran for dominance in the Middle East.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had the CIA instigate a Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq against Saddam Hussein. The United States walked away from the rebellion when Saddam and the Shah of Iran settled their differences, leaving the Kurds to face their own fate. Interestingly, the Kurds seem to have developed amnesia by once again choosing to cooperate with Washington, which has repeatedly used them solely for its own benefit.

In the Gulf War over the Iraqi seizure of Kuwait in 1990, President George H.W. Bush appealed to the Kurds, as well as the Shiites in the south, to rise up in rebellion against Saddam.

A Kurd kisses a picture of United States President George W. Bush during celebrations in the streets of Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq Wednesday April 9, 2003. (AP/Kevin Frayer)

Victorious in that war, the American military permitted Saddam to retain his helicopter gunships, which he used to retaliate against the Kurds, along with Shiites, by the hundreds. American public opinion eventually forced the administration to establish northern and southern no-fly zones to protect the two populations.

Kurdish loyalty to America has cost them quite a bit, and so it is with a certain narcissism that the Bush administration presumed to tell the allegedly autonomous Kurds what kind of relations they could entertain with other countries in the region, including American rival Iran. But the Kurds appear to be finding themselves in a contest between the U.S. and Iran for dominance in the Middle East yet again.

Andrew Exum, a former top Pentagon Middle East policy official who served as an Army Ranger, stated

”… this decision — to arm a group closely associated with a foreign terrorist organization, and one that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state — will likely reverberate through U.S. relations with Turkey for decades to come.”

The Turkish government has long insisted that the Kurdish militia is closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a separatist group known as the PKK. That group is listed by Turkey, the United States and Europe as a terrorist organization.

A rough estimate found in the CIA Factbook sets the Kurdish population at 14.5 million in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, about 5 to 6 million in Iraq and less than 2 million in Syria, which adds up to close to 28 million Kurds in what they refer to as “Kurdistan” and adjacent regions.

However, other sources state that there are only about 1.2 million Kurds left in Syria due to the carefully calculated and planned imposed war by NATO and its Gulf Allies. Roughly the same number migrated to Germany during the past six years.

It’s important to differentiate between Kurdish people who have assimilated in the countries they now reside in and reject the idea of establishing an illegal Kurdistan and those who are power hungry and are allowing themselves to team up with the West and Israel to assist in the destabilization of the region. Some Kurdish people in Syria, especially those that reside in areas that are not controlled by the Kurds, such as Damascus, are loyal to the Syrian government and have stated that they voted for Assad in 2014.

This free and democratic election saw Assad win 88.7 percent of the popular vote over the other two nominees. In the beginning of the war in Syria, there were Kurds fighting in the Syrian Arab Army, who received arms and salaries just like their Syrian counterparts. There are a small number that are still in the Syrian Arab Army in the southern Syria.

But in northeastern Syria, many Kurds have defected to the U.S.-led SDF where arms, salaries, and training are provided by the U.S. Syrians consider the Kurds who have remained loyal to Syria as their fellow Syrian brothers and sisters and the descriptions of Kurdish treachery in this article do not apply to them.

The loosely-knit coalition of Syrian rebel groups known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are armed, trained and backed by the U.S. The group is currently engaged in the early stages of battle in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.

Independence and disunity

An important thing to remember is that the ethnic marker “Kurd” refers to speakers of several different related, but distinct, languages. The two most important are Sorani in Iraq and Iran and Kurmanji in Syria, Turkey and smaller contiguous regions in Iraq and Iran. Sorani tends to use Arabic script, while Kurmanji uses Latin script, which shows how different they can be from one another.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is predominantly made up of Sorani speakers, while the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), PYD and other nationalist groups in Syria and Turkey speak Kurmanji. This division naturally maps these divergent political expressions. It is not as simple as superimposing the KRG’s borders over the PYD and PKK-controlled territory.

On the other hand, Turkey does not contest Sorani speakers’ aspirations to the same extent as it does Kurmanji speakers. Encouraging the autonomy of the Iraqi Kurds should not entail the same problems for the Turco-American alliance as encouraging Syro-Turkish Kurdish nationalism would.

The quest for independence is intrinsic to Kurdish identity. However, not all Kurds envision a unified Kurdistan that would span the Kurdish regions of four different sovereign countries. Most Kurdish movements and political parties are focused on the concerns and autonomy of Kurds within their respective countries. Within each country, there are Kurds who have assimilated and whose aspirations may be limited to greater cultural freedoms and political recognition.

Kurd

Kurds throughout the Middle East have vigorously pursued their goals through a multitude of groups. While some Kurds established legitimate political parties and organizations in efforts to promote Kurdish rights and freedom, others have waged armed struggles. Some, like the Turkish PKK, have employed guerrilla tactics and terror attacks that have targeted civilians, including their fellow Kurds.

The wide array of Kurdish political parties and groups reflects the internal divisions among Kurds, which often follow tribal, linguistic and national fault lines, in addition to political disagreements and rivalries. Tensions between the two dominant Iraqi Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) escalated to a civil war that killed more than 2,000 Kurds in the mid-1990s.

Political disunity stretches across borders as well, with Kurdish parties and organizations forming offshoots or forging alliances in neighboring countries. Today, disagreements over prospects for Kurdish autonomy in Syria or Iraqi Kurds’ relations with the Turkish government have fostered tensions that have pitted the Iraqi KDP and its Syrian sister organization, the KDP-S, against the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD. Still, adversarial Kurdish groups have worked together when it has been expedient. The threat posed by Daesh has led the KDP-affiliated Peshmerga to fight alongside Syrian PYD forces.

Kurdish groups have, at times, bargained with not only their own governments but also neighboring ones – in some cases at the expense of their relations with their Kurdish brethren. The complex relationships among Kurdish groups and between the Kurds and the region’s governments have fluctuated, and alliances have formed and faltered as political conditions have changed. The Kurds’ disunity is cited by experts as one of the primary causes for their inability to form a state of their own.

The Kurds’ illegal, unjustified claims for autonomy

The West claims that the Kurds are one of the most moral and dignified forces in the Middle East fighting against Daesh. But if their focus is on defeating Daesh, as they claim, why are they committing genocide against Syrians in the process? Taking this into consideration, it is hard to justify the West’s persistent claim that armed Kurdish terrorist groups are trying to help Syria. The reality on the ground contradicts these empty compliments, which the West uses to save face while supporting these terrorist organizations. This false narrative was in fact used to arm the Kurds in Syria in order to create instability and division.

U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces raise their flag in the center of the town of Manbij after driving ISIS out of the area, in Aleppo province, Syria. (ANHA via AP)

It is strange that the Kurds would be so antagonistic towards Syrians, as the country has largely been welcoming for them. For example, reforms were made in Syria in 2012 to benefit the Kurds.

“President Assad issued a decree granting Arab Syrian citizenship to people registered as foreigners in the (governorate of Hassake),” said the SANA news agency.

The measure, which benefited about 300,000 Kurds, came a week after Assad tasked a committee with “resolving the problem of the 1962 census in the governorate of Hassake.”

In January 2015, SANA news reported that then-Syrian Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi said:

“the Kurds are a deeply-ingrained component of the Syrian society and Ayn al-Arab is part of Syria that is dear to the hearts of all Syrians.”

Al-Halqi’s affirmation came during his meeting with a Kurdish delegation which comprised Kurdish figures. He also urged all to discard violence and spread amity, reiterating that a solution to the Syrian crisis could be achieved “through national dialogue and consolidating national reconciliations,” indicating that dialogue will definitely be “under the homeland’s umbrella away from foreign dictates.”

In 2014, The Civil Democratic Gathering of Syrian Kurds said that the steadfastness of the people of Ayn al-Arab in the face of terrorists was a form of expression of the Syrian Kurds’ commitment to their affiliation to their homeland of Syria. The gathering’s Higher Council of Secretaries said that the steadfastness of Ayn al-Arab was cause for admiration and that attempts to transgress against the territorial integrity of Syria were parts of a plot to cause chaos and division and undermine the resistance axis.

These are just a few examples of the Syrian government’s attempts to unify all of those who live within the country’s borders. But even with these actions of good faith, the SDF has chosen to side with Syria’s enemies rather than work with the Syrian army.

A recent agreement – initiated and brokered by the U.S. between a Free Syrian Army (FSA) faction and the Kurdish-led SDF lays out conditions whereby U.S.-initiated negotiations would allow the FSA faction al-Muatasim Brigade to peacefully take over 11 villages in northern Syria that are controlled by the SDF. The general outlines of this unprecedented agreement were announced on May 10, stating that the U.S.-led coalition had delegated to al-Muatasim the task of being in charge of and administering the designated villages.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Al-Muatasim is known to be a strong ally of the U.S., which is why it was chosen to be in charge of the designated villages. This further proves the point that the U.S., SDF and FSA are still working together. Their cooperation is part of an effort to counter the progress being made by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.

In Part II of MPN’s Sarah Abed analysis of the Kurds’ role in helping the U.S. and Israel destabilize the Middle East, she will explore more of their ties to Israel and other countries, as well as their links to Daesh.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and political commentator. Focused on exposing the lies and propaganda in mainstream media news, as it relates to domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on the Middle East. Contributed to various radio shows, news publications and spoken at forums. For media inquiries please email sarahabed84@gmail.com.

All images in this article are from the author.

Syrian War Report – July 4, 2017: Army Reportedly Receives Russian-made BMPT Terminator Combat Vehicles

Voiceover by Harold Hoover

Syrian government forces, led by Liwa al-Quds and Hezbollah units, have further advanced against ISIS northeast of the Arak gas field in the eastern part of Homs province. Army troops and their allies have captured a number of hills and reached the important Rammim Hill west of the Hail gas field.  By controlling the Rammim Hill, government forces will be able to establish fire control over the vicinity of the Hail gas field and thus soon to retake the field from ISIS.  Doing so will also contribute to a wider effort aimed at liberating the strategic town of al-Sukhnah.

According to reports, government forces received an unknown number of Russian-made BMPT Terminator combat vehicles.  The vehicles will allegedly be used during the upcoming advance on Deir Ezzor.  If confirmed, this will be the first usage of the Russian-made armoured vehicle in a combat environment.

The US-led coalition has airdropped about 100-150 members of US-backed groups of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) from the US-held Al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria to the Al-Shaddadi area in northeastern Syria, according to pro-militant media activists and media outlets.

According to reports, the goal of this move is to set a foothold for a US-backed advance on the government-held city of Deir Ezzor, besieged by ISIS terrorists.  Some sources suggest that the US is going to establish a coalition garrison in the border area. Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra even declared the start of the offensive on Deir Ezzor.  However, without direct support from US-led coalition ground forces this seems as merely a PR move. Another obvious target for the US-led operation is the ISIS-held border town of al-Bukamal.

If reports are confirmed, this move will be considered as a common part of a wider US effort aimed at building a buffer zone between Syria and Iraq by seizing as much border area as possible, the goal being to prevent any cooperation between the Syrian and Iraqi militaries.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition, continued storming the ISIS-held part of Raqqah. Slow progress inside the city might be one of the reasons behind the US attempt to launch a separate operation in the border area with Iraq.

When Will Russia Challenge US and Israeli Aggression in Syria?

Global Research, July 03, 2017

Featured image: Sergey Shoigu – the virtuoso manager who is Russia’s Defense Minister (Source: Russia Insider)

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Washington, Israel and their rogue allies are at war on Syria – naked aggression against a sovereign independent state threatening no one.

Both countries supply ISIS and other terrorists with arms, munitions and other material support – supported by terror-bombing, daily by US warplanes, Israel at its discretion, its sixth attack in the last 10 days occurring Saturday, an unjustifiably pretext cited like all previous incidents, saying:

“In response to projectiles launched earlier today at Israel from Syria, Israeli forces targeted the Syrian military artillery position that was the source of the previous fire.”

No casualties or damage was reported. So-called errant mortar fire or other projectiles almost certainly came from US and Israeli-supported terrorists – providing unjustifiable justification for IDF aggression.

Why would Syrian forces risk it by any live fire aimed in the direction of Israel’s border? Why would they use toxic agents of any kind when they’re smashing US-supported terrorists by conventional warfare?

US and Israeli aggression aim solely to support ISIS and other terrorists used as imperial foot soldiers – notably now in the face of their heavy losses.

On June 30, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said repeated

“(p)rovocations by the coalition forces led by the United States contribute to the growing activity of terrorist organizations in Syria.”

On June 29, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said US propaganda, falsely claiming Syrian preparations for another CW attack appears a likely pretext for further US aggression.

It followed earlier provocations.

“The current information campaign (from America) is a precursor (for) new (US) intervention in Syria,” said Zakharova. All known facts indicate it.

“The scenario will be the same.”

Damascus will be falsely blamed for a CW attack carried out by US-supported terrorists.

Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said

“it is necessary to warn (America) against further irresponsible steps in violation of the United Nations Charter and the generally recognized norms of the international law as was the case during the April 7 missile strike on Syria’s Shayrat airbase.”

It cited “Washington’s bellicose rhetoric” as evidence of something planned, likely more US aggression against Syrian forces – following an “invitation” for terrorists it supports to launch another large-scale CW attack.

Russia’s rhetorical responses to US, Israeli and so-called coalition aggression against Syria accomplish nothing. Action backing up tough talk is needed – short of all-out war, but enough to show Moscow no longer will tolerate US-led escalated hostilities, undermining efforts to resolve things diplomatically.

According to Syrian lawmaker Muhammed Kheir al-Akkam, if the US-led “coalition continues to push with the issue of chemical weapons to justify its aggression against Syria, Damascus in coordination with Russia and Iran will deliver an unexpected response to this aggression” – without further elaboration.

A Final Comment

The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) comprised of US-supported terrorists falsely accused government forces of attacking the Ayn Tarma, Damascus district with chlorine gas on Friday.

Syria’s General Command of the Army and Armed Forces denounced the accusation as false and baseless – another fabricated attempt to prompt further US aggression.

The Khmeimim-based Russian Coordination Center issued a similar comment – stressing no use of any type toxic agents by Syrian forces against anyone, anywhere, at any time.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

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