‘Israeli’ Air Raid on Damascus Outskirts Kills Three, Syrian Air Defenses Intercept ’Hostile Targets’

May 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

At least three people were martyred after the ‘Israeli’ occupation’s warplanes launched fresh airstrikes on the outskirts of Damascus late on Friday, Syrian media said, adding that the country’s air defenses intercepted “hostile targets.”

The air raid launched from the ‘Israeli’-occupied Golan Heights targeted the southern parts of the Syrian capital amid renewed aggression against the Arab country.

State-run SANA news agency said the attack took place at around 23:01 local time on Friday [20:01 GMT on Saturday] when the ‘Israeli’ regime carried out surface-to-surface missiles at targets in southern Damascus.

“Three people were martyred and some material losses caused,” it said, citing a military source.

The report said the country’s air defense intercepted the “hostile targets” and shot down most of them.

According to reports, the attack also resulted in a fire near Damascus International Airport, leading to the postponement of two flights.

The latest ‘Israeli’ aggression came a week after five people, including a civilian, were martyred in a missile attack targeting the town of Masyaf in the Hama countryside.

Before that, on April 27, a deadly air raid left 10 people martyred, including six Syrian forces.

Syria has been in the throes of foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Although Daesh [Arabic for takfiri terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] was crushed by Damascus with the help of resistance groups in the region, terrorist groups continue to hold sway in some parts of the country.

The Syrian government maintains that the ‘Israeli’ regime and its Western and regional allies aid these terrorist groups that continue to wreak havoc in the country.

The Tel Aviv occupation regime has been a key supporter of foreign terrorist groups in the Arab country, who have been seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad and his democratically-elected government.

The Zionist occupation regime frequently launches airstrikes at Syria, which many see as a knee-jerk reaction to the Syrian government’s phenomenal success in decimating Tel Aviv-backed terrorist groups.

The aerial bombardments intensified in scale and frequency after 2011 when the Arab country found itself in the grip of foreign-backed militancy and terrorism.

The Syrian government has, on numerous occasions, complained to the United Nations about the incessant ‘Israeli’ aggression.

Following the May 14 strike, Syria’s foreign ministry urged the UN Security Council to issue a “clear” condemnation of the Zionist regime’s recurrent attacks on the Arab country.

The ministry in a letter stated that the ‘Israeli’ strike came hours after an assault by foreign-backed terrorists in northern Syria killed 10 troops.

The back-to-back incidents “show a permanent coordination between ‘Israel’ and its terrorist stooges,” SANA said at the time, citing the country’s foreign ministry.

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US attracts IS mercenaries to fight in Ukraine: Russia’s SVR

17 May 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) accuses the US of actively recruiting around 60 Islamic State members it has released from prisons to participate in hostilities in Ukraine as mercenaries.

Russia’s SVR said mercenaries banned in the Russian Federation were being recruited to participate in hostilities in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) reported on Tuesday that the United States is actively recruiting Islamic State members to participate in hostilities in Ukraine as mercenaries.

“According to information received by the Foreign Intelligence Service, the United States is actively recruiting even members of international terrorist organizations as mercenaries to participate in hostilities in Ukraine, including the Islamic State (IS) group, banned in the Russian Federation,” it said, adding that the military forces target sabotage against the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

The statement added that “in April, with the participation of US intelligence services, about 60 IS fighters aged 20 to 25 were released from prisons controlled by Syrian Kurds are undergoing combat training for the purpose of subsequent transfer to Ukrainian territory.”

The SVR also said the US Al-Tanf base in Syria has been transformed into a terrorist “hub”, where US loyal militants were trained for transfer to Ukraine.

“According to the SVR, the specified military base and its environs have long turned into a kind of terrorist ‘hub,’ where up to 500 IS members loyal to Washington and other jihadists are being ‘retrained’ at the same time. Priority is given to natives of the states of Transcaucasia and Central Asia. The training ‘course’ in At-Tanf includes training in the use of available types of anti-tank missile systems, reconnaissance and strike drones MQ-1C, advanced communications and surveillance equipment,” the statement said.

Read more: US plans to incite extremists against Syrian, Russian, Iranian troops

Biden Forces Occupying Syria’s Largest Gas Field Carry out a Military Drill

ARABI SOURI

Biden forces illegally occupying Syria’s largest Conoco Gas field in Deir Ezzor province carried out a military drill using live ammunition, yesterday Sunday 15 May 2022, local sources have reported.

The local sources added that helicopters from two illegal military bases run by the Syrian oil and gas thieves of the US Army took part in the drill with sounds of explosions heard dozens of miles away from the gas field, the sources added the loud sounds of explosions to the heavy artillery and mortars used during the drill.

Biden forces have been beefing up their illegal military bases in the northeastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, mainly in the oil and gas fields in the region, with advanced gears and armored vehicles like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, in addition to logistical support material, assorted weaponry, and large caches of ammunition.

This latest drill comes a month after a military drill carried out by the US army oil and gas thieves with their proxy Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists, the 4th of April’s drill included surface to surface missiles, fighter jets, tanks, and artillery.

Though the Biden junta continues the policies of his predecessors in justifying the illegal presence of their forces in Syria by claiming they’re fighting ISIS (ISIL), the only thing they have not done yet is actually combat ISIS, all they did was empower ISIS by dropping weapons and ammunition, by mistake – for the record, multiple times, air-lifting ISIS commanders when endangered and moving them to other regions where soon terrorist attacks were carried out against the Syrian army and civilians in the Syrian desert.

Another thing that the Biden forces have excelled at in Syria is plundering Syria’s grains, including wheat and barley, oil, and gas, thus depriving the Syrian people of their food to eat and feed their children, and fuel to heat their homes, cook their food, and transport within their own country, this comes on top of the inhumane blockade the US regime imposes on Syria and the draconian sanctions it imposes on countries and companies, especially US companies willing to do any legitimate business with Syria.

The US armed forces illegally deployed and operating in Syria have earlier gone to further lengths in their support to ISIS, in particular, by carrying out a military drill with one of the ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups so-called Maghawir Thawra within the 50 kilometers kill zone they control in the Al Tanf region in Syria’s furthest southeastern desert at the border junction with Iraq and Jordan.

What remains a puzzle for the rest of the world, especially the victims of the US wars on humanity around the globe: don’t the US citizens, mainly the taxpayers, have other priorities in their lives than to kill and maim innocent people on the other side of the planet? How about securing food for their own children, at least, not talking about the healthcare issues, infrastructure, housing, pandemics, jobs, et al, instead of spending their hard-earned tax money on financing the Military-Industrial Complex?

Several US military convoys come under attack in Iraq

May 15 2022

Iraqi resistance groups have stepped up strikes against US military convoys in recent months

ByNews Desk

US soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar, western Iraq. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

US military convoys have come under attack by unknown militant groups in several Iraqi cities, according to a 15 May report by Mehr News Agency.

Citing local sources, the report states that three US military logistics convoys came under attack in the Iraqi cities of Al Diwaniyah and Samawah.

There have been no reports about the details of the damages, casualties, nor of any groups claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Another attack on a US military convoy, also in Al Diwaniyah, was reported by Sabereen News on 11 May.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq have seen an uptick in recent months after Baghdad’s failure to implement a law passed by parliament to expel foreign occupation forces from the country.

The vote came in the days following the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy-chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in 2020.

Roadside bombs have also recently targeted US forces in Dhi Qar and Anbar.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to only lay down their arms after the full withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.

Recently, US troops stationed at Harir Air Base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) opened fire on a number of houses and one car in Erbil’s Basrma district on 9 May.

The Governor of Basrma, Jangawar Azhgayi, told Rudaw that US troops were conducting drills when the accident happened. He also confirmed that no casualties were reported.

A video released by Telegram news channel Sabereen News on 28 April allegedly showed the transfer of ISIS fighters by two US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters inside Iraq.

Over the years, US occupation forces in Iraq and Syria have faced several accusations of collaborating with the Takfiri armed group, despite claims to the contrary.

In August 2017, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported seeing US choppers transporting ISIS fighters in and out of the city of Deir Ezzor multiple times.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that a new airdrop was carried out in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, by the forces of the International Coalition … reliable sources confirmed to the [SOHR] that the International Coalition transported members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization.”

NATO Proxy Terrorists Clash with Heavy Weapons in Northern Syria

ARABI SOURI

NATO proxies of the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists and the Turkey-sponsored Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups exchanged mortar shelling in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the fratricide is ongoing since yesterday evening and until the time of this report.

The artillery and mortar shelling caused material damage in the targeted villages without losses in lives, none reported by the belligerent parties, which could be to keep the morale of their personnel.

Propaganda outlets of the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists claimed that the villages of Samouqa and Umm Al Qura in the Al Shahba area in the northern Aleppo countryside were shelled with artillery by the Turkey-sponsored terrorists, 12 projectiles struck the villages today, Thursday 12 May.

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute.

One of the Kurdish propaganda outlets provided a video report of what it said is a heavy shelling shortly after midnight by the Turkish army and its so-called ‘National Army’ proxy in the eastern countryside of Ain Eissa city in the northern Raqqa countryside.

The Kurdish SDF terrorists on their part shelled villages under the control of the Turkish-sponsored Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, the shelling targeted the village of Masha’ala in the northern countryside of Afrin, northwest of Aleppo,

Locals in the northern Syrian city of Jarabulus reported the artillery shelling by the Kurdish SDF terrorists against the city led to the injuries of two children, with no elaboration on the status of the two victims.

These clashes between NATO’s different proxy terrorist groups have been ongoing ever since NATO’s incursion in northern Syria first by the terrorist groups of the FSA followed by the Nusra Front (Al Qaeda Levant aka Nusra Front aka HTS) which ISIS took over from and then directly by NATO’s largest and second-largest armies, the US, and the Turkish, with their sponsored proxies.

The clashes between the foreign occupying forces in northern and northeastern Syria have resulted in much material damage, thousands of people killed, maimed, tens of thousands uprooted and displaced, and millions oppressed until this very day. NATO is working on its plan to Israelize the areas it currently occupies in Syria, mainly the areas where Syria’s main oil fields and the country’s food basket, by uprooting the local Syrians and replacing them with terrorists and their families sponsored by, and loyal to NATO.

Interpreting Turkey’s Opposition To Finland & Sweden’s Planned NATO Membership

14 MAY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

The more that President Erdogan exposes the manipulative means through which countries like those two NATO aspirants support terrorism against the Turkish people, the more that their international reputations will be damaged, which will in turn harm their influence seeing as how Finland and Sweden’s are disproportionately derived from their soft power.

Turkish President Erdogan said on Friday that his country isn’t supportive of Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO membership because of their governments’ backing of the terrorist-designated PKK. This Kurdish separatist group is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks across the decades, but its Syrian wing, the YPG, is regarded by the US-led West as a key ally against ISIS. Ankara and Washington’s polar opposite stances towards that branch are the reason why they began falling out in the middle of the last decade. This issue has once again come to the fore in light of two recent events.

The first is of course Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO membership, while the second is the US’ decision to waive its anti-Syrian sanctions in the YPG-controlled northeast of the Arab Republic. President Erdogan also expressed his opposition to that move on the same day that he condemned those two countries’ support of Kurdish terrorists. These developments created the opportunity for the Turkish leader to once again raise awareness of his country’s stance towards that group and its regional branches in the hopes of pressuring the US-led West to distance themselves from it.

The challenge that he’s forced to confront, however, is that his mutual defense ally considers terrorist-designated Kurdish separatists to be more important regional partners than his own country. The reason for this is that its Syrian branch serves as the US’ proxies for continuing its military occupation of the agriculturally and energy-rich northeastern region as well as its means for manipulating its stalled constitutional reform process. From the perspective of the US’ grand strategic interests, these objectives are considered to take precedence over retaining ties with its decades-long Turkish ally.

Although it’ll never be openly admitted, America might also be preparing to employ these same Kurdish groups as anti-Turkish proxies in the scenario that those countries drift further apart and Washington considers it advantageous to utilize them as a means for punishing its wayward ally. It’s this possibility that concerns Turkish strategists the most since it could prove to be extremely destabilizing for their geostrategically positioned civilization-state. That’s why President Erdogan uses every relevant opportunity to pressure the US-led West to cut off its Kurdish proxies.

It’s extremely unlikely that this well-intended campaign against America will ever succeed though, but it at the very least raises maximum global awareness about its unprincipled policy of literally endangering the security of its decades-long mutual defense ally all for the purpose of advancing its interests vis a vis Syria at Turkey’s expense. Furthermore, it should go without saying that the US’ European partners like Finland and Sweden are unlikely to change their governments’ policy of wholeheartedly supporting terrorist-designated Kurdish separatists because Washington exercises hegemonic influence over them.

Even so, Turkey can still hit those two countries where it hurts the most by continuing to talk about their scandalous support of the PKK. That’s because a disproportionate share of their influence is derived from their soft power, particularly the impression that they’re supposedly neutral, principled, and peaceful states that are shining examples in all respects for the entire international community. The dark reality, however, is that their backing of the PKK exposes them as American stooges. Moreover, it also suggests that their so-called “humanitarian policies” are actually anti-humanitarian to the core.

Finland and Sweden essentially consider the Kurds to be a so-called “oppressed minority” in West Asia, including in Turkey. Their unipolar liberal-globalist worldview is such that they believe that those people deserve the US-led West’s full support as a result, to which end they aim to disguise their tacit endorsement of those separatist-terrorist Kurdish groups like the PKK on a so-called “humanitarian basis”. Its Syrian wing’s rebranding as anti-ISIS fighters who saved their people from their terrorist rivals’ planned genocide of them endeared the PKK in the hearts and minds of many Westerners.

This in turn facilitated the US-led West’s efforts to continue supporting them in all respects on a false humanitarian pretext. The more that President Erdogan talks about this and exposes the manipulative means through which countries like those two NATO aspirants support terrorism against the Turkish people, the more that their international reputations will be damaged, which will in turn harm their influence seeing as how Finland and Sweden’s are disproportionately derived from their soft power. In other words, this is an asymmetrical response to the threat that they pose to his country’s security.

That said, it remains unclear whether Turkey will formally block their NATO membership, which could provoke an intensification of the US-led West’s years-long Hybrid War against it that he might not be prepared for fully defending against at this time. If he ultimately supports their applications, then it can be considered that he did so knowing that the alternative could have been an exacerbation of the threats that his formal allies are nowadays posing to Turkey’s national security. In any case, it’s clear that Turkey’s troubled ties with the US-led West won’t improve anytime soon no matter what happens.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Voting on Election Day Is A Message to All Those Conspiring Against the Resistance and Its Weapon

May 13, 2022

Video here

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech during the electoral festival the party is holding for the Beqaa area in Baalbek, Rayyak and Mashgarah.

Sayyed Nasrallah started by greeting and welcoming all the participants in the electoral festival Hezbollah is holding for the Beqaa area.

His Eminence hailed the people of Beqaa by asserting the fact that they “have defended and sacrificed in the path of Allah in the past times and in the modern history, as well as in current battle.”

Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the audience and said, “Your massive presence reflects your loyalty to the Resistance as you are the people of resistance, its strong hand, mind, eyes, heart, and emotions… your presence in this festival is clear evidence, and is both a message and an answer.”

The Resistance Leader tackled the subject of martyred Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and says that she “was a witness on the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s crimes and the injustice practiced against the Palestinian people.”

“The barbaric nature of the ‘Israeli’ enemy didn’t change given its massacres in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt,” His Eminence continued.

Commenting on the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “The first who must feel ashamed are those who normalize ties with ‘Israel’ and attempt to convince our people that the presence of ‘Israel’ is something natural.”

“The strongest message about the martyrdom of Shireen Abu Akleh is that she is Christian,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained, adding that the message regarding her martyrdom is that “the ‘Israeli’ enemy killed Christians and Muslims [alike] and attacked their sanctities, and destroyed their houses.”

“The message about Shireen Abu Akleh’s martyrdom is that everybody is in danger due to the unchanging ‘Israeli’ regime’s apartheid and inhumane policies,” the Hezbollah Secretary General added.

In his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah condoled with the families of the Civil Defense Forces of the Syrian Army who were martyred today [Friday, May 15] at the hands of the Takfiri groups in Aleppo’s countryside.

Relatedly, His Eminence affirmed the importance of the Beqaa and its people as “an essential part of the resistance”.

“As Imam Sayyed Musa Sadr’s resistance started from Beqaa, so did the Islamic Resistance, where its foundations were laid,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

The Resistance Leader went on to say, “They want the people of Beqaa to abandon the Resistance and its weapon by targeting it politically, financially and media-wise.”

Relatedly, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified, “The operations [of the Resistance] started on the land of Beqaa until the western Beqaa was liberated.”

“For long years the youths of Beqaa and Western Beqaa from all towns and villages were present in all of the Resistance fronts in the Beqaa and South Lebanon,” the Secretary General said.

Addressing the people of Beqaa, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “Your dearest martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi was martyred on the land of South Lebanon, and in the July War you were present… throughout history you’ve been with Hezbollah; Hezbollah is you.”

His Eminence further noted that “We must remember those who stood by the Resistance, atop of them is Syria, and those who stood by ‘Israel’.”

“Had the terrorist groups’ scheme been destined to triumph in Syria, they would have represented a danger to Beqaa and all Lebanon,” the Resistance Leader cautioned.

In a parallel platform, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the issue of politicizing the Lebanese Army by explaining how it “was banned, upon a political decision, to confront the terrorist groups in the battle of the outskirts.”

The Hezbollah Leader interpreted how “Some political sides supported the armed groups such as Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’] and al-Nusra Front.”

“Those terrorist groups have committed horrible massacres against Sunni Muslims, and now they are carrying out daily terrorist attacks in Afghanistan regardless if the victims are Shia or Sunnis,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

Also in his speech, His Eminence reminded the crowd of martyred leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, saying, “As we enjoy safety and security away from car bombs, it is thanks to the martyred leader Mustafa Badreddine and the brothers in the Resistance.”

“You have to make the decision between those who held their arms to defend Beqaa and those who armed the militant groups to attack your houses,” the Resistance Leader said.

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified the fact that Hezbollah doesn’t “gain money from the ministries we are in charge of; we spend money there instead.”

The Secretary General vowed to work to achieve a strategic project for Beqaa, which is the tunnel that links Beirut with the Beqaa area.

“The current minister of Public Works has tackled the project with several countries, and he will follow up this project with the ministers of Beqaa,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

The Resistance chief said that “Hezbollah will exert the efforts to improve the agricultural production and sales in Beqaa.”

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the voters and said, “I am addressing all those who will cast their votes on May 15 as we’ve been hearing very ridiculous and weird things, which point to the level of ethical and cultural decadence.”

“Some present themselves as leaders who want to build the state, one of them (Siniora) – name added by me- is responsible for the disappearance of $11 billion, another wants to liberate the Shia from Imam Hussein [AS], and the other one’s electoral aim is to dance and swim!” His Eminence exclaimed.

“They are ridiculously considering the people fool by terrifying them from Hezbollah,” the Secretary General added.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah rebuffed the aforementioned saying, “The arms of Resistance didn’t prevent anybody from fixing the electricity problem or building dams, nor did it cause the tragic financial policies over the past decades.”

Moreover, the Resistance Leader indicated that “Washington aided its groups in smuggling the money of the Lebanese depositors outside the country.”

His Eminence went on to say, “Those who formed their electoral lists in the US embassy have to ask Washington for returning the money of the Lebanese depositors after they were smuggled.” He added, “The US bans investments in Lebanon and works to starve the Lebanese people.”

More on the issue of the electoral campaigns, His Eminence explained, “We’ve witnessed in the electoral campaigns an unprecedented state of hatred in Lebanon.”

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by asserting that “Voting on the day of elections is a message to all those conspiring against the Resistance and its weapons, and those conspiring against the future of the Lebanese people.”

His Eminence ended his speech by once again addressing the people of Beqaa and telling them, “Hopes are high in your participation; we ask you on May 15 to vote and mark your honorable fingerprint with ink, not blood.”

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A New Order in West Asia: The Case of China’s Strategic Presence in Syria

9 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Mohamad Zreik 

As the world order shifts into a multipolar world, a new balance of power based on economic ties centered in Asia emerges.

A New Order in West Asia: The Case of China’s Strategic Presence in Syria

Unanimity on a new American century had gone unchecked for a decade. The warhawk John Bolton lambasted Xi’s authoritarianism, claiming the new crackdown has made it practically hard for the CIA to keep agents in China.

Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has evolved enormously since its inception. Today, multipolarity has developed, promising long-term progress for everyone who follows its norms. And Syria is one among them, had lately returned to world prominence after defeating a decade-long military offensive by the traditional unipolar actors.

In spite of this, unlawful US sanctions continue to harm the hungry, impede the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure and access to clean water, and restrict the livelihood of millions in Syria.

“We welcome Syria’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative,” stated Xi Jinping to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on November 5.

In July 2021, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Arab League’s head to discuss Syria’s return to the fold. A four-point plan to end Syria’s multi-faceted crisis was signed by China at the end of the tour, which coincided with Assad’s re-election.

Surrounded by western-backed separatist movements, Syria reiterated its support for China’s territorial integrity. In 2018, China gave Syria $28 million, and in September 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi proposed China-Iraq oil for rebuilding and greater BRI integration.

Events orchestrated by foreign forces halted this progress. Protests swiftly overthrew Abdul Mahdi’s administration and the oil-for-reconstruction scheme. In recent months, Iraq has rekindled this endeavor, but progress has been modest.

These projects are currently mostly channeled through the 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership deal between China and Iran in March 2021. This might open the way for future rail and energy lines connecting Iran with Iraq and Syria.

At the first formal BRI meeting in April 2019, President Assad stated: “The Silk Route (Belt and Road Initiative) crossing through Syria is a foregone conclusion when this infrastructure is constructed, since it is not a road you can merely put on a map.”

China and Syria are now staying quiet on specifics. Assad’s wish list may be deduced from his previous strategic vision for Syria. Assad’s Five Seas Strategy, which he pushed from 2004 to 2011, has gone after the US began attacking Syria.

The “Five Seas Strategy” includes building rail, roads, and energy systems to connect Syria to the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Black, Red, and Caspian Seas. The project is a logical link that connects Mackinder’s world island’s states. This initiative was “the most significant thing” Assad has ever done, he claimed in 2009.

Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon were among the countries Assad led delegations to sign agreements with in 2011. President Qaddafi of Libya and a coalition of nations including Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt were building the Great Man-Made River at the time.

We can’t comprehend why Qaddafi was killed, why Sudan was partitioned in 2009, or why the US is presently financing a regime change in Ethiopia until we grasp this tremendous, game-changing strategic paradigm. Diplomatic confidentiality between China and West Asia is so essential in the post-regime transition situation.

Over the last decade, BRI-compliant initiatives throughout West Asia and Africa have been sabotaged in various ways. This has been a pattern. Neither Assad nor the Chinese want to go back to that.

The Arab League re-admitted Syria on November 23, revealing the substance of this hidden diplomacy. They have proved that they are prepared to accept their humiliation, acknowledge Assad’s legitimacy, and adjust to the new Middle Eastern powers of China and Russia: the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Unlike decades of US promises that consider Arab participation as disposable short-term interests, the China-Russia cooperation provides genuine, demonstrable advantages for everybody.

The BRI now includes 17 Arab and 46 African countries, while the US has spent the last decade sanctioning and fining those who do not accept its global hegemony. Faced with a possible solution to its current economic problems and currency fluctuations, Turkey has turned to China for help.

Buying ISIS-controlled oil, sending extremist fighters to the region, and receiving arms from Saudi Arabia and Qatar were all known methods of supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda operations in Iraq and Syria. The CIA’s funding has dwindled in recent months, leaving ISIS with little else to work with.

Though US President Joe Biden reiterated US military backing for the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), the Kurds’ hand has been overplayed. Many people now realize that the Kurds have been tricked into acting as ISIS’ counter-gang, and that promises of a Kurdish state are as unreal as Assad’s demise. For a long time, it was evident that Syria’s only hope for survival was Russia’s military assistance and China’s BRI, both of which need Turkey to preserve Syria’s sovereignty.

This new reality and the impending collapse of the old unipolar order in West Asia give reason to believe that the region, or at least a significant portion of it, is already locked in and counting on the upcoming development and connectivity boom.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

President Assad Visits Iran, Meets Iranian Leaders Khamenei and Raisi

ARABI SOURI

Syrian President Bashar Assad paid a working visit to the Iranian Capital Tehran, during his visit, President Assad and his hosts emphasized the strong relations between Syria and Iran, its historic roots, continuous developments, and its future growth.

During this visit, the Syrian and Iranian leaders paved the way to increase the cooperation and coordination between their two countries to the highest levels and in all fields including combating terrorism and economic aspects.

The following report by the Syrian Ikhbariya news channel details the visit and its outcome:

The video is also available on BitChute, and Rumble.

Transcript

President Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, during which he met Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and Ibrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The meetings dealt with the historical relations that unite Syria and Iran, which are based on a long path of bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding on the issues and problems of the region, and the challenges they face, in addition to topics and issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international arenas.

During his meeting with Mr. Khamenei, President al-Assad affirmed that the course of events proved once again the correctness of the visions and the approach that Syria and Iran have followed for years, especially in confronting terrorism, this confirms the importance of continuing to cooperate in order not to allow America to rebuild the international terrorist system that it used to harm the countries of the world, especially the countries of the region over the past decades, noting that the United States today is weaker than ever.

His Excellency stressed that the Palestinian cause today is re-imposing its presence and importance more and more in the conscience of the Arab and Islamic world thanks to the sacrifices of the heroes of the resistance.

For his part, Khamenei reiterated Iran’s continued support for Syria to complete its victory over terrorism and liberate the rest of the Syrian lands, considering that Syria is achieving historic victories thanks to the steadfastness and courage of its president and the strength and steadfastness of its people and army.

Addressing President al-Assad, Khamenei added: We have no doubt that you will be able to liberate the rest of the Syrian lands and under your leadership, Syria will remain united, and we have to maintain the strong relationship that unites our two countries and peoples, this is beneficial not only for our two countries but also necessary for the region.

In turn, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ibrahim Raisi affirmed that his country has the serious will to expand relations between the two countries, especially the economic and trade relations, both public and private, and that it will continue to provide all forms of support to Syria and its people, especially in light of the difficult economic conditions the world is witnessing and will remain by Syria’s side to help it overcome difficulties, considering that any suffering for Syria is suffering for Iran.

Syrian President Bashar Assad Visits Tehran - Iran Meets Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi - الرئيس بشار الأسد يزور طهران - إيران ويلتقي خامنئي وإبراهيم رئيسي
From the meetings President Bashar Assad held with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi

President al-Assad described Iran as the leadership and people of the brotherly, friend, and loyal partner, considering that the approach taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran in dealing with regional and international issues does not serve the interests of Iran and Syria only, but all the countries and peoples of the region.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian tweeted that President Assad’s visit and the high-level meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Iranian President have opened a new chapter in the strategic relations between the two countries; He added: We are determined to raise the relations between the two countries to the appropriate level.

The Iranian foreign minister concluded that “the defeat of the terrorist plot in Syria is due to the cooperation between the two countries.”

End of the transcript.

Despite the very strong decades-long unshaken relations and high level of agreement on most topics of importance between Syria and Iran and in the face of unprecedented challenges, the two countries are yet to achieve the needed levels of bilateral economic cooperation aspired to by the people in the two brotherly countries.

The Syrian – Iranian relations have withstood and overcome the US hegemony and US-led wars direct invasion, terrorism, attrition, blockade, sanctions, assassinations, destabilization, and direct piracy and theft. Their joint cooperation not only foiled the US’s evil plots for the region, but they also managed to weaken the US’s ability to impose its will on the rest of the world by breaking its military might after the illegal invasion of Iraq, and by breaking up the US proxies in the region, mainly Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The hefty price paid by the Syrian people has also saved the people of the world by absorbing the major terrorism and direct aggression shock and awe by the USA, Israel, NATO forces spearheaded by Turkey, and their proxy terrorists of Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The steadfastness of the Syrian leadership, army, and people has awakened Russia, China, and Iran to the dangers of the Western plots and allowed them to build their capabilities to come out of the cold and solidify a front against the imperial Zionist Nazi evil camp of NATO and its stooges.

Syrians are waiting to see a payback visit by the Iranian president to Damascus, it’s been over a decade since an Iranian president visited Syria, long before the US-led war of terror on the Levantine country despite several visits paid by the Iranian presidents around the world including to countries in the region that have been in the enemy camp against Syria, like Turkey, and like Egypt during the rule of the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood president Morsy.


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Thank you in advance.

Biden Forces Continue Stealing Syrian Oil; Kurdish SDF Terrorists Killed

ARABI SOURI

Biden forces and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists continue ‘business as usual’ by stealing more of the Syrian oil and breaching Syria’s sovereignty as both of them work for the ‘Greater Israel’ project which has the Turkish madman Erdogan play a leading role in it, the Syrian national resistance in northern Syria also continue ‘business as usual’ by targeting the oil thieves and their proxy terrorists.

More than 50 vehicles most of which are tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil were seen heading toward the Kharab Al Jir (Karab Al Jeer) military airport in the northeastern Hasaskah province before heading to Iraq through an illegal border crossing, the vehicles were operated by the Biden forces illegally present in Syria and were guarded by the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists.

Near the village of Al Sajir in the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, a group of Syrian national resistance attacked an illegal military point manned by the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists, local sources confirming the attack also confirmed casualties among the targeted terrorists.

More in this report by the Syrian Ekbariya news channel:

The video is also available on BitChuteOdysee, and Rumble.

Transcript

A number of the US-sponsored SDF militants were killed and wounded in separate attacks targeting militia vehicles and points in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

Al-Ekhbariya reporter quoted local sources as saying that an armed attack was carried out by unidentified persons with machine guns and RPGs, targeting a military point of the SDF militia in the village of Al-Sajir, north of Deir Ezzor, amid almost confirmed news of the death and injury of a number of militants of that militia.

The American occupation transferred a convoy of tanks filled with stolen Syrian oil and military equipment to its base at Kharab Al-Jeer Airport in the Yarubiyah countryside, in preparation for its expulsion to Iraq through the illegal Al-Waleed crossing.

Local sources indicated that a convoy of 50 vehicles, mostly tankers loaded with stolen oil, and a number of tankers loaded with artillery and military equipment, were accompanied by eight military armored vehicles of the American occupation forces headed from the Tel Hamis area in the eastern countryside of Hasaka to Kharab Al-Jeer airport in the town of Al-Yaroubiyeh, which the occupation forces use as its base.

The sources pointed out that the exiting vehicles stopped at Kharab Al-Jeer Airport to head to the illegal Al-Waleed crossing.

End of the transcript.

All of the Biden’s regime talks, and the talks of the regimes of his predecessors in the USA and in all NATO member countries, about the need to respect the freedoms of people, protect the borders of countries, respect the sovereignty of nations, as their current hysteria over Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, are all talks to justify their policies, talks targeted for the consumption of their gullible citizens who only foot the bills of the criminal interventions of the ‘Collective West’ in the targeted countries, the only goal is the hegemony of the haves in order to have more on the account of the rest of the world.

The sanctions (legally termed: unilateral coercive measures) the collective west imposed on Russia allegedly for the Russian military operation in Ukraine are nothing but a continuation of punishing countries who reject the absolute US hegemony, for decades, the US consecutive regimes have imposed inhumane sanctions and blockades on Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and many other countries, their sanctions on Syria dubbed ‘Caesar Act‘ are the most draconian sanctions as they target companies and entire countries who deal with any Syrian business.

In addition to their illegal occupation of areas in northern Syria, where Syria’s main oil fields and wheat fields are, the Biden forces also occupy a military post in the furthest southeastern desert at Al Tanf area where they provide a protected zone for ISIS remnants.

Erdogan’s Plan to Israelize Northern Syria with a Million Settlers on Track

ARABI SOURI 

Israelize northern Syria is the real plot: reports from Turkey claim that the Turkish madman Erdogan is planning to ‘return’ up to a million Syrian refugees to their country with the help of city councils in Azaz, Jarabulus, and Tal Abyad.

One of the sites, the Saudi regime’s mouthpiece Al Arabiya reported: ‘Erdogan said on Tuesday that Ankara was aiming to encourage one million Syrian refugees to return to their country by building them housing and local infrastructure there.’

Saudi Bin Salman’s propaganda outlet claimed that Turkey is home to more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees,’ adding ‘Erdogan is facing rising public anger over the refugees’ presence and is wary of the issue dominating next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.’

From my knowledge of this creep flip-flop hypocrite mafia-business partner, and war criminal Erdogan, I believe he’s ‘returning’ the families of his followers, not the Syrians uprooted from those areas infested by the Turkish army and a collection of terrorist groups spanning from the so-called National Army to ISIS (ISIL) all of which follow the same offshoot sect of Islam that Erdogan managed to radicalize the Sufi sect of Turkey into.

The Turkish madman Erdogan is replacing the people of northern Syria with terrorists and their families from other areas and from other countries from China to Latin America who joined the ranks of the ‘foreign legion’ he helped create.

That foreign legion includes his beloved and loyal anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi terrorists including the Chinese Uighur, the Northern Africans, and others from the Central Asian stans of Turkic origins he collected.

We have repeatedly reported that the Turkish neo-Ottoman sultan wannabe wants to Israelize a buffer region in northern Syria to separate secular Syria from the radical Muslim Brotherhood Turkey he and his AKP clan are ruling (see hereherehere, and in other places on our site,) we devised the term ‘Israelize‘ to describe these evil plans.

On the other hand, the NATO-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists have been actively working on a similar agenda to Israelize the parts of northern Syria they occupy with the help of the Biden oil thieves regiment of the US Army, also with the help of Israel and all of NATO combined, even Russia had supported them in the past and is yet to declare a new position toward their war crimes against the Syrian people in the provinces of Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, and Aleppo.

Make no mistake, the Saudis are hand-in-hand with the Turks, Qataris, US, Israelis, and the rest of NATO in the plot against Syria, any differences between them do not affect their joint efforts to destroy the Levantine country and slaughter its people, Syria, the last secular nation in the region and way beyond is an existential threat to entities like the temporary settlement dubbed Israel, the Al Saud fiefdom dubbed Saudi Arabia, the Arabia gas station dubbed Qatar (pronounced Gutter), and what Turkey has turned into under the rule of the UK empire-invented Muslim Brotherhood clan.

If Erdogan manages to carry out his agenda, he will be planting the seeds of a never-ending civil war his masters in Tel Aviv and Washington have long sought for the region. There will be no rest in the places where people were forcibly uprooted from their land and their land was gifted by those who do not own it to other people who do not deserve it; more than a century of the Palestinian cause hasn’t taught these fanatics that the real owners of the land will not give away their rights to their land to imported settlers even if all of the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries with all their evilness work toward achieving such war crime.

Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.

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Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

4 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samir Mustafa 

A new attempt is made by Western mercenaries to fuel the fight in Ukraine further under the guise of “humanitarian assistance,” former Western soldiers and mercenaries are at the forefront of such operations.

Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

A British mercenary with alleged ties to the US intelligence services is working to establish a version of the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets in Ukraine. 

Macer Gifford, who has previously fought with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syriac Military Council is crowdfunding for supplies which he says are bound for the frontline.  

“On the 27th of February, President Zelensky formally called for International Volunteers from around the world to assist his country. The people of Ukraine need our support and they need it NOW!,” his appeal page declares. 

British volunteer fighter Macer Gifford in Raqqa, Syria on August 19, 2017. Getty Images

Gifford aims to raise at least £15,000 that he says will enable him “to create a fast response medical team, staffed by international volunteers, that will deploy to the frontline within the next month.”

He plans to emulate his experiences in northern Syria where as well as fighting ISIS, he established a medical team and provided training to mercenary forces and locals there. But he is clear that this will not merely be a humanitarian mission.

“The terrain, the particular needs of the Ukrainian military, and the enemy that we’ll be fighting mean that we’ll have to bring the very best equipment with us,” he writes, indicating that he is recruiting people to take part in combat against Russia. 

His own Twitter page appears to support this, sharing posts on how to sign-up for the Ukrainian armed forces following Zelensky’s plea for international support. He made similar appeals during a BBC radio debate with one of the leaders of Britain’s Stop the War Coalition John Rees who described the call for volunteers to fight as “ludicrous” and dangerous.  

Gifford’s organization aims to join the fight against Russia under the guise of humanitarian intervention, a model that has been used before.“I want to be absolutely clear here, the ambition is to create a Ukrainian version of the White Helmets,” Gifford states, a reference to the notorious group operating in Syria.

Also known as the Syrian Civil Defence force, the White Helmets poses as a humanitarian organization, however, is linked to both jihadist groups and western military and intelligence services. Set up by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier it has received millions in funding from the US, British, and other western governments, acting as a front for regime change operations.

Predictably, criticism of the White Helmets is dismissed as propaganda and smears led by the Syrian and Russian governments. But the White Helmets operate in jihadist-held areas and have its buildings situated next to the Islamists headquarters in many Syrian cities. 

The group has been involved in a series of controversies and some of its members have been shown to be supporters of Al Qaeda and other Salafist organizations. It has been accused of staging chemical attacks, most notably in Douma, to pave the way for western military intervention in Syria. 

Fears that a White Helmets-style operation could be deployed in Ukraine for similar purposes have long been praised by critics. Gifford – whose real name is Harry –  hails from a wealthy part of rural Cambridgeshire. Prior to his military adventurism, he served as a Tory councilor and city currency trader.

He has openly boasted of meetings with the US and British intelligence services and has briefed government officials on the situation in Syria, pleading for increased military support. Using his connections he tried to drum up support for the YPG and attended meetings with financiers in Switzerland, the FBI in New York, and inside the British parliament.

“I’ve been to the Carlton Club [a private Conservative club in central London], you would not believe, so many times,” he said. 

“But it’s important to get the message across. It’s so intensely frustrating to be out there, to be on the frontline and see the success and then see politics hold back people’s hand,” he told The Guardian newspaper in a 2016 interview. 

Gifford now openly encourages British military volunteers to follow him and join “the defense of Ukraine.”

His Twitter feed sees him glorify what he describes as “a British sniper” posing with a weapon and fatigues bearing the logo of what appears to be the ultranationalist Right Sector. 

Photographs appear to show members of his organization delivering training to Ukrainian soldiers in an unknown location. In video footage, he claims that he and his partner are off to train the Ukrainian police force. 

His operation works under the name Nightingale Squadron, its flashy logo emblazoned on the side of an expensive Landrover Freelander vehicle seen loaded with aid packages. 

While to westerners the name may seem innocent enough, it has chilling connotations for those in Lviv, evoking the name of the unit that collaborated with the Nazis, sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust. 

The Nachtigall Battalion/Nightingale Battalion was founded in 1941 and came under the control of Stepan Bandera’s Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. 

Most of its members formed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, while 14 of them joined the SS Galicia Division in 1943.

The Simon Wiesensthal Centre says the Nightingale Battalion was in Lviv and collaborated with the Nazis between June 30 and July 3 of 1941 when 4,000 Jews were massacred. Its descendants can be found in the far-right forces now operating in Ukraine that have been involved in the massacre of Russian speakers and pogroms against Jews. 

Gifford shot to prominence in Britain having served in northern Syria in the fight against ISIS. 

A notorious self-publicist who seeks to further his career in politics, Gifford published an “Andy McNab-style” book, Fighting Evil in 2019 describing his experiences in the region. 

His treatment is a stark contrast to the working-class volunteers, many of whom served alongside him in Raqqa and other key battles on the frontline. 

The large majority have faced arrest, surveillance, and the threat of prison on their return to Britain while Gifford has escaped similar scrutiny.

By contrast, Gifford roams freely between parliament, TV studios, and radio stations that fall over themselves to amplify his voice. 

Many of his YPG peers have privately voiced suspicions that Gifford is a state agent.

He certainly fits the mould and has the contacts. Politically right-wing with conservative values, he can be relied on to trash the antiwar movement and opponents of the Tory government along with the political establishment.

And there are obvious similarities between Gifford and the man he seeks to emulate, White Helmets founder Le Mesurier who died in suspicious circumstances in Istanbul in 2019. 

In many ways, he is the perfect candidate to establish a “Ukrainian White Helmets” which those on the ground have long-suspected of being an international operation. 

Other former YPG fighters are also getting in on the act. Gifford’s comrade in arms, former British paratrooper and veteran of the Afghanistan war Daniel Burke, has set up a similar operation which he announced last week.

He has established what he described as an NGO named “Dark Angels of Ukraine,” although the background to this is unclear. 

Burke, who was discharged from the army for fighting, said he had set up the NGO “because other NGOs or international military units tend to go to war against each other to show who is best.”

Dark Angels of Ukraine exists to provide humanitarian relief and training to the military and is already known to be operating inside Ukraine. The activities of the unit, which appears to be made up of military veterans include “moving logistical requirements such as food, water, and medicine to refugee centers and military units.” Their vehicle rescued a couple stranded somewhere in Ukraine and enabled them to return to France.

“It was on this trip that we had christened our truck the “Dark Angel” since our backgrounds as veterans lends our expertise to the Territorial Defence Forces,” the fundraising page says.

The group is there to “protect the freedoms that we all hold so dearly from our homelands here in Ukraine,” it declares. 

Burke is in many ways the opposite of Gifford. 

A trained soldier he was motivated to join the fight against ISIS in Syria after the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people died following an attack on an Ariana Grande concert. 

During his time in Syria, Burke photographed and retrieved documents and hard drives that he passed onto the British counter-terror experts, and maps, which he handed to US special forces.

This led to accusations by the YPG that he was a British spy and he was interrogated for days before he eventually convinced them otherwise. 

Unlike Gifford, Burke came to the attention of security services, spending eight months in prison after he was charged with terror offenses, although his case was later dropped.  

According to social media networks, many former YPG volunteers have joined the ranks of the international mercenary fighters in Ukraine. 

It is not clear exactly how many have traveled to the country, however, Nottinghamshire care worker Aiden Aslin – also known as Cossack Gundi – surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol last month.

He insists that he is not a foreign mercenary and, like fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, was a member of the regular Ukrainian armed forces having signed up in 2018. 

Russia claims that thousands of foreign mercenaries have entered Ukraine and accuses NATO and the west of shipping weapons and equipment via civilian rail and transport networks. 

As the war drags on, the profits of the arms companies continue to rise and western efforts to weaken Russia continue while peace looks to be further away than ever.

“It is quite conceivable for a Ukrainian White Helmets to play the same role as its Syrian counterparts; a major anti-Russian propaganda offensive, staged events, and the triggering of incidents to pave the way for NATO intervention.”

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Terror from Balochistan: a menacing tool to disrupt Sino-Pakistani economics

A Baloch suicide bombing targeting Chinese workers in Karachi comes a mere month after the US-backed ousting of PM Imran Khan. Pakistan is a critical BRI hub in Beijing’s vast Eurasian connectivity project, and it looks like CPEC is the ultimate target of this disruption.

May 05 2022

Balochistan can only benefit from Chinese infrastructure investment in the immensely impoverished Pakistani province. But an uptick in attacks on Chinese workers by militant separatists suggests that external agendas may be in play. Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

This is the concise story of how a suicide bombing may carry the potential to subvert the whole, ongoing, complex process of Eurasia integration.

Recently, the Balochistan Liberation Movement (BLA) had released an ISIS-influenced video threatening “Chinese officials and installations” in Pakistan’s vast province.

Yet what actually happened in late April was a suicide bombing outside of the University of Karachi’s Confucius Institute – not Balochistan – and targeting Chinese teachers, not “officials and installations.”

The suicide bomber was a woman, Shaari Baloch, alias Bramsh, who detonated her vest just as a van carrying Institute staff members approached the entrance. The attack was claimed by the BLA’s Majeed Brigade, which stressed that this was the first time they used a female suicide bomber.

Shaari Baloch was a schoolteacher with a Zoology degree, enrolled to pursue a second Master’s degree, married to a dentist and professor at Makran Medical College in her hometown of Turbat, in southern Balochistan. Her three brothers include a doctor, a deputy director at a government-funded project, and a civil servant. So Shaari Baloch was far from being a mere destitute online-indoctrinated Salafi-jihadi.

The Pakistani Foreign Office had to stress the obvious: this was a “direct attack on the Pakistan-China friendship and ongoing cooperation,” always qualified, by both sides, as “iron brothers.” Pakistan is an absolutely key node of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to connect the Eurasian landmass.

This was no standard terrorist attack. Its reverberations are immense – not only in one of Pakistan’s provinces and South Asia regionally, but for the whole of Eurasia. It may be a harbinger of serious turbulence ahead.

Shaari Baloch’s act of desperation should be seen, to start with, as the embodiment of a deep-seated Baloch alienation felt by the educated middle classes, from lawyers and traders to students, constantly permeating the complex relationship with a distant Islamabad. A significant part of the puzzle is that 26 Pakistani intel agencies never saw it coming.

Baloch leaders instantly made the point that the best possible reaction would be to call a Grand Jirga – modeled on the Shahi Jirga practiced at the time of the partition of the subcontinent – that would unite all tribal elders to address the most pressing local grievances.

Round up the usual suspects

Balochistan, geostrategically, is as valuable as rare earth minerals: an immense desert positioned east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian Sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Comprising nearly 48 percent of Pakistan’s area, Balochistan is rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, produces more than one-third of Pakistan’s natural gas, and sparsely populated. The Baloch account for the majority of the population, followed by Pashtuns. Quetta, the large provincial capital, for years was considered Taliban Central by the Pentagon.

Gwadar, the port built by China on the southwestern Balochistan coast of the Arabian Sea – directly across from Oman – is the absolute key node of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and doubles as the essential link in a never-ending pipeline saga. The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, previously known as the “peace pipeline,” with plans to cross from Iranian to Pakistani Balochistan (India still has not made up its mind) is absolute anathema to Washington since the George W. Bush era.

CPEC remains an endless source of controversy even inside Pakistan. Beyond all the links planned between Gwadar and Xinjiang by the year 2030, most of this ambitious connectivity corridor deals with energy, industrial zones and road and rail projects in different parts of the country – an overall improvement of its lagging infrastructure. The Chinese, for years, have quipped that in fact “all of Pakistan is a corridor.”

The US security establishment, predictably, has been planning for years to instrumentalize an insurgency in Balochistan to – what else – “disrupt” first the possibility of an energy pipeline from Gwadar to Xinjiang, and then the overall CPEC project. Usual suspects like the US’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are very much present in Balochistan. WikiLeaks had revealed a great deal of the game back in 2015.

A Carnegie Institute report noted how “many Baloch nationalist leaders now come from the urbanized districts of Kech, Panjgur, and Gwadar (and to a lesser extent from Quetta, Khuzdar, Turbat, Kharan, and Lasbela). They are well connected to Karachi and Gulf cities, where tribal structures are non-existent. In fact, while there is violence all over the province, the insurgency seems to concentrate mainly in these urbanized areas.”

Suicide bomber Shaari Baloch came from Turbat, the province’s second largest city, where the BLA is very much active. From the point of view of the usual suspects, these are choice assets, especially after the death of important tribal leaders such as Akbar Bugti. The report duly noted how “the educated and middle-class Baloch youth are in the forefront” of the insurgency.

The anti-China instrumentalization of the BLA also ties in with the regime-change parliament operation in Islamabad that recently deposed former prime minister Imran Khan, who was always a fierce adversary of the American “Forever War” in Afghanistan. Khan resolutely denied Pakistan’s use in “over the horizon” US military ops: that was one of the key reasons for him to be ousted.

Now, with a pliant, Washington-approved, new regime in town, a miracle has just happened: the Pentagon is about to clinch a formal agreement with Islamabad to use Pakistani airspace to – what else – keep interfering in Afghanistan.

Beijing, as well as other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), won’t be amused. Only weeks before the white coup, Khan had met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and once again underscored how Pakistan and China are “iron brothers.”

Imran Khan was a serious thorn in the side of the west because he kept impressing on Pakistanis that the Forever War in Afghanistan was militarily unwinnable. He knew how all the proxies – including the BLA – that destabilized both Afghanistan and Pakistan for decades were, and continue to be, part of US covert operations.

Not an Iran-India plot

Balochistan is as deeply tribal as the Pashtun tribal areas. Local tribal chiefs can be as ultra-conservative as Islamabad is neglectful (and they are not exactly paragons of human rights either). Most tribes though bow to Islamabad’s authority – except, first and foremost, the Bugti.

And then there’s the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which both Washington and London used to brand as a terrorist group, and then forgot about it. The BLA operated for years out of Kandahar in Afghanistan (only two hours away from Quetta), and already in the previous decade – simultaneous to the announcement of the New Silk Roads and CPEC – stressed it was getting ready to attack non-Balochis (code for the government in Islamabad as well as Chinese foreigners).

Balochis are inclined to consider the BLA as a resistance group. But Islamabad has always denied it, saying their support is not beyond 10 percent of the provincial population.

An ample controversy has raged in Pakistan for years on whether the BLA was totally hijacked by the CIA, the MI6 and the Mossad. During a 2006 visit to Iran, I was prevented from going to the Sistan-Balochistan province in southeast Iran because, according to Tehran’s version, infiltrated CIA from Pakistani Balochistan were involved in covert, cross-border attacks. It was no secret to anyone in the region that since 9/11 the US virtually controlled the Baloch air bases in Dalbandin and Panjgur.

In October 2001, while waiting for an opening to cross to Kandahar from Quetta, I spent quite some time with a number of BLA associates and sympathizers. They described themselves as “progressive, nationalist, anti-imperialist” (and that would make them difficult to be co-opted by the US). They were heavily critical of “Punjabi chauvinism,” and always insisted the region’s resources belong to Balochis first; that was their rationale for attacks on gas pipelines.

Stressing an atrocious, provincial literacy rate of only 16 percent (“It’s government policy to keep Balochistan backward”), they resented the fact that most people still lacked drinking water. They claimed support from at least 70 percent of the Baloch population (“Whenever the BLA fires a rocket, it’s the talk of the bazaars”). They also claimed to be united, and in coordination with Iranian Balochis. And they insisted that “Pakistan had turned Balochistan into a US cantonment, which affected a lot the relationship between the Afghan and Baloch peoples.”

Two decades later, and after the whole ISIS saga in Syria and Iraq, it’s a completely different story. BLA sympathizers may still be prepared to remain within a Pakistani confederation, although with infinitely more autonomy. But now they seem to be willing to use western imperial help to strike not only at the central government in Islamabad, but also at the “near abroad” foreign profiteer (China).

After the Karachi suicide bombing, a narrative started to emerge in some Pakistani circles that Iran and India were in cahoots to destabilize Balochistan.

That makes absolutely no sense. Both Tehran and Islamabad are tightly linked to Beijing through several nodes of the New Silk Roads. Iran would draw less than zero benefit to collude with India to destabilize an area that borders Afghanistan, especially when the SCO is fully engaged in incorporating Kabul into the Eurasia integration process. Moreover, the IPI has its best chances ever to come to fruition in the near future, consolidating an umbilical cord from Southwest Asia to South Asia.

During the late years of Barack Obama’s administration, the BLA, though still a fringe group with a political wing and a military wing, was regrouping and rearming, while the chief minister of Balochistan, Nawab Raisani, was suspected of being a CIA asset (there was no conclusive proof).

Already at the time, the fear in Islamabad was that the government had taken its eye off the Balochistan ball – and that the BLA was about to be effectively used by the US for balkanization purposes. That seems to be the picture right now. Yet the heart of the matter – glaringly expressed by the Karachi suicide bombing – is that Islamabad still remains impervious to the key Baloch grievance: we want to profit from our natural wealth, and we want autonomy.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Meeting

April 27, 2022

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/68287

April 26, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Secretary-General,

I am very happy to see you.

As one of the founders of the United Nations and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has always supported this universal organisation. We believe the UN is not simply universal but it is unique in a way – the international community does not have another organisation like it. We are doing all we can to support the principles on which it rests, and we intend to continue doing this in the future.

We find the expression of some of our colleagues about a world based on rules somewhat strange. We believe the main rule is the UN Charter and other documents adopted by this organisation rather than some papers written by their authors as they see fit or aimed at ensuring their own interests.

We are also surprised to hear statements by our colleagues that imply that some in the world have exceptional status or can claim exclusive rights because the Charter of the United Nations reads that all participants in international communication are equal regardless of their strength, size or geographical location. I think this is similar to what the Bible reads about all people being equal. I am sure we will find the same idea in both the Quran and the Torah. All people are equal before God. So, the idea that someone can claim a kind of exceptional status is very strange to us.

We are living in a complicated world, and, therefore, we proceed from reality and are willing to work with everyone.

No doubt, at one time the United Nations was established to resolve acute crises and went through different periods in its development. Quite recently, just several years ago, we heard it had become obsolete, and there was no need for it anymore. This happened whenever it prevented someone from reaching their goals in the international arena.

We have always said that there is no other universal organisation like the United Nations, and it is necessary to cherish the institutions that were created after WWII for the express purpose of settling disputes.

I know about your concern over Russia’s military operation in Donbass, in Ukraine. I think this will be the focus of our conversation today. I would just like to note in this context that the entire problem emerged after a coup d’état staged in Ukraine in 2014. This is an obvious fact. You can call it whatever name you like and have whatever bias in favour of those who did it, but this was really an anti-constitutional coup.

This was followed by the situation with the expression of their will by the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol. They acted in practically the same way as the people living in Kosovo – they made a decision on independence and then turned to us with a request to join the Russian Federation. The only difference between the two cases was that in Kosovo this decision on sovereignty was adopted by Parliament whereas Crimea and Sevastopol made it at a nationwide referendum.

A similar problem emerged in south-eastern Ukraine, where the residents of several territories, at least, two Ukrainian regions, did not accept the coup d’état and its results. But they were subjected to very strong pressure, in part, with the use of combat aviation and heavy military equipment. This is how the crisis in Donbass, in south-eastern Ukraine, emerged.

As you know, after another failed attempt by the Kiev authorities to resolve this problem by force, we arrived at the signing of agreements in the city of Minsk. This is what they were called – the Minsk Agreements. It was an attempt to settle the situation in Donbass peacefully.

To our regret, during the past eight years the people that lived there found themselves under a siege. The Kiev authorities announced in public that they were organising a siege of these territories. They were not embarrassed to call it a siege although initially they had renounced this idea and continued military pressure.

Under the circumstances, after the authorities in Kiev actually went on record as saying – I would like to emphasise that the top state officials announced this in public – that they did not intend to fulfil the Minsk Agreements, we were compelled to recognise these regions as independent and sovereign states to prevent the genocide of the people living there. I would like to reiterate: this was a forced measure to stop the suffering of the people living in those territories.

Unfortunately, our colleagues in the West preferred to ignore all this. After we recognised the independence of these states, they asked us to render them military aid because they were subjected to military actions, an armed aggression. In accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, Chapter VII, we were forced to do this by launching a special military operation.

I would like to inform you that although the military operation is underway, we are still hoping to reach an agreement on the diplomatic track. We are conducting talks. We have not abandoned them.

Moreover, at the talks in Istanbul, and I know that you have just been there since I spoke with President Erdogan today, we managed to make an impressive breakthrough. Our Ukrainian colleagues did not link the requirements for Ukraine’s international security with such a notion as Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, leaving aside Crimea, Sevastopol and the newly Russia-recognised Donbass republics, albeit with certain reservations.

But, unfortunately, after reaching these agreements and after we had, in my opinion, clearly demonstrated our intentions to create the conditions for continuing the talks, we faced a provocation in the town of Bucha, which the Russian Army had nothing to do with. We know who was responsible, who prepared this provocation, using what means, and we know who the people involved were.

After this, the position of our negotiators from Ukraine on a further settlement underwent a drastic change. They simply renounced their previous intentions to leave aside issues of security guarantees for the territories of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics. They simply renounced this. In the relevant draft agreement presented to us, they simply stated in two articles that these issues must be resolved at a meeting of the heads of state.

It is clear to us that if we take these issues to the heads of state level without even resolving them in a preliminary draft agreement, they will never be resolved. In this case, we simply cannot sign a document on security guarantees without settling the territorial issues of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics.

Nevertheless, the talks are going on. They are now being conducted online. I am still hoping that this will lead us to some positive result.

This is all I wanted to say in the beginning. I am sure we will have many questions linked with this situation. Maybe there will be other questions as well. We will talk.

I am very happy to see you. Welcome to Moscow.

(In his remarks, the UN Secretary General expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine, while emphasising the need for a multilateral world order based on the UN Charter and international law. Antonio Guterres also presented the two proposals he had put forward the same day during his meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. These proposals concern humanitarian matters, including humanitarian corridors, in particular, for Mariupol residents, as well as setting up a humanitarian contact group in which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Russia, and Ukraine would work together to discuss the situation in order to make these corridors truly safe and effective.)

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary General,

Regarding the invasion, I am well-versed in the documents of the International Court on the situation in Kosovo. In fact, I have read them myself. I remember very well the decision by the International Court, which states that when fulfilling its right to self-determination a territory within any state does not have to seek permission from the country’s central government in order to proclaim its sovereignty. This was the ruling on Kosovo, and this is what the International Court decided, and everyone supported it. I personally read all the comments issued by the judicial, administrative and political bodies in the United States and Europe – everyone supported this decision.

If so, the Donbass republics, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, can enjoy the same right without seeking permission from Ukraine’s central government and declare their sovereignty, since the precedent has been created.

Is this so? Do you agree with this?

(Antonio Guterres noted that the United Nations did not recognise Kosovo).

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, but the court did. Let me finish what I was saying.

If there is a precedent, the Donbass republics can do the same. This is what they did, while we, in turn, had the right to recognise them as independent states.

Many countries around the world did this, including our Western opponents, with Kosovo. Many states recognised Kosovo. It is a fact that many Western countries recognised Kosovo as an independent state. We did the same with the Donbass republics. After that, they asked us to provide them with military assistance to deal with the state that launched military operations against them. We had the right to do so in full compliance with Chapter VII, Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Just a second, we will talk about this in a minute. But first I would like to address the second part of your question, Mariupol. The situation is difficult and possibly even tragic there. But in fact, it is very simple.

I had a conversation with President Erdogan today. He spoke about the ongoing fighting there. No, there is no fighting there; it is over. There is no fighting in Mariupol; it has stopped.

Part of the Ukrainian armed forces that were deployed in other industrial districts have surrendered. Nearly 1,300 of them have surrendered, but the actual figure is larger. Some of them were injured or wounded; they are being kept in absolutely normal conditions. The wounded have received medical assistance from our doctors, skilled and comprehensive assistance.

The Azovstal plant has been fully isolated. I have issued instructions, an order to stop the assault. There is no direct fighting there now. Yes, the Ukrainian authorities say that there are civilians at the plant. In this case, the Ukrainian military must release them, or otherwise they will be doing what terrorists in many countries have done, what ISIS did in Syria when they used civilians as human shields. The simplest thing they can do is release these people; it is as simple as that.

You say that Russia’s humanitarian corridors are ineffective. Mr Secretary-General, you have been misled: these corridors are effective. Over 100,000 people, 130,000–140,000, if I remember correctly, have left Mariupol with our assistance, and they are free to go where they want, to Russia or Ukraine. They can go anywhere they want; we are not detaining them, but we are providing assistance and support to them.

The civilians in Azovstal, if there are any, can do this as well. They can come out, just like that. This is an example of a civilised attitude to people, an obvious example. And anyone can see this; you only need to talk with the people who have left the city. The simplest thing for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.

We maintain contact with them, with those who are hiding underground at the Azovstal plant. They have an example they can follow: their comrades-in-arms have surrendered, over a thousand of them, 1,300. Nothing bad has happened to them. Moreover, Mr Secretary-General, if you wish, if representatives of the Red Cross and the UN want to inspect their detainment conditions and see for themselves where and how medical assistance is being provided to them, we are ready to organise this. It is the simplest solution to a seemingly complex issue.

Let us discuss this.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 16, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Let’s start off with some significant Mariupol updates. The Primorski / port area was further captured, some say dividing it in half, and guys on the ground are now saying the entire section may fall by tomorrow or at latest by the end of this weekend.

That would leave only the Azovstal factory because the other big news was that the Illych factory has completely fallen to our forces as well, and this was the only other pocket of UAF left. There is a lot of footage from the Illych capture.

Drone footage of DPR/RF forces storming it and capturing the last few UAF Marines 

(alt link: https://www.bitchute.com/video/aY4HS5Bpawm5/)

A lot of UAF equipment recovered there, hidden in the factory, including many American hummers https://www.bitchute.com/video/G1HMTwSk6OH5/

Full interview of one of the POWs with subtitles: https://www.bitchute.com/video/m4P2ylBqhv3W/

Another British merc captured as well: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Erio4G6vzPJS/

He is this guy, Shaun Pinner https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10569039/Ex-British-soldier-Shaun-Pinner-says-chaos-line-Ukraine-Russian-conflict.html

This merc also served with Cossackgundi in the YPG for years in Syria, and it’s been said he’s even served in Bosnia in the 90’s and is likely part of British Intel forces.

And for those that haven’t seen the previous British merc, Cossackgundi, here are a few outtakes from his interrogations: https://www.bitchute.com/video/z6hfHjgWGhaX/

And a Russian news report states the following: https://iz.ru/1321114/2022-04-15/v-sf-zaiavili-o-nalichii-soldat-stran-nato-sredi-plennykh-na-ukraine

“Among those captured in Ukraine there are military personnel from the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). This was announced on Friday, April 15, by Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the commission of the United Russia party for international cooperation…

“We already have prisoners among the military personnel of NATO countries, we will show all this when we conduct trials, and the whole world will see what really happened,” he said during a briefing with the media. The senator also said that there are mercenaries in Ukraine from Asia, Africa, Great Britain, the USA and other states. He recalled that mercenaries are not military personnel and they are not subject to international law.”

So it seems according to this they do intend to put them on trial.

This is how the map is looking now. That small sliver of Primorski section in the SW by the port, and then just the massive Azovstal factory complex.

And as many of you know, the factory was reportedly already bombed by Russian long range heavy bombers, Tu-22m’s in what is reportedly the first usage of the bombers in the conflict so far. Footage:

https://ok.ru/video/3397653039744

There’s still no word on the general strategy, as we’ve all seen rumors Russia would flood the factory, or etc. We don’t know if this bombing run is a one-off, and only to bomb certain sections/positions, or a general strategy they will employ to level the entire complex (doubtful). Personally I don’t see the point of bombing now, unless with bunker busters, as we know Azov troops are secured deep in the basement, but there may have been some strategic positions to hit for now, to soften them up before the next phase of the Azovstal assault. For instance, Azov forces likely mined the entire area, and perhaps this is an attempt to first demine and clear all booby traps via large bombing run to prepare the area for ground assault.

In the time of writing this, the Russian MOD apparently reported that the full urban area of Mariupol has been captured, and the map would now look like this:

However, I leave the previous up because once in a while the Russian MOD has been known to jump the gun and I personally haven’t seen the on-the-ground indication yet that Primorski has fully been cleared, although there were several indications it was very close, so maybe it is true. If that’s the case, then there is literally nothing left apart from the Azovstal factory complex.

Either way, we get closer and closer to the end where Mariupol comes home. And on that note there’s some interesting updates. Firstly, apparently anchors at the Crimea24 news station in Crimea are already referring to Kherson as the ‘Kherson People’s Republic’, ‘that is, an entirely separate and seceded political entity from the Ukrainian Central Government.’

And not far away, the Energodar city sign changed from a Ukrainian to Russian flag:

As for news about Phase 2, here are some assorted updates:

There continue to be reports from both sides that a largescale Russian Phase 2 offensive is days away. One source in Donbass even said this: “The head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration believes that the Russian troops do not start the offensive because of bad weather.”

Meanwhile a regional administrator in Barvinkove and separately, the head of Donetsk regional military administrations, urged evacuations as ‘Russia is set to launch a large-scale military operation in a few days.’

My view has been that it won’t come until Mariupol is done, but with that said, they may begin it anyway because some reports indicate forces have already been disengaged from Mariupol and sent both north and towards Kherson because so few UAF remain in Mariupol, they don’t need a large force anymore. Wargonzo / Pegov reports that the famous Somali battalion of DPR will be re-deployed to Avdiivka outside of Donetsk where a large offensive is planned to break through the densest of enemy lines, and some of them have already been redeployed there.

In short, various ‘chirps’ from both sides continue to indicate Russia is almost ready with the preparations for Phase 2, we just have to wait and see if they’re waiting for the ‘symbolic’ fall of Mariupol to begin, or whether they’ll begin without it. We know the Pentagon said last week that the offensive would start “within a week”.

As some others have posted this already, unconfirmed but it matches the general gist I’m hearing everywhere else:

“The Pentagon instructed the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw all the remaining artillery to the cities on the eastern front – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, where they can fire behind civilians. Restraining the offensive of the Russian troops is prescribed by small mobile groups armed with mortars and anti-tank systems, moving across the steppe in civilian vehicles. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the Americans impose terrorist tactics on their pets, in which their people are taken hostage. But the fact that Ukrainian resources write about this quite openly, and treat such methods with understanding, and as the only correct one, cannot but amaze.”

There is video evidence of this now that’s emerged where UAF is mostly operating in the style of ISIS ‘technicals’ where they mount a machine gun on a pickup truck and drive around the countryside in search of fast ambush opportunities on RF rearguards, supply lines etc., but unlike ISIS they’re armed with tons of ATGMs and Manpads.

One Russian T-72B3 came home to base last night near Izyum having been reportedly struck as many as 2 or 3 times by Javelins and Nlaws, but its Kontakt-5 reactive armor had no problem shrugging them all off. Photos show Kontakt-5 damage around the turret indicating possible “top attack” (such as NLAW and Javelin) as opposed to normal RPG style weapons hitting lower broadside on the hull. Just further proof that Western weapons are performing abysmally. In fact the ONLY consistently confirmed proof I have seen, out of thousands of videos, of tank kills on Russian armor all comes from the Ukrainian Stugna-P ATGM, which is a Ukrainian/Belarussian produced weapon.

One frontline reporter several days ago said, upon breaching a UAF position they found a bunch of spent Russian/Soviet legacy RPGs laying on the ground, while next to them was several western (NLAW/Javelin) units that were completely unused. You can figure out what this implies.

But of course the U.S. continues to offload its stock of junk on Ukraine: https://www.bitchute.com/video/cW8vv4om4cJJ/

Czech sends MLRS https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1514471276437401601

While British SAS go straight to Kiev to train the Nazis directly https://www.rt.com/russia/553973-uk-commandos-train-ukrainians/

U.S. also expands its intel sharing with Ukraine, and has stated it will help Ukraine in preparing strikes onto Crimea. U.S. says it won’t overtly help Ukraine with strikes on RF territory, but it doesn’t recognize Crimea as RF territory so it considers it legal to give the UAF signal/satellite intel to strike Crimea.

https://www.rt.com/news/553853-us-intelligence-attack-crimea/

Meanwhile the Pentagram says, “The Pentagon now says Russia is in the midst of a major jamming operation attempt of Ukraine’s access to GPS signals, which if successful would have a huge impact on Ukraine’s ability to navigate the battlefield and operate advanced aerial systems such as drones.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/military/russia-ratcheting-efforts-jam-us-provided-gps-signals-ukraine-pentagon

The article mentions Switchblade drones, and how they use GPS which is disrupted by Russian jamming. On that front, we have new reports that as of yesterday, two Switchblade drones were already used against Russian tanks in the Kharkov / Izyum area, neither of which did any damage.

“Two American Switchblade UAVs (“Flipknife”) attacked the positions of Russian tankers, but did not cause any damage. Apparently, the operators are just beginning to master the new technique.” (reported by the reliable frontline correspondent Sasha Kots)

It is confirmation the drones are now in theater. But there’s 2 varieties, the 300 and 600 series. We don’t know yet which they have. The 300 is fairly useless against vehicles.

You can see an inside look into these unparalleled Russian jamming systems which have no equal in the world: https://www.bitchute.com/video/dFe6qSXQF3IX/

If you read my last report with this video: https://youtu.be/_CMby_WPjk4?t=1584

You’ll know it spoke a lot about Russian ability to shutdown all communications on the front via these various EW stations like the famous Krasukha. In the bitchute videos above, the soldiers talk about how these systems shutdown all cellular communications, fry Bayraktar drones, etc., and this is exactly corroborated in the Dr. Karber presentation at West Point above, where he says all cellular and military radios go blank in a wide swath of territory.

Here’s some more info on the particular complex: https://military-wiki.com/the-power-of-russias-murmansk-bn-electronic-warfare-complex/

Also yesterday the S-400 was used for possibly the 2nd time of the conflict. The first was in the opening days, a S-400 system in Belarus destroyed a Ukrainian Mig-29 over Kiev (very long distance) which was piloted by one of Ukraine’s most legendary pilots.

The new usage was said to be against one of the helicopters that attacked the Russian Klimovo village in the Bryansk region. The helicopter apparently was shot over the village of Gorodnya in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, about 35 km from the Russian-Ukrainian border.

One analyst writes:

“1. This means that air defense has been strengthened in the border areas. S-400 divisions “do not go alone.” At least a regiment, at least two divisions and a command post. 2 combat vehicles for each

2. The helicopter was shot down at low altitude at a distance of about 35 km from the border, read at least 50-60 km from the division. This means that the target for the division was below the radio horizon, which, on flat terrain and an antenna post deployed not on a 40V6M tower, but on a conveyor, would be about 40 km. This is possible only in the interaction of the S-400 air defense system with the A-50 AWACS aircraft or with the Su-30 fighter and the use of the 9M96E2 missile with an active homing head, which is capable of independently capturing an over-the-horizon target according to the data of the air defense system itself or the specified aircraft.”

Video of the shot down helicopter https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1515294027608104965

In that same region were huge losses for the UAF yesterday. Reported several squads to be completely destroyed while there were many prisoners. You can see photos of the prisoners on most of the popular telegram channels.

Meanwhile in the risible and deteriorating U.S. Navy, humiliation continues to mount:

https://www.rt.com/news/553992-navy-commander-fired-f35/

Here’s a good current map of the overall situation: https://twitter.com/War_Mapper/status/1515118706682122244

And here’s how British Intel reportedly views the coming Phase 2 operation:

By the way, one last note. Some have asked about the news that ‘General Aleksandr Dvornikov’ was appointed as supreme commander of the entire operation, particularly since I previously posted a snippet that had his name in it. The truth is, there is no actual proof or confirmation whatsoever from the Russian side that he has been ‘appointed’ or ‘promoted’ in any way. Even if you search his name in cyrillic on Russian official news sites like Tass there is nothing whatsoever on it, and no such announcement from the MOD. So keep in mind all such information is only as per the “Pentagon’s” alleged secret intel, albeit on sites like wikipedia it is already listed as 100% official and confirmed that he is in fact the supreme commander.

With that said, it may very well be true. And if it is, that’s a good thing, because Dvornikov by all qualifications appears to be a very strong commander who was responsible for much of the success of Russia’s Syrian campaign. Keep in mind he is officially the commander of the entire Russian Southern Military District, with its famed 58th Army, etc., and he continues to be listed as the commander of this district. The Southern is arguably Russia’s most experienced command post due to its involvement in some of the hottest Russian frontlines of the past years, such as the 2008 Georgian war which was primarily prosecuted by the 58th Army of the Southern, stationed in Vladikavkaz. To the 2014 Crimean crisis as well, which was primarily handled by this district. Not to mention it appears the Southern District has possibly the highest contract servicemen percentage of any of the districts, which wikipedia lists at 98% as of 2016.

Though the ‘Western’ district is the ‘prestige’ one, as it guards Russia’s most vital western European flank, and was previously headed by Gerasimov himself, and is probably outfitted with the highest percentage of technologically advanced units (such as the 4th Guards Tank army which is mostly comprised of modernized T-80U’s as opposed to the T-72’s of many other districts), the Southern is the one that has seen the most action in recent years, and has acted as the ‘shock troops’ for various Russian crises.

So the fact that Dvornikov, who was given the highest honors, “Hero of the Russian Federation” medal for his work in Syria, was then promoted to the head of the Southern District after his Syrian service, means the utter trust Russian leadership has in him. So if it is true he is internally now running the entire SMO, then that can only be viewed as a positive. But let it simply be stated that this is completely unconfirmed, and may never be confirmed officially by the Russian side.

And some final assorted things:

DPR troops humanely feed their POWs (quite a contrast to how Russian POWs are treated): https://www.bitchute.com/video/GyMLSCgz3rhn/

Russian White Swans of death spotted in the skies of Russia not far from Ukr border, but reportedly this is practice for the upcoming parade (or is it?)

An interesting look at the logistical side, Russian mobile kitchens and laundromats – how daily troop life functions: https://www.bitchute.com/video/lbyWPdJXtXy2/

Chechens put finishing touches on Mariupol districts: https://www.bitchute.com/video/zH6ZymTy6EZ7/

Russia ships mass Bm-21 Grad reinforcements: https://www.bitchute.com/video/fbCOVZvcygVl/

More reinforcements head through Kharkov: https://www.bitchute.com/video/kcnOFC8OeDvQ/

Zelensky brags behind the scenes how Macron is his “bestie” who texts him privately (is this legal?) https://www.bitchute.com/video/4OCZ4XRXfAHs/

Crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser re-enlists to continue service in Navy. So much for fake rumors they were all killed, etc: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/nnwlaOOuDM1W/

Another UAF base in Nikolayev destroyed. https://www.bitchute.com/video/LqyoUGfEwKLC/

There’ve been many huge strikes in Kiev, Kharkov, Nikolayev, etc, that have flattened a lot of bases and factories in the past 2 days since the sinking of the Moskva. In fact in the past day alone, over 300 UAF soldiers were reportedly killed in these strikes all over Ukraine.

Today Zelensky revealed for the first time that UAF losses are alleged to be only 2500-3000 total. But this is a clear lie as the Donbass alone has 3000 POWs. The Russian MOD countered with new realistic losses of the UAF today, which are in excess of 23,000+ troops. https://www.rt.com/russia/553998-russia-ukraine-casualties/

Graphic (18+) Russian Spetsnaz force once again ambushed a UAF squad near Izyum: https://www.bitchute.com/video/qoqS4oNnHmtD/

Also slightly (18+), Chechens in Mariupol show the clearing of one of the last districts: https://www.bitchute.com/video/yoEdnDP6jUUT/

Syria: Landmine Murders, Kurdish SDF Starving Syrians in Hasakah

MIRI WOOD 

Syria news of atrocities and ethnic cleansing persist in the twelfth year of the NATO Spring and are so normalized as to receive no coverage in the western media. On 12 April, another two Syrian girls were killed in another landmine explosion. Syrian people are on their fourth day of being starved in the armed insurrectionist SDF ethnic cleansing campaign.

The two unnamed — and un-aged — girls were walking in the village of al-Meri’iyaeh in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, Syrian. They were murdered immediately upon stepping on a landmine buried by retreating ISIS terrorists.

In the southeastern countryside of Daraa governate, in the south of Syria, child Tariq Adham Mahamid was killed by a landmine explosion, local activists reported, adding one more very heavy coffin to the massive toll of innocent human lives ended by US hegemony in a country that only exported civilization, science, and the divine religions to the whole world.

Child Tariq Adham Mahamid killed by a landmine explosion in Daraa countryside

Tuesday’s atrocious murders were preceded by a terrorist IED bombing of a vehicle in the Finance Building parking lot which caused no casualties. Five days earlier, al Qaeda terrorists had detonated an IED in the vehicle of SAA Colonel Engineer Hussam Ghayyah, who succumbed to his injuries soon after arrival at the hospital.

Syria News reminds our readers that weapons — including NATO weapons — do not fall like manna from the heavens.

The engineering/sapper units of the Syrian Arab Army continue to clear landmines and IEDs from areas of Syria liberated from al Qaeda terrorist factions. The retreated savages continue to plant them in “residential neighborhoods, agricultural lands, and roads” where the greatest damage may be inflicted on the citizenry.

These engineering units continue the hazardous work without the assistance of the UN Mine Action Service, and to date, Syria has not imported the Giant African Pouched Rat, capable of sniffing out buried explosives without detonating them.

To date, the action of the Mine Action Service has been limited to Director Agnes Marcaillou signing the Memorandum of Understanding in Damascus, Syria, on 4 July 2018, and a subsequent report to the UNSC on death and dismemberment statistics in the Levantine republic.

UNMAS director keeping stats on death & dismemberment in Syria.
UNMAS Director Agnes Marcaillou used to keep death & dismemberment stats pristine enough for the Book of Numbers.
The Giant African Pouched Rat would be more useful than NATO’s UNMAS, & obviously more noble

While the US created al Qaeda in the south and the southeast continue to slaughter Syrians with landmines and IEDs, the US created Kurdish SDF terrorists continue to engage in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, in the northeast area — specifically, al Hasakah city and governate, which are part of Syria.

Monday was the fourth consecutive day of the Biden regime’s SDF terrorist siege of the downtown cities of Hasakah and Qamlishi. The armed insurrectionist Kurdish separatists have again cordoned off the city, preventing deliveries of basic goods such as flour and fuel. These killers have shut down the industrial al Baath bakery, depriving citizens of both bread and employment.

Last year, these terrorists held the two Syrian cities under siege for twenty consecutive days.

Kurdish SDF terrorists besieging Hasakah and Qamishli
Kurdish SDF terrorist blocking Syrians from access to food and water.

As NATO-affiliated media and the United Nations continue to avert their gaze, al Qaeda terrorists continue to blow up children, and SDF terrorists continue ethnic cleansing in Syria.

— Miri Wood


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They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

 

Photos from site of Ukraine’s March 14 missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

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-by Eva K Bartlett, April 5, 2022

*Following is a lengthy overview of my recent re-visit to the Donbass, on a two day media delegation, with a brief critique of some of the media’s slanted reporting. It is also a follow up from my 2019 visit to hard hit areas of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It is now 8 years of Ukraine’s war on the people of the Donetsk & Lugansk Republics.

Point of impact of March 14 Ukrainian missile attack on Donetsk. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

In the last week of March, I stood on a central Donetsk main street next to two of the impact points of a Ukrainian missile attack that had killed 21 civilians and injured nearly 40 more on March 14. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) maintains that their military intercepted Ukraine’s Tochka-U ballistic missile, and that not all of the cluster munitions inside had exploded in the city streets, thereby lessening the already terrible bloodshed it caused. Indeed, if all of the munitions had exploded, it would have been a bloodbath more horrific than the 21 killed.

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

Near the ATM, there were flowers and candles laid in memory of the civilians murdered that day, with haunting photos nearby depicting the aftermath of the bombing, the grisly scenes of the dead and the maimed—scenes you will generally never see blasted across Western corporate media, just as the same media were silent when terrorism struck civilian areas in Syria.

I’m intimately familiar with war zones, and with Western corporate media’s white-washing of the perpetrators’ crimes (Israeli crimes against Palestinians; Western-backed terrorists’ crimes against Syrians; Ukrainian military and Nazi crimes against the civilians of the Donbass—and also against Ukrainians proper), so the lack of media coverage on this recent Ukrainian war crime doesn’t surprise me.

They don’t report on it, or the myriad Ukrainian war crimes prior, because it doesn’t suit their narrative, a narrative that erases the eight years of Ukraine’s war against the four million people of the Donbass republics, killing at least 14,000 people, to give a modest estimate.

War crimes investigator, Ivan Kopyl, spoke about Ukraine’s March 14 attack, noting, “The warhead of a Tochka-U missile contains 50 cassettes of cluster munitions. We managed to find 28 traces of cluster explosions on the soil…A Tochka-U missile changes its orientation just before landing, so after it flies on a trajectory it makes a turn and falls vertically down before detonating at a certain height. The fragments then shower the surface in a radius of approximately 150 meters.”

I have one of those cluster fragments, a twisted and jagged square-shaped piece of metal—seemingly harmless looking on its own, but deadly when flying through the air at high speed, in great numbers.

The attack occurred around noon, when this central city street—not a military area, but a civilian one—would have been busy. Photos show a gutted bus and gutted cars. Pensioners, Koply noted, would have been lined up at the ATM right where the blasts occurred. “There was also damage to a yard where there are two kindergartens – there were several craters there,” he noted.

The strike on the heart of the city is among the latest in Ukraine’s litany of war crimes.

Ukraine again bombed Donetsk following the March 14 attack. Donetsk News Agency reported on March 30 that the Ukrainian forces’ bombing had killed one person and seriously injured four others. One of the girls injured in that attack fell into a coma, the DPR Ombudsman noted.

And just now, there’s been news of another Ukrainian Tochka-U attack. According to RT, at least 50 people (including 5 children) were killed at a railway station in Kramatorsk, where thousands of people were waiting for evacuation trains. Eduard Basurin, a representative of the DPR People’s Militia, stated that the attack was a missile containing prohibited cluster munitions.

Gonzalo Lira writes:

“This is a fragment of the missile that hit the Kramatorsk train station…The AFU has blamed the Russians, but this picture of the missile shows that it is indisputably a Tochka-U rocket — used exclusively by the Ukrainian side. It’s the same kind of missile that two weeks ago hit the center of Donetsk and killed 27 civilians.

What’s that saying? Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times . . .”

As of March 31, the Ombudsman reported that there’s been 6,010 deaths, including 96 children, since Ukraine’s war began in 2014. And that’s only with regards to the DPR. In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which has also been under Ukrainian fire since 2014, as of late February, 1,762 civilians had been killed, including 35 children.

During my 2019 visit to the DPR, I went to the northern city of Gorlovka, of which I wrote:

“Gorlovka was hardest hit in 2014, especially on July 27, when the center was rocked by Ukrainian-fired Grad and Uragan missiles from morning to evening. After the dust settled and the critically-injured had succumbed to their wounds, at least 30 were dead, including five children. The day came to be known as Bloody Sunday.

A monument commemorates the Gorlovka victims of Ukrainian bombings and sniping from 2014-2017. Near a sculpture of an angel, over 230 names fill the marble slabs, the first dedicated solely to children, 20 of them.”

Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

At the site of the March 14 bombing, DPR head Denis Pushilin spoke, outlining the chronology the last 8 years, from the violent coup in Ukraine and subsequent increase in radical Ukrainian nationalism, to the two republics’ decision to push for autonomy, to Ukraine unleashing hell on the 4 million people and continual violations of the (2014 & 2015) Minsk Agreements and the massive amounts of weapons pumped from the West to Ukraine (see also). [*Note: I’ll be adding a subtitled clip of his words in the next day or two.]

School and Hospital shelled by Ukrainian forces

The town of Volnovakha—on the road between Donetsk and Mariupol further south—was secured by DPR forces nearly two weeks prior to our visit. Entering the town, we passed destroyed homes and buildings, which was expected, as there was heavy fighting to liberate the area held by the Ukrainian forces.

As they did in their copy-paste reporting on liberated areas of Syria, most Western media reports on Volnovakha focus on the destruction, without any context as to why it occurred—these residential areas were occupied by Ukrainian forces, and not all of the destruction was from DPR forces’ fighting against the Ukrainian forces: the Ukrainian forces themselves fired on homes, and according to hospital staff, on the hospital itself.

In addition to not giving this context, most Western media in general depict the liberating forces as deliberately and wantonly destroying everything in sight. Some media went as far as to claim that Putin himself had destroyed the town. This cartoonish narrative, so prevalent in Western reports whitewashing terrorism in Syria and now in whitewashing Ukrainian forces’ crimes, unfortunately does achieve its intended effect: duping Western viewers into believing the opposite of reality–that the liberators are the war criminals.

Again, just as terrorist factions in Syria occupied schools and hospitals, so too do Ukrainian forces, including in Volnovakha. When DPR forces had liberated the city, they found foreign weapons used by Ukrainian forces inside the hospital. [See also: Western Media Quick to Accuse Syria of ‘Bombing Hospitals’ – But When Terrorists Really Destroy Syrian Hospitals, They Are Silent]

In a central area of Volnovakha, Russian soldiers handed out humanitarian aid to lines of residents, including: bags of canned goods, fresh bread, water.

According to Alexander Yurievich Kachalov, the interim mayor, Ukrainian forces used civilians as human shields. “They made sure to destroy as much infrastructure as possible. They bombed buildings in order to leave ruins after they left, to make it harder for us to restore.”

This was common in Syria. Terrorist factions destroyed buildings and vehicles when fleeing, while leaving mines and booby traps on streets and in houses, to kill still more civilians and soldiers.

A woman waiting in line for humanitarian aid said, “They say Russia did this. This wasn’t Russia, Ukraine did it, destroyed everything here! They shot at our hospital. I work there. The new children’s and infection units have been destroyed. The outpatient clinic was destroyed. And then they left. They took the medical staff’s car and went away.”

At the destroyed hospital, Chief Physician, Viktor Fedorovich Saranov, said:

“[The Ukrainian Army] were there. There were tanks on our territory. There were guns and Grads outside the territory.  I asked them to act in accordance with the Hague and Geneva conventions. I asked them to leave the hospital. They said it was war.

Many people come to us from nearby houses under fire. About 500-600 people came to our basement. We gave everyone three meals a day.

The second and third floors were occupied here. We were preparing for a long siege, and then it turned out like this: they conducted an attack. They evacuated the soldiers. And they mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day, when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.” The ICU, he said, had already been evacuated.

A woman who said she had worked at the hospital as a nurse for nearly 58 years said:

“On the 28th I was home alone. They soon started shelling. How can they do it with their local hospital? With patients here. They were laying in corridors, as they had been evacuated. They said there was no one in the hospital, no staff, no patients. This is a lie.”

Later, researching, I came across this news (*warning, graphic video at the link):

“Foreign mercenaries who were wounded in the Volnovakha hospital were shot by their own before leaving the city so that they could not tell anything. All the wounded have a control shot in the temple or the back of the head.”

On the road back towards Donetsk, we stopped at a school that had been shelled in late February.

According to Victoria Terichenko, head of the Dokuchaevsk city administration’s Department of Education, the shelling was by Ukrainian forces.

“Of course, Ukraine. There were only Ukrainian troops there. We had no military here, we were only civilians here.”

Fortunately, children weren’t at school at the time of the shelling, but Terichenko said a nursery school in the area had been shelled, with children inside, but again, fortunately, not on the side of the building shelled.

Horrors of Ukraine’s War on the People of the Donbass Republics

Ukraine’s relentless bombing and sniping of the people of Donbass is bad enough, along with it being ignored by Western press and politicians.

But in its eight years of warring on a people who rejected the rule of ultra-nationalists and Nazis, who just wanted to live autonomously, speak their own language, remember their history (Ukraine has rewritten history to glorify Nazis and Nazi collaborators and to vilify those who defeated Nazism, namely the Soviets), Ukraine has committed war crimes as heinous as ISIS and their co-terrorists in Syria, with more and more testimonies coming out of mass graves, rapes, torture of civilians and Donbass soldiers, beheadings. None of this shocking given the crimes these extremists commit against even Ukrainian civilians and journalists.

Along a sidewalk flanking a central park, there is a row of photos containing incredibly disturbing images of murdered LPR civilians.

Elders slaughtered on benches and in wheelchairs, the corpse of an infant, mass graves, a room used to imprison and torture people, the insignia of the notorious rapists and murderers of the “Tornado” battalion.

One photo shows Nazi graffiti left on a wall.

These are similar to the graffiti I saw in January 2009 left by Israeli soldiers who occupied the home of a Palestinian family, half of which had been killed by Israeli-fired White Phosphorous. One of the slogans written in Hebrew was: “Next time it will hurt more.” This, to the family whose infant had burned alive due to the White Phosphorous bombing, and whose surviving family members were badly mutilated from the prohibited weapon. In another house in eastern Gaza, likewise occupied and desecrated by Israeli soldiers, more hate and death graffiti had been left for the traumatized inhabitants.

Different people and places–same violent hatred of the population being targeted.

In the same park area, there is a monument to two journalists killed in 2014 by Ukrainian forces. Had these journalists been killed by Russia or Syria, their names would have been on the front pages of news sites and TIME magazine covers. In Syria, dozens of journalists have been killed by terrorist forces, to the silence of not only Western media but also of the groups supposedly advocating for journalists’ rights and safety.

In Shchastia, north of Lugansk, more civilians received humanitarian aid in the liberated town.

Humanitarian aid being handed out in Shchastia, a town north of Lugansk, liberated in early March.

Western Delivered Weapons on Display

In the two republics, we saw some of the vehicles and weapons captured from Ukrainian forces. Telesur journalist Alejandro Kirk spoke to me about these captured weapons and vehicles, noting the many foreign made weapons sold to Ukraine. Western countries continue to sell weapons to Ukraine.

On March 20, journalist Alexander Rubinstein wrote of the West’s exorbitant shipping of billions of dollars in weapons to Ukraine over the years. He noted:

“At least 32 countries have announced their intention to ship billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine for use against Russian forces in Ukraine. Photographic evidence shows that these weapons have already ended up in the hands of neo-Nazi paramilitaries – units which have already received training and arms the US and its NATO allies.

All of this builds on $3.8 billion in military aid from the United States to Ukraine, the training of 55,000 Ukrainian soldiers by Canada and the United Kingdom, and a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency.

…weapons furnished by NATO allies have been placed in the hands of the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi former paramilitary organization incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard.

The governments of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have presided over a massive program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers for a full-scale war with Russia. Trainees have included top commanders of the Azov Battalion.

In late February, the European Union opened the floodgates of weapon shipments to Ukraine, approving financing through the aptly-named “European Peace Facility” to reimburse countries sending weapons to the country to the tune of $500 million USD. Another $55 million USD is earmarked for non-lethal military aid.

This February, the State Department announced $350 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, bringing “the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.”

Another $200 million was sent in early March, and following Zelensky’s March 16 appeal to Congress for more weapons, Biden is reportedly set to dole out another $800 in military aid including 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 9,000 anti-tank systems, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, 400 shotguns, 400 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 100 tactical drones, 25,000 sets of body armor and 25,000 helmets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

These figures add to the $2.5 billion in military aid the US delivered between 2014 and the summer of 2021, bringing the total to $3.8 billion.”

Missing Context: What the Donbass People Have Endured In 8 Years of Ukraine’s War

After my September 2019 visit to the DPR, I wrote about the mostly elderly civilians I met who were living in battered homes damaged by Ukrainian shelling and heavy machine gun fire just 500 meters and 600 meters from Ukrainian forces. They remained there, they told me, mostly because they had nowhere else to go. Some spoke to me on camera, others were afraid of Ukrainian retaliation were they to be interviewed.

But their stories were all pretty much the same: at night, when the observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) left, the Ukrainian terrorizing began, with shelling throughout the night.

I also met a couple who had been living for 6 years in the stinking, dank, basement of a battered school, after Ukrainian bombing destroyed their home.

The DPR press officer who accompanied me and provided translations, spoke of how Ukrainian forces used weapons prohibited under the Minsk Agreements.

Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo, another frontline village, spoke at length on the Ukrainian bombing that erupted nearly every night.

“They are destroying street by street in the town. They take one street and destroy it house by house. Then they turn to another street. There was a school, and a nursery school, before, but they were both destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.”

As in Syria, when schools and hospitals are actually destroyed (in Syria by terrorist factions), the same media that howls over militarized hospitals being targeted, the same media that also manufactures stories that never even occurred, is silent when the destroying is actually done, by Ukrainian forces.

In Zaitsevo, Irina explained fire trucks and medics couldn’t reach targeted homes, because the ambulances themselves became targets for Ukrainian forces (as happens in Gaza, where medics are targeted by Israeli forces, as I myself witnessed).

During that 2019 visit, I also interviewed some of the defenders of the DPR, painted by Western media as “separatists”, “pro-Russian forces” and other such descriptions meant to dehumanize. The same Western media so quick to humanize terrorists, including one who chewed the organ of a dead Syrian soldier.

One more relevant note from that visit: Dmitri asked what people in the West think about the fact there is a Nazi state in Europe. I replied that most people don’t know, because of the media whitewashing.

Which brings me to my recent return to the Donbass: I was curious to see whether the journalists on the same delegation as me would report truthfully, partial truths, or fabricated lies. As it turned out, my skepticism was warranted.

Distortions and Omissions of Some Western Media on the Ground in the Donbass

Telesur’s report gave the historical context needed to understand the present, including the coup in Ukraine, the active neo-Nazis in Ukraine (many of whom re entrenched in the Ukrainian army), the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on the Donbass, the 14,000 killed during these years, and the media blackout on the suffering of the Donbass people.

Sky News’ report was good, mentioning the civilians killed in Donbass by Ukraine’s war, including the March 14 attack and the school shelling, while also giving air time to the DPR’s Pushilin.

Neither of the two French channels’ (FranceInfo and TF1Info) reports on the delegation’s visit mentioned the March 14 Tochka-U attack, even though we visited the site & Pushilin spoke of it at length, much less the roughly 8,000 civilians killed in the two republics alone. I couldn’t find mention of the Azov or other Nazi battalions participating in the atrocities against the Donbass people, even though we heard about them and saw the graphic photo display in Lugansk. Their reports were framed as, “this is what Russia wants us to see,” regarding the humanitarian aid and reclaimed towns.

And of course, they focused greatly on the destruction, but not on the reasons for it, the implication being that the Russians and the “pro-Russian separatists” were responsible.

The chief physician of the hospital in Volnokava spoke at length and did specifically state the Ukrainian army had occupied the hospital, as did the nurse I cited, both of whom addressed the group of journalists.

FranceInfo’s mention of the hospital was framed as, “The Russians accuse the Ukrainians of having bombed it.” They included a few seconds of the chief physician saying he didn’t know who had done it, there were soldiers in the area, he didn’t know who.

But actually, the physician spoke to us for about several minutes, during which—as I wrote earlier—he did specifically talk about the presence of the Ukrainian army in the hospital.

One journalist asked: “Why did such destruction happen?” To which the chief physician replied, “I don’t know. They were military. And who they were: military, national battalions, army? I don’t know.”

That’s the bit France TV cherry picked, omitting his previous words about the Ukrainian army occupying the hospital, as well as omitting what he said afterwards: “There was Ukrainian territory on that side and the rockets were from that side. They mined the entrance to the intensive care unit. On the last day when they were leaving, they shot at the intensive care unit.”

Likewise, TF1Info included just a few seconds of the physician’s words on the Ukrainian cannons and machine guns at the hospital, but then followed up with the presenter’s caveat: it is one of the arguments often presented by the Kremlin—in spite of the fact that not only he, but the nurse and many people I encountered in the town specifically blamed the Ukrainian army for occupying the hospital and attacking it themselves when leaving.

If there were any further TF1Info reports from their journalist’s visit which might have included mention of Donbass’ dead, I couldn’t find them. Likewise, of FranceInfo.

This tactic of cherry picking quotes and omitting information is a standard corporate media war propaganda tactic and, unfortunately one seen over and over in Syria and elsewhere.

Journalist Vanessa Beeley wrote of one particularly horrific and sadistic terrorist massacre of 200 Syrian civilians, including 116 children, in April 2017, killed by an explosion as they were being evacuated from their terrorist besieged villages. She wrote of one traumatized woman who lost 20 family members (10 dead, 10 missing) having witnessed the attack.

“Then, after the filming session (by various agencies, including Dubai based Orient News & Qatari Al Jazeera) which lasted approximately ten minutes, she and the other parents were forced back onto the buses, at gunpoint, and locked inside. They had to watch, while the armed militia collected the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of their community’s children and flung them in the back of trucks and Turkish ambulances, before driving them away from their families in Rashideen.

Not one western media outlet questioned why these injured, dying and disoriented children were being piled on top of one another in the back of a truck that obviously belonged to Nusra Front.”

In fact, as they did routinely in their Syria coverage, media essentially relegated these dead civilians as unimportant, because their deaths didn’t fit the corporate narrative, even when civilians were repeatedly targeted by horrific terrorist bombings, mortars and missiles.

Global Media Abusing the Suffering of the Donbass to Further Anti-Russia War Propaganda, Just as They Did in Syria…

It is already bad enough that Western media generally don’t report on Ukraine’s relentless shelling of the Donbass, but all the more disgusting when it depicts a scene from the March 14 bombing of Donetsk as if it was a bombing of Lvov by Russia.

“The aftermath of the bombing of Donetsk by Ukrainian “Tochka-U” missile, used by Italian newspaper “La Stampa” as an image from Lvov
*Propaganda noted in this article: The Hard Facts about Ukraine and Donbass
At the site of the Tochka-U missile attack in Donetsk, photos of the moments after the bombing, including the scene depicted in Western media as in Lvov. Photo: Eva Bartlett, March 24, 2022.

This isn’t the only instance. More recently, various Western media have used footage showing a multi-story apartment building in Donetsk that was bombed by Ukraine on March 30 to infer that the scene depicted was actually of Ukrainian areas that had been bombed by Russia. If you followed the war propaganda around Syria, you would be aware that this practice is common, not accidental.

New York post using Donetsk bombing photo to infer the scene was Kiev or elsewhere, under Russian bombing. The article has since been updated, photo removed. They would say it was a mistake. With corporate media, it never is. Luckily, at the time, some observers caught the lie.

And as with war propaganda on Syria, some media will use footage not even from Ukraine:

I could add paragraphs of examples of how Western media did this in Syria, but for the sake of brevity will state simply that this is one of many deceitful and deliberate propaganda tactics used to both downplay the hell civilians are suffering under Ukraine’s bombing, and instead to pretend Ukraine is the victim. How the journalists that propagate such lies live with themselves, I’ll never understand.

Finally, a word to some in independent media who feel the need to denigrate Russia’s denazification operation in Ukraine by snidely putting “special operation” in quotation marks, or others who took to social media to tell the world they don’t like war, and denounced Russia for its military operation (to stop a war): The people of the Donbass don’t like war, they didn’t ask for Ukraine to unleash hell upon them. Such posturing disrespects the at least 14,000 killed by Ukraine’s war.

As journalist Roman Kosarev, who has covered the war eightyears, said: “Russia isn’t starting a war, Russia is ending one.

Deconstructing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s position regarding Russia-Ukraine Crisis

April 09, 2022

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by Mansoureh Tajik 

At the outset of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s position and views were clearly spelled out by the Leader, Ayatullah Khamenei, and by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The crux of Iran’s stance is that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not condone foreign military advancements into any sovereign country by any power due to the fact that death of innocent civilians, destruction of critical civil infrastructures, regional instability, and unpredictable adverse outcomes become inevitable. At the same time, Iran considers the United States to be the main instigator and culprit of the crises in Ukraine. In an earlier article posted on the Saker blog (see here), I quoted Ayatullah Khamenei pointing to some of these concerns:

 “[United States of] America is a mafia regime and Ukraine, too, is a victim of this policy of crisis creation. [United States of] America brought Ukraine to this point by infiltrating into the internal affairs of that country, inciting uprisings against its governments by velvet movements or color revolutions, by presence of US senators in the gatherings of oppositional groups and by creating, toppling this government and replacing it with that government. Naturally, they led to this point. We, of course, are against wars and destruction anywhere. This is our fixed policy.”

This official and transparent stance is clearly devised with full awareness of geopolitical developments and events (both overt and covert) of the past few decades. It is quite evident that key decision makers in Iran neither condone Russia’s military advancement into Ukraine nor do they consider Ukraine to be a genuinely sovereign country free from foreign meddling and interventions.

In fact, we could imagine Ukraine to be just as independent as many other countries in Europe and Asia and the likes of United Arab Emirates, Saudi kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and more. These countries have allowed their respective lands to become stumping grounds for arrogant powers to set up shops to export crime and mischief to their neighbors and beyond. In the shortcomings of their rulers, people cannot be absolved of responsibility.

The Iranians have years of empirical evidence and first-hand field experience as proof that most of the above named countries and nations lack independent decision-making capacity. In private conversations, too, many of their [official] people make embarrassingly heart-felt confessions to our official people about their lack of core endoskeleton when it comes to reneging on their obligations to Iran due to incessant pressure from the United States.

It is not difficult to deduct, therefore, that officials in Iran consider Russia’s goals and concerns to be legitimate and well-founded. However, they also consider an all-out military advancement into Ukraine may not have been the most prudent and sagacious way to address Russia’s well-justified concerns.

So, what do they suggest? Exactly how long should Russia have waited to take any action serious enough not to fall on deaf ears? Should Russia have waited and fought the NATO-trained- Nazi-inspired foot soldiers of the West conduct operations in Moscow neighborhoods or are they suggesting an alternative? Did/does Russia have any alternatives? More significantly, how are all these convoluted aspects of Russian-Ukrainian crises teased apart in terms of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy, its strategic partnership with Russia, Iran’s internal affairs, and the Resistance’s activities in the region?

In this essay, I hope to explore limited dimensions of some of these questions as well as discuss other contrasting views circulating in Iran about the subject. Hopefully, this exploration could illuminate Iran’s current position and possible future position.

Other Viewpoints about Russia-Ukraine Crises Circulating within Iran

Some alternative views that stand in stark contrast with the views expressed by our Leader, Ayatullah Khamenei, and the government officials here have been channeled through some well-known personalities such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an ex-president of Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad has been quite vocal about his views. In fact, Mr. Ahmadinejad issued an official statement in this regard addressing the government of Russia and the Russian people, the Ukrainian people, and Mr. Zelensky.

Ahmadinejad’s views obtained some currency in some circles but are regarded as fringe by a great majority of the public here. I think it would be useful to translate at least parts of his statements in order to have a more well-rounded understanding of various perspectives inside Iran.

In a videotaped statement he released about the events (see here), he declared (I transcribe and translate):

“Without a doubt, the attack and aggression by Russia against Ukraine is a critical event and an introduction to many more critical events that follow. Here, for the nth time and very frankly, I must severely condemn the attack and aggression of Russia against Ukraine. Before, I spoke about the plot to change the political map of the world by [the US] America, Russia, and China. These three countries, in a coordinated fashion, have devised a plan to secure their power and control over the world once again. That is, with this enormous wave of humans, of human awakening that has begun, they have become frightened. They say, very soon, this wave would surpass the world. They sat and made a decision that one would take Ukraine, the other one would take Taiwan, and this one would come for Iran. That means, they would remove their gravest worries and, at the same time, they dominate.

Now, if, in our mind, we review the world, if this happens, then there is no place for anyone to say anything. Today, and fortunately, the epic presence and the heroic resistance by the Ukrainian people have introduced serious obstacles in execution and completion of that plot. They hit a bump.”

I do not intent to translate the entire 13-minute statement. In the last couple of minutes of his script-reading speech, he finishes with the following pronouncements:

The Iranian nation holds in high esteem their [the Ukrainian people’s] participation and epic resistance and prays for their victory against the aggressors. The Iranian nation asks God to prevent the expansionist gluts from continuing and to end the war, and to make possible the sweet flow of life among all people, including two great people of Ukraine and Russia. At the end, once again, I hold in high regard the resistance of the nation of Ukraine, President Zelensky, and other officials in Ukraine. And I send to them the friendship and prayer of the Iranian nation.

I take refuge in God when He turns us into a lesson for others! Firstly, I wonder if Mr. Ahmadinejad realizes that he is reading an exact script written by major architects of the crises in Ukraine. Secondly, I am not too sure how many times he must be reminded that he is no longer the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and he is not authorized to speak on behalf of this nation. Thirdly, his statement reflects an array of uninformed, non-critical, and non-strategic thinking in a matter that is rather convoluted, complex, and rather nuanced. It is unfair and unjust in what it deliberately omits.

In the entire 13-minute video statement, there is not a single reference to the events of the past few years in Ukraine (including 30 plus US-financed and operated biological weapons labs about which he wrote an official complaint to the UN and to which I referred in one of the essays I wrote last year about COVID in the Islamic Republic of Iran (See here). Neither is there any mention of the role the US-West, Inc. has played in destabilizing that country and using it as a lever against Russia and a launching pad for all sorts of mischief in the region.

I must open a parenthesis here and add that I do not find Ahmadinejad’s stance all that surprising. When Daesh/ISIS was advancing in Syria and was busy chopping heads right, left, and center, he came forcefully against Bashar Asad and the Syrian government. He fiercely objected to Iran’s involvement and help in that country and issued statements in that regard. I referenced some of these when discussing his disqualification in the Iranian presidential election in another essay published last year (See here). Had he been in charge of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s overall foreign policy, we have little doubt would have now been busy fighting ISIS or some other variants inside our own cities and neighborhoods. Close parenthesis. We thank God Almighty for His Blessings in the form of a wise Leader.

As I mentioned, the majority of the public in Iran do not share Ahmadinejad’s particular view. There are some though who would like him to join his brother in armchair, Mr. President Zelensky, in his fight in Ukraine. Perhaps after they have defeated Russia, they could have a live show discussing the following two videos on Ukrainian national television: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Homosexuality versus Freedom Gay Fetish Dance with President Zelensky. Who knows, perhaps he could lead him to the Straight Path.

Again, I take refuge in God when He leaves us (due to our own arrogance and delusions of grandeur) to our own devices even for a nanosecond.

The Boundaries of Iran-Russia Relationship and Partnership

Successful collaboration and strategic coordination of operations between Iran and Russia in the battlefields of Syria, geopolitical and economic shifts in Asia and Eurasia, and perhaps a sense of comradery primarily due to the fact that both countries have been fierce targets for “crippling” sanctions by the US/West Inc. have all made the relationship between Iran and Russia to a phenomenon that is rather interesting and noteworthy. I discussed some contemporary and historical aspects of this relationship in another essay published last year (See here).

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s general framework for any foreign relation and partnership is firmly rooted in the jealously guarded Revolutionary motto of “Neither East, Nor West”, freedom, and full independence from any foreign pressure and interference. Its relationship with Russia, too, must be viewed, first and foremost, within that framework. So, what does this tell us about Iran’s policy and approach towards these particular crises?

Let us be rather frank and transparent and deal with the obvious first. Russian military’s advancement into Ukraine has suddenly resulted in some favorable outcomes for Iran and for some other countries friendly to Iran in the region. It has sent panic, disillusion about the US power, and insecurity to some other countries not so friendly to Iran.

Higher oil prices, halt in all sorts of restrictions on oil export, higher enthusiasm on the part of the US and Europe to reach an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over JCPOA, which has been in coma and on life support for a while now, sudden visits by keepers of oil wells with flag masquerading as Arab nations to bury the hatchet and make nice with Iran have also been among the consequences.

Missile attacks by Yemen on Saudi Oil facilities had never produced any sort of meaningful change in the attitude of the aggressors (US-Saudi-Brits) before. With Russia’s retaliatory work and countermeasures, the last couple of missile attacks by Yemen, however, seem to have become highly effective since they occurred at the right time. Oh, our cup runneth over!

Why? Three important reasons: 1) The US-West Inc. cannot fight effectively in more than one meaningful front at a time; 2) The US and Western nations cannot weather the storms of high energy and oil-based products (which includes almost everything). So, it is attempting to temporarily put Iran and others in our region on the back burner; and 3) There are always always always limits to how much media magic shows can achieve. The US-West Inc. will realize this, as always, soon enough.

Regardless of Russia’s mode of dealing with Ukraine problem and current needs for the US-West, Inc. to keep oil prices low, I can state for a fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran will, God Willing, never sacrifice its long-term goals for any short-term superficial gains.

Iran’s two main priorities were and are the eviction of all US forces from our region in retaliation for the martyrdom of our great Sardar, Shahid Soleimani, and dismantling of the illegitimate Zionist regime to return the land of Palestine to its rightful owners, the true Palestinians (Muslim, Christians, Jews, Arabs, and non-Arabs). Her collaboration or deal with Russia or any other nation or group of nations with plus or minus designations in ANY activity, exchange, and operation, be they short-, medium-, or long-term, will be directly related to how such collaborations and activities bring her a step closer to achieving the Islamic Republic of Iran’s own main goals and priorities.

In this context, it is not too difficult to see how Russia’s potential concerns with the countries and regions to her south happen to be largely alleviated simply due to the fact that they may coincide with Iran’s independent priorities and activities, be they military, economic, and political, and her vigilance in achieving her stated goals.

When the United States, Inc. attacked Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power, most notable think tanks in the West claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged the biggest winner. With Russia attacking Ukraine, who knows what other oppressed nations could emerge as the winners. God works in mysterious ways.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis in a Larger Inter-continental Context

In an essay titled Afghanistan, Taliban, the Resistance, and the Region (see Here), I alluded to a method used by the US-West, Inc. on Iran, Russia, and China to dismantle stability and positive developments in our region. I wrote:

“Afghanistan is a major keystone species in this ecosystem. Disintegration of Afghanistan means the new “Silk Road” will first turn into a “Rough Road” and then into an “Abandoned Road” and ultimately destroys the concord among the main players in Asia. In addition, it can serve as a tool for the application of internal-external clamp-style customized and separate pressures on Iran, Russia, China, and other countries in the region.”

Clamp-style pressures include inciting unrest, instability and sedition within each country and using belligerent neighbors from without each country. For the Islamic Republic of Iran they did/do everything they can to drag Iran’s military into Afghanistan. There is not a day that goes by and we do not hear about the massacre of Shia in this mosque and that school, in this gathering and that outing. Then, there is the Republic of Azerbaijan to the north and the Iraqi Kurdistan to the west, the oil wells with flags to the south that have each turned themselves into US-West-Zionist regime’s concubines in some form or shape. Certainly, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not take any of these lying down but we have military operations that are loud and we have calculated military operations that are silent but deadly enough.

To pressure Russia, there is Ukraine + a handful of other has-been nations proudly flying rainbow flags pretending they count for anything. And finally for China there is Tao (Taiwan + AUKUS + Occupied territories of Japan and South Korea).

The goal is rather simple, as Connable & McNerney opined in their commentary titled “The Will to Fight and the Fate of Nations,”:

 “Overmatching Russian mass and equipment is one part of a more complex and important pathway to overmatching the Russians. It is worth repeating that Russians — and Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean soldiers, sailors, airmen, and political leaders — can be broken. The U.S. military simply does not devote enough attention to understanding how to break them, or at least erode their resolve, in order to make war less likely and to make our success in war more likely and less costly.”[1]

To have a good grasp of where the authors are coming from, I highly recommend two other documents published by RAND Corporation titled: “Will to Fight: Analyzing, Modeling, and Simulating the Will to Fight of Military Units,”[2] and “National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don’t,”[3] from which the authors’ commentary obtains its essence.

Russia’s military advancement into Ukraine seems to have provided the US-West Inc. with a field experiment necessary to assess their “Will to Fight Model” answering the following question: “What are the political, economic, and military variables that may strengthen or weaken national will to fight, and which are most important?” Or, put more succinctly and eloquently, they wish to confirm or refute their null hypothesis of “No relationship between ‘will to fight’ (at individual, unit, national, and leadership levels) and winning the game of chicken.”

Allow me just post an image of the WTF Model[4] I have referenced for those who may not search and study the documents:

I am quite curious to see how this conceptual model, its multiple constructs, and included variables fair in this test. However, given what we have been observing in the media, I very much like to suggest the following changes to the model (let’s suppose it is an iterative model) for the sake of accuracy and add another layer that is often omitted by gods of war:

Now, I think that looks much better and more accurate. With the new model, let’s see how things turn out. Meanwhile, War on the Rocks seems to believe “Ukraine shows how Taiwan needs more air defense,”[5] based on preliminary reports of fabricated data collected from the imagined field and reported through the beacon of honesty and accuracy, Tweeter. I do not know why but the article just flashed Miller’s Death of a Salesman play before my eyes. والسلام.

Refrences

[1] War on the Rocks, B. Cannable & M. McNerney (2018). “The will to fight and the fate of nations,” Accessed online at: https://warontherocks.com/2018/12/the-will-to-fight-and-the-fate-of-nations/

[2] RAND Arroyo Center (2019). “Will to Fight: Analyzing, Modeling, and Simulating the Will to Fight of Military Units,” by B. Connable, M.J. McNerney, et al., RR2341-A, 2019. Accessed online at: www.rand.org/t/RR2341.

[3] RAND Corporation (2019). “National Will to Fight: Why Some States Keep Fighting and Others Don’t,” by M. J. McNerney, Ben Connable, et al., RR-2477-A, 2019. Accessed online at: www.rand.org/t/RR2477.

[4] RAND Corporation Brief,(2019). “Will to Fight: Returning Human Fundamentals of War.” Accessed online at: www.rand.org/t/RB10040.

[5] War on the Rocks. “Ukraine Shows Why Taiwan Needs More Air Defense,” by H. Halem and E. Freymann, published on April 7, 2022. Accessed online at: https://warontherocks.com/2022/04/ukraine-shows-why-taiwan-needs-more-air-defense/

Is Europe Really More Civilized? Ukraine Conflict a Platform for Racism and Rewriting History

April 4, 2022

CBS correspondent Charlie D’Agata has prompted backlash after comparing violence in Afghanistan to the invasion of “relatively civilized” Ukraine. (Photo: video grab)

By Ramzy Baroud

When a gruesome six-minute video of Ukrainian soldiers shooting and torturing handcuffed and tied up Russian soldiers circulated online, outraged people on social media and elsewhere compared this barbaric behavior to that of Daesh.

In a rare admission of moral responsibility, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, quickly reminded Ukrainian fighters of their responsibility under international law. “I would like to remind all our military, civilian and defense forces, once again, that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” he said, asserting that “We are a European army”, as if the latter is synonymous with civilized behavior.

Even that supposed claim of responsibility conveyed subtle racism, as if to suggest that non-westerners, non-Europeans, may carry out such grisly and cowardly violence, but certainly not the more rational, humane and intellectually superior Europeans.

The comment, though less obvious, reminds one of the racist remarks by CBS’ foreign correspondent, Charlie D’Agata, on February 26, when he shamelessly compared Middle Eastern cities with the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, stating that “Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, (…) this is a relatively civilized, relatively European city”.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been a stage of racist comments and behavior, some explicit and obvious, others implicit and indirect. Far from being implicit, however, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, did not mince words when, last February, he addressed the issue of Ukrainian refugees. Europe can benefit from Ukrainian refugees, he said, because “these people are Europeans. (…) These people are intelligent, they are educated people. This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

One of many other telling episodes that highlight western racism, but also continued denial of its grim reality, was an interview conducted by the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion Commander, Dmytro Kuharchuck. The latter’s militia is known for its far-right politics, outright racism and horrific acts of violence. Yet, the newspaper described Kuharchuck as “the kind of fighter you don’t expect. He reads Kant and he doesn’t only use his bazooka.”If this is not the very definition of denial, what is?

That said, our proud European friends must be careful before supplanting the word ‘European’ with ‘civilization’ and respect for human rights. They ought not to forget their past or rewrite their history because, after all, racially-based slavery is a European and western brand. The slave trade, as a result of which millions of slaves were shipped from Africa during the course of four centuries, was very much European. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, 1.8 million people “died on the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade”. Other estimations put the number much higher.

Colonialism is another European quality. Starting in the 15th century, and lasting for centuries afterward, colonialism ravaged the entire Global South. Unlike the slave trade, colonialism enslaved entirepeoples and divided whole continents, like Africa, among European spheres of influence.

The nation of Congo was literally owned by one person, Belgian King Leopold II. India was effectively controlled and colonized by the British East India Company and, later, by the British government. The fate of South America was largely determined by the US-imposed Monroe Doctrines of 1823. For nearly 200 years, this continent has paid – and continues to pay – an extremely heavy price of US colonialism and neocolonialism. No numbers or figures can possibly express the destruction and death toll inflicted by Western-European colonialism on the rest of the world, simply because the victims are still being counted. But for the sake of illustration, according to American historian, Adam Hochschild, ten million people have died in Congo alone from 1885 to 1908.

And how can we forget that World War I and II are also entirely European, leaving behind around 40 million and 75 million dead, respectively. (Other estimations are significantly higher). The gruesomeness of these European wars can only be compared to the atrocities committed, also by Europeans, throughout the South, for hundreds of years prior.

Mere months after The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949, the eager western partners were quick to flex their muscles in Korea in 1950, instigating a war that lasted for three years, resulting in the death of nearly 5 million people. The Korean war, like many other NATO-instigated conflicts, remains an unhealed wound to this day.

The list goes on and on, from the disgraceful Opium Wars on China, starting in 1839, to the nuclear bombings of Japan in 1945, to the destruction of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, in 1954, 1959 and 1970 respectively, to the political meddling, military interventions and regime change in numerous countries around the world. They are all the work of the West, of the US and its ever-willing ‘European partners’, all done in the name of spreading democracy, freedom and human rights.

If it were not for the Europeans, Palestine would have gained its independence decades ago, and its people, this writer included, would have not been made refugees, suffering under the yoke of Zionist Israel. If it were not for the US and the Europeans, Iraq would have remained a sovereign country and millions of lives would have been spared in one of the world’s oldest civilizations; and Afghanistan would have not endured this untold hardship. Even when the US and its European friends finally relented and left Afghanistan last year, they continue to hold the country hostage, by blocking the release of its funds, leading to actual starvation among the people of that war-torn country.

So before bragging about the virtues of Europe, and the demeaning of everyone else, the likes of Arestovych, D’Agata, and Petkov should take a look at themselves in the mirror and reconsider their unsubstantiated ethnocentric view of the world and of history. In fact, if anyone deserves bragging rights it is those colonized nations that resisted colonialism, the slaves that fought for their freedom, and the oppressed nations that resisted their European oppressors, despite the pain and suffering that such struggles entailed.

Sadly, for Europe, however, instead of using the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to reflect on the future of the European project, whatever that is, it is being used as an opportunity to score cheap points against the very victims of Europe everywhere. Once more, valuable lessons remain unlearned.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Mercenaries in Yemen: Nationalities, numbers & horrors

March 29 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Mona Issa 

American. French. Sudanese. German. Colombian. Yemeni. Eritrean. You name it.

Mercenaries in Yemen are a significant factor in what prolonged the war.

It’s the twenty-first century. Corporates have armies. With as little as a few ID papers and almost no governmental regulation, you can take up state-of-the-art arms and be sent to a war that’s not your war, not your battle, and kill people whose names you can barely pronounce. The trade offer? You receive some $10,000 a week. That’s $40,000 a month. That’s more than 30x the American minimum wage for some honest work. You need not read some Veronica Roth, because we’re already living in a dystopian novel. 

Let’s address the word “mercenaries.” In the very far away bureaucratic world of secret operations where sharp terms are smoothed down (recalling comedian George Carlin’s usage of post-traumatic stress disorder as a euphemism for shell-shock!), “mercenaries” is a taboo word. Instead, they’re called special forces to drive people away from the clandestine, underground nature of foreign soldier recruitment. An ancient ‘job’ dormant since the Middle Ages, the United States revived the mercenary industry with Bush’s War on Terror, and continued the venture into the UAE and Saudi-led war on Yemen, and now in Ukraine

Putting Saudi Arabia aside for now – UAE is the perfect orbit state for Washington. With a population of only 1 million with a total of 9 million expatriates, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan does not want to risk it all for a wealthy population that can barely manage a home without housemaids – the UAE is largely operated by foreigners rather than locals. So how was the UAE going to fight this war? An army operated by foreigners – namely US lieutenants and colonels and allies.

But why mercenaries? One reason is numbers. There was no way MBZ was going to send soldiers from his local population of 1 million to war. A foreign population, however, is cost-effective, could be bought in abundance, and will guarantee to prolong the war – especially if major terrorists like ISIS are on the ground.

Another reason is accountability. Because mercenaries operate outside the scope of direct military command – or, at least that’s what we know – Abu Dhabi benefits from zero accountability. Mercenaries can kill, maim and commit other war crimes with no investigation from a legitimate governmental body. They’re bought and sold like a commodity, where corporates, on the long run, can transform into superpowers like states in the new world.

A third reason would be, as an ex-Navy SEAL – Erik Prince – once said: Muslim soldiers could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims. Sending Muslim soldiers, Emirati or Saudi, to kill Yemenis will bear a conflict of interest. 

Read more: 7 years of aggression on Yemen, victims surpass 46,000

The Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees in Yemen can testify to witnessing American, Australian, Sudanese, Colombian, Eritrean, and even Yemeni mercenaries, working for Gulf and US interests in Yemen. Some were recruited out of ignorance and poverty, others were recruited out of coercion and deception, and many bear arms for major cash.

Kingfish

Erik Prince is a former US Navy SEAL who was behind the revival of the private security industry. 

He also calls himself ‘Kingfish.’ 

Notoriously known for Blackwater and his involvement in the Iraq War, he established another private military company called Reflex Responses – or R2 – after he sold Blackwater to investors as an escape from controversy. The UAE secretly hired both companies, Blackwater and R2, to go to Yemen. 

See more: Blackwater founder to charge $6,500 per seat on Afghanistan evacuation plane

Blackwater, which has massacred scores of Iraqis and is despised in Iraq more than the US soldiers themselves, has taken pride in employing Colombians and other Latin American military personnel, from soldiers to commanders. 

But, why did MBZ’s private army, a project originally launched by Blackwater, consist mostly of Colombians? 

As Professor of Strategy at the National Defense University Sean McFate put it, think of the private military industry as the t-shirt industry. In America, it costs 20$ to make, but in Bangladesh, it costs 1$ to make.

Colombian mercenaries are not only cheap, but they are also trained by Washington and are more violent and rigorous than others given they are hardened by guerrilla warfare in Latin America. 

The UAE hired 1,800 Colombians on the ground and tripled and quadrupled their salaries. 

“They’re pretty tough warriors in my experience,” McFate said. “They obey chain of command, and they have American training.

“When you take them out of Latin America and put them in the Middle East, they have no sort of political affiliation to any Middle Eastern action or country, so they’re just truly loyal to their paymaster. So they got a lot of Latin American ex-special soldiers in Abu Dhabi. Then, as the Emirates went to war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, that’s when the Emirates deployed these mercenaries into Yemen to kill Houthis. And they did. And now we have mercenary warfare in Yemen almost like it’s the Middle Ages again.”

Under the guise of construction workers, Colombian mercenaries became part of an American mercenary army, led by Erik Prince, who scored a $529 million budget from the UAE to create a monster. 

“That is to me a pretty crazy part of the evolution of the mercenary business model that was taken from Erik Prince developing it in the US then exporting it to Abu Dhabi – then, all of the sudden, there are Colombians dying in Yemen. It’s hard to track,” said McFate. 

Spear: A Delaware-based firm with an Israeli touch

“Give me your best man and I’ll beat him. Anyone,” said Abraham Golan, the Israeli-Hungarian owner of Spear Operations Group that has also operated in Yemen to commit targeted assassinations. 

Golan was able to convince, over spaghetti and maybe some wine, the security advisor to MBZ that hiring his security company would be more effective than his own army – and, it worked. 

On December 29, 2015, a group of mercenaries from the Delaware-based military firm planted a bomb in the Islah political party headquarters in Aden, Yemen. Escorted by UAE military vehicles front and back, one of Golan’s mercenaries, Isaac Gilmore (also an ex-Navy SEAL and Delta Force veteran), jumps from the vehicle, fires bullets at civilians around the block, as his comrade rushes to plant the explosive device just under the building. With an Emirati soldier behind the wheel, the SUV zooms off as soon as the deed is done. 

Assassination targets handed out to Spears Group Operations’ mercenaries who were sent to operate in Yemen. (BuzzFeed News)

The group that Golan and Gilmore pieced together was a 12-man army, mostly consisting of former French legion officers and ex-US soldiers. The French officers were paid half of what Golan intended to pay – around $10,000 a month – which was even less than half of their American counterparts, a testimony to the commodification of military personnel and ‘market’ value. 

The assassination plot to kill Anssaf Ali Mayo, a leader of the conservative Islah party in Yemen, was plotted out over spaghetti at a UAE military base with MBZ’s security advisor and ex-Fatah member, Mohammed Dahlan. 

Dahlan fell from grace when he was accused of collaborating with the CIA and “Israel” – and that’s exactly what he did as he sat with Gilmore and Golan. The MBZ security advisor has his hands in a lot of political mess.

Read more: “Israel’s” piggyback on the Saudi-Emirati war on Yemen

A report by Al-Khaleej Online in 2018 exposes Dahlan’s complicity in holding secret training camps in occupied Palestine. 

The secret training camps, which held hundreds of Nepalese and Colombian mercenaries, were situated in the Naqab desert in occupied Palestine, where the geological nature of the region looks synonymous with that of Yemen.

Dahlan personally supervised the training and made regular visits and check-ups.

“Mohammed Dahlan visited these camps on more than one occasion to be informed,” sources revealed to Al-Khaleej Online. Dahlan was filled in on the progress of the preparations, in addition to the mercenaries’ training.

And by the way, the Aden operation failed. 

The price of Washington lip service? The blood of young Sudanese men 

There were two ways through which young Sudanese – even minors under 18 – got recruited to Yemen. By force and deception, and by Omar Al Bashir’s thirst for power. 

Estimates and reports suggest that up to 15,000 Sudanese mercenaries were fighting in Yemen. 

By force and deception: Many Sudanese became victims of forced conscription into becoming mercenaries for a private US firm, Black Shield Security Services. 

Responding to online job posts as “security guards,” the UAE-based company would trick the job applicants into signing the contract, only to the surprise of the young men that, all of the sudden, they’re redirected to a military training camp in the UAE to be sent off to either Libya or Yemen. They were offered ‘large’ sums of money, more than they can ever get in an average job in their country which has been experiencing an ongoing political crisis. 

The contracts signed by young Sudanese men, which had an e-Visa to enter the UAE from Khartoum attached to it, had “profession: Security Guard” written on them. 

Up to 15,000 Sudanese mercenaries were reportedly deployed in Yemen, who, according to the current Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, were reduced to 5,000. Many of them were children.

Official recruitment is also the culprit. Omar Al Bashir, Sudan’s old ruler, whose throne was strangled by sanctions and international pressures, sold his pro-Iran alliance for financial help from the Gulf – which meant sending thousands of Sudanese men and children to kill in Yemen. 

To go through with the recruitment, a private company – Rapid Support Forces – or the Janjaweed, a die-hard Bashir-backing militia, scored major bags with Saudi and Emirati officials. Both groups face allegations of systematic rape, indiscriminate murder and other war crimes from the Darfur war in which 300,000 people were killed. 

Arriving by the thousands from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese mercenaries were handed US-made weapons and uniforms. Then, they were taken to Al-Hudaydah, Taiz and Aden. Paid in Saudi riyals, 14-year-old amateurs were paid some $480 a month, while experienced officers from the Janjaweed were paid $530 a month – both cheaper than any other mercenary, including Colombians.  

The RSF profited $350 million from its role in Yemen. 

Ahmed, who was 25-years-old at the time when he was sent to Al-Hudaydah, commented on this experience: “The Saudis would give us a phone call and then pull back.

“They treat the Sudanese like their firewood,” he told the New York Times.

Other than Sudan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have also been paying Eritrea to provide troops and assistance. In 2015, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea revealed that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi signed a deal with Eritrea which allowed the coalition to use Eritrean military bases to attack Yemen. Chad isn’t left from the equation either: RSF mercenaries include hundreds of Chadian men, whose alignment lies with Bashir, hence maintaining an interest to keep him in power. 

There are also some 1,000 Pakistani mercenaries fighting in Yemen, despite a majority no-vote in Islamabad’s parliament. 

Yemenis fighting Yemenis 

As poverty, war and uncertainty brought millions of Yemenis to prolonged angst, many contemplated turning their back on their own kind. 

For around $1,200 a month, Yemenis were compelled to join the Al-Fateh brigade, a mercenary-militia based in Najran, Saudi Arabia, which was formed in 2016. The brigade is an all-Yemeni mercenary hub.

The Saudis recruited over 1,000 mercenaries to the Saudi-Yemen border to defend it.

In a report by the Middle East Eye, one mercenary that goes by the name Anees narrates that some thousand Yemenis were forced to advance towards Jabara valley in Saada province, Yemen, knowing that the valley is under control of the Yemeni armed forces, and that they were positioned just behind them in Najran. 

The leaders of Al-Fateh forced the mercenaries to move forward, assuring that Salafi fighters would follow and protect them.

He narrates, “Suddenly, the Houthis started to attack us from the mountains. We tried to withdraw but there were no Salafi fighters backing us up and only the Houthis besieging us from all directions.”

The Yemenis were besieged for four days, abandoned by both the Saudis and the Salafis. 

“We were about to die from hunger. We had run out of food. The Saudis and the Salafis did not break the siege on us, so we fought and pushed towards Najran and only few were escaped including me,” Anees said.

Bundeswehr

Last year, former German soldiers and police officers lodged in an offering to Saudi Arabia to form a group of mercenaries – or, according to German prosecutors, a terrorist organisation – to be sent to Yemen.

Two Bundeswehr soldiers were charged with terrorism by state prosecutors for conspiring to recruit 150 men and former soldiers from the Bundeswehr armed forces. The mercenaries were to be paid $46,400 a month to conduct operations in the Arabian peninsula.

The goal of the mercenary force to be formed was to capture land held by the Yemeni Armed Forces – however, it does not stop there. The mercenary force was also to be sent to other protracted conflicts around the world, with the two convicted terrorists in full conscious awareness that the fighters will have to commit murder and kill civilians to achieve strategic goals. 

The future

If the Saudi and Emirati armies were to fight and bleed, the war would not have lasted long with a population of 30 million willing to resist barefoot. Mercenaries played a significant role in the war on Yemen by sustaining the violence on the ground, continuously causing grief. 

Many experts would say that the future of warfare is private. The effectiveness of state armies is diminishing, while private firms have proven to get more tasks done – however bloody and sinister. 

As corporations overshadow governmental authority, warlords and investors will be more keen on keeping ‘security firms’ going in so-called “conflict zones in the Middle East,” where the flow of weapons and the funding for violence come from Western neoliberal democracies. 

While the use of mercenaries was dishonorable in recent times, the West has been promoting its use. As the foreign fighters are used to carry out targeted assassinations and other forms of murder, states and governmental bodies take in less and less responsibility and accountability for the humanitarian disaster that comes with the recruitment. 

A UN Mercenary Convention in 2001 forbids the recruitment of mercenaries in conflict: Only 36 countries supported the convention. Some of the countries that did not ratify it are the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, India, Japan and Russia. 

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