‘Anti-terror fight to continue until terrorists routed’

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) and his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi (C) and General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, attend a joint press conference in Damascus, Syria, on March 18, 2019. (Photo by SANA)
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) and his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi (C) and General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, attend a joint press conference in Damascus, Syria, on March 18, 2019. (Photo by SANA)

Iran’s top military commander has warned about efforts by stooges of the global arrogance to fuel insecurity in the Middle East, stressing that the fight against terrorists will continue until their full elimination.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference at the end of a tripartite meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi and Syrian Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub in Damascus on Monday, during which the three countries exchanged views on ways to combat terrorism.

Iran’s military chief said at the present time, the main goal is to preserve national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, adding, “Measures taken by the three countries will continue until terrorists are fully defeated.”

Baqeri added that withdrawal of foreign forces that are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government is also top on the agenda of the three states.

Commenting on the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria, Baqeri said terrorists active in those countries posed a threat to Iran’s security, adding that the Islamic Republic dispatched its military advisors to the two Arab countries at their request.

Baqeri emphasized that no foreign armed forces should be deployed to any country in the region without its legal permission, adding that Iran will continue its fight against terrorists in Syria as long as the legal Syrian government demands it.

Speaking upon his arrival in the Syrian capital on Sunday, the top Iranian military commander said foreign forces who are illegally present in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib and east of the Euphrates, should leave these areas at the earliest.

PressTV-Illegal foreign forces must leave Syria: Baqeri

“[Those foreign] forces who are present in Syria without any authorization from the country’s government must leave the Syrian soil as soon as possible,” Baqeri said.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria and Iraq at the request of their governments, enabling their armies to speed up their gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

The Syrian defense minister, for his part, said at the presser that Syria would gain full control of the country.

Ayyoub said the Syrian government will not allow anyone to have control over even an inch of the country’s soil, adding that this is what President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly emphasized.

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President Al-Assad: Syrian-Russian High-Level Coordination Enhanced Syria’s Steadfastness in Confrontation of Terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST)– President Bashar Al-Assad has stressed that the Syrian-Russian joint action and high-level coordination in all domains, mainly militarily and politically, have been among the key factors that enhanced Syria’s steadfastness in the face of terrorism and that contributed to achieving successive victories against Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra terror organizations and other terrorist groups.

President Al-Assad was speaking during his meeting on Tuesday with Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who affirmed his country’s determination to continue the fight against terrorism alongside the Syrian Arab Army in order to complete the liberation of the Syrian territories from terrorism and to maintain Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Talks dealt with the situation in Idleb and East of the Euphrates. The two sides affirmed the need to continue joint action to reach suitable solutions that restore security and stability in these two areas. They also agreed on adopting all procedures necessary to prevent Syria’s enemies from achieving in Idleb and east of Euphrates what they failed to achieve over the past years of the war.

Some countries fight terrorism only in their officials’ statements

Some countries and forces fight terrorism only in the statements of their officials while they actually support it and keep protecting terrorists in some areas, said President Al-Assad, stressing that these policies have caused many civilian casualties and contributed to expanding terrorism to other areas.

The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, head of the National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Soussan, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and the Russian Ambassador in Damascus.

Hamda Mustafa

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Hyper-Hypocrisy of The West about ISIS

Hyper-Hypocrisy of The West about ISIS

ERIC ZUESSE | 19.03.2019 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

Hyper-Hypocrisy of The West about ISIS

During the period of 17 September to 11 December of 2016, the United States and its allies carried out a massive operation to move ISIS’s surviving jihadists who were in the oil-producing Iraqi region of Mosul, into the Syrian oil-producing region of Deir Ezzor and Palmyra. This was done so that those oil-stealing-and-selling jihadists in Iraq would now be stealing Syria’s oil and would thereby increase the likelihood of overthrowing Syria’s long-existing non-sectarian Government. The US and its allies would then replace that Government by one which would be controlled by the fundamentalist Sunni Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, the long-time leading oil-power, and which family are America’s main foreign ally. The Sauds are crucial to maintaining the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The US aristocracy rely upon them.

Now that ISIS is being defeated by Syria’s Government (and by its allies Russia and Iran) in Syria, the United States and its allies are trying to find other governments that will take them in as refugees. It’s part of a deal the US regime reached with ISIS.

The issue of what to do with the thousands of surviving but (temporarily) defeated ISIS members — and with their spouses and children — has raised hypocrisy to perhaps the highest level in all of history. Its background needs to be understood if one wants to understand the sources of that enormous hypocrisy. Here’s this background:

When Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, it greatly disturbed the US regime, which therefore started on 12 October 2015 to air-drop weapons into that area so as to help the jihadists to shoot down Russia’s jets, which were bombing ISIS. America’s Fox News Channel headlined “US military airdrops 50 tons of ammo for Syrian fighters, after training mission ends”. The US didn’t start bombing ISIS in Syria until 16 November 2015, and the US Government’s excuse for not having bombed them earlier was “This is our first strike against tanker trucks, and to minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike.” They pretended that it was done out of compassion — not in order to extend for as long as possible ISIS’s success in taking over territory in Syria.

And then on 26 February 2019, Syria’s government news-agency reported that the US had sent to the US Federal Reserve 40+ tons of gold that ISIS had accumulated from selling, on the international black markets, oil from Syria’s oil-producing region around Deir Ezzor — Syria’s oil stolen by ISIS and the proceeds now being stolen yet again by the US regime — and this gold now being sent to the US (On March 8th I reported the further background and context of that US theft from Syria.) The US regime had offered to ISIS-members who were in Syria’s oil-producing region a choice either to become captured and killed by Syria’s Government, or else for them to give to the US that gold, and the option which was selected by the jihadists was to give the gold to the US, which is therefore now trying to find other countries to send the jihadists to as ‘refugees’ (since Syria certainly doesn’t want them, and neither does the US regime). The US regime is honoring its commitments to those ‘former’ ISIS members and their families, to assist them to find countries which will accept those people as ‘refugees’. Sweden, being very liberal (meaning ideologically very confused), happens to be one of these countries, and is actually considering and debating whether to allow them in.

Zero Hedge is perhaps the keenest news-site for exposing The West’s rampant hypocrisies (and so all of The West’s propagandistic ’news’-sites hate it and call it ‘fake news’ even though it actually is more reliably accurate than the mainstream ones themselves are); and, on March 10th, it pointed out that Sweden was in a flurry over whether to accept, as refugees, ISIS jihadists who have escaped, and their spouses and children. Zero Hedge truthfully pointed out that,

Sweden’s new government, which was finally formed in January after months of delay, is introducing policies that will lead to more immigration into Sweden — despite the main governing party, the Social Democrats, having run for office on a promise to tighten immigration policies.
The right to family reunion for those people granted asylum in Sweden who do not have refugee status is being reintroduced — a measure that is estimated to bring at least 8,400 more immigrants to Sweden in the coming three years. According to the Minister of Migration, Morgan Johansson, this measure will “strengthen integration,” although he has not explained how.
“I think it is a very good humanitarian measure; 90 percent [of those expected to come] are women and children who have lived for a long time in refugee camps, [and] who can now be reunited with their father or husband in Sweden”, Johansson said.

This is supposed to be ‘democracy’?

However, that article, as noted at Zero Hedge, was written by Judith Bergman, of the Gatestone Institute. Sometimes, even such vicious propaganda-organizations, as that, produce authentic news, and here was such an instance. (It’s yet another reason why arguing ad-hominem, instead of strictly — that is, 100% — ad-rem, is essential to avoid, in order to determine truth and reject lies. That was a truthful article. Though Bergman wrote for a hate-mongering anti-Muslim site, the reporting in it was honest and factual. So, here’s some ad-hominem background to it, not as a part of the argument in this particular case — regarding Sweden’s debate over whether to accept former ISIS members as refugees — but instead as context explaining how this truth came to be published by the hate-mongering Gatestone:)

The Gatestone Institute is a rabidly pro-Israeli-Jews, and rabidly anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim operation, which was founded and is run by the heir and grand-daughter, Nina Rosenwald, of the biggest early (1895) investor in Sears Roebuck & Co., Julius Rosenwald. He died in 1932. His heir and son was Nina’s father, and in 1939 he“was one of three founding members of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA).[12] [Nina] Rosenwald’s mother, a professional violinist, was a refugee from both the Russian Revolution and Nazi Germany.[9].” Nina, being not very bright, was never able to rid herself of the prejudices her parents felt against Palestinians and generally against Muslims (since Israel’s main supremacism is against Muslims, because Israel’s ruling ethnicity, Jews, have been stealing land from Muslims). Nina identifies herself as “a human rights activist”. (As was said at the start here, this issue “has raised hypocrisy to perhaps the highest level in all of history.”) She had, in fact, hired John Bolton as Gatestone’s Chairman; and, for his service as that, during June 2017 to March 2018 (when he became hired as Trump’s National Security Advisor), Bolton received $310,000. So, Bill Berkowitz headlined on 27 September 2018 “Meet Nina Rosenwald, the Sears Heiress Seeding Islamophobia at Home and Abroad”, and he brought together and linked to the great reporting by Max Blumenthal and by Lee Fang, documenting the Gatestone Institute’s rabid global hate-mongering for Israel.

But, in this particular case (the article by Judith Bergman), there was no deceit, because nothing in her reporting violated Nina Rosenwald’s biggest hatred, hatred of Muslims — so, these truths were acceptable to Rosenwald. Bergman’s article happened to be truthful Israeli propaganda. (After all: some propaganda is truthful.)

The Israeli regime won’t have any credibility whatsoever unless it condemns Sweden’s compassion for jihadists and for the wives and children of jihadists. Israel’s Minister of Justice had endorsed exterminating all Palestinians, but that rationale — sheer bigotry — for opposing them, isn’t suitable for foreign consumption, and so it was almost immediately disappeared from its public posting (shown there at that link). If Israel can’t pretend to be against Muslims on account of jihadists, then Israel’s barbaric treatment of its Palestinians won’t make any sense at all to the many fools (mainly in America, Israel’s chief patron) who support Israel (such as the Rosenwalds do). The US regime hides the barbarous reality of Israel, but that reality isn’t blacked-out quite as much in the rest of the world; so, Israel can’t afford to be publicly silent regarding jihadists, even in cases where the US regime would prefer such silence. Obviously, the US regime wants Sweden to accept those ‘former’ ISIS members (because the US regime aims to conquer Russia and all nations — such as Syria — that are allied with Russia, and uses ISIS, Al Qaeda, and nazis, as “boots-on-the-ground” mercenaries, in order to do that), and so this ISIS-as-refugees issue is one on which the American regime and the Israeli regime happen to disagree.

Bergman closed her article by describing the Swedish Government’s efforts to be compassionate toward jihadists while the Swedish Government also provides an appearance of caring for the safety of non-jihadist (the vast majority of) Swedes:

On a positive note, however, at the end of February, the Swedish government presented plans to introduce legislation that would criminalize membership of a terrorist organization. This new law would enable the prosecuting of returning ISIS fighters who cannot be connected to a specific crime, but who were proven to have been part of a terrorist organization. Critics have pointed out that it has taken years for the government to take steps to criminalize membership of terror organizations.

Sweden is hypocritically ‘neutral’, but actually a vassal nation of the United States. Sweden is being pushed by its master, the US regime, to accept some of the people the US Government had been protecting in order for the US to become enabled to take over Syria and to deliver it to the US aristocracy’s chief ally the Sauds; and, so, the Swedish Government is now trying to square this circle, in order to satisfy everyone at least somewhat. This split loyalty (between the imperial master, and the domestic public) is what’s called ‘democracy’, nowadays. The master pulls one way, the public are confused or undecided, and the US regime’s other main Middle Eastern ally, Israel, is pulling in the exact opposite direction, on this particular matter. This is how international affairs actually are being decided. The various aristocracies come to an agreement on how to proceed. The respective publics are virtually ignored, except as fronts for their PR. That’s today’s international order, just as has been the case for thousands of years: it is agreements that are reached between aristocracies.

Back in September of 2018, the US regime was backed by the United Nations in opposing Russia’s and Syria’s plan simply to slaughter all of the tens of thousands of Al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists (and their families), whom the Syrian Government had exiled to Idlib, Syria’s most pro-jihadist province, and who were being collected there with the intention to destroy them all at the very end of the war — finally to finish them off there. Both Syria’s Government and Russia’s Government wanted simply to destroy them en-masse, at the war’s end. However, because of the success of that US-based (and also U.N.-backed) international propaganda campaign arguing that bombing them would be ‘inhumane’, those jihadists survive, and will probably also be moved to other nations. Sweden could become one such nation, if they decide to take in not only ‘former’ ISIS but ‘former’ Al Qaeda, as ’refugees’. The US has protected both of those groups, against Syria’s Government.

Hypocrisy exists when people don’t care enough about their values so as to think carefully through to decide what values — if any — they actually hold, and what their actual priorities are. Fools like that are the meat upon which their aristocrats constantly feast, producing, as the aristocracy’s excrements, bigots (such as jihadists, and such as the majority of Israelis — and such as people who accept those bigots). Without those fools, aristocrats would need to actually earn a living, instead of merely to live off the fat (the fools) of the land and thereby producing this waste-matter, bigots, who make things difficult for everybody else, including for any decent people who might happen to exist in the given receiving nation (such as in Sweden).

The origin of The West’s hypocrisies that claim to be supporting “human rights” and “democracy” around the world, while actually invading or overthrowing target-governments, go back at least as far as Cecil Rhodes in the late 1800s, and the rationale that’s given of it is entirely fraudulent. It is the difference between, on the one hand, an authentic revolution, which can sometimes produce a democracy, versus, on the other hand, a coup or else an invasion, neither of which can, nor is actually designed to, produce a democracy. But the PR has to say the reason for an invasion or coup or sanctions (such as against Venezuela or Iran or Syria or Libya or Iraq or Ukraine) is to promote ‘human rights’ or ‘democracy’ or ‘oppose corruption’ in the given target-country that’s to be, basically, destroyed. Suckers are necessary, in order for this fraud — the actual aristocratic control of international relations — to succeed. And that’s how the system works. It works by that combination, of liars and fools.

It Started in Daraa on March 17, 2011: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”?

It Started in Daraa on March 17, 2011: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”?By Prof Michel Chossudovsky,

Author’s note

The war on Syria started eight years ago in Daraa  on the 17th of March 2011.

The following article first published in May 2011 examines the inception of the jihadist terrorist insurgency.

It recounts the events of March 17-18, 2011 in Daraa, a small border town with Jordan. 

Media reports have finally acknowledged that the so-called “protest movement” in Syria was instigated by Washington. This was known and documented from the very inception of the Syrian crisis in March 2011.

It was not a protest movement, it was an armed insurgency integrated by US-Israeli and allied supported “jihadist” death squads? 

From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained and equipped by NATO and Turkey’s High Command. According to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka, August14, 2011): 

NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent. … NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011) 

This initiative, which was also supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, involved a process of organized recruitment of thousands of jihadist “freedom fighters”, reminiscent of  the enlistment of  Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war: 

Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Ibid, emphasis added)

These mercenaries were subsequently integrated into US and allied sponsored terrorist organizations including Al Nusrah and ISIS. 

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 17-18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence.

Government sources pointed to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel).

In chorus, the Western media described the events in Daraa as a protest movement against Bashar Al Assad.

In a bitter irony, the deaths of policemen were higher than those of “demonstrators”.

In Daraa, roof top snipers were targeting both police and demonstrators.

Reading between the lines of Israeli and Lebanese news reports (which acknowledge the police deaths) a clearer picture of what happened in Daraa on March 17-18 had emerged. The Israel National News Report (which can not be accused of being biased in favor of Bashar al Assad) confirmed that:

“Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday. … and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added)

The Lebanese news report also acknowledged the killings of seven policemen in Daraa.

[They were killed] “during clashes between the security forces and protesters… They got killed trying to drive away protesters during demonstration in Dara’a”

The Lebanese Ya Libnan report quoting Al Jazeera also acknowledged that protesters had “burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a” (emphasis added)

These news reports of the events in Daraa confirmed that from the very outset this was not a “peaceful protest” as claimed by the Western media.

Moreover, from an assessment of the initial casualty figures (Israel News), there were more policemen than “demonstrators” who were killed.

This is significant because it suggests that the police force may have initially been outnumbered by a well organized armed gang of professional killers.

What was clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson.

The title of the Israeli news report summarized what happened: Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protest

The US-NATO-Israel agenda consisted in supporting an Al Qaeda affiliated insurgency integrated by death squads and professional snipers. President Bashar al Assad is then to be blamed for killing his own people. 

Does it Sound familiar? 

The same “false flag” strategy of killing innocent civilians was used during the Ukraine Maidan protest movement.  On February 20th, 2014, professional snipers were shooting at both demonstrators and policemen with a view to accusing president Viktor Yanukovych of “mass murder.”

It was subsequently revealed that these snipers were controlled by the opponents of president Yanukovych, who are now part of the coalition government. 

The “humanitarian mandate” of the US and its allies is sustained by diabolical “false flag” attacks which consist in killing civilians with a view to breaking the legitimacy of governments which refuse to abide by the diktats of Washington and its allies.

Michel Chossudovsky, March 17, 2019


SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 3, 2011

There is evidence of gross media manipulation and falsification from the outset of the protest movement in southern Syria on March 17th [2011].

The Western media has presented the events in Syria as part of the broader Arab pro-democracy protest movement, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia, to Egypt, and from Libya to Syria.

Media coverage has focussed on the Syrian police and armed forces, which are accused of indiscriminately shooting and killing unarmed “pro-democracy” demonstrators. While these police shootings did indeed occur, what the media failed to mention is that among the demonstrators there were armed gunmen as well as snipers who were shooting at both the security forces and the protesters.

The death figures presented in the reports are often unsubstantiated. Many of the reports are “according to witnesses”. The images and video footages aired on Al Jazeera and CNN do not always correspond to the events which are being covered by the news reports.

Alawite Map

There is certainly cause for social unrest and mass protest in Syria: unemployment has increased in recent year, social conditions have deteriorated, particularly since the adoption in 2006 of sweeping economic reforms under IMF guidance. The IMF’s “economic medicine” includes austerity measures, a freeze on wages, the deregulation of the financial system, trade reform and privatization.

(See IMF  Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation Mission’s Concluding Statement, http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2006/051406.htm, 2006)

While Syria is [2011] no “model society” with regard to civil rights and freedom of expression, it nonetheless constitutes the only (remaining) independent secular state in the Arab world. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is inherited from the dominant Baath party, which integrates Muslims, Christians and Druze.

Moreover, in contrast to Egypt and Tunisia, in Syria there is considerable popular support for President Bashar Al Assad. The large rally in Damascus on March 29, “with tens of thousands of supporters” (Reuters) of President Al Assad is barely mentioned. Yet in an unusual twist, the images and video footage of several pro-government events were used by the Western media to convince international public opinion that the President was being confronted by mass anti-government rallies.

Tens of thousands of Syrians gather for a pro-government rally at the central
bank square in Damascus March 29, 2011. (Reuters Photo)

Syrians display a giant national flag with a picture of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad during a
pro-government rally at the central bank square in Damascus March 29, 2011. (Reuters Photo)

The “Epicenter” of the Protest Movement. Daraa: A Small Border Town in southern Syria

What is the nature of the protest movement? From what sectors of Syrian society does it emanate? What triggered the violence?

What is the cause of the deaths?

The existence of an organized insurrection composed of armed gangs involved in acts of killing and arson has been dismissed by the Western media, despite evidence to the contrary.

The demonstrations  did not start in Damascus, the nation’s capital. At the outset, the protests were not integrated by a mass movement of citizens in Syria’s capital.

The demonstrations started in Daraa, a small border town of 75,000 inhabitants, on the Syrian Jordanian border, rather than in Damascus or Aleppo, where the mainstay of organized political opposition and social movements are located. (Daraa is a small border town comparable e.g. to Plattsburgh, NY on the US-Canadian border).

The Associated Press report (quoting unnamed “witnesses” and “activists”) describes the early protests in Daraa as follows:

The violence in Daraa, a city of about 300,000 near the border with Jordan, was fast becoming a major challenge for President Bashar Assad, …. Syrian police launched a relentless assault Wednesday on a neighborhood sheltering anti-government protesters [Daraa], fatally shooting at least 15 in an operation that began before dawn, witnesses said.

At least six were killed in the early morning attack on the al-Omari mosque in the southern agricultural city of Daraa, where protesters have taken to the streets in calls for reforms and political freedoms, witnesses said. An activist in contact with people in Daraa said police shot another three people protesting in its Roman-era city center after dusk. Six more bodies were found later in the day, the activist said.

As the casualties mounted, people from the nearby villages of Inkhil, Jasim, Khirbet Ghazaleh and al-Harrah tried to march on Daraa Wednesday night but security forces opened fire as they approached, the activist said. It was not immediately clear if there were more deaths or injuries. (AP, March 23, 2011, emphasis added)

The AP report inflates the numbers: Daraa is presented as a city of 300,000 when in fact its population is 75,000;  “protesters gathered by the thousands”, “casualties mounted”.

The report is silent on the death of policemen which in the West invariably makes the front page of the tabloids.

The deaths of the policemen are important in assessing what actually happened. When there are police casualties, this means that there is an exchange of gunfire between opposing sides, between policemen and “demonstrators”.

Who are these “demonstrators” including roof top snipers who were targeting the police.

Israeli and Lebanese news reports (which acknowledge the police deaths) provide a clearer picture of what happened in Daraa on March 17-18. The Israel National News Report (which cannot be accused of being biased in favor of Damascus) reviews these same events as follows:

Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday.

…. On Friday police opened fire on armed protesters killing four and injuring as many as 100 others. According to one witness, who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity, “They used live ammunition immediately — no tear gas or anything else.”

…. In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven police officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. (Gavriel Queenann, Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News, Arutz Sheva, March 21, 2011, emphasis added)

The Lebanese news report, quoting various sources, also acknowledges the killings of seven policemen in Daraa: They were killed  “during clashes between the security forces and protesters… They got killed trying to drive away protesters during demonstration in Dara’a” 

The Lebanese Ya Libnan report quoting Al Jazeera also acknowledged that protesters had “burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a”  (emphasis added)

These news reports of the events in Daraa confirm the following:

1. This was not a “peaceful protest” as claimed by the Western media. Several of the “demonstrators” had fire arms and were using them against the police:  “The police opened fire on armed protesters killing four”.

2. From the initial casualty figures (Israel News), there were more policemen than demonstrators who were killed:  7 policemen killed versus 4 demonstrators. This is significant because it suggests that the police force might have been initially outnumbered by a well organized armed gang. According to Syrian media sources, there were also snipers on rooftops which were shooting at both the police and the protesters.

What is clear from these initial reports is that many of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but terrorists involved in premeditated acts of killing and arson. The title of the Israeli news report summarizes what happened:  Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests.  The title suggests that the “demonstrators” rather than the police had the upper hand.

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving, in all likelihood, covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence. Government sources point to the role of radical Salafist groups (supported by Israel)

Other reports have pointed to the role of Saudi Arabia in financing the protest movement.

What has unfolded in Daraa in the weeks following the initial violent clashes on 17-18 March, is the confrontation between the police and the armed forces on the one hand and armed units of terrorists and snipers on the other which had infiltrated the protest movement.

Reports suggest that these terrorists are integrated by Islamists. There is no concrete evidence as to which Islamic organizations are behind the terrorists and the government has not released corroborating information as to who these groups are.

Both the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (whose leadership is in exile in the UK) and the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation), among others have paid lip service to the protest movement. Hizb ut Tahir (led in the 1980s by Syrian born Omar Bakri Muhammad) tends to “dominate the British Islamist scene” according to Foreign Affairs. Hizb ut Tahir is also considered to be of strategic importance to Britain’s Secret Service MI6. in the pursuit of Anglo-American interests in the Middle East and Central Asia. (Is Hizb-ut-Tahrir another project of British MI6? | State of Pakistan).

 

Syria is a secular Arab country, a society of religious tolerance, where Muslims and Christians have for several centuries lived in peace. Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Party of Liberation) is a radical political movement committed to the creation of an Islamic caliphate. In Syria, its avowed objective is to destabilize the secular state.

Since the Soviet-Afghan war, Western intelligence agencies as well as Israel’s Mossad have consistently used various Islamic terrorist organizations as “intelligence assets”. Both Washington and its indefectible British ally have provided covert support to “Islamic terrorists” in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Libya, etc. as a means to triggering ethnic strife, sectarian violence and political instability.

The staged protest movement in Syria is modelled on Libya. The insurrection in Eastern Libya is integrated by the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which is supported by MI6 and the CIA. The ultimate objective of the Syria protest movement, through media lies and fabrications, is to create divisions within Syrian society as well as justify an eventual “humanitarian intervention”.

Armed Insurrection in Syria

An armed insurrection integrated by Islamists and supported covertly by Western intelligence is central to an understanding of what is occurring on the ground.

The existence of an armed insurrection is not mentioned by the Western media. If it were to be acknowledged and analysed, our understanding of unfolding events would be entirely different.

What is mentioned profusely is that the armed forces and the police are involved in the indiscriminate killing of protesters.

The deployment of the armed forces including tanks in Daraa is directed against an organized armed insurrection, which has been active in the border city since March 17-18.

Casualties are being reported which also include the death of policemen and soldiers.

In a bitter irony, the Western media acknowledges the police/soldier deaths while denying the existence of an armed insurrection.

The key question is how does the media explain these deaths of soldiers and police?

Without evidence, the reports suggest authoritatively that the police is shooting at the soldiers and vice versa the soldiers are shooting on the police. In a April 29 Al Jazeera report, Daraa is described as “a city under siege”.

“Tanks and troops control all roads in and out. Inside the city, shops are shuttered and nobody dare walk the once bustling market streets, today transformed into the kill zone of rooftop snipers.

Unable to crush the people who first dared rise up against him – neither with the secret police,  paid thugs or the special forces of his brother’s military division – President Bashar al-Assad has sent thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Deraa for an operation the regime wants nobody in the world to see.

Though almost all communication channels with Deraa have been cut, including the Jordanian mobile service that reaches into the city from just across the border, Al Jazeera has gathered firsthand accounts of life inside the city from residents who just left or from eyewitnesses inside who were able to get outside the blackout area.

The picture that emerges is of a dark and deadly security arena, one driven by the actions of the secret police and their rooftop snipers, in which soldiers and protestors alike are being killed or wounded, in which cracks are emerging in the military itself, and in which is created the very chaos which the regime uses to justify its escalating crackdown. (Daraa, a City under Siege, IPS / Al Jazeera, April 29, 2011)

The Al Jazeera report borders on the absurd. Read carefully.

“Tanks and troops control all roads in and out”,  “thousands of Syrian soldiers and their heavy weaponry into Daraa”

This situation has prevailed for several weeks. This means that bona fide protesters who are not already inside Daraa cannot enter Daraa.

People who live in the city are in their homes: “nobody dares walk … the streets”. If nobody dares walk the streets where are the protesters?

Who is in the streets? According to Al Jazeera, the protesters are in the streets together with the soldiers, and both the protesters and the soldiers are being shot at by “plain clothes secret police”, by “paid thugs” and government sponsored snipers.

The impression conveyed in the report is that these casualties are attributed to infighting between the police and the military.

But the report also says that the soldiers (in the “thousands”) control all roads in and out of the city, but they are being shot upon by the plain clothed secret police.

The purpose of this web of media deceit, namely outright fabrications  –where soldiers are being killed by police and  “government snipers”– is to deny the existence of armed terrorist groups. The later are integrated by snipers and “plain clothed terrorists” who are shooting at the police, the Syrian armed forces and local residents.

These are not spontaneous acts of terror; they are carefully planned and coordinated attacks. In recent developments, according to a Xinhua report (April 30, 2011), armed “terrorist groups” “attacked the housing areas for servicemen” in Daraa province, “killing a sergeant and wounding two”.

While the government bears heavy responsibility for its mishandling of the military-police operation, including the deaths of civilians, the reports confirm that the armed terrorist groups had also opened fire on protesters and local residents. The casualties are then blamed on the armed forces and the police and the Bashar Al Assad government is portrayed by “the international community” as having ordered countless atrocities.

The fact of the matter is that foreign journalists are banned from reporting inside Syria, to the extent that much of the information including the number of casualties is obtained from the unverified accounts of “witnesses”.

It is in the interest of the US-NATO alliance to portray the events in Syria as a peaceful protest movement which is being brutally repressed by a “dictatorial regime”.

The Syrian government may be autocratic. It is certainly not a model of democracy but neither is the US administration, which is characterized by rampant corruption, the derogation of civil liberties under the Patriot legislation, the legalisation of torture, not to mention its “bloodless” “humanitarian wars”:

“The U.S. and its NATO allies have, in addition to U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO Active Endeavor military assets permanently deployed in the Mediterranean, warplanes, warships and submarines engaged in the assault against Libya that can be used against Syria at a moment’s notice.

On April 27 Russia and China evidently prevented the U.S. and its NATO allies from pushing through an equivalent of Resolution 1973 against Syria in the Security Council, with Russian deputy ambassador to the UN Alexander Pankin stating that the current situation in Syria “does not present a threat to international peace and security.” Syria is Russia’s last true partner in the Mediterranean and the Arab world and hosts one of only two Russian overseas naval bases, that at Tartus. (The other being in Ukraine’s Crimea.)” (Rick Rozoff,   Libyan Scenario For Syria: Towards A US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention” directed against Syria? Global Research, April 30, 2011)

The ultimate purpose is to trigger sectarian violence and political chaos within Syria by covertly supporting Islamic terrorist organizations.

What lies ahead?

The longer term US foreign policy perspective is “regime change” and the destabilization of Syria as an independent nation-state, through a covert process of “democratization” or through military means.

Syria is on the list of “rogue states”, which are targeted for a US military intervention. As confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark the “[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan” (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark).

The objective is to weaken the structures of the secular State while justifying an eventual  UN sponsored “humanitarian intervention”. The latter, in the first instance, could take the form of a reinforced embargo on the country (including sanctions) as well as the freezing of Syrian bank assets in overseas foreign financial institutions.

While a US-NATO military intervention in the immediate future seems highly unlikely, Syria is nonetheless on the Pentagon’s military roadmap, namely an eventual war on Syria has been contemplated both by Washington and Tel Aviv.

If it were to occur, at some future date, it would lead to escalation. Israel would inevitably be involved. The entire Middle East Central Asian region from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Chinese-Afghan border would flare up.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Editor of globalresearch.ca. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.  He spent a month in Syria in early 2011.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION $5 MILLION FOR ‘HEROIC’ WHITE HELMETS IN SYRIA

South Front

16.03.2019

Trump Administration $5 Million For 'Heroic' White Helmets In Syria

Actions of the administration of US President Donald Trump in Syria look more and more similar to those conducted by the Obama administration.

On March 14, State Department announced that the US intends to provide an additional funding of $5m to ‘heroic’ members of the so-called White Helmets, the group, which has become widely known thanks to its involvement in staged chemical attacks and large-scale media operations in support of al-Qaeda in Syria [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and similar groups].

A full statement by the State Department (source):

At the direction of the President, subject to congressional approval, the United States intends to provide $5 million for the continuation of the vital, life-saving operations of the White Helmets in Syria and in support of the UN’s International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) which is charged with assisting the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in Syria since March 2011. Today, at the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey publicly announced these contributions. In addition to those made last year, these contributions to the White Helmets and IIIM demonstrate the United States’ commitment and ongoing support for justice and accountability in Syria.

The United States Government strongly supports the work of the White Helmets. They have saved more than 114,000 lives since the conflict began, including victims of Assad’s vicious chemical weapons attacks. With over 2,800 volunteers, they continue to provide search and rescue, emergency response, and early recovery operations helping civilians in areas outside of the control of the regime.

These heroic first responders have the most dangerous job in the world. In addition to operating in an active war zone and in dire humanitarian circumstances, the Syrian regime and Russia deliberately target White Helmets’ centers and volunteers; since 2013 more than 250 White Helmets have been killed—many in so called “double-tap strikes”—and 60 White Helmets’ centers have been damaged or destroyed by Russian and regime airstrikes and the regime. Despite these dangers, the White Helmets provide these services based on strict humanitarian principles and have become a symbol in Syria and world-wide for these courageous values.

Taking into account a recent warning by the Russian side that militants in Syria’s Idlib zone have resumed preparations for staged chemical attacks, it can be expected that soon we will observe a new wave of anti-Syria, anti-Russia and anti-Iran propaganda.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Trump”s Confused Middle East Foibles Are Actually Pushing Assad and Erdogan into each other”s arms

Trump’s Confused Middle East Foibles Are Actually Pushing Assad and Erdogan into each other’s arms

MARTIN JAY | 15.03.2019 | FEATURED STORY

Trump’s Confused Middle East Foibles Are Actually Pushing Assad and Erdogan into each other’s arms

Trump’s foreign policy gambles in the Middle East just continue to shake the region up, causing confusion, betrayal and, more recently, a new arms race which is all heading towards more bloodshed there, as ISIS appears to be in decline and Russia, Iran and Turkey continue to look like stronger players.

Despite Iran sanctions, Tehran continues to show its strength in its sheer resilience and its brash cavalier attitude towards other countries in the region; barely days after if foreign minister resigns – but then withdraws it – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani takes a trip to Iraq, to remind the Americans that Tehran still wields considerable power and influence there, as well as Syria, Lebanon and also Qatar and Turkey.

The shake-up which is as a direct result of Trump’s erroneous decisions in the region has led though to an arms race starting, amid rumours of Trump wanting to sell nuclear arms to Saudi Arabia – despite Riyadh going rogue recently on arms procurement and looking more to Russia and China. In recent weeks we heard of reports of Hezbollah’s new missiles in Lebanon having updated heads fitted which makes them even more precise than previously thought, which is a chilling thought for the Israelis who have been mulling the timing of Hassan Nasrallah’s threat to use them if Israel continues to target Hezbollah fighters in Syria. More recently, American THAAD missiles were sent to Israel, as a direct consequence of the Nasrallah comment, as the Hezbollah leader never does empty threats; but it’s also about Iran’s missile capability which is making the Israelis a tad skittish.

And they’re right to be, but not exclusively because of the Iran sanctions and its missile capabilities.

It’s also about Turkey. In January, a secret document revealed that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE considered Turkey to be the real threat to their power in the region, which has changed the focus of their aggression and, in part, is responsible for a number of embassies reopening in the Syrian capital. The West believes that a softening of isolation might bring Assad farther away from Iran and Russia and align itself more with the Arab super powers in the region.

This idea, on its own, had some feasibility, until just very recently when it looked like Turkey’s firebrand leader had fired the starter’s pistol on a new level of difficult relations with Washington by making it clear that Ankara’s new accord with Russia over missiles – the revered S-400 system – is a done deal. President Erdogan has made it clear that nothing will stop this deal going ahead which means for Israel that he is edging closer to the Russia-Iran powerbase and, critically, towards a situation which the author has been arguing for months is inevitable: a thaw of relations with Assad.

Given that part of the Saudi-Israeli plan was to support the Kurds in Northern Syria in a new campaign to clear Turkish forces of their large enclave – perched in between Al Qaeda extremists on one side and Kurdish fighters on the other – it has pushed Erdogan to do what many would argue would be a no brainer, which is to consider cooperating with Assad, as both have a common objective of hitting the Kurds, Israelis and the Saudis at the same time. A triple whammy for both of them.

This scenario, if it pans out (as so far we have only heard reports of back channel talks between Ankara and Damascus) would be devastating for Israel, which is struggling presently with having Russia as an Assad ally to bypass before it hits Hezbollah targets; but for Turkey to be even a distant ally of Assad could spell disaster for Israel, which cannot afford to clash with Turkey – itself the premise of a completely new conflict which has been brewing for years, given the acrimonious and vociferous exchange of insults both leaders have flung at one another last year; Erdogan attacks Netanyahu over the latter’s appalling treatment of Palestinians, while the Israeli leader uses Erdogan’s unparalleled fondness of locking up journalists as return-fire ammo.

In reality, both of them are tarnished with an abysmal human rights record but both have used one another for political capital. That arrangement, until now a verbal one, might change if Assad were to actually let bygones be bygones and strike a deal with Erdogan.

If that were to happen, Trump would also completely slam the door on Turkey and make it also a target of hatred and ridicule – as no one but Trump will take it as personally as the US president, who has shown remarkable resilience towards the Turkish leader who has tested his patience on a number of occasions in the last two years. An Assad-Erdogan pact could spark a crisis within NATO and make Russia and Iran bolder than ever before in the region as Trump’s refusal to stop arming Kurdish factions in northern Syria – along with suspending the F-35 fighter jet program – is likely to reach a tipping point between Ankara and Washington. For Erdogan to play the ace card – Assad – would be a smart move to put Trump in his place, assert Turkey’s power in Syria and weaken the Kurds in one blow.

New Zealand and the Positive Feedback of Violence:

March 15, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

The tragic news of terrorism in New Zealand highlights the failure of Western governments in dealing with it.

In its policy of denial of addressing ISIS-like activities in the West, Western governments have inadvertently given ultra-right wing elitist Fascists the green light to take the law in their own hands to “avenge” the terrorism of Salafist/Wahhabi/Jihadi terrorists on innocent Westerners thereby driving them to kill innocent Muslims.

It is hard to think of a policy that is more antithetical than the manner in which the West deals with the so-called “Islamic terrorism”.

On one hand, at least as far as the Western media outlets are concerned, the West is duly adamant in its “war on terror”, all the while feeding it from the other hand. The topic has been so widely addressed and proven beyond any reasonable doubt, and there is no need to even try to provide more evidence that Western policies have capitalized on Wahhabi doctrines and nurtured and facilitated the emergence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Middle East, all the while it is trying to control followers of the suicidal devotees at home, ie in the West.

The recent terror attacks in Europe over the last 3-4 years are a gruesome testimony, and the failure of Western governments in dealing with those serious massacres left many Europeans not knowing how to deal with them other than in one of two manners, either by shifting their votes towards ultra-right wing parties, or taking the law in their own hands.

In saying this, we must keep in mind that at least some massacres that recently happened in the West had the fingerprints of ISIS, but were not pronounced as such. The infamous Las Vegas massacre stands out like a sore thumb. As a matter of fact, ISIS did “claim responsibility” for the attack, but the claim was played down by the media and by the Trump Administration as well as the highly-charged Democrats digging extremely deeply in dirt and sniffing with radio-telescope-sized nostrils, desperately trying to find anything against Trump, including hiring highly-imaginative fiction script writers who are capable of writing a story, any story, upon which they can impeach President Trump.

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to ISIS attacks on the West that highlight the inabilities of Western governments to curb it, both the American Democrats and Republicans have an unwritten agreement of bipartisan inaptitude-based silence.

But the infamous November 2015 Bastille Day attack in Nice, the London Bridge and Manchester attack, the Munich attack, just to name a few, were undeniably ISIS-inspired attacks. And what did the governments of France, the UK, and Germany do in way of preventing such further attacks? Nothing much that would give Western residents enough feeling of security.

Fear breeds insecurity and insecurity breeds radicalism, violence and counter violence.

When the West under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and advice of Zbigniew Brzezinski decided to turn on the Afghani Mujahideen, in their shortsightedness, not realizing that they were opening a Pandora’s box that is far bigger than they could even imagine, in their second-tier failure, and without giving a second thought as to whether or not they monster they were awakening/creating was going to chase them home, they are now facing not only the Jihadi monster that they cannot switch off, but also a domestic ultra-right one that is potentially capable to inflict much more harm to the democratic fabric of Western society.

Shifting blame does not solve problems, but in between the supposedly developed and rational West and the Middle East that is still by-and-large stuck in medieval ideologies, there is logically a bigger onus on the West to be the “wise guy”, but it has proven to be anything but.

New Zealand does not deserve any of this violence. New Zealand is a nation with a predominantly Western culture, but it is also one that endorses its indigenous Maori culture. It has a very compassionate refugee policy, and ever since its former late Prime Minister David Lange made a stand against nuclear US Navy vessels docking in his country in the 1980’s, New Zealand has taken many steps that clearly position itself as the Switzerland of the South Pacific. And this is perhaps why Brenton Tarrant chose New Zealand as his theatre of action. In fact, he did say that he chose the most unlikely place on earth in order to prove that no place is safe for the “invaders”.

Terrorists of all flavours and descriptions, and there is no philosophical difference between them at all, seem to be embarking on a highly dangerous path of proving their worth by planning and perpetrating unprecedented acts of terrorism. They see such acts like sportsmen and woman see sporting achievement records, and every achiever tries to break records.

Some sanity has to prevail to stop this vicious cycle of positive feedback of violence.

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