US mobilization for a war of resolving the Iraqi-Syrian borders استنفار أميركي لحرب حسم الحدود العراقية السورية

US mobilization for a war of resolving the Iraqi-Syrian borders

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Suddenly, a US file about a holocaust in Saidnaya’s prison emerged and became under the auspices of the United Nations, suddenly the Israeli Minister announced his public call to assassinate the Syrian President saying; today not tomorrow this must happen, suddenly Washington said that the cooperation with Moscow is not fine, so the questions become fundamental about the de-escalation areas, and suddenly there were US raids on Hasakah and Bukamal that killed civilians under the pretext of chasing ISIS, and suddenly ISIS launched an attack after the raids targeting Deir Al Zour Airport and its Syrian protector, as it did after the US raids in the last summer. The participating armed factions in Astana announced that they are part of the south front process across Jordan to reach to the Iraqi bordered line, they launched a campaign against the initiative of the Syrian army to advance to Badia, but suddenly the US reserve interfered by the Iraqi Kurdistan region, and its president announced a threat against the popular crowd if it continues its progress towards the borders with Syria.

All of that was due to the US surprise from the size of the Syrian progress in the Syrian Badia whether towards Deir Al Zour or towards the Syrian crossings line on the borders with Iraq, and the rapidness of the progress of the popular crowd on the other side of the borders. The Americans know supported with information that the situation of ISIS does not allow to bet on the length of the necessary battles for the arrival of the Syrian army and the popular crowd to opposite points on the borders, whether they are in Bukamal, Al-Kaim, or in Rabia, or in any area between them. The Americans know that the progress of the Syrian army and the popular crowd is not an intersection in time and place for two different issues, but a coordinated plan for one issue; to prevent the US control on the borders and on the crossings between Syria and Iraq. The Americans know as well that this plan is under the coordination with each of Iran and Russia and that it is the most important battle in the Syrian war.

Having control on the line of the reaching of Iran and China to the Mediterranean Sea, and having control on the Iraqi oil pipelines and Iranian gas to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the control on the strategic supply line from Iran to Syria and the resistance forces are the goals of the American occupation of Iraq, after the failure of the goals of its war on Syria and after the failure of the goals of its war to have control on the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates River, as well as after the steadfastness of the Syrian army in Hasaka and Deir Al Zour and the progress of the Popular Crowd in Tal Afar, so they became goals for the plan of having control on the borders, if the plan failed, the war on Syria would be without strategic issue and it turned into mere an administration for a tactical dimension in employing the alliances and the resources to participate in a partial settlement within limits and according to the balances of powers, so the US concern moves to defensive plans that target the southern of Syria and how to ensure the possible limit of the security to Israel in any settlement, under Russian guarantees not to launch any war or to accelerate the paths of the Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

When the American mobilizes all of his allies, and when he puts his importance and threats, then this means that the battle is not over yet, and that the remaining kilometers for the meeting of the popular crowd and the Syrian army across the borders are a war of existence and it may lead to the possibilities of big mixing of issues, where the US-Turkish relationship may be one of its possibilities, and maybe the Israeli intervention will be one of its means, moreover, the disruption of Geneva and the talks dedicated to the political solution are among the possibilities, as well as the military Kurdish intervention from Iraq, but it is certain that the wars of the Middle East enter their most dangerous stages.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

مايو 17, 2017

استنفار أميركي لحرب حسم الحدود العراقية السورية

ناصر قنديل

– فجأة يظهر ملف أميركي عن محرقة في سجن صيدنايا ويصير في عهدة الأمم المتحدة. وفجأة يعلن وزير «إسرائيلي» دعوته العلنية لاغتيال الرئيس السوري، قائلاً الآن وليس غداً يجب أن يحدث ذلك، وفجأة يصير بلسان واشنطن التعاون مع موسكو على غير ما يرام، وتصير التساؤلات جوهرية حول مناطق التهدئة. وفجأة غارات أميركية في الحسكة والبوكمال تقتل مدنيين بداعي ملاحقة داعش. وفجأة يشنّ داعش هجوماً بعد الغارت مستهدفاً مطار دير الزور وحاميته السورية، كما فعل بعد الغارات الأميركية الصيف الماضي. وفجأة يستنفر المعارضون في جنيف ويلوّحون بالانسحاب من المفاوضات، وتعلن الفصائل المسلحة المشاركة في أستانة أنها جزء من عملية جبهة الجنوب عبر الأردن لبلوغ خط الحدود العراقية وتشنّ حملة على مبادرة الجيش السوري للتقدّم في البادية، لكن فجأة أيضاً يدخل الاحتياطي الأميركي على الخط ممثلاً بإقليم كردستان العراقي فيعلن رئيسه تهديداً موجهاً للحشد الشعبي إن واصل تقدّمه نحو الحدود مع سورية.

– كل هذا ليس فجأة، فالدهشة الأميركية من حجم التقدم السوري في البادية السورية سواء باتجاه دير الزور أو خط المعابر السورية على الحدود مع العراق، هي السبب، والسرعة الموازية لتقدم الحشد الشعبي على الطرف المقابل من الحدود هو السبب. ويعرف الأميركيون بالمعلومات أن وضع داعش لا يسمح بالرهان على طول مدة المعارك اللازمة لبلوغ الجيش السوري والحشد الشعبي نقاطاً متقابلة على الحدود، سواء كانت في البوكمال والقائم أو في ربيعة أو في منطقة بينهما. والأميركيون يعلمون أن تقدم الجيش السوري والحشد الشعبي ليس تقاطع زمان ومكان لقضيتين منفصلتين، بل خطة منسقة لقضية واحدة هي منع السيطرة الأميركية على الحدود والمعابر بين سورية والعراق، ويعلم الأميركيون أيضاً أن هذه الخطة منسقة مع كل من إيران وروسيا، وأنها أم المعارك في الحرب السورية.

– الإمساك بخط بلوغ إيران، ومن خلفها الصين للبحر المتوسط، والإمساك بخطوط النفط العراقي والغاز الإيراني نحو المتوسط، والسيطرة على خط الإمداد الاستراتيجي لإيران نحو سورية وقوى المقاومة، هي أهداف احتلال أميركا للعراق، وبعد فشلها أهداف حربها على سورية، وبعد فشلها أهداف حربها لإمساك  منطقة ما بين نهري دجلة والفرات، وبعد صمود الجيش السوري في الحسكة ودير الزور وتقدّم الحشد الشعبي في تلعفر، صارت أهدافاً لخطة الإمساك بخط الحدود. وإذا أصيبت الخطة بالفشل، صارت الحرب على سورية بلا قضية استراتيجية، وتحوّلت مجرد إدارة لبعد تكتيكي في توظيف التحالفات والموارد  للمشاركة في تسوية جزئية، بحدود المتاح وفقاً لموازين القوى، لينتقل الاهتمام الأميركي إلى خطط دفاعية تتجه نحو جنوب سورية وكيفية ضمان الحدّ الممكن من الأمن لـ»إسرائيل» في أي تسوية، وسقفه البحث بضمانات روسية لعدم شن أي حرب، أو تسريع مسارات التسوية الفلسطينية «الإسرائيلية».

– عندما يستنفر الأميركي كل حلفائه وعندما يضع ثقله وتهديداته، فهذا يعني أن المعركة لم تنته، وأن الكيلومترات الباقية أمام الحشد الشعبي والجيش السوري ليلتقيا عبر الحدود هي حرب وجود، ويفتح احتمالات لخلط أوراق كبير، قد تكون العلاقة الأميركية التركية أحد مجالاته، وقد يكون التدخل «الإسرائيلي» إحدى أدواته، وقد يكون تعطيل جنيف والمحادثات الخاصة بالحل السياسي وارداً، والتدخل الكردي العسكري من العراق أحد الاحتمالات، إلا أن الأكيد أن أهم حروب الشرق الأوسط تدخل الآن أخطر مراحلها.

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The Arsonist!

 The house of Al-Saud is indeed responsible not only for distorting the real human, peaceful and tolerant face of Islam  and all humanity. The Wahabbi Al-Saud family imposed by force  on the people of Arabian Peninsula   by the colonial greedy forces of exploitation and colonialization are indeed not only stupid, ignorant but even work as to impose their deformed vision and paralysis upon all Arabs.

Petrodollar can buy terrorists, slaughter, means of destruction and slaughter ; but never can buy humanity, pride, honor, nor amity and fraternity! Petrodollar might buy a businessman, make business deal, but never possess others’ sovereignty, integrity and self-determination. Al least, when it comes to Syria, petrodollar cost the Syrians part of their infrastructure, some of their beloved and cements!

 The dirty Saudi  petrodollar can in way dispose the Syrians from their history, civilization, and deep roots. The Saudi petrodollar can bribe the entire globe of today but never the owners of  the rights! The Saudi Wahabbi petrodollar can make another 11thSeptember against America, can bribe US authorities and others; but can never bring back a single lost innocent life.

The fire to be set ablaze by Mr. Trump-businessman current visit are sure to burn the arsonists before all others! If in the past the good-hearted gave pieces of advices to the blind as to spare life, who knows if there would remain such pieces of advice for the coming! With this in mind, it is suffice to recall Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard reaction to the arms deal with immediate condemnation.

Gabbard, a Democrat, blasted the deal – which she said includes an additional $350 billion over the next 10 years – saying Saudi Arabia is “a country with a devastating record of human rights violations at home and abroad, and a long history of providing support to terrorist organizations that threaten the American people.”

“Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest sponsor and propagator of the extremist Wahhabi Salafist ideology that fuels terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda,” a media release from Rep. Gabbard stated. “Based on Saudi Arabia’s history and track record, there is a significant likelihood these weapons will be used against innocent civilians or end up in the hands of terrorist groups.”

“Saudi Arabia has spent hundreds of billions of dollars spreading their extreme Wahhabi Salafist ideology around the world, creating fertile ground for terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaeda to recruit, while simultaneously providing direct support to terrorist groups who pose a direct threat to US interests and who are fighting to overthrow the Syrian government. The hypocrisy in the Trump administration’s actions toward Saudi Arabia began in February 2017 with the newly-appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo presenting Saudi Crown Prince bin Nayef with the George Tenet Award in recognition of Prince bin Nayef’s ‘excellent intelligence performance, in the domain of counter-terrorism and his unbound contribution to realise world security and peace.’’ Underscored Senator  Tulsi Gabbard.

”This hypocrisy continues now as the Trump administration talks tough against ISIS and terrorism, while selling weapons to, supporting, and praising a country that beheads dissidents, oppresses women, persecutes religious minorities, atheists, and LGBT people, and is the greatest supporter of terror groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS in the world today. This arms deal will enable Saudi Arabia to use U.S.-made weapons in their war crimes against Yemeni civilians in a brutal civil war, and continue perpetuating human rights atrocities at home and abroad,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

The arms deal runs contrary proposed bipartisan legislation supported by Gabbard: H.R. 608, the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which Gabbard says “would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to armed militants who are allied with al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the U.S. government from funneling money and weapons through other countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.”

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

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Preparing for War on Hizbullah

 

The US and its Arab allies are drawing up plans to suffocate the movement financially as a prelude to eventual militarily action

By Abdel Bari Atwan

atwan-ok15-400x264

May 21, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –   The US-led war on the Islamic Sate group under the banner of fighting terrorism may be viewed by many, especially by Arab members of the coalition that is waging it, as legitimate. But in our view it increasingly looks like a cover or smokescreen aimed at paving the way, or bestowing legitimacy on, a different war: one aimed at eliminating resistance to Israel in the region, and specifically the Lebanese Hizbullah movement.

The US war for Kuwait in 1991 was fought for the same purpose. A trap was set, after careful planning and precise distribution of roles, for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Its aim was to drag him into Kuwait to provide a pretext for destroying Iraq, aborting its scientific progress and military ascendancy and undermining its regional role. It is no exaggeration to say that the proxy war on Syria war has a similar objective– not only to destroy and fragment Syria as an adversary of Israel, but to lure a reluctant Hizbullah into the conflict and thus diminish its enormous popularity and the place it gained in hearts of tens or hundreds of millions of Arabs after its two great victories against Israel: First, when it succeeded in liberating southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 after years of persistent resistance, and again in July 2006 when it also fought valiantly and stood fast in epic resistance to an Israeli onslaught that sought to annihilate it.

Most of the regional moves currently being made by the US — including Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Riyadh and the Eager Lion military exercises in Jordan – have one ultimate objective: to declare all-out war on Hizbullah. This includes drying up its financial resources and criminalizing the organization, in the same way Saddam Hussein was criminalized and the Palestinian resistance movement prior to that: first during the days of the PLO and its factions, and then with the rise of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that continue to fight Israel.

The West has a variety of problems with Iran, and the country’s nuclear ambitions are one of the most prominent. But it is possible to live with, and even contain, these ambitions by various means. However, Iran’s unforgivable sin in the West’s eyes was to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and transform it into a formidable military force that poses a real deterrent and threat to Israel at a time when the Arab states were surrendering to it. Many have stopped referring to it as the enemy and instead begun building bridges of cooperation and normalization with it and treating it as a strategic regional ally.

Hizbullah crossed all American and Israeli red lines by developing a vast missile capability (100,000 missiles according to some estimates) along with fighting skills that most of the region’s armies — including the Israeli army — lack, combining attributes of conventional armies with expertise in guerrilla warfare. Moreover, four years of fighting in Syria has further strengthened, developed, and modernized these skills.

There have been reports in recent days of an unpublicized closed-door meeting in Washington involving a number of Gulf and Arab states aimed at agreeing a strategy for confronting Hizbullah in the coming period. Participants included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. This was intended to prepare for the two multilateral summits (with Arab/Muslim leaders and Gulf rulers respectively) that Trump will attend in Riyadh.

Reports from this meeting indicate that the joint Western-Arab plan for confronting Hizbullah include imposing financial sanctions on the organization’s members, supporters and sympathizers around the world, especially Lebanese expatriates in Africa and Europe who provide financial support for the party or institutions affiliated or close to it. This will involve measures to monitor money transfers and dry up all the party’s external funding sources in order to create difficulties for its leadership in financing its political and military structures and its extensive social institutions and activities.

The war on the hardline jihadi groups such as the Nusra Front and IS is drawing towards a close. Nusra is besieged in Idlib, rural Damascus and a few enclaves in rural Aleppo. The recent Astana agreement delegated the task of liquidating it to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition factions backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As for IS, it has lost most of Mosul, and the war to liberate al-Raqqa by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is now imminent, and will begin as soon as sufficient supplies of American tanks, armoured vehicles and missiles have been delivered to these forces.

In other words, the destruction of the ‘Islamist’ groups that are internationally designated as terrorist organizations will open the door wide to the more important war on Hizbullah, not only in Syria but in Lebanon too. It is to begin with an economic war and culminate in a military offensive — as, indeed, the wars on Iraq did.

Could this scenario which is being implemented in stages against Hizbullah (and by extension Iran) achieve the same success it did against Iraq – and prior to that against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, which was ended with the 1982 Israeli invasion? It is hard to give a categorical answer to this hypothetical question. What can be said, however, is that circumstances have changed, and Israel has changed as well. Hizbullah is the pivot of a regional and confessional structure, and has the open and total support of Iran, and of Iraq to a lesser degree. Any war against it will not be easy. If the 1991 scenario succeeded in Iraq, that was due above all to Arab collusion and betrayal, as well as the demise of the Soviet Union which left the US as the world’s unchallenged hegemon.

The wars currently unfolding in the region and the conspiracies being hatched are all for the sake of enhancing Israel’s security and stability and maintaining its military power and supremacy. It is ironic that this is happening around the time of the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreements. For the task now being undertaken is aimed at consolidating the Zionist presence in Palestine and the region envisaged in that Declaration, while dismembering the states that emerged from the womb of those agreements.

This article was first published by http://www.raialyoum.com

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

لحظة مفصلية جديدة من عمر الحرب تشهدها البادية السورية

واشنطن: الحدود العراقية ـ السورية خط أحمر

لأول مرّة، من دون قفازات وغارات «عن طريق الخطأ»، تستهدف طائرات «التحالف الأميركي» موقعاً للجيش السوري وحلفائه؛ فواشطن التي تعمل على فرض حزام أمني على طول الحدود العراقية ــ السورية، وُضعت في الأيام الماضية أمام قرار محور دمشق إفشال مشروعها والتحرّك العسكري باتجاه هذه الحدود، وتحديداً من ناحية التنف حيث «القاعدة الغربية» التي تدير عمليات مسك الحدود والمعابر. غارة أمس توضح قرار وتوجّه واشنطن النهائي: الحدود خطّ أحمر… بينما ستظهر الأيام المقبلة إن كان لدمشق وحلفائها خطوات تصعيدية مقابلة أو الإقرار بما رسمته الولايات المتحدة لتلك المنطقة بفعل الأمر الواقع

منذ اندفاعة الجيش السوري وحلفائه شرقاً نحو عمق البادية، ارتفع احتمال الاشتباك مع القوات الأميركية وحلفائها من غربيين وفصائل محلية.

فالقرار الذي اتّخده محور دمشق في مواجهة التوجّه الأميركي لفرض حزام أمني على طول الحدود مع العراق، جعل من التصادم واقعاً مؤجّلاً. هذا الواقع اقترب من التحقق في الأيام الماضية بعد تقدّم القوات السورية نحو عمق البادية، إثر اشتباكات مع فصائل محسوبة على واشنطن وعمان.

فوصول الجيش إلى مشارف مفترق الطرق بين دمشق وبغداد وتدمر، ثم تقدّمه ليكون على بعد 35 كيلومتراً من التنف أمس، وضع الكرة في ملعب «التحالف الأميركي».

لحظة مفصلية جديدة من عمر الحرب السورية شهدتها الصحراء السورية في أول غارة مقصودة ومعترف بها للتحالف الدولي ضد موقع للجيش السوري. الرسالة الأميركية الواضحة والسريعة جاءت بسبب تشكيل القوات السورية المتقدمة «تهديداً لقوات شريكة للولايات المتحدة».

في المبدأ، تشكّل التنف القاعدة الرئيسية للقوات الأميركية والبريطانية والأردنية في البادية السورية. ومنها مركز تخطيط ومنطلق عمل التشكيلات السورية العاملة إلى جانب «التحالف» في باديتيّ حمص ودمشق ودير الزور. ولمّا كان القرار الأميركي فاصلاً بإمساك الحدود مع العراق، كان الردّ من دمشق وحلفائها بإطلاق سلسلة عمليات على محاور عدة بهدف إفشال مخطط واشنطن. هذه العمليات وضعت الجيش في قلب منطقة العمليات الأميركية، وتبيّن أن الخطوات المقبلة هي الاقتراب أكثر من «القاعدة الغربية»، وعبرها إلى الحدود القريبة حيث المعبر الرسمي. حراك الجيش السوري وحلفائه جاء استباقاً لتحضيرات أميركية عبر «مغاوير الثورة» ومجموعات عشائرية أخرى، لتشكيل ضغط كبير على مدينة البوكمال قرب الحدود العراقية، وبالتالي إقفال الحدود.

وبدا لافتاً في التصريحات الأميركية التي صدرت عقب الغارة التأكيد على أنها جاءت بعد تحذيرات لتلك القوات المتقدمة. وذكر بيان «التحالف الدولي» أنه تم «قصف قوات سورية موالية للنظام بالقرب من التنف، في منطقة (وقت تصادم) كانت تشكل تهديداً لقوات شريكة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية». وأضاف أنّ التحرّك السوري «جاء على الرغم من المحاولات الروسية لثني القوات الموالية للنظام عن التحرك باتجاه التنف، وعرض طائرات (التحالف) للقوة إلى جانب إطلاقها طلقات تحذير». وختم أنّ قوات (التحالف) عملت «في منطقة التنف منذ عدة أشهر، في التدريب وتقديم المشورة للقوات الشريكة التي تقاتل (داعش)».

وأفادت قناة «سي بي إس» الأميركية نقلاً عن مصادر خاصة، أن الأيام القليلة الماضية شهدت «اختراقاً من قبل القوات السورية لمنطقة (وقف تصادم) قريبة من موقع المستشارين الأميركيين الذين يدربون قوات سوريّة». وذكرت أن «قافلة من 27 آلية وصلت إلى بعد 18 كيلومتراً من التنف، وقامت طائرة أميركية بالضغط عليها، وعندما لم تتراجع استهدفت الطائرة عدداً من المركبات»، مضيفة أنه في حادثة أخرى «اخترقت طائرة (سو 22) سورية منطقة (وقف التصادم) ولكن تم اعتراضها من قبل طائرتي (اف 22)».

وبدا لافتاً حجم التركيز الأميركي على أن «الضربة قد تم تشخيصها على أنها دفاعية»، إذ أكد وزير الدفاع جايمس ماتيس أن بلاده «لا توسّع دورها في الحرب الأهلية السورية… لكنها ستدافع عن قواتها إذا اتّخذ أَحَد خطوات عدائية ضدنا».

وفي أول رد فعل روسي تجاه الغارة، أعرب رئيس لجنة الدفاع والأمن في مجلس الاتحاد الروسي فيكتور أوزيروف، وفق ما نقلت عنه وكالة «نوفوستي» الروسية، عن أمله «ألا يؤثر هذا الحادث على العملية التفاوضية في جنيف»، مشدداً على أهمية ترتيب «تنسيق أكثر وضوحاً بين (التحالف) والقوات الحكومية». وبدوره، رأى عضو اللجنة الدولية في مجلس الاتحاد إيغور موروزوف، أنّ على مجلس الأمن الدولي تصنيف الضربة على أنها «عمل عدواني أحادي الجانب» ضد دولة ذات سيادة.

هذه الأجواء التصادمية أتت في سياق تعزيز دمشق وبغداد لتعاونهما في الحرب ضد «داعش»، خصوصاً على الحدود المشتركة، إذ تلقّى الرئيس بشار الأسد أمس رسالة شفهية من رئيس الوزراء العراقي حيدر العبادي، نقلها مستشار الأمن الوطني فالح الفياض. وأكد العبادي في رسالته «أهمية الاستمرار في تعزيز التعاون القائم في الحرب ضد التنظيمات الإرهابية، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بتنسيق الجهود في محاربة تنظيم داعش على الحدود المشتركة». بدوره، أكد الأسد أمام ضيفه أن «أي إنجاز يحقّقه الجيشان السوري والعراقي يشكّل خطوة هامة… فالعدوّ مشترك والمعركة واحدة ضد المخططات الهادفة إلى إضعاف وتقسيم دول المنطقة عبر الأدوات المتمثّلة بالتنظيمات الإرهابية».

(الأخبار)

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US Coalition Forces Bomb Syrian Military Convoy

Apparently the US Coalition has launched a new attack inside Syria, this time against a military convoy in the vicinity of the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border near a town known as Al-Tanf. Conflicting reports are coming out as to whether the convoy that came under attack was a Syrian Arab Army convoy, or one operated by pro-government militia forces.

Here is what SouthFront is reporting:

A Jordanian warplane operating under the US-led coalition carried out airstrikes against a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) convoy advancing along the Al-Tanf-Damascus-Baghdad international road. The airstrikes targeted Syrian forces in Al-Shuhaimi area, 50 km from the town of Al-Tanf located at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The airstrikes destroyed two battle tanks, and damaged a Shilka vehicle, several pickups and trucks. Six SAA fighters lost their life and 3 were injured.

According to some US defense official, cited by the Russian state-run news agency Sputink, the US coalition commander considered the Syrian army as a threat to coalition troops.

“The commander on the ground perceived this force to be a threat to coalition forces,” the defense official said.

Meanwhile, Jaish al-Thwar, a US-backed Free Syrian Army group, claimed that its militants have clashed with the SAA and prevented it from approaching the Al-Tanf area.

According to pro-US sources, coalition warplanes targeted some Shiite militias, not the SAA. However, Shiite militias operation at the Al-Tanf road don’t have tanks or Shilka vehicles and there were many pictures and videos showing the presence of elements of the SAA in the area.

It is believed that the US is going to use the Shiite militias issue as a pretext to stop the advance of the SAA in the area. The US-led block is working to isolate Syria from Iraq by land, supporting the Israeli desire to prevent Iran from transferring weapons to Hezbollah in Syria via Iraq.

RT, on the other hand, is reporting that the attack was upon a militia, although the RT reporter (in a video accompanying the story), admits that the details are sketchy:

The US forces in Syria have bombed a militia group fighting alongside the Syrian government forces in southern Syria on Thursday, the US-led coalition has confirmed.

The coalition said in a statement that the Syrian forces “posed a threat” to US and partner troops at Tanf base near the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border.

“This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force, and the firing of warning shots,” the statement said.

Having commented on the incident, the US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Washington was not deepening its role in the Syrian conflict, but would defend its troops.

The claim that the US is “not deepening its role in the Syrian conflict” should of course be taken with a grain of salt. The following article was posted yesterday at the Syrian Free Press before news broke of today’s attack, but it does offer some insight into why such an attack might be happening now. The report is apparently taken from the Iranian Fars News Agency. If you go to the RT report (linked above) and watch the video there, you note that the video includes an interview with an analyst in Damascus who makes similar references to reports of a planned US invasion of southern Syria.

Syrian Arab Army Ready to Foil US-Led Plan to Create Buffer Zone in Southern Part of Country

(FNA) ~ A well-informed military source said on Wednesday that the Syrian Army forces will not allow the US and its western or regional allies to create a buffer zone in the Southern part of the country as a safe heaven for militants’ activities.

The Russian-language Izvestia daily quoted a field source as saying that the Syrian pro-government sources are getting ready to take control over a chunk of Damascus road to Baghdad to restore sustainable security to the main supply line of importing arms and other military equipment from Iraq.

In the meantime, Mohammad Abbas, a retired army general and military expert, said that terrorist groups and the US as their main backer intend to create a buffer zone in parallel with the Golan Heights and borders with Jordan and Iraq in Southern Syria, but the Syrian Army is to prevent them to do their plan.

Intelligent agents reported last week that the US, British and Jordanian forces were preparing for a possible invasion of Syria under the pretext of war on ISIL terrorists.

According to reports, Damascus went on the alert after intelligence reports gathered from surveillance drones suggested that the US, Britain and Jordanian militaries might be prepping a massive invasion of Syria.

Nearly 400 American and Jordanian military vehicles were located at a Jordanian military base near the Syrian desert border, the reports said, adding there was no ISIL terrorists in the region in which the US, British and Jordanian forces were operating.

The reports further added that activities of these three countries at border were aimed at gathering Arab and Western forces in al-Zarqa camp in which there were almost 4,500 gunmen.

The report went on to say that the gunmen in al-Zarqa camp went under training to battle the Syrian army to stretch a belt around Syria, a plan that was nothing more than an occupation.

The intelligence reports also said that the military convoys of the US, Jordan and Britain might launch an assault to help the West-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) around the Al-Tanf border crossing.

Reports also said that the Syrian Army troops, in response to the possible attacks by the US, British and Jordanian forces on their soil, launched a large-scale operation along the Damascus-Baghdad highway to drive FSA out of the border crossing of al-Tanf.

Continued here

Although it doesn’t have anything to do with the latest attack, I also came across this video and thought I would post it. The video features an exchange between Fares Shehabi, a member of the Syrian Parliament, and a reporter for Vice. Subject of the exchange: how Bashar Assad has managed to stay in power despite years of attempts by the US and its allies to overthrow him.

Donald Trump, Mohammad Bin Salman Most Dangerous Men on Planet: Patrick Cockburn

Created on Saturday, 13 May 2017

LONDON, (ST)- British writer Patrick Cockburn has said that US President Donald Trump and the Defense Minister of the Saudi regime Mohammed bin Salman are the “the most dangerous men on planet” because of their reckless and aggressive stances and policies based on interference on other countries’ affairs.

In an article published by “The Independent” British newspaper, Cockburn said “many people view Donald Trump as the most dangerous man on the planet, but next week he flies to Saudi Arabia for a three-day visit during which he will meet a man who surely runs him a close second as a source of instability”.  “This is the Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31 – the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia since his father King Salman, 81, is incapacitated by old age – who has won a reputation for impulsiveness, aggression and poor judgement in the two-and-half years he has held power, ” according to Cockburn.

The British writer clarified that Bin Salman has repeatedly pushed towards further intervention in Syria and sought stepping up Saudi aggression on Yemen.

Cockburn stressed the close connection linking between Saudi Arabia and the United States, noting the common interests of the U.S. and the Saudi regime under the Trump’s administration in addition to the American constant support for the Saudi aggression on Yemen, not to mention the several arms deals signed to import US weapons to the Saudi regime despite international criticism.

The Saudi regime and the United States have been the main supporters of terrorist organizations in Syria and the region through their keenness on funding, training and arming terrorists and ensuring political cover to the terrorist groups’ crimes. They supported and funded the establishment of training camps for the terrorists in Turkey and Jordan.

Despite promises made by Trump during his election campaign in which he vowed not to interfere in other countries’ affairs and in which he stressed that his focus will be on fighting Deash, Trump on April 7 ordered the bombardment of al-Shairat  airbase in Homs countryside. The missile attack claimed the lives of several people.

Moreover, the international coalition led by Washington under the pretext of fighting Daesh continues to commit crimes in Syria and Iraq.

Hamda Mustafa

Syria Breaking AMN News: S A takes control of largest rebel bunker in east Damascus, captures much of eastern Sweida and Al-Tafhah Hills in northeast Homs

US-backed rebels suffer major setback as Syrian Army troops capture much of eastern Sweida,

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), alongside the National Defense Forces (NDF), resumed their offensive operations in the eastern countryside of Al-Sweida on Thursday, Al-Masdar’s Majd Fahd reported from Damascus.

 By Leith Fadel

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:50 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has taken the initiative in the eastern countryside of Homs recently, striking the Islamic State’s (ISIL) last positions around the strategic desert-city of Palmyra.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Legion continued where they left off one week earlier, liberating the long stretch of hilltops at Talat Al-Tafhah.

Video footage of the Syrian Arab Army liberating the Talat Al-Tafhah area was released by the Syrian Ministry of Defense on Thursday:

The Syrian Arab Army is currently in the process of attacking the Islamic State’s last positions at the Al-Sha’er Mountains, which have been under the control of the terrorist group for more than 18 months.

Syrian Army takes control of largest rebel bunker in east Damascus

By Chris Tomson

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:40 P.M.) – On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) uncovered a massive jihadist headquarters located beneath the Al-Qaboun neighborhood which was liberated earlier this week following an evacuation deal.

The bunker contained hundreds of shells, improvised explosives and manufacturing units intended for booby traps and hell cannons to be used against the SAA’s 4th Mechanized Division and 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard.

Pictures of the underground facility, previously used by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham:

Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News

According to Al-Masdar News field correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh, the rebel HQ was the largest insurgent base to be captured by the SAA in the Syrian capital.The facility was unearthed near Sheikh Jaber mosque and contained a floor which functioned as a field hospital while another floor stored ammunition and fuel.

The military source added that the bunker had tunnels connecting it to the northern, western and eastern sections of Al-Qaboun, thus giving full mobility to rebel forces despite daily bombardment by the Syrian Arab Air Force and SAA artillery units since February.

Breaking: Syrian Army liberates 9 villages in east Aleppo

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