Turkey, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Work To Defend ‘Syrian Revolution’

January 15, 2019

South Front

Leader of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham Abu Mohammad Al-Joulani declared his support to an expected Turkish military operation against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria during an interview with Amjad Media on January 14.

He stressed that his group supports “the operation to liberate the eastern Euphrates”. He also rejected criticism from his militant counterparts that the recent Hayat Tahrir al-Sham expansion within the Idlib de-escalation zone opens a route for a Russian-backed military operation in the area. He recalled that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which just recently was the official branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, is an important part of the so-called “Syrian revolution” thus justifying its further actions.

Recently, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham de-facto established a full control of the most of the Idlib de-escalation zone by defeating the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation and forcing it to accept own rule across the area.

Now, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leadership is working to consolidate its gains in security and media spheres. Experts say that the main idea of Al-Joulani and his inner circle is to become an irreplaceable partner of the Turkish government in Idlib-related issues and this approach has worked so far.

On January 14, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlet Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey is doing what is required to maintain peace and prevent violations in the Idlib de-escalation zone. He even claimed that the Idlib de-escalation deal has been “successfully” implemented despite difficult conditions and that the Syrian government and the countries that support it are to blame if Idlib becomes “terrorist nest”.

Cavusoglu somehow forgot to mention that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which is the internationally designated terrorist group, was excluded from the ceasefire regime established in the Idlib zone and is a legal target of military actions, which were expected to be undertaken in the framework of the deal. However, now it became clear that Turkey’s attempts to prevent the further military successes of the Damascus government in northwestern Syria openly contributed to the expansion of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-like entities there.

Meanwhile, the political leadership of the Syrian Kurds was once again encouraged by harsh statements of US President Donald Trump towards Turkey and announced that it had paused talks with the Damascus government.

An official representative of the Syrian Kurds in Moscow, Rshad Bienaf, told the Russian media that there was a “dialogue”, but no results were achieved because the Damascus government is not ready to change the constitution in the favor to the so-called “democratic system” established in the US-occupied area of northeastern Syria.

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الأميركيون يعلنون الحرب على لبنان!

يناير 12, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هل بات نزعُ التغطية الدولية والإقليمية عن لبنان مسألة وقت لم يعد بعيداً؟ سؤال في موضعه الدقيق بعد «المطوّلات» التي أطلقها وزير الخارجية الأميركي مايك بومبيو في العاصمة المصرية القاهرة، ومن على منبر جامعتها الأميركية.

جزم بأن بلاده تحضر لانسحاب وشيك لقواتها من شرق الفرات والشمال السوريين، إلا أنها تتهيأ ايضاً لمواصلة قتال إيران «بالسبل الدبلوماسية» و»داعش» بوسائل أخرى لم يحددها، لعلها تشبه حربها على منظمة «النصرة» الارهابية التي اجتاحت مؤخراً الشمال وإدلب السوريين وسط صمت وتجاهل أميركي وتركي وأوروبي وخليجي. وحدها الدولة السورية دفعت بقسم من قواتها لمجابهة النصرة وبعض بؤر التنظيمات الموالية لتركيا وداعش ذات الولاء المتنوّع.

ما شكل تغييراً عن نمط الضغط الدبلوماسي الأميركي الذي أشار اليه بومبيو، هو إعلانه عن تنسيق أميركي إسرائيلي لضرب حالة التضخم العسكري السياسي لحزب الله في لبنان متحدثاً عن عشرات آلاف الصواريخ المخبوءة في منازل القرى والبلدات التي تهدد الأمن الاستراتيجي الإسرائيلي، مؤكداً العمل الأميركي الإسرائيلي على إزالتها، وهذه الإزالة غير ممكنة بالفرشاة أو الممحاة.

وتحتاج الى حروب عسكرية كبيرة ومتعدّدة على مستوى لبنان بكامله ومدنييه وقراه ومدنه.

وليس أكيداً نجاحها بتحقيق أهدافها مع حزب بمستوى حزب الله يقاتل منذ 1982 وحتى 2006 في حروب غوار شعبية ويحارب منذ 2011 على الأراضي السورية بالشكلين الشعبي والتقليدي مكتسباً مهارات احترافية تضعه في مستوى أهم جيوش المنطقة مضيفاً اليه الالتزام الايديولوجي الذي يضفي على مقاتليه إمكانات إضافية قد تكون أكثر أهمية من الحديد والنار.

يتبين بالاستنتاج الدقيق أن جماهيرية حزب الله في لبنان وانتشاره على معظم مساحته الجغرافية تجعل من الصعب استهدافه من دون اصابة التجمعات المدنية لكل الطوائف والمذاهب فيه.

لمزيد من التفسير يمكن القول وبصوت عالٍ إن بومبيو يعلن الحرب الإسرائيلية الأميركية على لبنان من دون أن يرف له جفن، وهذه فرصة تتلقفها العدوانية الإسرائيلية المستفيدة من الصراخ الأميركي لتحشيد المنطقة العربية ضد إيران وتحالفاتها.

ماذا يعني إعلان الحرب الأميركية على حزب الله من منبر مصري؟ هذا يدلّ على وجود تغطية عربية خليجية متنوعة، تذهب حالياً نحو تشكيل قوة إسناد عسكرية للحلف الإسرائيلي الأميركي كما أكد بومبيو في كلمته في مصر بمشاركة وزير خارجيتها سامح شكري.

وعندما تجتمع الأطراف الأميركية والعربية والإسرائيلية على ضرورة الانتهاء من ظاهرة حزب الله. فهذا له تفسير وحيد وهو رفع الغطاء الغربي العربي عن لبنان وإعلانه ساحة لكل أنواع الصراعات العسكرية والسياسية.

وإذا كان الصراع العسكري مختزلاً بإعلان الحروب المتنوعة فإن الحرب السياسية تتضمن جانبين:

الأول وقف التعامل مع مؤسساته السياسية والثاني وضعه في دائرة العقاب الاقتصادي.

قد يقول «متفلسف» إن الأميركيين يريدون بهذه المواقف فتح جبهات داخلية لبنانية، في إطار فتنة تتهم فيها أطراف لبنانية أخرى ذات ولاء سعودي وأميركي حزب الله بأنه سبب خراب لبنان، فتؤجج الوضع الداخلي وتدفعه الى احتراب داخلي يدفع باتجاه حرب أهلية.

ولم يهمهم الأمر، يمكن تأكيد أن الساعين المحليين الى الفتنة حاضرون، لكن ما يتمتعون به من امكانات لا يصل الى مستوى إعداد حروب عصابات على شاكلة المافيا وشبيهاتها.

فحزب الله ذو مستوى إقليمي يحارب العدو بقدرة المتمكن ويتعامل مع اللبنانيين بأسلوب الشقيق المتواضع، والجميع في لبنان مُلمٌ بهذه القاعدة، لذلك يكتفي الآخرون بشن حروب إعلامية هدفها رفع سعرهم في التحاصص الداخلي والصفقات.

تدفع هذه المعطيات الى الربط بين الهجوم الأميركي على حزب الله من مصر وبين الانسداد الكبير في حركة تشكيل حكومة جديدة حتى أن المسؤولين يفكرون بإعادة الاعتبار لحكومة تصريف الاعمال الموجودة حالياً لادارة البلد، بشكل اوسع مما يبيحه الدستور لحكومة مستقيلة.

وهنا يجب الربط المباشر والواضح بين عجز القوى السياسية اللبنانية عن تشكيل حكومة جديدة وبين الاستهداف الأميركي الإسرائيلي الخليجي لحزب الله.

فكيف يمكن لقوى وثيقة الصلة بالخارج ان تقبل بحكومة يمتلك حزب الله وتحالفاته فيها وزناً كبيراً في وقت تعمل مرجعياتها الخارجية على ضرب هذا الحزب؟

هذا هو التفسير المنطقي لحالات رفض تمثيل القوى الحليفة لحزب الله في الحكومة الجديدة بموازاة الإصرار الإضافي على تمثيل محدود للحزب في الحكومة.

وكيف يمكن تشكيل حكومة حتى لو كانت ميثاقية من دون الاستناد الى نتائج الانتخابات النيابية الأخيرة؟

وهل يستطيع رئيس الوزراء المكلف تشكيل الحكومة سعد الحريري التمرّد على السياسة السعودية والقبول بحكومة متوازنة تُجسّد كل الأطراف؟

والجواب يعرفه كل اللبنانيين المتابعين لعلاقات السعودية بالحريري الذي أعلن أنه «بَيْ السنة» فيما كان مطلوباً منه ان يكون رئيساً لمجلس وزراء كل كل لبنان.

واذا كان رئيس المجلس النيابي نبيه بري المعروف باعتداله نعى الحكومة قبل أسبوع، معتبراً انها في «خبر كان» فإنه لم يعد يبحث إلا عن طرق «لإدارة الخلاف» وذلك بالابتعاد النسبي عن صراعات الإقليم وتجميد المواضيع التي تتسبب باندلاع خلافات، فهل ينجح؟

هناك سباق بين ادارة أميركية إسرائيلية لتفجير الأوضاع في لبنان وبين محور المقاومة المصرّ على تجنيبه هذا المصير والرابح هو المنتصر في ميادين سورية وليست جماعة من المتوهمين الذي يبنون سياساتهم على قياس ما يريده الخارج حتى لو أدت الى خراب البلاد.

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In the Last 24 Hours: US Sends Fresh Military Convoy to Aleppo to Reinforce Military Bases

Syria in Last 24 Hours: US Sends Fresh Military Convoy to Aleppo to Reinforce Military Bases Despite Trump's Call

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US Army sent new convoys to a military base under its occupation in Northeastern Aleppo despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

“The US has sent a convoy comprising several vehicles carrying military and logistic equipment to the military bases under its control in the town of Ain al-Arab (Kobani),” battlefield sources in Northeastern Aleppo said.

Meantime, the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army’s operations in provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The US Army has sent new military convoys to a military base under its occupation in Northeastern Aleppo despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, informed sources said.

Battlefield sources in Northeastern Aleppo said that the US has sent a convoy comprising several vehicles carrying military and logistic equipment to the military bases under its control in the town of Ain al-Arab (Kobani).

The report comes as the US has not yet withdrawn troops or equipment from Northern Syria and Washington has even dispatched more military convoys to the region. The US is reinforcing its military bases in Eastern Euphrates.

Hama-Idlib

The Syrian Army reinforced its military positions in all frontlines in Northern and Northwestern Syria to prepare for a tough battle amid intensified clashes with the terrorists in the region.

The Syrian Army has dispatched its new military convoys from Southern Syria to the Northern, Northwestern parts of Hama and Southeastern Idlib, battlefield sources said.

The sources also reiterated that other military convoys of the Syrian Army have been sent to Northern and Northeastern Aleppo, including Tal Rafat in Northern Aleppo and the outskirts of Manbij where the Ankara-backed militants are stationed.

Meantime, the sources also pointed to the full preparedness of the Syrian Army troops in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Lattakia for conducting military operations in the Northern parts of Syria, and said that army divisions in Northern, Western and Southern battlefronts are standing ready for confrontation with terrorists.

The Syrian Army reinforcement comes as terrorist groups stationed in the region have not left their positions despite an agreement reached between Russia and Turkey on demilitarized zone.

Meantime, heavy clashes are also underway between Hayat al-Sham al-Hay’at and the National Liberation Front terrorists in Southern Idlib and Northwestern Hama. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has managed to beat the rival terrorists and won control over several regions, including Tarmala, al-Naqir, Abedin and Arinbeh South of Idlib.

Also, the Syrian Army foiled further attacks from the demilitarized zone by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and their allied terrorist groups in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

The Syrian Army’s artillery units prevented members of a terrorist group who were trying to penetrate into the army positions in Northern Hama from the surrounding areas of Ma’arkabeh town, killing and injuring several terrorists and forcing many others to flee the scene.

Meantime, the Syrian Army’s artillery units pounded the terrorists’ movements in the outskirts of Wadi al-Dorat and Al-Zuka in Northern Hama.

Other Syrian troops also targeted Jeish al-Izzah terrorists’ movements from al-Latamanieh town towards military points in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on them.

In Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army’s artillery units pounded Tahrir al-Sham positions and movements in Tal Khatareh, Tal Kolbeh and Al-Zarzour, killing a number of them and destroying several positions of the terrorists.

Raqqa

An attack by unidentified assailants on the Syrian Democratic Forces left several SDF members dead and wounded in Raqqa.

Media activists in Raqqa reported that the assailants exploded a bomb in a military headquarters of the Kurdish forces near the Arabic School in Raqqa city center, killing six SDF militants and injuring eight more.

Meantime, some battlefield sources said that the attack has been carried out by the ISIL.

In another attack a roadside bomb hit the SDF forces in al-Kantari-Solouk Road in Northern Raqqa which resulted in the death of a SDF member and injury of several others.

The Turkish army also targeted a patrol car of the Kurdish forces near Nas-Tal village in Northern Raqqa near Turkish border. There is yet no report on the number of casualties among the SDF forces.

Syrian Army Foils Terrorists’ Attacks in Hama, Idlib, Inflicts Heavy Losses on Militants

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army continued warding off renewed attacks by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) from the demilitarized zone in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib on Wednesday.

The Syrian Army’s missile and artillery units pounded the terrorists’ movements from Wadi al-Dorat in Eastern al-Latamanieh in Northern Hama towards the Syrian Army’s military point in the region, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists, while forcing others to retreat.

The Syrian army’s artillery units also targeted and pounded a terrorist group who intended to penetrate into the army’s military positions from the town of Mourek, killing and wounding a number of them as well as destroying their weapons and military equipment.

In Southeastern Idlib, the army’s artillery units also targeted and pounded Tahrir al-Sham’s movements from al-Khowin and al-Zarzour regions towards the army’s military positions before they could penetrate into their positions.

Meantime, Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at terrorists has captured 50 towns and villages in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo during clashes with other terrorist groups in the last eight days.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian Army foiled further attacks from the demilitarized zone by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at and their allied terrorist groups in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

The Syrian Army’s artillery units prevented members of a terrorist group who were trying to penetrate into the army positions in Northern Hama from the surrounding areas of Ma’arkabeh town, killing and injuring several terrorists and forcing many others to flee the scene.

Meantime, the Syrian Army’s artillery units pounded the terrorists’ movements in the outskirts of Wadi al-Dorat and Al-Zuka in Northern Hama.

Other Syrian troops also targeted Jeish al-Izzah terrorists’ movements from al-Latamanieh town towards military points in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on them.

In Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army’s artillery units pounded Tahrir al-Sham positions and movements in Tal Khatareh, Tal Kolbeh and Al-Zarzour, killing a number of them and destroying several positions of the terrorists.

In a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Army foiled an attempt by terrorists who were trying to penetrate into government forces’ military positions in Northern Hama.

The terrorist groups stationed in Northern Syria continued their provocative moves against the Syrian army, forcing into failure an agreement reached by Russia and Turkey on the establishment of a demilitarized zone.

The Syrian Army units stationed in the surrounding area of Shaliot village, North of Mahradeh, prevented the terrorists of Jeish al-Izzah from infiltrating into government forces’ positions from al-Zukah village.

The Jeish al-Izzah terrorists sustained heavy losses in the army attacks on their positions. The Syrian Army also destroyed the terrorists’ military equipment and hardware forcing the remaining terrorists to retreat.

The Syrian Army’s artillery units also targeted the military positions and movements of the militants in the surroundings of al-Latamanieh, al-Zukah, Lahaya, Mourek, al-Sokhr, al-Janabereh and Kafar Zita in Northern Hama, destroying several military positions of the terrorists.

In Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army units also targeted the terrorists in Sakik, Tavil al-Halib and Katibeh al-Mahjoureh region, inflicting heavy losses among them.

Meantime, the Syrian army dispatched massive military convoys to Northern Syria to confront the terrorist groups who have intensified their attacks on government forces’ military positions from the demilitarized zone.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Damascus Army in response to the continued terrorists’ attacks from the demilitarized zone in Northern Syria pounded the militants’ movements in Aleppo, Hama and Idlib provinces, inflicting heavy losses on them.

The Syrian Army with heavy artillery attacks pounded the military positions and movements of the terrorists in the small town of al-Baneh in Northern Hama, destroying several posts as well as killing and wounding a number of terrorists before they could attack the government forces’ positions in the area.

Meantime, other Syrian army units targeted the military positions and headquarters of Islamic Turkistani Party terrorist group in the surrounding areas of the villages of al-Najieh and Badama West of Jist al-Shoghour in Western Idlib and near the demilitarized zone, destroying several targets and inflicting heavy losses on terrorists.

HAYAT TAHRIR AL-SHAM CAPTURES MULTIPLE AREAS IN SOUTHERN IDLIB FROM TURKISH-BACKED MILITANTS (MAP UPDATE)

South Front

09.01.2019

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) has captured multiple areas across southern Idlib from Turkish-backed militants. According to reports appearing from the ground, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has established control of the villages of Safuhin, Termila, Abedin, Naqayr, Arinaba and Sotuh al Dayr and is developing its advance further.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Captures Multiple Areas In Southern Idlib From Turkish-backed Militants (Map Update)

Click to see the full-size image

MAP UPDATE: HAYAT TAHRIR AL-SHAM EXPANSION IN NORTHWESTERN SYRIA

This map provides a general look at the current military situation in northwestern Syria. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has significantly expanded its control within the Idlib de-escalation zone and is workong to expand it further.

Map Update: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Expansion In Northwestern SyriaRelated News

Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

January 03, 2019

by David Penner for The Saker Blog

Ask any American liberal aged sixty-five and older what they think about Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler and they will vehemently denounce these men as tyrants, murderers, and despots. Ask them what they think about the Vietnam War and they will say it was a tragedy, not only for the Vietnamese, but for the poor American soldiers who were drafted and used as cannon fodder. Liberals also once defended the civil rights movement and the New Deal while vigorously opposing McCarthyism. That these same people would go on to support deunionization, resegregation, and Russophobia while enthusiastically backing barbarous wars and interventions in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine constitutes not only a betrayal of leftist principles, but is indicative of a rejection of reason and the reality-based world.

Like the proverbial general always fighting the last war, liberals remain trapped in the past, unable to adapt to rapidly unfolding kinetic developments. The problem is that not only is this general fighting the last war, this is a general that can no longer distinguish between right and left and has lost any semblance of a moral compass.

There’s a Hitler on The Danube

One could argue that the new Cold War began with Bill Clinton bringing Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO. For Russians that were not yet alarmed by this perfidy, their red lines were irrefutably crossed with the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia and the bombing of Serbia, regarded by Russians as a brotherly nation. This constituted an illegal war of aggression, and was carried out without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council. Indeed, the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia initiated an unraveling of international law and marked an erosion in the equilibrium between the great powers.

As Noam Chomsky has noted, Yugoslavia was marked for destruction, because unlike the other formerly communist European countries they did not embrace privatization. The destruction of Yugoslavia was not only a violation of the UN Charter, but was also the first “humanitarian intervention” following the collapse of the USSR that liberals were duped into embracing. In an article on the RT website titled “15 years on: Looking back at NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia,” the author writes, “NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ ‘war on terror,’ or ‘preventive war’ – something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.”

While Milošević and the Serbs were marked for demonization due to their lack of enthusiasm for neoliberal “reforms,” Croatian secessionists (many of whom subscribed to a neo-Nazi and neo-Ustasha ideology), Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia, and the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were supported by the West. Brigadier-General Pierre Marie Gallois of the French Army has condemned the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia, and has gone on record stating that the endless stories of Serb atrocities, such as mass rapes and the siege of Sarajevo were fabricated. Gallois also argues that the German elite sought revenge for the fierce Serb resistance during the two world wars, especially with regard to the Serb partisans that held up German divisions that were headed towards Leningrad and Moscow during Operation Barbarossa. While relentlessly demonized, the Serbs were in many ways the greatest victims of the NATO-orchestrated Balkan wars, as hundreds of thousands of Serbs were forcibly expelled from both Croatia and Kosovo while Serbia was turned into a free-fire zone by NATO for over seventy days. Washington took advantage of the conflict to solidify control over its European vassals.

During the aerial campaign, between ten and fifteen tons of depleted uranium were dropped on Serbia resulting in extremely high rates of cancer. The Independent coyly informed its readers that the forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatia, which they refer to as an “exodus” – is a great mystery – a “riddle.” The only “riddle” is how liberals can denounce genocide and speak ad nauseam about human rights while supporting neo-Nazi regimes, such as the Poroshenko government in Kiev and the Tudjman government in Croatia, which have perpetrated genocidal war crimes in broad daylight. The forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatia was eventually reported by The New York Times, but four years too late. Liberal-backed jihadists in Libya and Syria have likewise carried out one ethnic cleansing after another.

Endless calls by the mainstream press to stop the evil Serbs from establishing a “greater Serbia” were blatant propaganda, as there was no way that the hundreds of thousands of Serbs in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo could have “invaded” these territories, as they had already been living there for centuries. Indeed, this very scenario holds true for the ethnic Russians in the Donbass. Moreover, as the mass media was busy vilifying the Serbs, behind the scenes American diplomats had no illusions about who they were dealing with, referring to the Croatian nationalists as “our junkyard dogs.”

In an article titled “The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia,” Michael Parenti writes:

Tudjman presided over the forced evacuation of over half a million Serbs from Croatia between 1991 and 1995, replete with rapes and summary executions. This included the 200,000 from Krajina in 1995, whose expulsion was facilitated by attacks from NATO war planes and missiles. Needless to say, U.S. leaders did nothing to stop and much to assist these atrocities, while the U.S. media looked the other way.

Kosovo was also prized by the Western elites because of its rich deposits of coal, lead, zinc, cadmium, gold and silver valued in the billions of dollars. The tragic balkanization of Yugoslavia, where brother was pitted against brother, brought about the destruction of a non-aligned country with a nationalized economy thereby bolstering the power of Western finance capital.  Of the NATO bombings, Parenti posits that, “To destroy publicly-run Yugoslav factories that produced auto parts, appliances, or fertilizer…is to enhance the investment value of western producers. And every television or radio station closed down by NATO troops or blown up by NATO bombs extends the monopolizing dominance of the western media cartels. The aerial destruction of Yugoslavia’s social capital served that purpose.”

Lamentably, all of this was drowned out by the mass media’s vilification of the Serbs. An article in The Guardian titled “Serbs enslaved Muslim women at rape camps” encapsulates perfectly how Western liberals were duped into embracing a war which was waged for no other reason than to fortify the power of US and NATO hegemony. This propaganda is particularly galling in light of the fact that women’s rights have been thrown back into the Stone Age precisely in the very countries which have come under attack by Washington and her proxies, such as Libya, jihadist-occupied Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“Save Benghazi” and More Humanitarian Psychosis

Repeated calls by the presstitutes to “save Benghazi” sufficed to obtain liberal support for a war of aggression that has left Libya in such a state of anarchy and chaos, that Libyans who have been unable to flee the country are now trapped in a failed state where warring militias vie for power. In an article in Foreign Affairs titled “Obama’s Libya Debacle,” Alan J. Kuperman writes, “With Moscow’s acquiescence, the United Nations Security Council had approved the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya and other measures to protect civilians. But NATO exceeded that mandate to pursue regime change.”

Under Gaddafi Libyans enjoyed a high standard of living, and health care and education were free. Gaddafi’s desire to set up a gold-backed dinar put him in the crosshairs of the Western elites, as this would have liberated Africans from domination by the World Bank and the IMF through establishing a common gold-backed currency. Alas, this was lost on the human rights crusaders of the holier-than-thou faux left.

Libya, which formerly had the highest standard of living in Africa, has been annihilated as a nation state. Slave markets are a legacy of this great “humanitarian intervention,” as are pogroms carried out against black Africans, formerly given refuge by the Gaddafi regime. An article in The Telegraph, which appeared in March of 2011, titled “Libya crisis: Benghazi fights for its life as Gaddafi attacks,” was one of countless articles in the mainstream press that incited messianic liberals into supporting a war of aggression against a people that had become too independent.

Once a country is marked for destruction by the Western elites no story is too outrageous, as evidenced by Susan Rice’s claim that Gaddafi supplied his troops with Viagra so that they could more effectively carry out mass rapes. This barbaric destruction of a sovereign state was summed up by liberal icon Hillary Clinton, who when asked about the brutal murder of Gaddafi, happily blurted out “We came! We saw! He died!

In what constituted the most genocidal invasion of a country following the end of the Vietnam War, Iraq was marked for annihilation after Saddam Hussein made the decision to sell oil in euros. In a rare moment of candor from a high priest of liberalism, Madeleine Albright, when asked about the half a million children that died due to the Clinton-backed sanctions, replied “We think the price is worth it.” This chilling remark underscores the fact that, contrary to liberal theology, the destruction of Iraq was perpetrated with equal fervor by both parties. Incredibly, even after spending trillions of dollars systematically destroying Iraqi social and political institutions, Washington failed to install a puppet government in Baghdad which has forged alliances with Tehran, Damascus, and Moscow.

Liberal saint Obama, in comparing the reunification of Crimea and Russia with the Iraq War, informs us that the “annexation of Crimea” – which was enthusiastically backed by the overwhelming majority of Crimeans – was worse than the invasion of Iraq, which resulted in a million deaths, destroyed a civilization and fueled the rise of ISIS.

As if her abysmal record makes her a Marxist scholar, Albright now warns Americans of the dangers of fascism, her implication of course being that the rise of Trump represents a threat to our democracy. Perhaps the Donald’s desire to pursue detente with Russia, and the fact that he has yet to start any new wars are what liberals are really upset about.

The Obama administration’s support for the Saudi war on Yemen is yet another impressive achievement for the liberal class, and has yielded such an earthly paradise that Yemenis have resorted to eating leaves to survive. For this extravaganza of mass murder the presstitutes didn’t even bother coming up with a fictitious narrative, allowing the salt of the earth to set aside their pom-poms for a while and take a nap.

Syria: Mass Murder in Paradise

Unsurprisingly, the mass media had no trouble duping imaginary leftists into believing that Syrians were being indiscriminately slaughtered by the Syrian Arab Army and the evil Russians. Unbeknownst to The Guardian and The New York Times, the US military presence in Syria is illegal, while Russian and Iranian military personnel are there at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration and its vassals are clearly responsible for the carnage in Syria, as they poured billions of dollars into backing the many jihadist groups. The mass media also hoodwinked liberals into thinking that the US military has been fighting ISIS, when they have used ISIS along with Al-Nusra Front and other illegal armed formations, as proxies with which to wage war on Syrian society. If Washington were battling the jihadists in Syria, why would they simultaneously be antagonists with the Syrian government and the Russians, who together saved Syria from being overrun by these very barbarians? Indeed, such questions have become a form of unmitigated heresy.

Articles such as “The Effects of Suspending American Aid to Moderate Syrian Opposition Groups,” by Hosam al-Jablawi, which appeared on The Atlantic Council’s website, seek to further the fallacy that the militants have been mostly democratic and secular. Washington and her vassals have poured enormous amounts of weaponry into the conflict zone, and Israeli weapons have been discovered in Syrian territories liberated from Daesh. That German machine guns from the Second World War have been discovered in some of these hideouts is symbolic of the true intentions of these murderous and sociopathic gangs.

The New York Post has referred to the jihadists in Syria as “freedom fighters.” While this may not be regarded as a “liberal” publication, an even more inane sentiment was expressed on Democracy Now, where Amy Goodman discussed the fighting in Eastern Ghouta with Rawya Rageh, Alia Malek, and Wendy Pearlman. Throughout the entire discussion of what can only be called an imaginary war, the fact that a large swath of Syria was taken over by jihadists, many of whom were not even Syrians but foreigners, is not even mentioned. In this cloud-cuckoo-land that passes for journalism the militants do not even exist. Assad and Putin are simply killing as many Syrians as possible, and doing so in an orgy of gratuitous savagery.

An article in The Guardian titled “You’re on your own, US tells Syrian rebels, as Assad goes on offensive” is deliberately written with the intention of stirring up liberal outrage over “indifference in the face of genocide,” and seeks to evoke memories of the Holocaust, the appeasement of Hitler, and the defeat of the Republicans by the forces of Franco. Meanwhile, independent media is shunned by liberals, who dismiss efforts at real journalism and political analysis as “conspiracy theory.” Thankfully for the insane, there is no shortage of good reading material.

Moscow has repeatedly maintained that the Syrian Arab Army is no longer in possession of chemical weapons, and there is ample evidence that the chemical attacks in Syria are false flag operations carried out by the jihadists to justify NATO aerial attacks on the Syrian Arab Army and Syrian infrastructure. Clearly, these incidents make for great Hollywood and have been extremely effective in stirring up gullible liberals who proceed to bray, as if on cue, for another regime change.

Tied to the mass media’s obsession with accusing Assad of “gassing his own people” are the White Helmets, who have been funded by the West, and who are clearly allied with the jihadists. The White Helmets played a critical role in duping liberal fundamentalists into thinking that there was a democratic uprising in Syria, and that the West must intervene “to put an end to the suffering.” Time will tell if Washington truly ceases all military operations in this war-ravaged country.

Forgotten Killing Fields: Afghanistan and Ukraine

The invasion and military occupation of Afghanistan was sold as a war to free oppressed women. An article in The Independent by Jane Dalton titled “Afghanistan’s first female military pilot granted asylum in US after fleeing Taliban death threats,” is crude propaganda, yet very effective nevertheless. This is a great way to distract insouciant liberals from what Americans are more likely to do in their dealings with Afghans, which is to murder them, and then urinate over their dead bodies. What the mass media doesn’t like to talk about is how the rise of the Taliban is a direct result of Washington’s support for the mujahideen in their insurgency against the secular Afghan communist government in the 1980s. Washington is furious with the International Criminal Court over considering prosecution of American officials for war crimes in Afghanistan, and has even threatened to arrest ICC judges in retaliation. Unbeknownst to these judges, Americans are God’s chosen people. Consequently, they are incapable of war crimes.

Samantha Power is a particularly pious priest in the Church of Humanitarian Interventionism. Power was a staunch advocate of military intervention in Libya, and used her influence to cover up the crimes of the US-Saudi genocidal assault on Yemen. She defended Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, and yet was extremely critical of the “annexation of Crimea.” That the reunification of Crimea and Russia was in fact a legitimate humanitarian intervention is an irony that was undoubtedly lost on her. In a 2016 showdown with Vitaly Churkin at the UN Power accused Russia, Syria, and Iran of slaughtering civilians in Aleppo, when they were liberating the city from jihadists backed by Washington and her vassals. Power also spoke of the liberation of Aleppo as if the jihadists were Jews bravely defending themselves in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Syrian and Russian troops were fascists perpetrating brutal acts of collective punishment. Following this deranged rant, Churkin said, “The speech by the US representative is particularly strange to me; she gave her speech as if she was Mother Teresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country.”

The NATO-backed putsch in Kiev, supported wholeheartedly by the Obama administration, resulted in an unconstitutional seizure of power by the heirs of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, as well as a genocidal war waged against the ethnic Russians of the Donbass who have steadfastly refused to recognize the Banderite regime. In pitting neo-Nazis against neo-partisans, the restoration of Ukrainian nationalism has resurrected the demons of the past, as the bodies of slain Novorossiyan fighters are mingled with the bones of their heroic grandfathers.

Despite blathering on about the Nazis for decades, liberals were fully complicit in bringing this odious regime to power, as they were easily hoodwinked into thinking that the coup was a grassroots democratic uprising, and that the armed formations battling the Ukrainian military in the Donbass were divisions from the Russian Armed Forces, when they are overwhelmingly comprised of locals from Donetsk and Lugansk.

Moreover, as the Western elites impose multiculturalism and identity politics at home, they are simultaneously fomenting the rise of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe. This underscores the moral bankruptcy, duplicity, and schizophrenia of the liberal class and has trapped Europeans in an intellectual paralysis where they are being offered a choice between neo-Nazism or multiculturalism, both of which benefit the oligarchy. The Maidan coup, executed by pogromists, neo-Nazis, and Banderites has legitimized unconstitutional seizures of power and inspired those who would like to carry out a putsch of their own in Germany.

A Hitler on The Moskva River?

As Putin has noted, following the collapse of the USSR Washington and NATO have pursued a policy of unilateralism. These wars have not only been carried out in flagrant violation of the UN Charter that condemns wars of aggression, but have also contributed to the degradation of the rule of law within the West itself. Western stenographers like to complain about terrorism, but terrorists filled the vacuum following the destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and a large swath of jihadist-occupied Syria – “humanitarian interventions” – where liberal complicity is undeniable and irrefutable.

The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism is rooted in the myth that the invasion of Normandy brought about the defeat of fascism. While this is not to denigrate the contributions made by resistance groups in Western Europe or those who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, the fact is that the defeat of fascism was achieved by the Red Army and allied partisans who bore the brunt of the best German troops, together with the courage of the Russian people who suffered the loss of twenty-seven million of their countrymen. This much vaunted invasion was launched on June 6, 1944, and only after it was clear that the Nazis were going to lose the war.

The descent of liberals into a morass of madness and bestiality is intertwined with a gross naivete regarding the true intentions of publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Guardian which are leading their readers around like so many poodles. Sadly, most of these creatures will go to their graves never understanding the treachery of these periodicals that they have given their very souls to. Liberals have also decided that it is better to spend trillions of dollars on illegal wars of aggression while their sons and daughters have inadequate health insurance and wallow in dead-end jobs working for the minimum wage.

In a spectacular display of Russophobia and Apocalypticism, Nikki Haley, who could easily work for either party and not know the difference, recently wrote on her Twitter page that “Lying, cheating, and rogue behavior have become the new norm of the Russian culture.” Washington’s decision to make Putin their favorite new bogeyman undoubtedly helps justify the obscene budget of the military industrial complex. Let’s pray that the bells of humanitarian intervention don’t ring out in strident cacophony over the Kremlin, which would assuredly take us to a place from which there is no dawning, and the evanescing of the sun of mankind forever.
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David Penner’s articles on politics and health care have appeared in Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, Russia Insider and KevinMD. Also a photographer and native New Yorker, he is the author of three books: Faces of The New Economy, Faces of Manhattan Island, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at 321davidadam@gmail.com.

White Helmets, Black Hearts

By Jeremy Salt
Source

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In 2016 the White Helmets were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Justin Timberlake thought they should get it. So did Bear Grylls, Ben Affleck, Michael Palin, Daniel Craig, Rowan Williams, Ridley Scott, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Vanessa Redgrave and various other artists, writers, and politicians who put their signatures to the petition on the White Helmets web site.

‘Give it to Syria’s White Helmets’ the Guardian, a media mainstay of the terrorist war on Syria from the beginning, implored the Nobel committee. ‘They embody a spirit of civic resistance.’

The actor George Clooney also identified their essential goodness. ‘In a world full of hate these people put on helmets and run towards violence while everyone else is running away from it,’ he said in London when attending a showing of the glowing documentary the White Helmets made about themselves.

‘Where there is no structure in society they are there to protect. First and foremost they are heroes.’

On their website, the White Helmets describe themselves as ‘former tailors, bakers, teachers and other ordinary Syrians’ who had come together to form the ‘Syria Civil Defence’. In fact, Syria has, and has had since the 1950s, a government civil defense organization of the same name, which operates across the country, unlike the White Helmets, which has operated only in ‘rebel’ held areas.

Furthermore, far from being an organization set up by ‘ordinary Syrians’ who saw a need for ‘civil defense’ and decided to fill it, the White Helmets were not even Syrian in origin but the brainchild of a former British intelligence officer. Furthermore, again, they were never financially independent, as they claimed, but were funded from the beginning by the same governments making war on Syria through armed proxies tied to their intelligence services. They were a carefully constructed arm of this war.

The White Helmets were a sustained lie from the start. They were deliberately packaged to give the corporate media the images it wanted, dominated by the White Helmet hero scurrying across a rubble-strewn foreground with a dusty, crying child in his arms. In the background, out of sight but figuratively represented in the wailing of children and the bodies on the street were the architects of these horrors, the ‘regime’ in Damascus and the dictator sitting in his palace.

It was not long before holes began to appear in the narrative. These rescues were not genuine but were being staged for media consumption. Journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett were the first to pick holes in the narrative and the more they picked the more the holes widened, to the point where it was clear that the White Helmets were a scam of the first order.

But they were a scam the governments making war on Syria wanted their people to believe and a scam that the corporate media perpetuated, when the most cursory research would have revealed the lies.

The White Helmets were not just working in ‘rebel-held’ areas, a media euphemism for civilian districts taken over by the most violent terrorist groups on the face of the earth. They were an extension of these groups. They boasted of their affinities on their Facebook pages. They hated the Syrian government with the same fervor as the takfiris. They also reviled the Alawi, the Shia, Christians and Sunni Muslims who fell short of the takfiris’ exacting standards.

Many White Helmets doubled up as ‘first responders’ and takfiri gunmen. They operated completely under the instructions of the takfiris. They took away the bodies of the newly executed for burial and staged chemical weapons attacks as required. As evidence gathered by Russian researchers indicates, they were also involved in the harvesting of body organs from the bodies of wounded civilians.

These activities were all funded by the ‘liberal democracies,’ including the UK, the US, the EU and individual EU governments, including Denmark and Germany, nominally committed to fighting terrorism around the world.

By 2017 the British Foreign Office alone had paid the White Helmets an acknowledged $80 million. Outside money had even come from the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in memory of the British Labor politician, murdered in 2016, to work for a ‘fairer, kinder and more tolerant world.’

The contradictions in western attitudes were exemplified when Raed Saleh, the head of the White Helmets, and the recipient of millions of dollars in US aid, travelled to the US in 2016 to receive a humanitarian award and was turned back at Dulles International Airport in Washington.

Although the Department of Homeland Security never makes its reasons public, Saleh was clearly on a security/terrorist watch list. He had been allowed into the country before but this time he was turned away.

Waiting to greet him, the well-meaning but naïve members of the InterAction NGO alliance donned white helmets in his absence. Unfortunately, they are not likely to see the White Helmets being outed anywhere in the US media.

The Russian Foundation for the Study of Democracy recently compiled evidence based on extensive interviews in Syria with hundreds of witnesses, including former White Helmets and takfiri fighters, physicians and civilians living in areas that had been taken over by takfiri groups.

The interviews indicated that many of the White Helmets were not volunteers as claimed. In East Aleppo men were imprisoned and given time to decide whether to join Jabhat al Nusra or the White Helmets. It had to be one or the other. There was no third option unless saying ‘no’ to both and facing execution can be considered an option.

For some, joining the White Helmets was the only means of survival for themselves and their families but once inside the organization, everyone knew orders had to be obeyed whatever they were.

These orders came from the takfiri groups. A member of Jaysh al Islam’s internal security services told Russian researchers that instructions were delivered to the White Helmets by phone or personal messenger but either way, they were under the full control of Jaysh al Islam.

After eastern Ghouta was taken over by the takfiris it was divided into four sectors. The White Helmets in the district were integrated with the takfiri group assigned responsibility for each sector.

Along with faked chemical weapons attacks, setting up faked ‘regime’ bombings in line with instructions from the takfiri groups was a specialty of the White Helmets media unit. Witnesses gave evidence of bodies being brought from the morgue and the wounded from the hospital in preparation for faked attacks. Wrecked cars would be dragged to the site. The stage having been set with the apparent consequences of a ‘regime’ bombing, tyres and trash would be set on fire and the cameras would begin to roll.

In Douma, the White Helmets constructed barriers, dug trenches and tunnels, and transported fighters, weapons, and ammunition to the front lines. According to witness evidence, they were permanently engaged in preparing battle positions for the takfiris. White Helmet or ‘rebel’ media rooms or centers kept the global corporate media supplied with a steady flow of lies which were eagerly lapped up, no questions asked. The lies included the faked 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma.

Theft was a common perquisite of being a White Helmet. Money and gold would be stolen from houses and jewelry stripped from the living – usually women – as well as the dead. Senior White Helmet figures enriched themselves, one in Douma buying cars and summer houses.

In the districts, they occupied the takfiris and the White Helmets shared office space. They took over schools and kindergartens. Under the threat of death, teachers in eastern Ghouta were told to send their students to religious schools. Students at the Gaza school in Aleppo were told to seek their education at the mosque.

The most heinous of White Helmet activities was the harvesting of body organs. Statements made to the Russian researchers indicated that organs were being removed in Turkey for transplantation into the bodies of wounded fighters and that the White Helmets and takfiri groups such as Ahrar al-Sham acted as an integrated team throughout the whole process.

The Russian researchers heard extensive prima facie evidence of the wounded being taken away for treatment by the White Helmets and being returned as corpses stripped of their body parts. A doctor in Aleppo gave evidence relating to a driver in Aleppo who weighed about 70 kgs when taken away and about 30-45 kgs when his corpse was returned. He had been cut from his throat to his stomach.

‘The skin almost touched his back,’ the doctor said. ‘I touched him with my hand and understood that there were clearly no organs left.’

In Aleppo the mother of a boy whose organs had been removed was only allowed to see his head and neck. An injured girl was taken to Turkey for ‘treatment’ and her body returned three days later with her internal organs missing. Even a person with a minor injury would be taken away and returned with the stomach cut open and the organs removed. It was understood, according to witnesses, that people taken away for medical treatment by the White Helmets often did not come back alive.

In July, 2018, 429 members of the White Helmets were smuggled out of Syria across the occupied Golan Heights and moved immediately to Jordan. The transfer was facilitated by the government of Israel which had armed the takfiris and given hospital care to their wounded since the beginning of the war. It had also helped and protected them by attacking Syrian military installations and now it was saving their White Helmet enablers from the retribution of the Syrian state and people.

From Jordan, the White Helmets were dispersed among the countries whose governments had supported them. They were quickly whisked away into a life of anonymity, supported by the British, European or American taxpayer. No one would know where they were or who they were so no critical questions could be asked. The truth was being buried with them.

This is a shocking story, of government criminality and media irresponsibility, of which the lies fed to the world about the White Helmets is only part.

The Russian report is a significant addition to the enormous body of prime facie evidence about the real nature of the White Helmets but as anything coming out of Russia is instantly dismissed as ‘fake news’ the corporate media already has a licensed reason to ignore this report.

The caravan of celebrities who moved quickly to capture some of the limelight created by the White Helmets, without asking any questions about what they were actually supporting, without caring as long as some of the spotlight fell on them, will move on in their narcissistic, feckless fashion.

The truth must have dawned on George Clooney by now. Certainly, it would be surprising to see him going ahead with his feature film on the White Helmets unless he intends to show what they were really like behind the lies he and many others swallowed. That’s the story that certainly needs to be told.

What Can Follow America’s Withdrawal From Syria

December 20, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Just before Trump announced that American troops are to leave Syria “immediately”, many compatriots, friends and analysts were wondering what could be the next event that might change the course of future events in northern and eastern Syria. The first reaction to the news of Trump ordering his troops to leave Syria took many by surprise. That said, we have to wait and see if Trump does not wake up tomorrow changing his mind. The reason behind Trump’s decision to withdraw is not very important and as far as this article is concerned, it is irrelevant. If he wants to believe that he is leaving victoriously, that’s fine, for as long as he does leave. That said, the sudden resignation of Mattis clearly indicates that the former top gun does not see it with the same spectacles. Either way, the withdrawal, if it happens, may end up to be a long and protracted process that could take weeks, months and perhaps years, and the manner in which it happens opens the doors for many possibilities and contingencies.

Before Trump’s decision, there were two serious nagging and unresolved problems in Syria standing in the way of ending the war and the commencement of rebuilding the war-ravaged nation; and they were the ongoing presence of the terrorists in Idlib and the presence of American troops in the North East.

Idlib has been the sink hole of Syria, a place where all terrorists ended up. In any major battles, all the way from the battle of Al-Qusayr in 2013 to the most recent battle of Daraa in 2018, all of which ended up with terrorists defeat, negotiations ended up with militants leaving the areas in secure buses and settling in Idlib. No one really knows how many of them are there at the present moment because the overall figure includes those who were bunkered there from the beginning. The estimates run from as low as 10,000 to a high 100,000. The truth is that we don’t know. The figure could well be outside those estimates; but they have to be huge nonetheless.

Regardless of the number, they are the only terrorists left who answer to Erdogan and/or who can be manipulated by him. If they don’t, they either have to fight to death or leave. But given that all of their supply lines come from Turkey, they don’t have much of a choice but to kowtow to the Sultan. The Sultan is using his loyal “troops” as a trump card for two reasons; first of all to continue to have a de-facto military presence in government-controlled areas in Syria, and secondly and most importantly perhaps, is because he regards the terrorists as his Muslim brothers, and it is his “duty” to protect them.

This was why when Russia and Syria were making preparations to go inside Idlib and clean it up, he told them that he could achieve the same objective with negotiations and that they can leave Idlib for him to deal with. A few months later, Russia and Syria are still waiting for him to come true to his word.

So what is Erdogan exactly trying to do in northern Syria and why are Putin and Assad putting up with him?

Before Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, it was clear that Putin understands Erdogan too well. He knows that Erdogan has an Achilles Heel, two of them in fact; one in each foot. In many previous articles, I have reiterated that Erdogan is incurably both an Islamist and a Turkish nationalist; even though the ideologies are in total contradiction with each other. And even though he is cunning, calculating and prepared to wait for the right moment to act, when it comes to either nationalism or religion, he regresses into a programmed robot that is simply unable to think and act rationally; and Putin has been trying to use this weakness of Erdogan to serve his own objectives.

Erdogan wants to protect Al-Nusra in Idlib, and this is why Putin convinced Assad to leave the Idlib carrot in the hands of Erdogan, not necessarily because he believes that Erdogan will indeed deal with it in the manner that he should, but simply to present to him that Russia regards him like a credible partner.

On the other hand, the simmering tension between Ankara and Washington over the Kurdish issue has been coming to a head for a long time. Ever since America pledged support to Syrian Kurds, Erdogan, in blunt terms, has been clearly saying to his American “allies” that they must choose between Turkey and the Kurds. He has been making serious threats that he will attack Manbij and clean it up from Kurdish militants even if American troops do not leave.

Erdogan’s nationalist Achilles heel has left him in serious discord with his biggest NATO ally.

Given that the nationalist aspect of Erdogan is prepared to risk falling out with NATO and even fighting American troops in Syria just to prevent the creation of an independent Kurdish state south of his border, he was putting himself in the position of the former Afghani Mujahideen who were fighting their own war, and at the same time, serving another purpose for another group. With this stance, Erdogan presented that he was prepared to fight with America at any level, even militarily; because to him, the Kurdish issue was a redline that he was not prepared to see crossed.

For a while, a fair while in fact, Russia and Syria stood back and watched how the American-Turkish impasse morphed. It seemed that any potential fight would not only serve to prevent the creation of an independent Kurdish state, but would also end up with American withdrawal from Syria, and thus serving the objectives of both Syria and Russia.

And even though in theory it is the role and duty of Syria and her army to liberate the North-East from American presence, this course of action did not only risk a major confrontation with NATO and possible widespread bombing all over the country, but this option will also risk a direct confrontation between America and Russia on Syrian soil.

This was the only reason why Russia and Syria seemed prepared to put the resolution of the Idlib dilemma on hold. This is the only rational reason as to why they did not coerce Erdogan to rush into any quick action there before the problem of American presence has been resolved.

Knowingly or inadvertently, the American withdrawal from Syria, if it happens, will take a huge bargaining chip away from the hand of Erdogan in as far as his relationship with Russia is concerned. Erdogan will no longer be able to say to Russia that if Russia wants him to deal with America’s presence, then Russia must accept the deal with Idlib too.

In short and simple terms, the American withdrawal, if it happens, will take the decision of what happens in Idlib out of Erdogan’s hands.

The above sounds good, good for Syria, but the final outcome of this will depend on a number of factors, the most important of which is who is going to replace the American troops and how soon.

If America leaves behind a mercenary army as some speculate, fighting it will be logistically easier in the sense that it will not open the door for direct confrontation with United States army.

Depending on the pattern of withdrawal, the void generated by the retreating American troops can either be filled by the legal national Syrian Arab Army or by an invading Turkish army. But this depends on the location as well as the time table of withdrawal. If America for example leaves Deir Ezzor now, which is in the east and a couple of hundred kilometers south of Turkey’s border, the void will automatically be filled by the Syrian Army. However, if America leaves a northerly position such as Manbij, Turkey will move in before the Syrian Army will have a chance to do so. And such a scenario can spell more problems for Syria.

The problem here is more of a humanitarian nature than territorial, because sooner or later, Turkey will have to leave Syria. That said, if Turkish troops control any Syrian land, even for a short time, they will most likely declare open season on Syrian Kurds, and given Turkish history in dealing with such situations, this can be brutal.

On the other hand, if Erdogan tries to inflict a Kurdish massacre, then his Idlib carrot will turn into a stick lashing his own hide. For years, he had managed to juggle his contradictions of being a nationalist and an Islamist, but he will finally have to choose between his two alter egos. His nationalist ambition of annihilating Kurdish resistance in Syria can endanger his Muslim brothers in Idlib. His split-personality dilemma is finally coming to a head.

Would the man who was prepared to fight America if America supported a Kurdish state be also prepared to fight Russia if Russia attacked his Islamist brothers in Idlib?

Ideally, the best scenario possible for Syria and Russia, a resolution that will uphold Syria’s sovereignty and integrity all the while avert any Kurdish bloodshed, is for Syria and Russia to immediately fill in any gap created by retreating American forces. Erdogan must be kept out of Syria, and once his hands cannot reach Syrian Kurds any longer, he will no longer be able to have any say in Idlib.

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