Nearly 500 Syrian mercenaries killed in Libya: LNA

By News Desk -2020-04-02

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – The spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Major-General Ahmad Al-Mismari, announced on Thursday that the death toll for the Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries had reached 500 after more than four months of fighting.

Over the past week alone, the Syrian mercenaries have suffered dozens of casualties at the hands of the Libyan National Army.

Many of these casualties in the ranks of the Syrian mercenaries came as a result of the Libyan National Army’s rapid advance through the southern outskirts of Tripoli, which has since come under the control of LNA.

While the LNA reports 500 Syrian mercenaries killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) contrasts these figures; instead, they claim approximately 150 of these militants have died in the past four months.

Despite the large deviation in numbers, it still remains that the deployment of Syrian mercenaries to Libya has been a major failure, as they have been unable to slow down the LNA’s large-scale advance across the northwestern region of the country.

The first Syrian mercenaries arrived in Libya at the end of December. Since then, Turkey has transported a large number of them to the North African country, despite territorial losses in Syria’s northwestern region.

US TO GRANT $35 MILLION TO PROMOTE ITS FAKE NEWS BUBBLE IN SYRIA & CONTROL LOCAL MEDIA

Fake News Media

January 24, 2020, RT.comAlthough Western media has a shoddy track record of lying on Syria (and Libya, Iraq…), the US State Department will pump $35 million more into future war propaganda on Syria, under the guise of promoting honest reporting. 

A US State Department grant, “Support for Independent Media in Syria,” is unabashed in stating one of its main goals is “to advance U.S. Government policy objectives in Syria.”

That is probably the sole honest clause in the grant description: that it is in the end about US self-serving, hegemonic objectives in Syria.

The description goes on to claim these goals include the defeat of ISIS—although the illegal US-led coalition has attacked Syrian army positions on numerous occasions, ensuring the advance (not defeat) of ISIS in those areas. One of the most glaring instances being the September 2016 repeated attacks on the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor province, which saw ISIS take over the region.

The US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, recognized in the region as the man responsible for the near-defeat of ISIS, is another notable example of the US goals being to prolong, not defeat, ISIS in the region.

With their grant, the US plans to “advance human rights and promote tolerance and dialogue between ethnic and religious communities,” which is again morbidly laughable given that the US has been supporting wahhabi and other extremists whose human rights track records include caging, torturing, raping, and starving civilians, and public executions.

It wouldn’t be American policy if the State Department grant didn’t include mention of countering “Russian disinformation” and ending the presence of “Iranian forces and proxies in Syria.”

However, removing Iranian forces isn’t within America’s right to do; Syria invited Iran, Russia and other allies to actually fight terrorism in Syria, as opposed to the US-led occupation forces. And as discussed, it isn’t Russia that has the track record of disinfo on Syria, that honour goes to America and allies.

Western outlets in chorus promoted the accusations of Syria/Russia preventing food and aid into eastern Aleppo (even Reuters reported“rebels” had stockpiled aid) and Madaya and eastern Ghouta (none was true).

Western media sold the story of Russia/Syria bombing the home of Omran Daqneesh (didn’t happen), of the al-Quds hospital being “reduced to rubble” by Russian/Syrian bombing (didn’t happen), and a litany of other grotesque war propaganda stories.

897px-Omran_made_the_news
19022348_10155554719009059_87946180_o-1
DSCN7625-1

[READ: MintPress Meets The Father Of Iconic Aleppo Boy, Who Says Media Lied About His Son ]

[READ: Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda ]

Suddenly we’re meant to find credible journalists who embed with al-Qaeda and whitewash their crimes, and media which have on many occasions used photos not even in Syria to accompany sensationalist war propaganda stories. 

CNN and western media got it wrong about Omran Daqneesh, but I haven’t even seen any retractions for this lie.

And yet the US wants people to believe that the independent voices and Russian and Syrian media who actually reported factually and honestly on these and other issues…are not credible. 

The US wants people to live in a fake news bubble, where the narratives are controlled by the war mongers. And, strangely, America seemingly wants Syrians to be subjected to media that reports opposite of the reality they are living. As if after nine years of enduring Western (and Gulf) media’s lies Syrians will suddenly believe them and decide to overthrow the president they elected (and support)? America is grasping at straws…

The OPCW Truth Bombs

Western nations accuse Russia of disinformation around whether Syria used a chemical weapon in Douma, eastern Ghouta.

In April 2018, Western media pounced on and promoted the White Helmets’ lies, shedding crocodile tears over civilians allegedly exposed to a chemical agent, at the same time ignoring or mocking the testimonies of 17 Syrians from Douma (including the boy starring in the White Helmets’ hoax video). 

Turns out the body tasked to examine this accusation omitted from its final report key findings that poke massive holes in the (West’s) official narrative around Douma. Not one, but many revelations have been leaked about the critical omissions of the OPCW  report. 

The only ones taking this seriously are mainly Russia, Syria and independent researchers. In the face of these recent revelations, most Western media have largely thus far been silent.

Similarly, Western media didn’t cover the December 2018 panel detailing damning findings on the White Helmets’ association (and membership) with terrorist groups in Syria, and their involvement in staging chemical attacks and in organ harvesting…

[READ: Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns ]

In the State Department’s quest for truthful reporting, one of the issues to be protected seemingly at all costs is of course the White Helmets (and the chemical hoaxes they help stage).

Anyone who has seriously researched the White Helmets, much less bothered to interview Syrian civilians about the fake rescue group, knows their footage and claims are as credible as the words of nurse Nayirah, Colin Powell, or the entries of Wikipedia.

Journalists who bothered to interview medical staff in Douma following the chemical hoax were told that doctors were treating patients with normal wartime injuries when “strangers” (including White Helmets members) entered yelling about a chemical attack, creating a panic (and demonstrating a lack of medical skills), and filming the scene with then 11 year old Hassan Diab.

[READ: Syrian civilians from ground zero expose chemical hoax ]

Diab was one of the Syrians dismissed by western media when he testified to the OPCW that he had not been subject to a chemical attack but had been used by the White Helmets. For Western media, only some children are credible (exploited)…when it suits their narrative.

One such youth, Muhammad, gained notoriety when eastern Ghouta was being liberated. Like the Aleppo child Bana before him, the Ghouta teen had an account in his name on Twitter (the dodgy logistics of which I raised in my last article) and was busy parroting the accusations.

Incidentally, Ghouta (to the silence of media which claimed concern in 2018) is rebuilding, in peace.

In any case, I get the feeling people are tired of lying Western media, chemical hoaxes and the antics of the White Helmets. I certainly see propaganda apologists getting called out on Twitter more than prior, and people are extremely skeptical of chemical weapons accusations.

As Vassily Nebenzia said of the OPCW official report on Douma: “Humpty-Dumpty, as we know, “sat on a wall, had a great fall and all the king’s horses, all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”. I mean, that is exactly what happened to FFM report. Exactly.”

RELATED:

‘Truth is the 1st casualty of war’: Syria’s East Ghouta battleground distorted by MSM propaganda 

‘Brazen disinformation’: Syria narrative managers defend Douma chemical weapon hoax as OPCW comes under attack

Torture, starvation, executions: Eastern Ghouta civilians talk of life under terrorist rule 

Maarat Al-Numan Is Liberated

Source

JANUARY 28, 2020

On January 27 evening, units of the Syrian Army continued their operation in southeastern Idlib. Government troops liberated Hamidiya, Bseida, Maasaran, Tal Al-Shih, Maziyan and several other villages. By this advance, the army fully besieged Maarat al-Numan from the northern, southern and eastern directions.

According to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants are not planning to defend the encircled city for a long time. They are actively planting mines and IEDs in the area. Therefore, even if militants withdraw from Maarat al-Numan via the remaining corridor, government troops will not be able to secure the city immediately.

On January 28, government sources claimed that the Syrian Army had already entered Maarat al-Numan. However, government forces still have to remove IEDs and fortify their new positions.

The Syrian Army offensive in southeastern Idlib is ongoing under the nose of the Turkish observation post near Maarat al-Hat. In the event of further advances by the army, the observation post will likely be encircled by Syrian forces. This will be the third Turkish observation post that faced this fate. The previous two are located near Surman and Morek.

Pro-opposition sources blame Turkey for the recent setbacks of al-Qaeda-linked groups. According to them, Ankara conspired with Moscow in order to undermine the so-called Syrian revolution. They also claim that the redeployment of members of Turkish-backed militant groups from Syria to Libya undermined the defense of Idlib. On January 26, the Libyan National Army, a rival of the pro-Turkish Libyan Government of National Accord, claims the number of Turkish-backed fighters that were prepared to be deployed to Libya was over 8,000. Earlier, reports appeared that at least 2,400 Turkish proxy fighters had been already sent to Libya.

Another hot point of the battle for Greater Idlib is western Aleppo, where the 4th Armoured Division is engaged in an intense fighting with militants. Local sources say that the Aleppo advance is a diversionary strike designed to drew attention of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leadership from Maarat al-Numan and contain reinforcements that it can send to southeastern Idlib.

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 15-17, 2020: OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS IN SOUTHERN IDLIB RESUMED

South Front

Late on January 15, pro-government forces, led by the 25th Special Mission Forces Division, resumed their offensive operations in Greater Idlib. Since then, they have taken control of several villages including Barsah, Nouhiya, Tell Khatrah, and Khirbat Dawud, west of the Abu al-Duhur airbase. The airbase liberated in January 2018 became a useful foothold for army units operating in the area.

On January 16, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched a counter-offensive recapturing Abu Jurf. However, it was not able to deliver any notable blow to the advancing government troops.

The ground operation followed resumption of airstrikes on weapon depots and fortified positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other radical groups. On January 15, the Syrian Air Force bombed the industrial zone and the al-Hal area of Idlib city destroying multiple vehicles and several buildings. Airstrikes were also reported near Ma`arat al-Nu`man, Ma’ar Shoreen, Tell Kersyan and other areas along the M5 highway. Over 20 airstrikes hit targets in southwest of Aleppo city that recently became the target of regular shelling from Turkish-backed militant groups. The especially intense shelling took place on January 16, with more than two dozens of rockets pounding the city.

Pro-government sources speculate that southwestern Aleppo will become the target of the large-scale army offensive. Meanwhile, the army is obliterating salient militant positions on the frontline east of the M5 highway. This is needed to ease future military efforts to retake the highway from the radicals and liberate Maarat al-Numan, Khan al-Sobol and Saraqib. The developments of the last two years demonstrated that despite any ceasefire and de-escalation agreements, the highway will remain closed as long as militants control these three towns.

Turkey and Russia also seem to be preparing for a new round of violence in Greater Idlib. Turkish Minister Hulusi Akar said on January 15 that Ankara and Moscow were in talks to establish a “security zone” to allow civilians to take shelter during the winter. He claimed that the reason is that civilians do not want to go to government-controlled areas. Pro-Damascus sources say that al-Qaeda-linked militants just sabotage the exit of civilians via humanitarian corridors, just under the nose of Turkish observation points.

On January 15, ISIS cells ambushed a group of Republican Guard troops in southern Deir Ezzor. The terrorists destroyed a BRDM-2 vehicle and a mini truck, and killed at least 9 soldiers. Earlier on the same day, the Israeli Air Force carried out a strike on the T4 airport in Homs province. The Syrian Air Defense reportedly intercepted several missiles, but at least 4 of them hit the target.

The T4 airport is the base for Iranian-backed operations against ISIS the central part of Syria as well as hosts Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles.

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SYRIAN ARMY’S CREEPING OFFENSIVE ON IDLIB. NEVERENDING CEASEFIRES EXPLAINED

South Front

A new ceasefire in the Greater Idlib region of northwestern Syria started on January 12, at 00:01 local time. The ceasefire, once again brokered by Turkey and Russia, followed a series of successful advances by pro-government forces in southern Idlib. Just a few hours after start of the ceasefire, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the official branch of al-Qaeda in Syria) and its supposedly ‘moderate’ counterparts shelled Aleppo city, targeting the districts of Shahba, al-Khalidiyah, al-Neil, al-Sabeel and Tishreen. At least 3 civilians were killed and 5 others – injured.

Despite this, the Syrian Army halted all of its offensive operations and air and artillery bombing campaigns against militants’ military infrastructure across Greater Idlib. Now, government troops open fire only in response to attacks by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies. They, in coordination with the Russian Reconciliation Center, also opened three humanitarian corridors (Al-Hobait – in southern Idlib, Abu Duhur – in southeastern Idlid, and Al-Hadher – in southwestern Aleppo) allowing civilians to leave the militant-controlled areas. The Idlib ‘opposition’ reacted by establishing own checkpoints near the corridors and imposing an unofficial tax for every persons that want to leave.

The new ceasefire effort caused a strong negative reaction among supporters of a military solution of the Idlib militants question. They reasonably say that the peace cannot be achieved in this part of Syria as long as al-Qaeda-style groups like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham dominate there. So, if Turkish-backed ‘moderate rebels’ cannot separate from al-Qaeda, they should face a military operation. In own turn, supporters of Idlib armed groups claim the army, Russia and Iran were just scared by their military might or, another version, the ceasefire is just another form of aggression because it allows civilians to leave Idlib, thus removing ‘human shields’ from the area. However, it seems that all these are a part of the larger trend.

Since the establishment of the Idlib de-escalation zone in September 2018, there have been 3 notable army operations against radical militants:

  • The April-June 2019 offensive, when government troops liberated Kafr Nabudah town and a number of nearby villages in northwestern Hama;
  • The August offensive that led to the liberation of Khan Shaykhun and nearby areas in southern Idlib;
  • The November-December operation in southern Idlib in the framework of which around 30 villages and settlements were liberated, and the army deployed in a striking distance from Maarat al-Numan, another key militant stronghold on the M5 highway.

All of these operations ended and even were interrupted by a number of temporary ceasefires. In general, the loop looked the next way:

  • Turkey, Russia, Damascus and the Turkish-backed ‘opposition’ agree on de-escalation efforts and the separation of “terrorists” and “moderate rebels”;
  • “Moderate rebels” do not separate from “terrorists”. Attacks on army positions across the contact line continue. Leaders of Idlib militant groups claim that the ‘bloody Assad regime’ is terrified and vow to crush the regime and its supporters;
  • The army and the Russian Reconciliation Center open humanitarian corridors allowing civilians to leave Greater Idlib. Militants try to prevent this sabotaging the effort. Despite this, some people leave;
  • Government forces launch an offensive delivering a blow to militants and liberating a notable chunk of territory;
  • The ‘international community’ and mainstream media report about numerous atrocities of the army against forces of the young Idlib democracy. Turkey and Russia agree on another ceasefire. The situation repeats.

At the first look this approach looks contrary to a straight logic. It is hard to imagine that somebody believes that the real ceasefire and political settlement is possible with al-Qaeda as one of the key powerbrokers on the ground. Nonetheless, it leads to apparent results: more and more civilians are being evacuated from Idlib and the Syrian Army liberates more and more areas. During the December offensive, even Hayat Tahrir al-Sham supporters had a suspicious that something was going wrong. In these conditions the main question is that how many such ceasefires will be needed to get rid of all radicals in the region?

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MEDIA HAVE BEEN SPREADING PROPAGANDA AGAINST SYRIA FOR YEARS – JOURNALIST

Dec 31, 2019, RT America:

“Fallout continues from recent Wikileaks revelations, which confirmed that the OPCW had been pressured to alter its report to cover up evidence about the alleged April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria. Investigative journalist and on-the-ground reporter Eva Bartlett joins In Question to discuss.”

*

I thank Robert Thorpe for his summary of the interview:

“Steadfast Canadian journalist Eva Karene Bartlett, who has spent months on the ground in many parts of Syria since 2014, discusses Western propaganda designed to mislead people about Syria, demonize the nation in support of Western efforts to overthrow its sovereign government, and the defacto complicity in terrorism of the US, British, Canadian and other NATO governments.

She raises the issue of the recent resignation of Newsweek journalist Tareq Haddad’s from the publication over the censorship of his coverage of recent leaked internal OPCW documents which show that the senior management of UN sponsored organization produced fraudulent reporting of the non-existent alleged gas attack (a White Helmet false flag) at Douma used to justify US, French and British missile attacks on Syria.

Related/Mentioned Links:

Erdogan Recycles Terrorists from Syria to Libya and Idlib Front Update

December 26, 2019

Arabi Souri

Syrian Arab Army - Hasakah - Idlib - Turkey - Erdogan - Trump - Putin - Russia - USA

Libya is the next destination for the anti-Islamic Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood terrorists loyal to the Turkish pariah Erdogan, meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army gives the terrorists 24 hours to leave Maraat Noman.

Erdogan is now shifting to North Africa, there’s oil and there’s a new task assigned to the Zionist stooge: Cut off the road for China, keep Europe under check, and weaken Russia in that part of the world.

Mad at the Russian President Putin who didn’t notify him of the swift Syrian Arab Army operation in southeastern Idlib, Erdogan lashing out at Russia and trying his luck with the remnant of the international Muslim Brotherhood organization elsewhere. The terrorists who came to Syria and became part of the ‘Syrian Moderate Opposition’ will now be recycled into ‘Libyan Moderate Opposition.’

The Syrian leadership has waited more than 1 year and 1 month before deciding to implement the Astana Agreement by force, the agreement signed between Erdogan and Putin should have secured the vital arteries of M5 and M4 and reopened them between Aleppo and northeast Syria and the coastal side, and also with the southern provinces of Damascus and Daraa through Homs and Hama. These highways are literally the artery of the Syrian economy.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad decided to not give Erdogan any further excuse after the latter started his military invasion into the northern parts of Syria. In a message to the Syrian Arab Army units positioned in southern Idlib, Dr. Assad gave them order to deploy north and northeast: ‘Every inch of Syria should be liberated.’

Assad to SAA: You’re Ready to Clean Idlib from Terror

After swiftly penetrating the territories and cleaning more than 40 villages and towns from al-Qaeda Levant (aka HTS and Nusra Front), the SAA is on the outskirts of the strategic town of Ma’rat al-Numan.

The Syrian Arab Army gave the terrorists in control of the city a 24 hours ultimatum to ‘leave or will never’. Tomorrow is a new day.

The following report by the Syrian Ikhbariya news channel briefs the situation and also mentions the airlifting of Trump forces from northeast Syria to northern Iraq:

The following report by the Syrian Ikhbariya news channel briefs the situation and also mentions the airlifting of Trump forces from northeast Syria to northern Iraq:The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Zgi4xEYdJCf7/

Transcript of the English translation of the above report:

The Turkish occupation forces withdrew groups of their terrorist organizations from the northern countryside of Hasakeh in preparation for their transfer to Libya, these forces continue to withdraw groups of their mercenaries from Ras al-Ain and its surroundings in the northern countryside of Hasakeh at the rate of approximately 60 terrorists from each terrorist group to send the terrorists to Libya through Turkish territory to get them into the battles that are taking place there.

The Turkish occupation forces have moved about 100 terrorists from Jaysh Al-Islam organization from their areas of deployment in the northern countryside of Hasakeh, to use them in the battles in Idlib’s southern countryside, in an attempt to support the terrorist organizations that have collapsed in front of the Syrian Arab Army.

On another front, two US coalition helicopters landed at the illegal Kharab al-Jir airport in al-Malikia countryside near the Iraqi border and withdrew US officers towards northern Iraq.

Since the beginning of the Turkish aggression on Syrian territory, the United States occupation forces transported hundreds of their soldiers and military equipment from several areas of Syria to Iraq through illegal corridors and airports.

End of the transcript.

At first, NATO invaded Libya and destroyed the state there turning it into a hub to export anti-Islamic Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood takfiri terrorists, it used the terrorists in a number of countries notably in Syria. Now after their defeat in Syria, it’s not possible to move on the previous plan and deploy them into Iran, that failed with the Iranians foiling the ‘protests’ plot there, and in Iraq which turned out more difficult than expected, and in Lebanon where the Hezb Allah – President Aoun’s alliance turned the tide against the plotter.

The only vulnerable place where the US can still stretch its last muscles is back to North Africa, where it can endanger the Mediterranean and cause endless worries for the EU, the AU, AL, and the rest of the world. (EU: European Union, AU: African Union, AL: what’s left of the Arab League). Not to serve any interests of the US or its people, on the contrary, it’s creating endless enemies for them while impoverishing them, it’s to serve the same old project: Greater Israel.

The ropes jumper who played Europe and Russia is a faithful servant for those who appointed him in a project they still think is viable, Erdogan also still thinks he can have a place in it. The mystery remains: Why did Putin save Erdogan from a confirmed end in 2016?

The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”?

It Started in Daraa on March 17, 2011

Global Research, December 14, 2019
Global Research 3 May 2011

Almost nine years since the beginning of the war on Syria in March 2011, so-called progressives have supported the so-called opposition, which is largely made up of Al Qaeda affiliated mercenaries.  A US-NATO led war of aggression is portrayed as a “civil war”.

President Bashar Al Assad is casually described as a dictator who is killing his own people. The millions of deaths resulting from US-NATO led wars are not an object of concern.

The anti-war movement died in the wake of the Iraq war (April 2003). Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and counterterrorism prevail.

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

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

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

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

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

From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained and equipped by NATO and Turkey’s High Command. According to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka, August 14, 2011): 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does it Sound familiar? 

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

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

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

Michel Chossudovsky, March 17, 2019, December 14, 2019


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

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 3, 2011

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

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

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

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

Alawite Map

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the cause of the deaths?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Armed Insurrection in Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What lies ahead?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related Posts

“The Good Terrorists”: How U.S. Airstrikes Helped Prop Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib?

Global Research, December 14, 2019
Marines

Al-Qaeda in Syria has two noteworthy apologists. One is the jihadist propagandist Bilal Abdul Kareem, a former correspondent for CNN, often seen in videos sporting a long beard and reporting from the ground in the al-Nusra Front strongholds in northwestern Syria, and the other is Syria analyst and the fellow of the Middle East Institute Charles Lister.

Recently, Lister has written a research paper for the Hudson Institute, titled “The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures,” [1] in which he has tried to prove that militants of al-Qaeda in Syria are not “bad guys” per se, rather they are “good terrorists” whose ambitions are restricted to fighting the Syrian government, and they don’t intend to mount terror attacks in the Western countries.

In conclusion of the lengthy screed, he has craftily proposed “Gaza-fication” of Syria’s northwestern Idlib, where like the Hamas in Gaza, the so-called “Salvation Government” of the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, can be recognized as a legitimate government administering the northwestern enclave under the tutelage of Ankara.

Unwittingly, however, Charles Lister has spilled the beans in the article about a July 30 American airstrike in rural Aleppo that killed several high-profile jihadist dissidents, who had challenged the unity of the Washington-backed insurgency against the Syrian government offensive in northern Hamah and Idlib in late April.

Before getting into details, it’s worth noting that Hurras al-Din is a small radical outfit in Syria’s northwestern Idlib that split in 2018 from al-Qaeda in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front until 2016, and now as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

An excerpt from Charles Lister’s research paper reads:

“When the Syrian regime and Russia launched their all-out military offensive on northwestern Syria in late-April 2019, a debate ensued within Hurras al-Din – a breakaway faction of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front – should they assist Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups by reinforcing their frontlines in northern Hama?

“Given al-Qaeda Central chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s public directives indicating the importance of Islamist unity and sustaining the armed struggle against the regime, the leader of Hurras al-Din Abu Hammam al-Suri and his deputy Sami al-Oraydi emerged as tacitly supportive of helping other jihadist groups, including Tahrir al-Sham, wherever necessary.

“The debate over Hurras al-Din’s role on Tahrir al-Sham’s opposition frontlines spilled out into the open in late June of 2019, when Hurras al-Din leader Abu Hammam al-Suri expelled two prominent Hurras al-Din clerics, Abu Dhar al-Masri and Abu Yahya al-Jazairi, for having issued non-sanctioned rulings forbidding fighting in northern Hama. Some alleged Abu Yahya had gone as far as pronouncing takfir on Tahrir al-Sham, thereby excommunicating them from Islam and labeling them apostates and legitimate targets for attack.

“Abu Hammam’s dismissal of Abu Dhar and Abu Yahya sparked an uproar within Hurras al-Din. The group’s internal judicial court, led by Abu Amr al-Tunisi, issued a petition signed by more than 300 members on June 23 demanding an arbitration involving Abu Hammam and his deputy, Sami al-Oraydi.

“However, neither Abu Hammam nor Oraydi turned up at the planned arbitration on June 25, leading the court’s chief, Abu Amr, to issue a furious five-minute audio statement accusing HaD’s leaders of nepotism. Abu Amr was swiftly expelled from Hurras al-Din, and this led another senior leader, Abu Yaman al-Wazzani, to declare in exasperation ‘the jihadist project over.’ Later that day, a statement confirmed that Wazzani and another fellow critic, Abu Musab al-Libi, had also been expelled from Hurras al-Din.

“Tensions persisted through the summer of 2019, albeit less intensely. But in a mysterious twist on June 30, 2019—just days after the above-mentioned crisis—Abu Amr al-Tunisi, Abu Yahya al-Jazairi and Abu Dhar al-Masri were all killed, along with three other allied hardliners (Abu al-Fid’a al-Tunisi, Abu Dujana al-Tunisi and Abu Ibrahim al-Shami) in an American airstrike that targeted a meeting of Hurras al-Din detractors in rural Aleppo.

“That was the first American strike in northwestern Syria in more than two years and it was followed up two months later by another on August 31, 2019, targeting Hurras al-Din ally Ansar al-Tawhid. Al-Qaeda veteran Abu Khallad al-Mohandis was also killed in an improvised explosive device attack that targeted his personal vehicle in Idlib city on August 22, 2019.”

It becomes abundantly clear after reading the excerpts from Charles Lister’s article that not only has Washington provided weapons and training to militant factions battling Damascus but it has also conducted airstrikes eliminating jihadist dissidents who dared to threaten the unity of large militant outfits in northwestern Idlib, such as Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

During the eight-year proxy war in Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the leader of al-Nusra Front, has emerged as the second most influential militant leader after the Islamic State’s slain chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In fact, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Although the current al-Nusra Front has been led by Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, he was appointed[2] as the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the late leader of Islamic State, in January 2012. Thus, al-Jolani’s Nusra Front is only a splinter group of the Islamic State, which split from its parent organization in April 2013 over a leadership dispute between the two organizations.

In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was based in Iraq, began sending Syrian and Iraqi jihadists experienced in guerrilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organization inside the country. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country. On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra.

In April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that al-Nusra Front had been established, financed and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq. Al-Baghdadi declared that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” The leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Jolani, issued a statement denying the merger and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.

Al-Qaeda Central’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried to mediate the dispute between al-Baghdadi and al-Jolani but eventually, in October 2013, he endorsed al-Nusra Front as the official franchise of al-Qaeda Central in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, defied the nominal authority of al-Qaeda Central and declared himself the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Keeping this background in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that a single militant organization operated in Syria and Iraq under the leadership of al-Baghdadi until April 2013, which chose the banner of al-Nusra Front, and that the current emir of the subsequent breakaway faction of al-Nusra Front, al-Jolani, was actually al-Baghdadi’s deputy in Syria.

Thus, the Islamic State operated in Syria since August 2011 under the designation of al-Nusra Front and it subsequently changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April 2013after which it overran Raqqa and parts of Deir al-Zor in the summer of 2013. And in January 2014, it overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in Iraq and reached the zenith of its power when it captured Mosul in June 2014.

Excluding al-Baghdadi and a handful of his hardline Islamist aides, the rest of Islamic State’s top leadership is comprised of Saddam-era military and intelligence officials. According to a Washington Post report [3], hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy.

It is an indisputable fact that morale and ideology play an important role in battlefield, and well-informed readers must also be aware that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has directly been inspired by the puritanical Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is not sufficient to succeed in battle.

Looking at the Islamic State’s astounding gains in Syria and Iraq in 2013-14, a question naturally arises that where did its recruits get all the training and state-of-the-art weapons that were imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

According to a revelatory December 2013 news report [4] from a newspaper affiliated with the UAE government which supports the Syrian opposition, it is clearly mentioned that along with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other military gear, the Saudi regime also provided machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who had completed their training in the training camps located in Jordan’s border regions along southern Syria.

Once those militants crossed over to Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria from the Jordan-Syria border, then those Toyota pickup trucks could easily have traveled all the way to Raqqa and Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq – the former strongholds of the Islamic State.

It is clearly spelled out in the report that Syrian militants got arms and training through a secret command center known as the Military Operations Center (MOC) based in the intelligence headquarters’ building in Amman, Jordan, that was staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations, Israel and the Gulf states to wage a covert war against the Syrian government.

*

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1] The Syria Effect: Al-Qaeda Fractures

[2] Al-Jolani was appointed as the emir of al-Nusra Front by al-Baghdadi

[3] Islamic State’s top command dominated by ex-officers in Saddam’s army

[4] Syrian rebels get arms and advice through secret command center in Amman

Major Development: SAA Reopens Vital Aleppo – Hasakah M4 Artery

Syrian Arab Army SAA Reopens Aleppo - Hasakah Highway M4

 

The Syrian Arab Army has reopened the most vital Aleppo – Hasakah Highway M4 for people traveling and for economic convoys securing the whole path from terrorist groups, separatist militias, and foreign invaders.

Thanks to the heroism and bravery of the Syrian Armed Forces and the massive sacrifices of the Syrian people, M4 highway is back to life after years of control by terrorist groups the likes of Al-Qaeda and all its variants: FSA, Nusra Front, ISIS, and later by separatist Kurdish militias, and attempts by foreign NATO invaders of the Trump and Erdogan regimes.

The following video report by the Syrian Ikhbariya News Channel adds more info:

 

The video is also available on Bitchute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/n1yoWeliGP1F/

Erdogan forces of Al-Qaeda FSA have tried desperately to control this road to cut off the northern region from the rest of the country, despite claims of the Turkish madman of respecting Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other empty talks, the Syrian Arab Army empowered by their duty to protect their families and people have managed to deploy fast and from several axes, especially after cornering Erdogan’s most loyal terrorists of Nusra Front in Idlib and after the separatist Kurdish SDF militia were abandoned by their sponsors.

The transcript of the English translation of the video report:

After completing the deployment of the Syrian Army on the International Road of Hasakah- Aleppo M4 and securing villages and areas on the axis of the road, the road was opened to residents, travelers, and commercial convoys, reducing the burden and travel and reducing the time for travelers.

Syrian Arab Army Officer: We declare to our fellow citizens, economists and all segments that this road has become safe and everyone can use this road and restore human and economic life as it was, especially that Syrian Arab Army units coming from the city of Hasakah reached the west of Silos by 5 km and met with units from The City of Ain Issa.

The M4 international route is the only artery for commercial convoys and travelers arriving in the eastern region after the U.S. coalition destroyed bridges on the Euphrates River, all roads except the road between Hasakah and Aleppo were cut off.

Army units had begun deploying in the vicinity of the road from the south in order to secure it and protect civilians in the surrounding villages from the town of Tal Tamr to Aalieh silos as a first stage, the army continued to deploy and reinforce its points towards the administrative border of Raqqa province to the village of Al-Tarwazia.

The International Road of Hasakah-Aleppo runs along the northern and eastern region of Syria and connects the north of the country to the west, and reaches the Iraqi border at its home country of Yarabiya.

mmmmmmmmm

End of English transcript.

نص التقرير باللغة العربية

بعد استكمال انتشار الجيش العربي السوري على الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب وتأمين القرى والمناطق على محور الطريق، تم فتح الطريق أمام الأهالي والمسافرين والقوافل التجارية ما خفف أعباء وعناء السفر واختصر الوقت للمسافرين

ضابط في الجيش العربي السوري: نعلن للأخوة المواطنين وللاقتصاديين ولكافة الشرائح بأن هذا الطريق قد أصبح آمناً ويستطيع الجميع سلوك هذا الطريق وإعادة الحياة البشرية والاقتصادية كما كانت وخاصة أن وحدات الجيش العربي السوري القادمة من مدينة الحسكة وصلت إلى غرب الصوامع ب 5 كيلومتر والتقت مع الوحدات القادمة من مدينة عين عيس

ويعتبر الطريق الدولي الشريان الوحيد الذي تسلكه القوافل التجارية والمسافرين القادمين إلى المنطقة الشرقية بعد أن دمر التحالف الأمريكي الجسور على نهر الفرات والذي تسبب بانقطاع كل الطرق باستثناء الطريق الواصل بين الحسكة وحلب

وكانت وحدات الجيش بدأت الانتشار في محيط الطريق من الجهة الجنوبية بغية تأمينه وحماية المدنيين في القرى المحيطة به انطلاقاً من بلدة تل تمر وصولاً إلى صوامع عالية كمرحلة أولى واستمر الجيش بانتشاره وتعزيز نقاطه باتجاه الحدود الإدارية لمحافظة الرقة وصولاً إلى قرية التروازية

ويمتد الطريق الدولي الحسكة – حلب على طول المنطقة الشمالية والشرقية من سورية ويربط شمال البلاد بغربها، ويصل حتى الحدود العراقية عند بلده اليعربية

For Sama: A Beautiful Yet Deceptive Documentary That Betrays Reality in Syria

For Sama Feature photo

On the surface, “For Sama” is about romance and childbirth, but underneath, it is very political.

by Rick Sterling

he documentary movie “For Sama” has won a host of awards in Europe and North America. Its producers and protagonists, Syrians Waad Kateab and her husband Dr. Hamza Kateab plus English film-maker Edward Watts, have received gushing praise. And the awards will probably keep coming.

Unfortunately, behind the human interest story, the film “For Sama” is little more than propaganda: biased, misleading, and politically partisan.

 

Hiding Basic Facts about Aleppo

“For Sama” is a full-length documentary with a moving personal story. It combines the story of young love and the birth of a child – Sama –  in the midst of war. That makes it compelling and personal. But the movie fundamentally distorts reality in east Aleppo between the years 2012 and  2016. While the personal narrative may be true, the context and environment are distorted and hidden, leaving the viewer an altered idea of reality. For example:

Most East Aleppo residents did not favor militants taking over their neighborhoods. In the short video, “Nine Days from my Window” the grim reality of a militant takeover in one East Aleppo neighborhood is shown. Many civilians fled the east side of Aleppo after the “rebels” took over. Those who stayed were mostly militants and their families, plus those who had nowhere else to go or thought they could wait it out.

The militants who took over east Aleppo became increasingly unpopular. As American journalist James Foley wrote:

 Aleppo, a city of about 3 million people, was once the financial heart of Syria. As it continues to deteriorate, many civilians here are losing patience with the increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that is hampered by infighting and a lack of structure, and deeply infiltrated by both foreign fighters and terrorist groups.”

Foley’s honest reporting may have ultimately contributed to his death.

The opposition group which ultimately came to dominate East Aleppo was al Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot, Jabhat al Nusra. “For Sama” ignores their domination, extremism and sectarian policies. There is only one fleeting reference to the group and the film fails to show exactly who was ruling East Aleppo.

In fact, the militants, a term used interchangeably with rebels, were incredibly violent and vicious. They threw postal workers off of a building’s roof, they sent a suicide truck bomb into Al Kindi Hospital and slaughtered Syrian soldiers defending the hospital and they, amongst other atrocities, recorded themselves beheading a young boy.

85 percent of the civilians in Aleppo were living in government-controlled West Aleppo. Thousands were killed by “rebel” snipers, mortars and hell cannon missiles launched from east Aleppo. The reality of life in West Aleppo, as even the BBC’s Jeremey Brown was able to capture, is completely overlooked in “For Sama.”

 

Al Quds Hospital was never destroyed

The Al Quds Hospital, where “For Sama” protagonists Hamza worked and Sama was born, is featured heavily in the film. In the movie, the hospital was destroyed in February of 2016, at a time when enormous publicity swirled around allegations that Russia intentionally bombed the hospital. Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres) tweeted at the time that, “We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital in #Aleppo.”

Al Quds Hospital Aleppo

The Al Quds Hospital, the ground floor of the apartment building on the corner is shown. Photo | Nabil Antaki

After questions were raised challenging Medecins sans Frontieres’ version of the events surrounding the destruction of Al Quds, It was revealed that the hospital did not exist before the conflict and was one or two floors of an apartment building. It turned out Doctors Without Borders did not have any staff on-site and simply parroted allegations told to them. After Wast Aleppo was liberated, Dr. Nabil Antaki, a prominent doctor from West Aleppo, visited the location to find the truth. Antaki was a long-time doctor but had never heard of Al Quds. He reported:

I went Sunday, February 12, 2017, visiting the Ansari-Sukari neighborhood in order to see Zarzour and Al Quds Hospitals. My guide was a young man who lived there and knows very well the area.

My first stop was Zarzour hospital (mentioned in MSF report) and I found out that it was burned. My guide told me that the rebels burned it the day before the evacuation (information confirmed by a high position responsible in the Syrian Red Crescent). On the sidewalk, I found hundreds of burned new blood bags (for collection of blood donation). A man I met there invited me to visit his building just next to the hospital. His building was also burned and on the floors, I found hundreds of IV solution bags.

Then, we moved to Ain Jalout school. In fact, there are 3 contiguous schools. Two are completely destroyed; one is partially. Behind the schools, there is a mosque called Abbas mosque with its minaret. Answering my surprise to see schools destroyed by airstrikes, my guide told me that the mosque was a headquarters of the rebels and one school was an ammunition depot and the other one was a food depot. I noticed the flag of Al Nosra (sic) painted on the external wall of the school, and dozens of buildings in the surrounding partially destroyed.

Then, we moved to see Al Quds Hospital. Obviously, it is the most preserved building of the street. Obviously, it was not hit directly by bombs and probably received some fragments from bombs fallen on other buildings. I asked my guide if any restoration or repair was done. He said no.

My feeling is the following: Ain Jalout school was the target of the strikes, the surrounding destroyed buildings were collateral damages and Al Quds hospital was not directly hit by strikes.”

Ain Jalout School Aleppo

The bombed out Ain Jalout School, used as a Nusra ammunition and supply depot. Photo | Nabil Antaki

An eye witness account. Photographs. Video. All paint a reality starkly different from that portrayed in “For Sama.” The claims in the film about the death of a doctor at Al Quds Hospital, supposedly captured by closed caption cameras, are also untrue.

The armed opposition and their western supporters have been faking events to demonize the Syrian government from the start. Just as they did with the very public Richard Engels Kidnapping Hoax, where militants staged the kidnapping and “rescue” of Engels and his team.

 

Paid and Promoted by the West

Waad Kateab, the film’s main protagonist, had an expensive video camera and endless hard drives. She even had a drone to take video from the air. As confirmed by Hillary Clinton in her book “Hard Choices,” the U.S. provided “satellite-linked computers, telephones, cameras, and training for more than a thousand activists, students, and independent journalists.”

Waad claims she is a citizen journalist but has been paid and supplied by governments that have long sought the overthrow of the Syrian government. Even in 2005, CNN host Christiane Amanpour warned Bashar al Assad that “the rhetoric of regime change is headed towards you from the United States. They are actively looking for a new Syrian leader … They’re talking about isolating you diplomatically and, perhaps, a coup d’etat or your regime crumbling.”

Since 2011, the West, Turkey, Israel, and the Gulf monarchies have spent many billions trying to overthrow the Syrian government. The CIA budget for Syria was near a billion per year. These “soft power” components include video equipment and training for people like Waad to support the armed insurrection, demonize the Syrian government and persuade the public to continue the war.

We all suffered… The difference is that some wanted the war.”

The medical doctor from west Aleppo, Dr. Antaki, does not deny there was suffering in east Aleppo. But he points out the discrepancy in media coverage where all the attention goes to the “rebels.” He also points out that all suffered, but not all were responsible. Some, especially supporters of the “revolution,” initiated and continued the conflict. Dr. Antaki said on the subject:

There were a lot of stories like ‘For Sama’ in West Aleppo. Unfortunately, nobody had the idea to document them because we were busy trying to protect ourselves from the rockets, to find water to drink, to find bread and essential products which were not available because of the blockade of Aleppo by the armed groups. They cut off electrical power, heating etc.. Yes, people who were in the East neighborhoods suffered from the war as well as those who lived in the West neighborhoods. We, all, suffered. The difference is that some people wanted the war, initiated or supported it and they suffer. The others didn’t support it and suffered.”

 

The Aftermath

Waad Al Kateab and her husband Hamza are now living in the UK. He is working for a money transfer company and involved with the “Al Quds Hospital” in Idlib. As indicated in the movie, Waad was never proud to be Syrian and she wanted to emigrate to the West. From afar, she claims to be proud of the “revolution” that has led to the destruction of Syria and the human tragedy that accompanied it.

Meanwhile, people are returning to Aleppo and rebuilding the city. There are even a few tourists. Although pockets of snipers still exist in Aleppo, the al Qaeda extremism which once plagued the city is now mostly confined to Idlib.

 

Save Idlib?

The 2019 documentary “Of Fathers and Sons” is based on a film-maker who lived with militants in Idlib. Some of the reality hidden from the audience in “For Sama” is revealed in this documentary. “Of Fathers and Sons” shows life in Idlib province dominated by Nusra. Women are restricted to the house and must be veiled. Boys as young as ten are sent to sharia school and military training preparing them to join Nusra. They believe in the Taliban, glorify 9-11 and expel or punish anyone who does not subscribe to their fundamentalism. Youth are indoctrinated with extremist ideology and a belief in violence. This is the regime that those who want to “Save Idlib” are protecting.

For decades the West has supported fanatic extremist organizations to overthrow or undermine independent secular socialist states. Most people in the West are unaware of this, though it is well documented in “Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam” and “The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump.”

 

The Future

Unbeknownst in the West, the majority of Syrians support their government, admire their president, and feel that the Syrian Army is protecting them. Even those who are critical of the government prefer it to chaos or Salafi fundamentalism. Waad and Hamza Al Kateab represent a tiny minority of Syrians. Their voices and the perspective of Edward Watts, the filmmaker (who has never been to Syria) are being widely projected and disseminated through “For Sama.” Other voices are being ignored.

When Waad and Hamza departed Aleppo with Nusra militants, the vast majority of Aleppans celebrated. On the surface, “For Sama” is about romance and childbirth. Underneath it is very political, as interviews with the producers confirmed. For this, it will likely be widely promoted precisely because it gives a distorted picture. To continue the dirty war on Syria, public misunderstanding is required.

Feature photo | A screenshot from a trailer for the documentary film, “For Sana.”

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist based in the SF Bay Area of California. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

When you follow the gun trail, you sometimes end up in unexpected places

In a third exclusive clip from This Is Not A Movie, a documentary film by Yung Chang about the foreign reporting of Robert Fisk, Robert discusses how he followed the trail of weapons from the front lines of Syria to a small village in Bosnia

Regenerating “Islamic” Terrorism

By Allan MacLeod

Source

Usman Khan cb702

On almost every occasion when the Western powers make claims of a terrorist attack or other event whose outcome seems to further their interests, there are inconsistencies or coincidences that suggest malign state interference. The identity documents found in the attacker’s vehicle, or the later revelation the person was already known to police. But for any single incident, it is rarely the case that such “give-aways” prove malign influence or covert action by the state, even though cumulatively the “conspiracy” by these organizations appears beyond dispute, and unsurprising to those of us on this side of the divide.

As has been observed before however, the agencies who appear to be responsible for staging and coordinating such “provocations” or “false flags” have discovered that they can now get away with almost anything – presented appropriately in the mainstream media. The public has been trained to respond to diversionary and emotive material much as Pavlov’s dog, bypassing any intellectual curiosity that would see them ask even basic questions – such as “why would he do that?”

But as they say – you can’t fool all of the people all of the time – and sooner or later there will be enough people who are not fooled to stand up and derail this juggernaut of lies and fabrications that has become the modus operandi of the Imperial Establishment. On the basis of what we have already seen and heard about the latest London Bridge “terrorist attack”, that time should be now, based on a couple of critical pointers; the unnecessary assassination of the knife-wielder, and the timing and location of the attack.

While we might ask of the – now deceased – Usman Khan “why would he do that?”, it seems to be a question many are already asking, as the story of his alleged rehabilitation from would-be terrorist emerges. They might also be asking “how was he able to do that?” – given his electronic monitoring and known attendance at a conference on Prisoner Rehabilitation before his unexpected knife rampage. But such questions are asked every time an attack happens, without satisfactory answers being provided.

The answers – from the chosen experts and from the authorities – are provided, but are never satisfactory; the terrorist was “radicalized”, influenced by an extremist Imam, pledged allegiance to Islamic State, went to fight in Syria. In this bizarre case those questions were asked nine years ago, when Khan was jailed for planning a London terrorist attack; now the question being asked is how he became “re-radicalized”, though without showing any indication of it since his early release a year ago.

But it’s the wrong question, again. Instead it should be asked who gave Usman the idea that running amok with a couple of kitchen knives in a London tourist spot would help the cause of Islamist fundamentalism in the Middle East? Would this not be the very thing that the UK government is looking for to justify its continued illegitimate intervention and occupation of Iraq, just at a critical time when the other dodgy pretexts are falling apart?

Consider for instance how the whole narrative of the “fight against Islamic State” could have been maintained had the series of terrorist attacks in the UK not happened – the Manchester bombing and the Borough Market attacks most recently. It hardly needs pointing out that the perpetrators of those attacks were also well-known to counter-terrorism authorities, and even cooperated with them.

We might even ask, if we were more cynical about the motives and actions of the UK state in its “War on Terror”, why a supporter of “the Islamic State” would be biting the hand that feeds it – with weapons and supportive propaganda – and which has benefited from the use of ISIS as a pretext for invasion and occupation of Syria’s oil and gas fields. As the basis for the whole illegitimate NATO coalition campaign in the Middle East – justified as preventing terrorist attacks in the West – this question is unlikely to be answered! But ask a Syrian soldier this question as he and his comrades face multiple missile attacks and foreign-backed Al Qaeda extremists with real suicide vests and car bombs and you might be told the truth. Just don’t expect much sympathy for your loss from “blowback”.

But back to the two critical points mentioned earlier and our question, now posed to the policeman who shot Usman Khan dead – “why would he do that?” Why, when Khan was already overpowered and disarmed on the ground, was it necessary to shoot him dead? Why was it so necessary that one of the men holding him down had to be pulled off him and out of the way so Khan could be shot? The video embedded in this article, which shows the minutes before Khan was apparently shot dead, is particularly revealing. Once Khan was pinned down by his civilian pursuers there is no drama, but all hell breaks out as soon as police arrive.

This question has been asked, including by those brave men who chased the attacker following his knife attacks in the conference hall. It was answered with the claim that Khan was wearing a – fake – suicide vest, which is worse than unconvincing; if the police thought it was fake – like the ones worn by the Borough Market attackers – then their answer is disingenuous, but they could hardly have thought otherwise; the idea that attendees at a conference on Prisoner Rehabilitation which included convicted murderers and terrorists could bring along suicide vests is preposterous! And we only have the word of one alleged witness and police that Khan actually was wearing such a vest, fake or otherwise, without any visual evidence – such as Khan shouting that he would detonate his vest if police shot at him.

Instead we are forced to conclude that police were determined to shoot Khan and to shoot him dead, not because he was a danger to the public – who had already overcome him – but because he was a danger to them. Dead men tell no tales, and this man clearly had one to tell. Considered on its own and in isolation from the circumstances prevailing in the UK at this time, which to say the least are “extenuating”, this could be thought a case of “rough justice”. It wouldn’t be the first time that police have sought to avoid a lengthy trial where a murderer might escape justice on some technicality.

So if “the police” – who surely knew exactly who they were dealing with long before he ran out onto the bridge – didn’t want the public to hear what Khan had to say, what exactly might that have been? That he had links to Islamic State, despite being closely monitored since his early release from Belmarsh prison a year ago? That he had fooled them into thinking he was reformed? None of this is likely, given that within 48 hours we have already Usman Khan’s whole life story and history of his previous trial and conviction.

What else can we conclude but that Khan was the means to an end which suited the UK establishment and its agencies, and that he was somehow manipulated and set up to perform in this provocation? It’s not as though this hasn’t happened before, and involved the very same organizations and individuals who are now prognosticating about the resurrection of the terrorism threat, along with their obedient media. In another Daily Mail article on the event it says:

“It has been speculated that the attack may have been revenge for the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi”

Speculation presumably by someone who believed the false story about the US bombing of a house in Syria, and didn’t realize Baghdadi was long past his use-by date; like Dr Who, he needed to regenerate, so he needed to die first, and soon!

Once again one has the feeling that events are being “orchestrated” by the Imperial powers to suit the agenda of NATO and the Five Eyes, as well as the political agendas of their governments. It’s a paranoid idea, but the paranoia is no fantasy; what more might we fear from leaders and governments who we now know have conspired through the OPCW to fabricate evidence that has facilitated terrorist attacks in Syria and lethal disinformation around the globe?

متفقون أم منحرفون؟

ديسمبر 7, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يروّج آلاف من المحللين السياسيين ومنتحلي صفة مثقفين على شاشات التلفزة الإقليمية لمقولة تزعم ان التدخل الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط، يوفر للعرب حماية من التدخلات الخارجية وينقذهم من خطر الاحتلال.

ويقذفون بثلاثة انواع من المخاطر التي يجابها الأميركيون في العالم العربي كما يقولون وهي المطامع الإيرانية، والإرهاب، وروسيا.

لجهة الخطر الإيراني، يمكن الجزم بالاستدلال العلمي التاريخي ان إيران لم تعتدِ على بلد عربي منذ الفتوحات الاسلامية قبل الف عام تقريباً، وفي حين ان اتهام تحالفاتها في العالم العربي بأنها من الحرس الثوري الإيراني، فأمرٌ مثير للسخرية، لأن انصار الله في اليمن هم جزء من “الزيود” الذين يحكمون اليمن منذ تسعة قرون على الأقل.

لقد مر عشرات المستعمرين على اليمن في مراحل تاريخية مختلفة، وتلقوا جميعاً هزائم شديدة، أسألوا الأتراك والانجليز والسعوديين، وحتى المصريين في مرحلة عبد الناصر، أما قبل الإسلام فألحقوا هزائم بالرومان والفرس والصليبيين والإغريق فقط.

لجهة الحشد الشعبي العراقي فهو عراقي تاريخي ينتمي لكتلة بشرية تنتمي الى ارض السواد منذ آلاف السنين أي قبل دخول الإسلام اليه، وتحالفه مع إيران أدى الى دحر إرهاب كبير مدعوم من الأتراك والأميركيين والخليج.

هذا يؤكد أن تحالف إيران مع الحشد الشعبي كان عاملاً أساسياً في تحرير العراق من الإرهاب ومنع تقسيمه حسب مشروع أميركي – خليجي علني وليس إيرانياً.

كذلك فإن الدور الإيراني في سورية انما جاء بعد تدخل إرهابي كوني من حدود تركيا وبرعاية من مخابراتها وتمويل سعودي – إماراتي قطري تلبية لمطالب أميركية.

هذا الدور دعم الجيش السوري ببضع مئات من المستشارين وأسلحة كثيرة ومساعدات أخرى مادية، حتى تمكن من تحرير 65 في المئة من سورية بإسناد روسي وآخر من حزب الله.

حتى الآن لا أحد يعرف كيف أسهم التدخل الأميركي في إنقاذ المنطقة، بل على العكس لانه كشف التواطؤ الأميركي بدعم الإرهاب لتفتيت المنطقة.

ماذا عن لبنان؟ هناك حزب الله المتهم بإيرانيته على مستوى السياسة، باعتبار انه لبناني أصلي من جبل عامل.

تكفي هنا الاشارة الى ان الدعم الإيراني لحزب الله أدى الى تحرير جنوب لبنان من “إسرائيل” في العام 2000 ونجاحه في منع اجتياحها له في العام 2006، ومشاركته في القضاء على الإرهاب الدولي في سورية وجرود بلدة عرسال اللبنانية.

لذلك فالسؤال هنا، هو ما هي التدخلات الأجنبية التي أنقذ الأميركيون العرب منها، ففلسطين المحتلة هي بإيدي أصدقائهم اليهود المدعومين منهم، ومدينة القدس المقدسة باعها الأميركيون للإسرائيليين مصدرين قراراً بإلغاء وكالة الاونروا ومانحين شرعية للمستوطنات الاسرائيلية في الضفة الغربية ومقدمين لـ”إسرائيل” الجولان السوري المحتل ومزارع شبعا اللبنانية المحتلة.

لذلك يسأل البعض عن هوية الذي يسطو على النفط في شرقي الفرات؟ ألم يعترف الرئيس الأميركي ترامب انه وضع يده عليه عازماً على استثماره لمصلحة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

أما فمن يحتل العراق مقيماً فيه عشرات القواعد العسكرية فهي أميركية ايضاً.

فكيف يمكن اذاً اعتبار إيران خطراً يهدّد العالم العربي، وهي التي لا تحتل متراً واحداً من أراضيه، فيما يسيطر الأميركيون بالاحتلال على أراض سورية وعراقية وليبية ولديهم قواعد في البحرين والإمارات وعمان والكويت والسعودية والإمارات مع حق التزوّد بالوقود والسلع في المغرب ومصر والاردن.

وهل ننسى تركيا التي تحتل بدورها عشرات آلاف الكيلومترات في شرقي الفرات والشمال الغربي السوري حتى ادلب واراضي في العراق ولديها قواعد عسكرية في قطر وليبيا.

بالمقابل لا تحتل إيران متراً واحداً من المناطق العربية المجاورة.

يكشف هذا العرض عن مدى الانحطاط في ثقافة الدفاع عند قسم من المحللين العرب ومنتحلي صفة مثقفين.

على مستوى الإرهاب فالدور التركي – الخليجي الأميركي في دعمه عند انطلاقته غير مخفي تماماً كمستوى الوضوح في ان الذين هزموه في ميادين سورية والعراق هم الجيشان السوري والعراقي وحزب الله والحشد الشعبي، وروسيا التي شنت عليه مئة وعشرين الف غارة وإيران التي شاركت في القضاء عليه.

الا تبين هذه المعطيات ان الأميركيين يشكلون وبالاً على العالم العربي وقوة احتلال لأراضيه؟ وتظهر في آن معاً ان إيران ليست قوة احتلال، بل أمنت دعماً لقوى عربية متحالفة معها يجمعها بها العداء لنفوذ أميركي يلتهم ثروات المنطقة منذ 1945 ويحتل أراضيها ويسيطر على سلطاتها السياسية.

لذلك يمكن الاعتراف بأن الأميركيين يدعمون الأنظمة العربية لتقويتها في قمع شعوبها وتسهيل مسألة السطو الغربي على ثرواتها.

ماذا عن روسيا؟ هل تشكل خطراً على العرب ويعمل الأميركيون على مجابهته؟

المعروف أن روسيا لم يسبق لها ان احتلت ارضاً عربية في التاريخ ولم تكن قوة استعمارية كحالة الغرب.

اما وجودها العسكري في سورية، فهو يحوز على الشرعية القانونية من الأمم المتحدة التي تعترف بحق اي دولة الاستعانة بقوات من دولة أخرى، وهذا ما فعلته سورية بطلبها التدخل الروسي في مكافحة الإرهاب على أراضيها.

إن هؤلاء المثقفين والإعلاميين المستعربين يتوجون إيران عدواً للعرب، فيما يحتل الأتراك والأميركيون والاسرائيليون أراضي عربية بحجم دول كبيرة ويزعمون محاربة الإرهاب وهو المتحدّر من “القاعدة” الوهابية السعودية او الإخوانية التركية، ويرحلون نحو اتهام الروس في وقت تتمتع دول الخليج ومصر ومعظم الدول العربية بعلاقات جيدة مع موسكو.بذلك ينكشف تواطؤ مثقفين وإعلاميين عرب مع الأميركيين والأتراك لإبقاء العالم العربي في خدمة المستعمرين بشعارات كاذبة وزائفة.

US Reportedly Finds ‘Significant Cache’ of Iranian Missile Parts Being Smuggled to Houthis by Boat

An Iranian woman looks at Taer-2 missile during a street exhibition by Iran's army and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard celebrating Defence Week marking the 39th anniversary of the start of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, at the Baharestan Square in Tehran, on September 26, 2019

Source

Anonymous US officials reported the seizure of a “significant cache” of missile parts by a US destroyer in the Gulf of Oman last week, with the weapons reportedly being linked to Iran and suspected of being smuggled to the Houthis in Yemen. The report comes amid backroom peace talks to end the war in Yemen.

The USS Forrest Sherman seized missile parts found onboard a boat in the Gulf of Oman last week, an anonymous US official told the Associated Press Wednesday. The official said the weapons were linked to Iran and believed to be bound for Yemen and the Shiite Houthi militant movement there.

The anonymous official did not say how many missiles or parts were found, only that a small wooden boat had aroused US suspicion by not flying a country flag, prompting the destroyer to stop and search it.

‘Fake and Fabricated’ Accusations

The US and its allies have accused Tehran of supporting the Houthi movement before, claiming Iran is fighting a proxy war against its regional rival Saudi Arabia, which has waged a bloody war in Yemen against the Houthis for nearly five years.

In December 2017, then-US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presented what she called the “smoking gun” of Iranian support for the Houthis: pieces of a missile fired at Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport just outside the capital of Riyadh, which she claimed were of Iranian origin.

Iran’s envoy to the UN at the time, Gholamali Khoshroo, said the accusations were “fake and fabricated,” an attitude generally shared at the time even by US allies. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, later explained the Houthis had overhauled older missiles themselves, turning them into more potent weapons.

Washington renewed the accusation in June 2019 following the downing of a US drone over Yemen by Houthi forces. The US said the anti-air missile that struck the drone had been provided to the Houthis by Iran, but as Sputnik reported, the old, Soviet-made weapon was sold to dozens of nations decades ago and could have been bought anywhere.

US allies split in September over the issue of who carried out the aerial attack on two Saudi Aramco petroleum sites in eastern Saudi Arabia: Washington claimed the missiles were fired from Iran, while Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz claimed the Houthis carried out the attack, as the group itself claimed, but at Tehran’s orders.

The Houthis have been fighting a war against the Saudi-led coalition since March 2015, when the group forced Yemeni President Adrabbuh Mansur Hadi out of office. The Zaidi Shiite group represented a diverse alliance of Yemenis disaffected by Hadi’s federalization plans and slashing of state welfare benefits, both of which hit the northern border areas the Houthis call home extremely hard. The Saudis claim to be defending the Yemeni government’s sovereignty, but they and their chief partners, the United Arab Emirates, have also found erstwhile allies in the radical Islamist militias active in Yemen, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which now controls much of the country’s southeast.

Via Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, US weapons have been found in the hands of these militias in large numbers, including American MRAP anti-mine vehicles, French LeClerc main battle tanks and Agrab Mk2s, a unique vehicle of South African design.

Peace Deal in the Works

Sputnik reported last week on peace talks between the Houthis and Saudis being quietly hosted by Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat and accompanied by large prisoner exchanges.

Former Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told Foreign Policy that handling of the peace talks by Saudi Vice Minister of Defence Prince Khalid bin Salman, brother of de facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reflected “a commitment to a final comprehensive peace … and a realization that there is no military solution to the conflict. I believe Prince KBS hopefully has come with a new vision to put an end to a costly war which has created great regional stability.”

“The war has exhausted Saudi Arabia financially, and the worsening military situation in its south is not in its best interest,” Nabeel Khoury, the former deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Sana’a, told the US-based outlet Al-Monitor for an article published on November 26. “The fact that Prince Khalid has been assigned the Yemeni dossier is positive because it is a complicated issue and it needs a full-time decision-maker who Mohammed bin Salman trusts.”

An estimated 91,000 Yemenis have died as a result of the war, most of them civilians killed by the humanitarian catastrophe created by shortages of food, medicine and clean water. Despite the Saudi air campaign, the Houthis have gone on the offensive in the last year, conducting deeper strikes inside Saudi Arabia that targeted airfields, petroleum facilities and other sites.

Syria News: Terror Attacks, Call for OPCW Transparency

 

Syria Jarabulus car explosion Turkey terrorists in-fighting

Western colonial media currently wallows in the misery its politicians have brought to its populations while ignoring the misery it has brought to Syria. On the heels of British media erupting in righteous concern over the fate of ISIS terrorists in Syria, came the ISIS terror attack on London Bridge, complete with every imaginable quirks, including heroes with fire extinguishers and narwhal tusks, heroes in the form of a convicted murderer and a man walking from the scene carrying a clean knife.

Meanwhile, in Syria another car bomb was remotely detonated in downtown Ayn al-Arous south of Tal Abyad in Raqqa northern countryside, 30 November. The terrorist perpetrators are part of Erdogan’s mercenary gangs. SANA has reported no details, simply that at least 13 persons were killed or injured in the massive explosion.

Two children, ages 8 and 9, were murdered by a landmine while grazing sheep in the farmland of Hosh Nasri village in the Douma area of Eastern Ghouta. Landmines left behind — and frequently buried in farmland — by fleeing terrorists remains an ongoing problem. Despite an MoU signed by the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) signed in July 2018, this group’s best work involves Agnes Marcaillou keeping impressive stats on death and dismemberment, reported to the Security Council on a somewhat regular basis.

Speaking of Douma, H.E. Bassam Sabbagh addressed the 24th conference of the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague, 29 November and voiced his government’s concern over the recent leaked “contents of correspondences of a member of the fact finding mission to the Office of the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)…which unveil that the OPCW report misrepresented some of the facts on the alleged Douma chemical attack in Damascus countryside” 7 April 2018, which “was used as a pretext for the United States, France and Britain to launch their tripartite military aggression” against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Envoy Sabbagh called for transparency, and noted that the three countries are currently trying to keep a blackout on the leaked report.

To explain in non-diplomatic protocol, the OPCW — corrupt since its ejection of Jose Bustani, per the demand of Dick Cheney via neocon John Bolton — lied in its report on the Douma chemical hoax, in order to allow the war criminal states of the US, UK, and France to maintain their cover story for their illicit, breach of international law, bombing of Syria, based on the lies of al Qaeda terrorists who occupied Douma at that time.

One need only have looked at the video and still photographs provided by the terrorists, dutifully reported by transatlantic NATO stenographer journalists, to know that there were no chemical weapons used, that the human garbage committed a massacre of mostly women and children, so that the criminal tripartite aggressors would bomb Syria, as they had bombed Syria one year earlier, for al Qaeda occupiers of Khan Sheikhoun.

One might also note the length of time between the investigations in Khan Sheikhoun and Douma, for the OPCW findings and also that investigators were too afraid of the various factions of al Qaeda in Khan Sheikhoun to enter, instead accepting fake evidence from the terrorists, and investigators on the ground in Douma, under the protection of the Syrian Arab Army.

Syria has begun participation in the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), in Rome, to discuss means of combating terrorism in the region. This engagement may mean a breakthrough in return of normalized diplomatic relations between the countries; in February 2018, General Ali Mamlouk visited Rome to discuss security with top Italian officials, but this visit was not publicly acknowledged, by Italy.

SANA has announced a medical breakthrough by the neurosurgery team of the Ibn al-Nafis Hospital in Damascus, in using artificial bone created with 3D printing technology, to expand the cranium size of a patient. This was the first operation of this kind in the SAR.

Also on 30 November are reports of a Jarabulus car bomb detonation, along with its driver, euphemistically referred to as a “militant.” Jarabulus, Syria, has been under the occupation of Caliph wannabe Erdogan thugs, since late 2016.

Syria Jarabulus Turkey terrorists warlords fighting over bounties car bomb explosion
Erdogan’s terrorists killing each other in Jarabulus, Syria.

Erdogan’s warlords are fighting over bounties.

May they continue.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

— Miri Wood

Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress?

Image result for Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress?
Philip Giraldi
November 21, 2019

The developing story about how the US intelligence and national security agencies may have conspired to influence and possibly even reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election is compelling, even if one is disinclined to believe that such a plot would be possible to execute. Not surprisingly perhaps there have been considerable introspection among former and current officials who have worked in those and related government positions, many of whom would agree that there is urgent need for a considerable restructuring and reining in of the 17 government agencies that have some intelligence or law enforcement function. Most would also agree that much of the real damage that has been done has been the result of the unending global war on terror launched by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, which has showered the agencies with resources and money while also politicizing their leadership and freeing them from restraints on their behavior.

If the tens of billions of dollars lavished on the intelligence community together with a “gloves off” approach towards oversight that allowed them to run wild had produced good results, it might be possible to argue that it was all worth it. But the fact is that intelligence gathering has always been a bad investment even if it is demonstrably worse at the present. One might argue that the CIA’s notorious Soviet Estimate prolonged the Cold War and that the failure to connect dots and pay attention to what junior officers were observing allowed 9/11 to happen. And then there was the empowerment of al-Qaeda during the Soviet-Afghan war followed by failure to penetrate the group once it began to carry out operations.

More recently there have been Guantanamo, torture in black prisons, renditions of terror suspects to be tortured elsewhere, killing of US citizens by drone, turning Libya into a failed state and terrorist haven, arming militants in Syria, and, of course, the Iraqi alleged WMDs, the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history. And the bad stuff happened in bipartisan fashion, under Democrats and Republicans, with both neocons and liberal interventionists all playing leading roles. The only one punished for the war crimes was former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed some of what was going on.

Colonel Pat Lang, a colleague and friend who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency HUMINT (human intelligence) program after years spent on the ground in special ops and foreign liaison, thinks that strong medicine is needed and has initiated a discussion based on the premise that the FBI and CIA are dysfunctional relics that should be dismantled, as he puts it “burned to the ground,” so that the federal government can start over again and come up with something better.

Lang cites numerous examples of “incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” to include the examples cited above plus the failure to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he cites his personal observation of efforts by the Department of Justice and the FBI to corruptly “frame” people tried in federal courts on national security issues as well as the intelligence/law enforcement community conspiracy to “get Trump.”

Colonel Lang asks “Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense? Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn.” He then recommends stripping CIA of its responsibility for being the lead agency in spying as well as in covert action, which is a legacy of the Cold War and the area in which it has demonstrated a particular incompetence. As for the FBI, it was created by J. Edgar Hoover to maintain dossiers on politicians and it is time that it be replaced by a body that operates in a fashion “more reflective of our collective nation[al] values.”

Others in the intelligence community understandably have different views. Many believe that the FBI and CIA have grown too large and have been asked to do too many things unrelated to national security, so there should be a major reduction-in-force (RIF) followed by the compulsory retirement of senior officers who have become too cozy with and obligated to politicians. The new-CIA should collect information, period, what it was founded to do in 1947, and not meddle in foreign elections or engage in regime change. The FBI should provide only police services that are national in nature and that are not covered by the state and local jurisdictions. And it should operate in as transparent a fashion as possible, not as a national secret police force.

But the fundamental problem may not be with the police and intelligence services themselves. There are a lot of idiots running around loose in Washington. Witness for example the impeachment hearings ludicrous fact free opening statement by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (with my emphasis) “In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.”

And the press is no better, note the following excerpt from The New York Times lead editorial on the hearings, including remarks of the two State Department officers who testified, on the following day: “They came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country, and for whom defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is more important to the national interest than any partisan jockeying…

“At another point, Mr. Taylor said he had been critical of the Obama administration’s reluctance to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other lethal defensive weapons in its fight with Russia, and that he was pleased when the Trump administration agreed to do so

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the president, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally under constant assault by Russian forces. ‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country and have been for the last four years…’ Mr. Taylor said.”

Schiff and the Times should get their facts straight. And so should the two American foreign service officers who were clearly seeing the situation only from the Ukrainian perspective, a malady prevalent among US diplomats often described as “going native.” They were pushing a particular agenda, i.e. possible war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, in furtherance of a US national interest that they fail to define. One of them, George Kent, eulogized the Ukrainian militiamen fighting the Russians as the modern day equivalent of the Massachusetts Minutemen in 1776, not exactly a neutral assessment, and also euphemized Washington-provided lethal offensive weapons as “security assistance.”

Another former intelligence community friend Ray McGovern has constructed a time line of developments in Ukraine which demolishes the establishment view on display in Congress relating to the alleged Russian threat. First of all, Ukraine was no American ally in 2014 and is no “critical ally” today. Also, the Russian reaction to western supported rioting in Kiev, a vital interest, only came about after the United States spent $5 billion destabilizing and then replacing the pro-Kremlin government. Since that time Moscow has resumed control of the Crimea, which is historically part of Russia, and is active in the Donbas region which has a largely Russian population.

It should really be quite simple. The national security state should actually be engaged in national security. Its size and budget should be commensurate with what it actually does, nothing more. It should not be roaming the world looking for trouble and should instead only respond to actual threats. And it should operate with oversight. If Congress is afraid to do it, set up a separate body that is non-partisan and actually has the teeth to do the job. If the United States of America comes out of the process as something like a normal nation the entire world will be a much happier place.

The Death of White Helmets Founder is a Loss for the Syrian People!

White Helmets founder and his wife

 

James Le Mesurier is dead, his body was found near his home in Istanbul, he was the founder of the White Helmets, the group that is involved in ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Syria. That’s the main story.

But why would I say in the title his death is a loss to the Syrian people? His ‘White Helmets‘ group is accused by every Syrian official of atrocities and being the PR arm of al-Qaeda. I’ll throw a few names and hope you’ll find the pattern:

  • Osama Bin Laden, we were told he was the greatest threat to humanity leading al-Qaeda terrorist organization and that his death is the best thing achieved by Obama during his presidency. Did his group end or mushroom in numbers and affiliations after his weird death and dumping his body at sea as per Obama’s special Sharia law?
  • Abu Bakr Baghdadi, we were told he was the greatest threat to humanity leading ISIS, the worse yet terrorist organization during our times, and his killing is the best thing achieved by Trump thus far. Would his group end or mushroom after his death?
  • Jeffrey Epstein, a US billionaire who was heading a child-raping network serving some of the top figures in the world. He died mysteriously in his heavily guarded 24 hours monitored prison cell in the USA. Does his death serve justice for his victims? Maybe as an instant relief that such a criminal was killed, but what about the others involved with him.
Jeffrey Epstein hanged in his prison cell

Did you start seeing the pattern? Can you figure out a certain name connected directly to all these three figures: Bin Laden, Baghdadi, Epstein? What about a certain group of evildoers? And now add the sudden death of Le Mesurier.

Throughout history, when crimes start winding down the major culprits clean their tracks. The small players are ‘deleted’, the major players and main criminals breathe a window of relief, the victims are served a tiny shred of justice but the real criminals are loose.

Both main players and middle players and even small players think the killing of this latest black box will spare them the punishment they deserve for the massive humanitarian suffering they caused upon the Syrian people, maybe in this life although they shouldn’t keep their bets high, their other partners are still loose, but certainly in the life hereafter they will be lined up one by one before their victims, one by one, and then they will be dumped in the deepest dungeons of hell, but as a group.

Remaining criminals should really be worried now seeing how Baghdadi and White Helmets founder are eliminated. My personal advice to them: come clean, if you know something that implicates your enablers record it and present the evidence you know, surrender yourselves to the Syrian authorities, they’re the only party with sincere interest to uncover the real criminals, anybody else might be implicated, if not at the highest level, at any level in between them and you.

Le Mesurier for his ‘humanitarian’ received an ‘OBE’ by no other than the head of the regime of Elizabeth the Second, the regime behind every misery in human history at least a century before I was born. Not starting with the Indian colonization and famine, going through WWI, Sykes-Picot and the ensuing colonization of large parts of the Arab world and planting the most cancerous disease between the Levant and African parts of the Arab World.

 

Chief of Al-Qaeda Levant aka Nusra Front praising the White Helmets in Idlib!

His organization received hundreds of millions of US-taxpayers’ hard-earned money. He had good relations with the regime of Barack Hussein Obama, another major contributor to the ‘humanitarian‘ efforts. Obama, for the records, inherited the US ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, Somalia… to name a few, the sufferings there intensified during his two terms presidency and added the ‘humanitarian’ efforts in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, to name a few.

vanessa beeley@VanessaBeeley

James Le Mesurier wife “barred from leaving Turkey”. Co-founder of Incostrat, alleged UK FCO PR agency for , extremist gang occupying . Previous UKFCO connections. Skoll Foundation. Mayday Rescue funding stream. Interesting background.

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The Syrian people would have got some justice had this ex-British Army officer been arrested and tried publicly where he would expose all his hidden (known to Syrians) secrets and many of the players involved in the real crimes against humanity in Syria would have been exposed, and at least shamed not celebrated as Nobel Peace Award laureates or promoted as feminist defenders. One of the worst players, however, remain in our region and is being supported by two of Syria’s main allies while he swings on all ropes.

There’s a process of cleaning tracks been initiated and more small players heads will roll and the middle and big players trial might be postponed, but Divine justice will never forgive their mischief deeds on Earth, their punishment is prepared for them sooner or later, during their lifetimes or after:

“He reprieves but does not neglect.”

ISIS Captives Offer a Convenient Pawn in Turkey’s Syria Chess Game

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

Turkey recently threatened to send 1,200 ISIS terrorists back to their countries of origin in the EU, the U.S., and the UK. Turkey’s Interior Minister, Suleyman Solyu, claimed that extradition would begin on Monday, November 11, ironically on Armistice Day. Ankara claimed it would even send back those whose citizenships have been revoked. How Turkey plans to follow through with this threat is another matter. Turkey’s history of both incubating terrorist groups and blackmailing the European Union is well known.

Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain, had this to say about the Turkish ISIS deadline:

Turkey has manipulated the ISIS phenomenon from its very beginning, just as Pakistani military intelligence facilitated and manipulated the Taliban and Al Qaida. Just as Bin Laden was found under the noses of Pakistani security forces in Pakistan, so Al Baghdadi was found a couple of miles from the Turkish border in an area (Idlib) crawling with Turkish and pro-Turkish militias.”

Given the complexity of the situation, it is important to examine the reasons behind Ankara’s posturing and Turkey’s support for ISIS fighters when they serve Turkish economic and military interests at home and in Syria. Turkey’s interests may or may not overlap with those of the United States at any given moment, but there is a  synergy concerning oil interests and Syrian territory-annexation or occupation. Coincidentally, U.S. President Donald Trump also threatened to “drop jihadists” at Europe’s borders if the UK, France, and Germany refused to repatriate ISIS nationals. As Peter Ford told me:

Turkey’s threat to send ISIS prisoners to Europe is simple blackmail: stop whinging about Turkey’s behavior in Syria or we open the floodgates. In reality, Turkey has better uses planned for its ISIS foot soldiers and camp followers.”

No other country neighboring Syria has been so heavily invested in harboring terrorist groups on their territory and providing the porous borders required for the passage of these groups, arms, and equipment into externally-created conflict zones inside of Syria since the war against that country began in earnest in 2011. As Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said recently, in an interview with Syrian TV and the al-Ikhbarya channel:

…we are in one arena, the whole Syrian arena is one – a single theatre of operations.  From the furthest point in the south to the furthest point in the north Turkey is the American proxy in this war, and everywhere we have fought we have been fighting this proxy.”

On November 11, President Assad was interviewed by RT Going Underground, during the interview he pointed out:

Since ISIS started smuggling Syrian oil and looting Syrian Oil in 2014, they had two partners: Erdogan and his coterie, and the Americans, whether the CIA or others. ”

A prison break opportunity for ISIS fighters

October 9, 2019. Turkey launches “Operation Peace Spring,” ostensibly to push Kurdish separatist forces back from its borders with Syria. The move effectively allowed Turkey to take control of two cities, Ras Al Ain and Tel Abyad, where clashes are ongoing between Turkish proxy forces, made up of an assortment of extremist fighters that had previously occupied Idlib and other areas of Syria, and the Syrian Arab Army supported partially by the SDF Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. and supported by Israel.

A major beneficiary of this unlawful push into Syrian territory has been ISIS brides along with that followers and fighters that were imprisoned in the notorious Al Hol camp and other ISIS holding camps in the region. These dangerous ideologues see the Turkish incursion as an opportunity to escape their Kurdish captors and for the so-called ISIS brides to reunite with their husbands who are already in Turkey, according to their own testimony. One Russian ISIS bride told Kurdistan 24, a Kurdish media outlet:

We want Turkey to attack here. If the Turkish army comes to this area, I will be able to flee and meet my husband, who I know well is in Turkey.”

Turkey Syria ISIS

In the same interview, a French ISIS bride expressed hope that Ankara would invade the camp and enable their flight to Turkey. Under cover of one particular Turkish airstrike, an alleged 800 ISIS-affiliated individuals managed to escape the Ain Al Issa camp according to the same Kurdish media report.

Perhaps in an effort to justify his perceived abandonment of the Kurds, President Trump tweeted that the Kurds were deliberately releasing ISIS prisoners to draw the U.S. back into the conflict, a claim echoed by Turkish officials who claimed that the Kurds were taking money for releasing ISIS fighters or their families.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Brian Kilmeade over at @foxandfriends got it all wrong. We are not going into another war between people who have been fighting with each other for 200 years. Europe had a chance to get their ISIS prisoners, but didn’t want the cost. “Let the USA pay,” they said…

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Kurds may be releasing some to get us involved. Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly. Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO Member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!

When Trump previously floated the idea of withdrawal from Syria in December 2018, the Kurdish contras threatened to release 3,200 ISIS fighters. While Kurdish leaders denied that this had ever been considered, the threat was enough to cause Trump to reel back from withdrawing from Syria.

A recent report from the New York Times claims that Al Hol camp contains some of the most violent and steadfast ISIS supporters, 10,000 women and children from 50 countries, two-thirds of the children under the age of 12. In the report, a woman interviewed in the piece stated that she was committed to bringing back the “caliphate” and that her children were on “God’s path” towards violent extremism.

report in the Spanish language El Pais, describes a “radical matriarchy” set up to facilitate escape for ISIS followers and overseen by a tyrannical female Emir. According to the report, these female extremists pay upwards of $ 9,000 to “ISIS traffickers” to bribe their SDF guards. El Pais describes the camp as a radicalization and indoctrination center where women and minors are being converted into extremist military cadres willing to persecute those who do not comply with the religious extremism being forced upon the camp’s inhabitants.

Shortly after Ankara’s military operation began, a senior Iraqi security expert, Hafez Al-Basharah, claimed that Washington was attempting to transfer 3,000 ISIS terrorists from Syria to Iraq where they would be transferred to a “safe area.” The U.S. would use the Turkish occupied zones inside Syria as a holding base for the ISIS fighters until their transfer to the three chosen bases inside Iraq.

Various Arabic language media outlets have reported that the United States is planning to produce a Super ISIS – an even more radical, violent version of the group’s previous incarnation. Hessam Sho’aib, a Syrian military expert on terrorist organizations, announced to Sputnik Arabic that various reports from U.S. “think tanks” indicate the heralding in of an ISIS renaissance in Syria and Iraq. The reports, according to Sho’aib, also allude to U.S. intelligence involvement in the birth of ISIS, its apparent demise, as well as its rebirth. A rebirth that would ensure the sustained recycling of terrorism and the perpetual destabilization of the region.

Certainly the U.S. faux withdrawal, the invasion of Turkish extremist proxies, the retreat of SDF prison guards as well as the apparent corruption of the remaining SDF factions in charge of the camps, have all contributed to the latter-day ISIS “Operation Breaking the Walls” which appears to be allowing followers and fighters to regroup, expand and reinforce their military capability on the borders with Syria. At the same time, the ISIS prison break gives Turkey the opportunity to blackmail other NATO member states into ignoring the atrocities and war crimes being committed by the assortment of extremist groups under Ankara’s command inside Syria.

Turkey plays both ends against the middle

The Turkish repatriation of foreign ISIS fighters has already begun, according to a report in Middle East Monitor. One American fighter has already been deported and travel plans are in place for seven German nationals affiliated with the terrorist group. It appears that Turkey’s threat was not idle and that the U.S.-led alliance in Syria may be about to reap what it has sown for the past nine years.

Turkey Syria ISIS

Waseem Ramli, a short-lived Syrian honorary consul representative in Montreal before the multiple neoconservative interests in Trudeau’s government campaigned to have him removed on the pretext of being loyal to the elected and internationally recognized Syrian government, referred to Ankara’s betrayal of their own NATO allies thusly:

For the past years we have been warning the western governments of what may happen if they continue supporting the continuation of the war in Syria but they never expected to be backstabbed by one of their own NATO allies!

Guess we will be seeing these governments scrambling to figure out how to deal with this situation  while they continue to refuse to acknowledge that their best option is opening a line of communication with the Syrian government.”

President Assad alluded to Ankara’s strategy in his interview with RT Going Underground:

Actually, the relation between Erdogan and the EU is two ways: they hate him but they want him. They hate him, they know that he is fanatic Islamist, they know this, and they know that he’s going to send them those extremists or maybe terrorists.”

Turkey is essentially playing both ends against the middle. ISIS was first allowed into Syria from Turkey. The Caliphate’s economy was able to flourish, enriched by millions of dollars of oil smuggled into Turkey and sold to Israel. ISIS was the perfect invention to fulfill Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman aspirations of toppling the Syrian government, annexing more Syrian territory, plundering resources, pillaging industry and finally eliminating the PKK Kurdish factions. Former Ambassador Ford asserts that U.S. Coalition policy makers were effectively acting in accordance with Turkey’s Syria policy:

The U.S. knew all this and turned a blind eye. As long as ISIS was advancing towards Damascus, what was not to like? Turkey got a free pass to support a terror group which curiously never mounted a significant attack against the U.S. beyond a few provocative beheadings but which gave the U.S. Coalition a pretext to put forces in Syria.”

Ford also pointed out that ISIS periodically commits atrocities on Turkish soil, conveniently, Ford says, “whenever Turkish assistance and subsidies were reduced for some reason. It appears, as Ford concluded, that “ ISIS was in the mafia protection business after all.”

Indeed, Turkey apparently used the thousands of conveniently collected ISIS prisoners held in Syria as additional manpower to reinforce the ranks of the swiftly rebranded “Syrian National Army,” a cynical attempt to portray former extremists and terrorist groups as a pseudo-nationalist “legitimate liberating force” under Ankara’s command. Ford says that many of the captured ISIS fighters were caught on their way to bolster the ranks of the pro-Turkish FSA and other extremist groups occupying Idlib.

It is no accident that many of the fighters who were caught in the end of days for the Caliphate were on their way to Idlib, to be recycled as pro-Turkish FSA. Or HTS (Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham), the Al Qaeda affiliate, tolerated when not actively assisted by Turkey. So Turkish help in freeing ISIS prisoners is no fanciful conspiracy theory.” (emphasis added)

The move would not be without precedent either, as Turkey allegedly recruited and retrained ISIS fighters to participate in Ankara’s Afrin land grab in February of 2018.

The latest bogeyman in the global terror portfolio

The U.S. Coalition has effectively given Turkey free rein to maneuver and recycle terrorist and extremist factions with impunity in order to achieve its political ambitions in Syria. That campaign has failed miserably, western journalists fleeing the north-east of Syria during the start of the Turkish operation came face to face with the monsters unleashed upon the Syrian people for nine years, by their governments in the West and their allies in the Gulf States and Israel.

Having described these extremist, sectarian gangs as “moderate rebels” for nearly a decade, the media was suddenly confronted by their bloodcurdling brutality and were tripping over their own narratives in their haste to condemn the Turkish proxies for their unbridled aggression against the U.S. and Israeli-backed Kurdish contras, media darlings for the anti-anti-war left in the West and Israel’s partitioning instrument to secure Syrian territory east of the Euphrates.

Israel Kurds Syria

The irony of the situation is not lost on Waseem Ramli, or indeed upon Peter Ford, who concluded:

Whatever the case, the irony is that Western governments would rather tie themselves in knots than accept the obvious solution which would be adopted automatically if these countries were serious about the ‘international rules-based system’ they preach at others: hand over the jihadis to face Syrian justice. Their crimes were committed on Syrian soil, overwhelmingly against Syrian victims. If a Syrian jihadi committed a crime on British soil, would we not absolutely demand they faced British justice? Instead, we behave like a tinpot dictatorship ourselves, autocratically stripping British citizens of their nationality.”

ISIS is the latest bogeyman in the global terror brand portfolio, serving a neoconservative agenda in the Middle East. Turkey has been the midwife and the curator of this and other terrorist groups on behalf of its NATO allies who are intent upon ushering in a new government in Syria and fomenting regional unrest. In 2017, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, the political and media advisor to President Assad, predicted that Erdogan would turn on his former allies. Two years later that prophecy is being fulfilled.

I hope that Europeans will discover who he is before it becomes too late. I mean it. Because two years ago when Merkel came to him to discuss the issue of refugees I said she is coming to the source of the problem. He is the origin of the problem.”

President al-Assad: The American presence in Syria will generate military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans and force them to leave

Friday, 15 November 2019 09:34

DAMASCUS-  President Bashar al-Assad has stressed that nobody believes that Turkey will repatriate 3 million Syrian refugees to the northeast of the country and this is a deceptive humanitarian slogan raised by Turkish regime to create an ethnic conflict in this area and to bring the terrorists and their families into this region in order to create a new extremist community in line with the vision sought by President of the Turkish regime, Erdogan.

In an interview given to RUSSIA 24 and ROSSIYA SEVODNYA, President al-Assad clarified that  most of the Kurds are patriots who support their state and the Syrian people, but there are groups, some of these groups are Kurds, some are Arabs, working under American command and there is currently a dialogue with them, since the return of the Syrian Army to north, to convince them that stability is achieved when all of us are committed to the Syrian constitution.

He said: “ After nine years of war, I think that most people understand the importance of embracing the state regardless of political differences.”

President al-Assad emphasized that every war will result in a lot of changes in society but it doesn’t mean dividing the country, moving towards separation; throwing out the constitution or weakening the state, confirming that the war should be an experience from which we come out with a stronger, not weaker homeland.

He pointed out that the American presence in Syria will generate a military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, and consequently force them to leave.  “However, America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies.  We remind them of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Syria will not be an exception.”

President al-Assad indicated that the immediate and most effective solution is to unite as Syrians and as patriots and this would cause the Americans to leave the Syrian territory.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Question 1: Mr. President, first of all I’m grateful to you for finding the time to answer our questions despite the difficult circumstances.

The world’s attention is now focused on the situation in the northeast of the Syrian Arab Republic.  What is your personal assessment of the Russian-Turkish agreement on Syria?

President Assad:  Our assessment is certainly positive, not because we trust Turkey, which hasn’t been honest in meeting all the commitments it made previously, whether in Astana or elsewhere.  Our assessment is positive becasue there is no doubt that Russia’s involvement has positive aspects, because otherwise we would have been faced with three options.  The first was the Turkish plan or agenda, with its Muslim Brotherhood and Ottoman dimensions.  The second option was the American plan, which is connected with the Turkish one, and was meant for the Turkish incursion to complicate the situation in Syria, and consequently push us away from the solution we all felt we were approaching.  The third option was the German proposal, i.e. internationalizing the region, and consequently imposing international protection.  All these plans are ultimately designed by the American leadership.  Here is the significance of the positive Russian role, which outmaneuvered these plans and neutralized the Kurdish pretext, in order to prepare the ground for Turkey’s withdrawal.

Question 2: Why is Russia helping Syria, in general?

President Assad: We cannot answer this question without talking about the Russian role; Russia is a superpower and has international duties and responsibilities.  These responsibilities serve the world and also, Russia and the Russian people.  Russia has the choice of either playing the role of a superpower, or withdrawing into itself and becoming a very ordinary state, which would not be good for the world.  In this context, the military presence in Syria is part of the framework of the global balance of power, because the world today is not governed by legal criteria, but rather by the criteria of power.  Therefore, the Russian power, from a military perspective, is necessary for balance in the world.

A second aspect is fighting terrorism which has two sides: the first is moral and the second is legal, i.e. international law, because terrorism is supported by well-known states.  There is a third aspect, which is protecting Russian interests.  This terrorism has no borders, no political borders. Today, it might be in Syria, but also in the farthest point in Asia. It might also exist in Europe, like the terrorist operations which happened in the past years; and it might also be in Russia, and you recall what happened over ten years ago, when terrorists kidnapped and killed innocent people in schools and theatres.  You have known and lived through terrorism in the Chechen Republic and other places, and you still do.  You cannot fight terrorism only where it exists.  It must be fought all over the world.

Moreover, Russia, through the role it’s playing, has the exact opposite vision of the West, which believes that international law is at odds with its interests; Russia believes that international law serves its own interests and also its joint interests with other countries.  For all these reasons, Russia is helping Syria.

Question 3:  Going back to Turkey, what do you think of Ankara’s intention of repatriating the Syrian refugees to the areas under the control of the Turkish army and the militants which support it in the northeast of the country, taking into account that these refugees might number about 3 million people?

President Assad:  Nobody believes that Turkey will repatriate 3 million Syrian refugees to this area; this is a deceptive humanitarian slogan.  Even if they wanted to, this is not possible because it would create a conflict between the owners of the land, the cities, the villages, the homes, the farms, and the fields on the one hand, and these newcomers, on the other; those who own these places will never renounce their rights in these areas, so this would create an ethnic conflict.

However, the real reason behind Turkey bringing the militants and terrorists who fought and were defeated in Syria, is to move them and their families into this region in order to create a new extremist community in line with the vision sought by the President of the Turkish regime, Erdogan.  This is the real goal.  In either case, both are dangerous and aim at destabilizing Syria.  Therefore, we certainly reject it.

Question 4:  The Sochi agreement contributed to normalizing the situation in northeastern Syria and prepared the ground for the return of the legitimate control of the Syrian government east of Euphrates and some areas in the northeast of the country.  But the population in those areas has been cut off from the state’s central authority as a result of ISIS’s behavior.  What are the steps you intend to take in order to engage the local authorities of the Kurdish autonomous administration?  This is because fighting ISIS was carried out by both the government forces in that area and by the YPG.

President Assad:  I want to separate the two cases, because ISIS was created by American will and carried out its activities under an American cover.  We are convinced, and we have information, that America has used ISIS as a military tool to strike at the Syrian Army and to distract the military forces fighting terrorism, at the forefront of which is Syria.

With regards to the Kurdish forces, we need to correct certain concepts.  The term is being misused and it is being promoted by the West to give the impression that the forces operating there are Kurdish and that the region is Kurdish.  First, I would like to make it clear that this region in the north and northeast of Syria is an Arab-majority region; over 70% of its population are Arabs, not the other way around.  The groups fighting there are a mixture of Kurds and others; the Americans support the Kurdish groups and installed them in a leadership role in order to give the impression that it is a Kurdish region and to create a conflict between the Kurds and the other groups in Syria.  We remained in contact throughout the war with these groups, despite our knowledge that some were being used and directed by the Americans; they were armed and funded by the Americans and their public statements were dictated by them.  This does not mean that the Kurds are not patriots; I stress that most of the Kurds are patriots who support their state and the Syrian people like any other segment of Syrian society, but some of these groups are Kurds, some are Arabs, and there might be others working under American command.  These are the groups we have continued to engage.

Since the return of the Syrian Army to these areas, there is currently a dialogue to convince them that stability is achieved when all of us are committed to the Syrian constitution, because this constitution reflects the will of the people.  And when the Syrian Arab Army returns, it does so together with other state institutions, which are also an expression of the Syrian constitution and people.

Some progress has been achieved recently after the Turkish invasion in this area.  Russia plays an important role in this issue based on the same principles that I just mentioned.  Sometimes we move forward, other times we move backward partly because of the American pressure on the armed groups in Syria not to respond to the Syrian state; this is expected.  Now we are more optimistic that things are moving in right direction, because after nine years of war, I think that most people understand the importance of embracing the state regardless of political differences, or differences with the government or the ruling party.  The state in every part of the world embraces everybody; I believe that we are moving in this direction.

Question 5: Have I understood you correctly, that the status quo in the northeast of the country is as it is because of outside interference? I mean, the views that there are problems with the Kurds that can never be solved.

President Assad:  The problems are with some of the Kurds; I stress once again that most of the Kurds have been in Syria for decades and there are no problems with them.  There are however, extremist groups, extremist in the political sense, which are making propositions closer to separation.  Some of these propositions are related to federalism and Kurdish self-rule.  As I mentioned earlier, this is an Arab region, and if anyone is to talk about federalism, it shall be the Arabs, because they are the majority; this is self-evident.  Unlike, the situation in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey, there is no Kurdish majority in this region of Syria.

As to cultural and other rights, I always give the example of the Armenians because they are the latest comers to Syria – about a hundred years ago.  They have their schools, churches, and full cultural rights.  Why would we give cultural rights to one segment of Syrian society and not to others?   Simply, this group has made separatist propositions which we shall never accept, not today, not tomorrow, not as a state, not as a people.  This is the problem.  Today, all these American-supported groups claim that the situation has changed after the war – of course the situation has changed.  It is normal that every war will result in a lot of changes in society.  However, war doesn’t mean dividing the country, or moving towards separation; it doesn’t mean throwing out the constitution or weakening the state.  The war should be an experience from which we come out with a stronger, not weaker homeland.  We shall never accept any separatist propositions under any circumstances.

Question 6:  Mr. President, despite all this, how do you evaluate the role played by the YPG in the fight against ISIS?  Because according to their figures, thousands of their fighters were killed defending their towns and villages inside Syria.

President Assad:  A large number of Syrians have been killed defending their villages in all regions, not only in that region.  It is not fair to talk about one segment of Syrians, because all Syrians defended their homeland, and all of them have defended their towns and villages. When people sense an existential threat, they must defend themselves, this is self-evident. But I wouldn’t put this defense in a political framework because that would mean giving America a certificate of good conduct and implying that all American-supported forces have been fighting ISIS, and consequently America has been fighting terrorism.  We all know and we have all stated – in Syria, Russia, and other countries, that America has supported ISIS.

We must distinguish between the citizens who achieved real results defending their villages and killing or eliminating a large number of terrorists, on the one hand, and the political agenda which is linked to America, on the other; we need to be accurate.

Question 7:  In October, the deadline for the withdrawal of YPG 30 kilometers from the Turkish borders expired, and Ankara claimed that YPG has not withdrawn.  Where are the YPG units now?  Where are they located?  The equally important question is: how would these units be integrated with the Syrian Armed Forces, particularly since there was an announcement and a proposal in this regard?

President Assad:  The Russian-Turkish agreement regarding the withdrawal of these armed groups must be implemented.  As I said previously, they are a mixture of Kurds and Arabs, but their leadership is Kurdish.  They need to withdraw because they provided the Turks with the pretext to implement their plan, which they have been dreaming of since the beginning of the war; they need to withdraw 30 kilometers.

As to implementation, they announced that they would implement and this has happened in some areas, but it hasn’t been implemented fully and this is to be expected.  These types of measures do not happen overnight or quickly; there isn’t necessarily a central control over all the groups fighting in a particular area.  Militias often fight and take their decisions in a chaotic manner and that’s why things are implemented in a particular place and not in another.  We are cooperating with Russia in order to fully implement this agreement, after which we should tell the Turks to start withdrawing.

As for integrating these groups into the Syrian Army, we have followed a principle since the beginning of reconciliations in 2013 that all those who hand in their weapons get full amnesty and return to normal civilian life like any other citizen, and they may join the Syrian Arab Army.  This has happened in many places; some of those who had fought with the terrorists later joined the Syrian Arab Army and fought within its ranks and were even martyred.

After the Russian-Turkish agreement, the Syrian Ministry of Defense announced that it was prepared to integrate all those fighters into the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army using various means appropriate to that region.  The official response we received was that they were not prepared to join the Syrian Arab Army and that they insist on keeping their weapons in those areas.  Also, within the framework of Syrian-Russian cooperation, we are trying to convince these fighters to join the Syrian Arab Army and fight against the Turkish invaders, which is the correct and proper way to restore the lands whose loss they have caused in northern Syria. We have to keep trying and we’ll see how things progress in the next few weeks.

Question 8:  Mr. President, in fact, the war has ended in the largest part of Syria.  People are returning to their homes in their villages. What is the Syrian leadership doing in order to provide the necessary requirements for their life there? Are there statistics about the number of restored houses or schools in those areas? And what are the main difficulties faced in preparing for the restoration of normal lives for these citizens?

President Assad:  In Syria, the biggest concerns facing any citizen on a daily basis are the economic conditions and the ability to meet basic needs, as well as providing education to their children and healthcare.  In every area we enter, we immediately start to restore the schools and provide the necessary requirements, including teachers and other resources; we also ensure that hospitals are functioning.  Similarly, we pay attention to the living conditions. However, living conditions in Syria are subject, in one way or another, to a number of external factors, particularly the Western sanctions against Syria which affect the provision of heating oil, fuel, and consequently electricity.  The embargo imposed on Syria prevents foreign investment into the country, in addition to other forms of embargo.  We are able to provide the basic needs, albeit at a minimum; sometimes we are unable to provide them in a sufficient manner.  All of this is a result of the embargo.  We are looking for other methods; and our friends, Russia, Iran, and sometimes China, are providing some humanitarian assistance. These are the priorities and the needs of our citizens that we are trying to meet, albeit at a bare minimum.

Question 9:  The more important question is: in order to ensure the return of normal life to the country, and the return of refugees, it is necessary to provide job opportunities.  Is there a process of rebuilding destroyed facilities?  And is the process of rebuilding them difficult under these tough sanctions?

President Assad:  Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible.  Away from any delusional or imaginary scenarios, practically speaking, there are a number of industries – the pharmaceutical industry for example, where the number of factories has risen significantly since the beginning of the war, this is also the case in other sectors.  Of course, the pace is not as it should be, or as we want it to be, in order to provide for the return of refugees who are also looking for job opportunities.  However, the mere fact that we are able to create new industries, a few of which are heavy industries, is at odds with the existing economic conditions for a country in a state of war, which usually can only create small or perhaps medium-sized industries.  We need to now look for better ways to encourage investment because of the sanctions.  We are currently studying our old investment law – which has been amended several times, to encourage the inflow of capital or at least the investment of capital already within the country which is not subject to foreign sanctions.  Despite all this and despite the Western and American embargo, there are a few limited foreign investments.

Question 10:  Going back to the question of the political solution, militants continue to hand in their weapons; and we know that the Syrian government, and you personally, are doing a lot in order to reintegrate these people in society.  What are your next plans in terms of providing assistance to the militants and their families whose legal status have been settled?

President Assad:  This is an important point, and a critical challenge.  There are various aspects that need to be addressed.  First, we have children, because you correctly referred to families and not just militants in the abstract case.  These militants have a family and they are part of a community, albeit small, but an extremist community.  Their children have lived for a long period, sometimes their formative years, outside of the law and away from national curricula, as such they have learned wrong concepts.  We announced a few weeks ago that schools would integrate these pupils within their programs and according to their age, so that they could adjust into the national curriculum within a few years and assimilate to patriotic concepts.

A second aspect is the religious extremism which has been promoted for years, and has become entrenched in the minds of entire communities in the areas governed by Al Qaeda and Wahabi ideology under the names of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Tahrir al-Cham, Jaish al-Islam, and others, it doesn’t matter who, because they all belong to one ideology and one doctrine. In Syria, the religious establishment plays a very important role in this regard; you cannot talk to those extremists in the beginning about national and humanitarian issues.  They must first understand that the religious concepts they have learned are wrong and distorted, and in contradiction with religion.  We are working extensively in order to flush out these wrong concepts.

The third aspect is that these communities have lived outside the law; they don’t know the meaning of the state, of laws, courts of law, traffic police, and other instruments used by society to organize itself.  This is the more difficult aspect.  The challenge here is how to reintroduce the state in the best possible way to these towns and villages, in order to restore concepts of law and order.  These are the areas we are constantly working on, through various institutions, in order to reintegrate this community into Syrian society and ensuring they have a strong sense of patriotism.

Question 11: Mr. President, I have an important question also about the humanitarian situation, which has to do with the Kurdish population.  During the war, Kurdish children used the Kurdish language in their education and have not received official certificates or government documents proving the educational stage they reached.  This is a big problem now, because they cannot continue studying and learning, and they cannot work in an official and a professional manner.  Is there a plan to solve this problem?  Is such a plan ready, or is it still under preparation?

President Assad:  This issue is linked to the previous question; the implementation of this point was announced by the Ministry of Education immediately after the Turkish invasion, two or three weeks ago.  The Ministry stated it welcomes the integration of students who studied the Kurdish curriculum into our national education system in the post-primary stage.  This is a practical solution and the normal course of action; otherwise how can we ask these students or young people to reintegrate into our homeland if they are isolated or unaccepted in the national education system.

Intervention: But there are children and young people who have completed their education, but they don’t have official government documents to certify that.  How can this problem be solved?

President Assad:  There is no other option but to accept these certificates.  Young people are not only integrated through school, but also through higher institutes, universities, and other educational institutions.  If we want them to properly integrate into society and become productive individuals who contribute to building their country, we must find the appropriate procedural solutions in order to integrate them into the educational system.  The first solution I referred to, was announced two weeks ago because it was the easiest and the quickest; other solutions are in the pipeline and will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Question 12:  Mr. President, according to the media, Trump announced an expansion of American presence in Syria, particularly in the northeast of the country, under the pretext of protecting the oil fields.  Is there a military solution to this problem?  And when would such a military operation start?

President Assad:  I have always said that an occupier cannot occupy a piece of land without having agents in that country, because it would be difficult for them to live in a completely hostile environment.  Therefore, the immediate and most effective solution is for us to unite as Syrians and as patriots.  This would cause the Americans to leave, and they would not be able to stay, neither for oil nor for anything else.

However, with time, when the occupier remains – the Iraq experience is still fresh in the minds of Americans and the result, for them, was unexpected; for us however, it was clear and I did say in one of my interviews after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that occupation will generate military resistance.  Similarly, the American presence in Syria will generate a military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, and consequently force them to leave.  Of course, we are not contemplating a Russian-American confrontation, this is self-evident, and it doesn’t serve neither our interests, nor the Russians nor international stability; it is dangerous.  However, America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies.  We remind them of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Syria will not be an exception.

Question 13:  Concerning the American behavior here, particularly in relation to Syrian oil, don’t you believe that this behavior is that of a government gang?  And what are the losses to Syria as a result of Washington’s behavior?

President Assad:  You are absolutely correct, not only because they are looting oil, but because America is structured as a political system of gangs.  The American president does not represent a state – he is the company CEO, and behind this CEO there is a board of directors which represent the big companies in America – the real owners of the state – oil and arms companies, banks, and other lobbies.  So, in reference to Syrian oil, this is the expected result of the American regime, which is led by companies acting for their own interests.

Having said this, I would like to remind you of something more significant than merely describing them as a gang.  One of the most important factors, which led to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II, was oil; some even say that it was the only factor and there was no other reason for him to invade.  Today, America is doing the same thing; it is imitating the Nazis.  So, we can very simply liken American policy today with Nazi policy: expansion, invasion, undermining the interests of other nations, trampling on international law, international conventions, human principles, and others – all for the sake of oil.  What’s the difference between this policy and Nazi policy?  Can anybody from the American regime give us an answer to this question? I don’t think so.

Question 14:  Would Syria lodge a complaint at the United Nations about the United States looting Syrian oil?  And does Damascus have specific plans to demand compensation for the looted oil from Washington?

President Assad:  Of course, this is to be expected.  However, you and I, and many others in the world know that there is no United Nations because there is no international law; and so, all complaints lodged at the United Nations remain in drawers.  As I mentioned earlier, there is a quasi-state, governed by gangs and based on the principle of power.  These gangs are thieves and the conflict between them is over profits, gains, and losses.  It is not a conflict over ideologies or political parties; the conflicts between Trump and others in America are conflicts over spoils and gains.

That’s why today we live in a world similar to a jungle, closer to the period before World War II, rather than after it.  We will send a complaint, but it will remain in the drawers.

Question 15:  In Istanbul, one of the founders of the White Helmets died a few days ago, the organization whose involvement in producing fake videos on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria was uncovered several times.  And now there are hypotheses that this founder of the White Helmets in Syria did not die, but was rather killed.  What do you think of that? What happened in Istanbul?

President Assad:  In order not to look at this as an isolated case, we must look at it in the broader context of similar incidents.  The American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed weeks ago; they said that he had committed suicide in prison.  He was killed because he had many important details and secrets about prominent figures in the American and British regimes, and possibly other countries as well.

One of the leading members of the White Helmets was killed in a German prison; they also claimed he committed suicide.  Now the main founder of the White Helmets is killed.  He was actually an officer and worked throughout his career with NATO, in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, and Lebanon, and later he founded the White Helmets in Syria. What is the link between the history of this individual and humanitarian work, which is supposedly the domain of the White Helmets, but you and I both know, that they are part of Al Qaeda.  If we take into account the killing of Bin Laden and recently al-Baghdadi, I believe these individuals were killed because they had important secrets and thus had become a burden; and since their role had expired, it was necessary to get rid of them.  Therefore, if we look at all these stories as parts of one panoramic picture, we cannot believe that they committed suicide or died a natural death.  All these names, and maybe others, were killed because their role had ended and it was necessary to bury their secrets with them.  Why were al-Baghdadi and Bin Laden killed?  Because were they to remain alive, there may have come a time or circumstance where they would have revealed the truth.  Maybe the founder of the White Helmets was writing his memoir and this is not acceptable.  These are all probabilities, but they are very likely probabilities, because the alternative is not convincing for me.

Intervention: So, you believe that Western intelligence agencies are behind the death of the former MI6 agent?

President Assad:  Of course, these are the acts of intelligence agencies, the question is which ones?  In general, when we refer to Western intelligence agencies, including the Turkish and some other intelligence agencies in our region, we know that they are not run by independent states.  Rather, they are branches of the main intelligence agency, the CIA; this is the reality.  They all work under the orders of one master in coordination and in harmony with one another.  So, there is a high probability that the Turkish intelligence carried out the hit under instructions from foreign intelligence agencies.  Once again, these are probabilities, but this is the nature of relations among Western intelligence agencies or those working with them.

Question 16:  Mr. President, the constitutional committee has started its work in Geneva. Do you think that its work will be useful? And does Damascus have red lines if crossed by proposals of this committee that would be unacceptable?

President Assad:  There is an attempt to portray that the solution to the war in Syria will come about as a result of the constitutional committee.  The war did not start because of a disagreement or a division over the constitution.  The war in Syria started because there were acts of terrorism which killed members of the military, the police, and civilians and also destroyed public and other properties.  So, the war ends when terrorism ends.  There was a parallel political track through which America wanted to propose the idea of a transitional body.  This idea was rejected by us in Syria and by all countries that believe in international law.  Consequently, the Sochi talks began and created the constitutional committee.  The constitutional committee discusses the constitution; and for us, the constitution, like any other text, should be revised and amended in accordance with new developments in Syria; it is not a holy text.  We had no problem with this, and so, we continued along with this track.

However, in order not to be over optimistic and make unrealistic propositions, we must explain the structure of this constitutional committee.  It has three parties; one representing the viewpoint of the Syrian government, one representing civil society – which has different viewpoints, and the third party is appointed by Turkey.  So, imagine that you, as Russians, want to amend the Russian constitution, and you’re told that one of the parties in the committee mandated with this task is appointed by foreign countries.  You would not only reject that proposition, but you would also deem it as reckless and at odds with logic and reality.  This is what happened in the constitutional committee. We are negotiating with a party appointed by the Turkish government, which of course means America; the front is Turkey, but this is a de facto position.

In order to expect results from this committee, every one of its members should have their allegiance to the Syrian people, they cannot belong to a foreign state and publicly declare their allegiance to it.  Will they be allowed to be genuine Syrians?  Can anyone who belongs to another state come back and belong to his homeland?  I don’t want to give an answer, but I think these are logical questions that everyone watching this interview will have logical answers to.

Question 17: Mr. President, during the war, and a result of the sanctions, the Syrian economy has been greatly affected. And now there is a lot of talk about corruption. What are the reforms and changes to the economy which you intend to make in the near future? And are there mechanisms in place to support the national currency?

President Assad:  Strengthening the economy first needs modern and developed investment laws. I referred to this aspect earlier and mentioned that we are in the process of upgrading these laws.  You touched on fighting corruption in your question and this is an important aspect, whether it is to strengthen the economy, to enforce the law or to support the Syrian Pound; these are all interrelated.  We started fighting corruption many years ago and this is ongoing and at an accelerated pace, especially with the discovery of a number of corruption cases.  This is expected, because war creates chaos, and chaos is a very good environment for terrorism, on the one hand, and corruption, on the other.  We are moving forward in enforcing the law.

However, fighting corruption and strengthening the economy also need new laws.  The gaps that are related to the weakness of the economy, on the one hand, and to widespread corruption, on the other, are due to the weakness inherent in our laws.  Almost a year ago, we created a committee of legal experts tasked with developing the laws in order to close the gaps which allow for corruption.  This in itself supports the Syrian Pound while at the same time encouraging investment, because they are both interrelated.  Our policy is not one of speculation; it is a policy which aims to create a strong economy, which in itself would support the national currency.

Question 18: Mr. President, in the countries neighboring Syria, there are demonstrations against governments, mainly in Lebanon and Iraq, and last August there were demonstrations in the Jordanian capital of Amman.  Doesn’t that remind you of the start of the unrest in Syria in 2011? What is your take on that?  Who has an interest in what is happening?  And what are the initial objectives of this?

President Assad:  No, they are not similar to what happened in Syria.  What happened in Syria in the beginning was that money was paid – and this is documented – to groups of people to come out and demonstrate.  There were a few that demonstrated because they wanted changes in particular areas, but this was not the general situation.  The killing started from the early days.  There were shootings, which means that the demonstrations were not spontaneous.  The money was available, and the weapons ready, so, we cannot liken this situation with those in other countries.

Certainly, if these demonstrations in a number of neighboring countries are spontaneous and genuinely express a national desire to improve political, economic, and other conditions, then to do so, they must remain patriotic.  Countries which interfere with everything throughout the world, like America and the West, and particularly Britain and France and others, will certainly take advantage of this situation in order to play a role and push things in a direction that serves their interests.  The most important thing is that they [the demonstrations] remain within a national framework.  If they do, the results will surely be positive, because they express the will of the people in these countries.  But if there is foreign interference, it will certainly be against the interests of the homeland.  This is what we have known and experienced clearly in Syria.  That’s why I hope that these movements are a genuine driver towards improvement within all sectors and at all levels.

Question 19:  Mr. President, the last question, which might be a little personal. We know very well that you like driving cars; and every citizen in your country knows that you prefer to drive your car by yourself.  Now, the largest part of Syria has become free from war, and that’s why the roads have become safer.  Does your security detail have less work during your movements now?  And have you seen, by yourself, the positive changes in the country while driving your car, particularly that not every head of state drives their own car?

President Assad:  I have been doing this since my first day in office, I haven’t changed my nature.  I would like to stress an important point, which is that my security detail hasn’t changed before or during the war.  It has remained the same. We haven’t introduced any additional measures, neither in relation to driving a car nor with regards to the security motorcade.  They remain the same, because one of the objectives of the terrorists and those who support them, and the psychological pressure as a consequence, was to create a state of terror in Syria.  So, when officials feel afraid, citizens must feel afraid too; this is one aspect.

The other is not related to the war.  I drive my car because I don’t like the trappings of the position; this is my nature.  I’m self-dependent, I have always driven my car and that hasn’t changed.  I prefer to let my personality dictate the position rather than allow the trappings of power to dictate who I am.  This has always been my principle: before and during the war, and it will not change.  Neither terrorism nor anything else will succeed in changing my nature and my relationship with people.

As to its impact on people, I believe that every citizen in any country in the world likes their officials to be natural and not superficial, to be spontaneous without show and spectacle.  I believe that this is one of the strengths of any official who cares about his relationship with people, and who likes to be as close to them as possible.  An official cannot exaggerate and claim to live a completely normal life, but at the same time they should not separate themselves from people, otherwise they would lose this relationship.  This is one of the many aspects which connect me to the Syrian people.

Journalist: Mr. President, thank you for your candid answers.  We wish you all the best.  Thank you.

President Assad:  Thank you, I am very happy to meet you.  I would like, through you, to convey my warm regards to the friendly and brotherly Russian people.  Today, we don’t just have shared familial ties, as was the case in previous decades, we have also shed blood in our joint confrontation with terrorism.  Thanks again.

Journalist: Thank you

Adapted by the Syrian News Agency (SANA)

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