Al-Tanf: The Fragile Military Base

22.10.2021

By Al-Ahed News Staff

An infographics detailing information regarding the al-Tanf military base in Syria which accommodates American and British troops.

Al-Tanf: The Fragile Military Base

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US Occupation Base In Syria Targeted By Drones, Rockets

21,10.2021

US Occupation Base In Syria Targeted By Drones, Rockets

By Staff, Agencies

Unidentified drones carried out an offensive against a US occupation military base in Syria.

The targeting was reported across various media outlets in late Wednesday, with al-Mayadeen sources noting that added to the drones, the base was targeted by rocket launchers.

The same sources reported that the bombing targeted the residences of the US occupation soldiers, military barracks, and led to fire and destruction in the base.

The reports specified the target as the outpost located in the hugely-strategic al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria.

The United States has been trying to exercise control over the area, which hosts an intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders.

Sky News Arabia cited “an American official” as describing the incident as a likely “rocket attack.”

“Preliminary evaluations,” the official claimed, had shown that “Iraqi groups” had conducted the airstrikes.

The United States led scores of its allies in an invasion of Syria in 2014.

The coalition that has purportedly been seeking to fight the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] sustains its illegal presence in the Arab country, although Damascus and its allies defeated the terror outfit in late 2017.

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«حلفاء سوريا» ينفّذون وعدهم: قاعدة التنف الأميركية تحت النار!

21.10.2021

الأخبار

حسين الأمين

الخميس 21 تشرين الأول 2021

«حلفاء سوريا» ينفّذون وعدهم: قاعدة التنف الأميركية تحت النار!

نفّذت قوى «حلفاء سوريا» وعدها بالردّ على العدوان الإسرائيلي ــــ الأميركي المشترك الذي استهدف مواقع تشغلها قواتها قرب مدينة تدمر في ريف حمص الشرقي منذ نحو أسبوع، ما أدّى إلى وقوع عدد من الشهداء والجرحى. ليل أمس، نفّذ حلفاء سوريا تهديدهم، حيث استهدفت طائرات انتحارية مسيّرة غرف مبيت الجنود الأميركيين، إضافة إلى مطبخ ومستودع أغذية داخل قاعدة التنف الواقعة على المثلث الحدودي بين سوريا والعراق والأردن، بالترافق مع صواريخ استهدفت القاعدة ومحيطها، ما أدى إلى سماع دوي انفجارات عدة، بحسب مصادر ميدانية تحدثت إليها «الأخبار»، بالإضافة إلى مشاهدة اشتعال النيران داخل القاعدة، من دون التمكّن من تحديد حجم الإصابات، وتلى ذلك تحليق للمروحيات الأميركية. في وقت أكد «البنتاغون» وقوع الاستهداف، مشيراً إلى أن الهجوم «لم تنتج منه خسائر بشرية في صفوف القوات الأميركية».

لكن اللافت في هجوم الأمس على القاعدة الأميركية، أنه لم يأت رداً على عدوان إسرائيلي «تقليدي»، حيث أن المعلومات العسكرية تشير إلى أن العدوان كان أميركياً ــــ إسرائيلياً مشتركاً، وتمّ تنفيذه من جهة قاعدة التنف الأميركية. كما أن العدوان لم يستهدف مخازن أو شحنات أسلحة، كما يزعم العدو عادة، بل «استهدف غرف مبيت للقوات التابعة لمحور المقاومة، إضافة إلى مطبخ لإعداد الوجبات للجنود، وباحة لركن الآليات العسكرية»، بحسب مصادر عسكرية في «محور المقاومة». وهذا يعني بحسب المصادر: «تجاوزاً للخطوط الحمراء، وقراراً بالاستهداف المباشر بقصد القتل»، وهو ما وقع فعلاً. وفي اليوم التالي للاستهداف، أصدرت قيادة «غرفة عمليات حلفاء سوريا»، بياناً أكّدت فيه أنّها «اتّخذت قراراً بالرد القاسي على العدوان على تدمر»، وأضافت أنه «نتيجة هذا الاعتداء سقط عدد من الشهداء والجرحى من الإخوة المجاهدين»، مشيرةً إلى أنه «لولا الانتشار، لكان عدد شهداء الاعتداء كبيراً جداً». وقال البيان إن قيادة الغرفة «اتخذت قراراً بالردّ على هذا الاعتداء انتقاماً لأرواح الشهداء ودماء الجرحى»، خاتمةً بقولها: «سيكون الردّ قاسياً جداً». وبالتوازي مع البيان الذي توعّد بالردّ، أصدرت قيادة قوات «محور المقاومة» في سوريا، تعليماتها لقوّاتها بتنفيذ خطة انتشار واسعة، تحضيراً لتصعيد قد يعقب الردّ الحتميّ على العدوان.

استهدفت طائرات انتحارية مسيّرة غرف مبيت الجنود الأميركيين داخل قاعدة التنف الأميركي


كما يأتي الرد على العدوان الأخير، ضمن توجّه عامّ لدى قوى «محور المقاومة» في سوريا ــــ انطلق قبيل العدوان الأخير ــــ للتحرّر من قيود فرضتها الوقائع العسكرية في السنوات الماضية، حيث كانت ــــ بحسب المصادر العسكرية ــــ «أولوية هذه القوى العمل على مساعدة الجيش السوري في استعادة سيطرته على الأراضي التي يسيطر عليها المسلحون، وتأمين أكبر قدر من الاستقرار الأمني في البلاد»، لكن «أما وقد تحقّق ذلك بجزئه الأكبر، فقد حان الوقت لرسم معادلات ردع جديدة مع العدو الإسرائيلي، وكذلك الأميركي، عبر الردّ على الاستهدافات المباشِرة والتي يذهب ضحيّتها مقاتلون من تشكيلات قوى المحور». وفي الأسابيع الأخيرة، جرت اتصالات ولقاءات بين قادة في «محور المقاومة» في بيروت ودمشق وطهران، تقرّر إثرها تعزيز تواجد قوات المحور على امتداد الجغرافيا السورية، بعدما كانت قد انخفضت أعداد هذه القوات خلال العام الفائت. وعلى سبيل المثال، بينما يستمرّ عقد اتفاقات التسوية في المنطقة الجنوبية، ويتوسّع انتشار الجيش السوري في كامل محافظة درعا، قامت قوات «محور المقاومة» بتعزيز مواقع انتشار قديمة لها في المناطق السورية المختلفة، وانتخبت مواقع جديدة، كما أُرسلت إلى الجنوب السوري قوّات جديدة ــــ بمرافقة الجيش السوري ــــ بطريقة علنيّة، مع آلياتهم العسكرية ودبّاباتهم وكامل عتادهم، للمرة الأولى منذ اتفاق التسوية تحت الرعاية الروسية، صيف العام 2018.
ويبدو أن قوى «محور المقاومة» ترى أن الظروف الحالية مؤاتية لإحداث تغييرات في المشهد السوري ـــ الإسرائيلي، بسبب الفترة العصيبة التي يمرّ بها كيان العدو، على صعيد علاقته المرتبكة مع الولايات المتحدة، في ما يتعلّق بطريقة التعامل مع ملفّات المنطقة، خصوصاً ما يسمّيه «التهديدات الإيرانية المتزايدة»، إضافة إلى تحسّن الوضع العسكري في عموم سوريا بشكل كبير، ما يمكّن هذه القوى من تبديل أولويّاتها. في المقابل، يدرك العدوّ حجم الخطر الذي يشكّله أي قرار لدى أعدائه في «المحور» بتغيير المعادلات العسكرية التي جَهِد في الحفاظ عليها طوال الفترة الماضية. وفي هذا السياق، يشير الإعلام الإسرائيلي إلى أن «الموضوع الإيراني سيتصدّر المباحثات التي يجريها رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية نفتالي بينيت، مع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، يوم الجمعة المقبل في موسكو»، لافتة إلى أن بينيت يعتزم مطالبة بوتين بـ«إبعاد إيران والميليشيات الموالية لها عن خط وقف إطلاق النار في هضبة الجولان، وكذلك الحفاظ على حرية عمل إسرائيل في سوريا».


مصادر الميادين تكشف حالة قوات التحالف الأميركي بعد هجوم “التنف”

المصدر: الميادين نت

الهجوم على قاعدة التنف شرقي سوريا يتسبّب بحالة من الارتباك في صفوف قوات التحالف الأميركي، ويجبر الفصائل المتعاملة معها على إعادة الانتشار.

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هجوم التنف يربك قوات التحالف الأميركي

نقل مراسل الميادين عن مصادر سورية تأكيدها أنّ حالة من الفوضى والارتباك عمّت صفوف الجنود الأميركيين والبريطانيين والمجموعات المسلحة السورية المولجة “حماية” قاعدة التنف شرق سوريا، وذلك بعد تعرضها لهجوم بالطائرات المسيرة والصواريخ الليلة الماضية.

وكانت القاعدة الموجودة على المثلث الحدودي الذي يجمع سوريا والعراق والأردن تعرّضت لهجوم في تمام الساعة التاسعة مساءً، أدى إلى اشتعال النيران فيها لأكثر من ساعة، بعد سماع دوي انفجارات كبيرة فيها.

وفي سياق متصل، نفت مصادر عشائرية في البادية السورية علمها بوقوع قتلى أو مصابين في صفوف القوات الموجودة في القاعدة، إلا أنها أكّدت حدوث انفجارات واضحة فيها، وأشارت إلى وجود حالة من الاستنفار وإعادة الانتشار في صفوف المسلحين التابعين لتنظيم “مغاوير الثورة” المتعاون مع الأميركيين.

وتعدّ التنف من أهم القواعد الّتي تحتلّها القوات الأميركية في سوريا، نظراً إلى موقعها الاستراتيجي، وهي تضم عدداً من مخازن الأسلحة والمواقع التدريبية التي تشمل ميادين للرماية بالأسلحة الرشاشة والمتوسطة، ومستودعات للمواد الغذائية، ومساكن للجنود، وتخضع لحراسة دائرية مشددة على مسافة 55 كلم، الأمر الذي يصعب عملية استهدافها.

ويأتي الهجوم على التنف بعد أقلّ من أسبوع على استهداف منطقة تدمر، الأمر الذي أدى إلى استشهاد جندي سوري وعدد من عناصر القوات الحليفة لدمشق، في وقت أعلنت غرفة حلفاء دمشق قرارها بالرد القاسي على العدوان.


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5 Kamikaze Drones Bomb Biden Forces Illegally Deployed in Syrian Al Tanf

ARABI SOURI 

US Biden forces in the Al Tanf in the Syrian desert

5 Kamikaze drones loaded with explosives bombed the American illegal Biden forces deployed in the Syrian Al Tanf area at the joint borders with Iraq and Jordan, strong explosions were heard and smoke was seen rising from the targeted base.

Many sources confirm that between 3 and 5 booby-trapped drones bombed the base, the troops housing units, and the military barracks, the drones came from Iraq and Syria, the sources added. Some sources added that in addition to the drones there was bombing by grad missiles that targeted the illegal base.

Using the map of the Israeli bombing from over the US troops in Al Tanf on the 13th of the month:

There’s no immediate news how many of Biden oil thieves mercenary forces were ‘headached’, the new term used by the Pentagon to describe its casualties among its troops in Ain Asad military base in western Iraq after Iran bombed the base early January last year in retaliation to Trump’s war crime assassinating the Iranian top general Qasim Soleimani in the International Airport of Baghdad while he was on an official visit to Iraq 5 days earlier.

The number of US casualties from this bombing is irrelevant, the Pentagon will never reveal the correct number, it never had in all its previous war and military interventions abroad, the main important point is that there was a bombing and there were casualties. Will the US people ask their ‘democratically elected’ officials what they are really doing in Syria? And not the usual line of ‘exporting democracy and freedoms’ to the countries they’re destroying.

US Army Carried out ‘Military Drill’ with ISIS Affiliate in the Syrian Al Tanf

https://syrianews.cc/us-army-carried-out-military-drill-with-isis-affiliate-in-the-syrian-al-tanf/embed/#?secret=28eaEiFffK

An attack on Biden forces in Syria was anticipated in the wake of the joint Israeli – US bombing of a Syrian airbase housing allied forces near Tadmor (Palmyra) on the 13th of the month. The Resistance Axis vowed to strongly retaliate against the blatant joint war crime that led to the killing of Syrian soldiers and members of the allied forces fighting ISIS in the Syrian desert.

The White House junta of Joe Biden continues the policies of the former war criminal Trump who continued the policies of his predecessor the Obama Biden junta in the war of terror and war of attrition against Syria including the theft of Syrian oilwheat, and other resources, sponsoring the separatist Kurdish SDF terrorists and commanding the terrorists of ISIS, Nusra Front, HTS, and other anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in the country. Syria is literally on the other side of the planet from the United States of America, has never carried out against or threatened the USA or its people, yet the US consecutive regimes have repeatedly tried to topple the Syrian state driven by instructions they receive from their Israeli lobby masters.

US Forces in Syria Causing Catastrophic Effects on Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp

https://syrianews.cc/usa-forces-syria-cause-rukban-concentration-catastrophic-conditions/embed/#?secret=7EmeJc5VBL

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4867149

Question: Which opportunities and risk factors does the new Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan present? Does Russia fear that the presence of Taliban could somehow feed Islamic extremism in the region? If so, what can be done?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, Afghanistan is now on everyone’s mind. We believe, and we did believe from the outset, that what has happened there is a reality. Unfortunately, the hasty pull-out, let’s call it this way, by the United States and other NATO countries of their troops was carried out without any consideration of the consequences. As you are aware, many weapons were left behind in Afghanistan. We all need to see to it that these weapons do not serve any unconstructive purposes.

The reality on the ground is based on statements made by the Taliban who proclaimed their commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, not to project instability on their neighbours. They committed themselves to respecting women’s rights and to creating an inclusive government. You know all this. What matters the most at the moment is that they fulfil their promises.

The first step to form a transitory government structure fails to reflect the whole gamut of the Afghan society in its ethnic, religious and political diversity. We remain engaged with the Taliban, and these contacts have been continuing for several years now. We are doing this, inter alia, within the expanded troika of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan. Only recently, Russian, Chinese and Pakistani representatives travelled to Doha, and after that they visited Kabul where they engaged with the Taliban, as well as with representatives of the secular authorities. I am referring to former President Hamid Karzai and former Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah. These contacts primarily focused on the need to form a genuinely representative government structure. The Taliban claim to be moving in this direction, and the current architecture is only temporary. What matters the most is to make sure that they keep the promises that they made in public. For us, the top priority is precisely what you just mentioned: it is unacceptable that extremism spills over into neighbouring countries, and the terrorist threat must not persist on Afghan soil. We will do everything we can to support the Taliban in their determination, as you have said, to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups, and to try to make sure that this determination paves the way to some practical progress.

Question: Does Russia consider easing or lifting its national sanctions against the Taliban members who become part of the new Afghan government in order to facilitate contacts with them? What position will Russia take during UN talks on easing or lifting sanctions against the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: As things stand at the moment, nothing is restraining or hindering our contacts with the Taliban. Moreover, the UN Security Council sanctions, as set forth in the corresponding resolutions, are not preventing us from engaging in such contacts. On the contrary, UN Security Council resolutions stipulate the need to advance a political process, and without working together with the Taliban this is impossible.

We have been engaged in contacts with this movement for some years now, and these contacts have been primarily geared towards ensuring the safety ofr Russian nationals, facilitating intra-Afghan reconciliation and political process. I have not heard any suggestions within the UN Security Council about the need to ease or lift international sanctions at one of the forthcoming meetings. There is no need for this for us to be able to engage with the Taliban movement at this stage.

We all expect the Taliban to honour all the good-minded promises they made. For this reason, we will see whether the terrorist and drug trafficking threats are actually eliminated.

Question: The UN Secretary-General has warned of disastrous consequences of a putative economic collapse in Afghanistan. What do you think about the idea to unfreeze Afghan assets held by international organisations?

It appears from your remarks that your policy is to judge the Taliban by their deeds. In what way does the Taliban ideology differ from that of other Islamic groups in other parts of the world, such as the groups in Syria, which you are opposing and showering with bombs?

Sergey Lavrov: Syria, as you may know, is where the seat of terrorism is located. Practically the entire Syrian territory has been liberated, but the so-called de-escalation zone in Idlib province is under the sway of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an offspring of Jabhat al-Nusra. All the UN Security Council resolutions point out the nature of these terrorist organisations. I see no problem here from the point of view of destroying the terrorists in Syria.

We are holding talks with our Turkish partners, who signed with us, a couple of years ago now, a special agreement whereby they undertook to fight terrorists in the Idlib de-escalation zone and to separate them from armed groups that are not terrorist ones and to cooperate with the Turkish military. In just a few days from now, President of Russia Vladimir Putin will have yet another meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The presidents will thoroughly analyse how this commitment is being implemented. It is being implemented at a rather slow pace. This is obvious.

As for the Taliban and comparisons between them and other groups, we cannot divide the terrorists into good guys and bad guys. There is a sufficient number of exemptions from sanctions imposed on the Taliban. This has been made on purpose to enable [the international community] to have a dialogue with them. It means that the UN Security Council recognises the Taliban as an inalienable part of Afghan society, which, for Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are not. This is what makes the difference.

We will induce those who have seized power in Kabul following the flight of the foreign contingents to behave in a civilised way.

We have mentioned the unfreezing of the assets. We think that this matter should be given a practical consideration from the positions you have mentioned in quoting the UN Secretary-General.

Question: The Taliban Government have decided on the candidacies for their ambassador to Russia. Will Russia be prepared to issue an agreement to people proposed by the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: We have no information of anyone applying to us for an agrement. Serving in Moscow today is the ambassador appointed by the previous government. No one is urging an international recognition of the Taliban. We will proceed precisely from this principle if and when we receive a request regarding the appointment of a new ambassador.

Question: We have heard US President Joe Biden’s statement. He said that the period of relentless war has ended, and that the era of relentless diplomacy has been ushered in. Do you believe this?

What about Russia’s diplomatic property? Has there been any progress?

Even some of the members of the delegation had problems with their visas, let alone the fact that there was a danger that the Russian delegation would not be allowed into the UN General Assembly because of the vaccination requirements, with vaccines that were approved in the United States. Are they just trying to annoy us whenever they can?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not think that this is an attempt to annoy us in any way. Most likely they are just a bit at a loss over the resumption of in-person UN General Assembly meetings. I cannot blame the New York authorities for being overly cautious. This is a serious event, and a lot of people come here from all around the world. There are quite a few different variants of the virus already, so safety measures do not hurt.

It is another question, as you have so rightly put it, that we do not accept any attempts to discriminate against vaccines that are not registered in the United States but have proven time and again to be effective. Sputnik V is a case in point. Several EU countries, for example, Hungary and Slovakia, have approved our vaccines, and this should serve as an example for other EU and NATO members.

As for visas for our delegation, apart from the epidemiological situation, the delay in the granting of visas was obviously caused by political considerations. We have seen through this. A number of our employees have yet to obtain their visas, including State Duma members who are part of the delegation. We will see to it that the UN Secretariat leadership fulfils its duties as to ensuring compliance with all the provisions of the agreement between the UN and the United States, the headquarters host country. Instances of flagrant violation of this agreement and repeated failures to comply with the UN headquarters host country commitments have been piling up, including the confiscation of diplomatic property, as you have just mentioned. The UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country has said that this is unacceptable and wrong. The Secretary-General should have launched arbitration proceedings against the actions by the United States several years ago. We had a meeting yesterday, and I reminded him of this fact. I was glad that his Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, was present at this meeting, since it is his duty to initiate these steps. They have been long overdue.

United States President Joe Biden said that the United States will no longer use force to change regimes abroad. “Never say never,” as the saying goes. We have seen how the Donald Trump administration pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal that was concluded by the Barack Obama administration. Now that talks on fully restoring the JCPOA to settle the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme are underway, one of the questions the Iranians are asking the Americans is whether the agreement to restore this plan can include a clause binding future administrations to respect it? The Americans say that they cannot do this, since this is how their system works. International law is one thing, but their law is a nose of wax, and can be twisted about any way they so desire.

United States President Joe Biden said that an era of “relentless diplomacy” has been ushered in. This means that the Americans will seek to impose on other countries what they deem right for them by other means. This could include colour revolutions. They do not require any use of force, but are equally destructive. Just look at Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, our neighbour.

We want the United States to make the next step and move beyond the commitment not to use force for reshaping other countries by actually refraining from doing this altogether. They must recognise that we are all different. We have different cultural, civilisational roots, but we share the same planet and must respect each other.

Question: According to our information, preparations for Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria’s Nuland’s visit to Moscow are underway. Where do these talks stand at this point? Can you give us a timeline for the visit? What does Moscow expect to receive in response to the temporary lifting of restrictions from someone who is on Russia’s black list?

Sergey Lavrov: If you have sources of information that let you know about this, I encourage you to ask them this question. The Foreign Ministry and the US State Department are working on a number of contacts. This is not the only matter under discussion.

When both parties decide on a date for contact to take place in order to discuss a specific issue, we will make a corresponding announcement.

Question: I have a question about the JCPOA. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that swift action is needed, because we are running out of time. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said yesterday that they were ready for that. They appear to be receiving mixed signals from the United States, but they should come up with an agreement soon. You were involved in making this deal happen. As a negotiator, have you any idea what will happen if the United States does not return to the agreement and Iran continues its nuclear programme? What is the worst-case scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: Iran is not doing anything illegal, because it is complying with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an additional protocol to a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Iran is not complying with most of its obligations included in the JCPOA which are now not binding, because the Americans have destroyed the agreement.

The issue is about restoring it in full so that Iran has no reason to make exceptions to its commitments. The IAEA, including in the person of its Director General, is in contact with the Iranians. They have a complete picture of what is happening there. They are not being denied access to the work that Iran is doing as part of its nuclear programme. The IAEA has no reason to believe that the 2015 findings to the effect that there were no signs of the nuclear programme being re-oriented towards military needs have become outdated. They have no reason to revise these findings. They speak about this explicitly.

Of course, we want the talks on the full restoration of the JCPOA to resume as soon as possible. But, first, the government in Iran has just been formed. They say they will need a week or two (hopefully not more) to put together their negotiating team. There have been personnel changes. Second, when the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran, for over a year, had been conscientiously complying  with its commitments under this document in hope that the United States would come to its senses and return to the deal. Of all people, our counterparts in Washington are not in a position to say that time is up. Indeed, it was carried out by the administration which is now gone, but this is the legacy of the current administration, especially since the JCPOA is its brainchild. It is only fair that it deliver bold action in addressing all related issues.

There are also sanctions that the US has illegally imposed on Iran, allegedly for violating the JCPOA. But the sanctions concern not just Iran. They have also imposed sanctions on everyone who carry out legal trade with Iran, including the supply of military products, which are no longer subject to a ban. These sanctions must be lifted as part of the reinstatement of the JCPOA. And Iran’s trading partners across all areas of commercial exchange must not be affected by America’s unilateral move.

Question: Will Iran’s economy collapse if the JCPOA is not restored?

Sergey Lavrov: We are not even considering scenarios like that. There is serious hope and cautious optimism that we will be able to achieve a result. At least everyone wants it, including the United States and Iran.

Question: The calm in the northwest of Syria has changed with Russia’s intense airstrikes in recent weeks, particularly ahead of the summit between President Erdogan and President Putin. Why is Russia stepping up its attacks just ahead of this summit?

And another question on Syria as well. Is there an agreement or consensus between Russia and the US following the meeting between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and US National Security Council Coordinator Brett McGurk, which took place in Geneva? Thank you.

Sergey Lavrov: We are using force in northwestern Syria in conformity with the requirements contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which provides for an uncompromising struggle against terrorism in Syria.

I have mentioned that there was a special agreement on Idlib between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Our Turkish colleagues have committed themselves to separating the normal and sensible opposition forces from the terrorists. This should have been done long ago. So far, this has not happened. There is slow progress, but the threats of terrorism from the militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone are constantly renewed. These people are attacking the positions of the Syrian army and have repeatedly tried to launch strike drones to attack the Russian Khmeimim Air Base.

Our Turkish friends are well aware that we will not put up with this behaviour and with these militants’ attitude to the role performed by the Turkish military in the Idlib de-escalation zone. We will have detailed discussions as part of preparations for the presidential meeting. The September 29 summit will focus on ways to achieve what we have agreed upon and prevent the terrorists from ruling the roost.

As for contacts with the US regarding the right bank of the Euphrates, they are held periodically. We draw their attention to the fact that the US presence in Syria is illegitimate, to the outrageous situation in the 55-kilometre zone called Al-Tanf, which they have occupied, and to the situation at the Rukban camp located in the US-controlled territory. This is a long story.

The contacts taking place between the foreign ministries and the security councils are mostly about the fact that the Americans are present [in Syria] illegally, illegitimately, but they are there.  This is the reality. Given their tendency to fire all their guns with or without reason, we are negotiating the so-called deconflicting mechanism with them.   It is working. Let me draw your attention to the fact that it is functioning despite the legal bans on contacts between the militaries imposed by the US Congress. Not so long ago, the heads of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff officially announced that this was unreasonable and that the bans on military contacts should be lifted. I think this will do good both to the deconflicting process in Syria and our further arms dialogue as a whole.

Question: Turkey has expressed concerns about the voting in Crimea in the recent State Duma elections. This is despite the fact that Russia has provided humanitarian assistance for COVID-19 to Turkey, as well as military cooperation. My question is: could you address the imbalance, what is your analysis of the imbalance in relations?

Sergey Lavrov: Turkey was not the only one to voice “concerns” or “denounce” the vote in Crimea. I can give you two explanations for this “commotion.” First, five years ago, when the previous State Duma elections were held, no one made any statements of this kind, at least not that strong. Had this been the case, I would have remembered it, but no such thing occurred.

However, now they are pouncing on this issue, including the hectic efforts to convene the so-called Crimea Platform in Kiev, and all the commotion around the election. I think that this is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that Kiev, under President Vladimir Zelensky’s leadership, has shamefully failed to honour its commitments under the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the intra-Ukrainian conflict in the east of the country. It is obvious. The adopted laws have been a de-facto obstacle to granting southeastern Ukraine the status required under the Minsk Agreements.

We drew the attention of our German and French colleagues, as well as the European Union to the fact that their “clients” are negating UN Security Council resolutions, because it was the Security Council that approved the Minsk Agreements. Unfortunately, they are all bashfully looking the other way, while President Vladimir Zelensky understood that all he needed to do was divert attention from his own failures and the fact that the Minsk Agreements were sabotaged. Therefore, they are now playing the Crimean card.

A lack of professionalism in foreign policy is the second reason why they are doing this. Professionals know all too well that the Crimea question is closed once and for all.

Question: My second question is regarding Mali. France has expressed concern about the presence of military contractors from Russia in Mali. They are now being joined by their European allies speaking about this concern. My question is: what is Russia’s position on this?

Sergey Lavrov: I have heard these questions. Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian, and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, have raised them with me.

Mali currently has a transitional government. Those authorities are undertaking efforts to restore the constitutional order, prepare elections and return to civilian rule. The elections are scheduled to take place in February under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.

Mali’s transitional government has emphasised its commitment to international obligations and is combatting terrorism. It has called upon a private Russian military company because, to my understanding, France intends to substantially reduce its military presence there, and these troops were tasked with fighting terrorists entrenched in the north, in an area called Kidal. But they did not succeed, and terrorist are still in control there.

The Malian authorities considered their own capabilities insufficient without support from abroad, but those who had promised to eliminate terrorism in this country decided to draw down their presence. So they went to a Russian private military company. We have nothing to do with this. This activity is legal and consists of a relationship between the host country, which is a legitimate government recognised by everyone as a legitimate transitional structure, on the one hand, and those offering their services as foreign experts.

Let me emphasise that apart from private military companies, the Russian state has been making its own contribution to ensuring Mali’s defence capability and combat readiness for eliminating the terrorist threat and other threats. We do this by supplying military equipment as part of our assistance. We also work within the UN Security Council to devise the best approaches to further peacebuilding efforts.

I do not see any reason to question this. Yesterday I had a meeting with Mali’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, who talked to the press on this matter. There are no questions here. In fact, the problem lies elsewhere. Our colleagues from the European Union, as Josep Borrell told me, are asking us to stop working in Africa altogether, because this is “their place.” It would be better for the EU and the Russian Federation to align their actions in fighting terrorism not only in Mali, but in the Sahara-Sahelian region in general. Claiming that “they were there first, so we must leave” is, first, an insult to the Bamako government that has invited its foreign partners, and second, it is not the way to treat anyone.

Question: Shortly before the Russian parliamentary elections, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to refuse to recognise the results of the vote. Did you discuss this with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell? Will the EU recognise the results of the Russian State Duma elections?

Sergey Lavrov: We have not heard any assessments from the European Union proper because the European Parliament is not a body that determines EU policy. I spoke about this with Josep Borrell; I quoted some of the assessments made during his remarks in the European Parliament, including the absolutely unacceptable statements that the European Union distinguishes between “the regime” in Moscow and the Russian people.

He made some rather awkward and vague excuses. It was quite obvious that he realised the phrasing was lame at the very least. I hope that was just a phrase, not the idea. This happens. Sometimes we let something slip only to regret it later.

We have no information about anyone officially rejecting the results of our elections, which have just been announced.

Question: France calls for a review of the recent nuclear submarine deal between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom to verify its compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). What is your opinion on this matter? What do you generally think of this new triple alliance, which has created such a stir and runs counter to the partnership agreements in NATO and beyond?

Sergey Lavrov: This deal, signed immediately after the flight from Afghanistan, inevitably raises questions from the parties to these alliances. Probably, in addition to a commercial grievance, France is also thinking how reliable these alliances are and how this has increased the relevance of Europe’s strategic autonomy? These are big questions for the Western camp, and they have to address them.

We are not going to interfere in these matters. Yet, we might feel the consequences of what is happening there. This may affect our relations with the European Union, may spur the EU’s interest in cooperating with us, in using the obvious geopolitical and geostrategic advantages of being on one huge continent, especially since the global growth centre is shifting towards Asia.

I have discussed this with many participants here who represent the European Union and who do not like what is happening. Especially when the EU says they should “push back against, constrain, and engage” with Russia. I asked Josep Borrell how they were going to “engage with us,” exactly. Do you know what he answered? “Get out of Mali.” That is all there is to this policy, to this triad. That’s what it is worth. I am being honest. I do not think there is a violation of any ethical norms here because they are also talking about this publicly. I am just giving examples to illustrate their way of thinking.

As regards the Non-Proliferation Treaty, this matter is being discussed a lot on the sidelines in Vienna. The IAEA is responsible for the non-proliferation regime and for ensuring that nuclear research is not diverted to military needs. For a submarine, uranium must be enriched to 90 percent. This is weapons-grade uranium. We will probably have to ask for an IAEA expert review.

A similar attempt to develop such submarines by a non-nuclear country was made a few decades ago. The project was eventually scrapped then, and that settled the whole matter. But now, this deal has been signed. If the IAEA confirms it is in line with nuclear safety and non-diversion to military needs, there will be a queue for such submarines.

Question: In the lead up to the high-level week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a warning that the world might be drawn into a new vastly more dangerous cold war if the US and China fail to mend their completely collapsed relations. He called for the avoidance of a new confrontation at any cost, and also warned that it would be more dangerous than the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and dealing with its aftereffects would be much more difficult. What does Russia have to say to these statements?

Sergey Lavrov: Make no mistake, we had this issue on our radar screen even before UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres mentioned it. We see that tensions in China-US relations are escalating. We are aware of who is “playing the first violin” in this not too pleasant turn of events. This worries us. Confrontational schemes do not help the people of our planet to live a normal life: be it the recently announced Indo-Pacific Strategy, which explicitly proclaimed containing China, including in the South China Sea, one of its main goals, or QUAD that was formed as part of these strategies, or, by the same token, the purported AUKUS “triple alliance,” the purpose of which is to help Australia contain the “Chinese threat.”

Yesterday and today, I met with a number of ministers representing ASEAN member countries and asked them how things were going. Talks are underway between China and ASEAN to draft a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. Things are not moving fast, but this is the most reliable way to ensure freedom of navigation and everything else that worries our Western partners to the extent that they keep holding provocative and non-provocative naval manoeuvres and creating anti-Chinese geopolitical schemes. We stand for mutually respectful relations between the great powers that never escalate into a nuclear war. The presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden, confirmed the unacceptability of this at the Geneva summit. Any kind of war between nuclear powers is unacceptable, because the risks of it escalating into a nuclear conflict are enormous. Humanity has not come up with anything new in this regard. We must talk and strive to find a compromise and get along. As President Trump put it, we must “make a deal.” This is the right expression to use not only in business, but in politics as well. Politics is needed to create a proper environment for normal life, rather than for someone to promote their ambitions, so that everyone agrees that they are “the coolest guy on Earth.” This is obvious to normal people. Great powers must act responsibly with regard to their people and the rest of humanity.

President Putin proposed holding a UN Security Council permanent members’ summit. The pandemic has delayed this work. We have resumed it now. We aim to come to an agreement with our partners from China and the three Western permanent members of the UN Security Council on specific issues which will then be included in the agenda, and on the format of discussions (we may start out online). Talks are the only way to resolve the issues at hand. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council must set an example to other countries.

Question: In connection with the withdrawal of foreign contingents – official and informal mercenaries – from Libya, disputes arose about over whether it would be better to withdraw them only after the elections, upon receipt of an official request from a new government. Some say this should take place before December 24 to ensure fair and legitimate elections. The spokesman for the Presidential Council said today that you highlighted two points at a meeting with Mohammed al-Menfi: the need for a settlement between the Libyan parties and the withdrawal of foreign troops. Does Russia think it should be done before or after the elections?

Sergey Lavrov: Before or after the elections is not a critical matter. Most importantly, the final document of the second International Conference on Libya held in Berlin in June reads as follows: all foreign armed people must leave Libya. Our Turkish colleagues made a reservation saying they had been invited there by the legitimate leadership in the person of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj. However, the other part of Libyan society – the Tobruk Parliament – is no less legitimate. Both of these bodies were created under the Skhirat Agreement. The legitimate parliament along with the legitimate Libyan national army invited armed personnel, whom they have on their payroll, to come and join them from abroad. Concurrently, there were people who can be referred to as mercenaries. People are being transferred from Syria (to both sides), Chad and other African countries.

From the outset, the moment it came up in our discussions, we said that we were in favour of doing this. Considering that foreign military forces are on both sides of the Libyan confrontation, we must make sure that they move out in small groups and simultaneously, so as not to create a military advantage on one side at any point in time. A ceasefire has been observed in Libya for over a year now. No one should be tempted to think that they can return to military methods and try to use force to resolve that country’s problems.

Question: Is Russia facilitating the withdrawal of troops from Libya?

Sergey Lavrov: They should deal with this in their 5+5 commission. We are ready to help, but if they continue to address non-priority matters, there will be no elections on December 24, 2021. They have just adopted the legislative framework for the elections. Then the Parliament voted on the legitimacy of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh’s Government of National Unity. They need to be pushed towards an earnest discussion about how to live on. There are already speculations about whether the current leaders can run for office (reportedly, there was an agreement that they would not participate, but they want to). Our colleagues in the Secretariat are trying to create artificial difficulties when it comes to the format of the UN presence in Libya. They had better concentrate on fulfilling what we agreed on a year ago now. Nobody expected this. They should not be trying to change this to promote someone’s interests or advance hidden agendas.

Question: At what stage are the US-Russia strategic stability talks at the moment? As for nuclear weapons, what is Russia’s reaction to the recent missile launches in North and South Korea? What could work as an incentive for Kim Jong-un to return back to the negotiating table?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that Pyongyang is sending signals about North Korea’s interest in normalising relations with South Korea. We have always stood for a direct dialogue between the North and the South. However, it was not always supported by the previous US administration, which wanted to control the process. I hope that in the new situation, the Biden administration will be ready to make more constructive steps to encourage the resumption of normal contacts between North and South Korea.

Missile launches don’t help. We noticed that this time, Seoul tried not to over-dramatise. I think this is the right thing to do. Once we begin to resort to public condemnation and strong rhetoric, this significantly reduces our incentives for diplomatic, professional, and calm dialogue. The final agreement can only be reached through confidential and quiet negotiations, rather than mutual recriminations through loudspeakers.

As regards the strategic stability talks with the United States, the first round took place in July. The second is due next week.

Question: As the UN General Assembly is meeting in New York, the Southern District Court in New York has again denied Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko’s appeal. He continues to be held in American dungeons, as does Viktor Bout. There have been occasional reports in the media about their possible exchange for Americans. Whose court is the ball in? How realistic is the exchange scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to make any predictions or promises on behalf of the United States. We have tried many times to change our citizens’ situation by invoking the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The United States is a party to this Convention, just as we are. They categorically refuse to hear anything, including our arguments that both Yaroshenko and Bout (as well as a number of others) have been actually lured into a trap by provocations. They have been literally kidnapped, which is against the law. In Bout’s case, the Thai laws were violated – not all procedures were followed; with Yaroshenko, it was Liberia’s. There was also a case where they took Roman Seleznev in the Maldives in a gangster manner – they just put him on an aircraft and he was flown away. Nobody knew anything. Such methods of provoked attacks on our people are being used to achieve something. Either to persuade them to cooperate, or for some other reason. This is unacceptable.

About prisoner exchanges – Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden touched upon this matter in Geneva, among other things. They agreed that the respective Russian and US security services in charge of this matter will try to negotiate some mutually acceptable options. So far, we haven’t come to any agreement. The United States is only interested in getting its citizens back and does not seem to take our interests very seriously. They are interested in Paul Whelan, who is convicted of espionage. He was caught red-handed. This crime cannot be even compared with the reasons Yaroshenko and Bout got their sentences in excess of 20 years in prison. We are ready to talk. There are other American citizens as well. For some reason, they are not of interest to the administration in Washington. But talking is always better than not talking.

Question: On the JCPOA, the United States wants to discuss [inaudible] the Middle East. Will this be included into the JCPOA?  And on Syria, why doesn’t Damascus allow the UN to have humanitarian trips there? I know that there is a compromise made in the UN Security Council, but it does not seem to make sense. Does Syria or Damascus think that UN workers are Trojan horses?

Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the JCPOA, all we want is for it to resume without any preconditions. Attempts to add them as a requirement to expand the talks to include the Iranian missile programme or to discuss Iran’s “behaviour” in the region, as our Western colleagues say, have no future. This is like comparing apples and oranges. The agreement on the nuclear programme is a separate subject. If there are any concerns as to someone’s behaviour, Iran’s regional partners are not the only ones to have such concerns. Teheran has its own misgivings regarding them, which is totally normal for any region of the world.

The Persian Gulf countries engage in far-reaching foreign policy activities far beyond their regions. This must be taken into consideration. In this connection, we noted that many years ago Russia drafted a Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf region suggesting a dialogue inspired to some degree by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This included discussing confidence-building measures, military transparency and attending each other’s exercises, as well as engaging in positive joint projects. Political scientists from the region and other countries have already discussed this topic. In August 2021, we updated our collective security approach for the Persian Gulf region and released it as an official UN General Assembly and Security Council document. We believe that it is at a forum of this kind, and we hope that we will succeed in convening it, that we need to discuss concerns over the presence of missiles in this region, since Iran is not alone in this regard, and what kind of policies various parties follow. The conflict in Yemen is a case in point in terms of exposing the interests of Arab countries and Iran. There is a need to reach agreements. We believe that this forum should reach beyond the Gulf region. You cannot separate Iraq, Egypt and Jordan in terms of their engagement in shaping a new common platform for constructive dialogue. The Arab League, and the five permanent members of the UN Security must all be involved. Probably, the European Union will also be interested. We believe this approach to be concrete and realistic, at least I had the impression that our colleagues were interested in it. Yesterday, I met with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and they are interested in this topic. We agreed to make it a priority as we resume our ministerial contacts.

As for humanitarian aid to Syria, yesterday I had a lengthy conversation on this topic with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. We cannot be satisfied with a situation where double standards are being used in the most flagrant and blatant manner. There are six million refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, or maybe even more. In November 2020, Russia and 20 other countries helped Damascus hold a conference on refugees. It focused on creating conditions that would enable refugees to return home, which is what most of them want. The fact that the United States did everything to intimidate those who were expected to attend this conference in Damascus, and the fact that the UN did not take part in the conference was a real shock for us. In fact, the UN representative in Damascus was the only person representing the UN as an observer. At the time, I wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying that this amounted to a failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that provides a framework for the UN’s activity on the Syrian track. It clearly stipulates efforts to facilitate humanitarian deliveries and creating conditions that would enable refugees to return to Syria.

Early in 2021, the European Union held an annual conference on Syrian refugees in Brussels, without the Syrian Arab Republic, but co-chaired by the EU and the UN Secretary-General. How perplexing. Not only was Syria not present, which is already a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, but the funds collected at the conference went towards paying for the accommodation of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, instead of being used to restore infrastructure in Syria. For this reason, I ask those of our friends from the media who worry about ordinary people in conflict zones, to note that initiatives of this kind make a mockery of international humanitarian law.

We adopted the compromise resolution in July. It is true that it extends the so-called cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism for another six months, with deliveries primarily coming from Turkey to the Idlib de-escalation zone. However, considering that the West clings to this mechanism that has not been agreed with Damascus and runs counter to the international humanitarian law, we have every reason to believe that there is some kind of hidden agenda there. We do not get any information on what is in the lorries heading to the Idlib de-escalation zone. The UN swears that they inspect every lorry, but there is no way this can be verified. Even more so, no one knows how this aid or whatever these boxes contain is distributed in the Idlib de-escalation zone, or whether terrorists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other unacceptable structures benefit from this aid.

Unless specific measures are taken to unblock humanitarian aid deliveries through Damascus, as required under international humanitarian law, we will put an end to this untransparent cross-border activity. Moreover, since the adoption of the resolution requiring that aid be sent into Syria through Damascus as well, there was only one convoy, and even it was far from complete. About half of the supplies that had been waiting to be delivered for almost a year could not reach their destination. The convoy organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent back in April 2020 remained where it was. Those who care about the starving population must, first, appeal to the Western countries that can influence this situation, and second, reach out to the UN leadership so that it complies with the relevant resolution. Apart from purely the humanitarian aspects, on assisting Syria and humanitarian deliveries, this resolution calls for the so-called early recovery projects, including water supply, electricity, housing, schools and healthcare. This must be done, and the UN Secretariat knows this. Syrians currently face so much hardship. Throughout the Syrian crisis the UN Secretariat did little to create conditions facilitating the return of refugees. However, the UN Security Council Resolution is there. It has been adopted unanimously, and has to be carried out.

Question: Yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinians would withdraw their recognition of the State of Israel, if Israel did not cease its occupation within one year.  This will lead to chaos in the Middle East. What can the Russian Federation as a friend of the Palestinians and a country maintaining good relations with Israel do to avoid this scenario? After the Palestinians lost faith in the efficacy of the peace process, do they have the right to defend themselves and resist the occupation?

Sergey Lavrov: All right, let’s talk about the Palestinian-Israeli problems. These problems are certainly grave ones. They were not helped by the “casting about” we observed during the previous US administration. I am referring to both their recognition of the Golan Heights and the attempts to promote what was actually an annexation inscribed in the context of the efforts to create a quasi Palestinian state. What is important here is that the Biden administration has confirmed its commitment to the two-state approach. But the Israeli prime minister is not confirming this commitment, although there are politicians in Israel and in the Israeli parliament, who have different views on how to ensure security of the Jewish State without living under constant strain and hitting targets threatening Israel. [According to them], the alternative is to come to an agreement and build a stable and peaceful life through a two-state safe and prosperous coexistence in keeping with the principles of a settlement endorsed by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The current Israeli leaders are maintaining contacts that mostly boil down to keeping security in the Palestinian territories.

We believe that it would be a major mistake if the processes in the region – Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. – make us forget about the Palestinian question. After all, it is the outgrowth of this planet’s longest-lasting modern conflict, a conflict that other powers sought to settle through the creation of two states. One state was established in no time, but the other state is still to be created.

I believe that the decision approved by the Arab League at the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia almost 20 years ago now was a wise decision. I am referring to the Arab Peace Initiative, which said that the Arab countries would normalise their relations with Israel immediately after the creation of a viable Palestinian state conforming to all the UN-defined criteria. That was quite a specimen of statecraft. But the Trump administration attempted to turn everything upside down. The Abraham Accords promoted by a number of Arab countries were based on the logic that the first thing to do was to normalise relations between the Arabs and Israel, with the Palestinian problem to be considered afterwards. We welcome any kind of normalisation between any states. Not at the expense of Palestine in this case. It is gratifying that all the signatories of the Abraham Accords, including Bahrain, the UAE, the Sudan, and Morocco stressed that they were fully committed to the UN decisions on the Palestinian problem. This is where we should stand.

You asked whether they have the right to fight. They will not ask [for anyone’s permission]. The unregulated state of the Palestinian problem is the gravest factor feeding radical sentiments on the Arab “street.”  The extremist preachers are saying that their people have been wronged, that they were promised a state of their own 80 years ago but it was a deception. Young people, particularly uneducated ones, are highly sensitive to this sort of propaganda. But my Israeli colleagues get offended when I explain to them this aspect of the Middle East situation and the impact of the lack of a settlement of the Palestinian problem is exerting on stability in the whole of the region. They say I am wrong and that the problem is not very serious. But this is a shortsighted approach.

This is the reason why we are supporting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas’ proposal to convene an international conference. But we are confident that it must be thoroughly prepared, for which purpose we would like to resume the activities of the Quartet of international intermediaries consisting of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations and to recruit for joint work, for example, the foursome of Arab countries – Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Bahrain – that have relations with Israel.   Probably Saudi Arabia, the author of the Arab Peace Initiative, should be invited as well. This makes 4+4+1+2 (Israel and Palestine). If some parties believe that it is still too early to meet in this format, we are ready to offer our territory as a venue and support any other invitation for Israel and Palestine to meet for direct talks. The important thing is to avoid procrastination. We will seek to support this approach in every way we can.

Most importantly, while what we have just discussed depends on many factors (some depend on Israel, some on other members of regional organisations), there is one matter that depends on no one but the Palestinians themselves. I am referring to Palestinian unity. Attempts were being made to restore it a couple of years ago now. Certain agreements seemed to be reached and a circle of elections was announced. But eventually nothing came of it.  The lack of rapport between Ramallah and Gaza carries a negative charge. If the Palestinians restored their unity, it would be easier and more effective for them to talk to Israel at future negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said that he did not know who to hold talks with, when it was unclear whom Mr Abbas was representing.  It looked like he had Ramallah alone, while Gaza was controlled by other people. These matters have a strong influence on any attempts to achieve major political results. The Palestinians are unwilling to restore unity. But we are actively working with all the Palestinian factions. I repeatedly invited them to Moscow. During the discussions they agree they should reunite, but later it all somehow goes amiss.

Question (retranslated from English): This week, the European Commission accused Russia of engaging in hacker attacks against European politicians and media representatives, in particular, German politicians and officials, in the run-up to tomorrow’s election in which they are participating. What is your response to these accusations? Do you have any expectations regarding the outcome of elections in Germany?

Trevor Reed’s family believes he was unjustly indicted and sentenced to an unreasonably long term. Could you comment on these statements as well?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already covered Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, for that matter. Paul Whelan was arrested on espionage charges. He was caught red-handed. Trevor Reed was arrested for attacking and hitting a police officer several times. I am not sure how many years in prison people in the United States would get for violent attacks against a police officer. I think, many. Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout were simply lured by deception into a deal where they used an aircraft for some purpose, which got them implicated into a case of arms and drug smuggling. They were sentenced to over 20 years in prison without having hurt anyone or having any intention to violate international rules for trading in particular types of goods. So, our US colleagues need to be consistent, if they are offended over someone being arrested here. The same standards should be applied to all situations. In the case of an attack on police officers, see what is happening at the trial on the “Capitol attack.”

With regard to the accusations advanced by the European Commission, we are willing to review the facts, but they simply will not give us any. We are being unfoundedly charged with the alleged poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with polonium in London in 2007. They have not yet provided a single piece of evidence, but closed the process to the public and made it “official,” meaning that the judges can now consider secret materials behind closed doors. Now, they want to do the same with the process regarding the woman who died in Salisbury in the context of the Skripal case. They also want closed hearings on the causes of her death in order to avoid disclosing some secret documents. Nobody is making them available to us, but they blame us for everything. As with the Skripal case, they are also blaming us for the Malaysian Boeing case. The court in The Hague ruled that they had reason to believe the United States, which stated it had satellite images to prove that Russia had done it. But they did not show these images to anyone. The Dutch court considers this normal. They believe whatever the Americans say. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said “trust me” in one of his films, and Ronald Reagan added “but verify.” So, we want to conduct verification. In the case of the MH17 flight, we provided the data from the radars and much more. The Ukrainians refused to share the data from their radars. Allegedly, they “went dead” during the crash. They refuse to provide the exchange between the air traffic controller and the pilots. This speaks volumes. And much more.

We’re being accused of interfering  in the US elections. I discussed this matter with my colleagues on many occasions, in particular, with former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He once said they had irrefutable evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections, and I asked him to show it to me. He said they would not let us see it and that we should contact our special services for they would know what it was all about. That was all that was said. Is that okay?

The same goes for cyber attacks. The US authorities accused us (President Biden brought this issue up at a meeting with President Putin) or, rather our ransomware hackers, of attacking a meat processor and a fuel pipeline in the United States demanding them to pay ransom. Nobody showed us any evidence. President Biden, however, said their data show it is not the Russian Government that is doing this, but some people who are based in  Russia.

We let them know that most (about half) of the hacker attacks on our resources over the past year were carried out from the United States. Some originated in Germany and other countries. We have sent 45 official inquiries to our US colleagues indicating concrete facts that needed investigation. We received nine replies. We have received about 10 official inquiries and answered every one of them. I am heartened to know that the Americans agreed to move away from sporadic accusations and complaints and to begin systematic work on this matter after President Putin discussed this issue with President Biden in Geneva. The services that deal with cyber security have established dedicated communication channels. We hope that things will get going now.

With regard to the election in Germany, we wish every success to all its participants.

Question: Last week, the preliminary results of an investigation conducted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham into “Russiagate” were made public in the United States. The indictment mentioned one of the probe’s initiators. It is not the first paradoxical situation reported in the United States. American officials are overturning the US accusations against Russia.

The paradox is that the sanctions adopted against Russia have not been lifted despite the refutation. What is Moscow’s position on this score and what are its American partners saying?

Sergey Lavrov: You have answered your own question. It was unreasonable to do this before pondering the matter or investigating the situation. And it is a pity that after the situation was clarified they have not retraced their steps so as not to harm our bilateral relations. This is what American manners are all about. We have become accustomed to this. We will never ask for the sanctions to be lifted. The “limit” has been exhausted by neighbouring Ukraine, which continues making requests, unable to get its bearings of what is happening.  We are not going to act in this manner.

We do not have any other partners [in the US]. However, dialogue is gradually taking shape in some spheres, such as strategic stability and cybersecurity, which gives hope that we will bit by bit develop dialogue based on mutual respect at least in some spheres of international relations.

Question (retranslated from English): My question concerns Palestine. Many people say that Palestinian settlements are occupying too much land, that there are already half a million settlers. Do you think it’s time for the international community to settle the problem by creating one state for two peoples? Could you comment on this please?

As you are aware, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said just two days ago now that at least 50,000 Yemenis are starving and millions need humanitarian aid and food. Do you think that the international community, which includes Russia, has let the Yemeni people down by failing to put sufficient pressure on all the conflicting parties, including Saudi Arabia?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not say that the international community is not doing enough to convince the conflicting parties to sit down at the negotiating table not only to exchange accusations but also to come to some agreements.  There are a number of factors involved here, which are, regrettably, absolutely subjective and have to do with the desire of certain individuals to remain in power as long as possible, which is having a negative effect on the negotiating process and the possibility of compromise. I will not go into any details right now, but Yemen is indeed a country with the world’s largest humanitarian disaster, which was pointed out long ago, when the conflict had only just started and was in the hot phase.

We are involved through our Embassy. Our ambassador to Yemen is currently working from Riyadh, where a group of ambassadors are acting together to support the process and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen. I hope that everyone will gradually come to see the futility of trying to put off the necessary agreements.

As for the [Palestinian] settlements, we have always condemned the settlement policy, saying, just as you have so rightly pointed out, that this would create facts on the ground that will prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. I have heard about the one state solution where all people would have equal rights. I believe that this is unrealistic. Many academics say that this, if this should happen, will undermine the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. But if equal rights are not granted to everyone in Israel, it might become an apartheid state.

I am quite sure that the two-state solution is the only option. I would just like to point out that many people in the Israeli political elite share this same view and believe that this option must be promoted more actively.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Blowing Up the Gas Pipeline near Damascus

 ARABI SOURI 

Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS

US-sponsored ISIS terrorists claimed responsibility for blowing up the Arabian Gas Pipeline feeding the Deir Ali thermal power station in Damascus countryside the day before yesterday, as we anticipated in our report.

Syrian minister for oil confirmed that the maintenance teams have concluded the repairs to the sabotaged gas pipeline and resumed the supplies through it as per SANA.

The ISIS statement circulated by its media and the media of its sponsors referred to the attack on the electric power generating facilities as part of its ‘economic warfare’ against the Syrian people:

‘Within the economic warfare, ISIS ‘soldiers’ managed to booby trap and blow up the gas pipeline between Tishreen and Deir Ali thermal stations and two electric towers of the Deir Ali station yesterday, this resulted in the disconnection of the electric power supplies to the entire southern region…’ the ISIS statement read.

ISIS claiming responsibility for blowing up gas pipeline feeding Deir Ali thermal power station near Damascus
ISIS Statement
Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS
Maintenance teams repairing the gas pipeline
Maintenance teams repairing the Arabian gas pipeline near Deir Ali station blown up by ISIS

In our post reporting on the terrorist attack when it happened we pointed the fingers at ISIS remnants operating from the At-Tanf area in southeastern Syria, the only area in the southern region with US illegal military presence where these terrorists benefit from the protection provided to them by their sponsors, and they also enjoy the generosity of the US taxpayers who provide them with the 4×4 machinegun-mounted brand new Toyota pickups, and the other weapons and munition.

In the Al-Tanf area where the infamous Rukban concentration camp for Syrian families held hostage and human shields, the ISIS terrorists are called ‘Maghawir Thawra’, or ‘Commandos of the Revolution,’ the US-led regime change ‘revolution’, that is.

US Army carrying out a military drill with ISIS terrorists in Al Tanf area in southeast Syria!
an ISIS terrorist of the Maghawir Thawra thanking the USA for its generosity for providing them with the Toyota pickups

Syria can eliminate ISIS in less than a week as per top Syrian officials if it wasn’t for the direct support these terrorists receive from NATO countries and the direct protection the US military provides them, many among the US military do not distinguish between ISIS terrorists and real rebels, it’s understandable when we know that the US military is incapable of distinguishing between an ISIS terrorist commander in a car and 7 children and 3 adults when it drone-bombs them into non-existence.

‘The Syrian Arab Army can eliminate ISIS in 3 Days – Dr. Bashar Jaafari

The Syrian Army had already defeated ISIS in Syria before July 2014 and the terrorist remnants were regrouped and shipped to Iraq, beefed up, and then sent back to Syria by the US, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, and the rest of the alliance against the Syrian people as per this top Al Qaeda commander, founder of ‘Jihad’ in Egypt and close friend to Zawahiri, Al Qaeda commander in a July 3, 2014 interview:

The same was confirmed by John Kerry, among other top US officials 5 years later:

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

For the past 10.5 years, the United States of America has led a number of its stooges in NATO, Western European countries, some new Eastern European countries seeking to join NATO, the Gulfies, among others, and a host of numerous terrorist groups to destabilize Syria, destroy Syria, slaughter as many Syrian people as they could, displace millions of other Syrians from their homes, and suck dry Syrian oil, gas, and food resources, not because the US needs any of these resources or they need the Syrian land described once by Trump as the land of sand and blood, nor because the Syrians have invaded, attacked, or harmed US citizens, not at all, in the matter of fact, whenever the US regimes since Reagan and maybe before needed help to rescue their ‘innocent’ citizens who always find themselves caught up in the middle of conflicts, they would ask Syria for help and Syria was helping within its capabilities, experience in combatting terrorists groups, and by exchanging favors with its allies who can help, it was rewarded by the US regimes with only the bloodshed we’re living in, all of this just that the US serves Israel’s interests in the region and tries desperately to materialize the so-called Greater Israel Project.

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سوريا لم تنتظر دعوتها: أيّ جوار من دوننا؟

الأربعاء 18 آب 2021

سوريا لم تنتظر دعوتها: أيّ جوار من دوننا؟
قالت الخارجية العراقية إنها غير معنيّة بأيّ دعوة لا تُقدّم باسم الحكومة (سانا)

العراق

محمود عبد اللطيف

دمشق | لم يقتصر نفْي توجيه دعوة عراقية إلى سوريا لحضور قمّة بغداد على الجانب العراقي، بل إن نفياً مبطناً جاء من الرئاسة السورية نفسها، التي لم تتحدّث عن حمْل رئيس «هيئة الحشد الشعبي»، فالح الفياض، دعوة إلى دمشق للمشاركة في القمّة، بل أشارت إلى أن الفياض نقل إلى الرئيس بشار الأسد رسالة من رئيس الحكومة العراقية، مصطفى الكاظمي، حول اللقاء المزمع عقده أواخر الشهر الجاري، والمواضيع المطروحة على جدول أعماله. ويؤكد مصدر دبلوماسي عربي في دمشق، لـ«الأخبار»، أن الحكومة العراقية لم تُوجّه دعوة رسمية إلى نظيرتها السورية لحضور المؤتمر، الذي تصفه بأنه «سوريّ الفكرة بالأصل»، موضحة أنه «على الرغم من الترويج للمؤتمر على أنه الأوّل لدول جوار العراق، إلا أنه سبق وانعقد مؤتمر من هذا النوع في العاصمة السورية إبّان الحرب الأميركية على العراق»، مستغرباً أن «تنعقد هذه القمّة من دون حضور جارٍ أساسي لبغداد». ويشير المصدر إلى أن «دمشق تراقب اليوم ما قد يصدر عن هذا المؤتمر، من دون أيّ أمل في تحسّن سلوك تركيا في شمال العراق، أو حتى سلوكها تجاه ملفّ الأنهار المشتركة مع سوريا». كذلك، لا تتوقّع دمشق أن تُحدث القمّة تحوّلات في طبيعة العلاقات التي تجمع العراق مع بقيّة دول جواره، أو أن تثمر نتائج تفضي إلى تهدئة المنطقة المشحونة بعدد من الملفّات الساخنة.

ويشير الأستاذ الجامعي والكاتب عقيل محفوض، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، إلى أنه لم تكن هناك توقّعات في الأوساط السياسية السورية بأن تُدعى دمشق إلى مثل هذا المؤتمر، لأن ذلك سيؤثّر على مواقف بقيّة الدول المَدعوّة التي لم يَزل مسؤولوها غير جاهزين للجلوس مع مسؤولين حكوميين سوريين على أيّ طاولة سياسية، على الرغم من كون هذه الدول على تنسيق أمني مع دمشق في عدد من الملفّات. ولا يَتوقّع محفوض أن يؤثّر غياب دمشق عن المؤتمر على «العلاقات الثنائية التي لم تنقطع منذ بداية الحدث السوري، والتنسيق المشترك بين الحكومتَين في الملفّات المتعلّقة بالاعتداءات الأميركية والإسرائيلية على نقاطٍ في أراضي البلدين، وتبادل المعلومات الاستخبارية في محاربة تنظيم داعش، بما يحقّق الأمن الوطني والقومي لكلّ منهما، ويضاف إلى ذلك التعاون المشترك في ملفّات ذات طابع اقتصادي، وعلى هذا الأساس لن يكون غياب دمشق عن مؤتمر جوار العراق مؤثّراً على مسار العلاقات الثنائية مطلقاً».

لم تكن هناك توقّعات في الأوساط السياسية السورية بأن تُدعى دمشق إلى مثل هذا المؤتمر


من جهته، يعتقد أستاذ القانون العام في جامعة دمشق، عصام التكروري، أن «عدم دعوة دمشق مسألة تبدو أنها ناتجة من فيتو للمحتلّ الأمريكي، لم تعارضه أو تعترض عليه أيّ من الدول المجتمعة حتى الآن، كما أن غالبية المدعوّين ليسوا جاهزين لتطبيع العلاقة مع دمشق خارج المظلّة الأميركية، وهذا يؤكد اعترافهم الضمني بالدور المحوري الذي يمكن أن تلعبه دمشق في حلّ مشاكل المنطقة، والتي يساهم عدد من الدول المجتمعة في تكريسها». ويرى التكروري، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أن عدم توجيه الدعوة إلى دمشق «يتجاهل الحقيقة الجغرافية المتمثّلة في أن سوريا هي أهمّ جيران العراق، وتتقاسم معه ملفّات وجودية يأتي على رأسها وجود الاحتلال الأميركي وتنظيم داعش الإرهابي في كلا الدولتين»، معتبراً أنه «في ما لو كان المجتمعون يريدون تحقيق زخم لمؤتمرهم، فكان من الضروري بمكان أن تتمّ دعوة دمشق قبل غيرها، وذلك بحُكم الجغرافيا والتهديدات الوجودية المشتركة ما بين الدولتين».

هموم مشتركة
يبلغ طول الشريط الحدودي السوري مع الجار الشرقي (العراق) نحو 599 كم، وهو شريط شهد معارك مشتركة بين الجيش السوري وقوات عراقية ضدّ تنظيم «داعش» في صيف العام 2107، انتهت بتحرير مدينة البوكمال السورية في تشرين الثاني من العام 2018، بما أفضى إلى تأمين الحدود، وإنهاء إمكانية تنقّل التنظيم بين طرفَيها. ويُعدّ قطْع طريق دمشق – بغداد من معبر التنف أحد أهمّ أسباب البقاء الأميركي في سوريا، لما يمثّله من عنصر حيوي في عملية منْع قيام طريق برّية بين العاصمتَين الإيرانية واللبنانية، تَعتبره إسرائيل تهديداً لها. وعلى هذا الأساس، اعتمد الجانبان السوري والعراقي معبر «البوكمال – القائم» في عملية انتقال الركّاب والبضائع. وتنتشر القوات الأميركية في منطقة التنف، بشكل مشترك مع القوات البريطانية التي تواصلت خلال الشهرَين الماضيَين مع الفصائل المسلّحة المنتشرة في مخيم الركبان، الواقع بالقرب من الحدود الأردنية جنوب شرق سوريا، والذي كانت دمشق عرضت غير مرّة استقبال قاطنيه، إلّا أن واشنطن عرقلت ذلك لكون الحُجّة المُعلَنة لبقائها في التنف هي تقديم الحماية لسكّان المخيم، ومحاربة تنظيم «داعش» في البادية السورية.

أمّا في ما يخصّ ملفّ الأنهار، فقد كانت الحكومة السورية فوّضت نظيرتها العراقية بالحوار مع تركيا في شأنه، في ظلّ قيام الحكومة التركية بخفْض الوارد المائي عبر الأنهار المشتركة مع سوريا والعراق، من دون تقديم مبرّرات واضحة. ويكشف مصدر هندسي، لـ«الأخبار»، عن كون الجانب التركي عاد إلى تخفيض مستوى التدفّق المائي لنهر الفرات إلى أقلّ من 350 متر مكعّب في الثانية، علماً أن الاتفاق المُوقَّع مع الحكومة التركية في العام 1987 يجبر أنقرة على الحفاظ على مستوى تدفّق لا يقل عن 500 متر مكعّب في الثانية، الأمر الذي انعكس على مستوى تخزين السدود السورية، لكون دمشق ملتزمة بالاتفاق المُوقَّع مع الجانب العراقي في العام 1989، والذي يوجب عليها تمرير ما نسبته 58% من الوارد المائي نحو الأراضي العراقية. وكان وزير الموارد المائية العراقي، رشيد الحمداني، أعلن، في أواخر الشهر الماضي عقب زيارته دمشق، أن سوريا وافقت على تفويضه بالنيابة عنها للنقاش مع تركيا حول الحصص المائية، حيث سيتمّ تزويده بكتاب رسمي عن طريق الخارجية السورية، لإصرار الجانب التركي في معظم الجلسات التفاوضية بشأن الحصص المائية على وجود الجانب السوري. واعتبر الحمداني، حينها، أن هذا التخويل سيقطع الطريق أمام حجج تركيا، وسنصل إلى تفاهمات.

مقالات مرتبطة

The Axis of Resistance’s Road from Tehran to Beirut is Open and Secure

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/12101423/Unknown-2-3.jpeg


Elijah J. Magnier

From the Levant to the Persian Gulf, a land route is now open, and the Axis of Resistance controls those borders crossings.
Photo credit: The Cradle

Many wars have been waged in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine to defeat the “Axis of Resistance” or to at least deplete its logistics and supply lines. In all wars, tons of ammunition, bombs, and missiles are expended on both sides, often exhausting supplies. Each belligerent, therefore, needs to replenish its arsenal for the next confrontation, or at the very minimum, to demonstrate to the enemy its growing military capabilities, preparedness, and access to vital supplies. Most of the time, this is a valuable deterrent strategy used to avoid wars. However, because the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and the subsequent US occupation of Iraq and eastern Syria failed to achieve the desired US-Israeli objectives, the goal shifted heavily toward obstructing their supply lines: to cut off the Axis of Resistance road.

The aim was to stop Resistance Axis members (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iraqi resistance groups) from re-arming themselves, and to prevent their access to weapons upgrades in advance of the next military confrontation. There began a race between the US-Israeli alliance and the Resistance Axis to control the accessibility of the vital Tehran-Beirut landline. This objective was reached first by the Resistance Axis, who liberated the Albu Kamal-al Qaem crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border and placed it firmly under their control. Ever since, this crossing has also become a hub for critical commercial and consumer supplies whose flow the US has tried to halt by imposing harsh sanctions on Iran and Syria to prevent Iraq from providing any support. Rather, the US tried, but failed.

This significant American defeat, however, was not blared from rooftops, either by the US or by its adversaries. It is sufficient for the Resistance Axis that anything and everything they wish to transport via Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, reaches its destination, unhindered.

Traveling from the Syrian town of Qusayr, on Lebanon’s border, to Palmyra (Tadmur) is safe despite the dozens of checkpoints along the road. The Syrian Army controls the area and prevents anyone from traveling between provinces without valid documentation. Many Syrians from these provinces fled to secure areas to escape ISIS rule, and have since been trickling back to inspect their abandoned homes and resettle. Syria’s Badiyah has also become relatively safe following months of indiscriminate attacks by ISIS remnants against travelers. According to security officers, most of the ISIS militants were inhabitants of the area and its surroundings, and fled when ISIS was defeated by Syrian allied forces in 2017 and 2018.

Since then, special security brigades have been deployed from Palmyra to Deir Ezzor, while others continue to patrol the Syrian steppe to hunt down ISIS militants. However, it is still unsafe to travel through the Badiyah, and the main road used is via Sukhnah, Kabajeb, Asholah, and Deir Ezzor. From Deir Ezzor to the Iraqi border, the route via al Mayadeen, al Salehiya, and Albu Kamal is safe and well protected.

When the decision was made to clear the road and eliminate ISIS in the cities east of the Euphrates River, the Syrian Army and its allies attempted to free the al-Tanf border region with Iraq. US jets intervened, attacked the brigades, causing more than 50 casualties to prevent the defeat of ISIS targets. The Resistance Axis’ joint military operating room understood that the US plan was to cut off Syria from its neighbors, since its borders with Jordan were already closed.

Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Brigade – later, assassinated by US drones near Baghdad airport in 2020 – personally took part in the assault on al Mayadeen and Albu Kamal, even before the liberation of Deir Ezzor. Soleimani wanted to reach and control the Syrian-Iraqi borders before the Americans, fearing the US establishment of a “no man’s land” to prevent free passage between Iraq and Syria.

Syrian Druze General Issam Zahreddine – later, killed by a mine after defeating ISIS in Deir Ezzor – was fighting alongside Hezbollah’s al-Radwan Special Forces, and managed to prevent an ISIS takeover of Deir Ezzor airport and part of the city, notwithstanding intervening US airstrikes that unsuccessfully aimed to enable the ISIS airport breach and killed and wounded over 200 Syrian officers. When the decision was taken to liberate the entire province, Suleimani was not very concerned about the city because Russian-supported Syrian Special Forces (Tiger Brigade) were already crushing ISIS positions there.

Suleimani coordinated his efforts with the Iraqi resistance, hunting down ISIS along the borders between Syria and Iraq’s al Qaem, in order to corner and eliminate the terrorist group on both sides. Following fierce battles, Albu Kamal and al Qaem were liberated – becoming the only border crossing to fall into the hands of the Syrian Army and its allies. Syria was no longer isolated from its surrounding neighbors. The road between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut was open, and for the first time since the era of Saddam Hussein, in the hands of the Resistance Axis. A sea route is insufficient to transport all the needs of the Axis. This is why it was vital to open the land route at all costs. The US and Israel were aware of the plan but were in no position to stop it.

Driving from Deir Ezzor to Albu Kamal, the Euphrates River offers the sight of rare birds who migrate to this area now that it is no longer heavily frequented. The many abandoned and shell-pocked houses along the route remind passerbys of the ferocity of the battles. Syrian Army checkpoints are strict about preventing visits from anyone who doesn’t live in the province. The Americans control the other side of the river, and the oil and gas wells can be seen from afar with the naked eye.

In the main, ISIS militants were inhabitants of this area too, with foreign jihadists representing only a tiny percentage of the fighters. This is another reason why it is not safe to travel by night. With nightfall, it becomes clear that electricity has not been restored. The sound of only a few private generators can be heard from time to time. During the daytime hours, however, the generator count spikes, as farmers switch them on to pump water for their fields. The area is rich in its agriculture, and despite the US occupation of Syria’s strategic foodbelt province of Hasaka, provides enough wheat to be distributed to provinces beyond Deir Ezzor.

At the gate of Albu Kamal, a large billboard welcomes visitors with the name of the city, a portrait of President Bashar al Assad, and the Syrian national flag. Though incomparable with the old souk markets of Damascus or Aleppo, the local vegetable and fruit market still flourishes and bustles during the day.

Houses are one or two floors high, many with shops underneath. Several private villas adorn the border city. It is impossible to miss a large portrait of Iran’s Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani and Iraq’s PMU Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandes, both assassinated by the US in Baghdad in January 2020. The two men contributed to the liberation of Iraq and Syria from ISIS, indeed, mainly Albu Kamal city. Soleimani used one of the private villas as his headquarters when in town, and left a hand-written note to the owner asking him forgiveness for using his house, and leaving his phone number to be contacted in case of need.

Eight kilometers separate Albu Kamal from Al Qaem on the Iraqi borders. The road is crowded with trucks crossing mainly from Iraq, and a few from Syria. Iraq established a border position to allow the flow of goods to Syria, though essentially follows the guidelines of the severe EU-US embargo on Damascus. Not far from the main road controlled by both the Syrian and the Iraqi customs authorities, there is another road where trucks transit between Iran-Iraq into Syria and Lebanon. These trucks are sealed so they won’t be opened on the road, and are verified by the Syrian authorities before they cross into Lebanon. After many years in the making, and dangerous challenges along the way, the Axis of the Resistance has managed to secure its logistic supply route.

Israeli and US forces have targeted the area dozens of times. Warehouses, military bases, and large isolated shops were destroyed last year by Israeli jets, but without managing to slow down the flow of supplies, or the replenishing of goods and structures destroyed by the enemy’s air force. Israel also bombed thousands of cars, trucks, and refrigerators stocked by Iranian donors for the province’s inhabitants to distribute. Iran is earning the loyalty and hearts of the local population by offering another behavior, contrasting starkly with what ISIS made these inhabitants endure through fear and punishment.

It is no secret that the people of Albu Kamal notice the withdrawal of many of the forces stationed in the city. There is no longer a need for a considerable power to be permanently based in Albu Kamal. The Axis of Resistance supply line is still secure. Iran has opened several pathways: Tikrit-Haditha-al Qaem, Baghdad-Ramadi-al Qaem, and Diwaniyeh-Hilla-Fallujah-al Qaem. This means, despite more than a thousand Israeli attacks, neither the commercial exchange between Syria and Iraq-Iran nor the Resistance Axis’ supply line has never once stopped since ISIS’s defeat.

The American military presence at al Tanf border between Iraq and Syria serves no US national interest and represents no danger to Washington, yet it persists to placate a desperate Israel (despite its constant bombing of Syria) that fears being left alone to face the Axis of Resistance. The US is indeed acting only to serve Israeli interests by keeping hundreds of its servicemen occupying and inciting Levant conflict zones.

How long can Israel hang on to this American security blanket? Take note of the sudden US mass exit in Afghanistan. Two decades and a trillion dollars wore Washington down, achieving nothing of the initial objectives it set in 2001. America’s global political and economic clout has shrunk considerably since then. There is reason to believe the same scenario will happen sooner or later in Syria.

Israeli air bombing has never stopped the Axis of Resistance from arming itself and being prepared for Tel Aviv when it decides to wage the next war. Hezbollah managed to stockpile hundreds of precision missiles under the searching eyes of the Israelis without them being able to alter the outcome. The Axis of Resistance has won the battle and cleared its path: the road from Tehran to Beirut is open and secure.

Russian Bombing Eliminates 200 Terrorists Near Tadmor (Palmyra), Syria

 ARABI SOURI 

Russian aerospace forces in Syria

Russian aerospace forces bombed a training camp near the city of Tadmor (Palmyra) killed at least 200 of US-sponsored ISIS-affiliated terrorists, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement yesterday, 19 April 2021.

The bombing of the newly-erect base northeast of the central Syrian city of Tadmor also destroyed 24 machine-gun mounted SUV vehicles used by the terrorists, in addition to half a ton of ammunition the terrorists were using to make explosive devices.

Deputy Director of the Russian Coordination Center in Hmeimim, Marine Major General Alexander Karpov added in the statement conveyed by the Russian Ministry of Defense that ‘Terrorist groups are planning to launch terrorist operations and attacks on Syrian state institutions in large cities to destabilize the country ahead of the presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place on May 26,’ indicating that “terrorist training is taking place in their camps on lands outside the control of the Syrian state. This includes the Al-Tanf area, which is controlled by the American occupation forces.’

This is a considerable blow to the destructive efforts by the ‘most diverse and inclusive’ White House junta led by Biden against the Syrian state and the Syrian people, it’s also a message in the larger confrontation arena between the NATO alliance of neo-colonial countries and the real international community of independent countries by stripping the colonialists of one of their main assets in the region.

Russian forces deployed legally in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government help the Syrian armed forces and their allies in combatting NATO-sponsored terrorist groups, the likes of Al Qaeda and its derivatives including ISISTurkestan Islamist Party, Maghawir Thawra, HTS aka Nusra Front formerly known as Al Qaeda Levant, and others.

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

https://syrianews.cc/the-pentagon-threatening-to-revive-isis/embed/#?secret=tAavTFDBKf

After Trump killed the Iranian top General Qasim Soleimani and his companion the Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi Mohandis in a drone attack in Baghdad, the US Pentagon worked overtime to revive ISIS terrorist groups in the Syrian desert areas along with other groups loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan and their Kurdish separatist terrorist lapdogs, a number of bloody attacks carried out by these terrorists killed and injured dozens of Syrian army personnel and civilians in the past few months alone.

180 Faylaq Al-Sham Terrorists Killed and Injured by a Russian Airstrike in Idlib

https://syrianews.cc/180-faylaq-al-sham-terrorists-killed-and-injured-by-a-russian-airstrike-in-idlib/embed/#?secret=K7zkjL6Lxj

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Syria: Putin’s ‘Tomahawk’ blow (unconfirmed-deeply censored)

By VT Editors -March 22, 202151858

In Syria, Russia is shifting into high gear and this pleasantly surprises the Resistance Axis.

[ Editor’s Note: The machine translation from the Russian to English is rough. I have tried to clean it up as best I could…JD ]

After pushing back with electronic warfare, the Israeli air force both from the skies of Lebanon and the skies of southern Lebanon, Russia made Hmeimim a base to receive Iranian military flights, deploying Su-34s, these long-range bombers, capable of pulverizing the terrorist positions.

It then activated the Iskandar and Tochka units against the US / Turkey oil smuggling sites, then withdrawing its forces from T4, for Iran to make it a drone base, located at a few kilometers from the illegal US base in al-Tanf, very close to the border with Ira.

It conducts exercises with the Syrian army there in simultaneous drone attacks and not just any drone but for example the drone Stealth, anti electronic warfare arash with 24 hour endurance and 1,400 kilometer range, and long after doing all of this, Putin’s Russia “the killer” would even be willing to share his “ballistic” reverse engineering experiences. with the Resistance. And how ?

According to The National Interest, Russia, having already captured the Tomahawk tactical cruise missiles fired between 2018 and 2019 against Syria, is now fully unraveling the enigma and sharing it among allies and partners.

According to Avia.pro which reports the information, “these are Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles that were fired in Syria, without them exploding:” Moscow has obviously had a great success in dismantling the entire mechanism and by finding out how to neutralize it.

Inspection of the two unexploded Tomahawks intercepted by the Syrians as booty and then brought back to Moscow has enabled Russia to develop new jamming equipment.

Hence this particularly effective abolition bubble which has for some time been targeting all US and NATO planes and helicopters in the skies of Syria and even beyond in the Mediterranean and in southern Lebanon.

The United States has come to understand the flaws and has started delivering a new version of Tomahawk to the US military, but things are far from being sorted out as aircraft GPS links continue to be cut. when Russia wishes it both in Syria, in Lebanon but also in the skies of Israel and that this fact comes not only from the Russian electronic war complexes fixed and implanted on the ground but also from the systems on board Russian planes ” .

And Avia.pro to emphasize: “Besides, this experience served Abu Kamal well, which the United States bombed on February 25, Abu Kamal where two US F-15s bombed the positions of the Iraqi allies of the Syrian army, but where they missed everything since out of 7 missiles fired, 5 were scrambled and deviated from their trajectory while two only hit weapons and an empty metal cabin. This same experience of jamming has also served the Syrian army again against Israel, whose last two Delilah missile strikes were also a resounding failure.

But since the divorce is now consummated between Russia on the one hand and the United States on the other, against the backdrop of a reminder from the Russian ambassador in Washington, Putin did not stop there in Syria. . According to SouthFront, a terrorist training camp run by “Western trainers” was heavily bombed by the Russian air force on Sunday.

“The Russian military has succeeded in locating a Western mercenary base in northwestern Syria involved in training pro-Ankara terrorists. After identifying the base, powerful FAB-500 air strikes took place and the camp was reduced to ashes. It was the village of Benin that was reportedly targeted.

A trainer and a group of terrorist leaders were eliminated. We speak mainly of Turkish mercenaries, however, earlier in the same regions of Syria, representatives of private military companies from a number of European states were noticed there. For the moment, the command of the Russian aerospace forces in Syria has not commented on this. “

In short, Russia has gone all out. Hours earlier, the Syrian army launched a series of powerful strikes on Turkish territory. Despite Turkish air defense systems deployed in the Turkish border area, the Turkish DCA was unable to intercept a single launched missile.

ABOUT VT EDITORS

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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff.

All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

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American occupation forces transport 30 Daesh terrorists to their illegitimate bases in Al- Shaddadi in Al-Hasakah countryside

See the source image

Created on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 17:54

Al-Hasakah, (ST)  – The American occupation forces transferred 30 ISIS terrorists from one of the prisons of the “SDF militia” in the Qamishli region to their illegal base in Al-Shaddadi in the southern countryside of the governorate of Al-Hasakah.

Special sources told SANA that, the US occupation forces transported 30 Daesh (ISIS) terrorists from one of the prisons of the “SDF” militia in Qamishliregion to the US illegal base in Al- Shaddadi city via a helicopter.

The sources pointed out that, the American occupation intends to reuse the escaped ISIS prisoners by transporting them to the Syrian Desert and equipping them with weapons and intelligence information to carry out attacks on residential communities, infrastructure, civilian buses, and Syrian Arab Army checkpoints.

During the past months, the American occupation forces, via their helicopters, transported dozens of ISIS terrorists detained in the Prison of the BulgarCamp East of Al-Shaddadi city and the Prison of the Industrial High School in the city of Al-Hassakah to the US-occupied At Tanf Zone. They aim to train and arm them again to prolong the aggressive war sponsored by Washington against the Syrian people.

Raghda Sawas

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Iraqi ISIS Suicide Terrorist Kills 20 of His Friends by Mistake

 ARABI SOURI 

Iraqi ISIS terrorist blows up his car in his friends

An Iraqi ISIS terrorist blew up his vehicle in his friends in Saladin province killing 20 of them and himself by mistake.

The US-sponsored ISIS terrorist was planning to blow up the booby-trapped car in an Iraqi Federal Police checkpoint in the Jallam district south of Samarra.

Samarra Police Operation Commander said in a statement that 21 of the ISIS terrorists were killed by a booby-trapped car driven by one of them when the latter wanted to farewell his friends and honked the car forgetting the honk button is the detonator of the vehicle.

The Iraqi government has been under pressure from the Iraqi population and the Iraqi MPs to implement the Iraqi Parliament decision to expel US troops from the country which was taken after Donald Trump killed Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani in a long-planned drone and ground attack near Baghdad Airport and the top commander of the Iraqi PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the main force in fighting and defeating ISIS early January last year causing an uproar across the region.

Iraqis, in particular, felt embarrassed having their guest killed in their country and also because of their beloved al-Muhandis by the force that claimed it was protecting them from ISIS and turned out it was protecting ISIS from the Iraqis.

After the repeated calls by the Iraqi government to the US officials to withdraw their troops from Iraq, ISIS operations unsurprisingly increased and became more bold and deadly across Iraq and in Syria as well. Observers are commenting that it looks like ISIS does not want the US troops to leave Iraq and Syria!

Despite their efforts and their ability to eliminate a number of ISIS terrorists in Iraq including leading commanders of the terrorist organization, and also disrupt their operations, the Iraqi security and army are surprised by the sudden increase in the abilities of the terrorist group that was declared defeated just before Donald Trump killed the commanders who defeated it last year.

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SAA Kills and Injures 16 Turkestan Islamist Party Terrorists North of Hama

ARABI SOURI 

Turkestan Islamist Party terrorist group - Syria - الحزب الاسلامي التركستاني

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) killed and injured 16 terrorists of the Turkestan Islamist Party in the northwestern countryside of Hama, central Syria.

The army units spotted a group of anti-Islamic Turkestan Islamist Party terrorists in the Al-Ghab Valley heading to their makeshift posts to attack Syrian Army posts in the area and targeted them with a guided-missile.

Local sources confirmed the killing of 7 terrorists at least and the injury of 9 others at the time of writing this report.

Turkish Madman Erdogan imported tens of thousands of radical terrorists from regions where his Muslim Brotherhood global radicalization groups operate, mainly in Central Asian countries all the way to the Chinese Xingyang Province of Muslim majority. The Turkestan Islamist Party is one of the backbones of these terrorist groups the Turkish pariah Erdogan uses in his regional influence spreading which spans from west China to Germany and from the Caucasus to north and western African countries.

The Syrian Arab Army and the Russian Aerospace Forces have increased their levels of readiness recently and resumed targeting the posts of terrorist groups sponsored by Turkey and the USA in Idlib and Hama provinces especially after the latest deadly attacks by ISIS and its affiliates against buses in the region. In the past week, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out successful strikes against command centers, tunnels, and weapons depots in northern Idlib countryside, while the SAA targeted terrorist gatherings in the southern countryside of the province.

Terrorist groups designated as such by the United Nations Security Council are not included in the Moscow, Astana, and Sochi ceasefire agreements in which the Turkish regime of Erdogan is a signatory and he has not only failed to meet his commitments as per these agreements for the past 2 years, he has instead beefed up the terrorist groups operating under his command in northern Syria regions and sent thousands of Turkish army soldiers to serve as human shields between his terrorists and the Syrian Army units on Syrian territories.

Worth noting that Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s secretary of state delisted the Turkistan Islamist Party from the US list of terrorist groups last November 2020, despite the UNSC maintaining them as one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations with terrorist activities in a number of countries.

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SYRIAN ARMY HUNTS DOWN ISIS IN HOMS DESERT, MOBILIZES FORCES IN SOUTHERN IDLIB

South Front

The Syrian Army launched a new combing operation against ISIS cells in the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle. The operation is supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces. As of now, clashes between the army and ISIS have resulted in the killing of at least 7 terrorists.

In the second half of 2020, ISIS significantly increased its activity in the central desert. ISIS cells reportedly buy supplies, including weapons, from U.S.-backed fighters based in the area of al-Tanf, as well as exploit the lack of control on the Syrian-Iraqi border to receive support from a network of ISIS cells in Iraq.

Meanwhile, sources loyal to Turkish-backed militants claim that the Syrian Army has started mobilizing its forces in the southern part of Greater Idlib. The army has allegedly deployed new reinforcements to the Jurin camp and the town of Shat’ha. Militants claim that these developments are a part of the preparation for an offensive operation on the al-Ghab Plains.

A series of assassinations has targeted personnel of Syrian government forces and civilians in the southern province of Daraa.

On December 21, gunmen shot and killed a warrant officer of the Military Intelligence Directorate and a soldier of the 4th Division in the town of Sahem al-Golan. On the same day, gunmen shot and killed two officers of the Air Force Intelligence Directorate in the town of Dael. On December 22, gunmen shot and killed a member of the 4th Division in the town of al-Yadudah. Later, an IED explosion killed a local state employee, Ismail Musa al-Falah, in the town of al-Sanamayn. Lastly, gunmen killed a civilian and two intelligence officers in the town of al-Ajraf.

ISIS cells are known to be active in the areas, where the attacks took place. Nevertheless, the terrorist group usually claims responsibility for such attacks. Therefore, militant groups supported by Israeli intelligence are more likely suspects in this case.

Recently, Israeli media outlets and think tanks started promoting the idea of military action to stabilize the ‘chaos’ in southern Syria and prevent what Tel Aviv likes to call the growing ‘terrorist threat’ from Iran and Hezbollah. The issue not covered by these reports is that Israel itself and its actions remain the main source of instability there.

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FSA Terrorist Aakef Zaki Killed by Unknown Gunmen in Daraa Countryside

 ARABI SOURI

NATO terrorist Aakef Zaki killed in Daraa

FSA terrorist and top wanted by the Syrian authorities in Daraa the so-called Aakef Zaki was killed in East Karak town in the eastern Daraa countryside south of Syria.

The NATO terrorist and former commander of the so-called ‘Martyrs of Eastern Karak’, one of the armed groups of the Al Qaeda FSA terrorist organization was shot dead in front of his house yesterday 7th of December, by unknown gunmen.

Aakef refused to join the large-scale reconciliation efforts in the southern Syrian province, the reconciliation led by the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria returned thousands of people to their normal lives, some of the radical commanders refused to join the reconciliation and continued their attacks against the Syrian authorities, civilians, and notables in the region, taking advantage of the protection provided by Trump forces in the Tanf area southeast of Syria.

The killed terrorist was responsible for a number of attacks, kidnaps, field executions, and lootings in the southern Syrian provinces of Daraa and Sweida. On the 8th of last month, November, an armed terrorist group carried out an attack against a Syrian Army checkpoint to the west of the Eastern Karak town.

There were at least 34 terrorist attacks in the southern region post the reconciliation, they included the assassination of 24 persons, wounding of 8 others, two failed assassination attempts, including 18 of his former colleagues of the FSA fighters who joined the reconciliation. The terrorists shot dead 22 of the targeted victims while committed field execution of two others who were shot after being kidnapped.

Trump maintains a large number of his forces in Syria, mainly in the northeastern region bordering Iraq, and the southeastern region of Tanf in the depth of the Syrian desert bordering Iraq and Jordan. The Trump forces in the Tanf area protect members of the ISIS-affiliated group Maghawir Thawra which also runs the infamous Rukban concentration camp where thousands of Syrian refugees are held against their will in horrific conditions. Trump forces illegally positioned in Tanf also facilitated some of Israel’s bombings inside Syria and Iraq.

ISIS terrorists who committed the heinous massacre in the remote desert villages of Sweida province in the early morning hours of July 25th, 2018 fled to the same protected area by the Trump forces in Tanf. The Sweida massacre resulted in slaughtering 215 residents in their houses, injuring 180 others, and kidnapped 27 women and children.

The killing of Aakef Zaki will not help in uncovering much of the information needed by the Syrian authorities about the massacres and crimes committed in the southern region, it would have been much better if he was arrested to expose his accomplices and tell their whereabouts.

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US Army Carried out ‘Military Drill’ with ISIS Affiliate in the Syrian Al Tanf

  ARABI SOURI

US army military drill with ISIS affiliate in Al Tanf southeast of Syria

A terrorist group affiliated with ISIS carried out a joint ‘military drill’ with Trump forces in the Syrian desert area of al Tanf, the ISIS affiliate group bragged on their social media accounts.

In the ‘military drill’, US fighter jets bombed targets in the desert followed by moves of the ISIS-styled 4 x 4 machine-guns mounted SUVs shooting at the same targets.

‘Maghawir Thawra’ is an armed terrorist group affiliated with the ISIS terrorist organization, supposed to be on the US list of terrorist organizations, but instead is a beneficiary of US military aid, part of the US ‘exceptionalism’ and ‘pragmatism’ in its illegal operations worldwide.

The video is also available on YouTube and BitChute.

The spokesman for the US-led International Coalition to aid the ‘Islamist State’ ISIS, Colonel Wayne Maruto, wrote on his Twitter account on November 30 commenting on the exercises: “We will continue to work with our ‘partners’ to protect our gains against ISIS and deter any future aggression. We remain committed to the enduring #DefeatDaesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria.”

US army officer tweet about military drill with ISIS in southeast of Syria

We’re not sure whether the officer in Trump forces knows from his seat hundreds of miles away that his ‘partners’ are in fact ISIS and he’s part of the Pentagon’s propaganda team, or he’s fooled by the CIA agents in charge of the ISIS division; we do know that top US officials like John Kerry admitted they work in ‘partnership’ with ISIS to pressure the Syrian leadership into concessions.

Trump forces are based illegally in the depth of the Syrian desert on the cross borders between Syria, Iraq, and Jordan in the Al Tanf area, they’re tasked to prevent the escape of thousands of Syrian refugees held in the infamous Rukban concentration camp in miserable conditions, also to offer logistic support to Israeli bombing against Syrian targets from the air corridor they provide, in addition to their role making sure their ‘partners’ of ISIS and its affiliates can move freely and attack Syrian remote villages, commit massacres against the Syrian farmers in their homes, and carry out terrorist attacks then retreat safely to the 55 square kilometers area protected by the US army.

Rukban Concentration Camp:

ِAmerican forces occupying Syrian territory entered the country illegally and their presence impedes efforts to restore peaceful life to the country and constitutes an obstacle to stability in southeastern Syria and causing the catastrophic conditions of the residents of al-Rukban camp who are being forcibly detained by terrorist groups controlled by the United States. A statement by the Syrian and Russian coordinating bodies on the return of the displaced Syrians.

Following video report by Syrian Sama TV:

The statement issued by the two bodies indicated that the information of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent doctors who examined people who came out of the camp shows that they have chronic diseases, some of them suffering from tuberculosis and skin diseases, while many are underweight due to hunger and in children lack of vitamins and intestinal infections and viral infection.

The statement pointed out that Syria and Russia are taking unprecedented measures to save the inhabitants of Al-Rukban, which led to the departure of 13337 people since March 23, 2019 from the camp where tens of thousands of displaced people live in catastrophic conditions and many of them do not have money to pay to terrorists in the camp to allow them to leave the camp.

Tens of thousands of Syrians who fled their homes in towns and villages, mainly in Eastern Homs countryside, upon the expansion of the US-sponsored ISIS terrorists were pushed towards the southeast of the country instead of towards the capital Damascus to their southwest.

Magahaweer Al-Thawra, among other terrorist groups, led those civilians into a makeshift supposed to be refugee camp in Al-Tanf area near the borders of Jordan and Iraq deep in the open desert. It was a trap to hold them in a very remote area and under the cover of the US-led coalition of aggressor states defying international law and against everything humanity represents. Since then, the ISIS-affiliates Maghaweer Al-Thawra under the US protection kept the civilians in dire conditions under their mercy in what’s now described as Rukban Concentration Camp in order to pressure the Syrian state into concessions.

Syria: The complicated scene

By Abir Bassam

November 24, 2020 – 10:49

It is a dirty war that has been going on in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Almost nine and a half tragic years have passed. The three countries were subjected to all kinds of terror and brutally destroyed. Actually, what has been going on is a world war! All weapons were used and tested and many countries were involved.

It was a real dirty war, in which the West and the Americans and their allies in the region have used the worst kind of men: a group of collaborators and barbaric terrorists. 

The worst kinds of mercenaries from all over the world were sent to Syria. They practices the ugliest inhumane deeds: they decapitated heads, literally ate hearts, and burned people alive to death. 

These groups were directly led by generals from the U.S., France, and Turkey. This information was supported by different informed resources that reported capturing French, British, and Turkish officers since 2015, in particular, during the invasion of Idlib. The district was invaded by a tenth of thousands of terrorists from Nusra, especially its group Fateh al-Sham which is directly supported and trained by Turkey, and Ahrar al-Sham which was directly supported by the Americans. The invasion was directly led by the Turkish tank battalions and the NATO alliances. 

By December 2015, the northeast of Syria was also invaded by another terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. ISIS was created with the utmost attention of Hilary Clinton, during Barak Obama’s administration. This was revealed by Donald Trump during his election campaign in 2016. ISIS swept over the al-Jazeera region and extended to Palmira through the Syrian Desert and occupied Homos, the biggest Syrian district. It was directly protected by the American extending military bases in northern Syria and the eastern base in al-Tanf. ISIS attacked both the Syrian government forces and the opposition factions. 

The plan was to allow ISIS invasion of northern-eastern Syria territories and western-northern Iraqi territories in order to terminate the opposition factions in the region. It was carefully planned by Obama’s administration and in particular his vice president Joe Biden, the new president of the United States of America.

Under the pretense of fighting terrorism, the Americans were back in Iraq and restored bases in Iraq, built new ones in Syria and reestablished new militia groups in the area of the northeast, mainly Kurdish groups. They were trained and equipped by the Americans. For the U.S., it was a necessary step to launch a Kurdish federalism on the Syrian territories.  

Nonetheless, the U.S. had set the return plan before withdrawing from Iraq in 2010. Upon its departure, the American administration empowered the al-Qaeda group in Iraq, and supported its existence, as Trump declared and accused Hillary Clinton of being the mastermind behind it. ISIS was basically the American approach to siege Syria, and eventually, apply the plan of division in the region and establish a Kurdish state. 

Saying that may seem to be naive and simple. However, executing the plan required initiating “revolutions” in other Arab countries, recruiting media specialists, recruiting special personnel to initiate eruptions by social media, and consuming billions of dollars in the process, of which the Saudi kingdom and Qatar were the main contributors.

In 1992, I was on a visit to al-Hassaka and al-Qamishli. I was just a young beginner in journalism. I was conducting an investigation report about the Yazidis. At that stage, a large number of Yazidis and Kurds were immigrating to Syria. They escaped the biased and brutal treatment of Saddam Hussein and the fanatic Turks. These Kurds were building a wide network in Europe. They bought sympathy and support to establish a federation in Iraq in 1996. The process was facilitated by the Americans after the second Persian Gulf War in 1991 as Saddam’s power was fading.

The idea of having a similar kind of federation in Syria became appealing to both the Americans and Israelis. The size of Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad’s presence in the Iraqi Kurdistan is not a secret anymore. It is an established fact. The Americans also facilitated the Israeli presence in northeast Syria, especially those who came with American nationality to work in the oil fields.

The Turkish president Erdogan was one of the supporters of the American plan to dismantle Syria. Erdogan was able to recruit Qatar to the best interest of Turkey. Both countries were discontent with the Syrian government’s refusal to allow building the Qatari gas pipeline to Turkey through its territories. Syria saw that a move that would discomfort its allies in Russia and Iran. However, Erdogan had bigger plans in Syria. In the northwest region, Erdogan mainly saw the Idlib and Aleppo districts as the extent of Turkey, and a head starts to initiate the Ottoman dream. 

This dream vanished to thin air when Syria started liberating the area occupied by ISIS in West Euphrates, and al-Gab plain after cleaning the Damascus area, Homos, and the center of Syria from terrorism with unlimited support from Russia. The second shock Erdogan received when the Americans started supporting the establishment of the Kurdish federation in al-Hassaka. 

The Kurdish militia was founded in October 2015 under the name Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. SDF in its formation includes Kurds from Syria and others who came mainly from Turkey and other countries, most of them do not speak Arabic, unlike the Syrian Kurds. 60% of the militia includes Arab Syrians, according to the Pentagon. There are other nationalities included among the formation of SDF, who are Turkmens, Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens, who came from all over Asia.

In 2016, SDF updated its constitution from a separate federal state into an Autonomous Administration of Northern and East Syria [NES] and declared SDF as its official defense force, which complicated the Syrian political scene, furthermore. Now NES or SDF are cooperating with the official American forces in east-north of Syria and serve as “the Southern Lebanese Army, [SLA]” in South Lebanon during the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon. As SLA has tried to establish an independent state in South Lebanon, SDF or NES is trying to acquire the same course. 

Since 2018 the Syrian army, with the help of allies – Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah- has been able to liberate most of the occupied lands. However, the liberation coincided with the rise of economic pressure on Syria. The price of the Syrian lira if compared to the American dollar dropped and its purchasing value decreased. It was due to the economic sanctions that were imposed on Syria, and lately “Caesar Law” which was activated in the mid of June 2020. 

In 2018, the American troops withdrew from the north of Syria and were redeployed in the al-Hassaka district around the Syrian richest oil fields. The American companies, in particular ARAMCO, are now draining the Syria oil to the interest of NES and financing the American troops stationed in the northern-eastern area of the Euphrates in Syria. Actually, Syria is facing an internal problem with the lack of petroleum resources. The hard winter is coming and the lines for buying the diesel needed for heating the houses will be crowded as much as the lines for gasoline.

After burning and stealing the wheat plains in the al-Jazeera district by the Americans and the Turks, the bread prices went 25% higher. Shortage in bread supplies was triggered by the government’s decision to set the bread rations. The Americans were literally applying Kissinger’s policy which states that nations are ruled by bread, not by arms. The shortage of bread and petroleum products is new to the Syrian population; therefore, the successive Syrian governments are facing major challenges since the beginning of 2019. 

Caesar Law added additional pressure on the countries that may establish economic and commercial deals with Syria. The law was imposed at a time in which the world is suffering from COVID-19 epidemic, which spread in Syria as well. In addition, Syria needs to deal with the issue of the Syrian refugees. It is a dilemma that needs to be dealt with appropriately. The refugees’ dilemma is used as a political card to force the Syrians to submit to the American political demands, which are set on two levels: national and international.

On the national level, the international community wants to pressure the Syrian government into implementing a new constitution based on the sectarian division of power, just like Lebanon, which would diminish the presidential authority and redistribute it, as it happened in Tunisia and Sudan, which would divide the power of the head of the state. The second issue is related to the question of the forcibly disappeared people, who were kidnapped or killed by the rebel groups, and treating the killers and kidnappers as political opponents without subjecting them to trials. This issue will be a matter of conflict, and will not be accepted by those whose families and friends were kidnapped or killed. This fact was revealed a few days ago by the new Syrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Feisal Muqdad. 

On the international level, the requirements of the international community, i.e. the U.S., have become common knowledge.  Since 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell, came to Syria and laid down the U.S. demands: dismantling Hezbollah arms, ending Syrian support to the resistance groups in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq, and ending cooperation with Iran in the region. The end means, as usually explained, is ensuring the security of Israel. 

Naturally, the Syrians refused American demands. Therefore, we should make no mistake and assume that what had happened in the Arab region under the pretense of “Arab Spring” was meant for the destruction of Syria in order to dismantle it into minor sectarian states that can be easily controlled to the best interest of “Israel” and America.

Hence, Syria requires two essential needs to start its reconstruction process: the first is lifting the sanctions imposed on it; and the second is to end the American occupation in the northeast area. However, the West insists on linking lifting the sanctions to the political process. But when it comes to the achievement of the liberation from the Americans this process cannot be realized unless the national resistance would be highly activated in the northeast of Syria. It is America that we all know. It did not end its occupation of Vietnam, Korea, and eventually Iraq in 2010 until the number of causalities becomes unbearable in the American community.

Syria’s essential needs were clearly stated by its president Bashar Al-Assad on two occasions, the first was during a video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 10th of November. The second time was in his speech at the opening of the International Conference on the Return of the Refugee in Damascus [ICRRD] on the 11th of November.

During his visit on the 5th of November to the exhibition “Producers 2020” in “Tekia Sulaymaniyah” in the capital, Damascus. It was attended by producers from the Aleppo governorate whose facilities, workshops, and shops were damaged during the war. President al-Assad talked about the economic impact of the issue of shortage of oil supplies and burning the wheat fields in northeastern regions. 

He also explained that the economic problem was clearly becoming worse when the banks in Lebanon blocked the Syrian deposits. President al-Assad said that there is vagueness about the Syrian deposit’s estimations. Its assessment ranges from 20 billion dollars to 42 billion dollars. The blockade has been going on for years. He added the crisis began years before the Caesar Law and began years after the siege. It coincided with the money disappearance in the Lebanese banks. Furthermore, al-Assad declared that we do not know what the real number is, and this figure for an economy like the Syrian one is a frightening number.

Al-Assad’s declaration became one week before ICRRD to which Lebanon was invited. Was this a message to Lebanon? It could be, although many observers have denied it. The denial is basically based on Syria’s previous special treatment of Lebanon. Lebanon in the Syrian considerations are two contradictory facts: the first, Lebanon is an opening to the western world with bipolar swings. The first swing expressed in the historical Arab and regional ideology.

And the second swing is expressed in the lining towards a Western ideology, with the tendency to sign normalization agreements with “Israel”. The second group was of great concern to the Syrians since the creation of Lebanon. It is known as the right-wing groups, who allied with the Americans and the Israelis. 

The second fact, Lebanon as a state is based on providing services and tourism. It is considered to be the lung that Syria needs to breathe with. However, this lung health became worse since 2011, when the United States accused the Lebanese Canadian Bank of laundering terrorism money. And then again in 2016, since many banks faced the same accusations and were prohibited to deal with customers that the U.S. listed them as Hezbollah members.

Accordingly, the Lebanese banks froze several balances for many customers and in particular the Syrian customers that were importing goods to Syria through Lebanon after imposing an embargo on Syria. It is clear for the Syrians, regardless of the unique relationship with Hezbollah, it is about time that Lebanon should release these balances, and pay its debts to Syria, especially the debts that have been accumulating since 1990, which are the revenues from selling electricity.

Syria, as President al-Assad explained, will need its money in the process of rebuilding the country’s main infrastructure and vital installations, which were destroyed during the liberation war against the terrorist groups. It is a call for Lebanon to join forces with Syria to demand lifting the embargo and to be excluded from Cesar Law consequences because Lebanon needs to open up to Syria for commercial trades towards the east, in particular, to Arab countries, or Lebanon will be demanded to pay back its debts. 

The Americans were pushing Syria and the region since 1973 towards peace and normalization treaties with “Israel”. However, Syria has proven that such an agreement would be difficult to execute unless it was a “peace for land” agreement, which would ensure the right of return of the Palestinian people. An equation, nor the Israeli, neither the Americans are willing to sign for. In addition, Syria’s main condition, during the negotiations held in Oslo in 1992, was the return of all occupied Arab territories. However, the series of recognitions Trump has approved throughout his reign made the return to the negotiation table almost impossible. It also pushed into more complications with the relation between Syria and Lebanon since the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. The need to separate the Syrian-Lebanese course in the peace process is becoming a must for the Americans. A need until today could not be achieved.

Syria now is subjected to American pressure that requires its approval to initiate peace and normalization agreements with Israel. This goal so far was difficult to achieve, especially after Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Even Syria’s allies, in particular Russia, cannot force the Syrians to give up part of their land. Syria’s war on terror has spared all its allies the tragedy of dragging this war into their own territories. 

Hence, Syria prepaid in blood for the security of its “friends” now. History will, sooner or later, reveal this fact. Syria’s insistence on the unity of its land, and its refusal to have any divided authority is now a fact. The Syrians cannot compromise it, and the allies cannot go against it. The course of negotiations the allies led in Astana and Sochi has affirmed it. However, this fact has complicated the Syrian scene furthermore. It might even force the Americans to lead directly the war in the region, whether in arms or diplomacy, since the proxies have proven their disabilities.

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هكذا تحاصر أميركا لبنان وسورية اقتصادياً ومالياً 1/2

باريس – نضال حمادة

مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي يقول: احتياط مصرف لبنان 2.5 مليار دولار والباقي دولارات رقمية…

نعود بك أيها القارئ الكريم إلى مقالة «البناء» في شهر تشرين الثاني الماضي بعنوان (مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي عشرات ملايين الدولارات تخرج يومياً من لبنان إلى أربيل). عُدنا والتقينا هذا المسؤول السابق في باريس وهو من أصل عربي ليحدّثنا عن تشاؤمه بمستقبل الوضع في لبنان، اقتصادياً وسياسياً وربما أمنياً حسب قوله، يشير إلى أن الأميركي ترك الفرنسي يتحرك قليلاً ثم وضع أمامه كل العراقيل التي يتصوّرها والتي لا يتصوّرها، وبالتالي النتيجة هي أن فرنسا وحدها لا يمكن لها ان تنقذ الوضع في لبنان من دون رضا أميركا.

يقول المسؤول المالي إن احتياطي مصرف لبنان يبلغ مليارين ونصف مليار دولار نقداً، بينما بقيت المليارات هي عبارة عن أرقام على الكمبيوتر لا أكثر، ومصرف لبنان أمام أكثر من معضلة فهو لا يمكن له أن يحوّل هذه الأرقام الى ليرة لبنانية لأنه رقمياً يكون قد خسر كل احتياطه الوهميّ من الدولارات. وهذا ما سوف يسرّع الانهيار المالي، مضيفاً أن مبلغ «الكاش» الموجود يكفي لاستيراد الحاجات الأساسية من النفط والدواء والقمح حتى آخر السنة الحالية.

الاقتصاد السوري تأثر بالانهيار اللبناني، حيث يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي السابق، هناك 40 مليار دولار تعود لرجال أعمال وتجار سوريين. وهذا كل ما يملكونه كانوا وضعوه في المصارف اللبنانية، والآن بعد اكتشاف النهب الذي تعرّضت له ودائعهم أصبحوا من دون إمكانيات للاستيراد وبالتالي انكشف الوضع السوري اقتصادياً كالوضع اللبناني على أزمات تمويل عمليات الاستيراد. وبالتالي شهدنا أزمات متزامنة من نقص في المحروقات في لبنان وسورية، وهذا كان عملاً مقصوداً ومدروساً بعناية، فالنظام المصرفي اللبناني استُخدم معبراً لسحب كميات العملة الصعبة الموجودة في لبنان وسورية تمهيداً لإسقاط البلدين في زمن الصراع على السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط.

ما يريده صندوق النقد من لبنان هو تسليم كامل لكل المرافق المربحة للدولة اللبنانية وبأبخس الأثمان. يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي معقباً أن مبلغ الاحد عشر ملياراً الموعود به لبنان من سيدر لن تسد رمق اللبنانيين إلا لفترة محدودة طالما أن فاتورة الاستيراد السنوي للبنان تعادل ستة عشرَ مليار دولار. وأضاف ان الولايات المتحدة عملت من خلال إغلاق المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود البرية بين لبنان وسورية على تفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية وجعلها تصل الى مشارف الانهيار.

غداً الجزء الثاني: لعبة المعابر كيف حاصرت أميركا سورية ولبنان؟

حرب المعابر هكذا تحاصر أميركا سورية ولبنان

باريس – نضال حمادة

نكمل كلامنا مع المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي، الذي قال إن أميركا أطبقت الطوق على سورية ولبنان عبر السيطرة على المعابر الحدودية في البلدين، بداية في سورية حيث عملت أميركا على منع الدولة السورية من الاستفادة من الوضع العسكري الذي أصبح لمصلحتها، وذلك عبر السيطرة او التحكم بكل المعابر بين سورية ودول الجوار بدءاً من معبر نصيب في الجنوب حيث يرفض الأردن فتحه بحجج واهية ويمدّد فترة إغلاقه دورياً من دون سبب، ويُعتبر معبر نصيب مع الأردن طريقاً مهماً لنقل البضائع السورية الى الخليج العربي واستيراد البضائع من الخارج عبر البر، في المرتبة الثانية يأتي معبر المالكية مع العراق وهو يقع في شرق سورية. هنا يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي إن المعبر من الجهة العراقية يتمركز فيه ويسيطر عليه بالكامل الجيش الأميركي الذي يمنع نقل أية بضائع من سورية وإليه. ويقول إن الحكومة العراقية تخلّت عن المعبر لصالح القوات الأميركية بعد تولي مصطفى الكاظمي منصب رئيس وزراء العراق.

يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي هناك أيضاً في الشرق السوري معبر التنف الذي تسيطر عليه القوات الأميركية، كما تمنع أميركا إيران والعراق وسورية من فتح معبر البوكمال، حيث تنفذ الطائرات الحربية الأميركية غارات متكررة على القوافل التجارية في المنطقة وعلى المواقع العسكرية المحيطة بالمعبر.

في لبنان يبدو الأمر أسهل بسبب وجود حدود بريه مغلقة مع فلسطين المحتلة، وبالتالي تبقى الحدود السورية اللبنانية التي تضغط اميركا لإغلاق ما تبقى سالكاً منها خصوصاً في البقاع الشمالي الذي تأتي المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود بينه وبين سورية ضمن سلم أولويات أجندة صندوق النقد الدولي، يختم المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي كلامه.

SYRIAN FORCES ARE HUNTING DOWN ISIS TERRORISTS IN DESERT

South Front

South Front

The military situation in Syria continued deteriorating in the recent days.

On August 21, the Syrian Army and its allies increased their anti-ISIS raids in the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor-Al-Mayadin triangle. According to pro-government sources, these efforts are being actively supported by recently deployed reinforcements from the Iranian-backed Liwa Fatemiyoun armed group.

On August 20, ISIS claimed responsibility for the recent attack on Russian troops in the province of Deir Ezzor.  The attack, which took place on August 18, killed Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Gladkih and injured two other Russian service members. In a statement released by its news agency, Amaq, ISIS claimed that a number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which had been planted by its terrorists east of the town of al-Sukhnah in eastern Homs, struck a Russian patrol that was combing the region.

Earlier, the Russian military said that the incident took place near the al-Taim oil field, which is indeed located to the east of al-Sukhnah, in the western Deir Ezzor countryside. These details play into the hand of the ISIS propaganda. According to Syrian government sources, a few hundreds of ISIS members take shelter in the Homs-Deir Ezzor countryside. These terrorists pose a notable security threat to pro-government forces, but they claim that the full elimination of the ISIS cells in the desert is not possible as long as the US occupies the al-Tanf area.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Iraqi pro-Iranian group, is reinforcing its military positions in the southern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor, according to pro-government sources. Kata’ib Hezbollah fighters are currently building fortifications around their positions in the outskirt of the city of al-Mayadin.

The situation is also tense on the contact line between the army and militants in southern Idlib. According to pro-militant sources, at least 2 opposition fighters were killed in Syrian Army strikes in al-Bara and other areas in the al-Zawiya mount.

The string of assassinations of former rebel commanders continues in southern Syria. An attack with an improvised explosive device killed Issa Al-Janati, a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. The IED attack took place near the commander’s house in the town of al-Zubaidah in the al-Quneitra countryside on August 17. Al-Janati died of his wounds, while his wife was slightly injured. Al-Janati, who is known by his nom de guerre “Abu Wassim,” used to be a senior commander in the Free Syrian Army. In 2018, he joined the reconciliation process. Nevertheless, he refused to enlist in the Syrian Arab Army or any pro-government faction.

This was the first assassination of a former rebel commander in al-Quneitra. Such assassinations take place in Daraa province on a regular basis. Local sources link them with the increased activity of Israeli special services that are not happy to see how their former proxies are changing their public position.

Related

US jet took off from base in Jordan to intercept Iranian airliner in Syria: media

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-26

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:45 P.M.) – New details about the U.S.’ interception of Mahan Air plane have been released by the Iranian media this week, including the origin of the American jets that were involved.

According to Al-Alam TV, the U.S. F-15 jets took off from the Azraq Airbase in Jordan and intercepted the Iranian airliner in the Homs Governorate on the night of Thursday, July 24th.

The Al-Alam report stated that this base is the same one that was used by the drone that  carried out the assassination of the late commander of the Quds Force, Major General Qassim Soleimani, on January 3, 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.

The sources indicated that the two American fighters intercepted the Iranian plane once over the Al-Tanf region  in Syrian airspace and another near the Lebanese-Syrian border.

They  said that this indicates that the two American fighters were targeting the plane or pushing it into a trap that would result in the Syrian air defenses shooting down the aircraft.

This theory was first introduced by the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Bashar Al-Ja’afari, and it has since been referenced several times by the Iranian media.

The U.S. has not commented on these claims from Iran and Syria; however, the U.S. Central Command (Centcom) did say that the interception only involved one jet and it was done so to protect the American troops in Al-Tanf.

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