US Is the Source of, Not “Solution” to Syrian War

 

Global Research, November 12, 2019

After the supposed US “withdrawal” from Syria – Western media outlets have causally reported on US troops now preparing to occupy Syria’s oilfields east of the Euphrates River.

Articles include carefully selected “experts” who avoid any mention of how illegal or indefensible the presence of US forces in Syria is to begin with, let alone any mention of “why” US troops are preparing to “claim” Syria’s natural resources.

The Guardian in its piece, “US plans to send tanks to Syria oil fields, reversing Trump troop withdrawal – reports,” illustrates a voluntary dereliction of due diligence in investigating or questioning Western actions in Syria.

One is left to assume what the US would claim as its excuse for remaining in Syria – likely based on a narrative of denying terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda or the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) and their affiliates access to resources to “fund” their return to the region.

The most obvious and sustainable solution would be to transfer control of Syria’s oilfields to Syria itself. Syria has overcome terrorist organizations in all areas Damascus has now restored order to, and with the restoration of its oilfields and related industries, would be in an even better position to both rebuild the nation and defend against the very elements who destroyed it in the first place.

But this assumes that the US is interested in preventing the resurgence of terrorist organizations in the region – ignoring the fact that the US deliberately created them in the first place and deliberately used them to both trigger, then fuel the Syrian war from its very beginning in 2011.

The US is the Source of Syria’s War 

As early as 2007, real journalists warned of US plans to bolster opposition groups linked to terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda in a bid to undermine Iran and its ally Syria.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” would provide an ominous, but crystal-clear warning of what awaited both Syria and the wider region.

Hersh would warn:

The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

The article would mention the Muslim Brotherhood by name and described specific US support under what was then the Bush administration already being funnelled to the group in Syria.

The Brotherhood is an extremist front with direct ties to Al Qaeda and who were at the epicenter of the supposed “Arab Spring” in 2011. From 2011 onward – then under the Obama administration – US support continued in the form of both financial and military aid.

Articles like the New York Time’s, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” would admit to billions of dollars worth of arms from the US flowing into Syria to fuel the destructive war.

Despite Western media claims that the Syrian conflict was being fought between the government and “moderate rebels,” the US State Department itself admitted that within the first year of fighting, Al Qaeda had already established a dominate position on the battlefield.

In an official statement on the State Department’s own website designating Al Qaeda affiliate – al-Nusra – a foreign terrorist organization, it was admitted:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

If the US and its allies were providing billions of dollars worth of weapons and equipment to “moderate rebels,” who provided al-Nusra with even more weapons and equipment enabling it to dominate the battlefield?

The US – as it has done in virtually all other wars of aggression abroad – simply lied about the nature of those it was arming – having from the beginning and just as journalists like Seymour Hersh warned – deliberately armed and aided extremists to wage a proxy war of regime change against Syria.

Arsonists, Not Firefighters 

Nothing the US has done in regards to Syria has amounted to genuine efforts to end the conflict. Throughout the conflict the US continued to adjust its war propaganda to justify first its invasion and occupation of eastern Syria to “fight ISIS” – then to incrementally move toward justifying a direct US military intervention against the Syrian government itself with troops “serendipitously” already staged inside Syrian territory.

From 2015 onward in the wake of Russia’s intervention – direct US military intervention was taken off the table and the US occupation confined to eastern Syria where its unsustainable narrative regarding a Syrian “Kurdistan” withered.

Today – we find a US still attempting to justify its illegal and indefensible occupation of Syrian territory. Syria and its allies have attempted to provide Washington with a host of face-saving opportunities to withdraw and allow the conflict to finally end – returning peace and stability to the nation of Syria and its people.

The US continues to pose as part of a “solution” to the very Syrian crisis journalists like Seymour Hersh as early as 2007 revealed the US had deliberately engineered.

Just as an unrepentant arsonist would not be involved in efforts to extinguish the fire they started – the US cannot be involved in efforts to resolve a conflict it itself started – nor is the US at this point demonstrating any genuine desire to end the conflict.

Squatting on Syrian oilfields is yet another intentional tactic being used to draw the Syrian war out even longer – impeding the Syrian state’s access to its own resources needed to fuel the country and fund reconstruction.

Far from firefighters, the US is an unrepentant arsonist blocking firefighters from doing their job. US foreign policy has become so overtly malign that the Western media is unable to even address basic questions such as “why” the US is remaining in Syria – and doing so amid Syria’s oilfields.

Just as has been the case throughout the Syrian war, US machinations will be defeated by Syria and its allies patiently creating conditions on the ground in which current US policies are no longer tenable forcing Washington to fall back further still.

In the meantime, continued efforts to expose the truth of this war’s genesis and to prevent those who were responsible for it from attempting to prolong it further by posing as “peacemakers” and “protectors” is essential. If the US wants to pose as “peacemakers” and “protectors,” Syria and its allies may allow them to do so only to save face amid their total and otherwise unconditional departure from Syria.

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Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Syria: “U.S. Get Out!”

Statement of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

Global Research, November 08, 2019

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) stands in solidarity with the long-suffering people of Syria.  We oppose all foreign occupation of Syrian territory.  Syria belongs to the Syrians.

The current Turkish incursion into northern Syria is in violation of Syrian sovereignty. So is the continued U.S. intervention.

Turkey has been an ally of the U.S. in its regime change program in Syria.  Both countries are in Syria against the wishes of the Syria government and have caused great destruction in the region.

The U.S. claim that it is in Syria to fight ISIS, is fiction. Recent U.S. involvement started in 2011 with the CIA program called “Timber Sycamore,” which was geared to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with a government friendlier to Washington and Wall Street. This program supplied money, weapons and training to internal and external forces fighting the Assad government.  ISIS wasn’t formed in Syria till around 2014, years after the U.S. regime change program started.  Washington used ISIS as their reason to expand U.S. bombing and destruction.

Syria requested assistance from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, then from Iran and Russia to aid their resistance to the U.S. orchestrated destruction. This determination defeated U.S. plans.

President Trump in early October tweeted that he would be withdrawing U.S. forces from Northern Syria where they have been working with the Kurdish SDF (Syrian Defense Forces) to maintain the occupation of the northeastern region of Syria, the home of most of Syria’s oil and grain production.  Trump claimed to have come to an accommodation with Turkish President Erdogan.  Immediately thereafter, Turkish soldiers crossed the border and began to attack the Kurds,

These actions caused a great debate in the U.S. Many politicians, who wanted the U.S. to stay in Syria, claimed that Trump had abandoned the Kurds.

The U.S. is no friend of the Kurds and has betrayed their interests over and over again throughout the last century and was never a protector of their interests.

Syria’s population of 22 million includes Arab, Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian, Turkoman and Circassian nationalities as well as Sunni, Alawi, Shia, Druze, Yazidi, and Christian religious sects. Based on decades of past U.S. military intervention in the region there are 1.5 million Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Syria and 5 million Syrian refugees outside of Syria.

The Syrian government is determined to maintain and rebuild Syria as a secular, multi-ethnic, multinational, multi-religious country that respects the identity and culture of every group, free of foreign interference.

U.S. strategists have always tried to maintain dominance in the Middle East by divide and conquer tactics of inflaming sectarian, national, ethnic and religious differences.

We oppose Turkish aggression in the region and demand that Turkish and U.S. forces leave Syrian territory where they never were invited by the Syrian government.  As Turkish forces move into Syria, the Kurds have opened negotiations with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army moved todefend the border towns where Kurds live.

It is in the interest of the Kurdish and non-Kurdish Syrian people for the US, Turkey and their supported mercenaries from around the world to leave the country.  It is only under these circumstances that the Kurdish people and the Syrian government can work to solve the problems of the Kurds in Syria.

As the Syrian government wins back more and more of their territory from foreign aggressors, it is calling for refugees to come home.  They are offering amnesty and assistance for all those returning.

In numerous recent tweets, President Trump confirmed that U.S. will not actually leave Syria. They will refocus on the oil producing area of Syria to supposedly “protect the oil.”  “We’re keeping the oil,” “I’ve always said that — keep the oil. We want to keep the oil, $45 million a month. Keep the oil. We’ve secured the oil.” Trump asserts that the U.S. will decide what to do with Syria’s oil in the future. He has implied that maybe Exxon should be given the oil

Clearly the theft of oil is for U.S. corporate profit and to deprive Syria of the means to rebuild.

U.S. and EU Sanctions keep Syria from importing essential supplies to repair and re-build Syria.  Sanctions also prevent Syrians from importing or exporting oil.  Without oil, the country cannot re-build.

The plan for U.S. troops to occupy the oil fields is to prevent Syria from being energy sufficient, as they were before 2011.

The theft of Syrian oil and the continued sanctions on Syria must be condemned by our movement and by the entire world.

We demand:

U.S., NATO, Turkey, Israel and all foreign invading forces leave Syria!

End the sanctions against Syria!

U.S. stop the theft of Syrian oil!

Let the Syrian people go home!

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Abu Mohammad Salama Killed? Did Zionists & Kurds Deceive President Trump? Or Is This the Beginning of the End of Israel?

November 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Robert David Steele, a former Marine Corps infantry officer and CIA spy as well as an activist for Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE), regularly answers questions for Tehran Times.

Q. Within minutes of President Donald Trump’s announcement of an alleged raid that allegedly killed an alleged ISIS leader known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, skeptical commentary emerged. What is your summary appreciation?

A. Let me begin by saying that people I trust tell me that the raid was very real, with helicopters flying 50 feet above the ground at 130 knots. The cost of the raid has been estimated at $30 million. What does not appear to be real are the actual location, and the actual identity of the person we claim was killed.

I am among those who denounced the fake Bin Ladens including the last one provided by the Pakistani military as a gift to help Barack Obama win re-election. We sent men to their death for political theater. I knew immediately that this latest alleged raid was a fake, but chose to start with a headline, “Russia says Baghdadi killing faked by US [& Israel],” credited to Gordon Duff, founding editor of Veterans Today.  Gordon, whom I know personally, has a rich network of contacts on the ground, including Russian military commanders as well as honest Jews who despise Zionist provocations and lies. The official Russian denunciation of the raid as having never happened is a matter of record.  To that I add the earlier reported death of Al-Baghdadi in 2015 in an Israeli hospital, and the alleged but credible aspect of al-Baghdadi being a Mossad operative and Israeli citizen named Elliot Shimon, and you have the perfect storm. I believe the Zionists and the US neo-conservative lied to President Donald Trump, faked the entire raid, faked the alleged DNA testing, and have now put the President in a terrible spot.

Accepting that our Special Forces carried out a raid – somewhere — either al-Baghdadi / Elliot Shimon is still alive as Gordon suggests, and the death was faked; or al-Baghdadi died in 2015 and this new death was faked – someone else was killed. I think our President has been lied to.

A deeply suspicious person would also wonder if this is not a potential “kill shot” by Benjamin Netanyahu against Trump – here is what Ha’aretz says, in “Trump Basks in al-Baghdadi’s Bloody Assassination, but the Festivities Will End Shortly,”

Trump is bound to be criticized for his blood-thirsty style, as well as the fact that he hurried to announce al-Baghdadi’s demise before the Pentagon had signed off on final and incontrovertible DNA proof that the ISIS leader had indeed been killed. On the extremely unlikely chance that al-Baghdadi will emerge somewhere safe and sound, which has happened before, Trump would instantly transform, not into a lame duck but into a dead duck.

The above tells me two things: that the DNA was not confirmed as the President claimed; and that Benjamin Netanyahu might well choose one day to “resurrect” Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi, as a reprisal for the Miriam Adelson Medal of Freedom that set the stage for her public denouncement of Netanyahu’s wife as crazy and Netanyahu as a servant to his wife – this cost him dearly.

Interestingly, a separate new story has emerged about Israel now considering Donald Trump an unreliable enemy of Israel, and the likelihood that LtCol Alexander Vindman is a Zionist tool – he is a Jewish-American now betraying the President with false testimony to Congress favoring impeachment. I am inclined to agree with this assessment and believe that Benjamin Netanyahu has Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi tucked away for re-emergence – a miniature “Samson option” against the President.

Pablo Escobar, writing in The Saker, “Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’,” says this:

According to ground sources in Syria, a prevalent rumor in Idlib is that the “dead dog” in Barisha could be Abu Mohammad Salama, the leader of Haras al-Din, a minor sub-group of al-Qaeda in Syria. Haras al-Din has not issued any statement about it.

I conclude that the raid happened, that Mossad operative Elliot Shimon aka al-Baghdadi was not present; that the Kurds, on behalf of the Zionists, provided fake DNA samples before and after; and that whoever died was not in fact, the alleged target, who was not a real terrorist leader to begin with.

The worst case analysis is that President Donald Trump has been “schlonged” by Benjamin Netanyahu personally, the Zionists generally, and their controlled Kurdish paramilitary servants.

There is, however, a best case analysis that the French shadow foreign minister has shared with me, and I include it in the spirit of deference to the opinion of others. His view is that this was a deliberately fake raid intended to not only achieve a political bounce across a largely ignorant public, but to set the stage for the “treasure trove” of intelligence actually obtained elsewhere, that crucifies Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Brennan and Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Chuck Schumer among others, for having created ISIS and conspired with Israel as well as Saudi Arabia to destroy Syria.

My French colleague observes that the surprise travel of Pelosi and Schiff to Jordan and Afghanistan; the closure of all Israeli embassies and consulates immediately after the raid (ostensibly over a labor dispute, but 100% closure suggests government direction), and the resurfacing of the Epstein story with what I consider to be a falsified autopsy conclusion of murder all suggest that in conjunction with the forthcoming FISA criminal indictments, President Trump is getting ready for a coup d’grace against the Democratic leadership and its Zionist state sponsors. He concluded his observation by sharing the below post from Majestic 12, a Q Anon affiliate:

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1120482314067349504/pe_bdFXz_bigger.pngMajestic 12‏ @TS_SCI_MAJIC12 Oct 30

Majestic 12 Retweeted Israel in Atlanta

Ending the Endless Wars is bad for Israel.

#UnsealEpstein is bad for Israel.

#DrainTheSwamp is bad for Israel.

#Disclosure is bad for Israel.

Why?

Q. Apart from the Russians, who have very sophisticated S-400 target acquisition radars covering the entire region, who else is saying this is a fake raid that never happened?

A. As you might imagine, because the Zionists control most mainstream media enterprises, and this fake raid serves both the Zionists and the warmongering neo-conservatives in the USA that want to keep ISIS alive, keep stealing Syrian oil, and continue to undermine Syrian sovereignty, almost no one else is challenging the narrative with two exceptions: the Daily Star in the UK has run two pieces, “Shock claim top ISIS leader is ‘Israeli spy’,” and “ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘not killed by US military’ Russia claims; and citizen journalists everywhere are pointing out the obvious flaws in the story. My favorite comes from a Nordic country, where an alert citizen quickly noticed that Google Earth, which updates on a monthly to yearly basis, not a daily basis, shows the alleged raid site as having been destroyed in the past, not recently. In addition Newsweek has run with a story, “Obama White House Photographer Suggests Trump Situation Room Photo of Unfolding al-Baghdadi Raid Was Staged,” a story I agree with.

I have no doubt that the Americans carried out a real raid with live ammunition and real dead.  Everything else about this appears to have been faked, a terrible embarrassment to our President, unless of course this is a deliberately fake event that he has authorized in detail.

Q. You have been a Marine Corps infantry officer; a clandestine operations officer or spy; the senior civilian responsible for creating a new national intelligence analysis center; and a J-2 intelligence analyst in Afghanistan. What other “indicators” do you personally see that suggest this story is completely false?

A. I personally continue to believe that President Donald Trump has been lied to, and is not a party to the total deception that has been imposed on him by a combination of Zionists and neoconservatives including members of his own staff who failed to defend him – in my view this terrible situation demonstrates that his new National Security Advisor – a very talented and nice person – is not up to the task of protecting the President from being lied to by the military-intelligence complex that is still in a state of treason, selected officials not-withstanding.  The Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the Secretary of State have all failed the President by going along with a false narrative that they probably knew was false but allowed to go forward because of some combination of political opportunism, Zionist bribery and blackmail, and the President’s own ego – he fell into this one, made it his own, and in so doing has disgraced himself in the eyes of Xi and Putin.

I see two levels of indicators that persuade me that this story is completely false. At the strategic level this strikes me as a blatant attempt by the Zionists and their CIA collaborators who hate President Trump to keep the Kurds whom they are arming and training and leading, in the game. The Daily Beast published “The Kurds Spotted Baghdadi. The U.S. Abandoned Them Anyway” early on, and then I saw “Baghdadi’s death underscores what we’ve lost by abandoning Syria’s Kurds,” from The Washington Post, and a series of CIA-sponsored stories about how the Kurds continued to provide leads “even after Trump abandoned them” – below is from The Economic Times of India, “CIA got initial tip-off from one of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier: Report,”

American officials told the newspaper that the Kurds continued to provide information to the CIA on Baghdadi’s location even after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the American troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone.

The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country.

All this suggests that in combination, the Zionists and their treasonous allies in the US Departments of State and Defense and the CIA, are all seeking to block the President from fulfilling his campaign promise to get our forces out of the Middle East, and attempting to keep the Kurdish rebellion against the lawful Syrian government alive.

Given that al-Baghdadi has been reported dead seven times, I have to ask myself, is it possible that CIA and DoD and State did not know this? Or that their Middle East action officers are all Zionists, many dual US-Israeli citizens, and some being bribed and blackmailed directly by the Zionists? From where I sit, the President has fallen victim to a grand deception and he has no one – least of all the treasonous FBI – that he can rely on to protect him from traitors within our own ranks.

At the tactical level there are too many false notes across the entire story, to include dogs, an alleged tunnel with no exit, a site that has clearly been destroyed in the past, instantaneous DNA testing with the samples provided by the Kurds who are controlled by the Zionists, and more.  The similarities with the false final Bin Laden raid that led to many US deaths after the fact as part of the cover-up, are startling to include – I am not making this up – throwing the alleged target’s body parts into the ocean.  I keep waiting for CIA to release a photo of al-Baghdadi’s library before the alleged hide-out was allegedly flattened, it would not surprise me at all to learn that the long-dead al-Baghdadi was allegedly reading Orange Man, the new book by America’s greatest conservative cartoonist.

Pablo Escobar’s article, “Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’, provides the best over-all appreciation of the total context and the likely fraud perpetuated within that context. This entire story cannot be understood without accepting the very high probability that this was a reverse false flag – a fake target created for political theater, with the President of the United States of America being made a fool of by a combination of traitors in Israel and the USA, and well-intentioned loyalists who simply do not know what they do not know about the ability of the Zionists and their Kurdish servants to lie to great effect.

We did not kill al-Baghdadi, we certainly killed someone else, probably Abu Mohammad Salama or one of his deputies – none of them ISIS leaders, but rather leaders of Haras al-Din, an al Qaida affiliate.

Q. What anomalies have you not mentioned, that have emerged since you were first invited to comment on this very strange Presidential declaration of triumph over what appears to be a fake person?

Apart from Pablo Escobar’s piece, the single best commentary I have seen is from James Corbett, whose video, Something Big Has Happened! points out both the similarities with the fake raid to kill the fake final Bin Laden, with the many claimed deaths of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was deliberately turned into a fake threat by US propaganda. Four things jump out from various alternative media reports – the US and European media continue to lie about this raid and parrot the official narrative:

01 The alleged location of the raid in Idlib, which is not friendly ground for the alleged target, has been pointed out by many as incongruous. Privately my military colleagues are saying that the raid was launched either from the sea or from Israel, and Idlib was picked for the fake raid precisely because it was near the sea.

02 The frantic effort to “authenticate” what are probably lies about instant DNA analysis (DNA tests take between 24 and 72 hours although some capabilities may exist that can do a preliminary test in hours) suggest that the Pentagon is now very uneasy with the entire narrative including the President’s comments on whimpering. Never mind that the US has no idea if the original DNA was genuine, it could easily have been pre-matched to the intended patsy destined for future duty as a “Lee Harvey Oswald.”

02 The injured dog – when no one else was injured in a tunnel with no exit where the blast of a suicide vest would certainly have killed the dog and soldiers would also have been wounded if not killed by the blast that could only go in one direction appears to be pure theater. The classification of the dog’s photo and name as Top Secret takes this to new heights of ludicrousness. I have published a counterpart account, with photos, of the CIA’s Top Secret stealth cat in the spirit of engagement with the official narrative.

03 The underpants allegedly stolen by Kurds from deep within territory hostile to them – has generated a lovely thread on “false flag underpants” – are so unbelievable I have to question the sanity and professionalism of everyone who allowed this narrative to go forward. In combination with everything else, this strikes me as truly depraved Mossad humor, giving the Americans a pair of used underpants – probably including sperm – as a form of screwing with the goyim shiksas – the Zionist term for non-Jewish girls who can be treated as whores.

04 The alleged burial at sea of body parts – a suicide vest leaves the lower body – is so reminiscent of the ocean burial of the last Bin Laden that it suggests that those behind this narrative are absolutely certain we are all stupid.

05 This is all about oil and keeping ISIS alive as a joint Mossad-CIA operation. I am quite sure at this point that President Trump knows he has been manipulated into making a fool of himself, and I speculate that he is privately talking to President Putin about how to continue his plans to totally withdraw US forces from the region.  I am reminded of the private conversations of John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, where they both agreed that their own worst enemies were their own generals who wanted war, not one another. Today I do not believe the Russian generals want war, but too many of the American generals are posturing pimps for war because that is how they earn their retirement jobs – they are also lying to the Secretary of Defense and the President about our readiness for war – not only are we not ready for sustained war away from the USA, but we will absolutely lose any war that includes Russia or China as a committed adversary. It is my hope that the President will realize that he has been treated with such scorn by Israel and the Kurds and that this gives him the strength to fire all those who were complicit in these lies, withdraw entirely from Syria, and rebuild our military here at home.

06 I have just read “Seven takeaways from the CENTCOM commander’s hot wash of the Baghdadi raid,” and I have to say that I simply do not believe that six men “suited up” in suicide vests when a supposedly surprise “breach”  took place.  While I have no direct experience my training and broad experience suggests that the action is over in 30 seconds. I also do not believe that the alleged al-Baghdadi dragged children into a “hole” with him.

07 ISIS confirming the death and naming a new leader is for me consistent with ISIS being a fake terrorist organization responsive to US direction – if President Trump wants a fake death confirmed and a new leader named, it is his to command.

This raid may indeed serve the President well, but the anomalies are troubling.

Q. This apparently falsified “triumph” against ISIS – and in favor of the Kurds and the US keeping military troops and even tanks on top of the Syrian oil fields – comes just as Trump appears ready to criminally indict Obama, Clapper, Comey, Brennan, McCabe, Strzok, and Page, among others. How do you assess Trump’s prospects for the next months?

A. This falsified event will play well across America, and commentaries like mine and those of Gordon Duff and Pablo Escobar and James Corbett will not be noticed. For all practical purposes, this event is a political triumph, never mind that it is rooted in lies. The Chinese know this is a fake attack, the Russians know this is a fake attack, by now Trump knows this is a fake attack. There are now media reports that Trump has ordered the release of the video of the alleged attack, when it comes I expect it will be picked apart the way the video from the Christ Church false flag in New Zealand was picked apart.

On a positive note, my colleague Ben Fulford, a long-time observer of high finance and low crime based on Tokyo, has published “Third (fourth?) death of Mossad agent Shimon Elliot “al-Baghdadi” actually signifies major Middle East change,” and strikes a very upbeat note that I am prepared to embrace. The view of his Pentagon sources is that this event is going to lead to increased US-Russian collaboration in cutting off illegal oil, arms, human, and drug trafficking in the Middle East that all benefit the Zionists and the Deep State. I must emphasis that there are seven or more US military and intelligence leadership networks, some purely evil, some committed to the President’s success.  All those networks are at war with one another.  I believe the President and the White Hats will triumph in time.

If the President wants to make lemonade with these lemons, he should declare victory against ISIS and leave Syria.  His occupation of Syrian oil fields is both unconstitutional within the USA and illegal in relation to international treaties and conventions.

You mention the criminal indictments.  I published “SPECIAL: Game-Changing Court Filing by Michael Flynn Defense Lawyer Sidney Powell…PLUS DoJ Criminal Inquiry Plus Seth Rich Murder Central Brennan Task Force Plus Stone & Manafort to Get Off?” a few days ago and it has gone viral in part because Sidney Powell, the attorney for my colleague General Michael Flynn, has filed a detailed federal court document that itemizes the many crimes committed by all those seeking to fabricate the narrative of Russian election interference and Donald Trump as a Russian asset. The murder of Seth Rich is now part of the conspiracy led by President Barack Obama, and complicity in murder is on the table for all those who committed treason in mis-directing secret intelligence against then candidate Donald Trump.

I will end on a most positive note: while I would like to see our President do more to defend the US Constitution (especially  the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments), to bring all our troops home from all over the world; and to address the huge problems facing the working class and people of faith in the USA, on balance I believe that in the next few months the world will see political, legal, economic, and cultural triumphs by our President that could not have been imagined since the days of John F. Kennedy.

Unlike JFK, our President cannot be assassinated.  He will triumph. It is my hope that Iran will understand that behind the political theater and completely apart from our President’s continued tolerance of traitors in key positions, there is a house cleaning going on. From election reform to military tribunals to a global currency reset and a national debt jubilee to the reinstatement of family values and civic virtue, “Orange Man” is on a path pre-ordained by God, who absolutely has a sense of humor.

Q. Do you have an opinion on how the impeachment campaign will end, and who the Democrats will nominate to run against President Trump, if you are certain he will run? Are there any “wild cards.”

A. The impeachment campaign will not end well for the Democrats.  It is only in the news because the Deep State wants it to be in the news and is manipulating the polls.  In the Heartland everyone agrees that this is a “lynching” and those giving false testimony against our President are committing treason. It merits comment that so many Republicans are retiring precisely because they see the future: the public is going to turn against both of political parties that have betrayed the public trust and fronted for the Deep State. If President Trump implements #UNRIG (the election reform act championed by Dr. Cynthia McKinney and myself that the Zionists worked so hard to destroy), not only will he win with a landslide, but he could carry a whole new congress with him. Certainly by 2022 I expect four to five vibrant parties with blocks of elected representatives in Congress and at the state and local level. There are riots all over the world – the public is fed up with the corruption and demanding new honest governments.

Once the FISA criminal indictments are processed, in time for the beginning of the presidential campaign that does not really start until 1 February 2020, I believe the President will be assured of winning, and if he creates the truth channel and/or uses legal measures to force the media and social media to stop violating the 1st Amendment and Title 7 (anti-discrimination), the outcome will be clear by 4 July 2020.

The Democrats not only know they cannot win with anyone now running, but they have been quoted as saying that they collect more money in donations if President Trump is re-elected.  I believe the Democrats are preparing to “throw” the Presidential election while seeking to take back the Senate.

Tulsi Gabbard is the wild card.  This young person was a Congressional staffer who appears to have joined the military with a clear political intent. She started as a military police enlisted person and then became a medical specialist – a form of nurse administrator. Not only is she not a combat veteran in the correct sense of the word, but she is also in direct violation of all US military regulations against use of her appearing in uniform as part of her political campaign.  She has been keeping these two facts secret. Now here is what most do not know: not only is she Hindu, but she is also a Brahmin, the India version of 1%.  There is no difference between Hillary Clinton’s calling all of us “deplorables,” and Tulsi Gabbard viewing all of us as “untouchables” – as an avowed Hindu she must believe that caste divisions should be the law. All indications are that the Deep State is thinking hard about a possible run by Bloomberg – a Zionist at heart – and Gabbard, a cosmetic bimbo whose shallowness may not survive a Presidential campaign. However, if President Trump continues to ignore Independents, Libertarians, blacks, Latinos, suburban woman, the young, and the elderly on the West and East coasts, then Bloomberg-Gabbard is a winning ticket and – if they win – the US Constitution will be discarded with the end of free speech, the confiscation of guns, and a police state where local mass surveillance is the norm.

I do not think Hillary Clinton will run as much as she may delude herself into thinking she could win. Apart from the high probability of her being indicted soon, even if this is done secretly to avoid a public battle with the left, for high crimes including hundreds of millions of dollars taken in bribes from the French for Libya, from the Saudis for Syria and Yemen, and from the Russians for Uranium One, she is deeply vulnerable on the pedophilia front, and the election machines are being secured at the same time that all illegal aliens are being stripped from the voting rolls – three million illegal aliens voted for her in 2016, that is not going to happen again.

America is in the middle of a civil war between those who favor pedophilia, bestiality, transgenderism, and transhumanism, and those who favor faith, family, and community. The conservatives are losing that war because the Zionists – our worst enemy – control entertainment, the media, and the communications and computing networks that they use for espionage and insider trading.  I am not certain the President is fully familiar with the depth and breadth of the Zionist threat within the USA, one reason I value the opportunity to publish in Tehran Times.  He and his family have received briefings from me that bring together distinguished authors – my Memoranda for the President: 9/11 Truth is the stake in the heart of Zionism in the USA along with my memo on the Epstein case, the “Nine Veils of Evil,” and my collected Tehran Times articles, many censored in the USA, that I published as TRUMP vs. THE DEEP STATE: Recent Reflections of a Former US Spy & Marine Corps Officer. At Thanksgiving the President and his intimates will soon be receiving a copy of my new book, EYES ONLY: For the President (and the Public): Everything the Deep State Does Not Want You To Know.

Iran is correct is insist on the end of Israel – an invented state rooted in lies, bribes, blackmail and genocide – and the restoration of Palestine to the Palestinians.  Similarly here in the USA we must insist on the death of the Deep State and its Zionist underbelly so as to restore of integrity to our Constitutional Republic. I will pray for the day that our President meets the Supreme Leader, in Tehran, to “make the deal.” Be assured of the coincidence of interest between patriotic American conservatives, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We will win this fight, using ethical, legal, non-violent means, Insha’Allah. It helps us here in the USA if Iran and the Palestinians triumph in the Middle East – and vice versa. Iran and the USA have a common enemy: the Zionist state of Israel.

Questions Remain Over Alleged Death of Islamic State Leader

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November 1, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Defense this week said it had not seen any credible evidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, had been killed in northern Syria last weekend, allegedly in a daring US military operation.

US President Donald Trump boasted last Sunday that American Special Forces raided a base in Idlib Province, which purportedly led to al-Baghdadi’s death from a suicide explosion. The Pentagon said six other people were killed in the operation. In addition, two of al-Baghdadi’s children were killed when the IS leader blew himself up as American troops were closing in, according to Trump’s own dramatic telling of the event.

Curiously, Trump gave prominent thanks to Russia for its help in the logistics of carrying out the attack.

However, Russian MOD spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov has subsequently stated that Russia was not involved in the raid, as Trump had claimed. He said that Russian flight data indicated that there were no US air strikes in the vicinity of the declared raid. The spokesman went further and remarked that there were no doubts as to whether the assassination mission even took place in the way that Washington is publicly claiming.

Another anomaly in the official US account is that the base where al-Baghdadi was purportedly hiding out is in a location known to be a stronghold for another al-Qaeda affiliate that is a sworn enemy of their perceived rival jihadists belonging to IS. Why and how then was the IS leader able to maintain a base surrounded by enemy jihadists?

According to the New York Times, it is claimed that al-Baghdadi paid $67,000 to the rival terror group, Hurras al-Din, for protection. Somehow that sounds a dubious explanation.

A glaring omission in US media coverage of the alleged killing of al-Baghdadi is the historical background as to who he was and how his former so-called caliphate came into being straddling Iraq and Syria.

There is copious evidence that Iraqi-born al-Baghdadi was recruited by American intelligence while imprisoned during the US war on Iraq in the mid- to late-2000s. He was held in the notorious Abu Ghraib US-run torture prison, but subsequently was released by the Americans despite his known jihadist past. It was around 2012 that the Obama administration was covertly mobilizing and weaponizing jihadi assets to carry out its clandestine war for regime change against the Syrian government. It is believed that al-Baghdadi was a key CIA asset for the US dirty war in Syria, even though Washington was proclaiming its involvement in Syria was to “defeat IS” and other terror groups.

It is entirely plausible that US intelligence assets are “terminated” whenever it is politically convenient and when it is calculated that their usefulness has expired.

Trump and the mainstream US media depiction of a spectacular success in exterminating a feared terror chief is almost certainly a distortion of reality and events.

The way Trump in particular has crowed about the purported operation suggests he is seeking a boost to his re-election chances next year. The thuggish rhetoric of killing the IS leader “like a dog” smacks of Trump trying to project an image of a tough president.

More generally, the event has afforded US media to proclaim the virtue of American military power in apparently bringing a notorious renegade “to justice”.

The timing could not be more important. The nearly eight-year war in Syria has exposed the criminality of Washington and its NATO partners for fueling carnage. By contrast, the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies have been vindicated in their long-held claims that a criminal US-backed aggression using terrorist proxies has been thwarted.

When Trump abandoned the Kurdish militants last month, the move was condemned for throwing Syria into further turmoil. It was Russia’s deft diplomacy which managed to contain the situation. At that point, Washington’s international credibility was scraping the barrel of duplicity and malign responsibility for conflict and chaos in Syria.

Hence, a sensational operation resembling “a movie” – as Trump put it – was a timely public relations remedy for Washington’s badly tarnished image. Ostensibly, “taking out” a terrorist leader gives the US the means to renew its propaganda narrative that it is “fighting against terrorism” rather than the reality of using terrorism for its regime-change wars and other imperialist objectives.

Was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed last weekend? It is not the first time his “death” has been reported by US forces who have made similar claims in past years. There are too many questions and discrepancies to take Washington’s version of events as accurate. More plausibly, it was a carefully contrived propaganda stunt to burnish Washington’s disgraced image.

One thing for sure, however, is that the US will continue to use terror proxies and assets into the future in order to achieve its pernicious geopolitical aims. There are plenty more “al-Baghdadis” to be cultivated and orchestrated by Washington as it sows chaos and destruction in the Middle East and beyond for its selfish interests.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

How the US Regime ‘Justifies’ the Theft of Syria’s Oil

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Eric Zuesse
American writer and investigative historian

October 30, 2019
On October 26th, the New York Times headlined “Keep the Oil’: Trump Revives Charged Slogan for New Syria Troop Mission” and opened by saying that “in recent days, Mr. Trump has settled on Syria’s oil reserves as a new rationale for appearing to reverse course and deploy hundreds of additional troops to the war-ravaged country.” They closed with a statement from Bruce Riedel, retired from the CIA: “‘Let’s say he does do it,’ Mr. Riedel said. ‘Let’s say we establish the precedent that we are in the Middle East to take the oil. The symbolism is really bad.’” The propaganda-value of a ‘news’-report is concentrated in its opening, and especially in what the ‘reporter’ (fulfilling the intentions of his editors) selected to be at the very end (such as Riedel’s statement). However, is what’s wrong with taking Syria’s oil actually the “symbolism,” as Riedel said, or is it instead the theft — the reality (and why did the NYT pretend that it’s the latter)? Nowhere did that NYT article use the word “theft,” or anything like it, but that is the actual issue here — not mere ‘symbolism’.

Trump had been so lambasted by the Democratic Party’s ‘news’-media (such as the NYT) and by all the rest of the neoconservative ‘news’-media (the Republican ones), for his trying to withdraw forces from Obama’s regime-change war against Syria, he’s now switched to trying to ‘justify’ continuation of America’s invasion-occupation of Syria by his promising to steal the oil there — but the ‘news’-media almost never use that term (“theft”), or anything like it, to describe what he is promising to do, because they themselves have been propagandizing the American people to oppose withdrawal from Syria, which would mean ending Obama’s invasion-occupation of Syria. Both the Republican and the Democratic Parties, and their ‘news’-media, have been full-bore “Assad must step-down.” None of America’s ‘news’-media had stated, either, that America’s invasions-occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, have all been disasters (though they all were), and that all of them have been and are defeats for America (though they all were that, on all of America’s leaders’ lies about ‘protecting human rights’, and about ‘bringing democracy’, and about what would have been producing improved lives — instead of producing continued bloodshed — for the residents in the countries that we had invaded and occupied). It’s all lies, nothing but that; and any ‘news’-media which operate this way will find themselves increasingly trapped in their lies, like the politicians themselves are. The only way ‘out’, for any of them (including for Trump, and for both the Republican and the Democratic press) is yet more lies — and all of these lies are cover-ups, by the press and by the politicians. (This is why they’re torturing Julian Assange to death: he has seriously challenged that ongoing deceit, in which they all participate.) Unless the public stop the media from doing it — by cancelling their subscriptions, and otherwise demonetizing the ones who have been doing it — the lies, and deceits, and invasions, and destructive US national expenditures of tens of trillions of dollars (being paid to corporations such as Lockheed Martin, and not only to our soldiers) will continue. This enormous counterproductive expenditure will drain America’s abilities to fund health care, education, etc. It is bringing the US economy down, and not merely bringing America to an ethically lower and lower point. The more that America’s leaders try to continue expanding the American empire, the more that they will both embarrass, and weaken, America. This is real. It is no propaganda, at all. It’s “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

On October 24th, USA Today headlined “Pentagon planning to send tanks, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields”, and reported that “The Pentagon is preparing to send tanks and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields, according to a US official – a stunning reversal of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the war-torn country after he declared victory over ISIS.” Those oil fields don’t belong to the US, but to Syria’s Government, and their operation is vital to funding Syria’s reconstruction, which the US regime is determined to prevent; but USA Today’s ‘news’-report says nothing about any of that. The US Government is trying to steal Syria’s oil fields — but this USA Today article says nothing about that, either. American troops are invaders of Syria, unlike Russian troops, who are defenders of Syria, and who had been invited into Syria by Syria’s Government (the only government Syria has) in order to help defend Syria’s sovereignty, over Syria’s own land, including its oil wells, against the US-and-allied invasion. All of that vital context is missing from this deceptive report.

That report said “Now, Russian troops, which are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and Turkish forces, are operating in the region previously patrolled by US and Kurdish forces.” It’s saying that, whereas the region had been “patrolled” — instead of invaded and now occupied — by US and Kurdish forces, “Russian troops … and Turkish forces … are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” though his ‘regime’ is actually the only legitimate Government of Syria. But the US regime claims the right to force Assad to be overthrown.

This report stated that “The deployment of armor is aimed at Russia and Syria, not ISIS, said Nicholas Heras, an expert on Syria with the Center for a New American Security. … ‘Pure and simple,’ he said, ‘the Pentagon is making contingencies for a big fight with Russia for Syria’s oil.’” But Russia isn’t trying to seize Syria’s oil — the US regime is doing that, actually. Russian forces are in Syria only in order to assist Syria to defend its oil, and its land. If the US regime will go into World War III so as to steal Syria’s oil, then the likelihood of Russia’s letting this theft happen is slight: that would be Russia’s capitulation without a fight, and Russia has never given any indication it would do such a thing. (And Russian media DO refer to this as being “theft”; they’re not trying to hide the fact. Russia already is fighting the US regime in Syria. And on October 26th, Russia’s Sputnik News headlined “The Russian military described the US scheme as nothing less than ‘international state banditism’,” and reported that, “According to Russian intelligence, the illegal US-supervised extraction of Syrian oil was being carried out by ‘leading American corporations’ and private military contractors, with US special forces and air power used for protection. Konashenkov said the estimated monthly revenue of this ‘private enterprise’ was over $30 million.”) This is the territory of Syria, which is a Russian ally. The thief here is clearly the US regime, not Syria, and not Russia. It is no one else than the US regime that is aiming to steal Syria’s oil by sending in tanks. Nowhere does the USA Today article even so much as hint that this is the case.

An October 21st Wall Street Journal article reported the US Government’s theft of Syria’s oil, but it was instead headlined with the misleading, more innocuous, and less attention-grabbing “Trump Calls for Defense, Use of Syrian Oil Fields” — nothing about any “theft” — and it opened with the seemingly US-or-Syria defense-related statement (as if US troops were in Syria as defenders, instead of as attackers and thieves) that “President Trump said he is planning to keep a small number of troops in northeast Syria to protect the oil fields there and suggested that an American company might help the Syrian Kurds develop the oil for export.”

However, since when does a thief break into your residence in order to “protect” anything? And since when does such a thief have a right to sell your property, or to determine what people (such as “the Syrian Kurds”) will sell it?

Was that article news, or was it instead propaganda? It certainly misrepresents. What it reports, is reported as if this thieving operation were only being contemplated, and would be new, but the thieving is actually nothing new — it’s an already-existing, and longstanding, coordinated and international operation, by the US regime and its allies, as will here be documented.

America’s mainstream media now (such as in USA Today, WSJ, and NYT) are normalizing this theft. This normalization is being done by their propaganda, which now is for a Republican Government, but formerly was for a Democratic Government. Previously, Democrats had done the same hiding of the regime’s evil, when their Democratic President Barack Obama was the person who was perpetrating it.

This theft — and the normalization of it — are actually bipartisan, and longstanding. When the ‘news’ presents false historical context, it lies; it is propaganda, and that’s what the American nation’s mainstream ‘news’-media now are. They are deceptive garbage, regime-propaganda.

On October 20th, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham, and Republican Maria Bartiromo of Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures,” discussed the Republican Trump’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, and they both agreed that it might turn out to be an excellent policy. This show was headlined “Sen. Lindsey Graham: I am increasingly optimistic we can have historic solutions in Syria.” It was a remarkably bold defense of the US Government’s — and of its allies’ — thefts from Syria. Already, the US Government had said that it won’t pay even a cent in order to provide restitution for the estimated $388 billion in damages to Syria from the invasion of Syria by the US and by its allies such as Al Qaeda and the Sauds, but this show presented an endorsement by those two Republicans, backing the Republican US President’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, which goes beyond merely supporting zero restitution to the invaded country. No mention was being made, by them, on this ‘news’-medium, that (as will be documented here) those thefts by the US Government, and by its allies, have, in fact, been going on ever since the invasions of Syria by them and their proxies (or “agents” — such as Al Qaeda) had started in 2012. No mention was made by them that this was the policy of Democratic President Barack Obama and that it’s merely being continued further by Trump. To the exact contrary: Trump was being praised by these propagandists for starting this program, and, so, their praise was not just evil; it was actually entirely false.

Right before the interview, Bartiromo had been pretending to be a critical non-partisan journalist instead of the propagandist that she is, and so she stated that “my biggest issue here is the strength of Iran [as if Iran had ever invaded or even threatened to invade the United States, and as if Trump’s anti-Iran policies aren’t sufficiently stringent, or maybe even are vastly too stringent, or maybe even are altogether unjustified]. And I feel like the administration had the Iranians on their heels and ruining the economy through sanctions, through this pressure campaign. And now we give up and leave Syria.” The Senator disagreed with her make-pretend criticism of the Republican President, and he said that, instead,

The big thing for me is the oil fields. President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil. Not only are we going to deny the oil fields falling into Iranian hands. I believe we’re on the verge of a joint venture between us and the Syrian Democratic Forces, who helped destroy ISIS and keep them destroyed, to modernize the oil fields and make sure they get the revenue, not the Iranians, not Assad. … That’s why what President Trump is proposing in Syria, a joint venture dealing with the southern oil fields in Syria, between our allies, the Kurds and the Arabs who helped us destroy ISIS, is a historic change that could pay dividends for the region. And, quite frankly, we could generate revenue to pay for our commitment in Syria. … I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years, if we play our cards right.

Bartiromo replied “Wow. … You actually do see a way forward after you have spoken with the president on his plan to secure those oil fields.”

This theft is pushed by all of the US mainstream media, and Trump knows that he will need at least some degree of support from them if he is to be able to win re-election. This is the reason why he keeps contradicting himself — trying to appeal to the “No More War” crowd, while still drawing donations from the “military-industrial complex” or owners of America’s ‘defense’ contractors. (There’s a lot of crossover between the controlling owners of those firms and the controlling owners of the ‘news’-media — and of the ‘non-profit’ foundations.) America’s major ‘news’ media have always buried the truth about this long-ongoing theft.

And not only was the theft of Syria’s oil the policy of Democratic US President Barack Obama, but it was participated in by his coalition, which included both EU heads-of-state and Arab heads-of-state, and this policy began in 2011. Here’s how it, in fact, developed:

On 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight”and accompanied it by video of the alleged event. (At that time, Qatar and Turkey were allies of the US arming the ‘rebels’ in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government; so, they were part of America’s broader operation, and were also profiting from it.) But that video is no longer active. A subsequent description of that video was posted under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – No Translation”. Another posting of the video online has lasted from 6 October 2013 to the present time, under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – BiffiSyrien”, where it still can be viewed.

By no later than 12 December 2012, US President Barack Obama made the decision to hire Al Qaeda in Syria (called “Al Nusra”) to train and lead almost all of America’s proxy-forces on the ground in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government. (Kurds were assigned to be America’s lead proxy-forces in far northeastern Syria.) (Obama was so determined to protect Al Qaeda in Syria as to sabotage on 17 September 2016 his own Secretary of State, John Kerry’s, just-signed Syrian ceasefire agreement with Russia, because that agreement allowed not only ISIS, but also Al Qaeda forces, to continue to be bombed in Syria by Russia. Obama was protecting Al Qaeda in Syria.)

On 22 April 2013, the AP headlined “EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels” and reported that

The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime. The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory. … The oil exports could open an important revenue stream for Syria’s opposition. …

While Syria was never one of the world’s major oil exporters, the sector was a pillar of Syria’s economy until the uprising, with the country producing about 380,000 barrels a day and exports — almost exclusively to Europe — bringing in more than $3 billion in 2010. Oil revenues provided around a quarter of the funds for the national budget. Being able to take advantage of the country’s oil resources will help the Syrian uprising “big time,” said Osama Kadi, a senior member of the Syrian opposition.

On 27 April 2013, the New York Times headlined “Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy” and reported that

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. … The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria. … Of most concern to the United States is the Nusra Front, whose leader recently confirmed that the group cooperated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and pledged fealty to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s longtime deputy. Nusra has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings and is the group of choice for the foreign jihadis pouring into Syria.

Another prominent group, Ahrar al-Sham, shares much of Nusra’s extremist ideology but is made up mostly of Syrians…

In the oil-rich provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasaka, Nusra fighters have seized government oil fields, putting some under the control of tribal militias and running others themselves.

“They are the strongest military force in the area,” said the commander of a rebel brigade in Hasaka reached via Skype. “We can’t deny it.”…

“We all want an Islamic state and we want Shariah to be applied,” said Maawiya Hassan Agha, a rebel activist reached by Skype in the northern village of Sarmeen. He said a country’s laws should flow from its people’s beliefs and compared Syrians calling for Islamic law with the French banning Muslim women from wearing face veils.

On 1 May 2013, TIME bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and reported that

Without an embargo, European companies can now legally begin importing barrels of oil directly from rebel groups, which have seized several oil fields in recent months, mostly around the eastern area of Deir Ezzor. That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011, and in theory hasten the downfall of Bashar Assad’s regime, by giving rebels the means to run skeletal local governments and consolidate their control.

On 15 June 2013, Global Research headlined “Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before ‘The Arab Spring’” and Gearóid Ó Colmáin reported that

In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said:

“I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria [in other words, in 2009] on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria.

This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.

Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.

Dumas attributed it to Israel, not to the US, nor to the Sauds (who actually had always been the CIA’s choice to appoint the leaders of Syria), and he didn’t even so much as mention either of those, except to say that “this will enable it [Israel] to replace the United States as a global hegemon” (which is a crackpot idea). Though his interpretation was ridiculous, his allegation that in 2009 “top British officials … confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria” is a factual matter, which is either true or false. (Back in 2009, there is actual evidence that American’s President Barack Obama was aiming to overthrow Assad. Furthermore, Obama’s team started by no later than 23 June 2011 to plan both the coup in Ukraine which succeeded and the coup in Syria, which failed. And as the great investigative journalist Gareth Porter reported on 5 January 2017, “In August 2011, national security officials began urging Obama to call on Assad to step down,” but at that time “He wasn’t willing to go along with anything except small arms,” until CIA Director David Petraeus — who soon thereafter became a member of the Bilderberg group — persuaded him to go all-out in arming the ‘rebels’. Furthermore, “when Obama was making crucial Syria policy decisions in September 2011,” his advisors assumed that both Russia and Iran would stay out of the matter and just just let the US and the Sauds take-over Syria. Obama respected his advisors. And, then, Porter headlined on 22 June 2017, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria”. So: this theft-operation was extensively armed by the US regime, and funded by the Sauds.)

In any case, the EU was certainly helping ISIS and other such groups to steal Syria’s oil, so as to help fund their overthrow-Assad operation. So, the participation also of UK was likely, even if not, at that time, proven.

On 14 October 2015, the Financial Times headlined ”Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists” and reported that “Selling crude is Isis’ biggest single source of revenue. … While al-Qaeda, the global terrorist network, depended on donations from wealthy foreign sponsors, Isis has derived its financial strength from its status as monopoly producer of an essential commodity consumed in vast quantities throughout the area it controls.” (In other words, when TIME, on 1 May 2013, bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and said “That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011,” the “opposition” being referred to there was actually ISIS, not Al Qaeda. The EU was buying its black-market oil from ISIS.)

On 1 December 2015, another great investigative journalist, Nafeez Ahmed, bannered “Western firms primed to cash in on Syria’s oil and gas ‘frontier’” and he reported:

US, British, French, Israeli and other energy interests could be prime beneficiaries of military operations in Iraq and Syria designed to rollback the power of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) and, potentially, the Bashar al-Assad regime.

A study for a global oil services company backed by the French government and linked to Britain’s Tory-led administration, published during the height of the Arab Spring, hailed the significant “hydrocarbon potential” of Syria’s offshore resources.

The 2011 study was printed in GeoArabia, a petroleum industry journal published by a Bahrain-based consultancy, GulfPetroLink, which is sponsored by some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total, and BP. GeoArabia’s content has no open subscription system and is exclusively distributed to transnational energy corporations, corporate sponsors and related organisations, as well as some universities.

On 28 August 2018, Abdel Bari Atwan, one of the Middle East’s most respected journalists, headlined “Carrots and Sticks” and reported that

Damascus has been inundated with secret offers in recent weeks as part of a carrot-and-stick policy, two of which are particularly significant.

The first, reported on Tuesday by the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily al-Akhbar and the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency, was conveyed by a senior US military officer accompanied by representatives of various intelligence agencies. They flew to Damascus on a private UAE jet, and were met by the head of the National Security Bureau Gen. Ali Mamlouk, intelligence chief Gen. Deeb Zaitoun, and deputy army chief-of-staff Gen. Muwaffaq Masoud. Their meeting lasted four hours. The Americans reportedly offered to withdraw all US forces from Syria in exchange for Damascus complying with three demands: to pull Iranian forces out of areas of southern Syria adjoining Israel; to guarantee US oil companies a share of Syria’s oil east of the Euphrates; and to hand over all information about terrorist groups and their members in Syria.

The second offer was revealed by Lebanese Hezbollah MP Nawwaf al-Mousawi in a discussion programme on the Lebanese TV channel al-Mayadeen, at which I was also a panellist. He said that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman sent an envoy to Asad offering to support him remaining president for life and provide generous Saudi support for Syria’s reconstruction in exchange for him severing ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

Both offers were categorically turned down by the Syrian leadership.

The American delegation was told that its troops in Syria were occupying forces which would be treated as such, that Syria could not abandon its strategic allies, and that issues such as US participation in the oil industry and exchanging intelligence could be discussed once political relations were re-established.

On 2 September 2018, the German intelligence analyst who blogs anonymously as “Moon of Alabama” headlined “Syria Sitrep – US To Stay To ‘Create Quagmires’” and he reported:

The claim that the US is there to fight ISIS is a lie. ISIS is still active in two places in Syria. Both are under US control. …

The US is not fighting ISIS in Syria. It is building semi-permanent bases, trains a large proxy force, and controls Syria’s oilfields. Its aim is still regime change, the same aim it had when it launched the war on Syria seven and a half years ago. To achieve that it will continue to sow as much chaos as possible.

As CIA and Pentagon mouthpiece David Ignatius wrote this week:

“[T]he administration has stopped the dithering and indecision of the past 18 months and signaled that the United States has enduring interests in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria anytime soon.

‘Right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want,’ says one administration official, explaining the effort to resist an Idlib onslaught. This approach involves reassuring the three key US allies on Syria’s border — Israel, Turkey and Jordan — of continued American involvement.”

But what seems ultimately to endure is: Steal the oil.

On 26 February 2019 the Syrian National News Agency reported that Syria’s Government accused the US Government of having stolen from ISIS so much gold that ISIS had received as payment for oil that ISIS had stolen from Syria, so that the US Federal Reserve was enriched by at least 40 tons of gold. The accusation is that this black-marketed oil produced that gold for the US Government, and purchased “safe passage for the terrorists.”

So: Trump, and Fox News, and US Senators, etc., are planning to continue the operation that Democratic US President Barack Obama, and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the US CIA, and Britain’s MI6, and the rest of the US regime and its allies, were trying to do even before the “Arab Spring” began. As I have previously reported, Obama, even when he came into office in 2009, was aiming to take control of Syria, for it to become ruled by agents of the Saud family, and he started planning the ‘revolution’ in Syria by no later than 23 June 2011.

So: the faker Donald Trump is really just old hat, nothing at all new. He’s just trying to do what Obama was trying to do, but using different tactics to do it.

And, so, what is the ‘justification’ for this theft? It is America’s alliances:

BARTIROMO: Why are we sending troops to Saudi Arabia then?

GRAHAM: Well, because Saudi Arabia is an ally and Iran is an enemy.

And Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. …

The official position of the US Government is that Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism and that the Sauds (whom in diplomatic cables and other internal communications the US regime acknowledge to be the biggest financial backer of Al Qaeda) isn’t even a state sponsor of terrorism, at all, but is instead a US ‘ally’.

So: that’s how they ‘justify’ it. They ‘justify’ it by the rest of the gang — the very same gang that the US regime itself leads. Their ‘justification’, of themselves, is empty. It is only propaganda, for fools to believe. Nothing more, than that. On Friday, October 26th, the Washington Post headlined “Trump decided to leave troops in Syria after conversations about oil, officials say”, and — like all of the regime’s stenographic reporting of the regime’s ‘news’ — reported the regime’s more official ‘explanation’, which was: “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper confirmed on Friday that troops would remain in eastern Syria to prevent the oil fields from being retaken by the Islamic State.” This is just more of the same: it’s just citing ‘ISIS’ as being the ‘enemy’, instead of citing “Syria” as being that. They are asserting that they can steal Syria’s oil so as to prevent ISIS from stealing it. First, ISIS and other US allies stole it; and, then, the US seized ISIS’s gold from those sales; and, now, the US will be stealing Syria’s oil directly.

Similarly, in 2002 and 2003, the US regime, and its stenographic press, kept shifting their ‘explanation’ as to why Iraq had to be immediately invaded. Americans believed it then, and they believe it now. The American public never learn. This is now 17 years later. There has been no change, except in whom the occupant of the White House is. But fortunately, this time, there is Russia that perhaps can say no to this plan. Only time will tell if it will. And, if it does, then will Trump pull his nuclear trigger — an invasion of Russia, WW III, an aggression against the other superpower? I doubt it, but it could happen. To overestimate the greed and the stupidity of the international Deep State is hard to do. These billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by being intelligent or being good — cunning and ruthless, yes, but that’s very different. After all, the announced highest aspiration of Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, is to send a trillion people out into space, “getting humanity established in the solar system”. Even conquering the world wouldn’t be enough to satisfy some of these individuals.

On 20 August 2018, Russia’s RT News headlined “‘Secret directive’ bans UN agencies from helping rebuild Syria until ‘political transition’ – Lavrov” and reported that Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the Executive branch of the UN, the UN Secretariat, had issued in October 2017 a “secret directive” (violating two resolutions of the UN General Assembly — the UN’s Legislature), and that this secret directive ordered UN agencies to do nothing to help rebuild Syria unless the US first had approved of a new person to replace Syria’s existing President, and unless that person had already become installed to lead Syria.

According to the anti-Russian Haaretz newspaper in anti-Russian Israel, on 31 August 2018,

One country that is likely going to stay out of the infighting over the reconstruction process is the United States. The Trump administration has no clear policy on the “day after” in Syria, except for one principle: No American money will be spent on it.

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, made that point clear at a speech she gave on Tuesday in Washington, explaining that Russia and the Assad regime “own” Syria now. “You broke it, you own it,” Haley said at a summit organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies [an organization that zionist Jews had set up in the US]. …

Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, expressed a similar view, writing in the British newspaper The Independent: “Long before any talk of providing reconstruction assistance for Syria, which in any event would require lifting separate targeted sanctions, European governments should call out Russia’s complicity in Syria’s war crimes and vigorously press the Kremlin to end these atrocities and stop underwriting Syria’s repression.”

It was the deployment of the Russian air force three years ago that tilted the scales of the war in favor of Assad, who at that time controlled only a quarter of the country’s territory. Even today, Russia maintains its military presence in Syria to ensure the regime’s upper hand.

This is similar to the policy of imperial Rome toward Carthage — a resisting city-state — in 146 BC, when the Emperor ordered the resisting city-state destroyed at the end of the final, the Third, Punic War, except that, in the present instance, the imperial ruler is (on and off, depending on his whim of the day) quitting his efforts to conquer that land, and is instead (but this being consistent) commanding his agencies never to assist to restore Syria, unless and until it finally will surrender to the empire. In that sense, Syria may be considered to be today’s Carthage. (Another difference is that Syria, unlike Carthage at that time, is no expansionist — or “imperialist” — power.) So: Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Maria Bartiromo, Barack Obama, the US Congress, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the other agents and agencies of the US empire, are in an imperial tradition that goes back thousands of years, if not longer.

However, though Syria is an ally of Iran, and of Russia; and so the US regime want regime-change there, Donald Trump might have reached the limit of his regime-change aspirations when on 10 September 2019 he finally fired John Bolton, who (along with his predecessors) had failed against Iran, failed against Venezuela, failed against Russia, and failed against China. Trump’s most intensive regime-change effort has been against Iran (though Fox’s Maria Bartiromo thinks it’s not enough). On 5 July 2018, the excellent investigative journalist Sibel Edmonds headlined at her Newsbud site her 33-minute video “Breaking: Insiders Reveal Secret Deal to Topple Iran Government!” revealing (starting at 19:00) that ever since Trump entered office in 2017, his Administration was planning to execute an operation not only to terminate the Iran deal and re-institute sanctions but to enforce sactions so stringently against any country that would continue trading with Iran, so as to strangle Iran’s economy and thus impose such misery upon the Iranian population so that they would welcome a military coup in order to end their (US-imposed) misery. This operation had a Plan A and a Plan B. In Plan A, Iran’s generals who would participate in the coup would institute an ‘anti-American’ ‘independent’ government which would buy US-made weapons from EU countries and thus not be viewed by Iranians as a US-stooge regime (though becoming a US stooge regime); the sanctions would be lifted, and Iran’s economy would be restored. In Plan B, 3-3.5M Iranians would be killed by the bombing, and all of Iran’s generals would be among them. Plan A would be Iran’s generals ‘standing up for the Iranian people’, a ‘nationalistic’ (instead of capitulationist) coup, to remove the ‘dictatorship’. Plan B would be a much bigger slaughter of Iranians. Edmonds said (27:30) the coup “would take place, I would say, in less than six months.” (29:00) “There is a large, powerful military faction that have said Yes [to Plan A]. … How sure of this am I? 100%.” But she was wrong in this prediction; she hadn’t considered the bigger picture. What’s that? Trump was getting too close to his own re-election campaign. And not enough Iranian generals could be corrupted to become traitors; the coup didn’t occur. Bolton, etc., had been too rosy in their predictions that the threats would be enough and that the patriotism of enough of Iran’s generals could just be bought off. (Perhaps the corrupt Americans had expected Iranians to be as corrupt as they themselves were.) Plan B was thus supposed to become imposed — an outright US invasion of Iran. But what would this invasion have done to Trump’s re-election chances? The Deep State had actually suckered him. That’s why Bolton (part of the Deep State) was fired. And, so, now, Congress and the US media are finally out for Trump’s scalp, because he wouldn’t follow through with the Deep State’s plan. Maybe he’ll do it if he becomes re-elected, but they can’t trust him; they want President Mike Pence. That’s become their new Plan B: impeachment in the House, and forced removal in the Senate. His intensified effort, now, to steal Syria’s oil, isn’t enough to stop that.

The reason why Julian Assange, ever since 12 June 2012, has been under various forms of imprisonment — and now torture — without there having been any conviction for anything, and not even any trial being held in his case, is that the US and its allied regimes need to keep their secrets, and therefore need to eliminate him. To publishers, and to journalists, throughout the US-and-allied world, his case is the ultimate warning of what each one of them could face. This is how the real law actually operates, throughout the empire. Assange is simply the personification of it, for everyone. However, as might logically follow from this situation, the only country in the world where Assange — who is globally viewed more favorably than unfavorably — is widely despised, is the United States, where the handwriting against him is “on the wall,” almost everywhere. America’s ‘news’-media have been uniquely devoted to doing their job. But, of course, authentic news-media perform a different job. And Assange’s case is the most effective possible warning to whatever authentic news-media might still exist within the US empire. To call this empire a ‘democracy’ anywhere, insults that noble term.

The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won

The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won

October 18, 2019

by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission and crossposted with Consortium News

What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way:

“It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”

Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.

Yet that hardly begins to tell the whole story.

Allow me to briefly sketch in broad historical strokes how we got here.

It began with an intuition I felt last month at the tri-border point of Lebanon, Syria and Occupied Palestine; followed by a subsequent series of conversations in Beirut with first-class Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Russian, French and Italian analysts; all resting on my travels in Syria since the 1990s; with a mix of selected bibliography in French available at Antoine’s in Beirut thrown in.

The Vilayets

Let’s start in the 19thcentury when Syria consisted of six vilayets — Ottoman provinces — without counting Mount Lebanon, which had a special status since 1861 to the benefit of Maronite Christians and Jerusalem, which was a sanjak (administrative division) of Istanbul.

The vilayets did not define the extremely complex Syrian identity: for instance, Armenians were the majority in the vilayet of Maras, Kurds in Diyarbakir – both now part of Turkey in southern Anatolia – and the vilayets of Aleppo and Damascus were both Sunni Arab.

Nineteenth century Ottoman Syria was the epitome of cosmopolitanism. There were no interior borders or walls. Everything was inter-dependent.

Ethnic groups in the Balkans and Asia Minor, early 20th Century, Historical Atlas, 1911.

Then the Europeans, profiting from World War I, intervened. France got the Syrian-Lebanese littoral, and later the vilayets of Maras and Mosul (today in Iraq). Palestine was separated from Cham (the “Levant”), to be internationalized. The vilayet of Damascus was cut in half: France got the north, the Brits got the south. Separation between Syria and the mostly Christian Lebanese lands came later.

There was always the complex question of the Syria-Iraq border. Since antiquity, the Euphrates acted as a barrier, for instance between the Cham of the Umayyads and their fierce competitors on the other side of the river, the Mesopotamian Abbasids.

James Barr, in his splendid “A Line in the Sand,” notes, correctly, that the Sykes-Picot agreement imposed on the Middle East the European conception of territory: their “line in the sand” codified a delimited separation between nation-states. The problem is, there were no nation-states in region in the early 20thcentury.

The birth of Syria as we know it was a work in progress, involving the Europeans, the Hashemite dynasty, nationalist Syrians invested in building a Greater Syria including Lebanon, and the Maronites of Mount Lebanon. An important factor is that few in the region lamented losing dependence on Hashemite Medina, and except the Turks, the loss of the vilayet of Mosul in what became Iraq after World War I.

In 1925, Sunnis became the de facto prominent power in Syria, as the French unified Aleppo and Damascus. During the 1920s France also established the borders of eastern Syria. And the Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923, forced the Turks to give up all Ottoman holdings but didn’t keep them out of the game.

Turkish borders according to the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923.

The Turks soon started to encroach on the French mandate, and began blocking the dream of Kurdish autonomy. France in the end gave in: the Turkish-Syrian border would parallel the route of the fabled Bagdadbahn — the Berlin-Baghdad railway.

In the 1930s France gave in even more: the sanjak of Alexandretta (today’s Iskenderun, in Hatay province, Turkey), was finally annexed by Turkey in 1939 when only 40 percent of the population was Turkish.

The annexation led to the exile of tens of thousands of Armenians. It was a tremendous blow for Syrian nationalists. And it was a disaster for Aleppo, which lost its corridor to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish forces under entered Alexandretta on July 5, 1938.

To the eastern steppes, Syria was all about Bedouin tribes. To the north, it was all about the Turkish-Kurdish clash. And to the south, the border was a mirage in the desert, only drawn with the advent of Transjordan. Only the western front, with Lebanon, was established, and consolidated after WWII.

This emergent Syria — out of conflicting Turkish, French, British and myriad local interests —obviously could not, and did not, please any community. Still, the heart of the nation configured what was described as “useful Syria.” No less than 60 percent of the nation was — and remains — practically void. Yet, geopolitically, that translates into “strategic depth” — the heart of the matter in the current war.

From Hafez to Bashar

Starting in 1963, the Baath party, secular and nationalist, took over Syria, finally consolidating its power in 1970 with Hafez al-Assad, who instead of just relying on his Alawite minority, built a humongous, hyper-centralized state machinery mixed with a police state. The key actors who refused to play the game were the Muslim Brotherhood, all the way to being massacred during the hardcore 1982 Hama repression.

Secularism and a police state: that’s how the fragile Syrian mosaic was preserved. But already in the 1970s major fractures were emerging: between major cities and a very poor periphery; between the “useful” west and the Bedouin east; between Arabs and Kurds. But the urban elites never repudiated the iron will of Damascus: cronyism, after all, was quite profitable.

Damascus interfered heavily with the Lebanese civil war since 1976 at the invitation of the Arab League as a “peacekeeping force.” In Hafez al-Assad’s logic, stressing the Arab identity of Lebanon was essential to recover Greater Syria. But Syrian control over Lebanon started to unravel in 2005, after the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, very close to Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) eventually left.

Bashar al-Assad had taken power in 2000. Unlike his father, he bet on the Alawites to run the state machinery, preventing the possibility of a coup but completely alienating himself from the poor, Syrian on the street.

What the West defined as the Arab Spring, began in Syria in March 2011; it was a revolt against the Alawites as much  as a revolt against Damascus. Totally instrumentalized by the foreign interests, the revolt sprang up in extremely poor, dejected Sunni peripheries: Deraa in the south, the deserted east, and the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.

Protest in Damascus, April 24, 2011. (syriana2011/Flickr)

What was not understood in the West is that this “beggars banquet” was not against the Syrian nation, but against a “regime.” Jabhat al-Nusra, in a P.R. exercise, even broke its official link with al-Qaeda and changed its denomination to Fatah al-Cham and then Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (“Organization for the Liberation of the Levant”). Only ISIS/Daesh said they were fighting for the end of Sykes-Picot.

By 2014, the perpetually moving battlefield was more or less established: Damascus against both Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/Daesh, with a wobbly role for the Kurds in the northeast, obsessed in preserving the cantons of Afrin, Kobane and Qamichli.

But the key point is that each katiba (“combat group”), each neighborhood, each village, and in fact each combatant was in-and-out of allegiances non-stop. That yielded a dizzying nebulae of jihadis, criminals, mercenaries, some linked to al-Qaeda, some to Daesh, some trained by the Americans, some just making a quick buck.

For instance Salafis — lavishly financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — especially Jaish al-Islam, even struck alliances with the PYD Kurds in Syria and the jihadis of Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (the remixed, 30,000-strong  al-Qaeda in Syria). Meanwhile, the PYD Kurds (an emanation of the Turkish Kurds’ PKK, which Ankara consider “terrorists”) profited from this unholy mess — plus a deliberate ambiguity by Damascus – to try to create their autonomous Rojava.

A demonstration in the city of Afrin in support of the YPG against the Turkish invasion of Afrin, Jan. 19, 2018. (Voice of America Kurdish, Wikimedia Commons)

That Turkish Strategic Depth

Turkey was all in. Turbo-charged by the neo-Ottoman politics of former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the logic was to reconquer parts of the Ottoman empire, and get rid of Assad because he had helped PKK Kurdish rebels in Turkey.

Davutoglu’s Strategik Derinlik (“Strategic Depth’), published in 2001, had been a smash hit in Turkey, reclaiming the glory of eight centuries of an sprawling empire, compared to puny 911 kilometers of borders fixed by the French and the Kemalists. Bilad al Cham, the Ottoman province congregating Lebanon, historical Palestine, Jordan and Syria, remained a powerful magnet in both the Syrian and Turkish unconscious.

No wonder Turkey’s Recep Erdogan was fired up: in 2012 he even boasted he was getting ready to pray in the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, post-regime change, of course. He has been gunning for a safe zone inside the Syrian border — actually a Turkish enclave — since 2014. To get it, he has used a whole bag of nasty players — from militias close to the Muslim Brotherhood to hardcore Turkmen gangs.

With the establishment of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), for the first time Turkey allowed foreign weaponized groups to operate on its own territory. A training camp was set up in 2011 in the sanjakof Alexandretta. The Syrian National Council was also created in Istanbul – a bunch of non-entities from the diaspora who had not been in Syria for decades.

Ankara enabled a de facto Jihad Highway — with people from Central Asia, Caucasus, Maghreb, Pakistan, Xinjiang, all points north in Europe being smuggled back and forth at will. In 2015, Ankara, Riyadh and Doha set up the dreaded Jaish al-Fath (“Army of Conquest”), which included Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda).

At the same time, Ankara maintained an extremely ambiguous relationship with ISIS/Daesh, buying its smuggled oil, treating jihadis in Turkish hospitals, and paying zero attention to jihad intel collected and developed on Turkish territory. For at least five years, the MIT — Turkish intelligence – provided political and logistic background to the Syrian opposition while weaponizing a galaxy of Salafis. After all, Ankara believed that ISIS/Daesh only existed because of the “evil” deployed by the Assad regime.

The Russian Factor

Russian President Vladiimir Putin meeting with President of Turkey Recep Erdogan; Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov standing in background, Ankara, Dec. 1, 2014 Ankara. (Kremlin)

The first major game-changer was the spectacular Russian entrance in the summer of 2015. Vladimir Putin had asked the U.S. to join in the fight against the Islamic State as the Soviet Union allied against Hitler, negating the American idea that this was Russia’s bid to restore its imperial glory. But the American plan instead, under Barack Obama, was single-minded: betting on a rag-tag Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Kurds and Sunni Arabs, supported by air power and U.S. Special Forces, north of the Euphrates, to smash ISIS/Daesh all the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

Raqqa, bombed to rubble by the Pentagon, may have been taken by the SDF, but Deir ez-Zor was taken by Damascus’s Syrian Arab Army. The ultimate American aim was to consistently keep the north of the Euphrates under U.S. power, via their proxies, the SDF and the Kurdish PYD/YPG. That American dream is now over, lamented by imperial Democrats and Republicans alike.

The CIA will be after Trump’s scalp till Kingdom Come.

Kurdish Dream Over

Talk about a cultural misunderstanding. As much as the Syrian Kurds believed U.S. protection amounted to an endorsement of their independence dreams, Americans never seemed to understand that throughout the “Greater Middle East” you cannot buy a tribe. At best, you can rent them. And they use you according to their interests. I’ve seen it from Afghanistan to Iraq’s Anbar province.

The Kurdish dream of a contiguous, autonomous territory from Qamichli to Manbij is over. Sunni Arabs living in this perimeter will resist any Kurdish attempt at dominance.

The Syrian PYD was founded in 2005 by PKK militants. In 2011, Syrians from the PKK came from Qandil – the PKK base in northern Iraq – to build the YPG militia for the PYD. In predominantly Arab zones, Syrian Kurds are in charge of governing because for them Arabs are seen as a bunch of barbarians, incapable of building their “democratic, socialist, ecological and multi-communitarian” society.

Kurdish PKK guerillas In Kirkuk, Iraq. (Kurdishstruggle via Flickr)

One can imagine how conservative Sunni Arab tribal leaders hate their guts. There’s no way these tribal leaders will ever support the Kurds against the SAA or the Turkish army; after all these Arab tribal leaders spent a lot of time in Damascus seeking support from Bashar al-Assad.  And now the Kurds themselves have accepted that support in the face of the Trukish incursion, greenlighted by Trump.

East of Deir ez-Zor, the PYD/YPG already had to say goodbye to the region that is responsible for 50 percent of Syria’s oil production. Damascus and the SAA now have the upper hand. What’s left for the PYD/YPG is to resign themselves to Damascus’s and Russian protection against Turkey, and the chance of exercising sovereignty in exclusively Kurdish territories.

Ignorance of the West

The West, with typical Orientalist haughtiness, never understood that Alawites, Christians, Ismailis and Druze in Syria would always privilege Damascus for protection compared to an “opposition” monopolized by hardcore Islamists, if not jihadis.  The West also did not understand that the government in Damascus, for survival, could always count on formidable Baath party networks plus the dreaded mukhabarat — the intel services.

Rebuilding Syria

The reconstruction of Syria may cost as much as $200 billion. Damascus has already made it very clear that the U.S. and the EU are not welcome. China will be in the forefront, along with Russia and Iran; this will be a project strictly following the Eurasia integration playbook — with the Chinese aiming to revive Syria’s strategic positioning in the Ancient Silk Road.

As for Erdogan, distrusted by virtually everyone, and a tad less neo-Ottoman than in the recent past, he now seems to have finally understood that Bashar al-Assad “won’t go,” and he must live with it. Ankara is bound to remain imvolved with Tehran and Moscow, in finding a comprehensive, constitutional solution for the Syrian tragedy through the former “Astana process”, later developed in Ankara.

The war may not have been totally won, of course. But against all odds, it’s clear a unified, sovereign Syrian nation is bound to prevail over every perverted strand of geopolitical molotov cocktails concocted in sinister NATO/GCC labs. History will eventually tell us that, as an example to the whole Global South, this will remain the ultimate game-changer.

 

Syrian War Report – October 11, 2019: Turkish Forces Storming Tell Abyad, Ras Al-Ayn

South

Since October 9, the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish-backed militants have been developing a ground phase of their operation against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria.

The main Turkish efforts were focused on the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tell Abyad. Turkey-led forces captured several villages surrounding the towns and event entered Tell Abyad. Nonetheless, the situation in the area remains unstable. It is expected that the Syrian Democratic Forces, a brand used by mainstream media to describe the YPG and the YPJ, will be able to defend fortified urban areas until they are not encircled.

According to pro-Turkish sources, over 100 YPG/YPJ members were neutralized since the start of the operation. This number remains unconfirmed. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that the YPG was able to eliminate several pieces of Turkish military equipment and kill two dozens of Turkish proxies. These claims were also barely confirmed by any evidence. However, at least 17 civilians were injured in a mortar shelling that targeted the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported on October 10 that about 100 US troops had left northeastern Syria through the Semalka border crossing with Iraq. Taking into account that US President Donald Trump called Turkey’s operation a “bad idea”, but distanced himself from Kurdish forces because they did not help the US in World War II, it becomes more and more clear that the Turkish military action in the region is in fact coordinated with the US.

By this move, the Trump administration makes an important step to return confidence of its key ally in the eastern Mediterranean and, at the same time, delivers a blow to efforts of the Obama administration and the CIA that had contributed notable efforts in supporting the Kurdish project in northern Syria.

The possible rapprochement of the US and Turkey over the conflict in Syria will allow Washington to strengthen its campaign to limit influence of Iran and the Assad government in the war-torn country, as well as open additional opportunities for a revanche of the US military industrial complex on the Turkish market. This is a logical step in the framework of the national-oriented policy provided by the Trump administration.

The key question is how deep into Syria the Turkish military is planning to expand its Operation Peace Spring. Currently, pro-Turkish sources speculate about the possible creation of a 30km-deep corridor. If the US allows Turkey and Turkey appears to be capable of reaching this goal, Anakra will boost its role in the conflict even further and gain a wide range of options to influence its possible settlement. In this event, the Assad government will lost all the remaining chances to restore the territorial integrity and the Trump administration will get additional leverages of pressure on Iran, the Assad government and Russia in Syria.

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