Washington Seeks to Divide Syria through the Use of Terrorists

November 24, 2020

By Vladimir Platov
Source: New Eastern Outlook

Recent events clearly show the real goals of Washington’s policy in Syria, aimed not at finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict and returning Syrian refugees to their homeland, but at continuing to plunder. The United States refused to participate in the International Conference in Damascus held by Moscow on November 11-12 to facilitate Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons and attempted to interfere with the event.

Simultaneously, the American military, in every possible way, protects and encourages the Kurdish militants. The US pumps oil in the northeast stealing Syria’s natural resources and national property and considers the Syrian Arab Republic a cheap resource. So, according to the Syrian Arab news agency SANA, the US armed forces, with the help of Kurdish militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on October 28, took another batch of Syrian oil from Syria to Iraq in 37 oil tankers from the settlement of As Suwayda to the north of Iraq through the Al Waleed border crossing. They were accompanied by a convoy of cars and armored personnel carriers from Kurdish SDF fighters. US troops, together with SDF fighters, control most of the oil fields in eastern Syria, where a large number of trucks with weapons have been transferred in recent months.

Earlier, the United States tried to unilaterally “legalize” SAR’s oil flow by creating a fictitious company called Delta Crescent Energy LLC. The fact that the American military’s actions in Syria are an “international state racketeering” and cannot be justified by their fight against the terrorist group DAESH (banned in the Russian Federation – ed.) has already been repeatedly stated from the official tribunes by the governments of Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia, including before the UN.

Not only outright robbery characterizes US policy in Syria. According to a report published by the Qatar-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), attacks by the US-led “anti-terrorist coalition” have killed more than 3,000 Syrian civilians since 2014. The fate of 8,000 is unknown. Over six years of intervention, so-called “fighters against terrorism” have reportedly committed mass murder at least 172 times, bombed schools and markets, and put their allies, whose local core are Kurdish militants, in charge of the “liberated” regions.

It is necessary to pay special attention to the fact that, over the past year, the American administration, to implement its plan to fragment Syria, has been especially actively working to reconcile the Syrian Kurds’ political factions. In particular, Washington acted as an intermediary between the Kurdish national unity parties, the largest of which is the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the political arm of the People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG), which are the backbone of the SDF and the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC). Washington’s primary goal is to create Kurdish “autonomy” while creating preconditions for a US military presence in the country. Especially in the oil-producing region of Syria, which, no doubt, the United States will attach particular importance to in any post-war agreements.

To further destabilize Syria’s situation and implement plans to divide this country, Kurdish militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on instructions from Washington, released from prisons more than 500 terrorists in eastern Syria in early November. As a result, the activity of terrorist cells has noticeably increased throughout Syria. For example, the London-based non-governmental organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), citing Syrian sources, reported severe losses of government troops due to a large-scale attack by the terrorist group Daesh’s militants in the east of Hama province. Twenty-one Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack near the Abu Fayyad dam east of the city of Salamiyah in the countryside of Hama, and the terrorists themselves lost more than 40 people. After the failed attack, the militants fled south towards the desert area of ​​Badiya al-Sham.

On November 12, a convoy of Turkish Armed Forces heading from Kafr Shil was blown up in the north Syrian province of Aleppo, in outskirts of Afrin.

Almost simultaneously, an incident occurred in the south of the country – in the region of Daraa. A convoy of Russian Armed Forces accompanied by Syrian security forces was heading from Izraa to Sahwat al-Qamh when an improvised explosive device was detonated near the settlement of Musseifra.

On November 13, militants of the DAESH terrorist group (banned in the Russian Federation – ed.) attacked a Syrian Arab Army unit near the city of Al Sukhnah  in the province of Homs, killing eleven soldiers and capturing and subsequently executing one soldier. According to observers’ estimates, all three events may have common roots associated with the consolidation of the Kurdish militants and DAESH’s efforts after releasing 500 militants from the American occupation administration prisons. According to published Al-Monitor reports, many DAESH “sleeping cells” have been deployed in villages on the Euphrates River banks, such as Al-Shuhayl, Hajin, Al-Susa, and Al-Baguz, and the recent release of 500 terrorists by SDF has helped with recruitment.

The situation becomes more complicated because Kurdish militants do not want to fight the terrorist underground in Syria’s occupied territory. The SDF wants the region to remain volatile to continue to receive support from the United States, Al-Monitor emphasizes. Besides, judging by previous reports from sources, Kurdish groups continue to get a share in the theft and smuggling of Syrian oil – and need to at all costs maintain their presence in the oil-rich region by simulating the fight against DAESH, which, by the way, fully satisfies Washington’s plans.

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Lebanon Stole at Least US 21 Billion Dollars from Syrian Depositors – President Assad

November 5, 2020 Arabi Souri

President Bashar Assad and First Lady Asmaa Assad visited an exhibition in Damascus dedicated to Aleppan industrialists, during his visit President Assad exposed a grand theft of Syrian money by Lebanon.

Syria First Couple visit Aleppo industries exhibition in Damascus


“At the minimum, the estimates at the lowest were 20 billion dollars, and at the maximum, it was 42 billion dollars. We do not have a real figure,” President Assad told the crowd that surrounded the first couple, he added: “This number for an economy like Syria is a frightening number.”

President Assad did not belittle the US and EU blockade coupled with the blockade of their followers around the world against the Syrian people, he drew the timeline of the current crisis with the main factors of the war of terror and war of attrition waged on the country by NATO and stooges which the country is going through for nearly a decade; the Syrian President emphasized on the coinciding of the beginning of the current severe crisis, ‘that Syria never lived through since it independence – in 1945’, with the blocking of depositors accounts by the Lebanese Central Bank starting a year ago.

The following is the English translation transcript of the above video:

First of all thanks to you, were it not for your steadfastness in Aleppo, and if it were not for you decided from the beginning to be positive, effective and have a challenge, which any person needs to succeed, especially in these circumstances, had it not been for all of this, we would not have reached this successful beginning.

When we meet with producers in these special circumstances, difficult circumstances, and harsh conditions that Syria has not lived through since the days of independence, this carries a special message and full of meanings.

3 and 4 years ago, Aleppo was besieged from all sides and the bombing on it did not stop and its production did not stop, so the issue is not the subject of a siege, so if a siege on Aleppo could not affect, the siege on Syria, which is not more severe than the siege on Aleppo, would not be the cause of the problem that we are going through. With it, there are issues that we are affected by, such as the issue of (the United States’ theft of oil), the issue of wheat supplies, the burning of wheat in the northeastern regions, there is no doubt that all of this has an impact, but the economic problem has another reason that no one is talking about, and that is the money that the Syrians withdrew (from Syria) and deposited in Lebanon, and the banks in Lebanon were closed, so we paid the price, this is the essence of the problem that nobody is talking about.

It is easy to always blame the state and the government, mistakes exist with every one and this is another issue, but the current crisis is not related to the blockade, the blockade has been imposed on us for years, this does not mean that the siege is good and the Americans are innocent, no, the blockade directly harms all aspects of life, but the current crisis that started several months ago, caused by this issue (the closure of banks in Lebanon) because the crisis began before the Caesar Act and began years after the blockade, so what coincided with it? It is the money that’s gone.

At the minimum, the estimates at the lowest were 20 billion dollars, and at the maximum, it was 42 billion dollars. We do not have a real figure. This number for an economy like Syria is a frightening number.

End of the transcript.

President Bashar Assad and First Lady - Damascus Exhibition
President Assad accused Lebanon of stealing 20 billion from Syrians

This is not the first time Lebanon worked efficiently as a pawn in the US-led war of terror against Syria, it was a stage where the killing of its former PM Rafic Hariri led to a fruitless international tribunal that lasted for 15 years and cost the Lebanese people about a billion dollars to reach nothing, in the course of its trials it started by a false accusation against the Syrian state for killing the former Lebanese PM which led to the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2005, the accusations were dropped after they exhausted their political and economic purpose.

During the current episode of the US-led war of terror on Syria, Lebanon through a number of its pro-Saudi officials was instrumental in smuggling weaponsterrorists, and drugs to contribute to the war against the Syrian people.

This latest theft of the Syrian depositors in the Lebanese banking system upon the US instructions in the last quarter of last year was meant to break the will of the Syrian people to give up to the USA of their sovereignty and freedom what they refused to give to the US-sponsored terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and its offshoots Nusra Front and ISIS for almost a decade.

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Turkey to Send Troops to Combat Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh?

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 23, 2020

Like the US, Turkey’s Erdogan pursues interests at the expense of peace and stability.

He favors war for extending Turkey’s borders to further his neo-Ottoman aims.

He, his family members and regime profited earlier from stolen Syrian oil.

He gave ISIS and other terrorists safe haven in Turkish territory, providing them with weapons, other material support, and a launching pad for attacks on Syrian soldiers and civilians.

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state — speech, media and academic freedoms they way they should be banned.

So is dissent. Anyone publicly criticizing or insulting him risks prosecution for terrorism, espionage or treason, including children.

As long as he doesn’t act against US interests, as a NATO member and in other ways, his tyrannical rule and regional destabilizing actions are tolerated — if only barely.

On Wednesday, his Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara is ready to send troops to back Azerbaijan’s war on Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below).

In response to Turkey’s deployment of armed and directed jihadists to combat Armenian forces in NK, the country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on regional countries to unite against them and their Turkish paymaster.

“Regretably (they) have not responded to this reality seriously enough yet,” Pashinyan added.

“It is beyond doubt that the presence of foreign terrorists will pose a threat to the region in the future.”

“The region’s countries must deal with this issue more seriously.”

The Erdogan regime is also involved militarily in NK by providing Baku with command and control services, training of its military forces, and heavy weapons for warmaking.

He and hardliners surrounding him support war, not resolution in NK.

Pashinyan stressed it, saying “the Karabakh question…cannot have a diplomatic solution.”

“Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side…is not acceptable to Azerbaijan…”

Baku’s ruling authorities intend endless war until Armenian forces are driven from NK — no matter the human toll, according to comments from its leadership.Turkey’s Involvement in Nagorno-Karabakh

As Azeri forces advance, civilians in harm’s way are caught in the crossfire.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that they’ve taken control of areas bordering Iran and Armenia’s international border — increasing the risk of conflict spilling into both countries.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan accused Azerbaijan of sending “small…subversive groups…into villages and towns, film(ing) themselves there, spread(ing) those images…to feed their society. But, unfortunately, this also affects us.”

While conflict continues, foreign ministers of both warring sides will meet with Trump regime’s Pompeo for talks in Washington on Friday.

Yet on Tuesday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said the following:

“We are fighting on our own land, giving martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity. These steps will continue to be taken.”

“Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop.”

From the above remarks and two failed Russian/Minsk Group arranged ceasefire, Aliyev is unwilling to compromise on his aims in NK.

With support from Turkey, including Erdogan’s willingness to send troops if asked, Aliyev rejects diplomacy while sending his foreign minister to discuss ceasefire with his Russian, French and US counterparts.

According to the Asia Times, Erdogan’s support for Azerbaijan is driven by energy interests in competition with Russia.

An unnamed Erdogan advisor said “Russia is neither an ally, nor an enemy, but we can’t negotiate if we are too dependent on them, especially when it comes to energy.”

“We have vital interests to protect,” including two pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe, one for oil, the other for gas.

One runs close to NK, the other near northern Armenia, the unnamed advisor close to Erdogan adding:

“We can’t afford losing our sight on what’s going on around our pipelines in the Caucasus, especially in the Tavush region, where there have been several clashes (with Armenia) over the last years.”

The so-called BTC oil pipeline is owned by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Britain’s BP.

The South Caucasus Pipeline runs from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea field to Turkey, and Georgia — soon as well to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

Earlier in October, Erdogan accused Armenia of endangering supplies of energy to Turkey and other European countries.

Oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe are only endangered by its preemptive war on Armenia in NK.

No danger would exist if conflict resolution ended weeks of fighting.

Russia also supplies gas to Turkey through Turkstream 1.

Turkstream 2 is under construction, completion expected around yearend.

Azerbaijan will compete with Russia for the European natural gas market.

Moscow prioritizes cooperation with other nations, confrontation with none.

Turkey’s Erdogan prioritizes the advancement of his neo-Ottoman interests.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

Terror Attack in Hasakah Countryside Kills Three Civilians at Least

September 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

Tal Halaf Ras Al Ayn Hasakah Syria car explosion

A terror attack against a civilians bus killed three civilians and injured 12 others in the vicinity of Ras Al Ain, in the northwestern province of Hasakah, at the borders with Turkey.

A booby-trapped parked car was detonated in a road in the village of Tal Halaf next to a moving civilian passenger bus which immediately killed three of the passengers, injured 12 others, some of who sustained severe and life-threatening injuries.

The explosion of the parked vehicle left the passengers’ bus completely torched and large material damage in the area.

Terror attack Tal Halaf Ras Al Ayn - Hasakah Syria

Terrorist groups loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan infested the northern regions of Syria under the protection of the US forces and under false claims of ‘fighting terror’ referring to the other US and Israel-sponsored Kurdish separatists in the area. Turkey never fought ISIS or Nusra Front (al-Qaeda Levant) terrorist groups throughout the past 9.5 years, on the contrary, terrorists of these groups in their tens of thousands were hosted, trained, armed, and funded by and through the Turkish regime of Erdogan on Turkish territories then smuggled into Syria to kill and maim the Syrian people.

Neither Trump nor Erdogan, the two heads of criminality with forces operating in the northern regions of Syria, hide their ill intentions towards the Syrian people, Trump declares publicly he wants to steal the Syrian oil and Erdogan declares publicly he wants to be a leader in the ‘Greater Israel Project’ where he will steal more land and is dreaming of reviving the most-hated anti-Islamic Ottoman sultanate on the account of the people of the region of all religions. Both unindicted war criminals are depriving the Syrian people of their own riches in their country, especially the Syrian oil and Syrian wheat mainly coming from the Syrian northeastern provinces of Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.

The terrorist attacks as this one are meant to intimidate the local population to flee their homes after which Erdogan can Israelize the region with terrorists following his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood doctrine.

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To Capture and Subdue: America’s Theft of Syrian Oil Has Very Little To Do With Money

By Steven Chovanec

Source

WAR FOR EMPIRE

Years of US support to Al-Qaeda and ISIS and efforts to effect regime change in the country have culminated in the theft of Syria’s oil, but is that really America’s coup de gras in Syria?

Near the end of July, one of the most important recent developments in U.S. foreign policy was quietly disclosed during a U.S. Senate hearing. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody talked about it and most are still completely unaware that it happened.

Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria. The area is nominally controlled by the Kurds, yet their military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was formed under U.S. auspices and relies on an American military presence to secure its territory. That military presence will now be charged with protecting an American firm from the government of the country that it is operating within.

Pompeo confirmed that the plans for implanting the firm into the U.S.-held territory are “now in implementation” and that they could potentially be “very powerful.” This is quite a momentous event given its nature as a blatant example of neocolonial extraction, or, as Stephen Kinzer puts it writing for the Boston Globe, “This is a vivid throwback to earlier imperial eras, when conquerors felt free to loot the resources of any territory they could capture and subdue.”

Indeed, the history of how the U.S. came to be in a position to “capture and subdue” these resources is a sordid, yet informative tale that by itself arguably even rivals other such colonial adventures.

To capture and subdue

When a legitimate protest movement developed organically in Syria in early 2011, the U.S. saw an opportunity to destabilize, and potentially overthrow, the government of a country that had long pushed back against its efforts for greater control in the region.

Syria had maintained itself outside of the orbit of U.S. influence and had frustratingly prevented American corporations from penetrating its economy to access its markets and resources.

As the foremost academic expert on Middle East affairs, Christopher Davidson, wrote in his seminal work, “Shadow Wars, The Secret Struggle for the Middle East,” discussing both Syria and Libya’s strategic importance, “the fact remained that these two regimes, sitting astride vast natural resources and in command of key ports, rivers, and borders, were still significant obstacles that had long frustrated the ambitions of Western governments and their constituent corporations to gain greater access.”

With Syria,” Davidson wrote, “having long proven antagonistic to Western interests… a golden opportunity had presented itself in 2011 to oust [this] administration once and for all under the pretext of humanitarian and even democratic causes.”

US Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman meet with Syrians at the Yayladagi camp on the Turkish-Syrian border. April 10, 2012. Umit Bektas | Reuters.

The U.S., therefore, began organizing and overseeing a militarization of the uprising early on, and soon co-opted the movement along with allied states Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. Writing at the end of 2011, Columbia University’s Joseph Massad explained how there was no longer any doubt that “the Syrian popular struggle for democracy [has] already been hijacked,” given that “the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over and assumed the leadership of their struggle.”

Soon, through the sponsoring of extremist elements, the insurgency was dominated by Salafists of the al-Qaeda variety.

According to the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by 2013 “there was no viable ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad” and “the U.S. was arming extremists.” Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that “although many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists,” still “the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming.”

When ISIS split off from al-Qaeda and formed its own Caliphate, the U.S. continued pumping money and weapons into the insurgency, even though it was known that this aid was going into the hands of ISIS and other jihadists. U.S. allies directly supported ISIS.

U.S. officials admitted that they saw the rise of ISIS as a beneficial development that could help pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give in to America’s demands.

Leaked audio of then-Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that “we were watching… and we know that this [ISIS] was growing… We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage — that Assad would then negotiate.” As ISIS was bearing down on the capital city of Damascus, the U.S. was pressing Assad to step down to a U.S.-approved government.

Then, however, Russia intervened with its air force to prevent an ISIS takeover of the country and shifted the balance of forces against the jihadist group. ISIS’ viability as a tool to pressure the government was spent.

The arsonist and the firefighter

So, a new strategy was implemented: instead of allowing Russia and Syria to take back the territories that ISIS captured throughout the war, the U.S. would use the ISIS threat as an excuse to take those territories before they were able to. Like an arsonist who comes to put out the fire, the U.S. would now charge itself with the task of stamping out the Islamist scourge and thereby legitimize its own seizure of Syrian land. The U.S. partnered with the Kurdish militias who acted as their “boots on the ground” in this endeavor and supported them with airstrikes.

The strategy of how these areas were taken was very specific. It was designed primarily to allow ISIS to escape and redirect itself back into the fight against Syria and Russia. This was done through leaving “an escape route for militants” or through deals that were made where ISIS voluntarily agreed to cede its territory. The militants were then able to escape and go wreak havoc against America’s enemies in Syria.

Interestingly, in terms of the oil fields now being handed off to an American corporation, the U.S. barely even fought ISIS to gain control over them; ISIS simply handed them over.

FILE – In this April 6, 2018 file photo, shows a former farmer working at a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel and other products, in a village controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Syrians living in government-controlled areas have survived eight years of war now face a new scourge in the form of widespread fuel shortages. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Syria and Russia were quickly closing in on the then-ISIS controlled oilfields, so the U.S. oversaw a deal between the Kurds and ISIS to give up control of the city. According to veteran Middle East war correspondent Elijah Magnier, “U.S.-backed forces advanced in north-eastern areas under ISIS control, with little or no military engagement: ISIS pulled out from more than 28 villages and oil and gas fields east of the Euphrates River, surrendering these to the Kurdish-U.S. forces following an understanding these reached with the terrorist group.”

A man works a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel in a U.S-backed Kurdish village in Rmeilan, Syria, April 6, 2018. Hussein Malla | AP

Sources quoted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that ISIS preferred seeing the fields in the hands of the U.S. and the Kurds rather than the Syrian government.

The rationale behind this occupation was best described by Syria expert Joshua Landis, who wrote that the areas of northern Syria under control of the Kurds are the U.S.’ “main instrument in gaining leverage” over the government. By “denying Damascus access to North Syria” and “controlling half of Syria’s energy resources” “the U.S. will be able to keep Syria poor and under-resources.” So, by “promoting Kurdish nationalism in Syria” the U.S. “hopes to deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory,” while “keeping Damascus weak and divided,” this serving “no purpose other than to stop trade” and to “beggar Assad and keep Syria divided, weak and poor.”

Or, in the words of Jim Jeffrey, the Trump administrations special representative for Syria who is charged with overseeing U.S. policy, the intent is to “make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it.”

Anchoring American troops in Syria

This is the history by which an American firm was able to secure a contract to extract oil in Syria. And while the actual resources gained will not be of much value (Syria has only 0.1% of the world’s oil reserves), the presence of an American company will likely serve as a justification to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region. “It is a fiendishly clever maneuver aimed at anchoring American troops in Syria for a long time,” Stephen Kinzer explains, one that will aid the policymakers who hold “the view that the United States must remain militarily dominant in the Middle East.”

This analysis corroborates the extensive scholarship of people like Mason Gaffney, professor of economics emeritus at the University of California, who, writing in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, sums up his thesis that throughout its history “U.S. military spending has been largely devoted to protecting the overseas assets of multinational corporations that are based in the United States… The U.S. military provides its services by supporting compliant political leaders in developing countries and by punishing or deposing regimes that threaten the interests of U.S.-based corporations.”

In essence, by protecting this “global ‘sprawl’ of extractive companies” the U.S. Department of Defense “provides a giant subsidy to companies operating overseas,” one that is paid for by the taxpayer, not the corporate beneficiaries. It is hard to estimate the exact amount of money the U.S. has invested into the Syria effort, though it likely is near the trillion dollar figure. The U.S. taxpayer doesn’t get anything out of that, but companies that are awarded oil contracts do.

What is perhaps most important about this lesson however is that this is just a singular example of a common occurrence that happens all over the world. A primary function of U.S. foreign policy is to “make the world safe for American businesses,” and the upwards of a thousand military bases the U.S. has stationed across the globe are set up to help protect those corporate investments. While this history is unique to Syria, similar kinds of histories are responsible for U.S. corporation’s extractive activities in other global arenas.

So, next time you see headlines about Exxon being in some kind of legal dispute with, say, Venezuela, ask yourself how was it that those companies became involved with the resources of that part of the world? More often than not, the answer will be similar to how this U.S. company got involved in Syria.

Given all of this, it perhaps might seem to be too mild of a critique to simply say that this Syria enterprise harkens back to older imperial eras where conquerors simply took what they wished: the sophistication of colonialism has indeed improved by leaps and bounds since then.

A number of “Qasad” militia gunmen killed and wounded in attacks by unknown persons in the countryside of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Hasaka

Source

Sunday, 23 August 2020 11:19

Raqqa – Deir Ezzor – Hasaka, (ST) – A number of “Qasad” militia, supported by the American occupation forces, were killed and wounded when their vehicles were targeted by unknown persons in the countryside of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Hasaka.

Local sources reported to SANA that unknown persons targeted, with weapons and machine guns, the headquarters and locations of armed men from the “Qasad militia” near al-Til factories in the al-Jazra neighborhood and the National Hospital in the city of Tabqa and in the village of Abu Qubei`, west of the city of Raqqa, killing four armed militants from “Qasad” militia.

In the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, civil sources indicated that a gunman from the “Qasad militia” was shot dead by unknown persons in the village of Al-Ezbet, which witnessed demonstrations calling for the expulsion of this militia from the area as it is daily stealing Syrian oil and property and attacking civilians.

Yesterday, the checkpoints of the “Qasad militia” were attacked by unknown persons in the towns of Al-Hawayj and Jadid Akidat in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which resulted in the injury of a number of its gunmen.

In the same context, a number of “Qasad militia” militants were killed and wounded when their vehicles was targeted with an explosive device at Jalal village, east of Al-Shaddadi city in the southern countryside of Hasaka, according to local sources in the region.

Most of the areas of the countryside of Deir Ezzor, Hasaka, and Raqqa, which are under the control of the “Qasad” militia, are witnessing a state of anger and popular rejection of that militia, which is depicted through widespread popular protests calling for its expulsion from their villages and towns as a result of the practices it carried out against the civilian population and the theft of oil and the region’s goods under the cover and support of the American occupation forces. The shooting at demonstrations by that militia caused the death of a number of civilians and the injury of others.

Raghda Sawas

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US Continues to Smuggle Syrian Oil

US Continues to Smuggle Syrian Oil

By Staff, Agencies

The US occupation forces have smuggled another batch of fuel from Syria in continuation of their illegal presence in the country’s oilfields.

The US occupation forces smuggled a convoy full of fuel to Iraq from the areas it occupies in the Syrian al-Jazeera area to Iraq.

State-run SANA news agency cited local sources in al-Yarubiya as saying that 35 vehicles including tanker trucks transporting fuel and a number of trucks crossed al-Yarubiya illegal border crossing northeast of Hasaka on Friday evening, heading from Syria to Iraq.

This is while based on an earlier report by SANA, the US forces smuggled another batch of Syrian fuel by 30 trucks.

In December 2019, the US army deployed armored vehicles, pickups, heavy construction equipment and about 150 rigs to the region despite widespread condemnation of the deployment as being tantamount to robbery.

The deployments came after US President Donald Trump said in October that the US troops would remain in Syria to “secure” the oilfields there. Damascus as well as regional movers and shakers voiced their strong opposition to Trump’s decision to seize Syrian oil fields.

«قيصر» الأميركي لإجهاض النظام العالمي الجديد!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

ما تتعرّض له سورية منذ 2011 من حروب متواصلة وعقوبات وغارات وسطو على ثرواتها واحتلال لمناطقها من دون توقف يتجاوز بكثير محاولة إسقاط نظام سياسي أو حتى تدمير دولة.

فهناك استثمار أميركي في الإرهاب الداعشي – القاعدي والمعارضات الداخلية وأدوار دول الخليج والاحتلال التركي والرعاية الأردنية لإرهابيي الجنوب، وغارات اسرائيلية شبه يومية وتدخل عسكري – أميركي – اوروبي وحتى اوسترالي مباشر، الى جانب قطع كل بلدان المحور الأميركي للعلاقات الدبلوماسية والسياسية والاقتصادية مع سورية، مطبقين عليها نظام عقوبات اقتصادي صارم.

لكن الأميركيين لم يكتفوا بكل هذه الوسائل، فذهبوا لمصادرة النفط السوري وتأسيس معادلة دائمة لبيعه في اسواق تركيا الى جانب تغييرات ديموغرافية موازية مع إثارة أكبر قدر ممكن من الفتن المذهبية والعرقية والطائفية بما يكشف حجم الإصرار الأميركي على تدمير سورية لأسباب تتعلق حكماً بنجاحات يريدها النفوذ الأميركي العالمي في هذه المرحلة بالذات.

لذلك فإن تدمير سورية حاجة عاجلة للجيوبوليتيك الأميركي.

لماذا؟ النفوذ الأميركي خسر معاركه في سورية وإيران واليمن، ملتزماً بهدنة في العراق.

ومتراجعاً في لبنان ما أنتج ولادة معادلة إقليمية راسخة سورية – ايرانية، ومعها حزب الله والحشد الشعبي ودولة صنعاء.

عند هذا الحد، كان بالإمكان الاستمرار في القتال الأميركي بدرجات أعلى من الأساليب المنهزمة.

لكن لسورية أهمية استراتيجية في الجيوبوليتيك الأميركي للعديد من الأسباب، يتربّع على رأسها موقفها الثابت المانع لأي تصفية للقضية الفلسطينية وموقعها في قلب المشرق العربي، خصوصاً للجهة العراقية والأردنية ما يربطها بالخليج حتى حدود المتوسط ويصلها بروسيا عبر تحالفها العميق مع ايران، وهذا يعني ربطاً بالصين ايضاً هناك. هناك أهميات ايضاً أخرى تتعلق بالتنافس الأميركي مع كل من الصين وروسيا وايران، المرتبط بالصراع على هيكلية النظام العالمي الجديد وعديد أقطابه.

فسورية هي المعبر الضروري الذي يجب على روسيا والصين، التموضع فيه للانتقال آنفاً الى فضاءات اخرى.

لذلك فإن أي ضرر يحيق بالدولة السورية يتسبّب فوراً بفرط عقد تحالف شرق أوسطي كبير وتجميد الأدوار الجيوبوليتيكية الصينية – الروسية الى اجل بعيد.

هذا تعرفه الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بشكل عميق، لكنها كانت متأكدة من ان الوسائل العسكرية والاقتصادية والسياسية والإرهابية التي استعملتها من 2011 حتى 2020 اكثر من كافية لتدمير دولة سورية وإضعاف الادوار الايرانية والروسية والصينية.

لكنها بوغِتت بصمود سوري لافت في ظروف مستحيلة لا تنجو منها عادة حتى الدول الجبارة.

إلا أن هناك عنصراً اضافياً لا يمكن إغفاله ويتعلق بارتفاع حدة الصراع الأميركي – الصيني مع ما تسبب به جائحة كورونا من تراجع كبير للاقتصاد الأميركي.

لا بد من لفت النظر الى ان الصينيين قادرون على تحمل التراجع الاقتصادي «الكوروني» أكثر من أميركيين معتادين منذ ستينيات القرن الماضي على اعلى انواع الرفاه الاجتماعي.

وهذا ما ظهر من خلال الاضطرابات الاجتماعية التي تجتاح الولايات الأميركية منذ أسبوع تقريباً. صحيح انها تشكلت كنوع من الاعتراض على مقتل مدني اسود البشرة خنقه شرطي أميركي بوضع ركبته على عنقه حتى الموت، وجسّدت رفضاً للتمييز العنصري الأميركي التاريخي، لكنها تحمل في متن اتساعها في مجمل الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تعبيراً عن قلق من الأميركيين الفقراء على وضعهم الاقتصادي في ظل كورونا وبعدها. ويصادف ان الاقلية السوداء هي التي تحتل مرتبة الأكثر فقراً على المستوى الأميركي.

هذه هي الأسباب التي دفعت الأميركي الى وضع قانون قيصر موضع التنفيذ في سورية. وهو قانون يستهدف كل حركات الاقتصاد السوري الشعبي والرسمي. وهذا هو القتل بعينه الذي تنفذه دولة بمفردها وتفرض على العالم بأسره تطبيق نصوصه بقطع كل انواع العلاقات بسورية وإلا فإنها تخضع بدورها لعقوبات مماثلة.

يتبين اذاً أن سورية مستهدفة لاسباب داخلية تتعلق بجهادية دولتها، وخارجية لكونها المحور الاساسي المعادي للنفوذ الأميركي في المشرق العربي، ولأنها الضرورة الجيوبوليتيكية للتطور الصيني – الروسي في النظام العالمي الجديد.

لذلك فإن «قيصر الأميركي» يستعمل كافة قواه ومرة واحدة للقضاء على الدولة السورية أو اسقاط نظامها واستتباعها لمنظومته.

هذا هو الهدف الأميركي؟ فماذا عن ردود الفعل عليه؟

لا شك في أن سورية لن تبخل بأي قوة تمتلكها لمجابهة الأميركيين في الداخل والعراق ولبنان والاردن، ولها من العلاقات ما يؤهلها لهذا الدور، لكنه لن يكون كافياً ويتطلّب مسارعة المستهدفين لمد يد العون بسرعة، خصوصاً من الطرفين الصيني – الروسي، لان الاستمرار في سياسات التدبّر والتعقل لن يكون الحل في هذه المرحلة بالذات، وهذه ليست دعوة للحرب، بل مطالبة للردّ على الحرب الاقتصادية القاتلة، بأدوات اقتصادية رادعة.

بما يعني أن حماية سورية من طريق تزويدها بحاجاتها الاقتصادية من الصين وروسيا، هي مسألة تاريخية حاسمة لان النجاح فيها هو تعبيد الطريق أمام نظام دولي جديد، ينتزع من الأميركيين ثلاثة مقاعد: اثنان منهما في النظام العالمي الجديد لروسيا والصين وثالث اقليمي واعد لإيران.

فهل هذه ممكن؟

إن كسر العقوبات القيصرية الأميركية على سورية تعني أيضاً إنقاذ الشرق الأوسط من تمديد الهيمنة الأميركية عليه نحو قرن جديد، وتحرير موارد الطاقة، خصوصاً من الغاز في البحر المتوسط، والمعلوم ان الدول القطبية تستند دائماً على موارد طاقة أساسية كحال الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي بنت الجيوبوليتيك الخاص بها على اساس الهيمنة على النفط العربي وأسواق الاستهلاك فيها، فلماذا نسمح لها إعادة إنتاج معاهدات مع العرب تشبه معاهدة كوينسي التي وقعها روزفلت الأميركي مع عبد العزيز السعودي 1945.

هذا كله رهن بدعم صيني اقتصادي حقيقي لسورية، باعتبار ان روسيا ماضية وبحزم نحو تلبية الحاجات العسكرية للدولة السورية.

يتبين بالاستنتاج أن نظام الحاجات المتبادلة بين الرباعي الروسي الصيني والإيراني السوري كفيل بالقضاء على قيصر الجديد وآخر ما تبقى من أحادية قطبية أميركية، لا تزال تقاتل قبل دخولها في النزع الأخير من عمرها المندثر.

مقالات متعلقة

IRAQ FACING A GREAT US THREAT: CHINA, AL-HASHD AND IRAN OUT, OR ELSE! … (2/2)

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

No country could fail to be shaken by the kind of profound struggle between all its political groups that currently prevails in Iraq. The US does not need to make any great effort to sow discord between the parties because they are currently intrinsically fragmented. The removal of Major General Qassim Suleimani from the Iraqi scene– whose personal objective had been to bring the various political parties together – was a major event, but not a game-changer. It did not profoundly modify the Iraqi political scene because he had already failed, two months before his assassination by the US, to persuade the parties to agree on a single Prime Ministerial candidate, following the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. Iraqi politicians put their differences above all else in order to protect their political influences, unmoved by the patriotic duty for unity in the light of the serious challenges facing their country.

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi was not mistaken when he once told me: “We do not know how to rule. We are good at opposing the ruler.” No ruler in Iraq will be able to get the country out of its current severe financial crisis, the political acrimony, and COVID-19 health crisis, because the financial means are lacking. The pressure from the street, where protestors were demanding improved living conditions, will return stronger than ever. The low price of crude oil is undermining Iraq’s yearly income. The state’s budget deficit is skyrocketing; its external debts are persistent and its need for help from the World Bank, which is under US control, is greater than ever. America will not provide financial assistance until its demands are fulfilled and Iranian influence is removed from Iraq.

America rejects Iraq’s balancing policy. Iraq considers its relationship with the US only as important as its relationship with neighbouring Iran. Washington wants Iraq for itself, adopting one principle: “after me, the great flood” (après moi le deluge) an expression said to be often used by Louis XV of France to indicate that he is the centre of attention, no other consideration matter but his own self-obsession and that any other considerations are irrelevant.

The US is supporting Iraqi Kurdistan by expanding its “Harir” military base and establishing another large military base on the border with Iran. The message to Baghdad seems blunt: US forces will remain in the face of resistance from those parts of Iraq more subject to Baghdad’s authority. In Kurdistan, the central government authority is not as effective as in other parts of the country. The US supports the Kurdish Peshmerga and arms them through its allies, the United Arab Emirates, who are providing the Kurdish armed men with weaponry: four cargos full of weapons landed recently in Erbil. 

It is not excluded, if Trump remains in power, that his administration will help the Kurdistan region detach itself from Iraq, as it may also support a Kurdish secession attempt in north-eastern Syria. In the part of Syria, the US is occupying with Kurdish help, US forces are stealing Syrian crude oil- even if its price is no longer sufficient to pay the expenses of the troops deployed around it- indicating that there is another reason for their presence, related to the US ally, Israel. 

Iraqi protestors refer to the United States as the “Joker,” a powerful force exerting influence on events in Iraq, often covertly. This influence was evident in last year’s demonstrations, but most conspicuously in the Kurdistan independence movement. Kurdish officials already rejected the binding constitutional decision of the Iraqi parliament – in a clear rebellion against the authority of Baghdad –which demanded the US withdrawal from Iraq.

Iraqi decision-makers in Baghdad believe that US President Donald Trump acts only in accordance with his own country’s interests. He thanked Adel Abdul-Mahdi for his protection of the US embassy because it was attacked in Baghdad. The US President sent a positive message to Iran through Abdul-Mahdi and then, a few days later, killed the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The US administration is also working for Israel’s interests in Iraq – and not according to the “declared” interest of the US in building a strong and friendly Iraq-US relationship. 

Trump did not listen to his protests when Abdul-Mahdi called him personally and told him that US actions in attacking security forces were angering the Iraqis and that any unilateral action would have catastrophic consequences for everyone. Rather, Trump listened to his aides who consider the Middle East leaders as subordinates, not allies. This US condescension serves the interests of Iran, which knows how to benefit from American mistakes, said the sources.

There is no doubt that Iraq is facing a crisis, with severe domestic bickering adding to the difficult economic and sanitary situation affecting all countries. But the greatest danger to the country comes from the Trump administration, which can only imagine subduing states by force. The US will certainly end up “reaping the whirlwind” rather than gaining a robust alliance with Iraq.

There is no doubt that Iraq is experiencing difficult labour in the midst of severe domestic bickering, plus the difficult economic and sanitary situation affecting all countries. But even more dangerous is the fact that Iraq is in the eye of the storm, pulled off course by the winds of Trump, who can only imagine subduing states by force. The US will certainly end up “reaping the whirlwind” rather than gaining any kind of robust allies.

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for their confidence and support. If you liked it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it, for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

Trump: Live by the Oil, Die by the Oil

Source

Trump: Live by the Oil, Die by the Oil

Tom LuongoApril 23, 2020

From the very beginning I’ve been a staunch critic of President Trump’s “Energy Dominance” policy. And I was so for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because it was stupid.

Not just stupid, monumentally stupid. Breathtakingly stupid.

And I don’t say this as someone who hates Trump without reservation. In fact, I continue to hope he will wake up one day and stop being the Donald Trump I know and be the Donald Trump he needs to be.

I don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome of any sort. Neither MAGApede nor Q-Tard, an Orange Man Bad cultist or NPC Soy Boy, I see Trump for what he is – a well-intentioned, if miseducated man with severe personal deficiencies which manifest themselves in occasionally brilliant but mostly disastrous behavior.

Energy Dominance was always a misguided and Quixotic endeavor. Why? Because Trump could never turn financial engineering a shale boom into a sustainable advantage over lower-cost producers like Russia and the OPEC nations.

The policy of blasting open the U.S. oil spigots to produce a production boom built on an endless supply of near-zero cost credit was always going to run into a wall of oversupply and not enough demand.

The dramatic collapse of U.S. oil prices in the futures markets which saw the May contract close on April 20th at $-40.57 per barrel is the Shale Miracle hitting the fan of low demand and leaving the producers and consumers in a state which can only happen thanks to biblical levels of government intervention.

A broken market.

The next morning, ever needing to look like the good guy, Trump tweets out:Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

We will never let the great U.S. Oil & Gas Industry down. I have instructed the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Treasury to formulate a plan which will make funds available so that these very important companies and jobs will be secured long into the future!163KTwitter Ads info and privacy56.6K people are talking about this

It’s clear from this statement that Trump is ready to throw more trillions at the oil industry to keep it and the millions of jobs from disappearing as he does what he always does when confronted with a real problem, doubles down on the behavior that caused it in the first place.

Politicians, even the best ones, are ultimately vandals. They have no other tool than to reallocate scarce capital towards their ends rather than that demanded by the market.

And the main reason why Trump was never going to win the Energy Dominance War he started was because the world doesn’t want the type and kind of oil the U.S. produces at the quantities needed to “Win!”

Ultra-light sweet crude coming from the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian simply isn’t that high in demand for export. It’s of limited usage. And, in the end, if the price is right enough, offering oil for sale in ‘not-dollars’ only makes that demand curve even more elastic.

The collapse in oil prices which Trump is desperate to stop won’t simply because Trump stands there like King Canute, arms outstretched. He and his terrible energy policy stand naked now that the tide has gone out.

And the reason for this is simple. There is more to the world economy than money. Money is what makes the economy work but it, in and of itself, is incapable of creating wealth. All money does is act as a means to express our needs and desires at the moment of the trade.

Trump’s vandalizing the world’s energy markets for the past three and a half years now comes back to bite him. To prop up surging U.S. production he has:

Supported a disastrous war against the people of Yemen

Repurposed U.S. troops clinging to positions in Syria while stealing their oil

Nearly started a shooting war with Iran…. Twice.

Embargoed Venezuela, stole its money, attempted a failed coup and brought even more support to President Maduro from Russia and China.

Spent billions pointing missiles at Russia via NATO.

Supported a vicious war to prevent the secession of the Donbass.

Delayed the construction of Nordstream 2.

Sowed chaos enough to set Turkey to claiming the Eastern Mediterranean while fighting a losing war in Libya.

Started a massive trade war with China.

Spent trillions throwing the U.S. budget deficit for 2020 out beyond 20% of the U.S.’s 2019 GDP.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. None of these acts are defensible as anything other than immoral and counterproductive.

Having antagonized literally more than three-quarters of the world with this insanity, Trump will now turn his destructive gaze on the very people he purports to serve, the American people. Saving jobs through subsidies is capital destructive. It doesn’t matter who does it, Trump, Putin, Xi or FDR.

If Trump tariffs on imports it will only keep the cost of energy for Americans higher than it should be at a time when they need it to be as cheap as possible.

The incentive to improve performance by these companies, shutter expensive wells, default on debt or shift capital away from the unproductive will not happen. The healthy cleansing of bankruptcy is averted. The vultures who profited on the way up will not go bankrupt because the bust is avoided and those that were prudent waiting for this moment will not be rewarded with the reins of the means of production.

And again, we see another one-way trade for Wall St.

All Trump will do here is entrench the very powers that he thinks he’s been fighting, destroying small businesses, nationalizing, in effect, whole swaths of the U.S. economy and setting up the day when everyone else around the world shrugs when he bark.

Because the net effect has been to see the rise in more of the oil trade conducted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. That trend will continue in a deflating price environment where the need to service dollar-denominated debt is soaking up the supply of dollars faster than the Fed can monetize the debt issued by the U.S. Treasury.

The oil trade will shift from dollars. Dollars will be used to pay off debt, the world will decouple from the dollar and all those dollars currently hoarded overseas and whose demand today will be supply tomorrow will ensure the U.S. economy suffers the worst kind of depression, one of rising commodity prices, falling asset prices and falling wages.

So, Trump will continue to be, as I put it recently, The Master of the Seen, choosing, as always, to ignore the unseen effects of propping up firms that should rightly go the way of all bad ideas, like Marxism.

The U.S. had a grenade dropped on its budget. It looks like a nuclear bomb, but that’s only because of the continued arrogance and necessity of politicians, like Trump, needing to be ‘seen’ doing something caused far more damage than it would have if they hadn’t intervened in the first place.

The adage, “never let a crisis go to waste,” is apropos here. Politicians use the cover of crisis to act. They have to be ‘seen’ acting rather than not. Trump is acutely aware of this because he truly can’t stand criticism.

A man without principles, Trump acts mostly out of his need to deflect criticism and be ‘seen’ by his base as their champion.

But no, Trump outs himself as the biggest Marxist of all time, defending the workers while robbing them of their future through the destruction of their real wealth. His policy mistakes become our real problems. And he compounded those problems by listening to the medical complex vultures about COVID-19 and now he’s trapped but everyone else will pay the price.

He is someone without the sense or the understanding that sometimes the best thing to do is admit defeat, reverse course and put down the scepter of power. But Trump doesn’t know how to do that. He doesn’t know how to actually lead.

Energy Dominance will turn into an Energy Albatross and it will weigh on Trump’s neck in his second term that will see him leave office reviled as the great destroyer of not only the U.S.’s wealth, but more importantly, its standing in the world.

العالم إذ يجنّ

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

فيما يعاني العالم من وباء كورونا الخبيث وتداعياته الاقتصادية وثم السياسية والاجتماعية، وفيما نصف سكان المعمورة يعيشون أجواء الحصار دون عمل وإنتاج، وكثير منهم دون دخل ثابت أو متقطع، ترى الحكومات والدول نفسها حائرة ومضطرة لابتداع صيغ تزاوج بين دوران عجلة الحياة بمناحيها المتعدّدة وبين هذا الفايروس المعادي الذي لا تستطيع حتى أكثر الدول بوليسية اعتقاله.

بعض دول العالم بصدد اتخاذ قرار بتخفيف القيود على حركة المواطنين وتتجه نحو السماح بعودة الحياة إلى شيء من طبيعتها. في الولايات المتحدة يرى ترامب بأنّ إغلاق البلاد لفترة طويلة يلحق أضراراً فادحة، ويشير إلى انه سيتمّ فتح البلاد تدريجياً قبل نهاية نيسان الحالي، فيما ألمانيا تنوي فتح بعض المحال التجارية في الرابع من أيار ثم إعاده الحياة الدراسية في المدارس والجامعات. أما إيطاليا وهي الأكثر إصابة فإنها ستتخذ قرارها بإجراء تخفيف على قيود حركة مواطنيها في مطلع أيار المقبل. في مشرقنا اتخذت بعض الحكومات إجراءات مشابهة، هذا في حين أنّ منظمة الصحة العالمية WHO تصيح بأنّ أيّ تخفيف لإجراءات الإغلاق والعزل هو خطأ فادح، ولكن صراخها يذهب ويتلاشى في البرية أمام حيرة الحكومات وعجزها.

من تداعيات جائحة الوباء، جائحة لا تقلّ هولاً وخطراً لا بل تزيد في آثارها على العالم بأسره وهي الجائحة الاقتصادية وانهيار أسعار البترول انهياراً فاق الخيال ولم يخطر على بال بشر وأدّى إلى انهيارات حادة في مؤشرات الاقتصاد وأسواق المال بتسارع عجيب.

في عام 1973 واثر حرب تشرين الأول أوقفت الدول العربية تصدير النفط الأمر الذي أدّى في غضون أيام قليلة إلى ارتفاع ثمن برميل النفط من 3 دولارات إلى 13 دولاراً. هذه الدولارات العشرة أربكت العالم ونقلت دول البترودولار العربية من حالة إلى حالة، اذ ترافق صعود أسعار البترول مع تعاظم مداخيلها وبالتالي تعاظم دورها السياسي والاقتصادي، وبدأت تأخذ مكانة تنافس بها قلب العالم العربي القديم المتمثل في سورية والعراق ومصر، وفي بعض الأحيان استطاعت أن تملي على بعض من هذه الدول مواقف وتمارس نفوذها المستمدّ من مساعداتها المالية السخية والمشروطة بالطبع. بحساب بسيط استطاع منتجو النفط رفع أسعار برميل نفطهم بنسبة 400% (من 3 دولارات إلى 13 دولاراً) خلال أيام عام 1973، لكنهم احتاجوا بعد ذلك إلى قرابة النصف قرن ليصل سعر البرميل إلى حدود 70 دولاراً، ولكن تداعيات الجائحتين أعادته إلى ما دون الصفر، فالآبار من الصعب إغلاقها، ومخازن النفط امتلأت ولم تعد تستوعب المزيد، وإمكانيه إتلاف فائض البترول تختلف عن إتلاف المحاصيل الزراعية التي قد تتحوّل إلى أعلاف أو أسمدة أما مادة النفط فهي مدمّرة للبيئة… إنه عالم مجنون، عالم يسير بلا قوانين ضابطة، وما كان مهماً بالأمس أصبح اليوم عديم الأهمية، وما كان يستدعي حشد الجيوش والأساطيل والجنود من أجله في أيام ماضية أصبح القتال من أجل الخلاص منه والابتعاد عنه هو العمل.

حتى قبل أيام قليلة افترضت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية أنّ ما يهمّها في بلادنا هو مناطق شرق الفرات، حيث ثروات بترولية ضخمة، وكانت الولايات المتحدة تدعم حلفاءها وصنائعها وعملاءها هناك بشكل سخيّ وبما يجعلهم قادرين على مناجزة الدولتين السورية والعراقية، فما هي قيمة شرق الفرات اليوم؟ وهل لا زال لأولئك الصنائع أو الحلفاء أهمية طالما أنّ البترول لم يعد يساوي شيئاً لا بل تحوّل إلى عبء على مالكه وعلى منتجه والمستثمر في مجاله، دولاً كانت أم شركات نفطية وشركات زيت صخري؟

داعش والنصرة والأكراد ومن لفّ لفّهم من جماعات تكفيرية وإرهابية أو انفصالية والتي تلقت دعماً سياسياً واسعاً، بعضها أتاها الدعم من دول البترودولار وبعضها من تركيا ودولة بترودولارية إضافة للولايات المتحدة وشريكتها الإقليمية (إسرائيل)، لكن هؤلاء لم يعودوا في السنوات الأخيرة يحتاجون إلى الدعم المالي، وذلك بعد أن سيطروا على آبار النفط وسرقوا إنتاجها ووجدوا أسواقاً لبيعه، فهل تستطيع تلك الجماعات الاستمرار في حربها، وليس للنفط من يشتريه؟

حرب اليمن، وهي جزء من حروب السعودية على إيران وعلى ما يعتبرونه التمدّد الإيراني، هذه الحرب التي طحنت رحاها ما يزيد على نصف تريليون دولار ذهبت عبثاًً ولم تحقق سوى الهزائم والخيبات. فهل من الممكن للسعودية أن تستمرّ في تمويل حربها هذه، السعودية التي رفعت سقف إنتاجها وخفّضت الأسعار في الأسابيع الماضية بهدف ضرب اقتصاديات إيران وفنزويلا وروسيا، حق عليها القول: من حفر حفرة لأخيه وقع فيها، خاصة أنّ أزمة الوباء قد أوقفت السياحة الدينية من حجّ وعمرة والتي كانت مصدر الدخل الثاني للخزينة السعودية بعد النفط، ولا تزال إمكانيات استنهاض سعر برميل النفط في عالم الغيب وغير منظورة في القريب. فالشتاء قد ولى والصيف قد أقبل الأمر الذي يضعف الطلب، ومصانع كثيرة عبر العالم توقفت عن الإنتاج أو أنها تعمل بشكل جزئي، ووسائط النقل الجوية والبحرية والأرضية لا تكاد تبارح مطاراتها وموانئها ومواقفها.

في رام الله اعتقدت حكومة د. اشتية أنّ اتصالاتها بالأوروبيّين والعرب وبنك التمويل الإسلامي وسواهم من المانحين ستؤتي ثمارها، ولكن بعد هذا الانهيار في الاقتصاديات العالمية فلا يظنّن احد بأنّ دعماً سيأتي. فالداعمون قد أصبحوا يحتاجون إلى من يدعمهم وفاقد الشيء لا يعطيه، ولن يكون أمام الفلسطيني والأردني واللبناني سوى الصدق والصبر وربط الأحزمة إلى أقصى قدر ممكن، وربما انتظار جائحة ثالثة شبيهة بالتي أعقبت تهجير الكويت 1990-1991، وذلك بعودة أعداد ضخمة من المغتربين في الخليج من فلسطينيين وأردنيين ولبنانيين إلى بلادهم.

في تل أبيب أعلن مساء الاثنين عن التوافق بين «الليكود» و«أبيض – أزرق» على تشكيل حكومة واسعة، ويذهب البعض للقول إنّ ما دفع لهذا الاتفاق هو الجائحة الاقتصادية، والتي تصيب دولة الاحتلال الثرية وذات الاقتصاد القوي، والتي يمثل الغاز جزءاً من مداخيلها الراهنة والمستقبلية. مطلوب من الحكومة هناك تخفيف الأضرار وإدارة الأزمة والاستفادة من حالة الانشغال الدولي والمحلي بضمّ الأغوار وأراضي المستوطنات وشمال البحر الميت وبرية الخليل في تموز المقبل.

في الموروث الديني حديث نبوي يقول: من بات آمناً في سربه، معافى في بدنه، مالكاً قوت يومه، فكأنما ملك الدنيا وما فيها. ماذا يملك الإنسان الذي تفتك الكورونا في بدنه، ويحول الانهيار الاقتصادي بينه وبين قوت يومه، وتهدّد التداعيات الاجتماعية والأمنية التي ستلي ما تقدّم بأمنه…. لقد فقد العالم عقله…


*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين ـ فلسطين المحتلة.

هل هناك خلاف فعليّ بين الأميركيين وآل سعود؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يثير التهديد الأميركي لآل سعود بقطع التعاون معهم على مستويات التغطية السياسية والاستراتيجية والتسليح والتدريب والرعاية وسحب المستشارين والعسكريين الاميركيين المنتشرين في الخليج، الدهشة لأنه لا يتصل بأي توتر سابق بين الطرفين ولا يعكس تاريخاً طويلاً ومتواصلاً من الولاء السعودي الكامل للسياسة الاميركية في كل بقاع الارض.

فهذه العلاقات تطورت بعد توقيع معاهدة كوينسي في 1945 بين الرئيس الاميركي روزفلت والعاهل السعودي عبد العزيز على اساس التغطية الكاملة مقابل الولاء والتسهيلات النفطية والتبعية الاقتصادية بما جعل هذا التاريخ رمزاً لانصياع سعودي كامل وعلني وضع كامل الإمكانات الاقتصادية والدينية في خدمة الجيوبوليتيك الاميركي متيحاً بدوره للسعودية فرصة حيازة ادوار في كبيرة في الخليج والتأثير في جوارهما المباشر في العراق واليمن والعالمين العربي والاسلامي.

على هذا الاساس قامت معادلة القطبية الاميركية التي تشكل السعودية جناحها في محوريها العربي والاسلامي مع أهمية دولية نسبية.

اللافت هنا ان هذا الوضع لا يزال معتمداً حتى هذا التاريخ ويبدو منفصلاً الى درجة غريبة من نوعين من التهديد الأميركي.

الاول اطلقه الرئيس دونالد ترامب محذراً صديقته السعودية ومنافسته روسيا من الاستمرار في رفع انتاجيهما النفطي وإلا فإنه متجه الى فرض ضرائب ورسوم على صادراتهما من البترول.

اما الثاني فكان أشد عنفاً واطلقه الحزب الجمهوري الاميركي الذي ينتمي اليه ترامب معلناً فيه استعداد الدولة الاميركية قطع كامل علاقاتها مع السعودية اذا لم تتراجع عن رفع انتاجها النفطي الى مستويات اقل مما كان عليه قبل شهرين فقط.

وهذا يعني إعادته من 13 مليون برميل يومياً كما هو الآن الى تسعة ملايين كما كان في كانون الثاني الماضي… مع امل على خفضه اضافياً في اطار خفض جماعي لدول منظمة اوبيك يتعادل مع التراجعات الاقتصادية التي فرضها انتشار جائحة الكورونا المتواصل حتى الآن.

المدهش هنا أن الاميركيين يصرون على هذا الخفض رافضين تحديد سقف لإنتاجهم من النفط الصخري الشديد الكلفة والبترول العادي ويبررون بأن نفوطهم تراجعت في الآونة الأخيرة بسبب تراجع اسعار البترول الى 23 دولاراً للبرميل بعد الرفع السعودي – الروسي لإنتاجيهما فكان ان توقفت شركات النفط الصخري عن العمل، لأن كلفة استخراج البرميل الواحد من هذا النوع تتعدى الأربعين دولاراً، ما ادى الى تدهور كبير في اقتصاديات هذه الشركات الاميركية وتريد خفض الاسعار العالمية لإعادة انعاش الشركات الاميركية التي تؤمن وظائف لعشرات آلاف العمال وتؤدي دوراً مركزياً في التفاعلات الاقتصادية الكبرى، لذلك فإن هذه التطورات تدعو الى التساؤل عن اسباب صمت الاميركيين عن رفع السعودية لإنتاجها النفطي في تاريخ رفعه قبل أشهر عدة، ولماذا يعترضون الآن؟

الواضح أنهم في المرحلة الأولى اعتقدوا ان رفع الإنتاج السعودي يؤدي فوراً الى ضرب الاقتصاد الروسي المعتمد على النفط والغاز بمعدل اربعين في المئة من موازناتهم ويضاعف مصاعب ايران التي يقاطعها الاميركيون ويحاصرونها مع نفر كبير من دول تؤيدهم او تخشاهم.

لكن انتشار الكورونا والشلل الاقتصادي في العام احدث شللاً كبيراً وخطيراً وعاماً في الاقتصاد الاميركي وشركات النفط الصخري وذلك عشية انتخابات رئاسية واصبح المشروع الاميركي بضرب روسيا عبر استخدام النفط السعودي كارثة على الاميركيين ايضاً.

وإذا كان إقناع السعوديين بخفض إنتاجهم عملاً ممكناً بسهولة، فإن إقناع الروس هو المشكلة الفعلية لانهم سارعوا الى رفض الطلب الاميركي مصرين على خفض متواز بين دول «اوبيك +» اي اوبيك زائد روسيا مع النفط الأميركي.

في حين أن الأميركيين يريدون خفضاً عالمياً يسمح لشركاتهم بالعودة الى الإنتاج والتوظيف بقوة ما يسمح لترامب بكسب أصوات الفئات الشعبية في الانتخابات المقبلة.

الموضوع اذاً بالنسبة للبيت الابيض هو اقتصادي في جانبه المتعلق بإنتاج النفط وتحديد اسعاره، وهو أيضاً سياسي لعلاقته بالانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني المقبل، وهو أيضاً استراتيجي جيوبوليتيكي لتعاطفه مع حالة التنافس الشديد مع روسيا، وتحالفاتها في ايران والصين.

الأمر الذي يوضح ان رفع الانتاج السعودي هو قرار اميركي لكن العودة عنه لم تعد كذلك بل اصبحت معادلة تحتاج الى موافقة روسيا ومنظمة الاوبيك وهناك تكمن المشكلة، لان الروس يقبلون بالخفض بمعدل يواكب تداعيات كورونا على تراجع الاقتصاد العالمي لكنهم يشترطون ان يسري هذا الخفض على النفط الاميركي ايضاً بما يؤدي الى عرقلة عودة النشاط النفطي الى الاقتصاد الاميركي.

لذلك فإن اقتصار هذا الخفض على السعوديين لن يؤدي الى النتائج الاميركية المطلوبة، فجاء التهديدان الاميركيان للسعودية بمثابة إنذار لروسيا لحلحلة تصلبها وخطاباً عاطفياً للناخبين الاميركيين بأن الحزب الجمهوري الاميركي لن يتورع عن معاقبة صديقة بلاده الاساسية اي السعودية اذا اكملت سياسة رفع انتاجها الموازية لشركات النفط الصخري وآلاف الاميركيين العاملين فيها، الامر الذي يكشف انهما ليسا اكثر من دبلجة لغوية غير قابلة للتطبيق العملي لان السعودية هي البقرة الاميركية الحلوب التي تنعش الاقتصاد الاميركي وتؤمن للسياسة الاميركية مدى اسلامياً واسعاً يزداد انصياعاً لواشنطن عندما يستعمل آل سعود أهمية بلادهم الدينية والتغطية في خدمته.

اما على المقلب الآخر الذي يذهب الى التساؤل حول امكانية آل سعود مقاومة الاميركيين بطلب خفض انتاج نفطهم فيثير الضحك لان آل سعود لم يبنوا دولة متماسكة تؤمن بشعبها وتعمل على رفع مستويات النمو والتقدم، بل عملوا على مفهوم من القرون الوسطى يعتبر ان الارض والناس والثروات والمياه هي ملك للسلطان يوزعها على من يشاء ويمنعها عما يريد، فهو ولي الامر واحكامه مطبقة على السمع والطاعة.

هناك نقطة اضافية وهي ان الحكم السعودي لم يؤسس منظومة تحالفات عربية واقليمية تعينه في اوقات الشدة، فهو يعادي ايران معتمداً على اميركا لاسقاط جمهوريتها ويعبث بالامن الاجتماعي والسياسي للعراق متلاعباً بمكوناته وطوائفه ويرتكب مجازر في اليمن تطال مئات الآلاف في هجوم مستمر من خمس سنوات ويدعم الارهاب في سورية ويعادي قطر متدخلاً في ليبيا والسودان والجزائر ومتعاوناً مع «اسرائيل».

فكيف يمكن لبلد من هذا النوع يفتقد لتأييد شعبه مثيراً كراهية جواره السياسي ان يقاوم الاوامر الاميركية وهي اصلاً غير موجودة حتى الآن؟

يتبين ان السعودية لا تزال حاجة ماسة للاميركيين بوضعيتها السياسية الحالية، وهذا يعني ان آل سعود مرتاحون ويواصلون سياسة الاسترخاء السياسي مع خنق شعبهم بأساليب القرون الوسطى.

COVID-19 Has Not Slowed Trump, Erdogan Regime Crimes in Syria

April 7, 2020 Miri Wood

Trump illegals deliver weapons & trucks into Syria. Archive 6 August 2019.
The Trump regime’s logistical problems in dealing with COVID-19 due to lack of preparedness has not slowed America’s war crimes against Syria. The US media continue to incite hysteria in Americans, over possible shortages in PPE, ventilators, burial grounds and which have returned to the demonization of hydroxychloroquine treatment, remain silent over the regime’s ongoing war crimes.
On Monday, SANA reported that “the US occupation forces” again illegally entered Syria, this time with a convoy of 35 trucks filled with “military and logistic materials” to send to its criminal bases and criminal “occupation points” in the al Jazira area. Trump regime American illegals entered Syria from Iraq, through the “illegal al Walid crossing in al Ya’rubia countryside, to the far northeastern of Hasakah…” with most of the military supplies going to the American illegal base in the illegally occupied Khrab al Jeer Military Airport in the al Malikiyah area.
American illegals in Syria under the command of Donald Trump are there to steal Syrian oil and “major crops,” despite Trump’s ongoing boasts that the US is oil independent.
Though there is no official government report on coordination, on Monday madman Erdogan also sent a “convoy of [twenty] military vehicles to the city of Ras al Ayn in Hasaka northwestern countryside.” The Muslim Brotherhood caliph wannabe thinks his criminal troops call halt the fratricide and fragging among his semi-independent terrorist mercenaries. These Captagon-fueled pathogens have occupied Ras al Ayn since October and more recently have begun to kill each other fighting over homes and other property they have stolen from Syrian civilians.
Erdogan’s al Qaeda thugs have created yet another offshoot: Firqat al Hamzat, looting homes and businesses in Ras al Ayn. Some kill each over for the stolen booty, but not enough.

Erdogan regime air force bombed the electricity grid of the Alouk Power Plant in October, twice. Twice it was repaired by the Syrian electricity army. The madman’s thugs — both conscripted members of Turkey’s military and assorted armed human detritus — subsequently occupied this region and have engaged in depriving the Syrian civilians of this water supply, for several weeks, with no condemnation from the UN.

After an unsuccessful deployment of thousands of young men fake refugees to crash through the Greek border, Erdogan sent buses to pick them up, and claimed he would house them in coronavirus quarantine areas and later ‘repatriate’ them to their countries of origin, though no one of sane mind believes the unindicted war criminal.

Official COVID-19 stats report Turkey with more than 30,000 confirmed cases and 649 dead, and the US with more than 360,000 confirmed and more than 10,000 dead.

The pandemic has not stopped the war criminal aggressions against Syria, by either madman.

psyops - erdogan
‘Erdogan thinks he’s a Caliph’~ Syrian president Dr. Bashar al-Assad

President al-Assad receives Russian Defense Minister

Monday, 23 March 2020 14:41 

DAMADCUS, (ST)_ President Bashar al-Assad received on Monday Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu and the accompanying delegation. The talks dealt with the Russian-Turkish agreement reached on March, 5, 2020 and the terrorist groups’incessant violations of the agreement. 

The two sides focused on the mechanism of implementing the agreement that provides for keeping the terrorists 6km away from Aleppo-Lattakia road. President al-Assad and the Russian minister also discussed the current situation in the Syrian al-Jazeera region , the US’s looting of Syrian oil and the measures adopted by the Syrian government to restore security and stability to all Syrian areas.  The efforts being exerted by the Russian leadership at regional and international levels to break the seige and to lift sanctions imposed on the people of Syria were also on the table. There was an agreement between the two sides on the joint steps and policies to be adopted in the next stage.

President al-Assad receives phone call from President Putin on latest developments in Syria

Friday, 20 March 2020 15:30 

During the call, Presidents al-Assad and President Putin reviewed the implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreements signed on March 5 to achieve stability in the region of Idleb and the recurrent  violations of these agreements by terrorist organizations in addition to the political process.

President Putin congratulated President al-Assad and the Syrian people on the occasion of Isra’a and Mi’raj night, expressing wishes that Syria would overcome difficulties it is passing through and restore security and stability as soon as possible.

K.Q.

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العراق ميدان الحروب المقبلة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تتلاحق القرارات الأميركية بخصوص وضع قواتهم العسكرية في العراق، بشكل لا يخشون فيه من أي اتهام لهم باحتلاله.

فهم بالفعل محتلّون يُصدرون قرارات حاسمة معتمدين بتفتيته الى وجود مكوّنات ثلاثة متصارعة وشبه منقسمة بأبعاد عرقية وطائفية وجغرافية.

وهذا ينسحب على الرئاسات العراقية الثلاث الجمهورية «الكردية» والحكومية «الشيعية» والنواب «السنية» التي توالي سياسات مذاهبها، وبالتالي مناطقها بما ينتج ضياعاً للقرار الوطني الموحّد والتصاقاً بالسياسات الدولية والإقليمية.

هذه هي الوضعية التي يستفيد منها الأميركيون منذ احتلالهم للعراق في 2003، مرغمين سلطاته الدستورية في مراحل لاحقة بالاعتراف بهم في معاهدات الجديدة بأنهم قوى مساندة للدولة العراقية من أجل مكافحة الارهاب من جهة، ولتدريب القوات العراقية من جهة ثانية.

لكن هذه المهام لم تنته وكان يتوجب على الأميركيين الرحيل في 2013، ولم يفعلوا، بذريعة ان الارهاب لا يزال منتشراً حتى أنهم زادوا من قواتهم وقواعدهم في العراق وخصوصاً تلك المنتشرة على حدوده مع سورية.

بأي حال ليس هناك انتشار عسكري أميركي في بلاد غريبة من دون وظائف سياسية. وهذا يسري على العراق ايضاً.

بما يفرض الربط بين الحركتين الأميركيتين العسكرية والسياسية في بلاد الرافدين والجوار السوري.

فهل يمكن تجاهل زيارة الرئيس الأميركي ترامب لقاعدة أميركية في العراق من دون التقائه بالرؤساء العراقيين؟ صحيح أن هذا السلوك استخفافيّ بأصحاب الارض، لكن هناك ما هو أخطر ولم يكترث له السياسيون والعراقيون ولم يتجرأوا على انتقاده وهو تصريح لترامب اثناء «تسلله» الى العراق، يقول فيه إن بلاده باقية في العراق لادارة شؤون المنطقة وتبعه وزيرا الخارجية والدفاع الأميركيان بزيارات مماثلة أكملت ممارسة السياسة الاستخفافية الأميركية بالحكومات العراقية.

أما الخطوة الثالثة فترجمها الأميركيون على شكل تحصين عالي المستوى والمناعة لمقارهم الدبلوماسية في بغداد وكردستان وتزويد قواعدهم بأسلحة نوعية مع عديد ملائم.

وواكبوها بتعطيل متعمد وواضح لتشكيل أي حكومة عراقية جديدة إلا بمعادلة «مدبرة» تستطيع تعطيل أي مشروع لإخراج القوات الأميركية من العراق.

هناك أيضاً ما هو اخطر… وهو الاعلان الأميركي الصريح عن المباشرة بتزويد قواعدهم العسكرية بشبكة صواريخ متنوعة شديدة التطور للدفاع الجوي والقصف البري، هذا الى جانب إحداث ربط شديد ومحكم بين قواعدهم عند الحدود العراقية مع مناطق شرق الفرات السورية عبر دير الزور الى الحسكة والقامشلي والحدود السورية العراقية لناحية الشرق.

وتشير معلومات دولية أكيدة ان هذا الخط الأميركي له اهداف جيوبوليتيكية وسياسية واقتصادية.

لجهة الجيوبوليتيك فإن الاستمرار باحتلال هذه البقعة السورية العراقية تجعل الأميركيين على تماس مباشر مع تركيا والدولة السورية والعراق الرسمي في بغداد والجنوب، والسعودية لناحية الإنبار العراقية، وفي مواجهة إيران في كل مكان تقريباً وحيث توجد قواعدها في كردستان العراقية الى الكويت والبحرين والإمارات وعمان والسعودية وقطر، بما يمنع انهيار النفوذ الأميركي من منطقة الشرق الأوسط بكامله مع مواصلة خنق إيران ومنع روسيا من التمدد «السوفياتي الطابع». والحد من التوغل الصيني، يكفي ان هذا المشروع يجهض سياسياً تأسيس دولة عراقية قوية ذات دور إقليمي ويمنع استكمال الدولة السورية لسيادتها على كامل أراضيها، اي مشروع للتمديد للازمتين العراقية والسورية والاستيلاء على مساحات واسعة جداً هي الأكثر استراتيجية للمشروع الأميركي الجديد.

اقتصادياً يسيطر الأميركيون عبر هذه المساحة العراقية – السورية التي يمسكون بها على آبار النفط الاساسية في كردستان وشرق سورية وشمالها.

أليس هذا ما استشعره الرئيس التركي اردوغان، فحاول إشراك بلده في اللعبة الاستعمارية الأميركية، عبر تحاصص ثلاثي بين القوى الأكثر فاعلية في تلك المنطقة وهي الأميركية والروسية والتركية؟

يكفي هنا عرضه للأسباب التي دفعته الى هذا الاقتراع، وهي على حد زعمه ضرورة بناء مساكن للنازحين السوريين في الشمال والشرق بما يكشف عن استيعابه للمخطط الأميركي مع محاولة بناء منطقة حاجزة داخل الحدود السورية بعمق ثلاثين كيلومتراً يوطن فيها نازحين من جنسيات مختلفة، في مسعى لتغيير ديموغرافي بإبعاد الأكراد السوريين الى الداخل، فتصبح لأردوغان اهداف عدة: تفتيت سورية وطرد الأكراد والهيمنة على النفط مقابل طموح أميركي للسيطرة الجيوبوليتيكية بالاحتلال والسطو على النفط وتركيب أنظمة ومحاولة منع التراجع الأميركي.

بأي حال هذا ما يريده الأميركيون والأتراك.

فما هو الرد العراقي – السوري وبالطبع الإيراني. ومن خلفهم الردود الروسية – الصينية؟

إن كل هذه القوى المعنية تدرك ان الأميركيين يقطعون التواصل السياسي والاقتصادي بين العراق وسورية وإيران وروسيا بشكل مقصود.

لكنها تعي أيضاً ان معركة ادلب هي واحدة من الوسائل السورية – الروسية لمنع تحقيق المشروع الأميركي التركي في الشرق.

بما يوضح أسباب الإصرار الأميركي على منع استكمال عملية تحرير إدلب، مفسراً دواعي هذا الصراخ التركي المستمر.

لكن ما يتسبب بقلق فعلي، هو الوضع العراقي المطلوب منه مؤازرة السوريين إنما داخل العراق وليس خارجه، وذلك لأن الضغط على الأميركيين على طول المساحة المصرين على الإمساك بها يؤدي الى خسارتهم لمشروعهم، وتخفيف وقع عقوباتهم على إيران، بما يمنح الروس ظروفاً مناسبة للدخول في مجابهة فعلية في سورية وغيرها.

هذا إذا وثقوا بوجود وحدة وطنية عراقية تمهّد الشرعية السياسية لدورهم في العراق.

العراق إذاً هو النقطة الاستراتيجية التي يريد منها الأميركيون رعاية الخليج وخنق إيران وتفتيت سورية ومراقبة تركيا، والبدء بمشروع تأسيس دويلات كردية من إيران والعراق وسورية وربما تركيا.

لذلك فإن الميدان العراقي مرشح لصراعات قوية عراقية وإيرانية وأميركية وكردية وتركية وروسية، وربما اشتركت فيها قوى أوروبية.

فيبقى أن وحدة العراقيين هي وحدها الكفيلة بلجم هذه الحروب أو الانتصار عليها. وهذا يتطلّب الخروج من العرقية والطائفية والإيمان بأن الأميركيين لا يعملون الا في خدمة مصالحهم ويستعملون الآخرين حطباً لإضرامها.

Syrian President calls on Kurdish groups to stop cooperating with US: video

By News Desk -2020-03-06

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on the Kurdish groups cooperating with the US troops in Syria to stand against the occupation, in an interview with ‘Russia 24 TV,’ in Damascus, Thursday.

The Syrian president said that the government is maintaining “contact with the Kurdish political groups” in northern Syria, and considered the issue to be “small groups acting with the Americans.”

“You cannot stand with the police and the thief at the same time, this is impossible. So, we cannot reach results in any dialogue with them, even if we were to meet thousands of times, unless they take a clear position, a patriotic position, to be against the Americans, against occupation, and against the Turks because they are occupiers too,” stressed Assad.

Talking about Turkish military activity in Idlib area, Assad said that “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan [is] using all his power, of course with an order from the United States, no doubt, because the liberation of Idlib means the liberation of the northeastern area, as I have said previously, Idlib is considered [by the Turkish state], militarily speaking, a police station.”

“Of course it is possible to repair the relations with Turkey, however, we cannot achieve this unless Erdogan stops supporting terrorists, once he stops supporting them, the relationship will be restored, because there is no animosity between the two nations, the animosity started due to political issues connected to personal interests,” concluded the Syrian leader.

PUTIN-ERDOGAN MEETING: A STORM IS EXPECTED OVER THE “MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES” IN IDLIB; AYN AL ARAB IS AT STAKE

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

Hezbollah in Saraqeb attacking at night to free the western part of the city with special equipment.

The Turkish-Syrian battle is the battle of the Kurds in Ayn al-Arab, Kobane.

By Elijah J. Magnier:  @ejmalrai

Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan had decided to attack Russia, Iran and Syria when he sent his army to Idlib and bombed Russian and Iranian allies on the Idlib front. The Turkish president is feeling strong and believes he is holding many good cards to play against his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin. He trusts he is in a position to bomb Iran’s allies, despite the fact that they hold armed drones, precision missiles and experienced Special Forces that can hit Turkey very hard in the case of war. 

The conflict Erdogan envisions between Russia, Iran and Syria on one side and Turkey on the other would suit the US and Israel. They would be happy to see Presidents Putin and Erdogan sinking into the Syrian quagmire and Hezbollah losing more men in the Levant. Negotiations, intense battles and attempts to reshuffle the military situation are taking place behind the scenes. President Erdogan is trying to improve his military position on the ground before his meeting with President Putin in Moscow tomorrow Thursday- but to no avail. Stormy negotiations can be expected.

President Erdogan is not in a position to bang his fist on the table. At the time Russia is receiving Erdogan a tweet by the Russian Foreign Ministry reminds him how Russia defeated the Ottoman Empire and forced it to sign the Treaty of San Stefano in March 1878 in Constantinople. It has accused Erdogan of altering Syrian demography after occupying the Afrin province and Tal Abyad, forcing the departure of over 350,000 Kurds and the relocation of Turkmen militants and their families instead.

The battle of Idlib follows many secret talks before the struggle and reflects serious disagreements between Turkey on one side and Russia, Iran and Syria on the other. Erdogan was ready to negotiate and clear the roads linking Damascus and Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo and Latakia (M4) but in exchange, he asked for concessions in north-east Syria that were rejected. Turkey tried to stop the Syrian army and its allies and wanted to reach the gates of Aleppo. The current battle for Idlib, the “mother of all battles”, follows many secret talks which are the necessary context for understanding the current Turkish war on Syria and Syria’s response. For the first time, Syria has dared to hit the Turkish army directly- this has never happened before in the modern history of Syria.

Turkey is more isolated than it has ever been. It has lost its privileged position within the US by buying the S-400 and hosting the Turkstream pipeline selling Russian gas to Europe. It has lost European respect by organising the transfer of over 110,000 Syrian and other nationalities’ refugees to the borders, allowing them to reach the borders with Greece and refusing to close the Turkish borders to prevent the crossing. This Turkish blackmail is not winning friends on the European continent, especially since Erdogan is at the same time asking for more money to compensate the refugees’ presence in his country. 

Arab countries are standing with Syria against Turkey. Libya’s eastern-based government linked to General Khalifa Haftar inaugurated the opening of its embassy in Damascus. Saudi Arabian, Egypt, and the Emirates are showing solidarity with President Assad against the Turkish-Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood alliance. A strong message was delivered during the battle of Idlib where for the first time the Syrian and Turkish armies face each other on the battlefield. 

Erdogan is also losing support from Putin by bombing the Syrian army, trained by Russia, and damaging Syrian military effectiveness honed with Russian help. When Moscow closed an eye to Turkey’s desire to avenge the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers and officers in south Idlib, Erdogan responded with a disproportionate bombing which angered Russia and the allies that suffered the most. In response, Iran threatened to hit back against more than a thousand Turkish troops within the 14 Turkish observation points located within liberated Syrian territory and guarded by Hezbollah and Iranian IRGC forces. 

Putin is not completely losing his relationship with Erdogan, nor is it Russia’s intention to declare war on Turkey. In recent days, during a private meeting between Iranian and Turkish officials in Ankara, Iranian officers explained that “Iran and Russia believe that any war with Turkey will serve the US and Israel who would happily watch and contribute to fuelling the animosity between both sides.” US special representative for Syria James Jeffery said his country is ready to provide ammunition to Turkey in its Idlib battle. However, US defence secretary Mark Esper ruled out US intervention in favour of Turkey in Idlib.

In Idlib, Turkey seems to have lost hope in the capacities of tens of thousands of jihadists to hold the ground notwithstanding years of fortifications, tunnel digging and building stronghold positions in the cities along the Damascus-Aleppo (known as the M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) roads. These jihadists are made up of a mixture of foreign fighters from dozens of different countries but mainly from the Tajik, Uighur, Turkmen and Arab jihadists fighting under Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former ISIS, former al-Qaeda in Syria, former al-Nusra) fighting under different banners: from al-Qaeda (Hurras al-Din), Jund al-Aqsa to Ahrar al-Sham and many other names.

Hezbollah stopped an attack aiming to take back el-Eiss and from it to reach the gates of south Aleppo last Friday. The Turkish army bombed Hezbollah and Zul-fiqar brigade (Iranian IRGC, Fatimiyoun and Zeinabiyoun) at Talhiya to allow jihadists supported by Turkey to push into a corridor from Binnish and Taftanaz towards Talhiyah and from it to Rasm al-Is, Rasm al-Saharij, El-Eis strategic hill until al-Hader. Notwithstanding the Turkish intensive bombing to clear the road for jihadists and the killing of nine Hezbollah and over 66 wounded, the jihadists did not manage to get through. Hezbollah and their allies from the Zulfiqar brigades held their ground and stopped the advance.

Russia grounded its Air Force for 48 hours after the killing of 36 Turkish soldiers and officers (officially Turkey has declared 41 killed so far). The lack of air coverage surprised the allies of Russia who have anti-air missiles but were not expecting the Russians to abdicate their agreed role. Turkey managed to stop the Syrian army and its allies’ advance for 48 hours. However, all areas lost to the Turks were recovered within 48 hours. The battle of Saraqeb was the harshest. Hezbollah and the Zulfiqar brigade never withdrew from the east side of the city, while jihadists controlled the west side.

 Following the Turkish “disproportionate bombing”, as described by the Russian generals in Syria, Moscow ordered its Air Force commanders to escort a dozen Syrian anti-air batteries to the front line to protect Syrian troops from any Turkish bombing. Syria brought the Tor-M1 and its Pantsir system and took measures to reduce the casualties caused by the Turkish drones. 

Syria and its allies carried out (exceptional) night attacks liberating the strategic city of Saraqeb and held their positions in it. Hezbollah and Iran tripled the number of forces along the 70 km (M5 and M4) front against Turkey and its jihadists. Russia made 27 air attacks against Saraqeb and resumed air bombing in support of its allies.

Russia declared it could no longer “guarantee the safety of the Turkish aviation in Syria after Damascus shuts Idlib airspace”. The Syrian air defence systems downed around 7 Turkish drones. The Syrian army is showing dauntless courage by standing and bombing the Turkish military and fighting it face to face. Syrian artillery pounded Turkish positions and killed close to a dozen Turkish soldiers on the battlefield. President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to stand up to Turkey is something not even his father Hafez dared to do.

This is a response to Turkey’s killing and wounding of a large number of Syrian soldiers. Syria has been at war for nine years and has withstood significant losses. On the other hand, Turkey has one of the most prominent NATO armies with the most advanced means. A small and reduced Syrian army has now managed to kill Turkish soldiers on the battlefield, to destroy Turkish tanks and down their drones.

Turkey halted its direct bombing against Hezbollah and the Zulfiqar brigade. Iran and Hezbollah threatened to hit Turkey if the bombing continued. Close to 2000 Turkish officers and soldiers are now positioned, under Hezbollah and Iran’s ‘protection’, in 14 observation posts inside Syrian controlled areas, where they receive supplies locally. A meeting between the Iranians and the Turkish army and an exchange of messages took place between Hezbollah and Ankara, explaining that any clash between the two will bring the Levant and Turkey into a comprehensive confrontation that no one could win. The battle in Syria should not be against Turkey, and Erdogan needs to understand that the presence of his troops on Syrian territory is not acceptable.

Moscow moved its military police and special forces into Saraqeb to draw a line on any possible Turkish intention to attack the city again. The Turkish army attacks have yielded nothing, and the Syrian army and its allies are gaining momentum and have the upper hand. What is pushing Erdogan to fight with his own army alongside the jihadists for the control of two roads which it had previously agreed to de-escalate and declare a demilitarised zone in 2018?

According to decision-makers in Syria, President Erdogan asked his Russian counterpart to allow his forces to occupy an area 50 km deep in north-east Syria. At the start, Russia did not react to the Turkish advance to replace the US forces who decided to limit its presence in Syria to stealing Syrian oil, i.e. around the oil wells in north-east Syria. When the US redeployed, Russia asked Turkey to halt its operations in al-Hasaka and Raqqa provinces. Erdogan then lowered his request, asked for a 30 km deep buffer zone.

Russia has good ties with the Kurds and wants to see Syria united and all foreign forces leaving Syria. Erdogan said he was ready to clear the M5 and M4 in exchange for the control of Ayn al-Arab (Kobane). Putin refused and agreed with Iran and Damascus to remove jihadists along the M5 and M4 by military force. Erdogan felt he was cut out of the deal because his jihadists did not hold their ground, and proved to be an incapable military force against Syria and its allies. This is why the Turkish army was pushed into the battle, supported by drones, F-16s, precision missiles and artillery. Today it is fighting on behalf of the jihadists that, according to Sochi agreement, should have been eliminated by Turkey more than a year ago.

Turkey wants to bring back the deployment of forces on the ground to where they were before the Idlib battle and is calling for the respect of the Astana agreement but from a weaker position. In fact, it is too late for that; deals have a short life in Syria! Ankara will have to accept the status quo and prepare to lose Idlib without further concessions in the Kurdish area. This does not mean Erdogan will accept and surrender without a fight all the Syrian territories he has occupied without a fight. The Putin-Erdogan meeting will probably not end all differences, and much may have to be postponed until the forthcoming Putin-Erdogan-Rohani meeting this month in Tehran. 

Erdogan seems to have forgotten the help Putin and Rohani gave him during the 2016 failed coup-d’état. He is showing recklessness and wrongly believes his potential partners are weak. The Turkish president is prioritising his territory-expansion ambition over his commercial and partnership relationship with Russia and Iran. The Turkish army is grinding its teeth over Idlib. The Ottoman Sultan never defeated the Russian Czar in the past and he certainly won’t succeed now in Syria…

Proofread byC.G.B. and Maurice Brasher

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for the confidence and support. If you like it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020

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US threatens to cut off Iraq’s access to oil account in New York if troops expelled: Paper

Source

Sunday, 12 January 2020 7:15 AM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 12 January 2020 9:45 AM ]

The cornerstone for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, October 4, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Iraqi officials say the administration of US President Donald Trump has threatened to shut off Iraq’s access to a key central banking account if Baghdad expels American troops from the Arab country.

Washington would shut down Baghdad’s access to its main account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, used to collect revenues from Iraq’s overseas oil sales, The Wall Street Journal quoted the officials as saying.  

According to the most recent financial statement from the Central Bank of Iraq, the bank held almost $3 billion in overnight deposits at the close of 2018.

The report came a day after Trump implicitly threatened to seize $35 billion of Iraqi money held in US banks if the country insists on having American forces withdrawn from Iraq. 

Trump said he had told Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi that Iraq “should pay back the United States for its investments in the country over the past several years or the American military will stay there,” Fox News reported.

“I said, ‘If we leave, you got to pay us,'” Trump told the news network in the White House. “If we leave … you have to pay us for the money we put in.”

Asked how he planned to collect money from Iraq, Trump said: “Well, we have a lot of their money right now. We have a lot of their money. We have $35 billion of their money right now sitting in an account.

“And I think they’ll agree to pay. I think they’ll agree to pay. Otherwise, we’ll stay there,” he added. 

Trump: US troops won’t leave Iraq unless it pays for ‘money we put in’

Trump: US troops won’t leave Iraq unless it pays for ‘money we put in’US President Donald Trump says American troops should not leave Iraq unless Baghdad pays back the United States for “the money we put in” the country.

Last week, Trump claimed that the United States had paid Iraq billions of dollars a year for many years.

Asked about the claim on Friday, Trump told Fox News, “We built one of the world’s most expensive airport facilities, anywhere in the world” in Iraq.  

Baghdad International Airport houses US military personnel. On Saturday, NBC News revealed that CIA agents at the airport were waiting for a jet carrying Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani from Damascus. 

Once the flight landed, American spies at the airport confirmed its exact whereabouts as three American drones moved into position overhead and targeted two vehicles carrying Soleimani and Iraq’s anti-terror commander Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis and their companions. 

The US military also controls several airbases in Iraq, including Ain al-Asad which is said to be the largest of the American bases in the Middle East. 

On Wednesday, Iran pounded the airbases with a volley of ballistic missiles in response to General Soleimani’s assassination. 

About 5,300 American forces are deployed across Iraq. After the assassination, the Iraqi parliament approved a motion, calling for the withdrawal of all American forces. 

On Thursday, Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “send delegates to put in place the tools to carry out the parliament’s decision.”  

However, the State Department said in a statement on Friday that Washington would not hold discussions with Baghdad regarding US troop withdrawal.

Iraq wants US to set up mechanism for withdrawal of troops

Iraq wants US to set up mechanism for withdrawal of troopsIraq

The US, backed by the UK, invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext that the former regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were ever found in the country. 

The invasion, however, plunged Iraq into chaos and led to the rise of terrorist groups across the region.

US rebuffs Iraq's call to withdraw troops from Arab country

US rebuffs Iraq’s call to withdraw troops from Arab countryThe United States has rejected Iraq

The Israel Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the Theft of Iraqi and Syrian Oil

By Agha Hussain & Whitney Webb

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KIRKUK, IRAQ — “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil,” President Trump stated on November 3, before adding, “I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.”

Though he had promised a withdrawal of U.S. troops from their illegal occupation of Syria, Trump shocked many with his blunt admission that troops were being left behind to prevent Syrian oil resources from being developed by the Syrian government and, instead, kept in the hands of whomever the U.S. deemed fit to control them, in this case, the U.S.-backed Kurdish-majority militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Though Trump himself received all of the credit — and the scorn — for this controversial new policy, what has been left out of the media coverage is the fact that key players in the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby played a major role in its creation with the purpose of selling Syrian oil to the state of Israel. While recent developments in the Syrian conflict may have hindered such a plan from becoming reality, it nonetheless offers a telling example of the covert role often played by the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby in shaping key elements of U.S. foreign policy and closed-door deals with major regional implications.

Indeed, the Israel lobby-led effort to have the U.S. facilitate the sale of Syrian oil to Israel is not an isolated incident given that, just a few years ago, other individuals connected to the same pro-Israel lobby groups and Zionist neoconservatives manipulated both U.S. policy and Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in order to allow Iraqi oil to be sold to Israel without the approval of the Iraqi government. These designs, not unlike those that continue to unfold in Syria, were in service to longstanding neoconservative and Zionist efforts to balkanize Iraq by strengthening the KRG and weakening Baghdad.

After the occupation of Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate by ISIS (June 2014-October 2015), the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) took advantage of the Iraqi military’s retreat and, amidst the chaos, illegally seized Kirkuk on June 12. Their claim to the city was supported by both the U.S. and Israel and, later, the U.S.-led coalition targeting ISIS. This gave the KRG control, not only of Iraq’s export pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan port, but also to Iraq’s largest oil fields.

Israel imported massive amounts of oil from the Kurds during this period, all without the consent of Baghdad. Israel was also the largest customer of oil sold by ISIS, who used Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk to sell oil in areas of Iraq and Syria under its control. To do this in ISIS-controlled territories of Iraq, the oil was sent first to the Kurdish city of Zakho near the Turkey border and then into Turkey, deceptively labeled as oil that originated from Iraqi Kurdistan. ISIS did nothing to impede the KRG’s own oil exports even though they easily could have given that the Kirkuk-Ceyhan export pipeline passed through areas that ISIS had occupied for years.

In retrospect, and following revelations from Wikileaks and new information regarding the background of relevant actors, it has been revealed that much of the covert maneuvering behind the scenes that enabled this scenario intimately involved the United States’ powerful pro-Israel lobby. Now, with a similar scenario unfolding in Syria, efforts by the U.S.’ Israel lobby to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in order to shift the flow of hydrocarbons for Israel’s benefit can instead be seen as a pattern of behavior, not an isolated incident.

“Keep the oil” for Israel

After recent shifts in the Trump administration in its Syria policy, U.S. troops have controversially been kept in Syria to “keep the oil,” with U.S. military officials subsequently claiming that doing so was “a subset of the counter-ISIS mission.” However, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper later claimed that another factor behind U.S. insistence on guarding Syrian oil fields was to prevent the extraction and subsequent sale of Syrian oil by either the Syrian government or Russia.

One key, yet often overlooked, player behind the push to prevent a full U.S. troop withdrawal in Syria in order to “keep the oil” was current U.S. ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield. Satterfield was previously the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, where he yielded great influence over U.S. policy in both Iraq and Syria and worked closely with Brett McGurk, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran and later special presidential envoy for the U.S.-led “anti-ISIS” coalition.

Over the course of his long diplomatic career, Satterfield has been known to the U.S. government as an Israeli intelligence asset embedded in the U.S. State Department. Indeed, Satterfield was named as a major player in what is now known as the AIPAC espionage scandal, also known as the Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal, although he was oddly never charged for his role after the intervention of his superiors at the State Department in the George W. Bush administration.

David Satterfield

In 2005, federal prosecutors cited a U.S. government official as having illegally passed classified information to Steve Rosen, then working for AIPAC, who then passed that information to the Israeli government. That classified information included intelligence on Iran and the nature of U.S.-Israeli intelligence sharing. Subsequent media reports from the New York Times and other outlets revealed that this government official was none other than David Satterfield, who was then serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs.

Charges against Rosen, as well as his co-conspirator and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman, were dropped in 2009 and no charges were levied against Satterfield after State Department officials shockingly claimed that Satterfield had “acted within his authority” in leaking classified information to an individual working to advance the interests of a foreign government. Richard Armitage, a neoconservative ally with a long history of ties to CIA covert operations in the Middle East and elsewhere, has since claimed that he was one of Satterfield’s main defenders in conversations with the FBI during this time when he was serving as Deputy Secretary of State.

The other government official named in the indictment, former Pentagon official Lawrence Franklin, was not so lucky and was charged under the Espionage Act in 2006. Satterfield, instead of being censured for his role in leaking sensitive information to a foreign government, was subsequently promoted in 2006 to serve as the Coordinator for Iraq and Senior Adviser to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In addition to his history of leaking classified information to AIPAC, Satterfield also has a longstanding relationship with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a controversial spin-off of AIPAC also known by its acronym WINEP. WINEP’s website has long listed Satterfield as one of its experts and Satterfield has spoken at several WINEP events and policy forums, including several after his involvement with the AIPAC espionage scandal became public knowledge. However, despite his longstanding and controversial ties to the U.S. pro-Israel lobby, Satterfield’s current relationship with some elements of that lobby, such as the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), is complicated at best.

While Satterfield’s role in yet another reversal of a promised withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria has largely escaped media scrutiny, another individual with deep ties to the Israel lobby and Syrian “rebel” groups has also been ignored by the media, despite his outsized role in taking advantage of this new U.S. policy for Israel’s benefit.

US Israel Lobby secures deal with Kurds

Earlier this year, well before Trump’s new Syria policy of “keeping the oil” had officially taken shape, another individual with deep ties to the U.S. Israel lobby secured a lucrative agreement with U.S.-backed Kurdish groups in Syria. An official document issued earlier this year by the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political arm of the Kurdish majority and U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a New Jersey-based company, founded and run by U.S.-Israeli dual citizen Mordechai “Motti” Kahana, was given control of the oil in territory held by the SDC.

Per the document, the SDC formally accepted the offer from Kahana’s company — Global Development Corporation (GDC) — to represent SDC in all matters pertaining to the sale of oil extracted in territory it controls and also grants GDC “the right to explore and develop oil that is located in areas we govern.”

Global Development Corporation Kurdish Oil

The document also states that the amount of oil then being produced in SDC-controlled areas was 125,000 barrels per day and that they anticipated that this would increase to 400,000 barrels per day and that this oil is considered a foreign asset under the control of the United States by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

After the document was made public by the Lebanese outlet Al-Akhbar, the SDC claimed that it was a forgery, even though Kahana had separately confirmed its contents and shared the letter itself to the Los Angeles Times as recently as a few weeks ago. Kahana previously attempted to distance himself from the effort and told the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom in July that he had made the offer to the SDC as means to prevent the “Assad regime” of Syria from obtaining revenue from the sale of Syrian oil.

The Kurds currently hold 11 oil wells in an area controlled by the [Syrian] Democratic Forces. The overwhelming majority of Syrian oil is in that area. I don’t want this oil reaching Iran, or the Assad regime.”

At the time, Kahana also stated that “the moment the Trump administration gives its approval, we can begin to export this oil at fair prices.”

Given that Kahana has openly confirmed that he is representing the SDC’s oil business shortly after Trump’s adoption of the controversial “keep the oil policy,” it seems plausible that Kahana has now received the approval needed for his company to export the oil on behalf of the SDC. Several media reports have speculated that, if Kahana’s efforts go forward unimpeded, the Syrian oil will be sold to Israel.

However, considering Turkey’s aversion to engaging in any activities that may benefit the PKK-SDF – there are considerable obstacles to Kahana’s plans. While the SDF — along with assistance from U.S. troops — still controls several oil fields in Syria, experts assert that they can only realistically sell the oil to the Syrian government. Not even the Iraqi Kurds are a candidate, considering Baghdad’s firm control over the Iraq-Syria border and the KRG’s weakened state after its failed independence bid in late 2017.

Regardless, Kahana’s involvement in this affair is significant for a few reasons. First, Kahana has been a key player in the promotion and funding of radical groups in Syria and has even been caught hiring so-called “rebels” to kidnap Syrian Jews and take them to Israel against their will. It was Kahana, for instance, who financed and orchestrated the now infamous trip of the late Senator John McCain to Syria, where he met with Syrian “rebels” including Khalid al-Hamad – a “moderate” rebel who gained notoriety after a video of him eating the heart of a Syrian Army soldier went viral online. McCain had also admitted meeting with ISIS members, though it is unclear if he did so on this trip or another trip to Syria.

In addition, Kahana was also the mastermind behind the “Caesar” controversy, whereby a Syrian using the pseudonym “Caesar” was brought to the U.S. by Kahana and went on to make claims regarding torture and other crimes allegedly committed by the Assad-led government Syria, claims which were later discredited by independent analysts. He was also very involved in Israel’s failed efforts to establish a “safe zone” in Southern Syria as a means of covertly expanding Israel’s territory from the occupied Golan Heights and into Quneitra.

Notably, Kahana has deep ties — not just to efforts to overthrow the Syrian government — but also to U.S. Israel lobby, including the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) where Satterfield is as an expert. For instance, Kahana was a key player in a 2013 symposium organized by WINEP along with Syrian opposition groups intimately involved in the arming of so-called “rebels.” One of the other participants in the symposium alongside Kahana was Mouaz Moustafa, director of the “Syrian Emergency Task Force” who assisted Kahana in bringing McCain to Syria in 2013. Moustafa was listed as a WINEP expert on the organization’s website but was later mysteriously deleted.

Kahana is also intimately involved with the Israeli American Council (IAC), a pro-Israel lobby organization, as a team member of its national conference. IAC was co-founded and is chaired by Adam Milstein, a multimillionaire and convicted felon who is also on the boards of AIPAC, StandWithUs, Birthright and other prominent pro-Israel lobby organizations. One of IAC’s top donors is Sheldon Adelson, who is also the top donor to President Trump as well as the entire Republican Party.

Though the machinations of both Kahana and Satterfield to guide U.S. policy in order to manipulate the flow of Syria’s hydrocarbons for Israel’s benefit may seem shocking to some, this same tactic of pro-Israel lobbyists using the Kurds to illegally sell a country’s oil to Israel was developed a few years prior, not in Syria, but Iraq. Notably, the individuals responsible for that policy in Iraq shared connections to several of the same pro-Israel lobby organizations as both Satterfield and Kahana, suggesting that their recent efforts in Syria are not an isolated event, but a pattern.

War against ISIS is a war for oil

In an email dated June 15, 2014, James Franklin Jeffrey (former Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey and current U.S. Special Representative for Syria) revealed to Stephen Hadley, a former George Bush administration advisor then working at the government-funded United States Institute of Peace, his intent to advise the KRG in order to sustain Kirkuk’s oil production. The plan, as Jeffery described it, was to supply both the Kurdistan province with oil and allow the export of oil via Kirkuk-Ceyhan to Israel, robbing Iraq of its oil and strengthening the country’s Kurdish region along with its regional government’s bid for autonomy.

Jeffrey, whose hawkish views on Iran and Syria are well-known, mentioned that Brett McGurk, the U.S.’ main negotiator between Baghdad and the KRG, was acting as his liaison with the KRG. McGurk, who had served in various capacities in Iraq under both Bush and Obama, was then also serving Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran. A year later, he would be made the special presidential envoy for the U.S.-led “anti-ISIS” coalition and, as previously mentioned, worked closely with David Satterfield.

Jeffrey was then a private citizen not currently employed by the government and was used as a non-governmental channel in the pursuit of the plans described in the leaked emails published by WikiLeaks. Jeffrey’s behind-the-scenes activities with regards to the KRG’s oil exports were done clandestinely, largely because he was then employed by a prominent arm of the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby.

At the time of the email, Jeffrey was serving as a distinguished fellow (2013-2018) at WINEP. As previously mentioned, WINEP is a pro-Israel foreign policy think-tank that espouses neoconservative views and was created in 1985 by researchers that had hastily left AIPAC to escape investigations against the organization that were related to some of its members conducting espionage on behalf of Israel. AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, is the largest registered Israel lobbyist organization in the US (albeit registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act would be more suitable), and, in addition to the 1985 incident that led to WINEP’s creation, has had members indicted for espionage against the U.S. on Israel’s behalf.

WINEP’s launch was funded by former President of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles,  Barbara Weinberg, who is its founding president and constant Chairman Emerita. Nicknamed ‘Barbi’, she is the wife of the late Lawrence Weinberg who was President of AIPAC from 1976-81 and who JJ Goldberg, author of the 1997 book Jewish Power, referred to as one of a select few individuals who essentially dominated AIPAC regardless of its elected leadership. Co-founder alongside Weinberg was Martin Indyk. Indyk, U.S. Ambassador to Israel (1995-97) and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (1997-99), led the AIPAC research time that formed WINEP to escape the aforementioned investigations.

WINEP has historically received funding from donors who donate to causes of special interest for Zionism and Israel. Among its trustees are extremely prominent names in political Zionism and funders of other Israel Lobby organizations, such as Charles and Edgar Bronfman and the ChernicksIts membership remains dominated by individuals who have spent their careers promoting Israeli interests in the U.S.

WINEP has become more well-known, and arguably more controversial, in recent years after its research director famously called for false-flag attacks to trigger a U.S. war with Iran in 2012, statements well-aligned with longstanding attempts by the Israel Lobby to bring about such a war.

A worthy partner in crime

Stephen Hadley, another private citizen who Jeffrey evidently considered as a partner in his covert dealings discussed in the emails, also has his own past of involvement with Israel-specific intrigues and meddling.

During the G.W. Bush administration, Hadley tagged along with neoconservatives in their numerous creations of fake intelligence and efforts to incriminate Iraq for possessing chemical and nuclear weapons. Hadley was one of the promoters from within the U.S. government of the false claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi officials in Prague.

Hadley also worked with then-Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Lewis Libby — a neoconservative and former lawyer for the Mossad-agent and billionaire Marc Rich — to discredit a CIA investigation into claims of Iraq purchasing yellowcake uranium from Niger. That claim famously appeared in Bush’s State of the Union address in 2002.

What this particular claim had in common with the ‘Iraq meets Atta in Prague’ disinformation, and other famous lies against Iraq fabricated and circulated by the dense neocon network, was its source: Israel and pro-Israel partisans.

The distribution network of these now long-debunked claims was none other than the neoconservatives who act a veritable Israeli fifth column that has long sought to promote Israeli foreign policy objectives as being in the interest of the United States. In this, Hadley played his part by helping to ensure that the United States was railroaded into a war that had long been promoted by both Israeli and American neoconservatives, particularly Richard Perle — an advisor to WINEP — who had been promoting regime change in Iraq for Israel’s explicit benefit for decades.

In short, for covert intrigues to serve Israel that would likely be met with protest if pitched to the government for implementation as policy, Hadley’s resume was impressive.

Israeli interests pursued through covert channels

Given his employment at WINEP during this time, Jeffrey’s intent to advise the KRG to sustain Kirkuk’s oil production despite the seizure of the Baiji oil refinery by ISIS is somewhat suspect, especially since it required that 100,000 barrels per day pass through ISIS-controlled territory unimpeded.

Jeffrey’s email from June 14, therefore, demonstrated that he had foreknowledge that ISIS would not disturb the KRG as long as the Kurds redirected oil that was intended originally for Baiji to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan export pipeline, facilitating its export and later sale to Israel.

Notably, up until its liberation in mid-2015 by the Iraqi government and aligned Shia paramilitaries, ISIS kept the refinery running and, only upon their retreat, destroyed the facility.

In July 2014, the KRG began confidently supplying Kurdish areas with Kirkuk’s oil per the plan laid out by Jeffrey in the aforementioned email. Baghdad soon became aware of the arrangement and lashed out at Israel and Turkey, whose banks were used by the KRG to receive the oil revenue from Israel.

One would normally expect ISIS to be opposed to such collusion given that the KRG, while a beneficiary of the ISIS-Baghdad conflict, was not an ally of ISIS. Thus, a foreign power with strategic ties to ISIS used its close ties to the KRG and assurances that it was on-board for the oil trade, to deliver a credible guarantee that ISIS would ‘cooperate’ and that a boom in production and exports was in the cards.

This foreign power — acting as a guarantor for the ISIS-KRG understanding vis-a-vis the illegal oil economy, represented by Jeffrey and clearly not on good terms with Iraq’s government — was quite clearly Israel.

Israel established considerable financial support as well as the provision of armaments to other extremist terrorist groups active near the border between the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Southern Syria when war first broke out in Syria in 2011. At least four of these extremist groups were led by individuals with direct ties to Israeli intelligence. These same groups, sometimes promoted as ‘moderates’ by some media, were actively fighting Syria’s government – an enemy of Israel and ally of Iran – before ISIS existed and eagerly partnered with ISIS when it expanded its campaign into Syria.

Furthermore, Israeli officials have publicly admitted maintaining regular communication with ISIS cells in Southern Syria and have publicly expressed their desire that ISIS not be defeated in the country. In Libya, Israeli Mossad operatives have been found embedded within ISIS, suggesting that Israel has covert but definite ties with the group outside of Syria as well.

Israel has also long promoted the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, with Israel having provided Iraq’s Kurds with weapons, training and teams of Mossad advisers as far back as the 1960s. More recently, Israel was the only state to support the KRG independence referendum in September 2017 despite its futility, hinting at the regard Israel holds for the KRG. Iraq’s government subsequently militarily defeated the KRG’s push for statehood and reclaimed Kirkuk’s oil fields with assistance from the Shia paramilitaries which were responsible for defeating ISIS in the area.

Iraq ISIS control map

This arrangement orchestrated by Jeffrey, served the long-time neoconservative-Israeli agenda of empowering the Kurds, selling Iraqi oil to Israel and weakening Iraq’s Baghdad-based government.

WINEP’s close association with AIPAC, which has spied on the U.S. on behalf of Israel several times in the past with no consequence, combined with Jeffrey’s long-time acquaintance with key U.S. figures in Iraq, such as McGurk, provided an ideal opening for Israel in Iraq. Following the implementation of Jeffrey’s plan, Israeli imports of KRG oil constituted 77 percent of Israel’s total oil imports during the KRG’s occupation of Kirkuk.

The WINEP connection to the KRG-Israel oil deal demonstrates the key role played by the U.S. pro-Israel Lobby, not only in terms of sustaining U.S. financial aid to Israel and ratcheting up tensions with Israel’s adversaries but also in facilitating the more covert aspects of U.S.-Israeli cooperation and the implementation of policies that favor Israel.

Yet the role played by the U.S. Israel lobby in this capacity, particularly in terms of orchestrating oil sale agreements for Israel’s benefit, is hardly exclusive to Iraq and can accurately be described as a repeated pattern of behavior.

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