“I’ve Seen the Horrific Toll Western Sanctions are Having On the People of Syria and Lebanon”

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Daniel Kovalik

Millions hungry… no fuel or electricity… worthless currency… I witnessed all of this in Lebanon and Syria. And the greatest tragedy is this needless suffering is caused by the West’s desire to introduce ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’.

I have just returned from my second trip to Lebanon and Syria this year. I previously visited in May, and in the course of a few months I have witnessed a precipitous decline in the wellbeing of the people of both of these countries.

Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, seemed rather normal and tranquil in May but is now completely dark at night, due to a lack of electricity. There are only a few hours of sporadic electricity a day throughout the city. Meanwhile, fuel is nearly impossible to come by, with lines of cars spanning at least a kilometer waiting for gas. A number of my friends told me that they could not drive to meet me because they had no fuel for their vehicles.

There is also little to no garbage service, and so the streets and sidewalks are lined with trash. In what was once dubbed the ‘Paris of the East’, I witnessed goats roaming the streets in search of garbage to eat on the side of the road. The Lebanese lira has tumbled in value daily, with menus at restaurants that were still able to operate displaying prices written in pencil so they could be changed every morning. As I write these words, the lira is now worth 0.00066 US dollars. A number of truly exasperated people stated – with a swoosh of the hand in the air – that “Lebanon is finished.” And it certainly feels that way.

Everyone in Lebanon I talked to wants out of the country; some even asked if I could take them with me. The possible exception is the mass of Syrian people who have fled the war in their own country.  Many of these Syrians now live on the streets in Beirut. It is very common to see Syrian women with their children sleeping on the dark city sidewalks.  According to UNICEF, there are nearly 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, putting further strain on a social system which is unable to take care of its own people.

Syria is also suffering from a lack of electricity, with power for only a few hours a day, and food and vital medicines are hard to come by as well.  Personal protective materials necessary to protect against Covid – such as masks and hand sanitizer – are almost non-existent.


The families I stayed with would be at the ready with their laundry and food to cook for the odd occasion that the electricity would turn on for an hour. Most people are without air-conditioning or refrigeration in the sultry climate. The Syrian pound is also relatively valueless, with $100 buying bags of the currency, as I myself have experienced. Meanwhile, huge swathes of cities like Homs remain largely in rubble as post-war reconstruction has ground to a halt.

All of this is, of course, according to the plan of the Western ‘humanitarians’ who claim their suffocating economic sanctions on Syria – once Lebanon’s biggest trading partner and largest source of fuel – are intended to somehow bring democracy and freedom to the region. As we well know, these sanctions hurt civilians first and foremost, and disproportionately injure women and children in every country upon which they have been imposed.

As an article in Foreign Affairs explains, the example of Iraq shows that sanctions do nothing but create human misery. It reads, “US sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Their effect was gendered, disproportionately punishing women and children. The notion that sanctions work is a pitiless illusion.” 

And it goes into great detail about the humanitarian toll of the sanctions first imposed upon Syria by President Trump. “The Trump administration designed the sanctions it has now imposed on Syria to make reconstruction impossible. The sanctions target the construction, electricity and oil sectors, which are essential to getting Syria back on its feet. Although the United States says it is ‘protecting’ Syria’s oil fields in the northeast, it has not given the Syrian government access to repair them, and US sanctions prohibit any firm of any nationality from repairing them – unless the administration wishes to make an exception…”

The article goes on to point out that these restrictions mean the country faces “mass starvation or another mass exodus,” according to the World Food Program. This is backed up by alarming statistics which show that 10 years ago, abject poverty in Syria affected less than one percent of the population. By 2015, this had risen to 35 percent of the population. The rise in food prices – up 209 percent in the last year – is also noted, as is the fact that according to the World Food Program, there are now 9.3 million “food insecure” Syrians.
There is also criticism of the requirements the Syrian government must meet to secure relief from the sanctions. These are described as “deliberately vague” – a ploy, it is said, to deter investors who might be able to assist Syria, but are unprepared to do so because they are not certain they are free to help.

The UK humanitarian organization, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), echoes these concerns, explaining that “[t]he sanctions that have been placed on Syria by the EU (including the UK) and USA have caused dire humanitarian consequences for Syrian citizens in Government controlled areas (which is 70% of the country) who are seeking to rebuild their lives…”

“Of the huge amounts of humanitarian aid that western governments are sending ‘to Syria’, the vast majority reaches either refugees who have fled the country, or only those areas of Syria occupied by militant groups opposed to the Syrian government. Most Syrian people are therefore deliberately left unsupported; indeed, even their own effort to help themselves and re-build their lives are hampered by sanctions.”

The despair being brought about by Western sanctions is palpable. Syrians and Lebanese, whose fates are inextricably tied to each other, have little hope for a happy and prosperous future. Once again, the West’s claims to ‘civilize’ the world have brought only misery, sorrow and destruction.

But I would be remiss if I did not end on this note: that, still, despite it all, the incredible hospitality and kindness of the Syrians and Lebanese have yet to be destroyed by the cruelty visited upon them.  Everywhere my companions and I went, including in the most modest homes of places like Maaloula, Homs or Latakia, Syria, or in Lebanon, families were quick to offer us coffee, water, and snacks.

Despite the fact that they are being denied the basic amenities of life by sanctions as targeted as a nuclear weapon, these people still know how to share the little that they have. This, I will always carry with me and be grateful for.

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is author of the recently-released No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using “Humanitarian” Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.

Syria and Lebanon’s Unbreakable Brotherhood: Against All Odds!

September 9, 2021

Syria and Lebanon’s Unbreakable Brotherhood: Against All Odds!

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – Unique of its kind, Hermel’s Al Assi river in north Lebanon, flows upwards towards Syria opposing the logical direction of any river and links between the Syrian and Lebanese borders. The link between the two neighbors is fed with social and political factors that has long bonded both countries for hundred years to date.

Since the 2011 Syrian crisis and the most recent Lebanese crises, the first official Lebanese delegation visited the Syrian capital last week to discuss the possibility of importing gas from Egypt through the Syrian territories in a bid to solve the fuel shortages in power plants, which has affected Lebanon’s economy and day-to-day life.

After a 10-year cut in diplomatic ties between the two governments and amid the ensuing calamities in Lebanon as the worst monetary inflation taking place, the Lebanese government has no time for any additional delays to enhance the country’s economy to a better level as much as possible.

In the light of the aforementioned, an official delegation including Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister Zeina Akar, Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar, Finance Minister Ghazi Wazne, Secretary-General of the Lebanese Syrian Higher Council Nasri khoury and General Security Director General Abbas Ibrahim headed to Syria on September 4 in the highest level visit in years to ask Syria to allow the passage of Egyptian gas through the Syrian territories.

The 4-hour meeting concluded with a declaration on behalf of the Syrian side of full assistance and cooperation and an agreement on the technical procedures to implement the move immediately.

The next day, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with a Lebanese Druze delegation at the Syrian Presidential Palace.

Head of the Lebanese Democratic Party MP Talal Arslan and head of the Arab Unitarian Party and former minister Wiam Wahhab asserted the importance of the strong ties between the two countries in face of any challenge.

The delegation also presented a warm greeting by Sheikh Nasseredine al-Gharib, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Lebanon, congratulating Syria for its latest victories against terrorism, confirming that the Druze community will always be loyal to Syria and its people.

Forty-eight  hours were enough to put things back on track between the two neighbors, proving that no matter how vicious the battles and struggles both nations may face, given the boundless US-“Israel” meddling via political and military policies such as the Caesar Act and the backing of terrorist groups. Hence, Syrian-Lebanese cooperation has a direct beneficial impact for both countries, it struck US proxies in Lebanon calling for a full cut of ties with Syria in the heart revealing how wrong their visions and decisions are.

A whole decade of a conspiring to split Syria and Lebanon, reinforced by a brutal war led by the US and its proxies has failed, and all the facts lead to the reality that Syria is the only gateway for Lebanon and its true ally for better or worse, taking in consideration the recent crisis in Lebanon.

The brotherhood between Lebanon and Syria is as the Al Assi River, facing the calamities and all the struggles together, with a one-of-a-kind link, standing side by side at every precise moment, even when opposing nature itself – against all odds!

The Caesar Act Falls with a Signal from Sayyed Nasrallah

September 1, 2021

The Caesar Act Falls with a Signal from Sayyed Nasrallah

By Ahmed Fouad

Deconstructing the complexity of the current scene exposes the myth of American power – with its illusion and glare – whose links are broken one after the other. Nevertheless, it won’t collapse entirely as a result of one position. They will not all fall in one glorious moment, but America’s abilities are waning, weakening, and retreating in images that appear to anyone who wants to see.

Suddenly, the American steps in Lebanon failed, and the Caesar Act, which is besieging Syria and Lebanon and is imposing a red line to prevent communication between the Axis of Resistance, collapsed. In the words of the American ambassador, the scene ended long years of efforts to isolate Syria and keep it away from Lebanon.

At this rare moment, based on the years of victory and jihad on every battlefield, and in light of the sudden American helplessness and astonishment at what happened, Sayyed’s move towards Syria came. On the fourth anniversary of the second liberation, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah linked what happened and what will happen to Syria, once again.

“The Caesar’s Act was not only a siege on Syria, but also a siege on Lebanon,” he said. For those who deny the influence on Lebanon, Sayyed returned the crisis to its first and direct root.

The divine blow, of course, swept aside the Zionists, the party that suffered the most significant setback as a result of what is happening to the shepherd, the ally, and the capable treasurer. At the moment, the entity looks like an abandoned bastard, without a father, without protection and the ability to move, and its confidence in the future bleeds in terrible succession.

In light of a humiliating US withdrawal, the comprehensive view of the region requires acknowledging that “Israel’s” paralysis is not a sign of surrender to reality, but rather a pause to take a breath. The leaders of the entity desperately want this in order to comprehend the surprise of the siege being broken over Syria and Lebanon and the opening of a wide road between Tehran and Damascus, all the way to Beirut.

Following Sayyed’s first speech in which he announced an agreement for the first Iranian ships to Lebanon, those who are familiar with the “Israeli” media noticed silence when it came to describing the scene. The Zionist media, which is completely under the sword of strict military censorship, would not be silent on such a threat unless instructed to do so.

It seems that the entity needs time to be able to absorb what happened, which constituted an unbelievable surprise. It’s now looking for an opportunity to maneuver after being completely paralyzed by incidents following the surprise. The entity’s position was weak, and in the best case scenario, it would merely be a reaction to the Lebanese decision. Thus, it would place an unknown price on any steps it chooses to take. Therefore, Tel Aviv wants time to calculate its next steps.

The transformations initiated by a signal from our Sayyed, the master of resistance and victory, are not just a reversal of the rules of the game. The beholder will see the laying of the foundations of a new era – one of the many challenges the Americans and Zionists will face.

The goal of this stage is to strike the philosophy of Zionist continuity in Palestine as well as the philosophy of its presence on our Arab land – the Zionist entity is always keen to portray its army as the unbeatable army. It’s also designed to hit Tel Aviv’s vast foreign investments and the theory of Zionist supremacy over the Arabs.

For its existence and continuity, “Israel” relies on multiple factors – the army with its aura, and support from Western powers that provide it with political cover as well as iron and fire. This is designed to ensure that its superiority over all the Arab armies combined cannot be denied. In every war the Zionists waged, they destroyed one Arab army after another, with ease – in a strange manner.

And in the event of a crisis, the United States was there to provide immediate and mighty assistance. In the October liberation war, the American force intervened immediately after the forbidden occurred and the first crushing defeat of the Zionists approached, to turn it into what could be promoted as a massive victory by freezing the Syrian advance first, then besieging the third Egyptian army, and crossing back to Africa in one day and night.

Western investments were immediately made available in the form of armies of human wealth, and then tens of billions of dollars ready to be pumped into the joints and arteries of the Zionist economy. If anyone thought of leaving, these investments gave them a reason to stay. Additional motives were added to the desires of those who wish to move to the Promised Land, where a job is guaranteed and the lands abandoned by its inhabitants are looking for new owners.

Finally, by using weapons and the economy, the Zionist entity maintains its permanent position as an oasis of growth and progress, amid an Arab sea suffering from the bitterness of backwardness, ignorance, and poverty. “Israel” is portrayed as a beacon of superiority, and a civilized ghetto among groups of barbarian tribes that do not know the way to civilization, and this superior entity had to subjugate them, as the American ancestors subjugated the Indians.

By any and all scales, Sayyed’s strikes – starting with the dazzling and great Ashura speech – dealt a triple blow to the Zionist entity. It comes in light of an optimal situation, from an American retreat seeking costly, even questionable, repositioning.

Moreover, the generous man proved that action in this region is possible. Successive victories generated the required amount of self-confidence and confidence in one’s capabilities, in turn giving the entire Axis of Resistance the necessary fuel to overcome the American siege and the Zionist threat. It also broke the arrogance of the Zionist power that allowed it to strike whenever and wherever it wanted to impose the “Israeli” demands and deter any aspiration for our rights.

Al-Assad: Extremism Tied to EU’s Failed Policies in Middle East

22 Aug 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad discusses recent developments in Syria and the region with European Parliament Member, Thierry Mariani, and his accompanying delegation.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attributes spread of extremism to the European Union’s ‘failed policies’ in the Middle East. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stated that the Syrian people have found new ways to overcome the odds.

SANA news agency tweets: Al-Assad delivered his speech after being greeted by Thierry Mariani, a member of the European Parliament and a member of the French National Rally party, as well as a delegation accompanying him.

During the meeting, a discussion on the developments of the situation in Syria and the region took place. Al-Assad answered the delegation members’ questions about the situation and the difficult conditions experienced by Syrians as a result of the sanctions and the unjust siege imposed on them. He noted that despite all the troubles this sieges afflicts on all aspects of life, the Syrian people are resilient.

President al-Assad considered it necessary to have a dialogue at parliamentary, intellectual and cultural levels to analyze and understand the developments and changes taking place in the region and the world. He emphasized the importance of parliamentary and cultural delegations visiting Syria and the region to see things as they are, and to be able to link political statements to the current situation. Such dialogue is important because as Europe grapples with the refugee crisis, terrorism and extremism seem to be the result of its failed policies in the Middle East.

The discussion touched on the role of nationalism in the Arab region, identity, and the relationship between religion and politics, as well as the major challenges confronting nations as a result of extremism that has infiltrated many societies, including European ones. This spread of extremism comes as a result of the EU’s failure to develop appropriate policies to ensure immigrants’ integration into Europe while preserving their original identity.

هل عاد الأميركيون لصيغة جوار العراق؟ قمة المصالحات الإقليمية رغم العقوبات!

الثلاثاء 10 آب 2021

  ناصر قنديل

حسمت التأكيدات الرسمية صحة ما تمّ تداوله إعلامياً عن دعوات رسمية يقوم وزير الخارجية العراقي فؤاد حسين، لقمة تعقد في بغداد تحت عنوان دول جوار العراق للتعاون الأمني، بالتزامن مع توقيع إتفاق انسحاب القوات الأميركية القتالية، بعدما أعلنت بغداد أنّ زيارات وزير خارجيتها واتصالات رئيس حكومتها تتمّ في سياق التحضير لقمة تضم دول جوار العراق نهاية شهر آب الجاري، وقد شملت دعوة السعودية وتركيا والكويت حتى الآن ويفترض أن تشمل إيران وسورية والأردن قريبا، ولقيت تجاوب الرئيس الفرنسي للمشاركة في القمة، ورغم بعض التقديرات التي تقول إنّ الأرجح هو أن تستبدل القمة بلقاء يضم وزراء الخارجية والمسؤولين الأمنيين، لأن عقد قمم من هذا النوع لا تزال دونه عقبات كثيرة، يبقى أن التوجه بذاته يمثل تحوّلاً كبيراً في أوضاع المنطقة يستحيل حدوثه بمبادرة عراقية صرفة دون تنسيق مسبق، أو طلب مسبق من الأميركيين.

سبق لواشنطن أن اعتمدت إطار لقاءات دول جوار العراق لحوار إقليمي غير مباشر مع سورية وإيران، ولا تبدو موافقة الرئيس الفرنسي على المشاركة والتشجيع بعيدة عن تلبية رغبة أميركية، خصوصا بعد زيارة رئيس الوزراء العراقي الطازجة لواشنطن، كما لا تبدو الصيغة بعيدة عن الاستنتاجات الأميركية الخاصة بتسارع الإنهيار في أفغانستان، والحاجة لتنسيق يطال دول جوار العراق لحماية الصيغة القائمة على ما يسمّيه الأميركيون بإعادة الإنتشار الإقليمي، وإقامة قاعدة عسكرية في الأردن تستضيف القوات التي سيتم إخلاؤها من العراق، وربما من سورية أيضاً، دون التسليم بالانسحاب الكامل، من غير إتفاق كامل، لا يبدو متيسّراً مع إيران وقوى المقاومة، حتى الآن.

القرار بالانفتاح على سورية من عدد من الدول المشاركة يناقض ما سبق إعلانه عن نصائح أميركية بتجميد العلاقات معها، خصوصاً بعد الإنتخابات الرئاسية السورية، وكان واضحاً انّ الرسالة الأميركية تستهدف العلاقات السعودية السورية والإماراتية السورية، وانعقاد لقاء وزاري تشترك فيه سورية يكفي لإعلان سقوط مفهوم المقاطعة والحصار، ويطعن نظرية العقوبات، لأن العنوان الثاني للقمة هو التعاون الإقتصادي، ولعله من الملفت أن نسمع حماسة فرنسية للمبادرة العراقية، وسيصير الأمر مفاجأة أنّ عقد اللقاء على مستوى القمة وحضره الرئيس الفرنسي، كما أعلن، وهذا في حال حدوثه يعني ان زمن التحوّلات الكبرى قد بدأ، وان المنطقة دخلت مرحلة جديدة سياسياً وأمنياً وإقتصادياً، فلا يُعقل أن ترضى سورية بالمشاركة في لقاء يشارك فيه الأتراك دون أن تكون بين يديها ضمانات مسبقة تتصل بتغيير جوهري في التعامل التركي مع الواقع السوري.

الأهمّ من اللقاء الوزاري، والشديد الأهمية إذا تحققت القمة، هو المفاوضات الحثيثة التي ستسبق الإنعقاد، حتى لو تأجّل الموعد فهو لا يعني إحباطاً، بل مزيداً من الوقت لإنضاج التفاهمات وإزالة التعقيدات، ولقاءات غير علنية تضمّ الأطراف المعنية تمهيداً ربما للقاء أول على مستوى وزاري وأمني، يعقد في الخريف، وقمة تعقد مع نهاية العام، كما تقول التقديرات، وهذا وحده يعني رسم خريطة جديدة للمصالحات والتسويات التي تشكل الدعوة العراقية بذاتها إيذاناً بإنطلاقها.

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Al-Assad’s Vow and Syria’s Comeback

15 July 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Rasha Reslan

Ahead of the Syrian President’s much-awaited inauguration speech, here is a quick review of how al-Assad stepped in and boosted his country’s stature and resources during his first term, despite a global military war and extreme economic sanctions.

Recent victory in the latest elections has further emboldened al-Assad
The recent victory in the latest elections has further emboldened al-Assad

On Saturday, July 17, Bashar al-Assad will begin his new term as Syria’s President, setting his policies for 2021-2028.

On May 27, the Syrian government’s official Twitter account posted: “The Syrians had their say. Bashar al-Assad wins the presidential elections of the Syrian Arab Republic after obtaining 95.1% of the votes at home and abroad.”

The victory achieved in the latest elections has further emboldened al-Assad, the President who managed not only to defeat a global conspiracy against his country but also to bring Syria back to life, against all odds and despite one of the world’s most brutal decade-old wars.

Al-Assad’s First Term: The Survival of the Fittest

During the period between 2014-2021, the conspiracy plan against Syria rapidly escalated. Hundreds of foreign fighters and armed groups sprung up, and it did not take long before the conflict turned into more than just a battle between the Syrian army and terrorist groups. Certain foreign powers took the anti-government side, supporting it with money, weaponry, and armed groups, and as the wreaked chaos worsened, the grip of western-backed extremist organizations, such as “ISIS” and “al-Qaeda”, tightened. 

Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad didn’t flee his country. On the contrary, he got off to a fresh strong start. By most measures, he stood with his country, despite gloomy clouds and rumbling storms. His overall strategy booted terrorist groups out of major Syrian cities. On the personal level, al-Assad always scores high for his attributes, as most Syrians like the way he conducts himself as president.

Terrorist Groups Fall in Syria

At its height, as terrorist groups held about a third of Syria; al-Assad, the Syrian army, and Syria’s allies redefined victory in a thundering War on Terror. The so-called “US-led global coalition” carried out airstrikes and deployed “Special Forces” in Syria, providing financial and logistical support for the terrorist groups since 2014. 

US-backed terrorist groups in Syria
US-backed terrorist groups in Syria

Syria’s key supporters have been Russia and Iran, while Western powers and several Gulf Arab states have backed terrorist groups in varying degrees over the past decade.

By December 2017, terrorist groups started to suffer key losses in Aleppo, Raqqa, and other strongholds. In 2018, the focus of the campaign against the terrorists shifted to eastern Syria. In 2019, they lost their last bastion in eastern Syria, in Baghouz village, after which Syria declared victory over terrorism.

Today, the country is almost clean from armed groups except for the presence of dormant cells along the border with Iraq and in Idlib (a city in northwestern Syria).

US Sanctions:  A Trifling Opening Shot

US support for terrorist groups in Syria was a shot in the dark, and as it failed to win the military war on Syria, they initiated a new type of war represented by Caesar sanctions. 

In mid-June 2020, the US government announced the implementation of the “Caesar Act” with a flurry of sanctions. Yet a closer look at the 15 sanctions by the US Department of State and the 24 sanctions by the Department of Treasury reveals a brutal plan to destroy Syria’s economy and inflict utmost suffering on its people.

A Desperate Plan within a Failed One

Apropos the US military and economic war on Syria, there is much more yet to come. Syria and its allies have succeeded in defeating the flurry of sanctions aimed at stopping the al-Assad government from reconstructing Syria. They also buried a US plan to change the demography of Syrian and divide the country. 

Rebuilding Syria’s Future 

The main question remains: How will the future of Syria unfold? At the dawn of al-Assad’s new term, Syria continues to stand strong and united. Furthermore, the Syrians have high hopes that their President will take effective actions in the course of boosting the economy and achieving overall prosperity, despite the US sanctions.  

Besides, al-Assad exerted strained efforts to reconstruct his country, focusing on projects with the highest likelihood of significant economic returns and benefits to quality of life. In other words, al-Assad, side by side with his people, is conveying a clear message to the world which declares the end of the global war on Syria; al-Assad will remain in power, treading the path of Syria out of all the challenges and crises. Syria’s allies also plan to be on hand as al-Assad rebuilds Syria to help it rise from the ashes, by handling the security and economic threats imposed on Syria.

The Second Term: Defying the Odds

To put things into perspective, the last election witnessed al-Assad securing almost 95.1% of the votes, so this cannot but be seen as a sign of strength for Syria and al-Assad himself, as well as his electoral campaign.

Today, the elections had taken place, and Syria has come out victorious, with an insistence on maintaining its vital role, considering that al-Assad plans to finance the infrastructure that the terrorist groups have been targeting and bombing for the past 10 years.

The Syrian President will also tackle the US sanctions on Syria, aiming to accelerate economic growth, strengthen society, and encourage youth empowerment.


What is Syria?

Collective Punishments and Humanitarian Aid عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

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Arab Intellectual

10 Jul 2021

Bouthaina Shaaban

Source: Al Mayadeen

What the West wants to do is to violate Syrian sovereignty, lay the foundations for dividing Syria, and to supply terrorist groups with weapons in the name of humanitarian aid.

For the past two months, all Western media and research centers have been preoccupied with a single topic about Syria, which is the necessity of opening the so-called “humanitarian corridors” across the border, lamenting over those who will suffer hunger and poverty if the benevolent hands of the West are not allowed to be extended to save their lives. They believed their lie and rejoiced in it, because it gives them the chimerical satisfaction that they are in harmony with their moral rules for which they have always been calling, pretending saving people and caring about people’s health, food and lives. 

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The strange thing, however, is that all this Western-oriented media talked about is three million people living in the north-west and north-east of Syria, and did not mention at all the twenty million Syrians who are languishing under immoral, illegal and illegitimate collective punishments that prevent them from accessing food, medicine and power, and punishing any party who tries to lend a hand for them or who dares to violate these penalties by any means. 

Another strange thing is that no one has linked between Caesar’s law, which is not a law but a violation of all humanitarian and moral laws, and the suffering of the Syrian people over the past years, and no thinker in the West has ever tried to challenge this noisy media wave by highlighting the fact that all the aid sent by the United Nations has been distributed by United Nations organizations operating in Syria over the Syrian territory. What the West wants to do is to violate Syrian sovereignty, lay the foundations for dividing Syria, and to supply terrorist groups with weapons in the name of humanitarian aid.

Does it make sense for dozens of countries to convene a conference in Rome in order to discuss humanitarian aid to Syria, without mentioning the main reason for the suffering of all Syrians, namely the unilateral, coercive, illegal and aggressive measures imposed on the Syrian people? Following this conference, the Washington Post wrote in its editorial on June 30, 2021: “there is no better place to demonstrate our values than in Syria, by extending humanitarian aid and reaching a settlement to the war there, as per the agreed terms of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.” The writer complains that Syria has been a drag on US diplomacy for more than ten years! Such writers should rather ask the Syrians about the suffering they experienced due to the US occupation over the past ten years, and about the crimes that have been committed, wheat that has been stolen, and oil that has been smuggled, and lands that have been illegally seized by the force of American weapons in harsh violation of all international laws and legitimacy!

While reading what the Western media is publishing about Syria, I wonder about the distorted image that is being formed in the minds of Western readers as a result of misleading information which has nothing to do with reality, and which fills the pages of this media, ignoring the truth and all the difficulties and tragedies that Syrians are living, because referring to such tragedies means referring to the Western perpetrator. Therefore, everything mentioned about Syria has been written in the passive form, just as the Zionists used to do for decades when broadcasting news about Palestine and Palestinians; you cannot find a sentence in the active voice because it requires mentioning the subject, who is the causative of all crimes perpetrated against the innocent Syrians, and this is not allowed. 

In all the media promotion before the Rome Conference and following it, Syria had been shrunk to the northwest and northeast, to be under control of terrorists and occupiers, without any mention of the Syrian people who suffered patiently, and liberated a large part of their land and are trying to rebuild their lives and properties despite the difficulties created by the criminal sanctions against them. 

The editorial of Newsweek of June 30, insinuates that Syria and Iraq are inhabited only by “Iranian militias”, as if the Syrian and Iraqi peoples do not exist, and that the United States is obliged to respond to Iranian drone attacks in Iraq, and therefore it is bombing the Iraqi-Syrian border near Al-Bukamal. Since the United States has the right, as the editorial suggests, protecting its forces anywhere in the world, nobody showed any concern when the United States bombed facilities and killed people. However, they consider those attacks as acts of self-defense.  The author says that the issue is not limited only to whether this aggression is legitimate or not, he rather raised the following question: why do members of the Iraqi army, who are being trained by the United States, attack the American forces? The author is trying to correct a “strategic shift” in the United States’ view that they were unable to instill a sense of deterrence in Iraq. 

Firstly, The American forces refrained from attacking Al-Bukamal crossing and from maintaining Al-Tanf crossing too, not only to back up their troops, which should not be here in the first place, but rather to ensure safety to the terrorists they protect, and be able to move them whenever and wherever they want. Secondly, the United States wants to cut the geographical connection between Iraq and Syria on the one hand, and between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the other. This action represents one of the strategic goals of the Zionist entity, who considers any communication between these countries, in the frame of the resistance axis, as an existential threat to it. In other words, the United States is implementing the targets of “Israel”, moreover they do not respond to attacks because they are the ones who start the aggression. Thirdly, if the writer of the editorial believes that the Iraqi army, or any other army in the region, will express in the future his gratitude and loyalty to the American forces, he is certainly wrong. The peoples of the region are much smarter than you can ever think; Iraqis and Syrians are aware that it is the US occupying forces who prevent communication between the two countries and hinder the opening of the borders between two close brother countries. Our people are completely aware that the US troops want to open the borders with the Turkish occupier who used the frontier lines for the past ten years to help terrorists infiltrate Syria and provide them with illicit supplies (money and weapons).

It occurred to me while reading the editorial of the Washington Post and the editorial of Newsweek, of June 30, 2021, that the Western transatlantic people would be better off, if they do not read such misleading editorials and analysis which have nothing to do with the reality of the situation in our countries and our region, because such analysis stem from the writers’ sense of false colonial superiority and from a premeditated intent to drown our people into a sea of ignorance, abandoning them to  sufferings, stifling their innovation and destroying their ambition.

Today, the US troops are getting out of Afghanistan after causing countless tragedies to innocent Afghani peoples; while no one knows why did they enter or why do they leave now. They claimed that they went to Afghanistan to liberate its people from Taliban, while their actions prove that they contributed to its perpetuation and spread.

Every time I read what the American media and research centers publish, I wonder about the curricula of History in the United States and about what they teach all their students, but this is another topic that needs to be addressed.  


عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

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بثينة شعبان

المصدر: الميادين نت

هل يُعقل أن تتداعى عشرات الدول إلى مؤتمر في روما لمناقشة مساعدات إنسانية لسوريا من دون ذكر السبب الأساسي في معاناة السوريين جميعاً، ألا وهي الإجراءات القسرية الأحادية الجانب، والمفروضة على الشعب السوري ظلماً وعدواناً؟

طوال الشهرين الماضيين، انشغل القيّمون على وسائل الإعلام الغربية ومراكز الأبحاث بموضوع وحيد عن سوريا، وهو ضرورة فتح ما سمّوه “ممرّات إنسانية عبر الحدود”، متباكِين على من سيُصيبهم الجوع والفقر إذا لم يتم السماح لأيدي الغرب الخيّرة بأن تمتدّ لتنقذ حيواتهم.

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عقوبات جماعية ومساعدات إنسانية!

صدّقوا الكذبة التي كذبوها على أنفسهم، وفرحوا بها لأنها تعطيهم الارتياح الزائف إلى أنهم منسجمون مع قواعدهم الأخلاقية التي يتحدثون بها دوماً، وهي الحرص على الناس وعلى غذائهم وصحتهم. لكنّ الغريب في الأمر أن كلّ هذا الإعلام الغربي الموجَّه تحدَث عن ثلاثة ملايين يقطنون في الشمال الغربي والشمال الشرقي، ولم يذكر أبداً الملايين العشرين من السوريين، والذين يرزحون تحت عقوبات جماعية، لاأخلاقية ولاشرعية ولاقانونية. وفي الحقيقة، فإنّ هذه العقوبات جريمة إبادة، وهي المسؤولة عن الفقر والجوع والغلاء، التي يعاني جرّاءها ملايين السوريين، لأنها عملياً تمنع عنهم سبل الغذاء والدواء والطاقة، وتعاقب أيَّ طرف يحاول بيع هذه المواد الأساسية لإنقاذ حياة أيّ إنسان، أو يحاول مدّ يد العون إليهم، أو خرق هذه العقوبات، بأي وسيلة كانت.

والغريب في الأمر أن أحداً لم يربط بين “قانون قيصر” الإجرامي، والذي هو ليس قانوناً، بل جريمة إبادة جماعية موجَّهة ضدّ الشعب السوري المسالم، لأنه يمثّل خرقاً لكل القوانين الإنسانية والأخلاقية، وبين معاناة هذا الشعب على مدى السنوات الماضية. ولم يحاول أي متحدث في الغرب أن يتحدى هذه الموجة الإعلامية الصاخبة، والموجَّهة سياسياً من جانب الأجهزة المخابراتية والعسكرية نفسها، التي موّلت الإرهابيين وسلّحتهم وأرسلتهم إلى سوريا، من خلال إبراز حقيقة أن كل المساعدات المرسَلة من جانب الأمم المتحدة توزّعها منظمات الأمم المتحدة العاملة في سوريا على مدى الجغرافيا السورية، لكنّ ما يريد الغرب فعله هو انتهاك السيادة السورية أولاً، ووضع أسس لتقسيم سوريا ثانياً، وإمداد مرتزقته من العصابات الإرهابية بالسلاح، تحت مسمى مساعدات إنسانية. وهذا ما فعله بالشعوب طوال تاريخه الاستعماري الدموي.

هل يُعقل أن تتداعى عشرات الدول إلى مؤتمر في روما لمناقشة مساعدات إنسانية لسوريا من دون ذكر السبب الأساسي في معاناة السوريين جميعاً، ألا وهو الإجراءات القسرية والأُحادية الجانب، والمفروضة على الشعب السوري ظلماً وعدواناً؟ ألم يكن الأجدر بهذه الدول، إنْ كانت صادقة، أن ترسل المساعدات مباشرة عبر الوسائل المتَّبَعة دولياً، وعبر المنافذ الحدودية والموانئ السورية.

وفي أعقاب هذا المؤتمر، تكتب جريدة “واشنطن بوست”، في افتتاحيتها في 30 حزيران/يونيو 2021، أنه “لا يوجد مكان أفضل من سوريا للتعبير عن قيمنا، من خلال إيصال المساعدات الإنسانية، والتوصّل إلى تسوية للحرب، وفق ما نصّ عليه قرار مجلس الأمن 2254”.

ويشكو الكاتب أن سوريا شكّلت عبئاً على الدبلوماسية الأميركية طوال السنوات العشر الماضية. وعلى مثل هؤلاء الكتاب أن يسألوا السوريين: بمَ تسببت لهم الولايات المتحدة على مدى السنوات العشر الماضية؟ وما هي الجرائم التي ارتُكبت بحقهم؟ وكيف ينظرون إلى نهب قمحهم ونفطهم واحتلال أرضهم بقوة السلاح الأميركي، في انتهاك صارخ لكل القوانين والشرعة الدولية؟ 

أتساءل، وأنا أقرأ كلّ ما يصدر عن سوريا في الإعلام الغربي، عن الصورة المشوَّهة، والتي تتشكّل حُكماً في أذهان القراّء الغربيين، نتيجة المعلومات المضلِّلة، والتي لا تمتّ إلى واقع الحال بصلة، والتي تملأ صفحات هذا الإعلام الذي تحتكره الحكومات الغربية، وتسيّره عبر المخابرات الغربية. لذلك، فإن إعلامهم يتجاهل الواقع والحقيقة وكل ما يعتري حياة السوريين من صعوبات ومآسٍ، لا يتم التطرّق إليها أبداً، لأن التطرق إليها يعني الإشارة إلى الفاعل والمتهَم الغربي المجرم. لذلك، فإن كل ما يُكتَب عن سوريا يُكتَب بصيغة “المبنيّ للمجهول”، تماماً كما درج الصهاينة على بثّ الأخبار عن فلسطين والفلسطينيين منذ عقود، إذ لا توجد جملة بصيغة المبني للمعلوم، لأن المبنيّ للمعلوم يتطلّب ذكر الفاعل المسبّب بالجرائم بحقّ الملايين من السوريين الأبرياء والمسالمين، وهذا أمر غير مسموح به.

في كل هذا الترويج الإعلامي في مؤتمر روما وما سبقه وما تلاه، يختصرون سوريا بالشمال الغربي والشمال الشرقي، وبحفنة من الإرهابيين والمحتلين، بينما لا يوجد ذكر للشعب السوري الذي عانى وصبر وحرّر الجزء الأكبر من أرضه، ويحاول إعادة بناء حياته وممتلكاته، على الرغم من الصعوبات التي ولّدتها العقوبات المجرمة عليه.

وفي افتتاحية مجلة “النيوزويك”، في 30 حزيران/يونيو أيضاً، تشعر كأن سوريا والعراق مسكونان بمليشيات إيرانية فقط، ولا وجود للشعبين السوري والعراقي، وأن الولايات المتحدة مضطرة إلى الردّ على هجمات الطائرات الإيرانية المسيَّرة في العراق. لذلك، هي تقصف الحدود العراقية السورية قرب البوكمال. وبما أن للولايات المتحدة الحق، كما تقول الافتتاحية، في حماية قواتها في أيّ مكان في العالم، لذلك لم يهتم أحد حين قصفت الولايات المتحدة الأسبوع الماضي منشآت وأشخاصاً، وقتلت مَن قتلت، واعتبروها “أعمالاً دفاعية عن النفس”. ولا يُخفي كاتب المقال أن المسألة لا تنحصر فقط فيما إذا كان هذا العدوان قانونياً أم لا، بل السؤال هو: لماذا توجد قوات احتلال أميركية في العراق وسوريا؟ ولماذا تعمد عناصر في الجيش العراقي، الذي تدربه الولايات المتحدة، على مهاجمة القوات الأميركية. وهو يحاول في مقاله أن يصحّح “حَوَلاً استراتيجياً”، في نظرة الولايات المتحدة إلى تدريب هذا الجيش، وأن الولايات المتحدة لم تتمكّن من خلق حالة الردع في العراق.

أولاً، إن قوات الاحتلال الأميركية لا تهاجم معبر البوكمال، ولا تحتفظ بمعبر التنف، من أجل سلامة قواتها التي يجب ألا تكون موجودة اصلاً، بل من أجل ضمان سلامة الإرهابيين الذين تحميهم وتحرّكهم متى تشاء وكيفما تشاء. ثانياً، لأنها تريد قطع التواصل الجغرافي بين العراق وسوريا من جهة، ومحاصَرة الملايين من الشعبين في البلدين، ومنع أيّ تبادل تجاري ينفعهما. كما تهدف إلى قطع التواصل بين إيران والعراق وسوريا ولبنان من جهة أُخرى. وهذا يمثّل أحد الأهداف الاستراتيجية للكيان الصهيوني، الذي يعتبر التواصل بين هذه البلدان الموجودة في محور مقاوم خطراً وجودياً عليه؛ أي أن الولايات المتحدة تنفّذ أهدافاً إسرائيلية، وهي لا تقوم بالرد على أي هجوم لأنها هي التي تبدأ العدوان دائماً. 

ثالثاً، إذا كان كاتب الافتتاحية يعتقد أن الجيش العراقي، أو أي جيش في المنطقة، سيعبّر مستقبلاً عن امتنانه وولائه للجيش الأميركي، فهو واهم. فشعوب المنطقة أذكى كثيراً مما تعرفون وتظنّون. والشعب في كل من العراق وسوريا يدرك أنّ قوات الاحتلال الأميركية هي أولاً قوات عدوانية، هدفها قمع الشعبين وحرمانهما من الحرية والسيادة، وموجودة من أجل نهب ثرواتهما. ويدرك الشعبان في سوريا والعراق أنّ هذه القوات المعتدية هي التي تمنع التواصل بين بلديهما، وهي التي تمنع فتح الحدود بين بلدين شقيقين متحابّين، بينما تريد فتح الحدود مع محتل تركي استخدم الحدود طوال السنوات العشر الماضية لإرسال الإرهابيين المسلّحين والمدرَّبين غربياً إلى سوريا، وتزويدهم بالمال والعتاد والسلاح.

خطر لي وأنا أقرأ افتتاحيتي “الواشنطن بوست” و”النيوزويك”، والمؤرَّختين في 30 حزيران/يونيو 2021، أن شعوب الغرب عبر الأطلسي ستكون في حال أفضل لو أنها لا تقرأ مثل هذه الافتتاحيات الموجَّهة سياسياً من جانب حكومات ترتكب جرائم حرب ضدّ الشعوب العربية، في سوريا والعراق ولبنان واليمن وليبيا. فهذه التحليلات المضلِّلة لا تمتّ بصلة إلى واقع الحال في بلداننا ومنطقتنا، وتنبع من تحيّز كتّابها إلى فكرة التفوّق الاستعمارية، وتجاهلهم واقعَ الشعوب ومعاناتها ووعيها وطموحها.

ها هم اليوم يخرجون من أفغانستان بعد التسبب بمآسٍ لا تُحصى للملايين من الشعب الأفغاني المسالم، ولا أحد يعلم لماذا دخلوا، ولماذا خرجوا، ولم يتمكنوا من الخروج إلاّ بعد التفاوض مع “طالبان” التي ادّعوا أنهم ذهبوا إلى هناك لتخليص الشعب الأفغاني منها، وإذ بهم يساهمون، عبر سياساتهم، في إدامتها وانتشارها.

أتساءل عن مناهج التاريخ في الولايات المتحدة، وعما تدرّسه للطلاب، إذا كان هذا ما تجود به مراكز الأبحاث ووسائل الإعلام، والتي تُعتبر نخبوية في الغرب؟ لكنّ هذا حديث آخر، ويحتاج إلى وقفة مقبلة. 

Syrian FM Dr Faisal Mikdad: western hypocrisy on humanitarian assistance

A Western-backed war couldn’t destroy Syria, now sanctions are starving its people

June 16, 2021, RT.com

moi

-by Eva K Bartlett

A little over a decade ago, Syrians lived in safety and financial security. After ten years of war on Syria, while safety has largely returned, Syrians are struggling to exist under increasingly crippling Western sanctions.

As Syrian analyst Kevork Almassian noted“Were it not for the CIA regime change war, arming & training tens of thousands of multinational terrorists, draconian sanctions, foreign occupation of North & East, looting the oil & burning the wheat, Syria would’ve now a brilliant economy & high standard of living.”

When I first visited Syria in 2014, and in the years following, mortars and missiles fired from terrorist groups occupying eastern Ghouta pummeled Damascus on a daily basis. Likewise in government-controlled areas of Aleppo, and elsewhere around Syria.

Parents never knew if their children would return from school, or be shelled while at school. Untold numbers of Syrian civilians have been maimed over the past decade by such shelling, untold numbers more killed.

So one might expect that in 2021, with most of the terrorism in Syria eradicated, Syrians would have begun returning to the normal lives they had ten years prior. But the brutal sanctions have truly wrought hell on Syrians over the years, and under the latest ones, life has gotten exponentially worse.

Last year, I was in Syria for half of the year, after the borders closed due to Covid confusion. With ample time on my hands, I walked for hours around Damascus daily. One afternoon, wanting to get a good view of the city, I walked along narrow lanes going up the side of Qasioun mountain, encountering locals who spoke of community and supporting one another in hard times.

I had stopped to take a photo of the vista when a young girl’s voice called out to me. Shortly after, I was seated in her family’s humble sitting room, drinking cold water and talking with the family.

Only by chance did I learn that the father was ill with prostate cancer and suffering greatly for a want of affordable medications, increasingly difficult to get a hold of due to the sanctions. And that was in April, before the sadistically-named Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act came into effect months later.

I say sadistically, because these sanctions, while ostensibly intended to target the Syrian government and its allies in order to punish and discourage supposed “war crimes” against civilians, in reality inflict endless misery on those same Syrian civilians. This is, as I wrote, something former US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, boasted about, reportedly saying that the sanctions “contributed to the collapse of the value of the Syrian pound.”

It’s a pattern we’ve already seen with Western sanctions – in Venezuela, they have not only made people’s lives hell, but as I also wrote, have killed up to 40,000 Venezuelans in the span of one year, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

A recent guest article in the Financial Times addressed Syria’s ongoing (and orchestrated) economic crisis, with particular attention to the sanctions, noting that 60% of Syrians are suffering from food insecurity.

That number might actually be significantly higher, as in a July 2020 article detailing the illegality of the sanctions, the author cited 83% of the population living below the poverty line. That article noted, of the Caesar sanctions:

“Unlike the pre-existing sanctions, they apply to transactions anywhere in the world that engage the Syrian Government or certain sectors of the Syrian economy, even when those transactions have no connection to the United States.

“Such sanctions cripple a state’s economy; disrupt the availability of food, medicines, drinking water, and sanitation supplies; interfere with the functioning of health and education systems; and undermine people’s ability to work.”

These are not unintended effects – they are the whole idea.

The FT article notes that after the Caesar Act came into effect, the Syrian pound, “lost almost 70% of its value against the dollar in the following months. This spurred an inflationary spiral affecting food prices, which more than tripled in 2020.”

And, in contrast to how the US pretends to “protect” Syrians with these sanctions, the Caesar Act is, “severely affecting the local economy especially in the construction, energy, and financial sectors, blocking any possibility of reconstruction in this phase of lower-intensity conflict.”

Although I continued to follow events in Syria after leaving in late September 2020, when I returned in the last week of May this year, even I was surprised at the skyrocketed cost of basic things. About half a kilo of hummus that was 400 Syrian pounds last year is 2,200 now. At the current official exchange rate of 2,500 that’s slightly less than a dollar – but the average salary in Syria is around 50-60,000 Syrian pounds/month.

The FT article noted a kilogram of beef “costs about a quarter of a public employee’s average monthly salary. For perspective, in Italy this translates as €700 per kg. In the UK? £300 per lb.”

I chatted with a friend who has just one child. He described spending 15,000 (about $6) on vegetables, that would last several days. That’s a quarter of his salary gone, and many expenses still to pay.

In the Midan district of Damascus—an area usually brimming with shoppers coming for the famous sweet shops there, but not crowded the day I went—a cigarette vendor I spoke with described how he struggles to provide food for his wife and two sons. Like the majority of Syrians, selling cigarettes is a second job for him. Some are working three jobs, morning to late evening, and still can’t make ends meet.

He spoke of the self-sufficiency Syria had prior to the war, how everyone had work, but now, people are suffocating.

“We are rationing! I used to buy a kilo of meat every month, but now I buy 200 grams. My salary is 55,000, and if I can earn 50,000 from this second work, I will have 100,000 Syrian pounds. But, this amount is still not enough.”

“Yesterday, I bought some yogurt, cheese, a box of mortadella (meat), and a box of tissues. I paid 11,000 Syrian pounds. This is for one day, and just breakfast.”

He said a dearth of fertilizers and insecticides, due to sanctions, is directly impacting the agricultural sector.

While in Damascus, I also met with French humanitarian, Pierre Le Corf, who has lived in Syria for six years, most of that time in Aleppo. Le Corf, working and living with some of the poorest and most affected Syrians in Aleppo, spoke of how the sanctions are designed to kill hope, in addition to killing civilians.

“You might not see people starving in the street, but that’s not what suffering is. People are suffering in silence. More and more, the youth are leaving the country, not because they want to leave Syria or feel oppressed, but because they feel that they have no hope anymore.

The currency went from 50 Syrian pounds [for a dollar, before the war] to 4,000 Syrian pounds. People work from morning to night, and at the end of the day, their kids might ask for a banana. One kilogram of bananas is 5,000 Syrian pounds. When you earn 60,000 a month…”

He spoke of the pressure the US puts on every company and person who deals with Syria, that they can be imprisoned, fined. “They are forcing companies to not work with Syria,” to isolate Syria.

“I know families for who I’m trying to figure out how to bring them medicines that they can’t find any more. A week ago, I went to bury a guy who we had been bringing medicine, because we couldn’t find it any more. It became 90,000 pounds a box, he needed four boxes a month. He needed more medicine and better treatment that we can’t have, because it’s forbidden. Forbidden why? Because they pretend it’s ‘double use’, maybe it could be used for the army. The people are paying the price, no one else.

In an interview on Syria Insider, British journalist Vanessa Beeley condemned the sanctions against Syria, saying:

“Western governments are starving the Syrian people. They are depriving them of their right to return home, because the rebuilding process is being delayed. They are punishing the Syrian people for the resistance of the Syrian people against what they want to impose upon them. It’s nothing to do with the Syrian government or President Assad.”

Sanctions are never ever non-lethal practises. They are almost the most lethal of all weapons used in the hybrid war against the people of a targeted nation.

“At the same time as the sanctions are in place, the West is stealing the oil, burning the food resources, selling the food resources outside of Syria, all to deprive the Syrian people of their own resources, of the abundance of their own country.”

In a recent, detailed, presentation focussing on the sanctions, Beeley highlighted their effects not only on incomes, food, medicines, but also on fuel, industry, agriculture, health care and hospitals, electricity and water.

She aptly noted: “One could argue that the US Coalition is responsible for genocide in Syria under Genocide Convention article II (e) – deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

“The US Coalition is effectively following a policy of collective extermination of the Syrian people by military and economic means. This is a crime against Humanity, a war crime and a flagrant violation of the right to life & a life of dignity.”#Syria https://t.co/m8YxqIlUHR— vanessa beeley (@VanessaBeeley) June 14, 2021

In US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin today, perhaps among the scripted talking points there was tut tutting of Syria and Russia’s alleged preventing of humanitarian aid, a tired old trope debunked but still trumpeted by hypocrites in the West.

And while such integrity-devoid Western representatives launch accusation after accusation at Syria and Russia, it is abundantly clear that the suffering of Syrians is a product of the illegal war on Syria and the deadly, criminal, sanctions against the Syrian people.

RELATED:

Western leaders, screw your ‘Sanctions Target the Regime’ blather: Sanctions KILL PEOPLE

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

Assad Highlights Syria’s Potential to Overcome Blockade

10/06/2021

Assad Highlights Syria’s Potential to Overcome Blockade

By Staff, Agencies

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the country is capable of overcoming the blockade and create more investment opportunities.

On Wednesday he visited a number of factories and facilities at Adra industrial city in Damascus countryside which were established under the circumstances of the war and blockade, but their owners have succeeded despite all difficulties and challenges.

During the visit, Assad inspected the production situation in the industrial city and met the industrialists and discussed with them means of boosting production and overcoming obstacles that may face industry in Syria.

“Syria has genuine potentials to overcome the blockade and lessen its impacts and create more investment opportunities,” Assad said in a press statement.

“I am very happy with my visit today to Adra industrial city and meeting with a number of Syrian industrialists… this city which has been on the front line between the army and terrorists since many years…but it has withstood… my visit today aims to stress the priority of economy in the upcoming stage,” he added.

“What I have seen today can’t be described except as excellent, taking into consideration the circumstances to which this region has lived during the years of war and the conditions to which the Syrian economy passes through… I believe that this visit is very important for anyone to raise his morale through the morals taken by the supervisors of the work, owners of industries and workers in the industrial sectors.”

He added, “This patriotic spirit that I have already touched at supervisors of the work and workers gives several messages in Syria… while I was inspecting the facilities, the first thing that came to my mind is a comparison, which comes spontaneously, between those who offered the national capitals during hard circumstances for creating job opportunities and supporting the economy, and those persons who fled with their capitals since the first days.

“When the signs of war have begun, they took the capitals they had collected in their country and migrated, at the time, the Syrian citizen was coming through a tunnel; Security tunnel, livelihood and economic tunnel, and he/she has thought that there would be too many brothers who would offer assistance,” the Syrian president said, state-run SANA news agency reported.

He went on to say, “Actually, What I have already seen sends many messages; messages to persons who possess the potentials, capabilities and resources but they lack the courage and spirit of the initiative to launch work and production, sends messages full of hope and confidence … confidence that during those circumstances ,the industrial sector has been able to remain and withstand, therefore, the most important message that we get from this visit is that if we have the will to build the homeland ,then we are able to build.”

Assad added that we are in need for the capital, in need for strong will and the patriotic sense, “and I felt that these three elements are existed with each one I met today, these three basic factors give momentum to many investors to establish industries in different areas, investments or productive facilities in other areas in Syria.”

“In fact, those persons are the ones on whom the Syrian society and homeland can depend in building economy and homeland in general…and certainly, the State will stand by them because they deserve all support as they carry on today the war on a front which is a front of work and a front of economic war… the Syrian citizen expect from you a lot and the State supports you in order to reflect these joint efforts as numbers in the economy, job opportunities and a prosperity for the homeland,” he concluded.

The suggestion Turkey was smuggling weapons to Al-Qaeda in Syria shows why Russia’s desire to halt ‘aid’ was a good idea

moi

June 4, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

New allegations that aid trucks to Syria from Turkey carried weapons for terrorists have surfaced. But it’s unlikely to convince those in the West to change their tune that Russia was wrong to want border crossings closed. 

In July 2020, there were those who self-righteously railed at Russia for allegedly denying humanitarian aid to Syrians. They screamed that in calling for crossings to be closed, Russia was attempting to starve and choke civilians in need of assistance. 

The Russian mission to the UN, however, maintains that ample aid is delivered from within Syria, via various agencies, including the UN. It argues that delivering aid from outside of Syria is no longer necessary, since most of the country has returned to peace and security. I haven’t come across a Russian representative who has stated so, but wonder if another reason Russia wanted cross-border ‘aid’ from Turkey halted was because it knew weapons were being smuggled to terrorists in Syria? 

On May 30, Sedat Peker, a Turkish mobster and former ally to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, published a new video in a series he has been releasing on criminal activities among Erdogan’s inner circle. In this latest video, Peker spoke of the weapons and vehicles sent to Al-Qaeda in Syria, and that the contractor behind these shipments was a company called SADAT, run by Erdogan’s former chief military advisor.

Turkish mobster Sedat Peker, former ally to President #Erdogan, revealed he shipped arms, military supplies, drones, vehicles to al-Nusra front in #Syria at the request of #Sadat, Turkish contractor run by Erdogan’s former chief military advisor Adnan Tanriverdi. pic.twitter.com/AdqUxSyVVO— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) May 30, 2021

Our trucks went under the name of Sedat Peker Aid Convoy. We knew other trucks that went on my behalf carried weapons. This was organized by a team within SADAT. No registration, no paperwork applied to these shipments that crossed directly [to Syria],” said Peker.

The revelations should not come as a surprise. In January 2013, the late journalist Serena Shim, as I wrote, exposed how terrorists and arms were smuggled into Syria from Turkey, noting World Food Organization trucks were being used. In October 2014, Shim was killed in a car accident, shortly after telling Press TV she feared for her life and that Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. Her family, and inquiring journalists, believed it was down to Turkish foul play, noting the official story of Shim’s death changing. The US government didn’t investigate the suspicious death of one of its citizens in Turkey. 

As Shim reported, if WFO trucks were at one point used to smuggle arms into Syria, can you blame Russia or Syria if they are indeed sceptical of supposed ‘aid’ entering from Turkey?

But whenever the issue of aid crossing into Syria is brought up at the UN Security Council, the narrative is usually to ‘blame Russia’. Hysterical headlines aside, is it really likely that Russia, with the world’s eyes on its every move, is actually trying to starve civilians in Syria? It is Russia, remember, that has demined vast areas of Syria formerly occupied by terrorist factions in order for local people to be able to return to their areas. It is also Russia that delivered aid to Raqqa, the city completely flattened by the US and allies in the pretext of fighting terrorism. 

Syria’s cross-border mechanism (CBM) began in 2014, when – due to the presence of terrorist groups – aid couldn’t be delivered from within the country. The Security Council established the CBM, with four crossings into Syria: two from Turkey, one from Iraq, the last from Jordan. In December 2019, all except the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey were closed down, with aid being coordinated via Damascus. 

But as Russian representatives at the UN pointed out in a statement in July 2020, by then the situation had changed, with most of Syria back under the control of the government. Sending aid to those who need it can be done from within the country. Western media suggested that Syria would use the closure of crossings to starve its civilians, but the reality is that Damascus has consistently cooperated in sending aid, while the US has in the past stymied aid delivery. 

Russia’s statement also noted, “The UN still has no presence in Idlib de-escalation zone which is controlled by international terrorists and fighters. It’s not a secret that the terrorist groups control certain areas of the de-escalation zone and use the UN humanitarian aid as a tool to exert pressure on [the] civil population and openly make profit from such deliveries.”

But amid a round of finger pointing, the West and allies continued to criticise Russia for wanting to end the CBM. In response, the Russian Federation’s representative to the UN Security Council wondered whether the UN’s OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) could go to Idlib to see if terrorists occupying that region were respecting the Declaration of Commitment some had signed regarding aid deliveries. 

This was a valid point, given that in areas previously occupied by terrorists, most civilians never saw the ample aid sent in by Syria and agencies. Terrorist groups controlled and hoarded the aid, from east Aleppo to Madaya to al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta. So it was by no means a stretch of the imagination to assume the same might play out in Idlib, particularly since the terrorists included factions from the aforementioned regions, who were bussed to Idlib as the cities and towns finally returned to peace. 

The Russian statement also addressed frenzied Western claims that the other closed crossings were the only means to send aid to civilians in the north-east of Syria. It read“In total, since the beginning of 2020 when ‘Al Yarubiyah’ was closed, more humanitarian aid has been delivered to the north-east of Syria than in previous years.” 

Still the narrative continued, though, and in March 2021, the dictator of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth, tweeted about “Putin starving Syria”, resurrecting the cries over the unnecessary, and closed, crossings. But his claim prompted an angry response from some.

🇷🇺

So who is actually starving civilians in Syria? Aside from terrorists hoarding food and denying it to the local people, there are more significant reasons for their preventable suffering. And these are the West’s sanctions against them, particularly the June 2020 Caesar Act. 

Last year, James Jeffrey, the then US Special Representative for Syria Engagement, was quoted as saying the latest sanctions would contribute to the fall of the Syrian pound. What a wonderful way to “protect” Syrians. In US parlance, “protect” means “starve.”

As I walk around Damascus, I ask about the cost of food, and whether people can afford to feed their families. Most say their salaries aren’t sufficient: food prices have skyrocketed, salaries have not. Most describe adopting a more vegetarian diet – chicken and meats are too expensive to have more than once a month, or at all. 

Furthermore, there is the US occupation forces’ thieving or destroying of Syrian resources. On that, Dr. Bashar Ja’afari, in his former post as Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, in June 2020, said“When the United States daily steals 200,000 barrels of oil from the Syrian oil fields, 400,000 tons of cotton, 5,000,000 sheep and sets fire to thousands of hectares of wheat fields, and deliberately weakens the value of the Syrian pound, and when it imposes coercive economic measures aiming to choke the Syrian people and occupying parts of the Syrian lands, and when the US representative expresses her concern over the deteriorating situation of the Syrian citizen’s living conditions the logical question will be are not these acts the symptoms of political schizophrenia?”

But as usual the US and its allies blame Russia and Syria for the suffering in Syria, whitewashing their own very long litany of crimes there. 

Although the smuggling of weapons and terrorists via Turkey has been openly known for years, it’s rather amusing that it takes a petty mobster, and not Western media or leadership, to draw new attention to it. No, as terrorists use those weapons to fight the Syrian government (and rival terrorist factions, and civilians), the West is only concerned about blaming Russia and Syria. Ten years of lies and war against the people of Syria just aren’t enough for America and its allies.

Previous Articles:

Syrians filled the polling stations to defend their sovereignty and now fill the streets to celebrate the result

Today I saw Syrians dancing and celebrating life, and a return to peace – but, of course, the Western media won’t report that

Western nations want ‘democracy’ in Syria so badly they close embassies and prevent Syrians from voting in presidential elections

Douma: Three Years On, How independent media shot down the false “chemical attack” narrative.

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

American Journalist Killed in Turkey for Revealing the Truth Regarding ISIS-Daesh: No Investigation Two Years After Suspicious Death of American Journalist Serena Shim

Returning to Syria is a Fate, It’s Not an Option – Nasser Kandil العودة إلى سورية قدرٌ لا خيار

ARABI SOURI 

The war on Syria - Nasser Kandil
Photo of معادلة القدس تفجّر حرباً إقليميّة تشغل واشنطن

Nasser Kandil is a former member of the Lebanese Parliament, an accredited political analyst, and a career journalist and politician who has witnessed major milestones in the rich history of Lebanon and its relations with Syria and the world, he is currently the editor in chief of the Lebanese Al-Binaa Newspaper.

Under the above title, Nasser Kandil wrote an update in Al-Binaa newspaper in regards to the latest diplomatic developments with Syria and the US’s recent shift in policies, especially after the successful presidential election in Syria and the overwhelming win of President Bashar Assad for another term of 7 years, the following is its translation to English.

The news coming from Damascus and the capitals of the countries of the region and the world follows an increasing number of embassies that are reopening or strengthening their diplomatic level, after years in which a large International-Arab alliance wanted to besiege Syria and weaken its state, and for this, it devoted huge funds and enormous capabilities and a media and intelligence war and the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of armed terrorists from all worldwide, and the diplomatic estrangement was one of the tools of war that sought to overthrow Syria.

After a long decade of Syrian steadfastness full of sacrifices, Syria succeeded, with its state, army and president, to foil what had been planned for it, and succeeded in establishing honest alliances that realized the dangers of what had been prepared for Syria and its impact on stability in the region and the world.

As a result of these sacrifices and alliances, new equations and balances were formed that were difficult to break, which were translated in the military field by the retreat of the control of terrorist groups and the presence of their operators from large areas of the Syrian geography, and the blockage of the road to pressure attempts to impose sovereign concessions on Syria that affect its unity, identity and constants.

This difficult decade of the twenty-first century witnessed a fate similar to the failure that befell the plans of the project of the American hegemony over the world project, of which the war on Syria was one of its most prominent chapters, by betting on the fallouts that winning the overthrow of Syria would carry, and the results of the overall failure of the project began to leave their repercussions on the American interior and articulates the framework for policy change toward recognition of failure, seeking to adapt to the changes, and in this context the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is taking place, negotiations are on returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran, preparing for an American-Russian summit, and trying to draw new lines for American positioning on multiple settlement lines.

Despite the harsh and unjust sanctions imposed by Washington on Syria, and the negative and hostile stances taken by the administration of US President Joe Biden towards all the sovereign entitlements in Syria, the most recent of which is the position on the presidential elections, Washington has lost the ability to control the alliance that it gathered behind it under the title of overthrowing Syria, so that it continues to isolate itself from Syria, which is regaining its health and presence, and its regional and international alliance is escalating to more present and powerful positions, and that is why returning to Syria seemed to translate the attempt of its owners not to stay away from what Syria represents and will represent it in the near future in drawing the region’s equations.

Breaking the deadlock in diplomatic relations with Syria is the first step to retreat from this positioning, which did not bring any of these Arabs and non-Arabs, except to remain outside the equation of influencing the vital addresses in which Syria stands at its heart.

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العودة إلى سورية قدرٌ لا خيار

Photo of معادلة القدس تفجّر حرباً إقليميّة تشغل واشنطن

تتلاحق الأخبار الواردة من دمشق وعواصم دول المنطقة والعالم عن عدد متزايد للسفارات التي يُعاد فتحُها أو تعزيز مستواها الدبلوماسي، بعد سنوات أراد فيها حلف دولي عربي واسع حصار سورية وإضعاف دولتها، وكرّس لذلك أموالاً طائلة وإمكانات هائلة وحرباً إعلامية ومخابراتيّة واستجلاباً لمئات آلاف المسلحين الإرهابيين من كل أصقاع الدنيا، وكانت القطيعة الدبلوماسية واحدة من أدوات الحرب التي سعت لإسقاط سورية.

بعد عقد طويل من الصمود السوري المليء بالتضحيات، نجحت سورية بدولتها وجيشها ورئيسها، بإسقاط ما دُبّر لها، ونجحت بإقامة تحالفات صادقة أدركت مخاطر ما تمّ تحضيره لسورية وتأثيره على الاستقرار في المنطقة والعالم، وتشكّلت بفعل هذه التضحيات والتحالفات معادلات جديدة وتوازنات يصعب كسرها، ترجمت في الميدان العسكري بتقهقر سيطرة الجماعات الإرهابيّة وحضور مشغليها عن مساحات واسعة من الجغرافيا السورية، وبانسداد الطريق على محاولات الضغط لفرض تنازلات سياديّة على سورية تمسّ وحدتها وهويتها وثوابتها.

شهد هذا العقد الصعب من القرن الحادي والعشرين مصيراً مشابهاً للفشل الذي أصاب مخططات مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم، الذي كانت الحرب على سورية أحد أبرز مفرداته، بالرهان على التداعيات التي سيحملها الفوز بإسقاط سورية، وبدأت نتائج الفشل الإجمالي للمشروع تترك تداعياتها على الداخل الأميركي وترسم إطار تغيير السياسات نحو التسليم بالفشل، والسعي للتأقلم مع المتغيرات، وفي هذا السياق يجري الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، والتفاوض على العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، والتحضير لقمة أميركيّة روسيّة، ومحاولة رسم خطوط جديدة لتموضع أميركيّ على خطوط تسويات متعددة.

رغم العقوبات القاسية والظالمة التي تفرضها واشنطن على سورية، والمواقف السلبية العدائية التي تتخذها إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن تجاه كل الاستحقاقات السيادية في سورية، وآخرها الموقف من الانتخابات الرئاسية، فقدت واشنطن القدرة على ضبط الحلف الذي جمعته خلفها تحت عنوان إسقاط سورية، ليواصل الانعزال عن سورية التي تستعيد عافيتها وحضورها، ويصعد حلفها الإقليمي والدولي الى مواقع أكثر حضوراً وقوة، ولهذا بدت العودة الى سورية ترجمة لمحاولة أصحابها عدم البقاء بعيداً عما تمثله سورية وستمثله في المستقبل القريب في رسم معادلات المنطقة، وكسر الجمود في العلاقات الدبلوماسية مع سورية أولى الخطوات للتراجع عن هذا التموضع الذي لم يجلب لأي من هؤلاء عرباً وغير عرب الا البقاء خارج معادلة التأثير في العناوين الحيوية التي تقف سورية في قلبها.

Syria comes in from the cold: Saudi-Syria relationship warms up

May 8, 2021

Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is embarking on a new beginning that could change the Middle East.   To enhance security and stability, a Saudi delegation headed by the head of the intelligence service, Lieutenant General Khaled Al-Humaidan, visited Damascus on Monday and met Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Vice President for Security Affairs, Major General Ali Mamlouk. The talks were aimed at restoring diplomatic relations after a ten-year pause, reported the private London-based Arabic daily, Rai Al-Youm

Saudi Arabia will reopen its embassy in Damascus following continuing talks planned in Damascus after the end of Ramadan, and the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon issued a positive statement on the topic. 

Lebanon remains at the core of Saudi interests in the eastern Mediterranean region, and the assistance of Damascus in stabilizing Lebanon is crucial. A US State Department assessment in 2020 found evidence that Damascus was regaining its pre-eminent place in Lebanese politics. Following the collapse of Lebanese banks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has worked towards making Riyadh a player in Lebanon again, and the Saudis need President Assad on their side to help shape the region.

Saudi Arabia is recalibrating its foreign policy and repairing relations with its neighbors as it works to stop the influence of global powers in the region. The visit to Damascus comes after the UAE and Bahrain have publically shown support for the Assad administration in recent years.

Giorgio Cafiero, CEO, and founder of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, said “The Saudis have to be pragmatic in how they deal with Syria. It’s very clear that Damascus isn’t on the verge of falling and I think the Saudis are coming to terms with the inevitable in moving toward some sort of rapprochement with Syria,” he said. “It’s important to realize that as Assad has proven triumphant on the ground and as the Saudis have deepened their relationship with Russia,” said Cafiero. “We need to keep in mind that Syria is very much in need of reconstruction and redevelopment and the Syrian government is going to want help from the wealthy Gulf countries, so this is certainly a card that the Saudis can play at some point – to support reconstruction with deep pockets,” said Cafiero.

Syria would also be able to lobby Washington indirectly through Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to lift sanctions, and thereby access the funds being offered by the Gulf states to rebuild Syria. The UAE has publicly called for the removal of US Caesar Act sanctions, and is delivering regular medical aid and helping to facilitate Syria’s regional rehabilitation. The Emirati foreign minister had declared that “the return of Syria to its environment is inevitable and is in the interest of Syria and the region as a whole, and the biggest challenge facing coordination and joint work with Syria is the Caesar Act.”

Algeria is insisting that Syria be readmitted to the Arab League, and the UAE has restored ties with Syria as it seeks to contain Turkish expansion. The UAE, a Saudi ally, reopened its embassy in Damascus in December 2019 in an attempt to re-engage with Syria. Oman and the UAE, have recently rekindled ties with the Syrian government.  Iraq, another Syrian ally, has also pushed for Damascus to rejoin the Arab League. 

Iraq is turning to Syria as a transit route for Egyptian gas imports. Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said on April 29 that discussions have opened with his Syrian counterpart Bassam Toumeh. “We have a common vision about the possibility of steering and moving Egyptian gas through Syria land,” a spokesman for the Iraqi oil ministry said.

The Arab Gas Pipeline runs from Egypt to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, with the Syrian section having been completed in 2008. Gas exports from Egypt to Iraq would flow through an extension to the pipeline. 

The Akkas gas field is in western Al-Anbar province in Iraq, but the field development was put on hold while the area was occupied by ISIS.  However, both the Syrian and Iraqi governments control the areas on both sides of the border, and Iraq has planned to supply surplus gas to Syria.  US-based energy firm Schlumberger is to lead a consortium to develop Akkas, a project that also involves Saudi companies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Saudi Arabia in March, sending signals to Washington that the Saudis are seeming to inch closer to the Russian position on Syria. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said in a joint press conference with Lavrov, “We are keen to coordinate with all parties, including Russia, to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met with the Russian president’s special envoy for Syrian settlement affairs Alexander Lavrentiev, the day before meeting with Lavrov, and discussed the latest developments in Syria.

Sami Hamdi, the editor-in-chief at The International Interest, says that the Saudi displeasure with the Biden administration has something to do with the shift as well. “Bin Salman may also have eyes on deepening ties with Russia as Riyadh becomes increasingly disillusioned with Washington. Engaging with Syria is likely to increase Saudi-Russia ties and cooperation,” Hamdi said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Russia have coordinated well on the issue of oil within the OPEC framework and the pursuit of market equilibrium.

Iraq has played host recently to Saudi Arabia and Iran in last month’s direct talks that officials hope will defuse the tension between the two regional powers. Talks behind closed doors between the two were held in Baghdad as senior representatives from both worked to find common ground. The Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported that the discussions which started in Baghdad will continue.

Iran will also urge Saudi Arabia to recognize President Assad as the legitimate leader of Syria, paving the way for Syria’s re-entry into the Arab League. This may be timed to coincide with the outcome of the Syrian presidential election on May 26. 

The Saudi, Jordan, Syria highway for the movement of goods and people is now open.  Jordan held the key and has opened the border crossing with Saudi Arabia at Al-Omari post, while also opening the Jaber crossing into Syria, which is called Nassib on the Syrian side.

The Saudi-UAE reset with Syria sends a clear message to the Biden administration: you want to restart relations with Iran, and we want to restart relations with Syria.

 Saudi Arabia will push for a solution to the Syrian crisis and that will place the interests of the region above all else, even if they conflict with Washington.

The US-allied Gulf Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, were the main regional backers of armed groups opposed to the Syrian government, providing finance and weapons as part of a program of support for the armed opposition coordinated by Washington.

The Syrian battleground has provided fertile ground to feed extremism among the region’s youth, as radical groups can use social media. By pushing for a solution in Syria and the return of Damascus to the Arab fold, would end the use of Syria as a battlefield for conflicting regional and international agendas.

The US State Department responded to the Emirati foreign minister’s statements on Tuesday regarding the effects of the US “Caesar Act” on the lives of Syrians, by claiming the sanctions have nothing to do with the humanitarian crisis in Syria, even though medical supplies and equipment are forbidden by US-EU sanctions.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist

EXPLOSIONS ROCK TANKER ANCHORED OFF SYRIA’S COAST (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

ٍSouth Front

Explosions Rock Tanker Anchored Off Syria’s Coast (Video, Photos)

On May 9 afternoon, two explosions rocked a tanker anchored of the coast of Syria’s Banias, where the country’s main oil terminal is located.

The explosions were heard all over Banias. Locals shared footage showing two dark clouds of smoke rising from the tanker’s surface. Nevertheless, a photo taken a few minutes after the two explosions shows no fire.

Muhammad al-Sousi, a director in the Syrian Company for Oil Transport, told the Syrian Arab News Agency that the explosions were caused by an engine malfunction.

“A technical failure occurred in one of the engines of an oil tanker anchored off the town of Banias, which led to a minor fire and the appearance of black smoke from the tanker,” al-Sousi said. “The fire was dealt with by the tanker crew and was extinguished immediately without any damage.”

The tanker was identified by observers the Panama-flagged WISDOM, which has been anchored off Banias coast for a while now.

An explosion rocked WISDOM on April 24. Back then, Syrian sources claimed that the tanker was targeted by a drone. Later, it was reported that the explosion was the result of an accident. Three Syrian sailors were killed.

Despite Syrian government claims, the explosions at WISDOM may have been the result of an attack. The explosions occurred just a few hours after a major fire at Syria’s main oil refinery in Homs.

Israel may have targeted the tanker in response to April 13 attack on the Hyperion Ray vessel. The Israeli-owned vessel was attacked off the shores of Fujairah in the UAE. Back then, Iran was blamed for the attack.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

End the genocidal siege of Syria!

May 1, 2021

رسالة.. برأس صاروخ متفجر A message .. with an explosive missile head

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *

رسالة.. برأس صاروخ متفجر

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2021/04/26

بقلم: ابراهيم الحمدان

نُشرت بواسطة نارام سرجون

لم تكن المنشٱت الإسرائيلية الثابتة بيوم من الأيام ومنذ عشرات السنين، خارج نطاق إحداثيات صواريخ تحالف تيار المقاومة إن كان في إيران او  سورية او جنوب لبنان، وتلك الأهداف الثابتة، لا تعد ولا تحصى، وكل هدف قد يكون بمثابة قنبلة نووية. 

والسؤال: لماذا لم يتم استهداف كل تلك المنشٱت من قبل سورية أو إيران ، رغم كل ما تعرضت له سورية من تدمير بشع !!!  ورغم كل الاعتداءت الإسرائيلية التي باتت شبه أسبوعية على القوات السورية والإيرانيةالمتواجدة في سورية !! ؟؟

هذا السؤال يقود بالمنطق إلى نتيجة مفادها إن تيار المقاومة ( سورية وإيران) لا يضعون الحرب العسكرية ضمن خططهم للتعامل مع العد الإسرائيلي ،لا للدفاع عن النفس ولا للهجوم وتحرير الأراضي المحتلة..على الأقل في المدى المنظور. 

تيار المقاومة يسعى إلى خلق توازن الرعب، وخلق حالة ردع للعدو الإسرائيلي… بمعنى ردع إسرائيل من الاعتداء علينا ، ومن يدقق بالبرنامج  السياسي للمقاومة يرى أن شعارات المقاومة تكتفي بشعارين ( الصمود ، والتصدي ) ولم ترفع بيوم من الأيام شعار الهجوم على إسرائيل وشن حرب تحريرية.  بينما نرى إسرائيل تقف خلف كل ما حدث من حرب على سورية و تحاول جر المنطقة ( كل المنطقة) إلى حرب، وتحرض أمريكا وأوروبا وتشكل تحالفات مع دول عربية وعلى رأسهم دول الخليج لمحاولة ضرب إيران ونشوب حرب عسكرية في المنطقة. 

من هنا علينا أن ندرك أن الصاروخ الذي سقط على بعد ثلاث كيلو مترات عن مفاعل ديمونا الإسرائيلي، بالتأكيد لم يخطيء هدفه، ولم يكن هدفه لا مفاعل ديمونا ، ولا فتح حرب عسكرية مع  إسرائيل ، بل نستطيع أن نفهم أن الصاروخ، اطلق من الدفاعات الجوية لصد هجوم من قبل الطيران الإسرائيلي، وبغض النظر إن كان أطلق خلف الطائرات الإسرائيلية، أم أطلق بشكل مباشر، فالرسالة واحدة، والهدف منه، تذكير المجتمع الاستيطاني الإسرائيلي أننا نستطيع الوصول إلى أخطر المواقع الإسرائيلية، لخلق حالة رعب وتذمر وضغط من قبل الجمهور على حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو واليمين المتطرف في كيان إسرائيل الغاصب، ليرضخ لشروط السلام، كما أنها أيضا رسالة إلى صناع القرار في أمريكا.

القدرة الصاروخية للجيش السوري

وهذه ليست إلا رسالة سورية  تتوافق مع العديد من الرسائل الروسية الإقتصادية والسياسية الموجهة من موسكو إلى إسرائيل وامريكا ، بأن خيوط اللعبة وادارتها مازالت بيد  روسيا، وعليكم أن تعودوا للتموضع الذي كان سائد مجيء بايدن للبيت الأبيض. هذه الرسالة الصاروخية في هذه المرحلة لن تكون الوحيدة والأخيرة بل تترافق مع رسائل اقتصادية بأن روسية قادرة على ٱفشال  الحظر الاقتصادي على سورية، وقادرة على إبطال مفعول قانون قيصر إن لم تفعله ، أيضا تستطيع فتح النار على الشمال السوري وإحراق ما تبقى من إرهابيين وتحريرها، والرسالة الأهم في هذه المرحلة هي دعم روسيا للاستحقاق الانتخابي للانتخابات الرئاسية في سورية، والرسالة واضحة المعالم حيث تقول (أن الرئيس بشار الأسد قائد للدولةوالجيش والشعب في المرحلة القادمة) . وأتوقع قريبا جدا سنجد التغيير في لهجة بايدن اتجاه كل من روسيا وإيران وسورية، وسنرى أيضا في إسرائيل تقهقر لشعبية اليمين المتطرف  وانتقادات حادة لجهة بنيامين نتنياهو، أو تغيير في لهجة الحكومة الإسرائيلية الحالية ، تحت ضغط الشارع الإسرائيلي ، أو التوجه نحو حكومة إسرائيلية تتموضع كما تريد روسيا والقبول  بإعادة هضبة الجولان، وما تبقى من مزارع شبعا، والقبول بعملية سلام بين سورية وإسرائيل، وإعادة الاتفاق  النووي الأمريكي الإيراني من طرف أمريكا، فكل هذه الملفات في سلة واحدة وكلها مرسلة من جهة واحدة متمثلة بروسيا وإيران وسورية، وبديل السلام ( الذي أعتقد كان متفق عليه بين روسيا من جهة وامريكا من جهة ثانية قبل مجيء بايدن) سيكون حرب لا يستطيع أحد إيقاف نارها التي لن تشعل إسرائيل فقط  …. ولن  تشعل الدول العربية وحدها، بل ستشتعل منطقة الشرق الأوسط برمتها، وستنشب الحرائق في تركيا وفي  إيران و العراق والأردن ودول الخليج وسورية ولبنان، ولو كانت القيادة السورية أشعلت الفتيل وأطلقت رشقة صواريخ على إسرائيل عام ٢٠١١، واستهدفت أي موقع حيوي مثل مفاعل ديمونا.. من باب.. ( على وعلى أعدائي) لتغيرت الكثير من نتائج حرب العشر سنوات على سورية ، واذكر منذ عام ٢٠١١ ونحن نكتب ونطالب بنقل المعركة إلى إسرائيل، لكن القيادة السورية لم تتخذ هذا القرار في حينها، ولا أعتقد سيتخذ هذا القرار اليوم، ولا غدا، فالمعركة مع إسرائيل في حقيقتها لم تعد معركة حربية عسكرية محسوبة النتائج ، بل هي معركة سياسية ان كان مع إيران أو مع سورية، 

وهذه المعركة السياسية تديرها روسيا بالتوافق مع  القيادة في دمشق، والقيادة في طهران، والوزن الدولي  للحليف الروسي، وحنكة ( بوتن ) ومصداقيته مع قيادات  المقاومة   تعطي روسيا الحق في الموافقه والتنسيق على أي تحرك عسكري اليوم، ومن الضرورة والمصلحة للمقاومة أن يتم التنسيق واخذ موافقة الحليف الروسي بالدرجة الأولى . 

 ولن يكون الهدف منه انتقام عسكري، وضربة بضربة ولا الهدف منه أذية الكيان الصهيوني الغاشم، بل الهدف منه تطويق إسرائيل بالنار لإجبار  الشعب الإسرائيلي وإنذاره من خطورة ما يسعى إليه  اليمين المتطرف المتمثل بنتنياهو، ، والتوجه للحل السياسي والتخلي  عن الغطرسة والاعتداءات العسكرية التي تمارسها على سورية وعلى إيران. إذا نحن حقيقة أمام  اعتداءت إسرائيلية شبه أسبوعية على سورية، وعلى القوات الإيرانية في سورية،ومحاولة إشعال النار في المنطقة من قبل إسرائيل، ورغم كل الاعتداءات الوقحة، والتي باتت غير مقبولة لم نرى رد واحد متمثل بصاروخ يقتل إسرائيلي واحد، إذا نحن أمام محاولات إسرائيلية للحل العسكري، مقابل محور المقاومة ( إيران وسورية) الذي يحاول عدم الانجرار إلى معارك حربية، رغم كل الاستفزازات  العسكرية الإسرائيلية. وصاروخ اليوم كان صاروخ أصاب هدفه ، فالهدف لم يكن مفاعل ديمونا، بل الهدف منه ( قرب) مفاعل ديمونا… وهي رسالة واضحة…….. أننا نستطيع قصف مفاعل ديمونة، ولن تحمي سماء إسرائيل لا القبة الحديدية، ولا أمريكا قادرة عن صد   صواريخ منتشرة في جنوب لبنان وفي سورية وفي إيران، فالرسالة الروسية باختصار أتت بعد مواقف بايدن من بوتن، وبعد الحركشات العسكرية في أوكرانيا، وبعد الضربات الإسرائيلية على سورية، وهذه الرسالة أرسلت من سورية وبيد الجيش العربي السوري، وستتلاحق الرسائل إلى أن يتم تموضوع إسرائيل، وبايدن كما يرسم لها بوتن.عملية السلام بين سورية وإسرائيل لن يستطيع أحد إعاقتها، لا إيران ولا سورية ولا إسرائيل ولا حتى أمريكا، لأن هذه التسوية ستعيد الجولان وما تبقى من مزارع شبعا لسورية، وسيعاد الاتفاق النووي لإيران، وتعيد التوازن الدولي لأمريكا في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، وهي فقط عائق لليمين الإسرائيلي المتطرف، من هنا، الرسالة موجهة للشعب الإسرائيلي تحديدا، وبيد الجيش العربي السوري، وترافقت مع الاستحقاق الانتخابي للرئيس بشار الأسد، وهي رسالة روسية إيرانية سورية ذات رأس متفجر .


ابراهيم الحمدان


A message .. with an explosive missile head

26/04/2021

by: Ibrahim Al-Hamdan

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by: Ibrahim Al-Hamdan

Posted by naram.serjoonn

For decades, Israeli fixed-line missiles have never been outside the coordinates of the Resistance Movement Alliance missiles, whether in Iran, Syria or southern Lebanon, and those fixed targets are innumerable, and every target could be a nuclear bomb.

The question is: Why were not all these facilities targeted by Syria or Iran, despite all the horrible destruction that Syria has suffered,  despite all the Israeli attacks, which became almost weekly on the Syrian and Iranian forces present in Syria??

This question leads logically to the conclusion that the axis of resistance (Syria and Iran) does not include the military war in their plans to deal with the Israeli count, neither for self-defense nor for the attack and liberation of the occupied lands, at least in the foreseeable future. At least in the foreseeable future.

The axis of resistance seeks to create a balance of deterrent. In other words, deterring Israel from attacking us, the slogans of resistance axis are limited to (steadfastness and confrontation) and have never been attacking Israel and waging a war of liberation.  While we see Israel standing behind all that happened in the war against Syria is inciting America and Europe, forming alliances with Arab Gulf states, to drag the region (all region) into war.

This missile is nothing but a Syrian message that Israel attacks have become unacceptable, a message consistent with many of the Russian economic and political messages addressed from Moscow to Israel and America, that the threads of the game and its management are still in the hands of Russia, and you have to return to the positioning that prevailed when Biden came to the White House. The missile message at this stage will not be the only and last, but it is accompanied by economic messages that Russia is able to thwart the economic embargo on Syria, and is able to nullify the Caesar Act if it does not do so. It can also open fire on northern Syria and burn the remaining terrorists and liberate it, and the message reflect clear Russia’s support for the electoral process for the presidential elections in Syria, as it says (that President Bashar al-Assad is the leader of the state, the army and the people in the next stage.

From here we have to realize that the missile that landed few kilometers from the Israeli Dimona reactor, certainly did not miss its target, and its goal was not either the Dimona reactor, nor the opening of a military war with Israel, but we can understand that the missile, regardless of whether it was launched behind Israeli aircraft, or launched directly, launched from air defenses to repel the Israeli attack, the message is the same, and its purpose is to balance of deterrent and remind the Israeli settlement community, as well as to decision makers In America, that we can reach the most dangerous positions, and pressure from the public against the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and the extreme right in Israel’s usurped entity, to submit to the conditions of peace.

A group of men in suits looking at a paper

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I expect very soon we will find a change in Biden’s tone towards Russia, Iran and Syria, and a retreat of the popularity of the in Israel extreme right and sharp criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s side, or a change in the tone of the current Israeli government, under the pressure of the Israeli street, or the orientation towards an Israeli government that is positioned as Russia wants and accepts the return of the Golan Heights, and the rest of the Shebaa Farms, acceptance of a peace process between Syria and Israel, and the restoration of the US-Iranian nuclear agreement by America. All these files are in one basket and all are sent from one side represented by Russia, Iran and Syria, and the alternative to peace (which I believe was It was agreed upon between Russia on the one hand and America on the other before the arrival of Biden). The Arab countries will not be set on fire alone, but the entire West Asia.

And if the Syrian leadership had lit the fuse and fired a barrage of missiles at Israel in 2011, targeting any vital site such as the Dimona reactor, many of the results of the ten-year war on Syria would have changed, but the Syrian leadership did not take this decision at the time, and I do not think that this decision will be taken today or tomorrow, because the battle with Israel in its reality is no longer a military warfare with calculated results, but rather a political battle, whether it is with Iran or with Syria.

Today’s missile hit its target, the target was not the Dimona reactor, but (near) the Dimona reactor in a clear message: We can bomb the Dimona reactor, nothing will not protect Israel’s sky, neither the Iron Dome, nor America is able to repel missiles deployed in southern Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

In short, the Russian message came after Biden’s positions on Putin, after the military movements in Ukraine, and after the Israeli strikes on Syria, and this message was sent from Syria and by the Syrian Arab Army, other messages will follow until Israel completes, and Biden as Putin draws it. The peace process between Syria and Israel will not be obstructed by anyone, neither Iran, Syria, Israel, nor even America, because this settlement will return the Golan and what remains of the Shebaa Farms to Syria, and the nuclear deal is restored, and the international balance in west Asia is achieved, the message is specifically addressed to the Israeli people, and by the Syrian Arab Army, and it coincided with the election of President Bashar al-Assad. It is a Russian-Iranian-Syrian message with an explosive head.


Ibrahim Al , Hamdan

Russian Navy To Guard Iranian Oil Supplies To Syria Under Strategic Agreement – Report

South Front

 17.04.2021 

A Russian Navy assault team from the Russian Federation ship Severromorsk land by helicopter on the deck of the Italian Ship San Marco, the NATO flag ship to Operation Ocean Shield, during a NATO-Russia counter piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden.

Russia, Iran and Syria have established a joint operation room that would work to guarantee the security and stability of oil and wheat supplies to Syrian ports through the Mediterranean Sea, Sputnik reported on April 17.

According to the agency, a series of intensive meetings between Russian, Iranian and Syrian officials was held recently with the aim of breaking the siege imposed by the US and European Union on Syria.

“The room’s work is to provide multi-sided coordination to secure the arrival of oil supplies, in the first place, to Syrian ports,” Sputnik quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.

Syria has been facing an unprecedented economic crisis as a result the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. The country’s natural resources in the northeastern region are also under control of US proxies. Furthermore, ships heading to Syrian ports face sanctions as well as the threat of direct attacks on some occasions.

In the framework of the joint operations room, Russian Navy vessels will protect Iranian tankers heading to Syria until the end of this year.

Iranian tankers will gather in the Mediterranean and sail to Syria in one convoy escorted by the Russian Navy. Recently, this protocol was successfully used to guard four tankers heading to Syria.

According to Sputnik’s sources, other ships loaded with supplied, including food and chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry, will arrive in Syrian ports. Several wheat shipments from Russia will also be sent to Syria until next June.

“The recent tripartite coordination, which resulted in understandings that could be described as strategy, would secure most of the Syrian market’s needs for basic commodities and materials,” the sources said.

The operations room demonstrates honest commitment of Russia and Iran to Syria and the Syrian people. Meanwhile, the US and the EU continue to place political conditions to easy their collective sanctions on the country.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

UK’s Baroness Caroline Cox Slams the “Undeclared Economic War” on Syria

Transcript by Rawan Mahmasa

By Baroness Caroline Cox

Global Research, March 26, 2021

Mark Taliano 20 March 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

***

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Well, I’ve had personally the privilege of witnessing the poverty, the trauma, the displacement due to suffered by local communities in Damascus, Sydnaya, Latakia, Homs and at last of Aleppo, visited several times. And I continue to seek to raise the suffering of the people in parliament. Just as a reminder, over nine million Syrians are food insecure at the moment, and an estimated nine out of 10 live below the poverty line and million Syrians in parliament and the suffering of the people.

And in January this year, I sent a letter to the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, to urge the lifting of economic sanctions against Syria. The letter was signed by 80 other people, including many colleagues in the House of Lords, two former British ambassador to Syria, one of them, my friend Peter Ford, and other people from different arenas, George Tenet, the former chief of general staff of the British Army, north west of spitted former first sea lord and chief of naval staff.

And someone you heard earlier, of course, the right Reverend Dr Ted Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury and many other people. It was also signed by international diplomats, human rights experts and some of the most senior church leaders in the Middle East. They briefly on this is the prime minister for the call to the United Nations, special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures. And they don’t do it. Who appealed at the end of December, the United States, to lift its complex web of economic sanctions that severely harm the people of Syria.

Sanctions that have not been approved by the UN Security Council. The special rapporteur stated that US sanctions, I quote, violate the human rights of Syrian people and also could exacerbate the already humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in the case of Covid-19 pandemic, end of quote. They suffer what they call suffering by blocking the aid, trade and investment necessary, the serious health system and economy to function. The special rapporteurs findings reflect a growing consensus within humanitarian aid and human rights communities that the sanctions are driving Syria into an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. I could give a lot more details. You’ve had enough already, and I know speaking out of turn because of our network connections. But I would just highlight the sanctions cure just as surely as bombs dropped.

Bombs can be aimed at military targets and sometimes, unfortunately, civilian targets and the sanction regimes nearly everyone suffers from in Syria. Effects have been devastating. Millions of people out of work, skyrocketing prices and poverty, a crippled health care system and hunger and death for many of the most vulnerable. It is high time the undeclared economic war being waged against the Syrian people by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and their allies to come to an end.

And I hope very much that the important conference will help to bring that around.

So moving from there tonight, from there, sorry, I move to what I should do, which is to have the great privilege of giving what I just like to offer a very profound vision thanks to all the distinguished people, because this is very, very important conflict.

We’ve been so fortunate to work with speakers from Syria, from the front line of faith and freedom and other experts from around the world, and most importantly, to hear voices in country who don’t hear enough of in Britain and to hear the heartbreaking realities that exist in Syria today and to hear the truths that are so often hidden in mainstream narratives.

And you have to just the BBC like I do, I’ve complained again and increased the coverage of Syria related to areas in the region.

So a huge many of those who face the pressure, so many people have a lot of pressure not to take part in such a conference.

They’ve had the courage to speak out and they will pay a high price. But we’re here because we believe we believe in the truth. We believe in the need because of the suffering. The people of the Syrian crisis began 10 years ago today. The suffering of the Syrian people has gone on, as we all know, to be here for far too long. And the current policies of the international community are only prolonging violence and instability in the country and compounding the profound suffering of millions of people, innocent people.

So I passionately hope that the voices today will promote. A path to stability and peace. And finally, of course, thank you so much, Dr. Makram and the European Center for the Study of Extreme Extremism. And disorganized, because I’ve been running around trying to get my network and organize this very important event, but seriously, I’m sure we all hope and pray that what we have heard today echoes in the corridors of power. And challenges the people to reflect on the too often unreported realities in this context.

And as I say, very, very biased reporting. I’m sure we’re all aware and to support Syria to decide its own future and to rebuild your magnificent country, its wonderful history in a way that is the wishes of the Syrian people and to bring hope, peace and freedom for your people. You’ve suffered for far too long without it. You’ve deserved it for a long time. And I’m sure everyone has taken part in this very, very important conference, which we do thank you very much for arranging, will agree that it is long overdue that the people of Syria are respected for wonderful history, respected for your civilization, and respected for the contribution you can make the world when countries such as the United States in my own country stop penalizing you and allow you to develop your own justice, peace, freedom and democracy.

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Maria Saadeh, former independent Syrian MP, on the blockade of Syria

Presentation at the London webinar ‘A Decade of War on Syria – Future Trajectories’, hosted by The European Centre for Extremism Studies [www.eurocse.org] in Cambridge’s #Syria​​ Program.

What Is in Store for Iraq and the Broader Middle East?

What Is in Store for Iraq and the Broader Middle East?

Amro Allan, Global Research 14 Mar 2021

It is still early to be certain what strategy the new US administration will adopt in the Levant. Yet the recent actions of the US and its allies can give a good indication of what is in store for the region. Especially when those actions reinforce the validity of some intelligence obtained from a well-informed source, and when they fit the facts on the ground.

For the past ten years, the US and its allies have been engaged in a war against Syria. However, this war did not achieve its main strategic objective. On the contrary, Syria has become involved with the Axis of Resistance more than ever. And despite the pitfalls in some places, and slow achievements in others, the Axis of Resistance has gained more influence in the Levant overall. One aspect of this is that the route from Tehran to Beirut, through Baghdad and Damascus, is solidifying every day. Securing this route can greatly facilitate trade and economic collaboration between those four capitals- something that will enhance the living situation of the people of those countries and fortify their resilience.

The US understands the strategic challenge that this poses to its influence in the Levant and indeed in West Asia in general; as it has been expressed in many pro-US-articles.

A vital result of securing this route is the leverage it provides to the Axis of Resistance to overcome the ‘maximum pressure’ policy which the US has been pursuing of late, not just against Iran, but also against Syria using the ‘Caesar Act’. And because the events of the past few years exposed the unreadiness of the US to engage in an all-out war against Iran and its allies, that leaves the ‘maximum pressure’ policy as the only cost-effective card for the US to play against the Axis of Resistance.

Another result of the events of the last ten years in the Levant is that the Iraqi and Syrian arenas have become more interconnected. Hence, the aftershocks of any change in the political balance in one domain will be felt in the other. And because of the Russian presence in Syria, as well as the strategic alliance between Russia and the Syrian government, the US margin of manoeuvre within Syria is more constrained than it is in Iraq. Thus, it appears that the new strategy of Joe Biden’s administration is to work towards changing the status quo within Iraq to the advantage of the US, through targeted assassinations and special operations. It seems that the end goal is to strengthen the US allies within the Iraqi ruling class, benefiting from the volatile Iraqi political situation, so as to align Iraq with the US stance in the region.

This strategy, if it succeeds, will achieve two objectives for the US: breaking the Baghdad link in the afore-mentioned route chain, and tightening the economic sanctions imposed on Syria. The latter objective can then be used to force the Syrian government to make political concessions in the upcoming presidential elections and in the negotiations with the ‘separatists Kurdish factions’ in the east of the Euphrates, where the Syrian oil and wheat fields lie.

The latest US airstrike on the Iraqi security forces, the ‘Popular Mobilization Forces’ (PMF), is believed to be in this context despite the US pretexted justification. Choosing to bomb a position on the Syrian Iraqi borders and in the vicinity of a vital Syrian Iraqi crossing point cannot be at random.

Another sign of the US intent to change the political balance in Iraq is the recent 

lengthy interview with Raghad Saddam Hussein on the Saudi-owned news channel Al-Arabiya (the Saudis are a strategic US ally). In this interview, she spoke about internal Iraqi affairs, attacked what she called Iranian influence in Iraq, and refused to rule out a possible future role in Iraqi politics.

A well-informed source confirmed the existence of such a plan: ‘The US has put into action a new plan to shift the balance in Iraq to their advantage through targeted assassinations and inciting strife within Iraq. This plan is to be carried out in collaboration with some top positions in the current Iraqi government, and the Iraqi Ba’ath party’ the source added. On this question, it is worth noting the since-retracted statement by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby that Iraqi authorities helped the US to carry out ‘successful strikes’ on Syria’s territory in February, and in spite of the Iraqi Defence Ministry denying any knowledge of this airstrike beforehand.

If the next few weeks prove this analysis to be true, then it would be logical to assume that the Axis of Resistance will take countermeasures, and this would very likely raise the stakes in an already heightened situation in a volatile region.

Amro Allan, Palestinian writer and Political researcher

Amro Allan ( amro@amrobilal.net), is an independent Palestinian writer and Political researcher. He publishes in various Arabic news outlets, some of which are Al-Akhbar newspaperRai Al-Youm, and Arabi 21.

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