Syrian Civilians Killed and Wounded due to Al-Nusra Front Shelling on Aleppo Neighborhoods

By Khaled Iskef

Source

al Nusra front targeting neighborhoods of Aleppo ac970

Seven people were killed and more than 30 others were injured on Thursday evening as a result of targeting Aleppo neighborhoods in northern Syria with homemade rockets and missiles by Al-Nusra Front militants.

Al-Nusra militants carried out their attacks from their positions in Al-Rashideen / 4 /area southwest of Aleppo city, where the shells hit Al-Jamailia, Al-Hamdaniya, Halap Al-Jadida , Al-Zebdieh, Al-Mashhad, Salah Al-Din and Al-A’zamiya neighborhoods.

Most of the casualties who reached hospitals were from Salah al-Din neighborhood in the south-east of the city, as the crowded popular market in the neighborhood was targeted, which also led to several fires in cars and houses. According to medical sources, an 8-year-old boy died along with three other adults as a result of being burned in a car that was hit directly by a missile.

Al-Nusra militants shelling continued for about 3 hours, after which the pace of the shells subsided in conjunction with Syrian Army intense targeting with rockets the positions of the militants in al-Rashideen area and the town of Khan al-Assal located in western Aleppo countryside.

The city of Aleppo recently has witnessed an increasing escalation by the militants of “Al-Nusra front” stationed in its surroundings through targeting residential neighborhoods with various types of shells, as was the case on Wednesday evening, which witnessed targeting Al-Hamdania, Aleppo.

Al-Jadida, Nile Street and Shahbaa neighborhoods with dozens of shells that resulted in material damages only.

US increases funding to White Helmets who are persecuting Syrian Christians in Idlib

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

US President Donald Trump has not only reversed his “withdrawal from Syria” policy, he has recently attempted to revive the flagging credibility of the terrorist-affiliated White Helmets with a $4.5 million cash injection.

This week, the UK Minister for the Middle East Andrew Murrison met the “chairman” of the White Helmets, the extremist-connected Raed Saleh, for a discussion on the situation in Idlib. Murrison highlighted the “massive disinformation campaign” being waged against the White Helmets by Russia and Syria while never addressing the multiple accusations being made by Syrian civilians against the group which include claims of child abduction and organ trafficking.

Andrew Murrison

@AWMurrison

The White Helmets continue to provide life-saving service to the people of Syria. Today I met Chairman @RaedAlSaleh3 to discuss the terrible situation on the ground in Idlib and reiterated the UK’s unwavering support.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

White Helmets’ persecution of Syrian Christians in Idlib

On a recent trip to Latakia, I had the opportunity to interview a former resident of Yakubiyah, a predominantly Syrian Christian (Armenian and Catholic) town located west of Idlib city and around 10km from the Syrian border with Turkey. Aline K (her full name is withheld for her security) was in Lebanon when the armed gangs first entered her hometown in 2012/13 but she decided to return to Yakubiyah to assess the situation.

When Aline returned to her home she found it occupied by a mother and children. Aline asked them to leave but when she came back the next morning, armed militants had taken control of the house and Aline, like so many of her neighbours, was forced to abandon her house. She told me:

The terrorists looted all the houses, they entered houses and checked what’s inside it, another group came and took everything inside, they took everything they could carry, they emptied houses, they emptied them.

Aline described a campaign of desecration of the three churches in Yakubiyah, the removal of the ancient stone crosses and artefacts, the familiar eradication of Christian culture, that has been witnessed across Syria, by the so-called “peaceful revolutionaries” sponsored by the West. Meanwhile the West hypocritically claims to be protecting Christians while financing, arming, and promoting their persecutors. Aline and all the women in Yakubiyah were forced to wear the hijab. Aline spent most of her time in hiding, terrified to go out, fearful of reprisals or punishment. Many of the younger inhabitants fled, leaving behind only the elderly and those who did not have the means to escape.

Aline told me that the White Helmets began to appear alongside the armed groups in 2015.

They established their center in a complex of school and church buildings. When they arrived they were dressed like the terrorists, you couldn’t tell them apart but the White Helmets are a subsidiary of the terrorist groups. Most of the White Helmets were Syrian but the situation was chaotic, we didn’t know who was who, there were many foreigners among them.

According to Aline, the White Helmets were working with and for the terrorist groups. Aid received from outside was distributed first to the armed groups before meagre supplies were handed out to civilians. Aline did not see the White Helmets performing “humanitarian” activities, they were focused on further looting and the destruction of historic buildings, including the churches.

In 2018, “moderate rebel” promoter Charles Lister attempted to claim that the White Helmets were benevolent caretakers of Christian artefacts and communities in Yakubiyah. This cynical remodelling of reality was swiftly exposed by former resident and Syria commentator, Camille Otrakji.

Otrakji went on to ridicule the concept that the White Helmets were protecting or defending the cultural identity of the town’s inhabitants.

Aline also responded to the White Helmet marketing campaign, saying:

They (White Helmets and terrorists) left nothing untouched or unbroken. They were like locusts, they left no tree or building untouched. They stole our livelihood, our trees. They destroyed everything, reduced it to trash, our homes, our buildings, all destroyed.

Aline confirmed that all the White Helmets carried guns and would use them to threaten and intimidate civilians. Aline also described the supply of weapons to the terrorist group’s child soldiers, teenagers under 16, this was carried out by the White Helmets and the armed group leaders. This must raise the question of who is supplying the aid and weapons so liberally distributed to designated terrorist groups like Al Qaeda/Nusra Front present in Yakubiyah?

We should remind ourselves that the UK alone has provided £ 2.81 billion in “humanitarian” aid since 2012. Over the past 18 months alone, the UK government has poured $150 million into Idlib, funds that will be received and managed by groups like the White Helmets.

Aline demonstrated the familiar confusion that I have experienced when interviewing civilians who have lived under the occupation of armed groups and their White Helmet auxiliaries. It is hard for these traumatised individuals to differentiate between the two groups, they are interchangeable, working in lockstep to terrorise communities and individuals they perceive to be ideologically “different” or loyal to the Syrian government. It is this ambiguity over their identity that suggests that one of the many roles of the White Helmets is as a Western proxy benefactor to the armed groups they are intermingled with.

Chemical weapon hoaxes staged by extremist, sectarian White Helmets

Many journalists who have worked to expose the White Helmets perceive that the White Helmet brand has outrun its usefulness yet the billionaires and governments who have promoted and protected this group from reputation loss are still peddling the “humanitarian” image of this US/UK intelligence asset operating alongside some of the most brutal, sectarian armed groups still in Syria.

The White Helmets have been cornered alongside HTS (Hayat Tahrir Al Sham) in the “largest Al Qaeda haven since 9/11” which is Idlib in the north-west of Syria. The White Helmets operate alongside the sectarian, extremist groups and share their ideology which seeks to eliminate or subjugate all sects and minorities in Syria that do not belong to their exclusive, tyrannical club.

The obviously sectarian aspect of the group has been admitted by the British mercenary and founder of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, but is never picked up by the colonial media in their relentless defence of the White Helmets.

The REAL Syria Civil Defence (established in Syria in 1953), on the other hand, is made up of volunteers from across all sects and minorities in Syria and represents the pluralism and secular nature of Syrian culture and society.

Perhaps Trump’s relatively small donation of $4.5 million to this failing propaganda construct is a last ditch attempt to secure their performances in a final “chemical weapon” swansong in Idlib. This is a dangerous strategy if that is the case. After the Douma revelations and the undeniable corruption of the OPCW’s independence, I cannot help but feel that a new staged attack in Idlib would be met with more ridicule than outrage and that public consensus would be tipped resolutely in favour of Syrian sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the upholding of international law as opposed to support for further pretexts for FUKUS globalist “banditry” and war crimes in the region.

The White Helmets should be condemned as the parody of humanitarianism they really are but they should also be held publicly accountable for their role in perpetuating misery and bloodshed in Syria. Failure to do so will result in their rebranded appearance in another country and another “humanitarian” war sanctioned by their presence, another heinous crime against humanity, another oil jihad fuelled by the US coalition of terror. It is time to say “enough.”

Assad’s Comments about Trump Are Right on the Money

By Michael Howard

Source

Assad is right about Trump 90999

I’ve written a lot of words about Syria over the past few years. It wasn’t that I necessarily wanted to—there are plenty of other things I’d rather write about—but I didn’t have much of a choice. Western military meddling in, and Western media coverage of, that terrible conflict forced my hand. Both were so hypocritical and mendacious that I couldn’t help myself. I don’t know about you, but I don’t much like being manipulated and lied to. So I wrote a handful of articles countering the propaganda with which we were being clubbed on a daily basis, pointing out inconvenient but undeniable facts that the mass media were either burying or distorting. These facts had to do with the nature of the armed opposition, Russia’s intervention, our own role in turning Syria into a charnel house, and, of course, the notorious chemical weapons incidents that were used as excuses for American bombing.

I was what is officially known as an “Assadist”—an apologist for Assad, who had murdered 400,000 of his own people. For some strange reason, killing one’s own people is far less acceptable than killing someone else’s. We in the United States like to do both: our militarized police kill unarmed Americans while our military kills, directly or indirectly, unarmed Iraqis, Syrians, Afghans, Yemenis, etc. in numbers dwarfing 400,000. By the way, you’ll have noticed that that figure, which held steady for three or four years, has miraculously begun to go down. Now it’s 300,000, or 250,000, or in some cases even less. It’s reminiscent of the disappearing residents of east Aleppo. While that gory battle raged on, there were supposed to be 250,000 innocents caught in the crossfire. When the “rebel” enclave finally fell, a few media outlets quietly conceded that there had been less than 100,000 people there; most outlets did not bother correcting the record.

It was all very farcical and embarrassing. At times it passed into the sphere of surrealism. I remember watching a CNN or MSNBC broadcast one night and nearly spitting out whatever it was I was drinking when I heard a commentator assert that Assad had “killed millions.” The absurd hyperbole went unchallenged by her fellow panelists—probably they thought it was true. Another time, while an English-language interview with Assad was being discussed, a CNN woman clarified for the folks at home that everything one saw and heard on the tape must be taken with a grain of salt, because the interview had been recorded by the Syrian government and then selectively edited to Assad’s liking. Again, nobody interjected to say that Assad grants interviews to journalists on the condition that the conversation is recorded and published in its entirety, without any editing by anyone. But again, the pros at CNN probably didn’t know this. They believe most of their own lies.

If you refused to jump on the bandwagon and tell lies about the Syrian government, you were an “Assadist.” If you mentioned that east Aleppo was occupied by al-Qaeda-types, you were an “Assadist.” If you expressed skepticism about the humanitarian credentials of the White Helmets, “Assadist” again. Interesting to note that much of the mainstream press are now Assadists. They no longer pretend, for example, that Erdogan’s proxies comprise some kind of moderate rebel force worth supporting—their ethnic cleansing of Kurdish majority regions finally laid waste to that stubborn little myth. Nor do they deny that Idlib is governed by Wahhabi maniacs who differ from ISIS in tactics only. Anyone making such points two or three years ago, when Washington still clung to the hope that Assad would be Gaddafi’d, was beyond the pale. Now that Assad is certain to win the war, it’s permissible to tell the truth—part of it anyway. Speaking of Idlib, the media seem to have settled on a figure of 3 million civilians. We’ll see how many of those people vanish into thin air if and when the Syrian army regains control of the area.

But coordinated resistance is not such an easy thing when you’re dealing with a monolithic corporate media that overwhelms you with state propaganda and then blackens anyone who dares push back. Which is why Trump, hideous as he and his policies are, is a breath of fresh air. I’ve written about this before. By wearing his vile, imperialist motives on his lapel, he makes it extremely difficult for the media to sell us their snake oil. We should topple Maduro, the Trump regime contends, because then we’ll have control of Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves. “That’s the country we should be going to war with,” Don reportedly said in private. “They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.” But we don’t have to believe that account. Here’s his erstwhile National Security Adviser, the reptilian John Bolton, speaking publicly: “We’re looking at the oil assets. That’s the single most important income stream to the government of Venezuela. We’re looking at what to do to that.”

Returning to Syria, Trump has announced that he’s keeping American troops there (forever, presumably) to secure and protect oil fields in the northeast. There you have it, plain as day: we shall stay in Syria because, well, we want its oil. George and Dick always maintained that oil had nothing to do with their decision to go into Iraq and tear it apart—that was just a silly conspiracy theory. All we wanted was freedom for the Iraqi people. Our motives were benevolent and disinterested. From Trump we get no such claptrap. From Trump, one of the most prolific liars in the business, we ironically get the truth. That, according to the president of Syria, makes him “the best American president.”

Assad made the remark in a recent interview. He expounded: “Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he’s the most transparent president. All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ American or Western principles, but all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others.”

Call me an Assadist, but Assad is right on the money. Trump has lifted the embroidered veil from American foreign policy and exposed for everyone to see the rottenness that lies beneath. In all his vulgar glory, he lays bare the cynical, beastly motives underpinning the sanctions, the military and economic aid, the US-led coalitions, the humanitarian interventions, the cruise missile strikes, the full-scale invasions. He shows us, ultimately, that the American Empire is as ugly and irredeemable as he is. What say you, Washington Post?

Former British Ambassador to Syria: UK complicit in Trump’s Syria Oil Grab

By Peter Ford

Source

With the UK Parliament already on alert, how long will it be before Congress wakes up to this scandal-in-the-making?

The cat is out of the bag. The UK is potentially complicit in a war crime. With typical insouciance the U.S. military dropped this bombshell by tweet and apparently without realizing the implications for U.S. partners:

OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III

@OIRSpox

.@USArmy troops in 4-118th Infantry Regiment, @30thabct, @NCNationalGuard attached to the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, @SCNationalGuard, load M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to support the @CJTFOIR mission in Deir ez Zor, Syria.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III

@OIRSpox

We are repositioning @CJTFOIR forces to Deir ez Zor to continue partnering w/ to defeat ISIS remnants, protect critical infrastructure, & deny ISIS access to revenue sources. Mechanized forces provide infantry, maneuver, and firepower.

OIR is Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the name behind which the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS cloaks its military activities. (Think NATO wearing a thobe.) CJTFOIR is the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve.

If, as per the spokesman’s statement, the forces being redeployed to Syria’s oil-producing areas are Inherent Resolve forces, it follows that those troops are doing so in the name and under the aegis of the Coalition. Simple. Ah yes, but awkward for the British government to admit – awkward for practical, political and legal reasons. 

In practice, if this is a Joint Task Force Operation as we are told by the U.S. spokesman, it would be next to impossible for the deployment in Deir Ez Zor province to be taking place without some input from the senior UK officers embedded with the U.S. military in the Coalition Joint Task Force headquarters (the Deputy Commander is a British general) and active in carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve.

Politically this matters because hitherto all the opprobrium leveled at President Trump for allegedly ‘looting’ Syria’s oil has spared other participants in Inherent Resolve, including the UK, France, and Germany. How awkward it might be for Boris Johnson, facing an election, to find himself tarred with yet another Trump brush to put alongside Trump’s alleged grab for the UK National Health Service.

Legally this matters because if Trump puts into practice his promise to seize Syrian oil production, that will constitute, according to authoritative legal experts, a violation of international law against ‘pillaging’ enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus constitute a war crime. Any party complicit in pillaging, and that would surely include other parties in the Joint Task Force, even if only headquarters staff and not boots on the ground, could also be culpable. The British government might find itself challenged in a UK court even if no international court could be found willing to act.

A nightmare for British government lawyers

This is the stuff of nightmares for British government lawyers.

Parliament is already alerted. The independent peer Baroness Cox prompted the following exchange with a government minister by putting down a tricky parliamentary question.

UK Parliament Syria inquiry

We can take that as an embarrassed ‘yes’.

Lord Ahmed, an FCO Minister, gave a similarly evasive answer to another question asked by Baroness Cox:

UK Parliament Syria inquiry 2

You can picture Lord Ahmed squirming.

It gets worse.

The British government may soon find itself complicit in harboring and funding terrorists because of Inherent Resolve’s involvement in pillaging Syria’s oil.

The U.S. says it will work with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to ‘safeguard vital infrastructure’ and will route proceeds of oil sales to the SDF to pay for its role, described as being anti-ISIS. What this overlooks is that the oilfields are not in Kurdish areas, which are mainly in the north, near the Turkish border, but in southern Deir Ez Zor province, which is dominated by Sunni Arabs who formed a core constituency for ISIS. This area is not far from Raqqa. The nominally SDF forces in the area, with which the U.S. will have to work, are mainly Arab and notoriously marbled with ISIS fighters. This part of the SDF has been described as ‘SDF by day, ISIS by night’. Not that they will not make excellent guards. These fighters, far from attacking the U.S., will likely be delighted to find the U.S. not only creating a safe haven for them but funding them as well.

Aiding terrorism, committing war crimes: a prospect to make any UK politician gulp. No wonder the parliamentary answers were evasive, even more so than usual with the grand yet nebulous ‘Global Coalition’. (In answer to another awkward question asking how many ISIS the Coalition had killed or detained in Syria in the last two years the FCO claimed implausibly that the government ‘does not hold this information’, no doubt to avoid having to acknowledge that the number is tiny and that the main purpose of the Coalition is to deny territory to Assad.)

With the UK Parliament already on alert, how long will it be before Congress wakes up to this scandal-in-the-making?

The Real US Mission in Syria

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US involvement in Syria has nothing to do with regional peace, stability and security, nothing to do with combatting ISIS.

It’s all about killing a nation, destroying its sovereignty, partitioning it for easier control, removing its legitimate leadership, installing puppet rule, plundering it, exploiting its people, eliminating an Israeli rival, isolating Iran, and enriching the US military, industrial, security complex from endless aggression.

On Thursday, US war secretary Mark Esper repeated what he said days earlier. Heavily armed Pentagon forces will continue controlling Syrian oil producing areas, on the phony pretext of “deny(ing) their access to ISIS — the scourge created and supported by the US he failed to explain.

During a Thursday joint press conference with his Australian counterpart Linda Reynolds at the Pentagon, Esper said the following:

“Our National Defense Strategy emphasizes that our principal concern is the Indo-Pacific region” — to counter China’s sovereign independence, its growing regional and global influence, it economic, financial, military and technological development, he failed to explain, adding:

“I need to redeploy (Pentagon) forces to the area” to increase the US military footprint in a part of the world not its own.

Asked to comment on Trump’s remark about wanting to take Syrian oil, Esper said the following:

“Yeah, the – the mission is, as – as I’ve spoken to, and I’ve conveyed it to the commander, and that is, we will secure oil fields to deny their access to ISIS and other actors in the region (sic), and to ensure that the SDF has continued access, because those resources are – are important, and so that the SDF can – can do its mission, what it needs to do in the region (sic).”

Asked “(i)s that a new mission, he failed to say it’s part of the overall Pentagon objective to transform Syria into a US vassal state, plunder its resources, and achieve the other aims explained above.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the US is stealing and smuggling $30 million worth of Syrian oil monthly “under the pretext of fighting ISIL.”

Separately, Zakharova explained that US/NATO-supported al-Qaeda-connected White Helmets are planning a new chemical weapons attack to be falsely blame on Damascus, saying:

“New confirmations of the information about the White Helmets’ activities emerge all the time.”

“According to the existing information, which the Syrian government regularly provides to the United Nations, the White Helmets, jointly with terrorists, are preparing new chemical provocations in Syria. They obviously aim at disrupting the peace process in the country,” adding:

They’re working with (US-supported) al-Nusra jihadists in Idlib province, the last major terrorist stronghold in the country — these elements heavily armed with US, other Western, Turkish, and Saudi-supplied weapons.

So-called ceasefire in northern Syria is illusory. On Friday, Russian reconciliation center head General Yuri Borenkov said 14 ceasefire breaches occurred in the last 24 hours alone — in Hama, Idlib, Aleppo, and Latakia provinces, adding:

Syrian forces in “Acre, Tel Rasha and Zuweiqat in Latakia province have been shot at by (US-supported) Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (al-Nusra) and foreign militants.”

On Friday, Southfront reported that “al-Qaeda (and) Turkish-backed radical militants launch(ed) (a) large-scale attack in northern Latakia” province “on Syrian military positions and civilian areas,” adding:

The assault “reportedly (was) led by” (US/Ankara-supported) al-Nusra jihadists, along with “(o)ther factions of the terrorist group and elements of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).”

“The new attack…coincides with a Turkish offensive on Kurdish-majority areas in northeast Syria. Radical SNA militants are leading the offensive, committing war crimes against civilians in the region.”

The struggle to liberate Syria from foreign occupation and plunder has miles to go because of US, NATO, Turkish, Saudi, and Israeli rage to eliminate the Syrian Arab Republic as it now exists.

Baghdadi Alive or Dead Matters Little: ISIS Remains a US Creation

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Baghdadi Killed b0dac

Like his predecessors, Trump operates as a frontman for the military, industrial, security complex, Wall Street, and other monied interests.

As commander-in-chief, he continues endless US wars of aggression in multiple theaters, along with economic terrorism on Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, and other nations on the US target list for regime change — including China and Russia.

His vow to bring all US troops home from Syria was a mirage. In March 2011, the US preemptively attacked the country for regime change, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing its sovereign independence.

Illegal Pentagon/CIA occupation of northern and southern parts of the country continues with no near-term prospect for conflict resolution because dominant bipartisan hardliners in Washington reject restoration of peace and stability to all US war theaters.

Longstanding US policy aims for dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations.

Nations not controlled by the US are vulnerable to preemptive attacks or war by other means — what the scourge of imperialism is all about, humanity’s greatest curse.

On Monday, US war secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley held a joint press conference.

Esper repeated Trump’s dubious claim about eliminating alleged ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Like DJT, he provided no evidence of Baghdadi’s death. The remains of whoever US forces reportedly killed were buried at sea so no independent DNA testing or other identity checks could be conducted, clear evidence of deception and coverup.

According to forensic pathologists, positive IDing of human remains can take days or weeks to complete. Trump claimed Baghdadi was killed overnight Saturday — in a remote Syrian location nowhere near a forensic lab.

Yet on Monday, US war secretary Mark Esper dubiously claimed DNA testing showed remains tested were Baghdadi’s — suggesting most likely whoever was killed was someone else.

Baghdadi alive or dead matters little. ISIS remains a US creation, its activities orchestrated and controlled by its Pentagon and CIA handlers.

US officials and establishment media pretend Pentagon forces combatted and destroyed the “caliphate.” Washington actively supports it, along with likeminded terrorist groups, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.

Esper’s remarks were an exercise in mass deception, falsely claiming US operations in Syria “enable(d) the enduring defeat of ISIS,” adding:

“(R)epositioning (US) forces within the country is intended to posture us to continue this mission and give the president options, (including) execut(ion) (of) counterterrorism operations.”

The reality on the ground is polar opposite his above deception. Part of the US mission includes controlling and looting Syrian oil — on the phony pretext of protecting it from ISIS, enabling private interests and the CIA to profit from plundering Syrian resources, along with denying them to Damascus to benefit the nation and its people.

Esper: “(W)e will respond with overwhelming military force against” any threat to US occupation of Syrian territory and control of its resources.

Milley made similar remarks, stressing “counterterrorism operations” in Syria and other US war theaters that don’t exist.

During a Q & A session, reporters failed to challenge the US war of aggression and occupation of sovereign Syria threatening no one.

No one questioned Trump’s dubious account of Baghdadi’s alleged elimination or that the remains of whoever was killed were buried at sea to prevent independent DNA checking.

Nothing was asked about the looting of Syrian oil belonging to the nation, not an illegal foreign occupier.

Asked whether Pentagon troops might confront Russian or Syrian forces militarily, Esper curtly responded: “Yes.”

Last week, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov called US plunder of Syrian oil “state-sponsored banditry,” along with denouncing US protection of smugglers involved in looting Syrian resources.

Syria remains an active war theater, its people terrorized by the presence of US forces and jihadist foot soldiers.

As long as total US control of Syria remains unattained, dark forces in Washington rule out the restoration of peace and stability to the nation and its long-suffering people.

US/Turkey Deal on Syria Like Carving up Cuba Scene from the Godfather Trilogy

BY Stephen Lendman

Source

Comment: Rick Sterling or Stephen Lendman, perhaps one must view the situation in Syria bearing both viewpoints, the latter’s below and the former’s in the previous post. A quagmire such as one in Syria is far too multi-faceted to be comprehended by looking through a singular lens. 

One of the trilogy’s most memorable scenes was in pre-liberated Cuba where mafia dons are seen carving up a cake representing the country.

The Hyman Roth character explains that “all of you will share” in plundering the island state in collaboration with its ruling authorities, adding:

“These are wonderful things that we’ve achieved in Havana, and there’s no limit to where we can go from here.” 

“This kind of government knows how to help business to encourage it…(W)e have now what we have always needed —real partnership with the government.”

Cuba’s strongman despot Fulgencio Batista was like Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, a figure Franklin Roosevelt called “a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

The characterization applied to Batista, today to all despots serving US interests and their own at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

Since early 2011, Obama’s war on Syria, now Trump’s, using ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxy Pentagon/CIA foot soldiers continues.

It’s gone on endlessly because bipartisan US hardliners reject restoration of peace and stability to the country and others the US attacked aggressively.

They want all nations not controlled by the US transformed into vassal states, Assad and other independent leaders replaced by pro-Western puppet rule.

War in Syria is also about isolating Iran regionally, ahead of a similar scheme against its ruling authorities.

What’s going on in the Middle East post-9/11 is part of a US-led NATO/Israeli plot to redraw the Middle East map, carving up nations for easier control, looting their resources and exploiting their people.

Tactics include endless wars and chaos in one country after another, serving US imperial interests. Peace and stability defeat its aims.

Russia’s intervention in Syria four years ago changed the dynamic on the ground, most of the country liberated from the scourge of US-supported ISIS and other terrorists, Idlib province the key remaining battleground.

Infested with thousands of heavily armed US-supported al-Nusra jihadists, they’re holding around three million civilians hostage as human shields, defeating them requiring protracted struggle that’s winnable.

The greater issue is occupation of northern Syria by US and Turkish forces, its south bordering Iraq and Jordan by Pentagon troops.

As long as Syria is occupied by foreign forces, liberation remains unattainable.

The illegitimate October 17 US/Turkish deal leaves troops from both countries occupying and controlling Syrian territory — a flagrant international law breach, a scheme Damascus rejects.

It includes redeploying US forces in northern areas largely or entirely cross-border to Iraq and perhaps Jordan, unknown numbers remaining in Syria — thousands more sent to Saudi Arabia, increasing the Pentagon’s regional military footprint.

As portrayed in the Godfather trilogy, the US and Turkey agreed to carve up Syria’s north, ruling authorities of both countries wanting control over its oil-producing areas.

Damascus has no intention of relinquishing any of its territory to foreign occupiers, war likely to continue until all parts of Syria are liberated.

On Friday, Bashar al-Assad met with Kremlin special representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.

Discussing the latest developments on the ground, notably Turkish aggression and Erdogan’s deal with the Trump regime, Assad stressed that Syria’s liberation depends on halting Ankara’s offensive and freeing the country from foreign occupiers.

Russian officials affirmed support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, what the Kremlin backed throughout the war, along with restoration of peace and stability to the country.

On Saturday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Turkish terror-bombing and cross-border shelling continue for the second day following Thursday’s deal in Ankara, saying:

“(R)esidential neighborhoods in Ras al-Ayn and targeted places of worship from mosques, churches and monasteries, which caused the people fleeing the targeted areas” were struck, adding:

A “SANA reporter said that eight civilians were martyred and about 25 others were injured in the ongoing Turkish aggression on Syrian territory in and around Ras al-Ayn city despite the announcement of the Turkish regime reaching an agreement with Washington…”

“(G)roups of the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries infiltrated into Ras al-Ayn city and the surrounding villages and attacked with medium and light weapons the people in the villages of Lazka, Abah, Mraikiz, Bab al-Khair and Sheikh Hussein Tomb in Ras al-Ayn countryside.”

“The Turkish regime is launching offensive on a number of villages and towns in the countryside of Hasaka and Raqqa, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of hundreds of civilians, including children, women and workers in the service sectors, and considerable material damage to service facilities, vital infrastructure such as dams, power and water plants.”

On Saturday, Southfront said the “northeastern Syria ceasefire is collapsing.” Turkish forces continue to attack sites, at least 28 civilians killed or injured.

AMN News said “Turkish forces (are) advanc(ing) (on a) key border city despite (Thursday’s) ceasefire” agreement, attacking Kurdish YPG fighters.

Hardline US and Turkish regimes can never be trusted, time and again agreeing to one thing, then going another way.

Is this what’s now playing out in Syria? What follows Thursday’s deal remains very much uncertain.

If past is prologue, there’s little reason for optimism.

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