Category: Syria

“A Stab in the Back”: How Trump and Turkey Blew Up Syria’s Most Stable Region – Mother Jones

Finally, what would you like American audiences—our listeners—to keep in mind as they try to get their heads around this ongoing catastrophe?

The part about this that Americans are paying attention to is the ISIS threat, and this is a major concern. These people all breaking out of prison is obviously not going to be good for anybody. At the same time, it’s important for people far away from Syria to understand that this is a part of Syria that has had a relatively normal life. This is a place where children are going to school, families are working, people are meeting in cafes. It is the closest that Syria has had in a very long time to normalcy, and suddenly, people’s live are being ripped apart. People are having to flee, people are being killed. There have been civilians executed on highways or activists being killed. This is being perpetrated by our ally, Turkey. This is a member of NATO. This is not ISIS. These are people that are close to us, that we support.

Listen to the entire interview on The Mother Jones Podcast here:

via “A Stab in the Back”: How Trump and Turkey Blew Up Syria’s Most Stable Region – Mother Jones

Syria: why the Kurds had little option but to do a deal with Bashar al-Assad

https://www.juancole.com/images/2019/10/syria-why-the-kurds-had-little-o.jpg

Despite the odds stacked against them, the Kurdish forces managed to push back the attacks by Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist militias and emerged as the most effective ground force against IS in Syria. The support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces received from the US and the anti-IS coalition allowed them to expand the areas under their control and build a coalition with other ethnic groups in northeast Syria.

That momentum was lost when US president Donald Trump abruptly declared his intention to withdraw American soldiers from Syria in December 2018. Although that withdrawal was delayed, since then, the long-term fate of the entity the Kurds call the Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria (NES) has been left in the balance, without a clear future strategy in sight.

Despite their battlefield sacrifices in the war against IS, the ongoing Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria has now pushed the Kurds into a corner. They have been left to choose between accepting the authority of Bashar al-Assad or facing a full-scale invasion by Turkey of the territory they control. They chose a deal with Assad.

via Syria: why the Kurds had little option but to do a deal with Bashar al-Assad

Erdoğan has managed the unthinkable: uniting all the other Middle East rivals | World news | The Guardian

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

While Europe has scant influence over what happens next, the US has plenty – but seems determined to throw it away. Despite denials, it is clear from the White House statement issued on 6 October that Donald Trump rashly agreed to Erdoğan’s invasion, without consulting his allies, and facilitated it by withdrawing ground forces.

It was a disastrous decision the US is belatedly scrambling to correct. Betraying the Kurds, comrades-in-arms in the fight against Isis, was bad enough. Appearing to abandon Syria to Russia and Iran, America’s rivals and the main backers of Bashar al-Assad’s criminal Damascus regime, was a big strategic own goal, capping eight years of post-Arab spring US policy failures.

via Erdoğan has managed the unthinkable: uniting all the other Middle East rivals | World news | The Guardian

US warns of ‘serious consequences’ as Turkey continues offensive in north-eastern Syria – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Black plumes of smoke come off burning cars.

First the Trump Administration permitted the invasion by Turkey and now the media claims they are “warning against it. A whitewash in progress (ODT)

Key points:

Trump administration warns of “serious consequences” for offensive
Turkey vows to continue until all Kurdish militia forces are “neutralised”
Islamic State militants have escaped prison due to Turkish shelling

via US warns of ‘serious consequences’ as Turkey continues offensive in north-eastern Syria – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

After Turkish invasion, prison break fears at al-Hawl Islamic State detention camp

Women buy food at Al Hawl camp, Syria.

Covered because if they aren’t they are murdered Dutton’s Death Camps for Australian Women and Children (ODT)

Get us money or get us out of here,” the message from the desperate Russian Islamic State bride read. Writing in one of their encrypted Telegram groups, the women of al-Hawl detention camp in north-east Syria were trying to mobilise friends and family on the outside to organise a prison break.

via After Turkish invasion, prison break fears at al-Hawl Islamic State detention camp

Presidents Putin, Rouhani & Erdogan vow to defeat terrorism in Syria, denounce US presence (VIDEO) — RT World News

Presidents Putin, Rouhani & Erdogan vow to defeat terrorism in Syria, denounce US presence (VIDEO)

The USA seems to stand alone and in opposition to any efforts of peace in the Middle East (ODT)

Erdogan also noted that there had been no “positive steps” in working out a role for the United States in the process, adding that Russia, Turkey and Iran would, therefore, proceed on their own.

via Presidents Putin, Rouhani & Erdogan vow to defeat terrorism in Syria, denounce US presence (VIDEO) — RT World News

No, US Troop Deaths in Syria don’t Contradict Defeat of ISIL

How to really defeat ISIL (ODT)

The literature I’ve reviewed suggests that the best way totally to defeat an insurgency is to change the social and economic situation that caused part of the public to support it. Trump’s mean-spirited denial of reconstruction aid to Raqqa is a much better predictor of an ISIL resurgence than a few roadside bombs.

And that should be the question. How to reconstruct Eastern Syria so as to forestall a return of radicalism that might become a base for terrorism against, e.g. Europe? A couple thousand US troops are not what will solve the problems one way or another, at this phase of the struggle.

Trump may o may not be doing the right thing to pull out the troops. He is definitely doing the wrong thing by declining to put resources into reconstruction.

via No, US Troop Deaths in Syria don’t Contradict Defeat of ISIL

How a man who helped run a brutal military machine lives with the fallout

Yasseen* was a senior officer in the Syrian air force of Bashar al-Assad when the country went to war against its own citizens.

He was a cog in the military machine as planes were used to strafe and bomb Syria’s cities and while helicopters dropped barrel bombs packed with electrical wire, designed to create amputees.

How a man who helped run a brutal military machine lives with the fallout

With 5 Powers fighting in Syria, who will come out on top? Netanyahu, Putin, or Trump?

Five countries are currently fighting in Syria. Russia, Iran, the United States, and Turkey have stationed troops. Israel regularly drops bombs and fires missiles.

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss Syria at their Helsinki summit July 16. The Trump administration is pressuring Russia to reduce the Iranian role in Syria, but will not likely succeed, according to Professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“Iran is there to stay,” he told me. “Russia is not going to kick Iran out.”

via With 5 Powers fighting in Syria, who will come out on top? Netanyahu, Putin, or Trump?

All remaining ISIS resistance zones in Syria are in US-controlled areas – Russian MoD — RT World News

All remaining ISIS resistance zones in Syria are in US-controlled areas – Russian MoD

One only needs to remember how the USA invaded Iraq, Vietnam, and assisted ib secret actions in the Central  and Latin America and has a military presance in some 153 countries to realize to realize their business is war and maintaining a presence and the control of oil in Saudi Arabia, (ODT)

Islamic State still keeps its presence in Syria, but only in US-controlled areas while those liberated by Syrian government forces areas are slowly recovering after terrorists’ defeat, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“All the remaining pockets of resistance of ISIS terrorists in Syria are only in areas controlled by the United States,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a defense ministry spokesman, said on Saturday.

Earlier, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a bold statement that pulling out of the Arab Republic “must avoid leaving a vacuum in Syria that can be exploited by the Assad regime or its supporters,” in apparent reference to Iran and Russia.

Russia has been fighting terrorists in the country on the invitation of the Syrian government, while the US presence there has been deemed aggressive by Damascus.
Konashenkov pulled no punches on the US military official, reminding him that the Washington-led invasion in Iraq under a false pretext in fact led to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and eventually its expansion into war-ravaged Syria.

“Further expansion of ISIS in Syria became possible due to criminal inaction of the US and the so-called ‘international coalition,’ which resulted in quickly gaining control by ISIS militants over the main oil-bearing areas of Eastern Syria and constant flow of funds from the illegal sale of oil products,” Konashenkov said.

Washington supplied arms worth hundreds of millions to the “fictitious” Syrian opposition, while the vast majority of it ended up in hands of Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front, and Islamic State, he claimed. That, in Konashenkov’s view, shows that the terrorists groups’ goals in Syria coincide with Washington’s policies.

via All remaining ISIS resistance zones in Syria are in US-controlled areas – Russian MoD — RT World News

Showdown in Afrin: Turkey’s Attack on Syria’s Kurds Threatens That Country’s Most Democratic, Pluralist Force | The Nation

 

Turkish Soldiers in Afrin

America turns it’s back on the ground force that ensured the defeat of IS the Kurds.

via Showdown in Afrin: Turkey’s Attack on Syria’s Kurds Threatens That Country’s Most Democratic, Pluralist Force | The Nation

As US throws Kurds under the Bus, Is Turkey preparing to invade Syria? | Informed Comment

As US throws Kurds under the Bus, Is Turkey preparing to invade Syria?

The BBC reports that Turkish armed forces are massed on the border with Syria in preparation for a possible move into the Kurdish-held areas of Afrin and Manbij. The Kurdish militia, the YPG, took Manbij away from ISIL with US support. Afrin, home to some 500,000 mostly Kurdish residents, is one of three Kurdish-majority cantons in northern Syria,

Kurds were the greatest US and Australian Allies in the fight against ISIS. There is not a word in Australian media about this great betrayal. (old dog thought)

As the US throws Kurds under the Bus, Is Turkey preparing to invade Syria? | Informed Comment

Islamic State Was Overcome Not by Trump or Obama but by Muslims – Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists

The extremists were defeated by Muslims: That should be the headline. That is what Americans have trouble getting their heads around.

Source: Islamic State Was Overcome Not by Trump or Obama but by Muslims – Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists

‘400,000 deaths in Syria civil war directly attributed to US & allies’ — RT Op-Edge

African and Asian leaders are denied by the West to have any military means against an insurgency in their countries, while the US and its allies have absolute impunity when they want to take on a population anywhere in the world, says political analyst Dan Glazebrook.

Source: ‘400,000 deaths in Syria civil war directly attributed to US & allies’ — RT Op-Edge

UN Report: Muslim Youth going to fight in Syria mostly not Motivated by Islam | Informed Comment

The report itself makes it clear that the young Muslim men who went off to fight on the rebel side in the Syrian Civil War were not motivated by a detailed knowledge of Islam. In fact, they knew little about their religion.They say that they did not seek to become terrorists and did not want to commit acts of terrorism in Europe on their return.Why did they go? They are Sunni Muslims and felt that the Alawite-dominated regime of Bashar al-Assad is mistreating Sunni Muslims.

Source: UN Report: Muslim Youth going to fight in Syria mostly not Motivated by Islam | Informed Comment

2 Yrs After an American Journalist Was Killed, Her ‘Conspiracy Theories’ on Syria are Proven as Facts

New information about the Syria proxy war continues show that actions by the United States have helped Al Qaeda and the Islamic State gain power in the country, with the goal of allowing the terrorists to overthrow the Syrian government. Evidence for this claim has been reported in small anecdotes by many international media outlets during the violent proxy war which has lasted almost six years, but American reporter Serena Shim dedicated her professional career to proving the United States and allies were purposely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Source: 2 Yrs After an American Journalist Was Killed, Her ‘Conspiracy Theories’ on Syria are Proven as Facts

‘US becoming de facto defense shield for Islamic State in Syria’ — RT Op-Edge

The US is increasingly accelerating the tempo against Syrian government forces, and this doesn’t bode well for US prestige around the world, explains political scientist and author Kaveh Afrasiabi to RT.

Source: ‘US becoming de facto defense shield for Islamic State in Syria’ — RT Op-Edge

Battle for Raqqa: 300 civilians killed in US-led air strikes since March, war crimes investigators say – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

US coalition air strikes have killed at least 300 civilians in the battle for Raqqa since March, UN investigators say.

Source: Battle for Raqqa: 300 civilians killed in US-led air strikes since March, war crimes investigators say – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

US Forces Now Using White Phosphorus in Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq

(ANTIWAR.COM) – Iraq claimed credit for videos earlier this week showing the use of white phosphorus munitions in densely populated parts of the Old City in Mosul, but their use is becoming even more widespread, with new reports suggesting that the US is also using such shells in both Iraq and Syria. Though white phosphorus shells are not uncommon in the military, and often used as smokescreens, the high temperature at which it burns, and the toxic chemicals emitted makes them wholly unsuitable for populated areas, and their use in any densely populated area or as an incendiary are widely considered

Source: US Forces Now Using White Phosphorus in Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq

‘The US military, with Kurdish support, is looking to establish itself in Syria’ — RT Op-Edge

The US wants to establish a base in the Kurdish region as in a post-war environment it isn’t going to get up and leave. The idea that the heavy weapons provided to the Kurds will be returned is doubtful, says Michael Maloof, a former Pentagon official.

Source: ‘The US military, with Kurdish support, is looking to establish itself in Syria’ — RT Op-Edge

Assad’s wife faces calls to be stripped of UK citizenship, but what about Blair & Cameron? — RT Op-Edge

Just when you thought the hypocrisy and mendacity of the British political establishment could not sink any lower, up pops the proposal to strip Asma Assad, wife to Syria’s President Bashar Assad, of her British citizenship.

Source: Assad’s wife faces calls to be stripped of UK citizenship, but what about Blair & Cameron? — RT Op-Edge

What Are They Hiding? Western Countries Blocking Investigation Into Syrian Chemical Attack – MT

Western countries are attempting to derail Russia’s fact-finding initiative in Syria to examine the site of the chemical incident in Idlib province

Source: What Are They Hiding? Western Countries Blocking Investigation Into Syrian Chemical Attack – MT

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Idlib chemical attack ‘100 per cent fabrication’

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said an alleged poison gas attack blamed on his government last week in Idlib province was “100 per cent fabrication” used to justify a US air strike, news agency AFP reported on Thursday.

Source: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Idlib chemical attack ‘100 per cent fabrication’

Confessions of an Isis killer: British jihadis shunned frontline in favour of torture squads | The Independent

manbij-1.jpg

“When I shot the rafidi it was easy. He was kneeling in front of me, sobbing. He was a big man: his body was shaking. I thought ‘why are you crying, you are a killer yourself, you are going to have a quick death’. I just pulled the trigger, and it was over. I didn’t feel any pity. I didn’t feel any pride. I was just doing my job.”

Source: Confessions of an Isis killer: British jihadis shunned frontline in favour of torture squads | The Independent

Syrian refugee graduates dux of one of Australia’s largest Catholic schools – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A Syrian refugee who only began learning English in 2014 has become dux of one of Australia’s biggest Catholic schools.

Source: Syrian refugee graduates dux of one of Australia’s largest Catholic schools – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

United Nations Finally Acknowledges US-Backed Rebels in Syria are Murdering Civilians

The attacks from Syrian groups supported by the U.S. were described as “relentless and indiscriminate” while targeting civilians and killing children.

Source: United Nations Finally Acknowledges US-Backed Rebels in Syria are Murdering Civilians

Asma Assad: ‘It is the West dividing our children in this conflict’ — RT News

The western world is dividing Syrian children according to the political views of their parents, Asma Assad, the Syrian First Lady, said in a rare interview. She said the mainstream media only concentrated on those stories which matched their policy.

Source: Asma Assad: ‘It is the West dividing our children in this conflict’ — RT News

‘Deal with the devil’: US ‘ready to ally with terror’ to overthrow Assad – Russia Foreign Ministry — RT News

Moscow has accused Washington of sabotaging the Syria ceasefire deal, saying that the US will be responsible for any new terror attacks in Syria, as by taking no action against Al-Nusra terrorists it shows it is ready “to make a deal with the devil.”

Source: ‘Deal with the devil’: US ‘ready to ally with terror’ to overthrow Assad – Russia Foreign Ministry — RT News

Calling Syrian refugees like me Skittles would be funny if it weren’t so cruel | Shadi Martini | Opinion | The Guardian

People who’ve fled war and terror were likened to poisoned candy in a Trump campaign ad. It’s a bizarre image, and carries a message unworthy of America

Source: Calling Syrian refugees like me Skittles would be funny if it weren’t so cruel | Shadi Martini | Opinion | The Guardian

‘Coincidence ISIS launched offensive straight after US strike on Syrian troops?’ — RT Op-Edge

If Russia bombed Washington allies in Syria just as the US ‘mistakenly’ did, UN envoy Samantha Power would make as much of a stink as she possibly could, analysts said, adding that in general the US is uncomfortable in a new relationship with Russia in the context of the ceasefire.

Source: ‘Coincidence ISIS launched offensive straight after US strike on Syrian troops?’ — RT Op-Edge