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Iran and Syria sign agreement to boost military, security cooperation

Press TV – July 8, 2020

Iran will boost Syria’s air defenses, as part of a wider military security agreement between the two countries.

“We will strengthen Syria’s air defense systems within the framework of strengthening military cooperation between the two countries,” Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Wednesday after signing a “comprehensive” agreement with Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub in Damascus to boost military and defense cooperation.

The agreement provides for the expansion of military and security cooperation and the continuation of coordination between the Armed Forces of the two countries.

Speaking after signing the agreement at the headquarters of the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, the top Iranian commander said the signed deal “increases our will to work together in the face of US pressure.”

“The people and countries of the region do not welcome the presence of the United States, and our response to the American prattling will continue,” Baqeri added.

The Iranian commander said the military-security agreement also envisages boosting the Syrian air defenses.

On the Turkish military presence on Syrian soil, the Iranian commander said that Turkey is dragging its feet regarding the implementation of its commitments under the Astana agreements on the withdrawal of terrorist groups from Syria.

He said that Turkey must realize that the solution to any of its security problems is through negotiation with the Syrian side, and not through military deployment in the Arab country.

Ayoub, for his part, lauded Damascus-Tehran relations.

“If the American administrations had been able to subjugate Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance, they would not have hesitated for a moment,” the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel quoted the Syrian minister as saying.

He described Israel as a “powerful partner” of the US in the war against Syria, adding that terrorist groups constituted part of the Israeli aggression.

He also lambasted the so-called Caesar sanctions imposed by the US against his country, saying Syria will counter the bans barring the provision of foodstuff and medicine to its people.

He stressed that Syria that has maintained its government structure since 2011 and will undoubtedly emerge victorious out of the war.

The two sides also underlined the need for the withdrawal of foreign forces who have been “illegally” deployed to the Arab country in violation of international law and said the forces are the main obstacle to the complete cleansing of armed terrorist groups in some parts of Syria.

The heads of the senior military delegations of Iran and Syria also stressed that the agreement was the result of years of military, security and technical coordination and cooperation in various areas of joint fight against terrorism.

At the end of the talks, a joint statement was also issued by the high-ranking military delegations of the two countries, which said a continued battle against Takfiri terrorism supported by some regional and international powers is among the goals of the agreement.

They also stressed in the statement that the comprehensive military agreement was signed to implement the directives of the political and military leaders of the two countries to enhance their defense capabilities and promote self-reliance against any possible foreign aggression.

Iran and Syria have signed different military and defense cooperation over the past years.

Iran began providing Syria with advisory military assistance after numerous countries, at the head of them the US and its Western and regional allies, started funding and arming militants and terrorists with the aim of deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Despite initially losing considerable expanses of territory to Daesh and other terror outfits, the country, however, rallied with the help of Iran and Russia, another Damascus’ ally, and reversed the balance in favor of itself on the battleground.

July 8, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jacob Cohen: “The Zionists Have Become Masters in The Art of Propaganda”

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen | American Herald Tribune | June 12, 2020

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your analysis of the annexation of the West Bank this July 1?

Jacob Cohen: The Zionist regime is not crazy enough to annex the entire West Bank, because then it would have to naturalize all Palestinians. It only wants to annex the “useful” West Bank, i.e. the Jordan Valley, thus preventing a possible Palestinian State to control its own borders and the large Jewish settlement blocs. It would thus continue to have a submissive and cheap labor force at its disposal, and the cooperation of a docile Palestinian police force to maintain colonial order.

It is not sure that this annexation will take place on July 1. Zionists are pragmatic people and know how to step back to jump better.

But in any case, annexation or not, the Zionists will never give up these territories they claim. The Jordan Valley is already implicitly recognized to them by all the great powers, even Russia, to ensure “the security of Israel”. And no one can imagine that the Zionist regime would bring 700,000 settlers below the Green Line.

These are the main lines of a possible Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and the Palestinian Authority pretends to believe, madly or stupidly, that it could recover the whole of the West Bank.

How do you explain that twenty ministers of the Israeli government are of Moroccan origin? Israeli security and defense companies are based in Morocco. How do you analyze these facts? Is not Morocco a real launching pad for the normalization policy advocated by the Zionist entity of Israel?

Only ten ministers have a distant connection with Morocco, which they do not care about. It is the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Morocco, led by the “sayan” (Mossad agent) André Azoulay, advisor to the monarchy for forty years, who does everything to maintain the illusion of perfect understanding between Morocco and its former Jewish citizens. Everything is done in Morocco to rekindle an almost extinguished flame. This to allow the visit of Israelis to Morocco, tourists, artists, businessmen, to push towards an official normalization of Israeli-Moroccan relations.

It is true that Morocco, since the installation of Mossad in that country in the 1950s to send Moroccan Jews to Israel, and the agreement obtained from Hassan II in 1961 for this purpose, is Israel’s de facto ally and support for its legitimization in the Arab world. In 1986, in the middle of the Intifada, the King received with great pomp the Israeli leaders Rabin and Peres.

Furthermore Morocco, on the other hand, which needs American diplomatic support to ensure its stranglehold on Western Sahara, does everything possible to please Israel, whose influence on American institutions is known.

How do you explain the strategic redeployment of the Zionist entity of Israel throughout Africa?

This redeployment had begun in the fields of construction and agriculture as early as the 1960s, after African independences. A redeployment stopped by the June 1967 war and the military occupation of vast Arab territories. The non-aligned movement at the time was still very influential.

The Oslo Accords restored some good repute to the Zionist regime, because it was assumed that it would give a State to the Palestinians in the long run.

Africa from the 1990s was no longer this non-aligned bloc sensitive to a form of international justice. It had joined the globalist circuit and security issues had become paramount.

Israel had become an important and feared partner. Did it not contribute to the amputation of the southern part of Sudan? Its networks in East Africa are very active and their strike force is well known.

Finally, little by little, the Zionist regime has managed, something inconceivable 20 years ago, to win the diplomatic support of many African countries in crucial votes in international institutions.

Algeria is one of the few countries that does not recognize Israel. Doesn’t Algeria still remain a permanent target of the Zionist entity of Israel?

All Arab countries are a permanent target of the Zionist entity. Even countries that submit are not definitively spared. Thus, even Morocco is not immune to Mossad’s attempts to stir up separatism in the Berber areas. If for no other reason than to keep the pressure on this country and make it understand that it has an interest in keeping its nose clean.

Let us remember the fate of Iraq and Syria, which the Zionist regime contributed to destroying.

Algeria will not escape the Zionist vindictiveness, which will try to reach it in one way or another. But this country is far away, not very sensitive to foreign influence, sitting on a large income, with a long history of national resistance, and a strong sense of patriotism. This is what makes it one of the few countries to stand up to the Zionist entity. And because of its geographical position and size, it is a country that is essential to regional security and therefore preserved.

We know the weight of the Zionist lobby in the United States through AIPAC. What is the weight of the Zionist lobby in Europe?

No difference except from a formal point of view. In the United States, the Zionist lobby has a legal existence, with its recognized networks of influence, its buildings in Washington and elsewhere, its congresses, where any candidate for an important post, be it senator or president, must appear and express his support to Israel.

Whereas in Europe, the lobby is more discreet but no less effective. Practically all European countries have banned the BDS movement, and adopted the definition of anti-Semitism proposed by a Jewish organization fighting against the “Shoah”. With this in particular that any criticism of Israel is equated with anti-Semitism. European countries have not even been able to implement their resolution to label products that come from the Zionist settlements in the West Bank.

In France, at the CRIF (note: Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France) dinner, the entire establishment of the French Republic, including the President, bowed down and received instructions from the Judeo-Zionist lobby.

The European Union has set up a body to combat anti-Semitism headed by the German Katharina Von Schnurbein. How do you explain the fact that the European Union is setting up a body to defend Israel’s interests with European taxpayers’ money and that there is no hesitation in condemning all those who are against the criminal and fascist policies of Israel by calling them anti-Semites?

“Antisemitism” has been an extraordinary discovery of the Judeo-Zionist lobby in Europe. Of course, we know the history of the Second World War. But for the past 30 years or so, this lobby has been working hard to make it the greatest scourge of the 21st century. A few arranged or staged attacks, a few so-called verbal aggressions, a few desecrations that come in at the right time, a swastika lost here or there, and all the media networks are being used to make it look like there’s a resurgence of anti-Semitism. European governments are under pressure. They cannot afford any weakness.

But from criticism of Israel, we move on to anti-Semitism. The argument is fallacious, but it works. When you criticize Israel, you stir up “hatred” against that country and European Jewish citizens, and thus anti-Semitic aggression. Therefore, Israel should not be criticized. Anti-Zionism becomes an offense because it is equated with anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are banned because they lead to anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism has become a kind of blank cheque given to the Zionists to do whatever they like in Palestine without being worried, condemned or criticized.

You are a great anti-Zionist activist and a defender of the just cause of the Palestinian people. In your book “Le printemps des Sayanim” (The Spring of the Sayanim), you talk about the role of the sayanim in the world. Can you explain to our readership what sayanim are and what exactly is their role?

The “sayanim”, in Hebrew “those who help”, are Jews who live outside Israel and who, by Zionist patriotism, collaborate with the Mossad in their fields of activity.

They were created as early as 1959 by the Mossad chief at the time, Méir Amit. They’re probably between 40,000 and 50,000. Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent and refugee in Canada, talks about it for certain cases. He estimated that in the 1980s, in London alone, there were 3,000 sayanim.

What is their utility? Mossad recruits sayanim who work voluntarily in all major areas. For example, the media: these Jewish journalists or press bosses around the world will orient information in such a way as to favor Israel at the expense of Arabs.

In the United States, the Jewish power in the film industry is well known. Just an example. In 1961, Hollywood produced the film “Exodus” with Paul Newman, which tells the story of the birth of Israel in 1948 from a Zionist point of view. This film has shaped Western consciousness for at least a generation.

The same could be said for the financial institutions based in New York and dominated by Judeo-Zionists.

In France, advertising, publishing, the press, television, university, etc. are more or less controlled by “sayanim”.

It is therefore easy to understand the Zionist lobby’s strike force, a strike force that remains moreover invisible.

Isn’t Zionism, which is the direct product of the Talmud and the Jewish Kabbalah, an ideology that is both racist and fascist?

If we take Zionism in its political sense, that is, in the nationalist vision of the political movements of the 19th century, it was a secular and progressive ideology. It had seduced tens of thousands of activists, particularly in Russia and Poland, who sought to realize their revolutionary ideal outside the progressive movements of the time. They wanted to transform the Jewish people, to make it “normal”.

Despite these characteristics, these activists, upon arriving in Palestine, had excluded the Arabs from their national project from the outset. The seeds of racism were already planted. The Arabs had to be expelled or got rid of somehow. Even the kibbutzim, the flagships of “Zionist socialism”, did not admit Arabs within them.

Wars and conquests, especially of the “biblical” cities in the West Bank, have plunged Israeli society into a messianic fascism and racism that is no longer even hidden. The latest “Law on the Nation of the Jewish People” clearly establishes racist elements, such as the possibility for a Jewish municipality to refuse Arab inhabitants, even though they have Israeli nationality.

Doesn’t the just cause of the Palestinian people need a more intense mobilization in the face of the criminal offensives of the fascist Israeli colonial army? Don’t you think that the role of BDS is very important to counter Israeli fascism?

For the reasons I mentioned earlier, the Zionist regime has managed to stifle, at least in part, the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people. As far as the media and relations with the governments of the major powers are concerned, the balance is tipped in favor of Zionism. That’s a fact. Even the majority of Arab countries, for reasons that cannot be confessed, are turning away from it.

BDS is an extraordinary weapon, but as I said, it is increasingly banned in the West because it is considered as an ” anti-Semitic ” movement. It’s absurd, sure, but it’s so. Example: Germany withdrew a European prize from a woman writer because she had tweeted pro-BDS a few months before.

How do you explain that at a time when freedom-loving Westerners support BDS, Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Qatar, etc. are normalizing their relations with the Zionist entity of Israel as part of the “deal of the century” spearheaded by Jared Kushner?

Historically, these monarchies have never supported the Palestinians, or at least with lip service, because they feared the revolutionary potential of the Palestinian movements in the 60s and 70s. The Arab world was then divided between “conservatives” and “progressives”. Following the example of Hassan II mentioned above, these monarchies were just waiting for the historic opportunity to normalize their relations with the Zionist regime. It is in their interest, the interest of the castes in power. We have seen what could happen to nationalist or progressive Arab regimes (Iraq, Syria, Libya). They were given a choice: fall in line and collaborate with Israel or some “Daesh” or separatist movements will drop on them. These monarchs do not have the suicidal instinct for a Palestine that has become an increasingly evanescent myth.

What is your opinion about the infamous blockade that the Palestinian people are suffering in Gaza while the world is in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Zionist regime is submitting the people of Gaza to a concentration camp quasi-regime. Why quasi? Because the Zionist conqueror remains just below, cynically and intelligently, the level that could no longer leave the world indifferent. The blockade is not hermetic, allowing to pass through it in dribs and drabs at the occupant’s discretion, just enough to not sink. The fishing area is reduced or increased so as to keep this sword of Damocles on any fisherman who dares to go out. Electricity is limited to a few hours a day. Information from the inside is reduced, travels are limited. Israel even took the liberty about two years ago of banning European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip. All the more so as Egypt’s complicity makes it possible to maintain this situation, and the Palestinian Authority withhold all payments to officials in Gaza. The world is given the impression that the Gazans are struggling, indeed, but that they had something to do with it, because they launch a few rockets from time to time and Hamas is considered a “terrorist” organization. The Zionists have become masters in the art of propaganda, with the complicity of Western governments. And Gaza is paying a terrible price.

You have been threatened and attacked on several occasions, including by the LDJ (Jewish Defense League), for supporting the cause of the Palestinian people and for being anti-Zionist. How do you explain the fact that in France, a country that prides itself on being a State governed by the rule of law and which is a champion of human rights and freedom of speech, fascist militias like Betar (note: radical Zionist Jewish youth movement), LDJ, CRIF, which defend the interests of Israel can act with impunity?

First there is the history of the Second World War and the Vichy regime, which leaves a sense of guilt, a feeling cleverly exploited by the Judeo-Zionist lobby with the multiplication of films on the Shoah which are shown over and over again on French channels.

Then there is the action of the “sayanim” very presents in the media and other institutions, and who terrorize, the word is not too strong, all those who deviate even a little. Take Dieudonné (note: French humorist, actor and political activist), he has been made the devil to such an extent that he can be assassinated with impunity. On the other hand, saying two or three wrong words to Eric Zemmour (note: French political journalist, writer, essayist and polemicist) in the street, and the President of the Republic calls him on the phone for 40 minutes.

Finally, there is great cowardice on the part of French intellectuals, journalists and politicians who do not say what they think. The fear of the CRIF is paralyzing them. Remember Etienne Chouard, a very famous intellectual who became well known during the referendum on Europe in 2005 and for his support for Yellow Vests. He was summoned to explain himself about the gas chambers on the site “Le Média“. The unfortunate man tried to clear out. He’s been bombarded with insults. He went to apologize on “Sud Radio“. He has since lost all credibility.

How do you explain the fact that all the media remain silent about the crimes of the Zionist entity of Israel and do not give voice to people like you? Where is the freedom of speech those western countries brag about? In your opinion, doesn’t the mass media serve an oligarchy?

Modern media are not supposed to track down the truth and proclaim it. See the way they treated covid19 and big-pharma. See also the coverage of Presidents Trump and Putin by these media, or the Syrian case. The major media belong either to the State (public radio and television) or to the financial oligarchies, all of which are, as I have shown, close to the interests of the Zionist lobby. So, when they boast about being free and promoting freedom of speech, they’re just self-promotion by brazenly lying. Moreover, the tendency in the name of this “freedom to inform” is to track down the so-called fake news, in fact the information that don’t fit the mould. And as long as this balance of power lasts, the crimes of the Zionist entity will be silenced or diminished, and the rights of the Palestinian people will be ignored.

In your opinion, weren’t the Oslo Accords a big scam that harmed the Palestinians by depriving them of their rights?

The Oslo Accords were one of the finest diplomatic scams of the century. With the Palestinians’ consent. In a SM (sadomasochistic) relationship, the master and the slave freely assume their role. The Zionist master found in Arafat the ideal slave to play the role.

I say this with great sadness and rage. But the reality is there. Arafat disappeared from the international scene in 1992. When Rabin beckons him, he no longer holds back. He was about to come back into the limelight.

It’s Rabbi’s stroke of genius. Israel was in a very difficult, let’s say catastrophic situation. The Intifada showed an over-armed and brutal army of occupation in the face of stone-throwing kids. The Palestinian cause was at the top. If Rabin had contacted Barghouti, the leader of the Intifada, the latter would have had strict and inflexible demands: Independence or nothing.

Arafat has given up everything. On all the sensitive issues, the refugees, Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, the independent State, Rabin told him: “we will see later”. And Arafat agreed.

And furthermore, he delivered 60 % of the West Bank under the total sovereignty of Israel. This is the Zone C, on which the major cities of occupation are built.

Ultimately, Arafat could have realized after 2 or 3 years that he had been manipulated, that the Zionists will never give him a State, and slam the door, and put the occupier back in front of his responsibilities. But no, he continued until his death and Mahmoud Abbas is continuing along the same path, which lead to the progressive strangulation of what remained of Palestine.

But for Rabin, and the Zionist regime, the gain was fantastic. Israel was no longer the occupant. The whole world was pretending to proclaim the need for 2 States. It was just a matter of being patient and negotiating. The Zionist regime has thus restored much of its international credibility and legitimacy.

We saw the United States and the whole world shocked by the way George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. However, Palestinians suffer the same abuses on a daily basis, as this hold (a technique known as strangulation) is often used by the Israeli army, Tsahal. How do you explain the fact that nobody protests this? The world was rightly moved by the murder of George Floyd, why does it not react when Palestinians are murdered?

We keep coming back to the same problem. It is the media that make the news. And who controls the media? The Palestinians do not have a voice for the reasons mentioned above. Because when the media decides to inflate a problem, they do.

Who is Jacob Cohen?

Jacob Cohen is a writer and lecturer born in 1944. Polyglot and traveler, anti-Zionist activist, he was a translator and teacher at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca. He obtained a law degree from the Faculty of Casablanca and then joined Science-Po in Paris where he obtained his degree in Science-Po as well as a postgraduate degree (DES) in public law. He lived in Montreal and then Berlin. In 1978, he returned to Morocco where he became an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Casablanca until 1987. He then moved to Paris where he now focuses on writing. He has published several books, including « Le commando de Hébron » (2014), « Dieu ne repasse pas à Bethléem » (2013), « Le printemps des Sayanim » (2010), « L’espionne et le journaliste » (2008), « Moi, Latifa S. » (2002).

He has a blog and performs on YouTube where he discusses various topics.

Mohsen Abdelmoumen is an independent Algerian journalist. He has written for several Algerian newspapers such as Alger Républicain and in different sites of the alternative press.

June 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Iraq mounts counter-terrorism operations amid warnings of US-Daesh plot to split region

Press TV – May 5, 2020

Iraqi army troops and allied fighters from Popular Mobilization Forces — known as Hashd al-Sha’abi — have conducted fresh operations against Daesh militants amid warnings of collaboration between the United States and remnants of the Takfiri terror outfit in the country.

On Monday, Iraq’s Security Media Cell announced the launch of a new military campaign, dubbed ‘Desert Lions,’ against Daesh sleeper cells in the country’s desert areas.

The operation covers “Wadi Houran, Husayniyyat, Al-Kara, H2, and Wadi al-Hallcom, all the way to international borders” in Iraq’s western Anbar Province with an aim to “enhance security and stability in these areas, to pursue terrorist elements and to arrest those wanted,” it said in a statement.

The new campaign followed a string of deadly attacks by Daesh terrorists targeting Iraqi forces, among them Saturday’s assault in Salahuddin Province that killed at least 10 Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters.

On Monday, the Iraqi Army’s intelligence detained a Daesh ringleader, called Abu Hajar, in Nineveh Province.

It came one day after the arrest of another Daesh element, Abu Abdulmalik, in Nineveh’s provincial capital of Mosul, which once served as the terror group’s main bastion in the Arab country.

Also on Monday, Rudaw media network reported that an explosive-laden vehicle had gone off in Madham area in western Anbar, killing the occupants — all terrorists.

Among those slain were Daesh military commander Abu Ghasurah, the report said.

Concerns rise about Daesh-US collaboration

Meanwhile, Mahmoud al-Rubaye, spokesman of Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq group, which is part of the Hashd al-Sha’abi, said that the US has long been supporting terrorists in Iraq and Syria and that Daesh is part of Washington’s scheme to disintegrate the region.

The US, he added, plans to settle Palestinians in western Anbar under President Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed “deal of the century.”

Rubaye also emphasized that the Americans should honor the Iraqi parliament’s resolution on the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. The resolution was passed in January following the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and senior Hashd commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in addition to several other comrades.

The US is evacuating its bases in Iraq and amassing its troops at Ain al-Assad and Harir bases, situated in Anbar and Kurdistan’s regional capital of Erbil, respectively, in the face of the outrage of the Iraqi people and popular forces, he pointed out.

Asaib spokesman further warned of armed resistance if the US refuses to leave Iraq and settles in the country’s remote areas.

Additionally, Iraq’s Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, which is also part of Hashd al-Sha’abi, said the US has been planning to transfer senior Daesh commanders from eastern Syria to neighboring Iraq.

“Washington is insisting on the implementation of a plot to return the terrorists to Iraq by transferring a large number of ISIS (Daesh) commanders and militants from the eastern Euphrates and other parts of Syria,” it said in an online statement.

The group also described the Americans as “occupiers,” noting, “We stress that the Islamic Resistance of Iraq is monitoring all your destructive plots to prevent the dangers which threaten the Iraqi provinces.”

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters played a major role in reinforcing the Iraqi army, which had suffered heavy setbacks against the Takfiri elements.

Iraq declared victory over Daesh in December 2017 after a three-year counter-terrorism military campaign, which also had the support of neighboring Iran.

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

34 US-Backed Militants Surrender, Hand Weapons to Syrian Army – Reports

Sputnik – April 18, 2020

28 militants and six drivers from the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra (‘Revolutionary Commando Army’) rebel group arrived in Palmyra, handed over all their weapons and equipment and surrendered to take advantage of the Syrian government’s recent amnesty decrees, SANA has reported, citing a source said to be involved in the process.

Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry’s Centre for Syrian Reconciliation confirmed that over two dozen militants trained at a US military base in Syria had surrendered to the Syrian Army after breaking out of the US-controlled At-Tanf area and engaging in a shootout with other militia members.

The group’s evacuation from the At-Tanf area, a blob of US-held territory in southern Syria near the Jordanian and Iraqi border, was facilitated following over four months of planning, according to authorities.

SANA’s source said that the haul of surrendered equipment included eight vehicles, some of them fitted with heavy machine guns, along with a small number of automatic weapons, sniper rifles, 2 RPG launchers and a grenade launcher, along with communications equipment and binoculars.

Ghannam Samir al-Khedair, the group’s leader, said he and his comrades had been displaced from Sweida by Daesh (ISIS) and crossed the border into Jordan, where they were trained, after which they were sent to guard the Rukban refugee camp. Al-Khedair also revealed that his men were demoralised after finding out that much of the relief supplies meant for the camp, which once held as many as 45,000 people, was being sold to Daesh, and discovering that other Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra militants also supported the terrorists.

Khaled Samir al-Khedair, another former militant from the At-Tanf base, said that US occupation forces were training militia to attack Syrian Army positions, as well as civilian infrastructure and oil and gas fields. Salah Rashid al-Zaher, another militant, confirmed that this training for sabotage ops was taking place. According to al-Zaher, in addition to much of the Rukhban camp aid being sold to Daesh, some of it was also traded on the black market to camp residents at exorbitant prices.

The SANA report comes two days after confirmation by the Russian military that a group of over two dozen militants trained at At-Tanf had surrendered to the Syrian Army. The militants began their journey to Palmyra on the night of 13 April, but had to fight off a detachment of Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra forces to escape, arriving in the ancient city on 14 April.

Rukban Disaster

Officials in both Damascus and Moscow and the Syrian and Russian militaries have repeatedly expressed concerns about the disastrous humanitarian situation at the Rukban refugee camp over the course of many years, and have reported on the Pentagon’s use of the At-Tanf military base to retrain former extremists to renew their struggle against the Syrian government.

Damascus has stressed repeatedly that the only solution which could end the al-Rukban refugees’ suffering would be for the US to withdraw from At-Tanf and leave Syria. At the moment, it’s estimated that there are still as many as 13,500 people at the camp, among them 6,000 militants, and members of their families. At least 150 US troops are estimated to remain at At-Tanf.

The US moved in to take control of the At-Tanf area in early 2016, just as the Syrian Army began its counteroffensive against Daesh militants in the sparsely populated desert areas of central Syria. US forces formally established the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra militia after dissolving its predecessor, the so-called ‘New Syrian Army’ militant group, in late 2016. Syria and its allies have repeatedly demanded that the US withdraw from the Arab Republic’s sovereign territory. The area has seen repeated deadly clashes between Syrian forces and entrenched US forces and their militia allies.

April 18, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Syria says will stand by allies on resistance axis to expel US from Western Asia

Press TV – March 12, 2020

A senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hails “constant coordination” between Damascus and its allies in the fight against terrorism, saying the Arab nation will stand by the resistance front to help drive the US out of not only Syria but the entire Middle East region.

Assad’s political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, made the remarks in an interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV channel on Wednesday.

She said that Washington has been supporting the Takfiri al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups, and that its sponsorship for the al-Qaeda-inspired al-Nusra Front terrorist outfit is of no surprise.

The Syrian people living east of the Euphrates River have been fighting against American occupation forces and enjoy the Damascus government’s backing for their resistance, she added.

Shaaban also stressed that the battle on eastern bank of the Euphrates is complicated and takes time, noting, however, that the Syrians will eventually expel US troops from their homeland.

The Syrian army has the backing of Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in its battle against a host of militant groups, which have been wreaking havoc on the country since 2011.

Thanks to that support, the Damascus government has managed to win back control of almost all regions from the foreign-sponsored militants.

Syria has been engaged in a liberation operation in Idlib Province, the last major bastion of terrorists in the country.

Shaaban further emphasized that her country supports its allies on the regional resistance axis to drive American military personnel out of the entire West Asia region.

Syria in constant coordination with Iran, Hezbollah

There is complete and constant coordination between Damascus on one side and Tehran and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement on the other side in political and military spheres, the Syrian official pointed out.

She hailed Tehran-Damascus relations as historical and strategic, reiterating that both Iran and Russia prioritize Syria’s sovereignty and independence.

Taking advantage of the mayhem in Syria, the US has deployed troops to Syria under the guise of fighting Daesh. It has been running military bases in the eastern part of the country, which many reports have revealed serve as training camps for terrorists.

The US has also been supporting anti-Damascus Kurdish militants in the country’s northeastern regions, calling them allies in the so-called fight against Daesh, which lost its territorial rule in the Arab country in late 2017.

In recent months, Washington has also deployed more troops and military equipment near Syrian oil fields to “secure” them, in what Damascus, Tehran and Moscow have denounced as an attempt to steal Syria’s crude resources.

In turn, Turkey supports militants fighting to topple the Damascus government. Those elements continue to target Syrian troops and allied Russian personnel.

Last week, Russia and Turkey agreed on a ceasefire to stop clashes in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province that brought the two countries close to direct confrontation amid a Moscow-backed Syrian counter-terrorism operation.

Idlib truce paves ground for more Syrian gains

Elsewhere in her interview, Shaaban said the Idlib truce has no confidential terms and paves the way for the liberation of the districts of Arihah and Jisr al-Shughur.

In recent weeks, she added, the Syrian army wrested control over 2,000 kilometers of the country and inflicted casualties on militants and Turkish forces.

Shabban also slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for serving Israel’s interests in the region.

Erdogan, she added, uses the Palestine issue as a mere bargaining chip and dreams of occupying Syria.

A meeting between Assad and Erdogan is not possible as long as Turkey occupies parts of the Syrian territory, she said.

Syria keen to forge ties will all Arab states

Additionally, Assad’s aide stressed that Syria welcomes relations with all Arab countries, referring to recent visits by Egyptian and Libyan delegations.

She also hailed Algeria’s position on Syria, adding, however, that there are no exchanges between the two states.

March 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Danish Daesh fighter convicted in Spain worked for Denmark intelligence

MEMO | January 13, 2020

A Danish man who joined Daesh in Syria and who is consequently serving eight years imprisonment in Spain has revealed that he was working for Denmark’s intelligence services.

The 30-year-old Danish national, Ahmed Samsam, travelled to Syria “several” times in order to join the terror group under the authorisation and direction of Denmark’s Police Intelligence Service and Defence Intelligence Service, as was reported in the Danish newspaper Berlingske yesterday.

According to several sources who informed the paper, it was confirmed that Samsam was indeed recruited by the Danish intelligence services in December 2012 before being sent to Syria in February 2013.

These assignments, in which he received up to 20,000 Kroner ($2,975) per month as well as military training, continued all the way up until late 2015, after which he was arrested by Spanish authorities on the Costa del Sol in 2017.

“I wanted to help prevent a terrorist attack in Denmark. I have a family that uses public transport, which is at high risk of being hit by terror,” he told the paper.

Samsam has said that Danish authorities were well aware of his travels and assignments to Syria, and that they had guaranteed that he would not be punished upon his return.

The subsequent arrest of Samsam has therefore reportedly angered some in Denmark due to the country not having immediately informed Spain of his case.

Among those calling for Denmark to take action to return him is the member of parliament Karina Lorentzen Dehnhardt – part of the Socialist People’s Party – who urged for Samsam to be helped.

The case comes amid increasing debate over the transfer of imprisoned Daesh fighters back to their home countries which they left, with many reportedly being regretful of joining the group and wanting to return following the military defeat of the group over the past two years.

Both Turkey and US President Donald Trump have called on European nations to take back their fighters due to their responsibility towards their citizens, but they have long been concerned over the security risks of such a move, suspecting that there are former fighters who feign regret in order to carry out attacks within their home countries.

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

US forces transferring Daesh terrorists from Syria to Iraq: Report

Press TV – October 20, 2019

US military forces are transporting to safe sanctuaries hundreds of members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group from the desert region of al-Jazirah in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah to neighboring Iraq, a report says.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing media and local sources, reported that American forces had recently transported the terrorists to an unknown location. The Daesh members were being kept at al-Hol refugee camp, which lies close to the Syria-Iraq border and is run by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The report said that less than a day before, 230 foreign terrorists from Daesh were transferred from al-Malikiyah prison to a detention center in al-Shaddadi town in southern Hasakah.

Since October 9, SANA said, US forces have transported hundreds of Daesh extremists and their relatives from Syrian territories to Iraq in six batches. The date is when Turkey and its allied militants launched a ground offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

American forces have also turned their illegal base in Shaddadi into a place of accommodation for Daesh terrorists and their families, who are being brought from al-Hol camp and prisons across Syria to the base in order to be transported on board military helicopters to Iraq.

US forces have until recently been airlifting Daesh terrorists from one place in Syria to another, under the cover of darkness, in order to save them in the face of advancement and territorial gains by Syrian government forces, and prevent revelation of their alliance with the Takfiri extremists.

Syrians celebrate army deployment in border towns amid Turkish incursion

In Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, dozens of people gathered to express support for the deployment of government forces in the Kurdish-populated border towns in the wake of Turkey’s offensive.

On Sunday, the residents of the provincial capital city of Dayr al-Zawr gathered at al-Intisar roundabout to denounce the Turkish aggression, and demand the full withdrawal of US troops from Syrian territories, SANA reported.

The participants waved the national Syrian flag and lifted pictures of President Bashar al-Assad. They described the Turkish aggression on Syrian soil a criminal act, vowing that the sons of Syria will all confront the offensive, dubbed Peace Spring Operation.

They also called for the complete withdrawal of illegal foreign forces, whether Turkish or American, from Syrian soil.

“All Syrians reject the Turkish operation, because it constitutes an act of aggression against a sovereign state. This is contrary to international law and regulations. We are here today to tell (Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan, his American masters and their proxies that Syria is strong with its army, its people, its leader. History has shown that this land is insurmountable to aggressors,” said Mudhi al-Muhaimid, a member of the executive office of Dayr al-Zawr provincial council.

Director of Education in Dayr al-Zawr Khalil Haj Ubaid said, “Syria’s civilization, history and originality will remain impervious to the greediness of enemies. The Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army are the only forces that can protect Syrian people. The entire world is now witnessing how President Assad has triumphed over all forces of injustice and tyranny.”

Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched the long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the SDF.

The Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria says the Turkish offensive has killed 218 civilians, including 18 children, since its outset. The fighting has also wounded more than 650 people.

Turkish authorities say 20 people have been killed in Turkey by bombardment from Syria, including eight people who were killed in a mortar attack on the town of Nusaybin by YPG militants on October 11.

SANA tours US base in al-Saidiyah area southwest of Manbij

In another development, SANA journalists entered the abandoned US base in the al-Saidiyah area southwest of Manbij, only a few days after American forces evacuated the site.

The heavily fortified base contains a big open field, service stations for the maintenance of vehicles, training fields, communication towers and a number of military posts. US forces burned documents, communication devices, laptops, computers, monitors and medical supplies just before their withdrawal from the base.

October 20, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

US-Israeli attacks on PMU meant to revive Daesh in Iraq: Kata’ib Hezbollah

Press TV – August 24, 2019

An Iraqi resistance group says the recent airstrikes on the positions of pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are an attempt by the US and Israel to revive the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the Arab country.

In an interview with Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Ahed news website published on Friday, Kata’ib Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Muhyee said the air raids on Hashd al-Sha’abi positions are actually meant to weaken Iraqi resistance factions, empty their weapons stores and end their role in maintaining security in Iraq.

He added that the next stage, which has been planned by the US, is to return thousands of foreign-backed Daesh terrorists to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The recent attacks “were not accidental,” but rather planned in advance after continued monitoring operations by Israeli and American drones, Muhyee pointed out.

He also accused Washington of trying to get Israel to conduct the strikes in a bid to prevent reactions from Iraqi resistance groups.

Muhyee further warned of a tough response to any future attack on Iraqi forces.

Earlier this week, a PMU ammunition depot was exploded in Iraq, the fourth in recent months. The attacks began on July 19 when a drone dropped explosives onto a PMU base near the town of Amerli, in Salahuddin Province, killing at least one resistance fighter and injuring four others.

Unnamed American officials confirmed that Israel had been behind the attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday at possible Israeli strikes in Iraq.

“We are operating – not just if needed, we are operating in many areas against a state (Iran) that wants to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and instructed them to do anything necessary to thwart Iran’s plans,” he said when asked whether Tel Aviv was considering operations in Iraq.

Daesh unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks. Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters then launched operations to eliminate the terror outfit and retake lost territory.

The PMU had a prominent role in flushing Daesh out of the areas it had occupied in Iraq.

In December 2017, Iraq declared the end of the anti-Daesh campaign. The group’s remnants, though, keep staging sporadic attacks across Iraq.

August 24, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 5 Comments

Daesh Is Curiously Pursuing The Same Strategic Goal As India In Afghanistan

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-08-18

Daesh claimed credit for a suicide bombing at a Pakistani mosque on Saturday that ended up killing the Taliban leader’s younger brother, briefly raising fears that the organization would pull out of its ongoing peace talks with the US in response. Those concerns were quickly dismissed after one of the group’s unnamed representatives told Reuters that “If someone thinks martyring our leaders would stop us from our goal they’re living in a fool’s paradise”, which was met with a sigh of relief by practically everyone in the world, that is, except India. The South Asian state doesn’t support the US’ decision to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, as the author elaborated upon earlier this year in his piece about “Reading Between The Lines: India Has Sour Grapes Over America’s Afghan Peace Talks“, which explained that New Delhi wants Washington to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely since its partner’s military presence guarantees that the landlocked country could be used to expand its “strategic depth” by functioning as a Hybrid War staging ground against the global pivot state of Pakistan.

It’s therefore curious that Daesh’s latest suicide attack in Pakistan could have fulfilled India’s political fantasy of sabotaging the US-Taliban peace talks and thus keeping the Pentagon indefinitely in Afghanistan. One would be inclined to believe that Daesh would prefer for the US to leave the country as soon as possible, yet the world’s most notorious terrorist group defied expectations through its brazen action that could have resulted in the opposite. While Daesh’s rivalry with the Taliban is well known, it’s difficult to believe that it would do what it did at this specific time given the ultra-sensitive context involved relating to the US’ possible withdrawal from Afghanistan if the peace talks succeed, so it certainly makes one wonder whether Indian intelligence might have had a hand in guiding events, at the very least. It wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented either since detained Hybrid War operative Kulbhushan Jadav admitted to organizing terrorist attacks in the Pakistani region of Balochistan, which is where Daesh’s latest one occurred.

There’s no way to know for sure whether this was the case or not, but it’s nevertheless a plausible theory when considering the aforementioned strategic variables at play. Indian intelligence has connections with terrorist groups and is using them as proxies for waging a Hybrid War on Pakistan that’s hitherto mostly been with the intent of sabotaging CPEC, so it’s not inconceivable that some of those same assets could be used to target the Taliban’s younger brother with the intent of provoking the group to pull out of its peace talks with the US. Should that have been the case, then this operation definitely failed, but it would reveal just how desperate India is to keep the American military in Afghanistan that it would resort to orchestrating a carefully calibrated terrorist attack that could have ended up being a global game-changer. It would also speak to just how distrustful India is of its new American military-strategic ally and represent an escalation of the incipient Hybrid War being waged by both of them against the other, albeit with India taking the step to make it kinetic whereas the US had kept it purely within the economic and diplomatic realms for now.

August 18, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

US mission in Baghdad serves as Mossad, Daesh headquarters: Iraqi MP

This file photo shows the US embassy building in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Press TV | July 15, 2019

A senior Iraqi parliamentarian warns that the US embassy in Baghdad is involved in “suspicious activities,” saying agents of the Israeli spy agency Mossad and the Daesh terrorist group have been spotted regularly visiting the diplomatic mission.

“The US embassy in Baghdad has turned into a center for Israel’s Mossad and ISIS (Daesh) terrorists,” Hassan Salem was quoted as saying by the Iraqi Arabic-language al-Sumariya news website.

Salem said the US embassy is interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs by spying, spreading rumors and hatching plots.

“The US embassy’s violation of laws and forgetting its responsibilities based on the international laws mean that the center could not be called an embassy and therefore, its closure is legally necessary,” the Iraqi lawmaker said.

US giving Daesh head protection

Salem had earlier suggested that US forces in Ain al-Assad military base were protecting Daesh ringleader Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the western desert of Iraq’s Anbar province.

“Al-Baghdadi is using the Anbar desert as a safe haven, while the US forces provide him with all means of support from their station at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province,” Salem said in February.

The Iraqi MP argued then that America’s support for al-Baghdadi “stems from Washington’s fear of a draft bill on expelling foreign troops from Iraq, which the parliament intends to vote on during the new legislative term.”

Also in February, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the first time divulged explosive secrets about how the United States supported Daesh and intentionally allowed the Takfiri terror outfit to gain power in Iraq so that Washington could creep back into the Arab country.

He said the administration of former US President Barack Obama had played a key role in the creation of Daesh by allowing the terrorist group to overrun Iraqi territories.

In March, an Iraqi security expert also revealed that the American embassy in Iraq was carrying out suspicious measures, describing the mission as a US-Israeli operations room that sought to destabilize the region.

Abbas al-Ardawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma’alomeh news website as saying that US administration was exerting pressures on Baghdad and killing time to prolong its deployment in Iraq.

He said the relocation of terrorists from the town of Baqouz in Eastern Syria to the US bases in Iraq was aimed to stir security tensions in the country and find a pretext for continued deployment of American forces.

Al-Ardawi said Iraqi lawmakers certainly want all US forces to be expelled from the country as soon as possible.

Another senior Iraqi expert had in January warned of Washington’s attempts to increase its influence in Iraq, saying Israeli spies and Daesh terrorists were present at across US bases in Iraq.

Hafez Al-e Basharah told al-Ma’aloumeh news website that the US was attempting to boost its presence in Iraq and the American forces had been stationed in the southern parts of Baghdad.

He went on to say that the US forces did not allow any Iraqis to enter their bases in the country in an attempt to conceal the realities from the public opinion.

Israeli intelligence agents were also operating from the bases, where Takfiri terrorists also received shelter and training, he added.

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Syria’s Rukban Now Little More Than a US-Controlled Concentration Camp – and the Pentagon Won’t Let Refugees Leave

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | March 28, 2019

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — The United States military has rejected offers to resolve the growing humanitarian crisis in the Rukban refugee camp in Syria, which sits inside a 55 km zone occupied by the U.S. along the Syria-Jordan border. The U.S. has also refused to let any of the estimated 40,000 refugees — the majority of which are women and children — leave the camp voluntarily, even though children are dying in droves from lack of food, adequate shelter and medical care. The U.S. has also not provided humanitarian aid to the camp even though a U.S. military base is located just 20 km (12.4 miles) away.

The growing desperation inside the Rukban camp has received sparse media coverage, likely because of the U.S.’ control over the area in which the camp is located. The U.S. has been accused of refusing to let civilians leave the area — even though nearly all have expressed a desire to either return to Syrian government-held territory or seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Turkey — because the camp’s presence helps to justify the U.S.’ illegal occupation of the area.

Though the U.S. has long justified its presence in al-Tanf as necessary to defeat Daesh (ISIS), the U.S. government has also acknowledged that al-Tanf’s true strategic importance lies in U.S. efforts to “contain” Iran by blocking a connection from Iran to Syria through Iraq. Al-Tanf lies near the area where the borders of Syria, Iraq and Jordan meet. Thus, in the U.S.’ game of brinkmanship with Iran, Rukban’s estimated 40,000 inhabitants have become pawns whose basic needs are ignored by their occupiers.

U.S. shows no interest in meeting

On Tuesday, delegations from Russia, Syria, the UN, and the Rukban refugee camp met to discuss the fate of the camp’s inhabitants after a UN survey found that 95 percent of the camp’s inhabitants wanted to leave the camp, while 83 percent wanted to return to their hometowns in areas of Syria now under Syrian government control.

However, the U.S. military and State Department officials in nearby Jordan rejected an invitation to Tuesday’s meeting. The U.S. military also prohibited a Syrian-Russian delegation from entering the Rukban camp on Tuesday. The delegation had sought to assess conditions in the camp, which have become increasingly desperate according to reports from a variety of outlets, including U.S. government-funded outlets like Voice of America.

The U.S.’ refusal to attend the meeting or allow the delegation passage comes less than a month after the U.S. military blocked the entry of evacuation buses overseen by Russian and Syrian forces that would have allowed refugees to leave the camp.

The buses would have entered through the “humanitarian corridors” that were recently opened on the Syrian-controlled side of the U.S.-occupied enclave. While camp inhabitants can, in theory, leave the camp through the corridors on foot, the barren area’s remoteness makes such evacuations unfeasible without vehicle transport. Although some families have left this way, the lack of record keeping within the camp has made it impossible to know how many have tried leaving this way since the corridors were opened last month.

An often overlooked problem that has prevented them from leaving is that U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained “moderate rebel” groups have been known to block camp inhabitants from leaving, demanding large payments in U.S. dollars to leave the area. The U.S. military took control of Al-Tanf alongside “moderate” rebel forces in 2014 after wresting the area from Daesh. Many of those opposition groups have since been revealed to have ties and sympathies to terrorist groups, including Daesh.

The U.S. has not given a reason for its rejection of Tuesday’s meeting and had previously said that its rejection of the evacuation buses was based on its view that the buses did not meet the U.S.’ “protection standards.”

Horrific conditions and a U.S. shrug

While the U.S. has blocked refugees from leaving on Russian-Syrian buses under U.S. “protection,” it has done little to abet the suffering of the tens of thousands of civilians in Rukban, even though the area is under complete U.S. military control and a U.S. military base is just a few miles away. Indeed, the extent of U.S. “aid” to the Rukban camp has been medical training of the handful of nurses in the camp, who work in conditions they describe as being like “the Stone Age” owing to the chronic lack of basic medications and doctors.

While medical care is decidedly lacking, the most pressing problem is the access to food, as starvation has become a real threat for those living in Rukban. Last October the opposition-aligned news service, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), reported that the Rukban camp had been without food or essential supplies for months. Only two aid deliveries, managed jointly by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the UN, were able to enter the camp.

One of those shipments, however, almost didn’t happen after the UN delayed the aid “for logistical and security reasons.” While the UN did not specify which “security reasons” had prompted the delay, it was apparently not the Syrian government, as the UN also said in the same statement that the convoy had received approval from Damascus. This suggests that the “security” concerns were related to U.S.-backed militants in the U.S.-controlled area surrounding al-Tanf. Notably, Russian and Syrian sources have claimed that these same militants often “plunder” the aid intended for the camp’s inhabitants for themselves.

Since then, the situation inside the camp has continued to deteriorate. Indeed, things have gotten so desperate that, in January, a mother attempted to set herself and her three children on fire after she couldn’t find food for three straight days and preferred to give her children a quick death rather than watch them starve. Others in the camp rescued the family, though the mother and her infant were seriously injured. Recently aid from the UN and SARC arrived in early February, the first aid shipment in over three months.

The lack of food combined with the lack of medical care has been responsible for scores of deaths in the camp — the majority of which are of children under the age of two, who often die from malnutrition and preventable diseases. Others have died from freezing weather owing to a lack of adequate shelter, with eight children dying in January for that very reason. Satellite images taken of the camp in early March showed the recent creation of a mass grave containing an estimated 300 bodies adjacent to the camp.

Despite the desperate conditions less than 13 miles from its military base, the U.S. has declined to send food, doctors, medical supplies or other forms of aid to Rukban’s inhabitants, while also preventing them from leaving. However, the U.S. has been providing militant groups in the same area with military and logistical support.

Rukban provides a pretext

In addition to presiding over the squalid and starvation conditions in the Rukban camp, the U.S. has also given militant groups present in the area it controls — including Daesh terrorists who have “embedded” themselves in the camp on the U.S.’ watch — free rein to terrorize the camp’s refugees. These militant groups not only control the flow of food and aid in the camp but terrorize its most vulnerable inhabitants, forcing women and children into sex slavery and engaging in human trafficking. All of this is taking place in a “deconfliction zone” controlled by the U.S. military.

These extremist groups, including Daesh, are well-armed, according to Jordanian Brigadier General Sami Kafawin, who told NBC News in 2017 that these groups “have whole weapons systems … small arms, RPGs, anti-aircraft.”

The official reason for the U.S. base in al-Tanf has long been counterterrorism operations that ostensibly target Daesh. However, very few attacks against the terror group have been launched from this base and a UN report released last August found that Daesh had been given “breathing space” in U.S.-occupied areas of Syria, including al-Tanf. The U.S. has stated that it uses the al-Tanf base to train Syrian opposition fighters who then control the area around the base, including Rukban.

Unidentified Syrian rebels surround a piece of US weaponry during training by an American special forces member in Tanf. Photo | Hammurabi’s Justice News

With the U.S. now having claimed that Daesh has been completely defeated in Syria, the official justification for its illegal occupation of Syrian territory is wearing thin. With that justification now on shaky ground, the U.S. is increasingly having to acknowledge its main motive for its presence in al-Tanf — containing Iran and keeping Syria divided.

Indeed, a recent Reuters article notes that the U.S.-controlled area around al-Tanf that includes the Rukban camp “is designed to shield U.S. troops at the Tanf garrison and maintain for Washington a strategic foothold in an area close to a crucial supply route for Iranian weapons entering Syria from Iraq.” This was confirmed by General Joseph Votel late last year when he told NBC News that the U.S. base in al-Tanf was key in countering “the sway of Iran” in Syria.

This followed statements made last July by National Security Advisor John Bolton that U.S. troops would remain in Syria “as long as the Iranian menace continues throughout the Middle East.” This policy of Iran containment has clearly guided U.S. policy in Syria of late, with at least 1,000 U.S. troops set to stay in Syria illegally despite Daesh’s defeat and President Donald Trump’s recent calls for a troop withdrawal.

The U.S. has been accused of using the civilians trapped in Rukban as a “shield” for its continued operations in Syria aimed at containing Iran’s regional influence. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month that “the fact that people are not allowed to leave [the camp] and are held hostage makes one suggest that the U.S. needs this camp to continue justifying its illegitimate presence there.” There appear to be few other explanations for the U.S.’ refusal to let camp inhabitants leave the area.

The hypocrisy of U.S. “humanitarian concerns”

The situation in the Rukban camp reveals the dark reality behind the U.S.’ occupation of Syrian territory in Al-Tanf and elsewhere. In order to pursue its policy of Iran “containment” and a divided and partitioned Syria, the U.S. is willing to imprison some 40,000 people — many of them children — in a concentration camp where international aid is blocked and where food is so scarce that mothers are setting themselves and their children on fire so they can avoid slowly starving to death.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a concentration camp is defined as “a place where large numbers of people are kept as prisoners in extremely bad conditions, especially for political reasons.” It is undeniable that the Rukban camp fits this definition to the letter.

That the U.S. justifies its aggressive policies around the world — from Syria to Venezuela and elsewhere — as being motivated by “humanitarian concerns” — when a refugee camp under the U.S.’ complete control in Syria is facing starvation conditions and its inhabitants are being forcefully kept confined in the camp by the U.S. military despite their expressed desire to leave — is an obscene Orwellian twist. All this to “contain” Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

March 28, 2019 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

US Top General Takes to CNN to Dispute Syria Withdrawal

Sputnik – 15.02.2019

US General Joseph L. Votel, who has presided over stagnant results in America’s wars since being named commander of US Central Command last year, recently publicly disagreed with US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops from Syria.

“It would not have been my military advice at that particular time,” Votel told CNN of the plan to withdraw troops. Of course, the advice of US generals has brought the country 18 years of war with nothing to show for it except the Pentagon’s expanded budget. The United States now spends about 40 percent more on the military per year than it did during the height of the Iraq War in 2005.

“I would not have made that suggestion, frankly,” said Votel, referring to the decision to bring the troops back home to the US — a process that’s evidently ongoing and also a source of mystery. Exits are notoriously dangerous military maneuvers, so the US has kept quiet on the precise number of forces it has maintained across Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some analysts have suggested that the military’s consistent refusal over the years to be transparent about troop numbers in the above-mentioned countries has backfired, leaving them with little evidence for their assertions that Trump is killing a critical mission.

The US Constitution, of course, leaves final military decisions up to the president and not the generals, who are subordinate to the office.

Trump has advocated withdrawing US personnel from costly foreign military engagements that lack clear objectives, but his administration has waffled on putting those desires into motion for about two years, variously saying Daesh has been defeated, calling out the need to prevent a Daesh resurgence and combat Iran and plainly admitting that there is nothing in Syria for the US military except “sand and death.”

On Friday, Votel was back on the Pentagon’s message that Daesh is not actually defeated, even though the terrorists’ land holdings have been reduced from the size of Britain to less than a square mile. Daesh “still has leaders, still has fighters, it still has facilitators, it still has resources, so our continued military pressure is necessary to continue to go after that network,” said Votel to CNN, as reported by The Hill.

In any event, achieving the top post in US Central Command (CENTCOM) is often seen as a boon for the careers of military officers. Former CENTCOM chiefs include retired generals David Petraeus and James Mattis, who would go on to become the head of the Central Intelligence Agency and US Secretary of Defense, respectively, after their stints as CENTCOM commanders.

Former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford tells Sputnik not to read too much into Votel’s comments but instead to observe the “continuing efforts of the media and political establishment to undermine Trump,” who has expressed far more anti-interventionist sentiments than his predecessor both during his campaign and while in office.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , | 2 Comments