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Chomsky Among “Progressives” Calling for US Military Involvement in Syria

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | April 26, 2018

On Monday, the New York Review of Books published an open letter and petition aimed at securing Western support for putting pressure on Turkey to end its occupation of Afrin, opposing further Turkish incursions into Syria, and backing autonomy for Rojava — the region of Northern Syria that has functioned autonomously since 2012 after its administration was taken over by U.S-allied Kurdish factions. Authored by the Emergency Committee for Rojava, it has since been signed by well-known progressive figures such as Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler in its bid to organize efforts for the fulfillment of the group’s demands.

Those demands are entirely focused on U.S. government policy. The petition asks the government to “impose economic and political sanctions on Turkey’s leadership, . . . embargo sales and delivery of weapons from NATO countries to Turkey, . . . insist upon Rojava’s representation in Syrian peace negotiations,” and – most paradoxically of all — “continue military support for the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces],” the Kurdish-majority group that has acted as a U.S. proxy and has been accused of ethnic cleansing in its bid to construct a Kurdish ethnostate in Northern Syria.

The group’s first three demands are reasonable, in the sense of seeking to punish Turkey for its illegal invasion of Syrian territory. However, they are also rather fanciful, in the sense that the U.S. government is highly unlikely to stop weapons sales or to sanction Turkey, which it needs to court in order to prevent Ankara from pivoting towards Russia. Indeed, the U.S. — by refusing to support the Kurds during the battle for Afrin – made it clear that its “alliance” with Syrian Kurds is opportunistic and very much secondary to the U.S.’ relationship with Turkey.

The third demand is equally unlikely to come about, as Turkey has previously called the involvement of Syrian Kurds in peace talks unacceptable and has essentially issued an “it’s either us or them” ultimatum. In addition, past attempts to invite the Kurds to participate in the peace talks have been rejected by Western nations, including the United States, in order to please Turkey.

More recently, Kurds themselves refused to attend peace talks earlier this year over the Turkish occupation of Afrin in light of the lack of international response to that event. However, even prior to the occupation of Afrin, Syrian Kurds had declared they were “not bound” by any decisions made during Syrian peace talks, thereby weakening the peace process.

Yet, beyond the impractical nature of the petition’s first three demands, the final demand – that the U.S. continue military support for the Syrian Democratic Forces – is by far the most unusual, in the sense that well-known progressive figures, in signing this petition, are asking for the continued U.S. occupation of Syria and for increased military and financial support for the U.S. proxy forces, the SDF.

While most progressive figures, likely including those who signed the petition, would never publicly call for extending a U.S.-led military occupation, this petition shows that the war propaganda in Syria – particularly as it relates to the Kurds – has been highly effective in subverting the progressive anti-war left as it relates to the Syrian conflict.

Indeed, the Kurds in Syria have long been romanticized by Western media for having built “the world’s most progressive democracy” and for being trailblazers for gender equality and gay rights. While the Kurds have incorporated some progressive policies, the realities on the ground are more nuanced. Furthermore, the U.S.’ “support” for Rojava, which the petition seeks to extend, is hardly helping progressive or even Kurdish causes.

Distinguishing the Kurds and the SDF

Since the rise of Daesh (ISIS) in the Syrian conflict, Western media has placed the Kurds on a pedestal and has long treated them as the only “effective” fighters against the terrorist group. However, praising the local Kurdish militias for their fighting prowess has since given way to praising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), even though the two could not be more different.

While the SDF does boast a significant portion of Kurds among its ranks, it is not expressly Kurdish and is an umbrella group of several militias. Though this itself is not concerning, the identities of many of its Arab fighters do give cause for concern. For instance, one of the groups operating under the SDF’s banner is the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC) — a group whose fighters were former members of Daesh and al-Nusra (Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate), who were “retrained” by U.S. forces in Northern Syria after surrendering to the SDF and U.S.-backed forces in Raqqa. In addition, tribes that were formerly allied with Daesh have joined forces with the SDF over the past year.

The loosely-knit coalition of Syrian rebel groups, including Kurdish factions, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are armed, trained and backed by the U.S. (SDF Photo)

In addition to hosting former members of Daesh and other terror organizations among its ranks, the SDF also regularly collaborates with Daesh in Northeastern Syria in targeting Syrian and Russian forces. Though the Kurds and Daesh are ostensible “enemies,” they have been shown to move amongst each other like allies, and Kurds have even worked alongside Daesh in coordination with U.S. special forces. Perhaps, then, it is little surprise that the SDF allowed Daesh terrorists to leave Raqqa peacefully last June as they took the city.

This collaboration with groups like Daesh, which the SDF has been praised in the West for fighting, has led to major defections of Kurds from the SDF — including SDF’s former spokesman Talal Silo, who accused the group of making secret deals with terrorists.

Along with their troubling ties and collaboration with Daesh, the SDF have participated in war crimes in Syria, in tandem with U.S. forces, and have been accused of ethnic cleansing in order to justify the establishment of a Kurdish ethnostate in Arab-majority areas of Northern Syria.

For instance, in the battle for Raqqa, the SDF — along with the U.S.-led coalition — committed war crimes, such as using chemical weapons and cutting off water supplies to Raqqa, which is still without water nearly a year after its “liberation.” The SDF also played a key role in the operation that left, by some estimates, as many as 8,000 dead and 160,000 more driven from their homes. The operation also left 80 percent of the city completely uninhabitable, and as many as 6,000 bodies are still believed to be buried in the rubble six months after the joint U.S-led coalition/SDF operation concluded.

Some journalists, such as Andrew Korybko, asserted that Raqqa’s civilian population was directly targeted because it was highly unlikely that any Arab, or non-Kurd for that matter, living in Arab-majority Raqqa would freely choose to live in a “Kurdish-dominated statelet” as a second-class citizen instead of choosing to have equal standing within the Syrian Arab Republic. In other words, the operation was, in part, targeting civilians who could resist Raqqa’s annexation by the U.S.-backed Kurds instead of Daesh forces, who were allowed to escape and were later re-assimilated into the SDF. The UN, however, has claimed that the SDF’s removal of Arab populations from Raqqa was done out of “military necessity” and thus did not constitute “ethnic cleansing.”

Have progressives thought through what they’re asking for?

Aside from the SDF, asking the U.S. to maintain its support of the group also means asking the U.S. to continue its illegal occupation of Syria. As MintPress has previously reported, the U.S.’ occupation of Syria is aimed at partitioning the country and preventing Syria’s Northeast from again coming under the control of the Syrian government.

Though partition has also been a goal of some U.S.-allied Kurdish nationalists, who have sought to use the division of Syria as a launching pad for an independent “Kurdistan,” the U.S. in recent months has made it clear that the partition of Northeastern Syria will not benefit the Kurds as much as Wahhabi Sunnis whose ideology is virtually indistinguishable from that of Daesh.

Early last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s new National Security Advisor John Bolton was working with U.S.-allied Middle Eastern nations to form an “Islamic coalition” that would replace the U.S. troops currently present in Northeastern Syria with an army composed of soldiers from nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. This coalition would be a permanent military “stabilizing force” in the region.

In addition to pushing for foreign Arab soldiers to police Rojava, the Trump administration has also sought Saudi commitment to funding the reconstruction of the region. Saudi Arabia — known for its deplorable treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, and funding terror groups like Daesh — and its Gulf allies are highly unlikely to support the Kurds’ nationalist aims as well as their “progressive” direct democracy and promotion of gender equality and gay rights. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is the complete opposite of the Western progressive view of the Kurds, as it is a dictatorial monarchy well known for its repression of women and minorities and execution of members of the LGBT community. However, it is also the country that the U.S. is seeking to give the leading role in governing the area of Syria it currently occupies.

In effect, by asking for the continuation of U.S. military presence in Syria in order to aid the SDF, the Emergency Committee for Rojava is actually undermining the “progressive” Kurds they seek to support — and aiding yet another U.S. government attempt at nation-building, which is likely to result in a Wahhabist enclave that would differ little from a Daesh-led “caliphate.”

The Emergency Committee for Rojava’s efforts come amid major attempts aimed at defending and extending the U.S.’ illegal involvement in Syria. However, this petition is aimed at Western progressives, the group that has historically opposed illegal U.S. military occupations and wars in the past. Given how it has enticed well-known members of the progressive community, the petition shows that the push for Western “humanitarian” intervention in Syria is stronger than ever.

April 29, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Illegal foreign presence in Syria serves to revive terrorism front: Iranian official

Press TV – April 25, 2018

Iran’s top security official says the illegitimate military presence of certain countries in Syria is meant to put the Takfiri terrorists, who have suffered defeat in the region, back on their feet.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Nikolay Patrushev, in Sochi, where he is to attend a security conference of senior officials from more than 100 countries.

“Through their illegitimate military presence in Syria, some countries have only further complicated the circumstances on the ground there, and are practically taking steps towards the reinforcement of the defeated front of Takfiri terrorism,” he said.

The two officials discussed a wide range of issues, including bilateral anti-terror cooperation, insecurity in Afghanistan, and the threat facing the region from the relocation of terrorists to the Central Asian country following their defeat in Syria and Iraq.

Shamkhani also spoke in condemnation of an April 9 Israeli strike against the T-4 airbase in central Syria, which killed more than a dozen people, including seven Iranian military advisors.

He said the attack on the people, who are in Syria for anti-terrorism military advisory assistance at the request of the legal government, “exposed the identity of the real supporters of terrorists.”

The official also condemned a recent coordinated attack by the US, the UK, and France against Syria, saying the strikes showed the West is seeking out excuses to damage the standing mechanisms for finding a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.

The Russian official, for his part, said the conference in Sochi is meant to explore ways to replace militarism and violence with dialog and understanding.

Some countries, he added, resent successful Iran-Russia cooperation, and have launched “full-scale and suspicious” efforts at hurting their ties.

Patrushev said the US is continuously trying to deliver economic and political blows to Iran and Russia to restrict their joint efforts to restore stability to the region, adding, however, that Washington will fail to achieve its goal.

Iran and Russia have been both assisting Syria in its counter-terrorism offensive and mediating, together with Turkey, a diplomatic process to help restore calm to the Arab country.

On the contrary, the United States and its allies have been launching attacks on Syria since 2014, claiming they seek to root out Daesh without getting the Syrian government’s approval or a UN mandate.

The US and its allies have defied the Damascus government’s call to leave Syrian soil despite the collapse of the Takfiri terror group late last year.

In recent months, Russia has on various occasions reported that the US military is allowing Daesh members to leave its former strongholds in the Middle East to Afghanistan, where the terrorists have carried out bloody acts of violence.

Iran has also censured the US for supporting Daesh, with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei saying in January that Washington has been transferring Daesh to Afghanistan to rationalize its military presence in the region.

Russia backs Iran deal

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian official condemned Washington for failing to stay committed to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Russian Federation decisively backs the preservation and implementation of the deal and believes that Iran should be able to enjoy the benefits of the accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daesh Resumes Training Child Soldiers in Deir ez-Zor Safe Zone – Reports

Sputnik – 23.03.2018

According to Arab media, the Daesh terrorist group is using the de-escalation zones controlled by the US-led international coalition to reorganize and launch fresh strikes on the Syrian government army in a bid to return its former bases in al-Mayadeen and abu-Kamal.

The Arabic-language al-Manar news outlet, citing sources affiliated with the Syrian government’s armed opposition, reported that Daesh has resumed training children for its deadly operations in the Deir ez-Zor province, allegedly protected by the US and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Daesh is reportedly preparing to attack the Syrian army after the US-backed SDF declared an end to operations against the terrorist group, and following the US military expanding its presence in the region.

The terrorist group has allegedly established a military base in order to train what it described as “The Caliphate’s Lion Cubs” in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province, adjacent to Iraq, Arab media reported. The training center for child soldiers has allegedly been set up under the supervision of the former commander of Daesh bases in Raqqa, Abu Mohammed al-Fransi; the group is said to have been recruiting a large number of Syrian and foreign children to conduct suicide operations.

Recently, the Syrian government accused Washington of providing support for Daesh and other terrorist groups in the country, including intelligence allowing the militants to attack Syrian army positions. Syrian state media, such as the SANA news agency, have also repeatedly reported that US helicopters evacuated Daesh jihadists from several areas across Deir ez-Zor, with wounded militants allegedly being sent to receive medical assistance from Medecins Sans Frontieres doctors.

According to Damascus, US air power has purportedly been used on numerous occasions to rescue terrorist leaders from elimination at the hands of the government army, and even to stage “accidental” attacks on Syrian troops as they advanced against the terrorists.

The US-led anti-Daesh coalition kicked off its campaign in Syria in 2014 without a UN mandate or the country’s government’s consent. Damascus has repeatedly denounced the offensive as a violation of its sovereignty, reiterating that Washington and its allies were never invited into the country by the internationally recognized government of President Bashar al-Assad.

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

UK, US De Facto Confirmed Support of Syria Terrorists – Russian Diplomat

Sputnik – 05.03.2018

The United Kingdom and the United States de facto confirmed their support of terrorists in Syria by rejecting Russian amendments for the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the situation in Eastern Ghouta, Russian permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov told Sputnik.

“The amendments which we introduced should have been supported by all states which do not want the conflict to escalate, and those who sincerely want to achieve the resolution of the Syrian crisis and elimination of the terrorist threat. But the conclusion may be drawn that those who initiated this resolution are not interested in the resolution of the Eastern Ghouta crisis, and de facto continue supporting militants turning a blind eye to their crimes,” he said.

In a separate comment, Aleksei Goltiaev, a Senior Counselor at the Russian mission to the UN Office Geneva, said Monday that Moscow considers the UN HRC statement on the situation in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta “disconnected from the situation on the ground.”

The council voted in favor of adopting the UK-proposed draft resolution, rejecting amendments proposed by Russia. As many as 29 members of the council voted in favor of adopting the document, four officials voted against and 14 abstained.

Moscow proposed adding clauses to the resolution that states condemn all terrorist acts in Syria, including those in East Ghouta, and refuse to provide any support for terrorists on the territory of the country. Therefore, the refusal of the HRC members to accept Russia’s amendments shall be regarded by Moscow as an outright demonstration of support for terrorists.

In addition, Moscow had appealed to the states participating in the vote to add to the text of the resolution a paragraph on the crimes of militants against civilians in East Ghouta and to include a clause on humanitarian corridors to ensure the safe evacuation of civilians.

The draft resolution set forth by the UK condemns the massive violation of human rights in Syria. In particular, London proposed condemning attacks on medical facilities and civilian infrastructure, “airstrikes against civilians,” and the “alleged use of chemical weapons in East Ghouta.”

The vote in the HRC on the UK-proposed draft comes after, on February 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2401 introducing a 30-day truce on the entire territory of Syria to ensure the safety of humanitarian aid and the medical evacuation of those injured. However, the ceasefire regime does not cover military operations against the Daesh, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups.

The humanitarian situation in the suburb east of the Syrian capital has drastically deteriorated since February 18, when Syrian government forces launched an operation codenamed “Damascus Steel,” in a bid to clear the region of militants. According to the Russian military, the terrorist groups in the region are purposely struggling to escalate the situation in East Ghouta, preventing civilians from leaving the area and provoking retaliatory fights against the Syrian government.

READ MORE:

What Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You About Eastern Ghouta

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Choppers Reportedly Transport Daesh Terrorists to Syrian Training Camp

Sputnik – February 26, 2018

A new report by Syrian media about the evacuation of Daesh militants adds to the growing evidence that the US is using its aviation to assist terrorists.

According to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, the US has evacuated Daesh leaders from the Al-Shaddadah area in the northeastern al-Hasakah Governorate using its helicopters.

The extremists have been transported to Sabah al-Khair, a base located 20 km south of the city of al-Hasakah, which US forces use to train militants, the civilian sources said as cited by SANA.

The sources added that the helicopters dropped off four senior Daesh terrorists, including one holding Belgian nationality.

They also noted that the evacuation occurred amid reports on social media accounts held by terrorists that the militant called “Abu Qasim al-Iraqi” had disappeared along with his wife and a bodyguard as well as a large amount of money.

The reports of US collusion with extremists emerge on a regular basis. On February 21, an anonymous source from al-Hasakah told Sputnik that local residents had witnessed US helicopters landing on the territory of a local prison and then leaving; the source explained that the flights were for the evacuation of radicals.Earlier in November 2017, reports had emerged saying that “US military aviation” was used to take Daesh commanders from the town of al-Mayadin just before it was recaptured by the Syrian army.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said that the US-led coalition was engaged in the training of  former Daesh and Nusra Front terrorists on a base near al-Hasakah in order to create the new militant formation called the “New Syrian Army.”

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Chlorine attack reported in Syria after Russian warning

Press TV – February 26, 2018

A suspected new chemical attack has reportedly hit the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta just after Russia warned that militants were planning a gas attack there to pin it on the Syrian government.

Militant sources were quoted as saying that several people suffered symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine gas in the al-Shayfouniya area on Sunday, and one child was killed.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is sympathetic to militants, said 14 civilians had suffered breathing difficulties after a Syrian warplane struck the village in the Eastern Ghouta region.

The London-based center quoted victims, ambulance drivers and others as saying that they had smelt chlorine after “an enormous explosion” in the area.

“At least 18 victims were treated with oxygen nebulizing sessions,” Reuters news agency quoted an unidentified militant source as saying.

The Syrian government has consistently denied using chemical weapons in the war that will soon enter its eighth year.

For years, foreign-backed militants have appeared to release chemical substances in the areas close to the site of government airstrikes and capture the aftermath on videos.

On Sunday, videos released by militants depicted a child’s corpse wrapped in a blue shroud, and several bare chested men and young boys appearing to struggle for breath, with some holding nebulizers to their mouths and noses.

The suspected gas attack came just after the Russian Defense Ministry warned Sunday that militants were preparing to use toxic agents in Eastern Ghouta so they could later accuse Damascus of employing chemical weapons.

Last April, the United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria in response to what it claimed was a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 100 people.

The Syrian army is currently in the midst of an operation to drive violent Takfiri militants out of Eastern Ghouta from where they launch mortar attacks on Damascus.

A ceasefire announced by the UN Security Council on Saturday does not apply to the areas held by Daesh, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front along with “individuals, groups, undertakings and entities” associated with the terrorist groups.

On Sunday, Iran’s Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said that the architects of the ceasefire had it passed at the UN in order to forestall the Syrian army’s eradication of terrorists in the Damascus suburbs.

“The West and supporters of the terrorists insisted that this ceasefire be put in place,” he said of the resolution which demands a 30-day ceasefire across Syria to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

“We will adhere to the ceasefire resolution; Syria will also adhere,” Baqeri said, while noting that parts of the suburbs of Damascus, which are held by the terrorists, are not covered by the ceasefire and clean-up operations will continue there.

The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry.

Western governments and their allies however have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack has taken place.

In April, a suspected sarin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, taking at least 80 lives. Accusing Damascus, the US then launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.

Earlier in February, French President Emmanuel Macron said if the use of chemical weapons against civilians were proven in Syria, “France will strike.”

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation Comes Under Massive Fire

Sputnik – 20.02.2018

Sputnik has received reports that the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, a peace monitoring and humanitarian organization jointly run by Russia and Turkey, came under attack on Tuesday. No Russian casualties were reported from the incident, but Syrian civilians have been reported dead and injured.

“Residential areas, hotels in Damascus, as well as the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation came under massive shelling by illegal armed groups operating in East Ghouta area today, causing significant infrastructural damage and casualties among the civilian population,” the center said in a statement.

“There are no casualties among the Russian military personnel,” the statement added.

The center was founded with the stated aim of speeding peace negotiations between the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups. All parties in the Syrian Civil War besides Islamist terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front have consented to the center’s creation, including the US and its Syrian and Kurdish allies.

The center is hosted at Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia Governorate — around 200 miles north of Damascus. In December 2017, the base was targeted by a mortar attack which reportedly killed two Russian military personnel. A week later, in January 2018, the base was the target of an unsuccessful drone attack.

February 20, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Is There a ‘Secret US Hand’ Supporting Daesh in Afghanistan?

Sputnik – February 16, 2018

Commenting on the claim made by the Iranian military that the US has provided direct assistance to Daesh in Afghanistan, political analyst Ahmad Wahid Mozhda told Sputnik that many Afghan politicians and ordinary Afghans are saying the same thing. According to the observer, the US’s likely goal is to cause problems for the country’s neighbors.

Speaking to Sputnik Dari, Ahmad Wahid Mozhda, a political scientist and former Mujahedeen commander, explained that many Afghans believe in the presence of a ‘mysterious foreign hand’ in their country helping to consolidate Daesh’s position.

“Many members of Afghanistan’s parliament, as well as ordinary citizens, are saying that Daesh terrorists are being brought here by unidentified helicopters. There is a great deal of evidence to support this,” Mozhda said. “Afghans believe in a kind of ‘mysterious hand’ working to strengthen Daesh’s positions,” he added.

Mozhda challenged the US’s long-standing assertion that fighting terror was its main mission in Afghanistan, and pointed out that in its 17 years of fighting, the US has not only suffered significant material and personnel losses, but has not been unable to win this war. On the contrary, he noted, the number of terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan has grown exponentially.

“It’s worth keeping in mind that when the US sent its forces to Afghanistan in 2001, their main goal was the destruction of al-Qaeda, which at that moment was the only terrorist group in the country. 17 years have passed, and now Afghanistan has over twenty terrorist groups…. Why, with the US having spent a trillion dollars on this war, and the international coalition losing about 4,000 troops, has the war not ended?… Why did [even a] 150,000-strong international coalition troop presence fail to ensure Afghanistan’s security?”

Mozhda also pointed to the steep rise in drug production in Afghanistan since 2001. “The Americans are saying that drugs fuel terrorism, and that [terrorists] receive income from drug production. Over the past 17 years, there has not been any serious struggle against drug production and drug trafficking in Afghanistan, even though this serious problem clearly exists.”

All this, the observer says, “gives rise to a number of questions regarding the fight against terrorism, which has not been successful in Afghanistan.

“Ultimately, Mozhda indicated that concerns from Iran and other countries with the possibility of US intrigue in Afghanistan were fully justified, since unlike the Taliban, which limits its activities to one country, Daesh is bent on destabilizing the entire region.

“Unlike the Taliban, who did not have an international program, Daesh’s goals are to create problems in neighboring countries, including China or the Central Asian countries.”

In this light, “the goal of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan is to create a threat to the countries of the region – to Iran, Russia and China, countries which have difficult relations with the USA,” the analyst concluded.

Last week, Iranian Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff Mohammad Baqeri accused the US of transferring Daesh militants from their crumbling caliphate into Afghanistan. “When the Americans realized that Daesh and [other] terrorist groups lost the territories they had previously occupied in Iraq and Syria, they transported them, by various means, to Afghanistan, and we are now witnessing the explosions, terror and new crimes being committed in Afghanistan,” the officer said.

The Iranian military’s claims follow on similar charges made earlier Russian officials, as well as remarks late last year by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who called Daesh a “tool” used by Washington to pursue its broader goals in the region.

Speaking to Sputnik Dari, Afghan Defense Ministry press secretary Dawlat Waziri denied Baqeri’s claims. On the contrary, he noted, “the Americans help us destroy the Daesh terrorists, as well as other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.” Waziri stressed that the US military contingent in Afghanistan was crucial to the country’s security, and noted that the US provides valuable training, consultations and planning assistance to the Afghan military, as well as direct air and ground support against the terrorists.

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russian Journalists Blow Lid Off Alleged US Terrorist Training Network in Syria

Sputnik – January 14, 2018

Two Russian Syria-embedded journalists have put together a damning firsthand report on the true purpose of the secrecy-laden US military mission at At-Tanf, southern Syria.

The Pentagon was forced to go into full public relations mode late last month amid fresh allegations by the Russian General Staff that US instructors were providing training assistance for some 350 ex-Daesh (ISIS) militants at the US Army’s al-Tanf garrison in the southern Syrian province of Homs. Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov accused Washington of intending to use the militants to create a so-called ‘New Syrian Army’, a military formation aimed at further destabilizing the war-torn country after Daesh had been defeated.

A Pentagon spokesperson soon responded, telling Sputnik that Moscow’s allegations were “false and absurd,” and stressing that the US and its allies engage in capturing and killing Daesh, not training them.

In a special investigative report for Russia’s Federal News Agency, embedded Syria correspondents Igor Petrashevich and Roman Martynovich made their way south to try to figure out what was really going on in the US-occupied area with their own eyes.

Al-Tanf, a settlement situated near Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan, is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq, and the main border checkpoint along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. Intense fighting for the area took place in the spring and summer of 2017, as US-allied militia attempted to solidify their foothold in southern Syria. However, a Syrian Army counteroffensive backed by Russian air power stopped the militants’ advance, prompting them and their US-led coalition allies to secure a patch of territory running about 55 km deep into Syria.

Late last month, General Gerasimov pointed to al-Tanf as being one of two staging areas for the continuation of an armed struggle against the Syrian government by the jihadists, with the other located at Shaddadi camp, under the control of Kurdish forces operating in Syria’s north. According to the general, the al-Tanf militants, many former members of Daesh, were brought into the area by US special forces from Deir ez-Zor province, where Daesh had suffered total defeat.

According to Petrashevich and Martynovich, the presence of these former Daesh fighters made local residents wary of helping them to make their way into the US military-administered enclave. “A young man named Marshod warned our correspondents about this and said that two of his own attempts to make his way to a nearby village beyond the line of demarcation led to threats against his life from militants guarding the enclave’s inner perimeter.”

Undeterred, the journalists continued their investigation via interviews with eyewitnesses and representatives of the Syrian military stationed in the region.

There May Be Close to Four Times as Many Militants as Previously Estimated

Although the Russian military conservatively estimated the presence of roughly 350 Daesh militants at al-Tanf, Syrian military sources speaking to Patrashevich and Martynovich explained that the number may, in fact, be upwards of 1,200 fighters, some 200 of them Daesh jihadis brought to the area by US special forces, mostly from Deir ez-Zor province. Other forces include the so-called ‘New Syrian Army’, the Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo (formally part of the Free Syrian Army), and the Martyrs of Islam Brigade (an Islamist group). According to the Syrian military, these forces’ armament includes large-caliber mortars, anti-tank missiles, tanks and other heavy weaponry.

The New Syrian Army, commanded by one Mekhenda Talla, reportedly has a strained relationship with the other formations, who cooperate with his forces only on a for cash basis.

“In general, the relationship between the militants from the individual groups is quite tense, as civilian testimony makes clear,” Patrashevich and Martynovich wrote. “One local, a man named Amjad Sahim, who managed to escape the US-controlled territory to neighboring Damascus Governate, told us that he and his brothers witnessed clashes between the NSA forces moving toward the border and former Daesh fighters attempting to leave the area into Jordanian territory. As a result of the clashes, the small group of Daesh terrorists was completely wiped out.”

Furthermore, the journalists’ Syrian Army source said that other members of the US-led coalition were also deployed in the area, with about 400 mercenaries, intelligence operatives and members of the special forces of the UK, France, Jordan, and possibly other countries, operating in the region. These forces’ arsenal includes HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, as well as anti-aircraft artillery, tasked with defending the US base.

‘Passive Reserve’ of 5,000 More Jihadists

Local freelance journalists told Patrashevich and Martynovich that in addition to the so-called ‘active reserve’ of militants, the US and its allies also has a passive one.

“While the main jihadists are based at the US Armed Forces base and receive a monthly allowance, another 5,000 Islamists reside at the Rukban refugee camp, some still armed and in contact with their field commanders. Last November, militants began voicing their dissatisfaction with the noticeable decline in US funding. As a result, the al-Tanf base’s command, fearing military insurrection, decided to pay out a severance payment of several thousand dollars to each fighter, and gave them the right to remain inside the enclave in the tent camp zone.”

As for the New Syrian Army, their job, according to a Syrian Army serviceman stationed near the front line, includes guard duty at checkpoints along the makeshift border, and defense of the perimeter of the al-Tanf base and the Rukban camp. Talla’s troops maintain discipline over the other units via payments for the performance of various duties.

Life in Region a Living Hell for Civilians

Speaking to locals, Patrashevich and Martynovich were told that the jihadists’ presence in the region has had a severe impact on civilian life. In the town of Al-Qaryatayn, the correspondents met with Farah Alhamsih, a young woman who had lived outside al-Tanf before managing to escape the area once it fell under US and jihadist control.

According to Alhamsih, while some militants engaged in “building homes or carried out shooting practice, most of them, left almost without a livelihood, robbed local houses, or trucks passing along the Damascus-Baghdad highway.” According to the eyewitness, while US forces first tried to exert pressure on the radicals or even evict them from the Rukban camp, they eventually gave up, closing their eyes to their criminal activities.

Last fall, a group of some 300 Daesh militants carried out an offensive toward Al-Qaryatayn, successfully avoiding the Syrian Army’s hidden outposts using coordinates Moscow and Damascus later alleged were obtained through aerial reconnaissance provided by the US. Although the offensive was stopped, the Syrian military has concerns that new attacks may be in the offing. Furthermore, US and jihadi occupation of the area put important roads, including the Homs-Deir ez-Zor and Damascus-Palmyra highways, as well as strategically important oil and gas fields, under threat.

Russian officials have also voiced concerns about the state of the Rukban refugee camp, the Russian Center for Reconciliation describing the situation there as being close to ‘catastrophic,’ and the US military closing access to the camp to the UN and other humanitarian organizations. Thus far, Patrashevich and Martynovich recalled, “any attempts by Syrian government convoys or pro-Russian forces to come close to the enclave have been met with airstrikes by the US coalition.” This includes incidents in May and June 2017.

Sahim, the local man now living in Damascus Governate, confirmed to the journalists that the humanitarian situation in the US-occupied territory is approaching desperate, with basic foodstuffs and other necessities unavailable, while militants have seized local wells, selling water to locals at marked up prices.

“When I was very thirsty, I had to spend a fortune. A bottle of water which could earlier be bought for 50 lira is sold by the terrorists for 500. And people buy it. What else could they do? Many parents tried to save their children. I know several local families who gave away their girls for marriage just to get them out of the area,” Sahim recalled.

The eyewitness added that when locals tried to organize to get the attention of US military command about arranging the supply of necessities, their requests fell on deaf ears. This, combined with the lack of any effort to rein in the militants, has given rise to anti-American sentiments, as well as hopes for cooperation with the Syrian government or even representatives of the Russian military.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation has offered to assist refugees from the Rukban camp. Despite the absence of any security guarantees from the US side, and the presence of roaming jihadist militants in the region, last month, Center representatives assisted in the evacuation of a small group of refugees from the camp. The reporters captured the evacuation on video.

For now, Patrashevich and Martynovich noted, the fate of the occupied Syrian enclave is in American hands. So long as the illegal US occupation of the border area continues, Damascus will not be able to rest easy with regard to the security of its southern territories.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Daesh declares war on Palestine’s Hamas resistance movement

Press TV – January 5, 2018

The Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has released a new execution video, declaring war on the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement based in Gaza.

The video, released Wednesday, purports to show the execution of a man who Daesh claims cooperated with Hamas’ armed wing.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said one of the militants in the video.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh, known as the Sinai Province, is notorious for its brutal massacres, including the Sinai 2015 plane crash which killed 224 passengers and mass killing of over 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history.

The video comes as Hamas has been cooperating with Egyptian security forces to restore stability to Sinai, which borders Gaza.

In October, the Palestinian resistance movement arrested four senior Daesh terrorists in Sinai.

In July 2015, Daesh released a video saying that it would overthrow Hamas “tyrants” for their perceived lack of religious rulings in Gaza.

Takfiri groups such as Daesh have never attacked Israel despite operating close to Syria’s borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is widely believed to be supporting terrorists in Syria by launching airstrikes against various targets there from time to time.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies, which have been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria, have repeatedly been accused of providing logistic support and air cover for Daesh terrorists.

Daesh, however, lost all the territory under its control in Syria and Iraq late last year.

January 5, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Syrian Army Thwarts Israeli Plan to Control Mutual Border

Sputnik – 30.12.2017

On Saturday buses arrived in the villages of Mugr al-Mir and Mazaria Beit Jinn in the so-called ‘Hernon Pocket’ to transport the fighters of al-Nusra Front to Idlib and Daraa governorates. The pocket extended into government-held territory southwest of Damascus from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. According to a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) military strategic analyst, Brig. Gen. Heitham Hassun, the move will help liberate the southwestern part of Syria from terrorists.

“This will allow [the SAA] to free the entire southwestern region of Damascus from terrorists,” Brig. Gen. Hassun told Sputnik Arabic. “It is especially important to take under the SAA’s control [the territories] north of the province of Quneitra, which the Israelis had planned to manage with the assistance of the militants. Now, by retaking Mugr al-Mir and Mazaria Beit Jinn, the army will be able to conduct an operation to liberate all the terrorist-controlled areas adjacent to the occupied Golan Heights.”

The local government managed to strike a deal with the al-Nusra jihadists through intermediaries on joining the program of reconciliation and establish a ceasefire regime in the area. The victories of the SAA, which allowed the government forces to gain control over the dominant terrain, contributed to the success of the talks.

According to the military analyst, residents of local villages are making every effort to facilitate the advancement of the Syrian government forces. For instance, they provide information to the SAA about the location and the numerical force of jihadists.

Brig. Gen. Hassun said that, for its part, Israel is providing the extremists with intelligence concerning Syrian government troops. Additionally, the Israelis continue to supply weapons to terrorist groups and provide fire support if necessary, the military analyst underscored. It appears that Syria’s southern neighbor is unwilling to give up its plans for this part of Syria, the brigadier general suggested.

The Golan Heights remain an apple of discord for Damascus and Tel Aviv, prompting tit-for-tat strikes in border areas. Israel’s occupation of the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights (known in Syria as Quneitra governorate) prevents the states from signing a peace treaty. The annexation of the disputed area started during the Six-Day War in 1967 and has been repeatedly condemned by the UN in 1981 and 2008.

The eastern Golan Heights, which remained in Syrian hands following the Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, became the target of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, as well as Daesh terrorists and other Syrian opposition forces, during the ongoing war.

Meanwhile, according to Sputnik’s source, on Friday the Syrian government forces expelled terrorists from the Abu Dali settlement in the north-east of Hama province.

Located on the border between Hama and Idlib, the settlement was used by the terrorists to disrupt the supplies from one city to another.

The SAA continues to crack down on terrorists following Russia’s partial withdrawal from Syria after a two-year-long aerial campaign. The decision to pull out was announced on December 11 by Russian President Putin, who specified, however, that the bases in Tartus and Hmeymim, as well as the center for Syrian reconciliation, would continue to operate.

On December 26, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signaled that Russia has started to form a permanent group in Syria’s Tartus and Hmeymim. The Russian military contingent is armed with advanced weaponry systems including the cutting edge S-400 system, while S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, as well as the Bastion coastal missile systems with cruise missiles.

December 31, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US-led coalition securing Daesh terrorists, targeting civilians: Syria

Press TV – December 14, 2017

Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has censured the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh terrorist group, saying the military alliance is indeed targeting civilian facilities and providing the extremists with cover.

In two separate letters addressed to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council, Koro Bessho, on Thursday, the ministry stated that the US-led coalition has been pretending to fight Daesh, but it has, in fact, been transporting the terrorists from one part of Syria to another and securing them.

The letters further noted that Daesh terrorists have been purged from most regions in Syria only through counter-terrorism operations conducted by government troops and allied fighters from popular defense groups.

They also criticized the so-called advocates of human rights and rule of law for turning a blind eye to the atrocities the US-led coalition is perpetrating in Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.

Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported on Thursday that US-led air raids had claimed the lives of at least 23 civilians, mostly children and women, in the al-Jurze Sharqi village of Dayr al-Zawr province the previous evening.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

On October 11, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the US-led coalition was trying to destroy the Arab country and prolong the armed conflict there.

Muallem stated that Damascus would demand the dissolution of the military contingent, stressing that thousands of Syrian women and children had been killed by coalition airstrikes in Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment