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US army accuses RT of ‘ridiculous misinformation’ over Syria, but not UN or NBC

FILE PHOTO. © Aboud Hamam / Reuters
RT | August 28, 2018

A US Army colonel has accused RT of ‘ridiculous misinformation’ for reporting a Russian government suggestion that Islamic State is operating inside a US-controlled zone in Syria, despite the UN and NBC reporting the same.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told journalists that Moscow has received information that armed members of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and the Al-Qaeda proxy group Jabhat al-Nusra had found shelter in the Rukban refugee camp, located in the southwest Al-Tanf region of Syria, and that the US knows the terrorists are there.

Don’t be distracted by ridiculous misinformation from @RT_com. The #Coalition is focused on #defeatISIS mission & we continue to work with @MaghaweirThowra to secure the #AlTanf region in southern #Syria. @CJTFOIR@oirdcomsshttps://t.co/8vcbh82CVD

— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) August 26, 2018

Army Colonel Sean Ryan who is the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the snappy name for the US-led coalition against IS, took to the one battleground that really matters, Twitter. He accused RT of ‘ridiculous misinformation’. It’s not entirely clear which part of the report he believes is misinformation; the fact that the Foreign Ministry said the statement in the first place, that terrorists are operating in Rukban, or that the US knows all about it.

If he’s got a problem with the information coming from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, then he should direct his objections that way. It is generally accepted in the world of journalism that quoting the statement of a government official is not ‘misinformation’, it’s actually just reporting the news. Attempting to undermine good faith reporting, well that actually is ‘misinformation’.

More worrying would be if Colonel Ryan is saying the US actually knows nothing about terrorists operating in and around the Rukban refugee camp, because that would make the US military the only organisation in the region that hasn’t noticed. That’s even more concerning when you consider the stated US goal of being in Syria is to fight IS rebels.

For the benefit of Colonel Ryan, here are a few people who have noticed the slightly dodgy looking gun-toting terrorists who appear to be putting together cells under their noses.

NBC’s Bill Neely was given access to the area around the Rukban camp, but he reported that his Jordanian helicopter pilot refused to fly over it “for fear of being shot down by ISIS cells in the camp.”

The NBC report goes on to quote the commander of Jordan’s army in the area as saying “militants there have whole weapons systems … small arms, RPGs, anti-aircraft.” Brigadier General Sami Kafawin describes how the militants “consider the camp a safe haven. We consider it an imminent threat.”

Jordan is a US ally at the last time of checking, perhaps Colonel Ryan should phone someone up there.

Earlier this month, the UN named the Rukban refugee camp as being among hotspots ripe for the reemergence of IS. For the sake of Colonel Ryan, he can find a link to the UN report here.

The camp is close to the Jordanian border which was closed because of constant terrorist activity. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that terrorists working in such a remote region might see some opportunities in a nearby camp of 80,000 desperate people.

So, what’s really going on here? When a report from RT is branded misinformation by a US colonel who is responsible for less-than-transparent operations in a distant part of Syria, readers may be well advised to read the contents of that report, and future reports, very carefully. Serving military leaders are not well known for being open with information. However, it’s nice to see that Colonel Ryan is getting some of his news from RT.com.

Publicly criticising outlets like RT has nothing to do with pointing out misinformation, but everything to do with undermining different sources of information which are not singing to your tune.

RT has written to Colonel Ryan in an attempt to clarify his comments, but has not received a reply at the time of writing. It can’t be ruled out that he hasn’t noticed the email.

Read more:

ISIS given ‘breathing space’ in parts of Syria under US-backed forces’ control

August 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Trump Regime Continues Supporting ISIS

By Stephen LENDMAN | August 18, 2018

US support for ISIS is an open dirty secret – undiscussed by media scoundrels, pretending it’s not so.

Washington actively arms, funds, trains, and directs ISIS and other terrorists – backing the scourge they pretend to oppose.

Obama and Trump’s vow to degrade and destroy ISIS was and remains a bald-faced lie, using these and other cutthroat killers as proxy fighters in Syria and other countries where they’re deployed – their presence unjustifiably justifying illegal US occupation of northeast and southwest Syrian territory.

Last November, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the following:

“The Abu Kamal liberation operation conducted by the Syrian government army with air cover by the Russian Aerospace Force at the end of the last week revealed facts of direct cooperation and support for ISIS terrorists by the US-led ‘international coalition.”

“Americans peremptorily rejected to conduct airstrikes over the ISIS terrorists on the pretext of the fact that, according to their information, militants are yielding themselves prisoners to them and now are subject to the provisions of the Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.”

US-led “coalition’s aviation tried to create obstacles for the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces in this area to safely shield militants of the Islamic State.”

“There is indisputable evidence that the United States pretends it is waging irreconcilable struggle against international terrorism in front of the international community, while in reality it provides cover for the combat-ready Islamic State groups to let them regain strength, regroup themselves and advance US interests in the Middle East.”

Washington directly aids ISIS and other terrorist fighters, deploying them where Pentagon commanders want them used, relocating them to new conflict zones in Syria and other countries.

Iran has credible documents showing US support for ISIS. Its armed forces deputy chief of staff Major General Mostafa Izadi earlier said “(w)e are facing a proxy warfare in the region as a new trick by the arrogant (US-led) powers against the Islamic Republic,” adding:

“We possess information showing direct support by US imperialism for (ISIS) in the region which has destroyed Islamic countries and created a wave of massacres and clashes.”

Separately, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned Washington for “align(ing) itself with ISIS in the region.”

So-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are infested with ISIS and other terrorists. Washington’s objective in Syria remains regime change – why the Obama regime launched naked aggression in the country, continued by Trump regime dark forces in charge of Washington’s geopolitical agenda.

A new Security Council report showed renewed ISIS strength in parts of Syria controlled by US forces and allies, saying:

ISIS terrorists have “breathing space to prepare for the next phase of its evolution into a global covert network.”

Aided by the Trump regime and allied forces, they control “small pockets of territory in the Syrian Arab Republic on the Iraqi border.”

Russia’s General Staff earlier accused the Pentagon of training ISIS and other terrorists at its illegally established At Tanf base in southwest Syria – calling it a staging ground for US armed struggle against the Syrian government.

ISIS and other terrorists infest the Rukban refugee camp controlled by US Forces, holding tens of thousands of defenseless Syrians hostage, using the camp to recruit anti-government terrorists.

On August 15, AMN News said US-led forces “transported over 250 trucks filled with weapons (and other military hardware) to the Euphrates River Valley this morning” – intended for Syrian Democratic Forces terrorists in Deir Ezzor province, adding:

Washington is “expand(ing) (its) bases and airports in northern and eastern Syria” – indicating US forces will remain in the country, not leave, as Trump earlier said.

Separately on August 18, AMN News said Washington and its allies “sent reinforcements to their military bases in the towns of Tal Tamer, Al-Houl, and Al-Shaddadi.”

Syria’s liberating struggle continues, no end of it in sight as long as US regime change intentions remain unchanged.

August 19, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

ISIS given ‘breathing space’ in parts of Syria under US-backed forces’ control

© Aboud Hamam / Reuters
RT | August 18, 2018

Islamic State managed to regain access to Syrian oil fields and make profits from selling oil, a new UN report reveals. While the UN did not point fingers, the IS reemergence seems to occur in areas held by the US-backed forces.

“Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS], having been defeated militarily in Iraq and most of the Syrian Arab Republic during 2017, rallied in early 2018. This was the result of a loss of momentum by forces fighting it in the east of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the recent report from the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Team reads. The document is dated July 27, but was only released to the public this week.

The slow-down gave IS “breathing space to prepare for the next phase of its evolution into a global covert network.” As of June 2018, the terrorist group has been controlling “small pockets of territory in the Syrian Arab Republic on the Iraqi border,” effectively carrying on with its quasi-state ways.

“[IS] was able to extract and sell some oil, and to mount attacks, including across the border into Iraq,” the reports stated, adding that the terrorist group regained “access to some oil fields in northeastern” Syria.

While the report did not specify which forces exactly were having troubles with “momentum,” northeastern Syria is located on the left bank of the Euphrates river, controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia backed by the US-led coalition.

Regaining control of the oil fields allowed IS to yet again make oil profits a significant source of revenue. The report also vaguely stated that IS continues to impose “taxes” on civilians “in areas it controls, as well as in contested areas,” as well as to kidnap local businessmen for ransom.

Apart from strengthening of IS-held “pockets” in northeastern Syria, the report also listed a number of hotspots in Syria, which might be sources of further IS reemergence. Among them, the UN named the Rukban refugee camp, located near the Al-Tanf US military base. Other IS-infested places listed in the report include unspecified locations in the Aleppo province and an area controlled by an IS-affiliated group in the Deraa province. The latter, however, was already eradicated late in July during the Syrian Army offensive in the south-west of the country.

The issue of the Rukban refugee camp has been repeatedly raised by Moscow and Damascus, who repeatedly urged the US to cooperate. Earlier in August, Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, the head of operations of the Russian General Staff, described Rukban as place where “people are living in harsh conditions and where terrorists find shelter.”

“Our American partners should provide humanitarian access to Rukban as soon as possible, provide passage for the refugees to their home areas and withdraw the base from Al-Tanf,” Rudskoy stated.

August 18, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

How NATO-linked Think Tanks Control EU Refugee Policy

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 27.04.2016

A flood of uncontrolled war refugees from Syria, Libya, Tunisia and other Islamic countries destabilized by Washington’s ‘Arab Spring’ Color Revolutions, has created the greatest social dislocation across the EU from Germany to Sweden to Croatia since the end of World War II. By now it has become clear to most that something quite sinister is afoot, something which threatens to destroy the social fabric of the very core of European civilization. What few realize is that the entire drama is being orchestrated, not by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or by faceless EU bureaucrats of the Brussels EU Commission. It is being orchestrated by a cabal of NATO-linked think tanks.

Last October 8, 2015 amid the great stream of hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding into Germany from Syria, Tunisia, Libya and other lands, a newly self-confident German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed on a popular German TV program, “I have a plan.” She took the occasion to take a sharp dig at coalition partner, Bavarian CSU head, Horst Seehofer, a stauch critic of Merkel’s open arms refugee position since spring 2015 that saw more than one million refugees enter Germany last year alone.

Since that point, with iron-hard resolve, the German Chancellor has defended the criminal Erdogan regime in Turkey, an essential partner in her “plan.”

Most of the world has looked on with astonishment as she ignored principles of free speech and decided to prosecute publicly a well-known German TV comedian, Jan Böhmermann, for his satirical remarks about the Turkish President. They were astonished as the symbol of European democracy, the German Chancellor, chose to ignore Erdogan’s imprisonment of opposition journalists and his shutting of Turk opposition media as he proceeded with plans to establish a de facto dictatorship rule within Turkey. They were puzzled as Berlin’s government chose to ignore overwhelming proof that Erdogan and his family were materially aiding and abetting ISIS terrorists within Syria who were in fact creating the war refugee crisis. They were astonished to see her push through an EU commitment to give Erdogan’s regime billions of euros to supposedly deal with the refugee flow from Turkish refugee camps across the border into EU neighbor land, Greece and beyond.

The Merkel Plan

All of those seemingly inexplicable actions from the once-pragmatic German leader appear to go back to her embrace of a 14-page document prepared by a network of pro-NATO think-tanks, brazenly titled “The Merkel Plan.”

What the newly-self-confident German Chancellor did not tell her hostess, Anne Will, or her viewers was that “her” plan was given to her just four days earlier, on October 4, in a document already titled The Merkel Plan, by a newly-created and obviously well-financed international think-tank called the European Stability Initiative or ESI. The ESI website showed that it had offices in Berlin, Brussels and in Istanbul, Turkey

Suspiciously, the authors of the ESI plan titled their plan as if it had come from the German Chancellor’s office and not from them. More suspicious is the contents of The Merkel Plan of ESI. In addition to already taking more than one million refugees in 2015, Germany should “agree to grant asylum to 500,000 Syrian refugees registered in Turkey over the coming 12 months.” In addition, “Germany should accept claims from Turkey… and provide safe transport to successful applicants… already registered with the Turkish authorities…” And finally, “Germany should agree to help Turkey obtain visa-free travel in 2016.”

That so-called Merkel Plan was a product of US and NATO-linked think tanks and of governments of NATO member countries or prospective members. The maxim “follow the money trail” is instructive in this case to see who really runs the EU today.

The ESI

The ESI came out of NATO-led efforts to transform South East Europe following the US-instigated war in Yugoslavia during the 1990’s that resulted in the Balkanization of the country and establishment of a major USA and NATO airbase, Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo.

Current ESI Chairman directly responsible for the final Merkel Plan document is Istanbul-based Austrian sociologist, Gerald Knaus. Knaus is also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and an Open Society Fellow.

Founded in London in 2007, the ECFR is an imitation of the influential New York Council on Foreign Relations, the think-tank created by the Rockefeller and JP Morgan bankers during the 1919 Versailles peace talks to coordinate an Anglo-American global foreign policy. Significantly, the creator and moneybags for the ECFR is American multi-billionaire and Color Revolution funder, George Soros. In virtually every US State Department-backed Color Revolution since the collapse of the Soviet Union, including in Serbia in 2000, in Ukraine, in Georgia, in China, in Brazil and in Russia, George Soros and offshoots of his Open Society Foundations have been in the shadows financing “democracy” NGOs and activists to install pro-Washington and pro-NATO regimes.

The select members, called Council Members or associates, of the London-based ECFR include ECFR co-chairman Joschka Fischer, former German Green Party Foreign Minister who arm-twisted his party into backing Bill Clinton’s illegal 1999 bombing of Serbia without UN Security Council backing.

Other members of the Council of Soros’ European Council on Foreign Relations think tank include former NATO Secretary General, Xavier Solana. It includes disgraced plaigarist and former German Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg; Annette Heuser, Executive Director Bertelsmann Stiftung in Washington DC; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman, Munich Security Conference; Cem Özdemir, chairman, Bündnis90/Die Grünen; Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, German Liberal Party (FDP) MP; Michael Stürmer, Chief Correspondent, Die Welt; Andre Wilkens, Director of Mercator Foundation; pederasty defender, Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the European Parliament. Cohn-Bendit, known as “Danny the Red” during the May, 1968 French student riots, was a member of the the autonomist group Revolutionärer Kampf (Revolutionary Struggle) in Rüsselsheim, Germany along with his close ally, now ECFR chairman, Joschka Fischer. The two went on to found the “realo” wing of the German Greens.

The Open Society Foundations is the network of tax-exempt “democracy-promoting” foundations created by George Soros on the collapse of the Soviet Union to promote “free market” pro-IMF market liberalization of former communist economies that opened the doors for the systematic plundering of invaluable mining and energy assets of those countries. Soros was a major financier of the liberal economic team of Boris Yeltsin including Harvard “Shock Therapy” economist, Jeffrey Sachs, and Yeltsin liberal adviser, Yegor Gaidar.

Already it becomes clear that the “Merkel Plan” is the Soros Plan in fact. But there is more if we wish to understand the darker agenda behind the plan.

The ESI Funders

The European Stability Initiative think-tank of Soros-tied Gerald Knaus is financed by an impressive list of donors. Their website lists them.

The list includes, in addition to Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Soros-tied German Stiftung Mercator, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. ESI funders also include European Commission. Then, curiously enough the funder list for The Merkel Plan includes an organization with the Orwellian name, The United States Institute of Peace.

Some research reveals that the United States Institute of Peace has anything but a peace-loving background. The United States Institute of Peace is chaired by Stephen Hadley, former US National Security Council adviser during the neo-conservative war-waging Bush-Cheney administration. Its Board of Directors includes Ashton B. Carter, current Obama Administration neo-conservative hawkish Secretary of Defense; Secretary of State John Kerry; Major General Frederick M. Padilla, President of the US National Defense University. These are some very seasoned architects of the US Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance strategy for world military domination.

The “Merkel Plan” authors at the European Stability Initative, in addition to the largesse of George Soros’ foundations, list as “core” funder, the German Marshall Fund of the United States. As I describe in my book, The Think Tanks, the German Marshall Fund is anything but German. With its seat in Washington, as I noted in the book, “It’s an American think tank with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. In point of fact, its agenda is the deconstruction of postwar Germany and more broadly of the sovereign states of the EU to fit them better into the Wall Street globalization agenda.”

The German Marshall Fund of Washington has been involved in the post-1990 USA agenda of regime change around the world in league with the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy, Soros Foundations, and the CIA front called USAID. As I describe it in the think tanks book, “The major focus of the German Marshall Fund according to its 2013 Annual Report was to support the US State Department agenda for so-called democracy-building operations in former communist countries in eastern and south-eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Black Sea. Significantly their work included Ukraine. In most instances, they worked together with the USAID, widely identified as a CIA front with ties to the State Department, and the Stewart Mott Foundation which gives funds to the US Government-funded National Endowment for Democracy.”

Notably, the same Stewart Mott Foundation is also a funder of the ESI-authored Merkel Plan, as is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

This all should give pause for reflection as to who and for what goals the Merkel-Erdogan deal for dealing with the EU refugee crisis is intended. Does the Rockefeller-Bush-Clinton faction in the United States intend to use it as a major social engineering experiment to create chaos and social conflict across the EU at the same time their NGOs such as the NED, Freedom House and the Soros Foundations are stirring things up in Syria and Libya and across the Islamic world? Is Germany, as former US presidential adviser and Rockefeller crony, Zbigniew Brzezinski called her, a “vassal” of US power in the post-1990 world? To date the evidence is pretty strong that that’s the case. The role of US and NATO-linked think tanks is central to get an understanding of how the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union are actually controlled from behind the Atlantic curtain.

August 12, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neocons Demand ‘Crushing’ Sanctions on Russia

By Ron Paul | August 6, 2018

You can always count on the neocons in Congress to ignore reality, ignore evidence, and ignore common sense in their endless drive to get us involved in another war. Last week, for example, Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-NC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and others joined up to introduce what Senator Graham called “the sanctions bill from hell,” aimed at applying “crushing” sanctions on Russia.

Senator Graham bragged that the bill would include “everything but the kitchen sink” in its attempt to ratchet up tensions with Russia.

Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO) bragged that the new sanctions bill “includes my language requiring the State Department to determine whether Russia merits the designation of a State Sponsor of Terror.”

Does he even know what the word “terrorism” means?

Sen Ben Cardin (D-MD) warns that the bill must be passed to strengthen our resolve against “Vladimir Putin’s pattern of corroding democratic institutions and values around the world, a direct and growing threat to US national security.”

What has Russia done that warrants “kitchen sink” sanctions that will “crush” the country and possibly designate it as a sponsor of terrorism? Sen. Menendez tells us: “The Kremlin continues to attack our democracy, support a war criminal in Syria, and violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

There is a big problem with these accusations on Russia: they’re based on outright lies and unproven accusations that continue to get more bizarre with each re-telling. How strange that when US Senators like Menendez demand that we stand by our NATO allies even if it means war, they attack Russia for doing the same in Syria. Is the Syrian president a “war criminal,” as he claims? We do know that his army is finally, with Russian and Iranian help, about to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, which with US backing for seven years have turned Syria into a smoking ruin. Does Menendez and his allies prefer ISIS in charge of Syria?

And how hypocritical for Menendez to talk about Russia violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. The unrest in Ukraine was started by the 2014 US-backed coup against an elected leader. We have that all on tape!

How is Russia “attacking our democracy”? We’re still waiting for any real evidence that Russia was involved in our 2016 elections and intends to become involved in our 2018 elections. But that doesn’t stop the propagandists, who claim with no proof that Russia was behind the election of Donald Trump.

These Senators claim that sanctions will bring the Russians to heel, but they are wrong. Sanctions are good at two things only: destroying the lives of innocent civilians and leading to war.

As I mentioned in an episode of my Liberty Report last week, even our own history shows that sanctions do lead to war and should not be taken lightly. In the run-up to US involvement in the War of 1812, the US was doing business with both France and the UK, which were at war with each other. When the UK decided that the US was favoring France in its commerce, it imposed sanctions on the US. What did Washington do in response? Declared war. Hence the War of 1812, which most Americans remember as that time when the British burned down the White House.

Recent polls show that the majority of Americans approve of President Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among Republicans, a vast majority support the meeting. Perhaps a good defeat in November will wake these neocon warmongers up. Let’s hope so!

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taliban claims victory over ISIS fighters in NW Afghanistan

RT | August 1, 2018

More than 150 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighters surrendered to Afghan security forces in the northwestern province of Jawzjan after they were defeated and driven out by the Taliban, government officials and Taliban said on Wednesday.

The defeat represents a major setback for the group. IS first appeared in eastern Afghanistan around four years ago and gained a foothold in southern Jawzjan, where it fought for control of smuggling routes into neighboring Turkmenistan, Reuters reports.

“The evil phenomenon of [IS] has completely been eliminated and people have been freed from its tortures in Jawzjan province of Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

The Taliban launched an offensive several weeks ago in Jawzjan against the group, which they oppose as much as they do the Western-backed government in Kabul.

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | 1 Comment

Aleppo – Earthquake

OffGuardian | June 20, 2018

This documentary covers the destruction and chaos of besieged and occupied Aleppo, from the time conflict first came to the city in 2012, all the way through to final liberation in 2016. Showing the full picture of the violence, destroyed lives and carnage visited upon one of the oldest seats of civilisation in the world.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 5 Comments

ISIL Blast Kills Dozens Celebrating Afghanistan Ceasefire

Al-Manar | June 17, 2018

The ISIL Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 36 people and wounded 65 others in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar.

The group’s Amaq website said the attack on Saturday targeted “a gathering of Afghan forces” in Nangarhar, but gave no details.

According to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman, the attack happened in Rodat district, some 25km from Jalalabad.

Civilians, security forces and Taliban members were among the casualties as people celebrated Eid Al-Fitr, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The attack came as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the government’s extension of a ceasefire with the Taliban, without giving a timeframe.

In a televised address to the nation, Ghani called for the Taliban to also extend the truce, which is due to expire on Sunday after both sides agreed to halt hostilities for Eid.

Ghani also said that in the spirit of Eid and the ceasefire, the attorney general’s office had released 46 Taliban prisoners.

The Taliban had announced a ceasefire for the first three days of Eid, which started on Friday, promising not to attack Afghan security forces for the first time since the 2001 US invasion.

That came after Ghani said that security forces would temporarily cease operations against the Taliban for eight days, starting last Tuesday – though he warned that operations against other fighters, including ISIL group, would continue.

Governors in Helmand, Kandahar and Zabul said both sides had adhered to the ceasefire.

June 17, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

An Iranian Perspective on the Battle for Syria

By Rick Sterling | Consortium News | May 17, 2018

West against East on the Syrian battle-field, in the newspapers and now on film: A new, full-length action movie, titled Damascus Time, gives an Iranian perspective on the battle against ISIS in Syria.

The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award-winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria. The pilots have come to help the townspeople escape in an aging Ilyushin cargo plane.

Syrian and Iraqi actors play Syrian civilians and ISIS terrorists hell bent on blowing up the plane or using it on a suicide mission against Damascus.

The movie portrays sensational scenes from real ISIS atrocities with a backdrop showing the Syrian desert and famous ruins of Palmyra. The city where civilians are surrounded and besieged is similar to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, which was surrounded and attacked by ISIS for years. During that time, the townspeople and soldiers depended on air-dropped food and ammunition to hold off the attackers, as shown in the movie.

Damascus Time’s jihadists display a human side, but they are wrapped in sectarianism, hate and violence.

Life’s complexities are demonstrated in the younger of the two Iranian pilots who has left his pregnant wife to be with his father. The mother-in-law of the young pilot bitterly criticizes him for leaving his wife. He tells her it will be his last trip.

While the story is fiction, what it portrays is all too real: Hundreds of thousands of real Syrians and Iraqis have been killed by the unleashing of the ISIS Frankenstein. Ironically, American leaders criticize Iran for being the “leading state sponsor of terrorism.” But in the Syrian war, Iran has been combatting it. Iran is more tolerant than most Westerners think too, as indeed Islam is. How many know for instance that Jews are represented in the Iranian parliament?

Western-backed Extremism

In reality, the U.S. and UK have allied for decades with extremists for short-term political gain. As documented in “Devil’s Game: How the U.S. Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam,” by Robert Dreyfuss, Britain and the U.S. promoted a violent and sectarian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood to undermine the nationalist and socialist policies of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Starting in 1979, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia promoted the founders of what became Al Qaeda to attack the socialist-leaning government of Afghanistan.

This policy has continued to the present. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency outlined their strategy in a secret document : “THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR).”The U.S. looked favorably on what the document predicts will be the creation of the “Islamic State”: “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.

Then, in a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S., rather than seriously fight Islamic State in Syria, was ready to use the growing strength of the jihadists to pressure Assad to resign, just as outlined in the DIA document.

“We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh [a derisive name for Islamic State] was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened,” Kerry said. “We thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”

Russia began its military intervention in late September 2015 without the United States, with the Kremlin’s motives made abundantly clear by Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials. But such clear explanations are rarely reported clearly by Western corporate media, which instead peddles the line from officials and think tanks that Russia is trying to recover lost imperial glory in the Middle East.

Who sponsors terrorism?

But Kerry knew why Russia intervened. “The reason Russia came in is because ISIL [another acronym for Islamic State] was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus, and that’s why Russia came in because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad,” he said in the leaked discussion. Kerry’s comment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to oust Assad.

The Biggest Sponsors

The true “state sponsor of terrorism” is not Iran; it is the West and their allies. Since Iran has been fighting ISIS and other extremists in Syria, it is appropriate that the first feature length movie depicting that battle against terrorism and ISIS comes from Iran.

Hundreds of Iranians have given their lives alongside their Syrian and Iraqi comrades. “Damascus Time” is not the product of Hollywood fantasy; it’s the product of actual human drama and conflict occurring in the Middle East today. “Damascus Time” is fictional but based on a real conflict with actual blood, atrocities, tragedies and martyrs.

The movie is currently being shown at cinemas throughout Iran. In recent weeks it was the second highest ranking movie. A trailer of the film can be viewed here. It should be available for viewing in the West in the near future, unless western sanctions and censorship are extended to culture.

Rick Sterling can be contacted at rsterling1@gmail.com

May 18, 2018 Posted by | Film Review | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Thousands of rotting corpses’ under ruins of Raqqa a public health crisis – Russian MoD

RT | April 13, 2018

The Russian Defense Ministry has criticized the Western-led coalition for creating a sanitation emergency in Raqqa after it took the Syrian city from Islamic State, but failed to organize a clean-up or rebuild.

“The epidemiological situation in Raqqa remains very grave. There are still thousands of corpses rotting underneath the debris,” said Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov, during a press briefing in Moscow.

The official outlined the difference between the reconstruction efforts in cities taken back by government forces, such as Aleppo, where “schools, hospitals and markets have reopened” and those like Raqqa, which have largely been left to their own devices.

Over two-thirds of Raqqa, the city Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) once designated its unofficial capital, was destroyed during a four-month battle that ended in October 2017. The majority of the damage, according to Konashenkov,  was inflicted by US airstrikes on the city, which was previously home to around 300,000 people and is now under the loose control of Kurdish militias.

Members of the first UN Humanitarian Mission sent to the city in recent weeks wrote that they “were shocked by the level of destruction, which exceeded anything they had ever seen before.” Noting that “public services barely exist and there is no safe water or electricity,” the mission was alarmed by “widespread presence of explosive hazards, including unexploded ordnance, landmines and improvised explosive devices,” abandoned by Islamic State, and a cause of over 130 deaths between October 2017 and February 2018.

A location report from AP, published last week, said that only one bulldozer was available for excavating bodies, and that “the stench of death rises from crushed buildings” as insects swarm the streets. Locals also told the newspaper that violent crime goes unchecked, and that former IS militants are allowed to live freely among the population.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Britain and its Deadly Chemical Games

By Martin Berger – New Eastern Outlook – 10.04.2018

There’s no arguing that recently we’ve witnessed an abrupt increase of public interest in chemical weapons and the top-secret British laboratory Porton Down due to the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the so-called Salisbury incident.

Back in 2004, the Guardian would announce that this laboratory had conducted experiments on people using weaponized chemical agents, including highly volatile ones.

In this regard, it must be recalled that the United Kingdom began using chemical weapons almost immediately after the invention of this weapon. England would unleash deadly chemical attacks during the First World War, only to take advantage of the experience it accumulated of the process to utilize mustard gas against Arab insurgents in the 1920s. Moreover, historic documents show that London had an intention of using chemical agents against Germany’s densely populated cities during the Second World War.

The First World War was the time when the UK created the top-secret Porton Down chemical weapons laboratory. Over the course of its existence, more than 20,000 people were subjects of thousands of chemical and biological agents, as well as all sorts of drugs. According to various estimates, at least 8,000 people were exposed to the effect of mustard gas, and more than 3,000 people to sarin nerve gas poisoning. A renowned British historian Ulf Schmidt would explore the story of “survivors of Porton Down” in his book “Secret Science: A Century of Poison Warfare.”

By 1918, a quarter of all English shells would contain poisonous substances – phosgene, diphosgene, mustard, and chloropicrin, bringing the total amount of chemical weapons that British troops had at their disposal to 25,400 tons. In 1919, the British Royal Air Force in a bid to suppress the Bolsheviks in northern regions of Russia would unload diphenylchloroarsine on their heads, a highly toxic substance that causes severe suffocation.

In 1920, Winston Churchill ordered the suppression of Muslim uprisings in Iraq with the help of mustard gas. Some analysts still remember the phrase he used in a secret memorandum :

I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes…

As a consequence, Iraqi villages populated by “uncivilized” people that dared to revolt against the British Empire were wiped out with the use of mustard gas. Seventy years after these events, the survivors said that their villages were bombed three times a day. In addition to mustard gas, British troops would also deploy napalm against peaceful Iraqis along with new types of high-explosive and phosphorous bombs.

From 1930 to 1940, Britain tested the effect of mustard gas on Indian soldiers. Later these inhumane tests were dubbed “Rawalpindi experiments”, even though the area referred to in this name is now a part of the Punjab province in Pakistan. The purpose of these “experiments” was to study the effects and establish the dosages of mustard gas that could be used in combat operations. In the course of these “experiments” Indian soldiers were locked in gas chambers and then poisoned with mustard gas. After 10 years of continuous torture of Indian soldiers hundreds suffered from the consequence of severe exposure to mustard gas.

In 1942, the British developed the so-called Operation Vegetarian. They planned to scatter linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores over German pastures. The UK “baked” over 5 millions of such cakes for the attack. However, before launching it the UK decided to test their effectiveness on the Scottish Gruinard Island, the anthrax exposure was so “successful” that until 1990 any access to the island was strictly forbidden, but even today the consequences of this “experiment” haven’t been studied.

From 1939 to 1989, the United Kingdom was engaged in the development and research of new chemical warfare agents which became a pivotal part of the work done at the Porton Down chemical weapons laboratory. It was experts from this same laboratory that had subjected Indian soldiers to mustard gas exposure in the 1930s.

However, the tests of chemical agents on people within the confinements of Porton Down wasn’t something out of the ordinary. According to the El Pais newspaper, in 1963 this research center decided to test how vulnerable public infrastructure was to chemical and biological attacks. To do this, they unleashed an unknown bacteria in the London Underground, that was originally considered harmless, but later turned out to be capable of causing sepsis. However, no one was held responsible for such  inhumane “research”.

One can also recall the experiments conducted in 1963 that studied the effect of LSD drugs on British soldiers.

There’s been hundreds of former subjects of such “chemical experiments” that have demanded London to tell the truth about what is happening behind the closed doors of Porton Down, and to compensate for the harm inflicted by such “experiments”. In 2008, British authorities recognized individual facts of all sorts of harmful incidents and issued compensations to 359 of nearly 22,000 soldiers who were subjected to tests at Porton Down.

Recently, the British Medical Association (BMA) has released a report on the use of drugs as weapons, after examining the ongoing militarization of drugs. This has been a matter of grave public concern for decades now, but the highly technical nature of the above mentioned report has been kept out of the public eye.

It’s curious that according to various reports, the US Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been funding a number of military projects performed by the chemical weapons laboratory of Porton Down. Among them: experimental respiratory infection with Anthrax, Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, and Eastern equine encephalitis virus. 

As for the latest reports about British chemical projects, it’s noteworthy that last year Syrian armed forces came across ISIS warehouses  filled with weaponized chemical substances produced by the US and UK. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad would announce that the poisonous substances found at the said warehouses were produced by such American and British companies as Federal Laboratories, Cherming Defense UK and NonLethal Technologies. According to his reports, Syrian soldiers retrieved hand grenades and grenade launchers filled with CS and CN toxins. Such warehouses were located in the liberated city of Aleppo and the eastern suburb of Damascus.

But, in addition to the documented use of chemical weapons, Britain is well known for its false-flag provocations in this field. Among them is the so-called White Helmets organization in Syria. When Britain needs to blame Russia, Iran or the Syrian armed forces for the ongoing bombing of allegedly peaceful international radical terrorists, it orders them to destroy hospitals and schools, while using alleged chemical weapons in the process before carrying out “rescue operations” under direct supervision of British special services. Injured children are always on hand as props, with professional cameramen capturing the staged events. It is noteworthy that the founder of this group was James Le Mesurier, a British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record. He’s a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, who saw deployment in some well-known military operations, including in Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. In general, he’s been everywhere the West needed to stage a humanitarian catastrophe, with a subsequent “humanitarian intervention” leading to long sought after Western geopolitical objectives. He is still in the service of Her Majesty, to be more specific –  British military intelligence.

So, after a careful examination of the role chemical weapons play in the operations ordered by the UK, including false-flag attacks, everything becomes clear. Therefore, there can hardly be any doubts about the responsibility of British special services in the staging of the Salisbury incident which was designed to be yet another anti-Russian provocation, just as false-flag Syrian attacks have been.

It is unlikely that in this regard, Britain and its ruling political elite will be able to publicly refute the facts mentioned above in any way.

April 11, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The UK Government – and Not Russia – is the Real Threat to UK Security

By Neil Clark | Sputnik | April 2, 2018

Here we go again. In the UK government’s latest 52 page ’National Security Capability Review’, guess who’s right there at the top of the threats Britain faces? Yes – those dastardly Russians!

‘The resurgence of state-based threats, intensifying wider state competition and the erosion of the rules-based international order, making it harder to build consensus and tackle global threats’, the report says. ‘The erosion of the rules-based international order’? Excuse me? Didn’t that happen when the UK and its NATO allies bombed Yugoslavia- without UNSC approval in 1999- and when the UK and its allies illegally invaded Iraq — again without UNSC approval- in 2003?

According to the report, those events just didn’t happen. Instead ‘Russian State Aggression’ is the thing we should all be worried about. The long litany of alleged Russian crimes include ‘supporting the Assad regime‘ and the ‘illegal annexation of Crimea’. Never mind that the so-called ‘Assad regime‘ requested Russian assistance in fighting ISIS [Daesh]/al-Qaeda linked jihadists whose co-ideologists have brought terror to the streets of Britain.

Nor that the predominately Russian people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a democratic referendum to return to Russia following a western-backed regime change operation in Ukraine in which virulently anti-Russian nationalists and neo-Nazis provided the cutting edge. Let’s not let little things like facts get in the way shall we?

Despite the British government providing no proof that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, or indeed that the Novichok nerve agent was definitely used, the report states boldly: The indiscriminate and reckless use of a military-grade nerve agent on British soil was an unlawful use of force by the Russian State.

The truth is that the official government narrative on Salisbury has more holes in it than a slab of Swiss cheese.

And that was before we were told last week that the oh-so-deadly nerve agent was probably on the Skripal’s front door- the door which police officers had been touching on a regular basis as they came in and out of the house.

As in 2003, with the UK government’s Iraqi WMD claims, a conspiracy theory is being presented as 100% established fact.

Everything is back to front. We’ve entered the ‘Through the Looking Glass’ world of Lewis Carroll- where we‘re being asked by Theresa May and co to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Far from posing a threat to British security, Russian actions in the Middle East are actually making British citizens safer. It’s the UK government which has been putting our lives at risk- not the ‘evil Putin‘.

The UK‘s neo-conservative foreign policy — which has been followed by Labour and Conservative governments over the past 20-or so years, has involved targeting independently-minded secular states for violent regime change. None of these states threatened Britain or the British public. On the contrary, they were actually opposed to the extremist terror groups who DO pose a threat. By working to destabilise countries such as Iraq, Libya and Syria, the UK government has greatly boosted the cause of global terrorism.

Saddam Hussein may have been a dictator but he was never going to attack Britain. By toppling the Iraqi strongman, and dismantling the entire state apparatus, Britain facilitated the rise of the Islamic State [Daesh] — a group whose adherents have carried out attacks against UK citizens.

In Libya, Britain — and NATO acted as the air-force of radical jihadist groups — as part of their strategy to oust Muammar Gaddafi. Members of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were able to travel freely between Britain and Libya. ‘The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives,’ writes Mark Curtis. ‘Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May — who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi — clearly have serious questions to answer.’

The first major ‘blowback’ to British citizens of the UK government‘s Libya policy came in 2015, when British tourists were killed by terrorist attacks in neighbouring Tunisia. One was killed in an attack on the Bardo National Museum in March 2015, while three months later, 30 British tourists lost their lives in the holiday resort of Port El Kantaoui. Among those killed was Denis Thwaites, a former professional footballer with Birmingham City. Tunisia had been a safe place for British tourists — before Cameron and co set about ‘regime-changing’ Libya and turning the country into a jihadists playground. It was reported that the Port El Kantaoui terrorist, Seifeddine Rezgui, had trained in an ISIS camp in ‘liberated’ Libya.

Then in May 2017, 22 people were blown up when leaving a pop concert in Manchester by Salman Abedi. The radicalised bomber had only returned from ‘liberated’ Libya a week earlier and is believed to have fought with his father with the LIFG, against Gaddafi — (and on the same side as NATO), six years earlier.

Again, remind me who is the biggest threat to UK security — the UK government — or Russia?

Having ticked off Libya from their ‘To Do’ list, the neocons in the UK government turned their attentions to Syria. Again, here was a country whose secular government posed no threat to the UK. President Bashar al-Assad, who trained as an eye doctor in London and whose wife Asma was born in England and brought up in Acton, could have been an ally, if the UK had been genuinely interested in fighting Islamist terrorism. But instead the UK supported hardcore Islamists, euphemistically referred to as ‘rebels‘ to try and bring down the Assad government.In June 2015, Seumas Milne reported how a trial in London of a man accused of terrorism in Syria had collapsed — when it emerged that British Intelligence had been backing the very same ‘rebel‘ groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

‘Clearly, the absurdity of sending someone to prison for doing what ministers and their security officials were up to themselves became too much,’ Milne noted. But it was not an isolated case.

The government is now talking about a new ‘Fusion Doctrine’ to ‘strengthen our collective approach to national security’. But here’s a better strategy. Let’s change our foreign policy. Let’s stop regime-change wars and destabilisation campaigns against countries which mean us no harm. Let’s stop supporting jihadist ‘rebels’ abroad in pursuance of neo-conservative objectives. Let’s start respecting international law. And let’s stop blaming Russia for problems which have been created at home.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment