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Bipartisan Murder

By Richard Medhurst | April 11, 2021

Syria is the key to the Middle East. Bordering Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, and with access to the Mediterranean Sea, for millennia Syria has held unique geopolitical and strategic importance in the region. The war taking place there since 2011 has been sold by virtually every news outlet in the West as being strictly a civil war, part of the popular uprisings of the ‘Arab Spring’. The reality couldn’t be more different.

As General Wesley Clarke points out in 2007 there had been an agenda to take out “seven countries in five years” among them Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran; to replace their governments with ones favorable to Washington DC.

Five years already before the “Arab Spring”, a 2006 cable from the United States embassy in Damascus published by WikiLeaks shows how the US was looking at various threats, both real and exaggerated, that it could exploit in order to destabilize the Syrian government.

The US and its allies Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar began funding and arming various militias inside Syria, funneling weapons and supplies to them in order to overthrow the Syrian government. Efraim Halevy, former head of israel’s intelligence service the Mossad, even admitted in an interview that Israel had provided aid to Al Qaeda fighters just because it was advantageous for Israel to see the Syrian government fall.

PBS recently did an interview with Abu Mohammad al Jolani, a terrorist leader in Syria’s north-western Idlib during which he expressed no intent to fight with the US, despite having a $10 million bounty on his head. The article goes on to mention how former Ambassador James Jeffrey, the US’ former Special Envoy to Syria, confirms that al Jolani’s organization Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a rebrand of Al Qaeda, was a “an asset” to America’s strategy in Idlib.

To cover up the undeniable role played by foreign governments, to this day the mainstream media portrays the war on Syria as a grassroots uprising by “moderate rebels”— the overwhelming majority of whom just so happen to be rebrands or affiliated with Al Qaeda and other jihadist elements.

Despite the efforts of the entire Western propaganda machine and a dozen nations ganging up against Syria, their gamble for regime change has failed thus far: Syria has taken back most of its territory from ISIS and other foreign-backed terrorists, and now boasts even stronger ties with its allies than before. Take for example Russia’s naval port in Tartus, established in Syria in 1971 as part of an accord with the Syrian government, providing it access to the Mediterranean Sea. A decade ago, at the start of the war, the port was practically crumbling, Ten years later in 2021, it’s been completely renovated, upgraded and fitted with state of the art ships.

While some argue the main goal behind the war in Syria was to build the Qatar-Turkey pipeline which would deliver gas through Syria to Europe, undercutting Russia’s market share, I think the larger objective for the United States has mostly been regime change and to remove the “thorn” in israel’s side. Syria refuses to recognize israel and has no official ties with the Zionist occupation. The two have been at odds with each other for the last 73 years; not just since the start of the occupation of Palestine in 1948, but also the capture of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1967 and consequent illegal annexation. Syria is also allied with Russia, Iran and supports the various liberation movements of its neighbors including the Palestinian resistance, Hezbollah and the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, collectively dubbed the “Axis of Resistance”– a twist on George Bush’s “Axis of Evil“.

Seeing how the regime change strategy through various terrorist and armed groups has failed in Syria, the United States is now occupying Syria’s vital breadbasket region, where most of its crops are grown, as well as the oil fields in Deir Ezzor and Hassakeh provinces in East and North-Eastern Syria.

After Trump openly admitted “we’re keeping the oil”, we also saw in August, 2020 then Secretary of State Pompeo admit to Senator Lindsay Graham during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that a US firm would be “modernizing Syria’s oil fields”, which is a nice way to say “plundering”.

Graham can be heard gloating about the brutal Caesar Act sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Indeed, in addition to stealing Syria’s resources, the United States is also starving the Syrian population with siege warfare. These Caesar sanctions announced by Trump and kept by Biden serve no purpose other than to tighten the noose on the Syria’s population. Syria’s economy has collapsed, its currency in free-fall and nearly 60 percent of the population is now food insecure in a country which used to be self-sufficient and a net exporter of wheat. The US shamelessly states that its goal is to deprive the Syrian government, and by extension the Syrian people, of one of their most valuable resources (oil accounts for around 25% of government revenue) desperately needed to fund public infrastructure and social programs, with 90% of Syrians now living in poverty. They pretend that sanctions only affect the politicians but it’s the civilians who are suffering.

The West doesn’t care if Syrians die. This scorched-earth policy is advantageous to US and Western interests because it keeps Syria in a constant state of chaos and helps israel create a buffer beyond just the occupied Golan Heights, but also more generally as Syria is now unable to defend itself, defend its neighbors, and subject to regular airstrikes which the world lets israel carry out with impunity.

While Secretary of State Blinken uses his own kids in some deranged comparison to pretend he cares about Syrian children he and Biden are completely fine keeping Donald Trump’s “Maximum Pressure Campaign” of sanctions going. According to Syria’s oil minister around 90% of Syria’s crude is now under control of the US. Syrians wait in massive queues as they experience fuel shortages and are lining up for bread. Sanctions are a modern adaptation of siege warfare, just as ruthless and deadly.

Both Democrats and Republicans are on the same page when it comes to imperialism and their fealty to corporations. There is no difference among them in that regard except in decorum. After Trump bombed Syria in April 2018, over an alleged chemical gas attack in Douma later revealed to have been staged, then Senator Kamala Harris questioned the “legal rationale” behind the strikes. Some Democrats criticized Trump saying it was a breach of constitutional powers– but none of them fundamentally questioned whether these alleged chemical attacks had even taken place to begin with. The team of scientists sent by the Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons hadn’t even arrived in Syria yet to determine what had happened. Democrats only issued mild statements of rebuke while simultaneously cheering on Assad was being “punished”– which goes to show their objectives fundamentally remain the same, no matter who is in power.

Biden’s bombing of Syria

After Joe Biden became president his first military action was to bomb Syria. Naturally, bombings takes priority over campaign promises like the $15 minimum wage or $2,000 checks he lied about. Biden’s supposed “justification” for bombing Syria on February 25th, 2021 was that he was acting in self-defense to protect the United States. This is of course an absurdity; Syria is not a threat to the United States nor has it attacked the United States– if anything it’s the other way around. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter that Biden blatantly lies in his letter to Congress, everyone knows this is merely a cover story in order to comply with the War Powers Resolution (notifying Congress of military action and citing defensive measures if no prior Authorization for Use of Military Force exists).

When Biden bombed Syria he claimed to have targeted “Iranian backed militias”- the same excuse that Israel gives when illegally bombing Syria almost on a weekly basis. When I spoke to Professor Max Abrahms on my television The Communiqué he said the bombing was likely more about sending a message to Israel rather than Iran; a show of support from Biden that the Zionist occupation could still count on the new administration’s support.

When corporate media and Western politicians say “Iranian backed militias” they’re referring to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF / PMU) or Hashed al Shaabi in Arabic. The PMU is made up mostly of various Iraqi brigades, consisting of different religious and ethnic groups, despite claims that they’re exclusively Shiah– although even then I struggle to understand how that would give the US or Israel the right to kill them. The popular forces are united under one banner to fight terrorism and occupation. Of course the United States can’t have you realizing they’re a resistance movement because then people would rightfully ask “resisting what?” and that’s of course the United States, illegally occupying Iraq since 2003. The PMU also celebrated major victories in defeated ISIS and Al Qaeda, taking back the major city of Mosul in 2016. Although the US and its illegal occupation like to take credit for that (so they can justify their presence) that victory is not theirs. As a matter of fact, the United States not only helped create Al Qaeda and ISIS but Trump’s assassination of General Soleimani and PMU commander Abu Mahdi was celebrated by the very terrorists who had come to fear them. While the US claims to fight terrorism it’s actively helping terrorists by killing their biggest enemies. And now of course Biden follows in Trump’s footsteps, proceeding to bomb the PMU. I wonder how many will break the situation down like that for you on the evening nows? Let’s be clear on something: I don’t care if the target was an empty barn in Syria – he has no right to bomb anything there nor in any other country.

Shortly after Biden’s bombing of Syria, Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced legislation calling for the repeal of the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs. Note that the 2001 AUMF is missing – unsurprising as it’s the template Congress has used for two decades to invade, bomb and ransack the planet in the name of “the War on Terror”. Of course they wouldn’t repeal that AUMF. Biden is now on track to violate the Afghanistan peace deal signed under Trump, after drawing down the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 2,500, with a complete withdrawal set for a deadline of May 1st. Right on cue, the US claims that the Taliban aren’t holding up their end of the deal- hence why the US can’t leave just yet, continuing to impose conditions on their departure as if Afghanistan belongs to them. Naturally, the media provides cover for the longest war in US history, repeating without question or scrutiny Biden’s claims that a withdrawal “can’t be rushed” after occupying Afghanistan for almost 20 years. CNN also made the case that this is now about women’s rights– as if the United States cared about women when it displaced millions of them in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria. We’re now made to believe that occupation is emancipation. The poor white man’s burden, freeing the world through bombs, sanctions and occupation.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats have largely chosen to side with him on the issue while others, including so called “progressives” like Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez have remained completely silent despite criticizing Trump for bombing Syria in 2018, calling him a ‘mad king’. This really shows you where their allegiances lie and how far their “progressivism” extends. The so called “left-wing” of the Democratic Party is about as “progressive” as you can get when you stay silent about Biden bombing Syria, ballooning the war machine to an outrageous $753 billion, and violating the Afghan peace deal in order to maintain a 20-year occupation. War pigs. All of them.

A template for war

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) of 2001 and 2002 passed by Congress formed the legal basis with which Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Specifically, the AUMF of 2001 broadly authorizes force against those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”. This ambiguous language essentially gives the president a blank check to conduct military strikes anywhere and has been distorted and manipulated by every president since in order to expand the “War on Terror” into 19 countries. Trump in his usual absurdity even cited the 2002 AUMF to try and justify his assassination of General Soleimani in January, 2020. Of course, Congress won’t ever go after him for that, despite all this talk of how Trump posed a unique danger to US democracy, let alone any other sitting or former president. Never forget, Nancy Pelosi refused to impeach George W. Bush and admits as late as 2019 that she knew George Bush had lied about weapons of mass destruction and still chose to ignore calls to impeach him over a war that displaced and killed millions of Iraqis.

The constitution clearly says that the president is the commander-in-chief of the United States’ Armed Forces, however, that the power to declare war resides with Congress. Although the president can respond to imminent threats, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 stipulates that the president must notify Congress in absence of a declaration of war or prior statutory authorization. Consultation and follow ups with the Legislative branch are a must and the entire point of the resolution is to limit the Executive’s reach in matters of war.

If Congress has already issued an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), presidents will operate within that framework and cite it to justify any action they take. What presidents have often done is to abuse this and distort its legal interpretation e.g. Bush’s crimes in Iraq, Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan, Trump’s assassination of General Soleimani. On the other hand, if Congress hasn’t issued an AUMF, like in the case of Biden’s bombing of Syria, then the president will simply cite self-defense as the justification– which is exactly what Biden did– even if it isn’t true. In either case, whether an AUMF has been issued or not, it seems Congress allows presidents to proceed unchecked– because Congress agrees with their imperialist agenda.

One mustn’t forget that even in the case when Congress issues an AUMF and agrees with the president’s military action: US law does not supersede international law. For example, just because the US Congress voted to invade Iraq does not mean that this invasion was morally or legally justifiable.

While Biden cites Article 51 under the United Nations as the United States’ right to self-defense, one has to wonder how Article 51 would even begin to apply in this context. Syria has not attacked the United States, nor are the two nations (at least officially) at war. Moreover, if the targets were so called “Iranian-backed militias”, the same rationale still applies. These bombings also violate Article 2.4 of the United Nations Charter which asserts Syria’s sovereignty and prohibits use of force against other member states. Some legal scholars might go on to argue that self-defense under Article 51 only applies against other states, not “militias”. Some might also question how the United States can argue self-defense when its very presence in Iraq is illegal to begin with; the result of an illegal invasion in 2003? At best Biden’s pretext for bombing Syria is dubious, and at worst downright illegal and outrageous. I think most rational people can clearly see it’s the latter.

Indeed, no matter who is in charge, the warmongering remains the same. Obama, Trump, Biden have all maintained George Bush’s neoconservative wars, his creation and expansion of the electronic surveillance start, his Department of Homeland Security and the post-9/11 world crafted by the Bush-Cheney regime. You won’t see many Democrats or Republicans voicing support to repeal the AUMF anytime soon. War is a racket, and the United States excels at it. It’s no accident you have a revolving door between Washington D.C. and the private sector, and that the new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is a former board member of the weapons manufacturer Raytheon. At least there’s diversity right? Now that the Treasury and Office of Foreign Assets Control, whose sanctions kill millions, is being run by Janet Yellen, its first woman ever, everything is fine. That’s what counts, right? Or that Alejandro Mayaorkas, the first Latino man to head the Department of Homeland Security, continuing to separate children, placing them in the same camps and appalling conditions as Trump and maintaining construction on Trump’s racist border wall (which all of a sudden Democrats have no issue with). What a diverse brand of imperialism: Uncle Joe’s Rainbow Coalition Death Cult®.

April 16, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

How a US-led Unholy Alliance is Preventing Syria’s Normalisation

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 14.04.2021

If there is major stumbling block to Syrian unification and normalisation back to the pre-war years, it is the continuing presence of foreign forces inside Syria and the support they continue to provide to jihadi elements and militias that continue to seek to overthrow Assad’s government. Their presence, therefore, not only dovetails pretty closely with the underlying logic of the US and Turkish military interventions in Syria, but they continue to be the main instruments of a geo-political game the interventionist force, being led by the US, are playing in Syria against Syria and its principal allies, Iran and Russia. This was recently confirmed by a former US ambassador and special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey, in an interview given to the US government’s Public Service Broadcasting (PBS) channel, where he was quoted to have said that militant and jihadi outfits like Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham remain an “asset” for America’s overall Syria strategy, currently territorially focused on Idlib, against Iran and Russia.

“They are the least bad option of the various options on Idlib, and Idlib is one of the most important places in Syria, which is one of the most important places right now in the Middle East,” Jeffrey said in an interview on March 8.

It is also a well known fact that Turkey has been supporting such elements in Syria with the sole objective of denying Assad regaining complete control of his country.

Nicholas Heras, Senior Analyst and Program Head for Authoritarianism at the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy recently said in an interview that “HTS cannot survive without Turkish support, it’s that simple,” adding that “Turkey’s significant military investment to protect Idlib is the key factor that protects that region from collapsing back into the control of Assad and his allies.” Accordingly, were Idlib to fall back to Assad, this will fundamentally shake Turkish position in Syria, and further curtail the US ability to use its military forces to control parts of Syrian territory.

To avoid this eventuality, the US continues to send reinforcements and fully loaded trucks with weapons to the Syrian region of Jazirah in northeast. That these weapons could be used to strengthen jihadi outfits is entirely possible, given that the US continues, as mentioned above, to treat groups like HTS as “assets.”

In a separate interview given to the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the head of HTS, Abu Mohammad Jolani, confirmed how the group continues to work to overthrow Assad, and how it repeatedly engages the Syrian and the Russian forces. Jolani confirmed that his group poses no threat to the US.

The PBS report also noted that that for the last couple of years, Idlib has come under attack from Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces, with Turkey backing opposition groups, including, sometimes, Jolani’s.

Turkey’s support for HTS explains why it has so far refrained from targeting the group in a region that has been under its control for quite some time. The US calculations are crude & simple: benefits that emerge from a direct support for groups like HTS outweigh the benefits that more regular and non-radical militias like the Syrian Democratic Forces/Kurdish militias can yield. Maintaining strong ties with groups like the HTS also prevents the US-Turkey alliance from falling into hot water, since Turkey has its own reservations with respect to the presence of Kurdish militias closer to its border regions.

In addition, given the fact that the US-Turkey alliance aims to turn Syrian into a quagmire for Iran and Russia, support for such radical groups remains the key.

In other words, it remains that the Biden administration intends to stick to the erstwhile policy of weakening Damascus in favour of its “assets” based in Idlib. This is evident from the sudden flurry of US establishment media interest in the HTS and Abu Mohammed al-Jolani and the way he and his outfit are not only been appropriated, but also being presented as a “non-threatening” entity that could actually serve the US interests better than other available options.

Controlling the Economy

Whereas the US is using these “assets” to prevent Syria’s territorial unification and its return to normalisation, it also continues to control about 90 per cent of Syria’s oil and other economic resources to hurt its economic recovery as well.

The Syrian oil minister recently said that “The oil sector has been targeted chiefly because it is the main source of income for the Syrian economy.”

Continuing economic crisis, as it stands, makes it easier for outfits like the HTS to find fresh recruits from within the rank and file.

As irony would have it, Syria’s oil that was previously stolen by Daesh is now being stolen under the aegis of an occupying power, causing the Syrian state to lose billions of dollars in revenue.

By controlling 90 per cent of Syria’s oil production, the US not only aims to keep the war-torn country impoverished, but also prevent Russia from stepping into the oil exploration industry in Syria and thus establish itself firmly in the Middle East. Last year in September 2020, Syria’s parliament approved contracts for oil exploration with two Russian companies in an effort to boost production hit industry and generate revenue for post war reconstruction.

However, the fact that the US forces in combination with Kurdish militias continue to control most of the oil means that Syria’s post war recovery through locally generated, albeit scant, resources cannot be possible.

In many ways, therefore, the US & its allies continue to play the same sinister “regime change” game that had actually caused the war to start in Syria in 2011.

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

April 16, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘US, allies have turned OPCW into a tool to pursue anti-Syria objectives’

Press TV – April 16, 2021

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Mekdad has categorically dismissed the new report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), stating that the United States and its allies have turned the international watchdog into a tool to pursue their political goals against Damascus.

“Despite the difficult situation that Syria is going through, we have stood committed to our membership in the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Syria’s official news agency SANA quoted Mekdad as saying in a meeting with ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Damascus on Thursday evening.

He added, “Syria and many other countries have acknowledged that the states which supported and funded armed terrorist groups in Syria, particularly the United States, France, Germany and Britain, will use the Syrian chemical file and the OPCW to achieve their hostile goals against Syria.”

Mekdad noted that Syrian government forces continue to score remarkable victories in their battles against the Takfiri terrorist groups, emphasizing that the troops have never used chemical warfare even in toughest operations against the foreign-sponsored militants.

He went on to say that certain Western countries have established the OPCW’s so-called Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) in order to produce reports, which best suit their anti-Syria agenda.

“The French-Western draft resolution, which is to be presented at the 25th meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons later this year, is a new chapter in the series of conspiracies against Syria,” Mekdad pointed out.

The top Syrian diplomat finally called on the OPCW member states to support Damascus and counter the politicization of the organization’s activities by some Western countries.

A report by the OPCW’s so-called investigative arm claimed on Monday that Syria’s air force had dropped a chlorine bomb on a residential neighborhood in the terrorist-controlled Idlib region.

The report further asserted no one was killed when the cylinder of chlorine gas, delivered in a barrel bomb, hit the al-Talil neighborhood in the city of Saraqib in February 2018.

The Syrian foreign ministry, in a statement published on Wednesday, said the OPCW’s “misleading report,” written by “an illegitimate and incredible team,” fabricates “facts” to incriminate the Damascus government.

“This report has included false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams that will be added to the scandal of the reports of Douma incident in 2018, and Ltamenah in 2017,” it said.

Moscow and Damascus have on many occasions said members of the so-called White Helmets civil defense group stage gas attacks in a bid to falsely incriminate Syrian government forces and fabricate pretexts for military strikes by the US-led military coalition.

The group claims to be a humanitarian NGO but has long been accused of collaborating with anti-Damascus militants.

On April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.

Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, a charge the Syrian government rejected.

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

This is while Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the OPCW, which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has consistently denied using chemical weapons.

April 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

US-Backed Fighters Seize US-Made Missiles Heading To Other US-Backed Fighters In Syria

South Front | March 28, 2021

In an unusual turn of events in Syria, militants once backed by the US have seized a shipment of US-made missiles that was heading to fighters currently backed by the US.

The missiles, US-made TOWs, were seized on March 28 by the Syrian Task Force, a joint force of the Turkish Police, Counterterrorism Unit and the National Syrian Army (SNA), near the Turkish-occupied town of Azaz in the northern Aleppo countryside.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the smugglers confessed that they had been trying to transfer weapons to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the town of Manbij in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.

Beside two TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), the weapons shipment included 24 AK-type assault rifles, a designated marksman rifle, two gun tubes and ammunition.

Most SNA factions were once backed by the US, which supplied them with TOW ATGMs until late 2017. The YPG and the PKK, one the other hand, are the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which still receive US support.

Between 2012 and 2017, the US shipped loads of weapons and ammunition to rebels in Syria in an attempt to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon led these efforts to arm the Syrian rebels with a direct support from US allies in the Middle East, first and foremost Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

US efforts didn’t only fail to topple the Damascus government, but also ended up turning Syria into a large black market for advanced weapons. Many of the weapons supplied by the US and its allies found their way to the hands of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. Some of these weapons were found in Iraq and even Lebanon.

Today, weapons like TOW ATGMs, are being used by militants once supported by the US against Washington’s current proxies in Syria and vice versa.

The US plans to arm Syrian rebels inflamed the war, threatened neighboring countries and even ended up turning Washington’s tools against each other. Some not very tolerant social media users would call these great achievements a brilliant example of “clusterfuck.”

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US-Led Western/Israeli Aggression Against Syria

By Stephen Lendman | March 25, 2021

A decade of war on Syria and its long-suffering people isn’t enough for US hardliners.

Perhaps they intend forever war they’re losing but won’t end.

Former French diplomat Michele Rimbaud slammed a decade of US-led war on Syria, using terrorists as proxy fighters, along with waging economic war on its people — aiming to suffocate them into submission.

Like Afghan and Yemeni civilians, Syrians suffered more greatly than what their counterparts endured in two world wars — with no end of their ordeal in prospect.

“Should we wait 30 years in order to discover the outcome of the war in Syria, whether it is a military or economic war,” Rimbaud asked?

“When time comes for settling accounts and justice, it will be appropriate to remind the governments that have participated until today in this aggression of the seriousness of their criminal project, and we in the first place will condemn the three Western member states at the Security Council (the US, UK and France) who demand the implementation of the international law and claim to be its guardians, while they are the first to violate it.”

“The political or military officials, the intellectuals and media outlets who decided, organized, supported, or justified the crime of the international aggression against Syria and other countries must know that they will remain responsible for this crime regardless of what they did or didn’t do, and they must be held accountable.”

Where has the UN been for the last decade on Syria, for the last two decades on endless US war in Afghanistan and Yemen, for aggression against Libya in 2011 — for wars by other means against nations free from its control?

The world body consistently fails to denounce US wars of aggression, time and again blaming victimized nations for high crimes committed against them.

With rare exceptions, UN secretaries general serve US-led Western interests, supporting aggression by failing to denounce it, disgracing the office they hold, breaching UN Charter principles.

Since installed as UN secretary general by Washington in January 2017, Antonio Guterres was silent about US-led aggression in Syria and elsewhere — supporting the imperial state instead of denouncing its criminality and demanding accountability.

In mid-March, the UN noted the “grim 10-year anniversary of” war in Syria.

Its special envoy Geir Pedersen said the following without laying blame where it belongs, as follows:

“I want to commemorate Syrian victims and remember Syrian suffering and resilience in the face of unimaginable violence and indignities that (they) have faced over ten long years, including unspeakable horrors of chemical weapons.”

“Syrians had been injured, maimed and killed in every way imaginable – their corpses even desecrated.”

They’ve been “denied humanitarian assistance, sometimes under sieges in which perpetrators deliberately starved the population.”

They’ve “faced human rights violations on an enormous and systematic scale.”

“Those responsible for actions that may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes enjoy near-total impunity, which not only undermines a peace agreement but perpetuates the living nightmare that has been life in Syria.”

The US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners bear full responsibility for the highest of high crimes against Syria and its people.

Yet in his above remarks and more of the same, Pedersen was silent about US-led aggression.

What Obama/Biden launched in March 2011, Trump continued, Biden/Harris going the same way — with no resolution in prospect because US dark forces reject it.

On Wednesday, Russia reported that US-supported jihadists launched 25 terrorist attacks in the past 24 hours, much the same going on daily against Syrian forces seeking to liberate the country and civilians caught in harm’s way.

When CW incidents occur, Damascus is always blamed for what it had nothing to do with — high crimes committed by US-supported jihadists.

While most Syrian territory was liberated by its armed forces — greatly aided by Russian airpower — US-supported terrorists control most of Idlib province.

They’re active elsewhere in the country — heavily armed with US, Western, and Israeli weapons.

Pentagon forces illegally occupy northern and southern parts of Syria with no intention of leaving.

Turkish forces illegally occupy northern Syrian territory. Allied with jihadist fighters, they’re at war with Damascus like the US, NATO and Israel.

The Pentagon and CIA continue to deploy ISIS jihadists to parts of Syria where they attack government forces and civilians.

Russian airpower is key — the difference between US dark forces gaining control over Syria or handing them an embarrassing defeat.

On Wednesday, Southfront reported the following:

In response to Russian airstrikes on Turkish-supported jihadists and sites they control in northern Syria, Ankara “summoned Russian ambassador Alexei Yerkhov to express its concerns…”

Ignoring its repeated breaches of the deescalation agreement reached with Moscow, Turkey falsely accused Russia of violations.

“At the same time, Ankara has no concerns regarding funding and supporting Al-Qaeda-styled groups in the region to promote its own interests,” Southfront reported.

The Erdogan regime is also concerned about Russian airstrikes disrupting its smuggling of stolen Syrian oil and gas.

Separately on Tuesday, rockets struck an illegal US base near a Conico oil field in Deir Ezzor, Syria.

Reportedly, US forces guarding and facilitating the theft of Syrian oil suffered casualties.

Southfront reported on what it called impunity in Syria being punished, saying:

“Turkish-backed militants in Greater Idlib, and in northeastern Syria in general are being given no quarter” by Russian airstrikes.”

The headquarters of Turkish-backed al-Sham Corps terrorists was struck.

So was Saramada in northern Syria near Turkey’s border. A factory operated by Hayat Tahir al-Sham terrorists was targeted.

So were other terrorist targets, elements backed by Turkey’s Erdogan in defiance of the deescalation zone agreement with Moscow.

Southfront called the latest Russian operation “one of the most severe since the ceasefire agreement was implemented.”

“It is likely an attempt to deter the Turkish-backed factions, as well as HTS from carrying out any more expansive operations.”

Despite Syrian army advances and the latest Russian aerial operations, Erdogan is highly unlikely to cease his cross-border aggression.

The same goes for Biden regime hardliners. US aggression continues with no signs of cessation.

March 25, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , | 2 Comments

Western media quick to accuse Syria of ‘bombing hospitals’ – but when terrorists really destroy hospitals, they are silent

By Eva Bartlett | RT | March 24, 2021

As legacy media again bleat the unsubstantiated “Syria is bombing hospitals” chorus of its war propaganda songbook, let’s pause to review the relatively unknown (but verifiable) reality of terrorists bombing hospitals in Syria.

Following recent allegations of a hospital being targeted Al Atarib, western Aleppo, the US State Department repeated the claim, in spite of any clear evidence to back it up.

Instead, reports rely on highly questionable sources like the White Helmets, the USAID-funded Syrian American Medical Society and the usual unnamed “witnesses” and (clearly impartial!) “rebel sources,” as per a Reuters’ report on the recent claims.

In fact, Reuters even acknowledges being unable to verify the authenticity of videos purporting to show “a ward damaged and civil defence rescuers carrying bloodstained patients outside.”

Let’s recall that Idlib is occupied by Al-Qaeda in Syria – a fact emphasized (as I wrote) by the US’ own former special envoy, Brett McGurk, who deemed the northwestern Syrian province the “largest Al-Qaeda safe-haven since 9/11.”

The presence of Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups makes it impossible for independent, neutral bodies to assess what is going on.

Facts matter, they say. But really, not so much when it comes to war propaganda.

In Sarmada, Idlib countryside, one of the targets was a Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Qaeda in Syria) fuel market, the smuggled fuel tankers obliterated.

A White Helmets video supposedly filmed in Al-Atarib alleges a hospital was bombed there. It indeed shows what looks like a medical facility covered in dust, and a lot of bulky men of fighting age. Glaringly absent are women or normal looking civilians.

Given the White Helmets’ penchant for working only in areas controlled by terrorist factions, working with them and even numbering among them, dabbling in organ trade, and having lied many times in the past, the video proves nothing.

There is, on the other hand, a precedent for “hospitals” or medical centres being weaponized by terrorists. And not just once or twice, but repeatedly in terrorist-occupied areas throughout Syria.

I’ve seen them in Aleppo and eastern Ghouta.

The Eye and Childrens’ Hospitals, a large complex in eastern Aleppo, was militarized and occupied by terrorists including the Tawhid Brigade, Al-Qaeda and even IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS). Prisoners were held, and tortured, in nightmarish prisons and solitary confinement cells deep below.

As journalist Vanessa Beeley noted, in eastern Ghouta, medical centres, “provided treatment almost exclusively to extremist armed factions.” They were also built underground, “linked by a vast maze of tunnels that snaked below most of the districts controlled by the armed groups, providing cover for the fighters during SAA [Syrian Arab Army] military campaigns.” (An aside, see one of these massive tunnels in Douma, at the location of the underground “hospital.”)

In Idlib, a “hospital” that the New York Times claimed Russian warplanes bombed in May 2019 was a cave used as a terrorist headquarters. Another fortified cave in Khan Sheikhoun was well-stocked with weapons, medical supplies and gas masks, and a prison with solitary confinement cells.

In areas liberated from terrorists, the Syrian Army routinely finds such caves, with tunnels connecting terrorist bases so they can avoid moving above ground.

In the past, Russia has provided satellite imagery when the question of a building allegedly being bombed arose. Until we have conclusive evidence either way, it is a question of he said, she said, although common sense (and the history of such lies) points to more media fabrications.

Hospitals bombed, media yawns

Since the media and pundits clearly care so much about Syrian hospitals being bombed, and even destroyed, it’s worth reviewing some of the major hospitals damaged or destroyed by terrorist factions.

However, unsurprisingly, not a lot of information is available. The following is a partial list, with me filling in details from attacked hospitals that I have gone to.

  • The September 2012 Free Syrian Army (FSA) bombing of and complete destruction of Al-Watani Hospital in Qusayr, Homs province.
  • The September 2012 FSA bombing and complete destruction of two hospitals in Aleppo.
  • The December 2013 FSA & Al-Qaeda bombing and complete destruction of Aleppo’s Al-Kindi hospital, one of the largest and best cancer hospitals in the Middle East.
  • The April 2015 FSA bombing and siege of the National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour, Idlib.
  • The May 2016 IS horrific multiple suicide bombings in Jableh (and also in Tartous the same day), including inside Jableh’s National Hospital.
  • The May 2016 attack outside Aleppo’s Dabeet maternity hospital, a missile hit a car parked outside, which then exploded, killing three women at the hospital and injuring many more.

I went to Aleppo in July 2016 and spoke with the director, who confirmed his hospital was gutted in the blast, and noted that a week later terrorists’ mortars hit the roof of the hospital, destroying the roof and injuring construction workers.

In May 2018, before Daraa was fully liberated, I went to areas which were under fire from terrorists (including the day I went), and took a perilous high speed ride in the taxi I had hired in Damascus to the state hospital, down a road exposed to terrorist sniping from less than 100 metres away.

The hospital was battered and partially destroyed from terrorists’ mortars, and mostly empty of patients. The director showed me destroyed wards (dialysis and laboratory), and off-limits areas due to high risk of sniping (gynecology, operations, blood bank, nursing school, children’s hospital).

When I returned to Daraa in September, after the region was liberated, the hospital was full of patients, since it was finally possible to access without risk.

Behind the hospital, roughly 50 metres away, I saw a building which I was told had been occupied by terrorists. Hence the extreme risk of being sniped while inside the hospital.

I never saw any Western outlet speak of this hospital, although it serviced civilians and was quite visibly partially destroyed.

In November 2016, I met Dr. Ibrahim Hadid, former Director of Kindi Hospital, who said that he wanted medical colleagues and institutions to exert some of the concern they have for “hospitals” allegedly bombed in terrorist areas.

They, and Western corporate media, have done the opposite, of course.

Another chemical song and dance routine?

Meanwhile, Russia is warning of a possible new staged chemical provocation by Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation says, “militants are plotting to stage a fake chemical attack near the settlement of Qitian,” to again accuse the Syrian government of using chemicals on the people.

As anyone following the war on Syria knows, although the West desperately wants to prove Syria committed one or more chemical attacks, it has failed, to the point where even OPCW experts spoke out, contradicting the claims.

As I wrote last week, in spite of incessantly lying about Syria for ten years, Western (and Gulf) media, pundits and politicians steam ahead with more lies – recycled accusations and war propaganda.

So, it is likely the “hospitals bombed” theme will surge anew, and then the “chemical attacks” theme. And then maybe we’ll have another new Bana al-Abed to ask Biden to bomb Syria or “holocaust” Idlib…

On and on it goes, ceaseless war propaganda.

The irony is of course, as I feel the need to make clear nearly every time I write, those script-readers claiming that Syria (and Russia) are bombing hospitals, or using chemicals, or whatever lie is next recycled, don’t actually care about the lives of Syrians.

If they did, they would stop whitewashing terrorism in Syria, aid the country and its allies in liberating Idlib and the Aleppo countryside, stop pillaging its oil, leave Syria, and lift the sanctions.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

March 25, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Threatening Syria’s First Lady Shows NATO’s Depravity

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 18, 2021

This week marks the 10th anniversary since the United States and its NATO allies launched a devastating covert war of aggression for regime change in Syria. Ten years on, the Arab nation is struggling with war reconstruction, a struggle made all the more onerous because of economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.

Syria and allied forces from Russia, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah won the war, defeating legions of mercenary terrorist fighters who were armed and infiltrated into Syria by NATO. Nearly half a million Syrians were killed and half the pre-war population of 23 million was displaced.

But tragically the war is not over yet. It has moved to new hybrid phase of economic warfare in the form of Western sanctions and blockade on Syria.

The barbarity of Western sanctions on Syria have necessitated the cover of distractive media narratives.

This explains the sensation of British media reports that Asma al-Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is being investigating by London’s Metropolitan police for war crimes. Asma (45) was born in London, was educated there and holds British nationality. Although she has Syrian heritage.

Now British authorities are mulling stripping her of nationality and seeking her extradition over charges that she aided and abetted war crimes, including preposterously, the use of chemical weapons against civilians. There is practically no chance of a prosecution, but that’s not the British aim. Rather it is all about smearing the Syrian leadership and distracting the world’s attention from the real issues: which are the criminality of NATO’s war on Syria and the ongoing economic warfare to destroy the nation into submission.

Irish peace activist and author Declan Hayes who has travelled extensively in Syria during the past decade commented: “Britain’s legally ludicrous accusations against Asma al-Assad have a number of objectives in mind. They are there to delegitimize Syria’s 2021 presidential elections; they are there to scare expatriate Syrians and British humanitarians; they are there to deflect from NATO’s well documented war crimes; and they are there to deflect from the mercenary collusion of a cast of media, political and NGO characters in NATO’s war crimes in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.”

Asma married Bashar in 2000. Before the war erupted in March 2011, she was eulogized in Western media as the “desert rose” owing to her feminine beauty and quietly spoken graceful persona. The daughter of a cardiologist and having had a career in investment banking before she become Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad later showed herself to be no wilting flower. She refused to leave Damascus and go into comfortable exile with her children when the war was raging.

She remained loyally by her husband’s side and took on the role of consoling the nation, often visiting families of slain soldiers and civilian victims of NATO’s terror gangs.

No doubt the stress resulted in Asma suffering from breast cancer for which she was successfully treated in 2018.

President Assad and his wife stood by the Syrian nation when the jaws of defeat were looming during the early years of the war. When Russia intervened in support of its historic ally in October 2015, the tide of the war turned decisively against the NATO plan for regime change. Assad was singled out for regime change because of his anti-imperialist position against the U.S., Britain, France and Israel. His alliance with Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah put a target on his back for destruction, as former French foreign minister Roland Dumas disclosed. Dumas revealed that the British government had war plans on Syria two years before the violence erupted in March 2011. In this context, the so-called “uprising” was a carefully orchestrated false flag.

The mysterious shootings of police and protesters in the southern city of Daraa – which served to smear the Assad government internationally – were the same modus operandi used by NATO covert forces which carried out the sniper murders in Kiev’s Maidan Square triggering the February 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine.

Western media headlines this week marking the 10th anniversary since the beginning of NATO’s war on Syria have been ghoulish and nauseating.

There is a sense of gloating over the misery and hunger that the nation is facing.

A headline in Associated Press labels Syria as the “Republic of Queues”, reporting almost gleefully on how civilians are struggling with food and fuel shortages.

Nowhere in the media coverage is there a mention of how the American CIA and Britain’s MI6 ran Operation Timber Sycamore to arm and direct mercenaries to terrorize Syrians. Absurdly, Western media still claim that Syria’s war rose out of “pro-democracy uprisings” which were crushed by a “ruthless Assad regime”.

Barely acknowledged too is the fact that the United States, Britain and the European Union are strangling a war-torn nation with barbaric sanctions preventing reconstruction. The criminality of economic terrorism is the corollary of a failed criminal covert war of aggression.

The abominable reality of Western policy towards Syria has to be covered up. Threatening Syria’s First Lady – a national heroine – with prosecution for war crimes is NATO powers reaching into the gutter.

March 20, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 4 Comments

The US Reinforces Military Presence in Syria

teleSUR | March 18, 2021

The U.S. forces present in Syria, without the authorization of the country’s legitimate government, intensified their destabilizing actions and sent more reinforcements to their illegal enclaves, in addition to transferring thirty Daesh terrorists to the east of this Arab nation, according to local news agencies.

According to state television, the Kherab Jir area base in the northeastern province of Hasakeh received in the last hours a caravan of 40 trucks loaded with weapons, ammunition, and war and logistic equipment and Sanaa agency.

The caravan is said to have entered Syrian territory through the illegal Al-Walid crossing with northern Iraq, which is often used by U.S. troops for their movements. Similarly, another column of several armored vehicles and trucks moved towards the Ionian gas field’s newly established base in the northeastern Deir Ezzor province.

Meanwhile, Syrian news agencies reported the transfer in two helicopters of about 30 members of the Islamic State (Daesh, in Arabic) to the illegal U.S. base in Tanef, on the border with Iraq and Jordan.

According to the data revealed, the terrorists were being held in one of the prisons of the separatist militia Syrian Democratic Forces, a force close to Washington’s interests, which arms these terrorists and uses them in the service of its destabilizing plans in Syria, the agencies said.

The government of Bashar Al Asad denounced that the recent attacks of Daesh against military and civilians in the desert are planned and facilitated by the U.S. occupation forces, who offer them support with weapons and intelligence information to prolong the war in this Middle East nation.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Trade-Off ahead on Syria and Yemen

By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog | March 16, 2021

In the past few weeks much has happened in the area of diplomacy on the part of Russia. Russia is forging ahead after stepping up its presence in the Middle East in the past decade, taking a strong pro-active political role. Moscow during this period has been intent on consolidating its efforts in re-establishing itself as the key player in any political settlements in the Middle East. Ever since Kissinger in the late 1970’s pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the USSR, striking a deal between Israel and Egypt, excluding the USSR and the rest of the Arab World, the political influence of Russia in the Middle East significantly waned until it came back with deciding force when Russia responded to the Syrian Government’s request for help in September 2015.

Lately, the economic crisis has deepened in Syria following the drastic Western sanctions. And specifically after the implementation of the Caesar’s Act, the Syrian currency took a huge tumble and the cost of living has soared to unprecedented levels. This left many cynics wondering and pondering what was Russia going to do in the face of the collapsed Syrian economy after having achieved an impressive military victory, taking its troops outside its former USSR borders for the first time and heralding the end of the single super power status of the USA.

To this effect, and on the diplomatic side, Russian FM Lavrov has recently visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for talks pertaining to an array of issues. The agenda issues that transpired to the media include trade, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as issues of global and regional security, albeit vague in details as what ‘security issues’ mean.

It appears that in these meetings, discussions included the return of Syria to the Arab League and the cost of reconstruction of Syria after ten years of war, a bill touted to exceed $Bn200. Expectations have existed for some time that the Arab Gulf states will fork out a huge chunk of this cost. As mentioned above, the bottom line here is that Russia’s military success in its operation in Syria needs to be followed by political success. Partly, this is achieved within the Astana talks which include Turkey and Iran. However, the very same Arab States instrumental in the ‘War on Syria’ are also instrumental in facilitating the return of Syria to the Arab League, the reconstruction efforts in Syria and the easing of sanctions. The Gulf states have always reiterated that there will be no return of Syria to the Arab League for as long as Iranian forces remain on the ground. The UAE seemed more open than Saudi Arabia to the prospects of Syria’s return to the Arab League and financing the reconstruction process.

But why would the Gulf States, the same states that spent tens of billions of dollars in order to destroy Syria, be suddenly now interested in the reversal of the process? This is a fair question to ask.

Quite unexpectedly, and almost immediately after the return of Lavrov to Moscow, a top delegation of Hezbollah, headed by Mohamad Raad, was invited to Moscow for talks. Apparently, the visit was cloaked in a veil of secrecy in Russia and was not at all covered in Western media, even though it made news in Arabic mainstream media. It would be politically naïve to imagine that Lavrov’s visit to the Gulf has no relation to this. All issues in the Middle East are related to each other, including the war in Yemen.

To put it succinctly, the UAE had already stepped away from the Yemen war. However, Saudi Arabia remains bogged down in this travesty and seven years on, must have come to the humiliating and painful realization that it is a war it cannot win. This is where Iran and Hezbollah can have leverage in any direct or indirect negotiations with the Saudis, and Russia is the only arbitrator who is able to communicate with all parties involved.

All parties in the Middle East are looking for face-saving tradeoffs; at least partial and interim ones. The Saudis in particular are tired and exhausted.

In an interview given to Sputnik Arabic, one not widely reported in other media, not even Sputnik English, Raad praised the cooperation between Hezbollah and Russia, stating that ‘the invitation we received aims to reopen the dialogue about the next phase after having reached the achievements that serve the interests of the people of the region in the recent past’ .

This is Raad’s first visit to Moscow since 2011. Of that visit, I am not trying to speculate in hindsight of the purpose of it and the achievements of it. Furthermore, Hezbollah has not ever been party to any international dis-engagement or peace negotiations in the past, except for ones relating to exchange of prisoners. The economic demise of Syria and Lebanon, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni impasse, may well have placed Hezbollah in a position of participating in peace-deals negotiations this time.

I am neither referring to peace deals with Israel here, nor any deal involving disarmament. Hezbollah will not be prepared to negotiate disarming itself under any political settlement either today or in the foreseeable future, and Moscow is totally aware of this.

According to my analysis, the deal that Moscow is most likely to suggest is a mutual withdrawal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on one hand, and an end of the Saudi war on Yemen. It is simple, Saudi Arabia to leave Yemen and Iran/Hezbollah to leave Syria. I believe that Lavrov has already secured the Saudi acceptance of those terms, terms that will not only end the war in Yemen, but also the return of Syria to the Arab League and a possible easing of the Western economic sanctions on Syria. Had Lavrov not secured the Saudi assurance, he would not have invited Hezbollah for talks.

A deal of this nature can potentially end the criminal human tragedy in Yemen in a manner that will portray the Saudis as the real losers in the war, and this is where they need a face-saving trade-off in Syria. In Syria, they will be perceived as winners by securing an Iranian/Hezbollah exit. But most importantly perhaps for the Saudis, this will put an end to a very costly and humiliating war in Yemen, one which is beginning to draw criticism from some quarters of the international community, including alleged talk of America considering placing arms deal embargos on Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased. Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia.

What will be in it for Hezbollah will largely depend on what Lavrov has put on the table, and it seems obvious that it is Hezbollah that will need more convincing than Iran, and this is why the talks are now with Hezbollah; not with Iranian officials. Perhaps the deal already has the tacit approval of Iranian officials.

It goes without saying; Israel will be watching these developments with keen interest. Israel wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. But the trade-off deal I am talking about is not one in which Israel is a direct party.

What is known at this stage is that a meeting has already taken place between the Hezbollah delegation and Russian officials. As I write this, I am not aware if other meetings are to follow and or whether or not the Hezbollah delegation is back in Lebanon.

Was the 2011 Moscow visit of Raad a prelude for Hezbollah to enter Syria? Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know. We may never find out the actual detailed outcome of the mysterious-but-not-so-mysterious current Hezbollah visit. It may not even end up with a press release, but in the next coming days, we will find out if a Syria-Yemen trade-off is indeed looming.

March 16, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 years since the war in Syria began, Western media & pundits still eager to keep it going

By Eva Bartlett | RT | March 15, 2021

After many wars built on lies over the decades, people might have developed a good BS radar. Instead, in March 2011, when media and human rights groups pushed propaganda about Syria, the public once again fell for it.

Front page, round-the-clock headlines were pumped out, and transparently hollow Western pundits tut-tutted Syria’s president and claimed the Syrian government was cracking down on “peaceful protesters.”

But this is March 2021, and while Western lies and fake concern have dominated news on Syria, Syrians deserve to have the reality – their suffering under some of the most heinous terrorism the world has known – highlighted instead.

In reality, March 2011 in Syria saw well-armed thugs attacking not only government buildings, but killing soldiers and civilians too.

In the months and years that followed, some of those who had been dubbed as “peaceful protesters” committed massacre after massacre of Syrian civilians and security forces.

Independent observers like Homs-based Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt witnessed “armed demonstrators who began to shoot at the police first.”

Flemish priest Father Daniel Maes, based in Damascus’ countryside, said:

“I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people.”

From my own fourteen visits from April 2014 and over the next seven years, what I’ve heard and experienced in Syria only confirmed my early suspicions that what Al Jazeera and Western media were purporting were lies.

– While people did aspire to political change (and the government made changes), from the start there was violence from well-armed “protesters.”

– Contrary to what the media would have us believe, there wasn’t wide support for what was dubbed a “revolution,” and it wasn’t actually a revolution. Predominantly Sunni Aleppo rejected the non-revolution.

– The core message of the protesters who continued beyond the first few protests was not about democracy but about driving out Christians to Beirut and killing Alawites. A sectarianism promoted by the West and its Gulf allies.

Although mass media attempted to paint events in Syria as a “civil war,” both Israel and Western nations have long been supporting terrorists in Syria, including Al-Qaeda in Syria (reportedly providing them medical treatment), and even Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

And as I detailed, the West has long been working to change the government of Syria, even decades prior during Hafez Assad’s time.

How I saw Syria vs. what it looks like through Al-Qaeda-tinted glasses

In April 2014, I met an American living in Latakia who recalled reading a LA Times blog post alleging a protest which had turned violent in her city three years prior, but which never happened. According to her, she had been to the places mentioned in the report that day, and there was no unrest.

Years later in Damascus, I met and interviewed a Syrian doctor who had been based in Dara’a province in March 2011. He described how his hospital operated at normal capacity at the time. At the same time, he says he saw a repeated report on another mainstream outlet that said the facility was overwhelmed, not enough doctors were available, and moreover, the hospital was denying treatment to civilians, when in fact the hospital directives were to treat civilians before soldiers.

Since a core message in regime-change reporting on Syria has been that the people want the president gone, it’s worth noting that President Bashar Assad is actually quite popular among Syrians. In fact, I was surprised to come across a January 2012 admission of this, one of the worst purveyors of lies and war propaganda on Syria.

Assad’s popularity has only steadily grown. From the early months of 2011 to late 2011, 2012, and beyond, Syrians held mass demonstrations in support of their president.

In Lebanon in 2014, I witnessed a mass show of support during the presidential election. These were people determined to vote, and the people I spoke with proudly declared their support for Assad.

From 2014 to my last visit in 2020, Syrians have maintained to me that while there are a host of changes they do want for the country, seeing Assad step down is not one of them.

The Syrian government issues visas to journalists from the worst propaganda outlets (including the BBC, Channel 4, the New York Times and CBC), yet they have reported a vastly different Syria than that which I or my colleagues know.

In their Syria, the suffering of civilians in government-controlled areas doesn’t exist. If mentioned, they are dubbed “regime supporters,” thus somehow deserving of the shelling and other abuse perpetrated by terrorist factions.

The outlets don’t take into account the millions of internally displaced Syrians who have fled terrorism or fighting elsewhere in Syria and taken shelter in government-controlled areas, frequently coming under attacks of terrorists.

When greater Aleppo, with around 1.5 million people, was for years being attacked with gas canister bombs, mortars, grad missiles and sniping by terrorists occupying areas of the city (by November 2016 resulting in the deaths of nearly 11,000 civilians), media downplayed this, or simply didn’t mention it at all.

Even when mixed Christian and Muslim areas of Old Damascus were shelled by terrorists occupying eastern Ghouta – and they were shelled for years, until Ghouta’s liberation – this terrorism, and the many maimed and killed, was underreported, if reported at all.

In one instance, after an elementary school was mortared (killing one child and injuring over 60 more) the BBC’s reporter later disingenuously wrote, “the government is also accused of launching [mortar shells] into neighborhoods under its control.”

In summer of 2016, I travelled around Syria, meeting Syrians who had started their lives anew, displaced by terrorists, and meeting Syrians who had survived terrorist attacks only to be living within a few hundred metres proximity to them and at daily risk of sniping and shelling.

And all the while, the same war propagandizing, script-reading media glossed over the horrific realities of life under terrorist rule, which included imprisonmenttorturestarvation, rape of women and public executions of civilians by sword or point-blank assassination.

‘Fallen’ cities, ‘chemical attacks’ and other lies

I’ve gone to many key cities and towns post-liberation from terrorist factions. Western media inevitably said these areas had “fallen,” bizarrely trying to claim that life under the government would be worse than life under the extremists who easily and routinely murdered civilians in the street.

Civilians under terrorist rule were starving – not by the Syrian government, but by the terrorists – and were often imprisoned in ghastly often underground prisons.

From the old city of Homs, to the ancient Aramaic-speaking village of Maaloula, to eastern Aleppo, to Madaya and al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta and even areas of Idlib province, civilians I met spoke of the hell they had lived under terrorist rule, and of their relief at being liberated.

When mass media said those areas “fell,” they were lying. Those areas returned to peace and stability.

UN representatives may feign concern and neutrality in matters Syria, but the UN has been complicit in ignoring terrorists’ shelling of Damascus and in silencing the voices of suffering civilians and Syrian representatives at the UN.

Then there is the issue of the alleged and never proven “chemical attacks” by the Syrian army.

I’ve written about the chemical weapons accusations, noting even a lead member of the UNHRC Commission of Inquiry, blamed the “rebels.”

Many journalists, including myself, have gone to Douma, the location of the latest alleged chemical attack, and interviewed medical staff and civilians, concluding that a chemical attack did not take place.

Douma witnesses spoke at The Hague, including a boy featured in Western media’s claims. Instead of considering these Syrian sources, pundits and media sneered at the “obscene masquerade” regarding the testimonies.

Yes, the same media which uncritically endorsed the Twitter account of a seven-year-old English-illiterate Aleppo girl as gospel in the lead up to the liberation of Aleppo refused to consider the testimonies of seventeen civilians from Douma.

The same media refused the revelations of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) whistleblowers who spoke out, damning the final OPCW report for its glaring omissions – omissions that completely changed the narrative around Douma.

In October 2020, the UN Security Council itself refused to allow Jose Bustani, former general director of the OPCW, to speak. I urge people to read Bustani’s words on the cover up of OPCW expert findings around the Douma allegations.

Still lying after all these years

Even now, five years after his image was plastered across global media as the “face of suffering in Syria,” allegedly hurt in a Russian or Syrian airstrike, the UK’s Independent has a photo of Aleppo boy Omran Daqneesh as its Twitter cover photo.

But this was a narrative debunked in mid-2017, when I met a healthy Omran and his father. The father specifically said there was no airstrike.

Still other lies that were debunked years ago are being recycled anew, in the West’s ceaseless attempt to criminalize Assad and legitimize the US coalition’s illegal presence in Syria.

But none of the media or pundits who claim to care about Syrians’ well-being address the actual causes (including terrorists) of their suffering, chief among which is the brutal Western sanctions against Syria, which directly impact on Syrian civilians’ ability to live and procure medicine, much less rebuild.

Also impacting on Syrians’ economy and sufficiency, the US’ theft of Syrian oil and cotton, and burning of wheat. And this, along with other US illegal policies in Syria, will only get worse under the Biden administration.

And if you peruse recent headlines, you’ll see the same old Western insistence that things won’t change until Assad is gone. They’ve blatantly said sanctions will continue until then.

And now they’re going after the first lady, a woman who is well-liked on the ground in Syria for dedicating her work to helping the country’s poorest through development and microfinance projects.

The West would have us believe she has “incited and encouraged terrorist acts,” a claim, emanating from the UK (which most definitely incited and encouraged terrorism), that would be laughable were it not so revolting.

Russia has called this “psychological pressure on the eve of the presidential election.”

A look at the legal entity behind the absurd allegations reveals this isn’t the first time they’ve attempted a legal attack against the Syrian government.

To adequately write about the past ten years of war on Syria would take volumes. For the sake of brevity: it need never have happened, nor the deaths and destruction accompanying it.

This was a premeditated and cruel war on the people of Syria, spurned forth by the media who truly do not care about the lives of Syrians.

To quote Father Daniel: “The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years).

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 2 Comments

Russia calls on OPCW to unveil truth behind alleged 2018 chemical attack in Syria’s Douma

Press TV – March 7, 2021

Russia has called on the global chemical weapons watchdog, OPCW, to conduct an impartial and reliable investigation into an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma near the capital Damascus on April 7, 2018.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW, Alexander Shulgin underlined the need for launching a transparent technical inquiry aimed at clarifying the actual course of events in Douma in 2018,  Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Sunday.

“Successful work at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be impossible until trustworthy circumstances behind the incident in the Syrian town of Douma in April 2018 are established,” the Russian official said.

Shulgin added that this sad page could be over and an international dialogue could be built at the OPCW only after receiving reliable conclusions on the issue.

Moscow has for months cited dissent by two former OPCW employees who leaked a document and an email as evidence that the OPCW doctored the conclusions of a report which found that a toxic chemical containing chlorine was used in a 2018 attack near Damascus.

According to the Russian official, the results which the two inspectors have reached and the violations they have uncovered have undermined the Western allegations.

In late 2019, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published several batches of documents suggesting that the OPCW may have intentionally doctored its findings, notably avoiding revelations which may point to terrorists having been behind the alleged chemical attack.

One of the published documents showed Sebastien Braha, chief of cabinet at the OPCW, had ordered in an email that “all traces” of a report from Henderson be erased from the body’s registries.

Ian Henderson had found out that the gas cylinders at the site of the Douma incident had been placed there manually most likely by militants given that the area was not controlled by Damascus at the time.

Following the suspected chemical attack, Western countries were quick to blame it on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

On April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

Damascus, however, said that no chemical attack had happened and that the incident had been staged by foreign intelligence agencies to pressure the government in the face of army advances against militants back then.

The OPCW concluded that chlorine had most likely been used in the attack. However, Syria and Russia both rejected the findings, saying they believed the incident had been staged by the White Helmets, a group which claims to be a humanitarian NGO but has long been accused of working with anti-Damascus militants and staging false-flag gas attacks.

The Syrian government also 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. However, Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack has taken place.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

Syrian government forces have taken back many areas once controlled by the terrorist groups.

Russia on Wednesday also called for not politicizing and exploiting the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Syria.

The IAEA in recent years has been investigating US claims that Syria allegedly tried to build a secret nuclear reactor at a remote desert site in Dayr al-Zawr in 2007, which no longer exists.

Syria and some other regional countries have time and again denounced the US and its Western allies for helping Israel develop its nuclear facilities and adopting double-standards on the issue of non-proliferation policies when it comes to Israel.

March 7, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

How the US and Great Britain Instigate Coups Nowadays

By Vladimir Danilov – New Eastern Outlook – 06.03.2021

Recently, the United States and Britain, actively using the propaganda tools that they possess, have increasingly begun to accuse Russia and China of interfering in their domestic affairs and election campaigns, and of effectively preparing coups in these countries. However, apart from making proclamatory statements, neither Washington nor London has presented any facts or documents that confirm these accusations, nor can they present them, since these accusations are false.

Along with that, documented information about complicity on the part of United States and Britain in various coups that were being set up has begun to appear more frequently in publicly accessible reports in various media outlets.

For example, according to the recent publication in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung, UN investigators found out that in 2019 elite fighters from the American Erik Prince’s private military company Blackwater, infamous for their actions during the American occupation of Iraq and several other states, had to take action twice to eliminate the Government of National Accord, which is recognized by the international community. But this “Project Opus” failed…

A group of UN experts studying violations of the UN arms embargo against Libya learned that in the Libyan war in recent years there has been a second, secret front to directly get rid of officials and commanders of the Government of National Accord that rules in Tripoli. “Project Opus” specifically called for delivering 20 elite Blackwater fighters to sites near Tripoli in June 2019 to conduct operations. The officers contacted by the German newspaper in Benghazi confirmed the arrival of 20 fighters from England and South Africa, and one American, in June 2019. The second group, consisting of snipers and fighters trained to fight behind enemy lines, flew to Benghazi in April 2020 and then headed off to the front near Tripoli. On April 24, 2020, 13 French citizens reached the Libyan-Tunisian border and presented themselves as diplomats to the Tunisian border guards, even though they carried heavy weapons. They were arrested, but under diplomatic pressure from Paris they were allowed to leave for Tunisia.

In early May 2020, the world media exploded with reports: another attempt at a military invasion of Venezuela was thwarted, Washington’s mercenaries were captured by the Venezuelan authorities, the United States wanted to repeat the operation in Cochinos Bay (the so-called attempt by the US Central Intelligence Agency to land Cuban emigrants in the Bay of Pigs, something which was aimed at overthrowing Fidel Castro). It is worth remembering how on May 3 mercenaries from the American private military company Silvercorp tried to land on the coast of Venezuela near the city of La Guaira, which is located just 32 kilometers from Caracas. Sixty armed, well-equipped militants with satellite phones and fake documents planned to reach the capital and capture the Venezuelan president for his subsequent transfer to the United States. Two of those arrested, Airan Berry and Luke Denman, were US citizens that had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. On May 4, American media interviewed the former US special forces fighter and the head of the Silvercorp PMC, Jordan Goodrow, who trained these fighters in Colombia. Goodrow declared that the goal of “Operation Gideon” was to organize raids into Venezuela to fight “the regime”. The former special forces soldier showed an eight-page $213 million contract signed in October 2019 by Washington-backed self-proclaimed Venezuelan “president” Juan Guaido and Donald Trump’s political advisers. On March 23, the Colombian authorities confiscated an entire arsenal on their territory that was specifically meant for the mercenaries. The mercenaries were equipped fairly well.

The Washington Post also published a document according to which members of the Venezuelan opposition, following negotiations, in October 2019 entered into a deal with the American private military company Silvercorp, located in Florida. The PMC employees were supposed to infiltrate the territory of Venezuela to overthrow the country’s legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro.

These events in Venezuela were recently well assessed by Bloomberg :

“One would hope that the Central Intelligence Agency could do better than a farcical scheme that was disowned by the Venezuelan opposition, penetrated by regime security forces and disrupted as soon as it began. Yet this trivial episode invites us to think seriously about the role of covert intervention and regime change in US policy.”

Exposing these subversive activities by Blackwater and other US and British mercenaries shows that they are usually committed by former military personnel and criminals involved in a wide variety of activities around the world. They act as bodyguards, protecting people and businesses in “hot spots” (like oil-producing areas off the coast of Nigeria and Sudan), as well as convoys and freight shipments in war zones, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since from the very beginning of hostilities in the region both public opinion in the United States and Democrats in Congress viewed sending their own soldiers to hot spots extremely unfavorably, they had to look for replacements elsewhere.

American wars in the beginning of the 21st century have become a real gold mine for these organizations, which have turned from bands of thugs that toppled shaky “cannibalistic” regimes in Africa during the Cold War into real international corporations. They represent a significant benefit for the United States and its Western allies leading the war, since they consist of veterans that are already experienced – military professionals who have not found a niche for themselves in civilian life. In addition, these organizations are considered private enterprises, and therefore are not accountable to Congress, so the losses these soldiers incur are not included in the total number of casualties for a country’s conventional army, which makes it possible to give a more favorable representation of the situation in a war zone at home. Public opinion in the United States has long called for rejecting the services these companies provide, and reinforcing transparency in their activities. The UN has repeatedly raised the issue of revising the definition of “mercenary”, and banning organizations like Blackwater, over the past several years – but so far it has not yet achieved any significant results.

Besides these examples of Washington’s attempts to instigate a military coup in other countries, nowadays a number of documents have been raised for public review related to the period of the height of the US intervention in Syria in 2014, when Assad’s forces were growing weaker and Damascus was under the threat of capture by Islamists that the West nurtured and supported. For example, the Middle East Eye agency has shown quite convincingly – and with documentary evidence – how during a British-supported operation called Sarkha (Scream), the media tried to turn the Alawites against Assad, and by doing so accomplish a coup in Syria. The publication gives official documents that attest to the social media “protest movement” that was actually created under the authority of the British government.  The very same scenario for Operation Sarkha was developed by the American company Pechter Polls of Princeton (New Jersey, USA), which was working under a contract with the British government. The contract for subversive work in Syria was initially administered by the Military Strategic Effects department at the UK Department of Defense, and then by the British government-run The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, whose objective is to

“resolve conflicts that threaten the Great Britain’s interests.” The project’s budget was £600,000 ($746,000) per year. The published documents indicate that the goal of the operations was “supporting the activities of the Syrian opposition media to reach an audience in Syria… Platforms for this work were created jointly by the UK, USA, and Canada to strengthen popular resentment toward the Assad regime.”

In another issue of the Middle East Eye, documents obtained by the publication show how British contractors hired Syrian citizens who were journalists to promote “moderate opposition” – often without their knowledge. Contracts with these mercenaries were entered into by the British Foreign Office, and were managed by the country’s Ministry of Defense, sometimes by military intelligence officers, paying small amounts of money to the contractors.

After getting to know everything indicated above, the question naturally arises: who exactly is really interfering in the affairs of other states? And how objective is the propaganda coming from Washington and London, as well as their foreign policy as a whole?

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment