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Found 15 results

  1. In a city under siege, schoolchildren take public exams in cellars to escape the shelling, and classes are conducted by WhatsApp. Their teachers describe what it’s like to run a school in a war zone Sally Weale Wed 18 Apr 2018 17.05 BST Last modified on Wed 18 Apr 2018 22.00 BST Teacher Abdulkafi Alhamdo, in front of a bombed-out school in Aleppo. He fled to Idlib, where he still teaches More pics in link https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/18/teachers-idlib-impossible-struggle-educate-students-children-siege
  2. Sergei Lavrov seeks to pre-empt potential US strike, accusing west of ‘anti-Russian arguments’ Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor Tue 10 Apr 2018 14.31 BST The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov Photograph: Sergei Chirikov/EPA https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/10/russia-hits-back-over-syria-chemical-attack-with-call-for-un-inquiry
  3. November 1, 2017 2:42 PM CDT By Rosa Gilbert In this Nov. 22, 2014 photo, families take shelter from fighting between Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants in the buffer zone in Kobani, Syria, close to the Turkish border. | Jake Simkin / AP http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/kobani-the-city-that-stopped-isis/
  4. After months of brutal fighting, the battle to retake Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State caliphate, is almost over. Scroll down to follow photographer Achilleas Zavallis and reporter Martin Chulov as they journey from the Iraqi border to the wasteland of the frontline of the ancient Syrian city where the few remaining Isis fighters are making their last stand. Tuesday 10 October 2017 05.00 BST Vids & pics in link https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/10/raqqa-a-journey-into-the-destroyed-heart-of-the-islamic-state-capital
  5. If not just symbolically. Yes, this particular Bingo was in Syria, but applies IMHO to our journey towards regaining stability, then RV. What they give, they get back . . . in spades. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report. The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Star reported Sunday. The pack exploded, killing the sadistic terrorist and three of his flunkies, who were supposed to film the execution, last month, the paper said. The ISIS butcher — who reportedly delighted in burning hostages alive — had been on a US “kill list” for several months, sources told the paper, which did not identify the sniper or the executioner. He and his band of wicked men had been traveling around ISIS-held compounds in Syria slaughtering civilians labeled as spies. Their prisoners were tied to stakes or thrown in cages before being torched by the executioner, according to the report. ISIS started using flamethrowers after the torture method was popularized in North Korea. The ISIS killer was so feared that his victims would beg to be shot rather than be set on fire. Just before the sniper rescue operation outside of Raqqa, Syria, “the SAS team moved into an overwatch position above a village where they were told the execution was going to take place,” a source told the Star. “Up to 12 civilians were going to be murdered — eight men and four women. “The executioner gave some sort of rambling speech . . . then when he finished, the SAS sniper opened fire,” the source said. The captives were then rescued by British and US special forces. The rescue comes just months after another SAS sniper killed two ISIS car bombers as they drove toward Libya. The sniper’s bullet went through the driver’s skull and into the passenger’s neck, taking both out. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://nypost.com/2016/09/11/sniper-takes-out-isis-executioner-from-a-mile-away/?ref=yfp
  6. GREAT ARTICLE, LOTS OF INFO AND LINKS http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-23/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-tool-overthrow-syrias-president-assad Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US "Created" ISIS As A "Tool" To Overthrow Syria's President Assad 05/24/2015 15:20 -0400 inShare200 From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world's stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world's terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the "straight to beheading YouTube clip" purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria's president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant - and belligerent - source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war. The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year: But it's one thing to speculate; it's something entirely different to have hard proof. If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama's new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that "such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa." And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this. That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the "leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people's heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to "modernize" and "replenish" the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq. According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.” But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn't clear is just how the US predetermined the current course of events in the middle east. Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to be, but what America's puppermaster role leading up to it all, was. From Nafeez Ahmed: Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion', originally posted in Medium. Hypocrisy The revelations contradict the official line of Western government on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home. Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012. The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community. So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria. Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. Yet none have accurately acknowledged the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria. Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said: The West’s Islamists“Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.” The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies. Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.” The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.” The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region. In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.” The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.” In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’). ‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entityIn a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”: “… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).” The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.” The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.” Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway. The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi. Such a quasi-state entity will provide: The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies. “… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.” In response to my questions about the strategy, the British government simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said: The DIA did not respond to request for comment. “AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.” Strategic asset for regime-changeSecurity analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations: According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Battalion Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that: “Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.” “US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.” Hoff, who is managing editor of Levant Report — ?an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East?—?points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.” The DIA intelligence report shows, he said, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency?—?“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report demonstrates that: The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US intelligence as likely?—?but nevertheless strategically useful?—?blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.” “The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.” ComplicityCritics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria. The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported. However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency. Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq. As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”?—?namely, the emergence of ISIS?—?“but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’” Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle in the 1990s on MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations: “This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.” She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.” This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were: “… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.” Divide and ruleSeveral US government officials have conceded that their closest allies in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist groups that became integral to ISIS. US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, admitted last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that metamorphosed into ISIS. But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document demonstrates?—?that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and supervised by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers. The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US Army-commissioned RAND Corp report. The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.” The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance. The RAND report confirmed that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.” The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.” The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria. The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers. In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims. Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of the threat comes from their own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism for dubious geopolitical purposes.
  7. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-21/isis-controlling-more-half-syria-us-alliances-prepares-pounce With ISIS Controlling "More Than Half Of Syria", The US Prepares To Pounce 05/21/2015 14:53 -0400 inShare2 Just hours after ISIS scored a significant victory in Iraq when it captured the town of Ramadi over the weekend, the first Iraqi town that had been actively defended by the US as opposed to just Iraqi troops, overnight ISIS also captured the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, which the mainstream media promptly concludes was proof that the Islamic State's momentum was growing. Around a third of the 200,000 people living in Palmyra may have fled in the past few days during fighting between government forces and Islamic State militants, the U.N. human rights office said on Thursday. The capture of Palmyra according to the known UK propaganda outlet and distributor of fabricated "chemical attack" tapes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is really just one guy, Abdul Rahman of Coventry, means that ISIS "now controls more than half of Syrian territory." That's not all: according to Reuters, "extending its reach in the region, fighters loyal to the Sunni Muslim group have also consolidated their grip on the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi. "ISIL has reportedly been carrying out door-to-door searches in the city, looking for people affiliated with the government. At least 14 civilians are reported to have been executed by ISIL in Palmyra this week," Shamdasani said in emailed comments. Not really, no. But the facts are irrelevant when one needs soundbites. So what is really going on? Simple: all these latest developments and the unexpected and successful ISIS "offensive" is merely another attempt to justify a US land incursion into Iraq (and of course Syria), this time "appealing" to the populace not using fake chemical attack YouTube clips as "evidence", but with a noble crusade to save an ancient cultural artifact. Alas the battle is only just beginning because as Reuters also noted, "the twin successes pile pressure not just on Damascus and Baghdad, but also throw doubt on U.S. strategy to rely almost exclusively on air strikes to defeat Islamic State." The U.N. cultural agency UNESCO describes the site as a historical crossroads between the Roman Empire, India, China and ancient Persia and a testament to the world's diverse heritage. "We may have different beliefs... different views, but we have to protect such incredible vestiges of human history," UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova told Reuters Television. The Observatory's founder Rami Abdulrahman said Islamic State fighters had entered the historical sites by early on Thursday but there were no immediate reports of destruction. "This is the fall of a civilization," Syria's antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters. "Human, civilized society has lost the battle against barbarism." Bloomberg adds: Enter a casual strawman: After weeks of fighting, Ramadi’s fall on Sunday delivered the jihadist group control over a strategic highway linking Iraq and Syria, and a haul of weapons abandoned by Iraqi forces. Three days later, the al-Qaeda breakaway group overran Syrian government troops to seize Palmyra, home to the ruins of a 2,000-year-old city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. With the first anniversary of the declaration of its caliphate a month away, the victories put the militants on the front foot at a time when their leaders are seeking to dispel any sense of weakness after recent defeats. In Syria, it now controls half of the country’s territory and most of its oil and gas fields, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group that monitors the conflict. “The fact Islamic State is still on the offensive is important, and the timing is important,” said Charlie Winter, a researcher at the counter-radicalization group Quilliam Foundation in London. Pushed into retreat, “it loses power and all the things that drive people to join it.” And like that the stage is again set for the following scenario: unwilling to lose any more territory, and face, the Nobel peace-prize winning US president will sit down with his security council in the next few days and decide that, as much as he hates to do it, he will dispatch [X],000 US troops to support the Iraq government in their losing fight with the resurgent ISIS. Troops which will promptly enter Syria and then make sure Assad is quietly eliminated. The group’s supporters are already touting its latest feats, Winter said, posing the question on social media: “Last year it was Mosul, this year it’s Ramadi, and where will it be next year?” Which brings us to a different point: see on the map above how ISIS in Syria is clustered by the border of NATO-member Turkey? There's a reason for that. As Reuters also reports in an exclusive piece, Turkey's state intelligence agency helped deliver arms to parts of Syria under Islamist rebel control during late 2013 and early 2014, according to a prosecutor and court testimony from gendarmerie officers seen by Reuters. As Reuters observes, the witness testimony contradicts Turkey's denials that it sent arms to Syrian rebels and, by extension, contributed to the rise of Islamic State, now a major concern for the NATO member. In other words, a NATO member and a nation very close to the US, has been instrument in the rise of ISIS. Worse, unlike running speculation that ISIS was created by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, there is now documented evidence that ISIS is indeed a "western" creation. More from Reuters: Syria and some of Turkey's Western allies say Turkey, in its haste to see President Bashar al-Assad toppled, let fighters and arms over the border, some of whom went on to join the Islamic State militant group which has carved a self-declared caliphate out of parts of Syria and Iraq. Ankara has denied arming Syria's rebels or assisting hardline Islamists. Diplomats and Turkish officials say it has in recent months imposed tighter controls on its borders. Testimony from gendarmerie officers in court documents reviewed by Reuters allege that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells were carried in trucks accompanied by state intelligence agency (MIT) officials more than a year ago to parts of Syria under Islamist control. Which in turn explains the news from two weeks ago that "Turkey, Saudis Form Alliance To Topple Syria's Assad As US Starts Training Syrian Rebels." And just to make sure Obama's upcoming offensive against Assad, pardon ISIS' al-Baghdadi is successful, Reuters finally reports that contrary to previous reports, not 1000, but 2000 anti-tank weapons are being sent to Iraq. Wait, ISIS has tanks? Well no, that would be Syria, but when fabricating a narrative suicide bombers are as durable as tanks. Also from Reuters: The Pentagon said on Thursday the United States would deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq as early as next week, 1,000 more than announced on Wednesday, to help Baghdad combat suicide car bombings by Islamic State. Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the delivery would help Iraq defend against approaching suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives, attacks used by Islamic State militants last weekend to help them seize Ramadi from Iraqi forces. "This is a good counter to that (type of bombing)," Warren said. Warren said the anti-tank weapons would allow the Iraqi forces to destroy approaching suicide car bombers at a distance. Relying on small arms requires disabling the engine or killing the driver, which can be difficult, he said. It's an even better counter when staging an offensive operation, aka an invasion, against the Syrian army and not just from one side but two sides: the east, via Iraq, and north, via Turkey, with the occasional bombing run by Saudi Arabia (with Jordan just waiting to enter from the South and "liberate" Damascus). So gun to our head, this is what happens next: a couple of the good ole' "chemical attack" false flag YouTube clips once again emerge just around the time Obama announces it is time to send a tactical, contained group of troops in Syria to retake the "cultural heritage" that is Palmyra, at which point the war against ISIS morphs into what it has been from day one: the western attempt to crush and topple the Assad government, and to hand over control of Syria to Turkey and Iraq, just so the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar can control what happens behind the scenes, by which we mean finally allow that long overdue Qatari gas pipeline to traverse the nation and sideline Russian gas deliveries to Europe. (Why does already wealthy beyond compare Qatar need to kill thousands of innocent people just so it can sell its natgas to Europe? Just so its former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani can buy many more $179 million Picasso paintings, and many more NYC and London apartments). We expect this scenario to start unfolding within the month as the US economy desperately needs an official war to avoid sliding into a recession.
  8. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-24/us-propaganda-enters-insane-irrational-overdrive-attempt-sell-war-syria US Propaganda Enters Into Insane, Irrational Overdrive In Attempt to "Sell" War In Syria Thanks to a dizzying barrage of lies, mainstream media fear-mongering and a couple of beheadings, the Obama Administration finally achieved its long sought after war in Syria. The tactic that proved most effective in mobilizing the American public back into a shivering, post-9/11 fetal position, was the same tactic used by elites in the UK to convince Scotland against voting for independence. That tactic, as I detailed in a recent post, is fear. However, fear in itself is not enough. It must be coupled with endless slogans and misdirection by the mainstream media and politicians. It must lead the public to subconsciously embrace a thought process that is completely irrational. Such tactics can be labeled propaganda, and it results in a public suddenly supporting a war it strongly opposed only a year ago. All it takes is a little repackaging. Propaganda allows those who profit from war to push the American public into a tizzy of trepidation based on a couple of beheadings from ISIS, while not batting an eye over the daily beheadings that were simultaneously occurring in Saudi Arabia. So the power structure and its impotent puppet, Barack Obama, intentionally pushed the American public into a frenzy of fear and finally got their little war. Nevertheless, serious people immediately began to call into question two very significant issues with respect to the aggression. First, it appeared clear to almost everyone without a biased penchant for overseas death and destruction, that the war is completely unconstitutional and illegal no matter how you slice it. As I highlighted in the post, Obama’s ISIS War is Not Only Illegal, it Makes George W. Bush Look Like a Constitutional Scholar: But the 2001 authorization for the use of military force does not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks. Not only was ISIS created long after 2001, but Al Qaeda publicly disavowed it earlier this year. It is Al Qaeda’s competitor, not its affiliate. Mr. Obama may rightly be frustrated by gridlock in Washington, but his assault on the rule of law is a devastating setback for our constitutional order. His refusal even to ask the Justice Department to provide a formal legal pretext for the war on ISIS is astonishing. Senators and representatives aren’t eager to step up to the plate in October when, however they decide, their votes will alienate some constituents in November’s midterm elections. They would prefer to let the president plunge ahead and blame him later if things go wrong. But this is precisely why the War Powers Resolution sets up its 60-day deadline: It rightly insists that unless Congress is willing to stand up and be counted, the war is not worth fighting in the name of the American people. So that’s glaring problem number one. The second problem, which I highlighted in the post, The American Public: A Tough Soldier or a Chicken Hawk Cowering in a Cubicle? Some Thoughts on ISIS Intervention, is that: Did you know that the US government’s counterterrorism chief Matthew Olson said last week that there’s no “there’s no credible information” that the Islamic State (Isis) is planning an attack on America and that there’s “no indication at this point of a cell of foreign fighters operating in the United States”? Or that, as the Associated Press reported, “The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the US homeland from the Islamic State militant group”? So as quickly as it began, Obama’s little war had some serious PR issues. So what did the chicken-hawks do? They repackaged and resold the entire thing. Enter Khorosan. Yep, just as quickly as ISIS spontaneously generated like maggots on meat from the sands of Mesopotamia to open the door to another Middle East quagmire, another existential threat nobody had ever heard of suddenly emerged. Not only that, but this group supposedly posed an imminent threat to America. How incredibly convenient. Here’s ABC News compliantly pushing the latest propaganda to its lobotomized readership in the article, US Averts ‘Active Plotting Against Homeland’ By Hitting Al Qaeda Cell Khorasan in Syria: American airstrikes in Syria have taken out members of a shadowy al Qaeda unit known as the Khorasan Group who were planning “imminent” attacks against targets including the U.S., the Pentagon said today. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby declined to go into specifics, but told ABC News’ George Stephanopolous, “We had very good indications that this group, which is a very dangerous group, was plotting and planning imminent attacks against Western targets to include the U.S. homeland and it was on that basis that we struck targets, Khorasan targets inside Syria.” The Khorasan Group — consisting of about 50 or so hardened fighters of mixed past and current jihadi affiliations — has been holed up in Aleppo, Syria under the protection of al Qaeda’s official wing in the country, Jabhat al-Nusra, developing cutting edge weapons of terror with the help of al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate to strike Western civilian aviation targets, according to a half-dozen officials with knowledge of the group who spoke to ABC News. So all of a sudden the Pentagon identifies and targets a group of 50 fighters in Syria, which happens to be conveniently tied to al-Qaeda (thus justifying strikes under the 2001 AUMF), planning an imminent attack on the “homeland.” There are two reasons I distrust this meme. First of all, the U.S. government employs an extremely bizarre definition when using the word imminent. As Trevor Timm noted earlier today in the Guardian: Take, for example, this definition from a Justice Department white paper, which was leaked last year, intended to justify the killing of Americans overseas: An “imminent” threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons will take place in the immediate future. To translate: “imminent” can mean a lot of things … including “not imminent”. Fascinating, and all this time I thought “imminent” meant “imminent.” Someone should let Merriam-Webster know they’ve got it all wrong. The employment of this new definition of imminent was further solidified in my mind after reading an article from the New York Times titled: In Airstrikes, U.S. Targets Militant Cell Said to Plot an Attack Against the West. In it, we learn that: American military and intelligence analysts were still studying damage reports from the initial air assault, but senior Obama administration officials expressed hope that they had killed Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of Khorasan and a onetime confidant of Osama bin Laden. The officials said they had been contemplating military action against Khorasan in recent months, but President Obama’s decision to hit the Islamic State’s forces inside Syria provided a chance to neutralize the other perceived threat. You’ve got to wonder what other unrelated opportunities the ISIS campaign might allow. But I digress. The air campaign against Khorasan and the Islamic State got underway even as Mr. Obama flew to New York to meet with world leaders gathering at the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Obama did not seek United Nations permission for the military campaign, but he presented the strikes as the collaboration of a multinational coalition that included five Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. Yeah, well he didn’t seek approval from Congress either. Now here’s the money shot. Most officials speaking publicly on Tuesday characterized the Khorasan threat as imminent. Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., who is in charge of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, said the terrorist group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland.” But one senior counterterrorism official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the group might not have chosen the target, method or even the timing for a strike. An intelligence official said separately that the group was “reaching a stage where they might be able to do something.” Wait, come again? An attack is imminent, yet you don’t know which gigantic continent with hundreds of millions of inhabitants straddling opposing sides of the Atlantic ocean they were going to hit? Furthermore, they “might not have chosen the target, method or even the timing for a strike,” and they are “reaching a stage where they might be able to do something.” Sure sounds imminent to me. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. So with Americans back to shivering in corners filled with nightmares of Islamists under their beds, the military-industrial complex is set to do what it does best. Get paid. For some details on who will be raking in the big bucks, I turn to Tim Shorrock’s piece earlier today in Salon: A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world. INSCOM announced the global intelligence contract two days after President Obama, in a speech to the nation, essentially declared war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria and outlined a campaign of airstrikes and combat actions to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group. The top contractors on the INSCOM contract are already involved in the war. Lockheed Martin, for example, makes the Hellfire missiles that are used extensively in U.S. drone strikes (in 2013, it also won a three-year contract to train INSCOM’S “Army intelligence soldiers” in “analytical and operational disciplines”). Northrop Grumman makes the Global Hawk surveillance drone, one of the most formidable weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Both companies have large intelligence units. The role of contractors at the command is spelled out by BAE Systems, which has its own INSCOM website. “We enhance the U.S. Army’s ability to detect, decide, and act on vital intelligence in real-time,” BAE says. “From Intelligence Analysis to Persistent Surveillance, BAE Systems is proud to provide essential and sustainable end-to-end solutions and support to the warfighter.” As I first reported in Salon in 2007 and later chronicled in my book “Spies for Hire,” 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget is spent on private contractors. Much of this spending – estimated at around $70 billion a year – winds up at the NSA, where SIGINT operations, particularly for collection and analysis, were heavily outsourced at the turn of the century. “Hayden started the privatization, but it was really Alexander who built it,” said Drake. Alexander’s ties with INSCOM are extensive. One of the winning bidders on the new INSCOM contract is Sotera Defense Solutions. Russell Richardson, its former CEO and a former INSCOM commander, is now one of Alexander’s partners at IronNet and, under Alexander’s command of INSCOM, was its “chief architect.” Before that, Richardson was a vice president of NSA contractor SAIC, where he ran INSCOM’s so-called Information Dominance Center. INSCOM’s ties with Booz Allen, the company that employed Edward Snowden at its top secret site in Hawaii, are equally close. Robert Noonan, who directs the company’s “military intelligence account,” served for 35 years in the military, including a stint as INSCOM’s commanding general and the US Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence. Roberto Andujar, the INSCOM contract leader at Invertix Corp., another contract winner, once served as the command’s chief information officer (CIO). The revolving door between INSCOM and its contractors bothers Shaffer. “It’s a cash-and-carry program,” he said. “You go in there and get the knowledge, then you carry it out and get cash.” The Pentagon press office referred all calls on the contract to INSCOM. The command did not comment by press time. Wake up America. You will continue to be raped, pillaged and economically strip-mined until you stand up for yourselves, but for now, it appears the fetal position suits you just fine.
  9. http://rt.com/op-edge/168064-isis-terrorism-usa-cia-war/ ISIS in Iraq stinks of CIA/NATO ‘dirty war’ op William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages. Get short URL Published time: June 24, 2014 10:22 Iraqi Kurdish forces take position near Taza Khormato as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positioned five kilometers away in Bashir, 20 kms south of Kirkuk (AFP Photo / Karim Sahib) 9.7K83175 Tags Intelligence, Iraq, Syria, Terrorism, USA For days now, since their dramatic June 10 taking of Mosul, Western mainstream media have been filled with horror stories of the military conquests in Iraq of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with the curious acronym ISIS. ISIS, as in the ancient Egyptian cult of the goddess of fertility and magic. The media picture being presented adds up less and less. Details leaking out suggest that ISIS and the major military ‘surge’ in Iraq - and less so in neighboring Syria - is being shaped and controlled out of Langley, Virginia, and other CIA and Pentagon outposts as the next stage in spreading chaos in the world’s second-largest oil state, Iraq, as well as weakening the recent Syrian stabilization efforts. Strange factsThe very details of the ISIS military success in the key Iraqi oil center, Mosul, are suspect. According to well-informed Iraqi journalists, ISIS overran the strategic Mosul region, site of some of the world’s most prolific oilfields, with barely a shot fired in resistance. According to one report, residents of Tikrit reported remarkable displays of “soldiers handing over their weapons and uniforms peacefully to militants who ordinarily would have been expected to kill government soldiers on the spot.” We are told that ISIS masked psychopaths captured “arms and ammunition from the fleeing security forces” - arms and ammunition supplied by the American government. The offensive coincides with a successful campaign by ISIS in eastern Syria. According to Iraqi journalists, Sunni tribal chiefs in the region had been convinced to side with ISIS against the Shiite Al-Maliki government in Baghdad. They were promised a better deal under ISIS Sunni Sharia than with Baghdad anti-Sunni rule. According to the New York Times, the mastermind behind the ISIS military success is former Baath Party head and Saddam Hussein successor, General Ibrahim al-Douri. Douri is reportedly the head of the Iraqi rebel group Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order as well as the Supreme Command for Jihad and Liberation based on his longstanding positions of leadership in the Naqshbandi sect in Iraq. In 2009, US ‘Iraqi surge’ General David Petraeus, at the time heading the US Central Command, claimed to reporters that Douri was in Syria. Iraqi parliamentarians claimed he was in Qatar. The curious fact is that despite being on the US most wanted list since 2003, Douri has miraculously managed to avoid capture and now to return with a vengeance to retake huge parts of Sunni Iraq. Luck or well-placed friends in Washington? The financial backing for ISIS jihadists reportedly also comes from three of the closest US allies in the Sunni world—Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. US passports?Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials. The US, Turkish and Jordanian intelligence were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, conveniently near the borders to both Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two Gulf monarchies most involved in funding the war against Syria’s Assad, financed the Jordan ISIS training. Advertised publicly as training of ‘non-extremist’ Muslim jihadists to wage war against the Syrian Bashar Assad regime, the secret US training camps in Jordan and elsewhere have trained perhaps several thousand Muslim fighters in techniques of irregular warfare, sabotage and general terror. The claims by Washington that they took special care not to train ‘Salafist’ or jihadist extremists, is a joke. How do you test if a recruit is not a jihadist? Is there a special jihad DNA that the CIA doctors have discovered? Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) parading with an Iraqi army vehicle in the northern city of Baiji in the in Salaheddin province. (AFP Photo / HO / Youtube) Jordanian government officials are revealing the details, in fear that the same ISIS terrorists that today are slashing heads of ‘infidels’ alongside the roadways of Mosul by the dozens, or hundreds if we believe their own propaganda, might turn their swords towards Jordan’s King Abdullah soon, to extend their budding Caliphate empire. Former US State Department official Andrew Doran wrote in the conservative National Review magazine that some ISIS warriors also hold US passports. Now, of course that doesn’t demonstrate and support by the Obama Administration. Hmm... Iranian journalist Sabah Zanganeh notes, "ISIS did not have the power to occupy and conquer Mosul by itself. What has happened is the result of security-intelligence collaborations of some regional countries with some extremist groups inside the Iraqi government." Iraq’s Chechen commanderThe next bizarre part of the ISIS puzzle involves the Jihadist credited with being the ‘military mastermind’ of the recent ISIS victories, Tarkhan Batirashvili. If his name doesn’t sound very Arabic, it’s because it’s not. Tarkhan Batrashvili is a Russian - actually an ethnic Chechen from near the Chechen border to Georgia. But to give himself a more Arabic flair, he also goes by the name Emir (what else?) Umar al Shishani. The problem is he doesn’t look at all Arabic. No dark swarthy black beard: rather a long red beard, a kind of Chechen Barbarossa. According to a November, 2013 report in The Wall Street Journal, Emir Umar or Batrashvili as you prefer, has made the wars in Syria and Iraq “into a geopolitical struggle between the US and Russia.” That has been the objective of leading neo-conservatives in the CIA, Pentagon and State Department all along. The CIA transported hundreds of Mujahideen Saudis and other foreign veterans of the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviets in Afghanistan into Chechnya to disrupt the struggling Russia in the early 1990s, particularly to sabotage the Russian oil pipeline running directly from Baku on the Caspian Sea into Russia. James Baker III and his friends in Anglo-American Big Oil had other plans. It was called the BTC pipeline, owned by a BP-US oil consortium and running through Tbilisi into NATO-member Turkey, free of Russian territory. Batrashvili is not renowned for taking care. Last year he was forced to apologize when he ordered his men to behead a wounded ‘enemy’ soldier who turned out to be an allied rebel commander. More than 8,000 foreign Jihadist mercenaries are reportedly in ISIS including at least 1,000 Chechens as well as Jihadists Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt and reportedly Chinese Uyghur from Xinjiang Province. Jeffrey Silverman, Georgia Bureau Chief for the US-based Veterans Today (VT) website, told me that Batrashvili “is a product of a joint program of the US through a front NGO called Jvari, which was set up by US Intelligence and the Georgian National Security Council, dating back to the early days of the Pankisi Gorge.” Jvari is the name as well of a famous Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century. According to Silverman, David J. Smith—head of something in Tbilisi called the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, as well as the Potomac Institute in Washington where he is listed as Director of the Potomac Institute Cyber Centerr—played a role in setting up the Jvari NGO. Silverman maintains that Jvari in Rustavi, near the capital, Tbilisi, gathered together Afghan Mujahideen war veterans, Chechens, Georgians and sundry Arab Jihadists. They were sent to the infamous Pankisi Gorge region, a kind-of no-man’s lawless area, for later deployment, including Iraq and Syria. Batrashvili and other Georgian and Chechen Russian-speaking Jihadists, Silverman notes, are typically smuggled, with the assistance of Georgia’s Counterintelligence Department and the approval of the US embassy, across the Georgia border to Turkey at the Vale crossing point, near Georgia’s Akhaltsikhe and the Turkish village of Türkgözü on the Turkish side of the Georgian border. From there it’s very little problem getting them through Turkey to either Mosul in Iraq or northeast Syria. Silverman believes that events in Northern Iraq relate to “wanting to have a Kurdish Republic separate from the Central government and this is all part of the New Great Game. It will serve US interests in both Turkey and Iraq, not to mention Syria.” Very revealing is the fact that almost two weeks after the dramatic fall of Mosul and the ‘capture’ by ISIS forces of the huge weapons and military vehicle resources provided by the US to the Iraqi army. Washington has done virtually nothing but make a few silly speeches about their ‘concern’ and dispatch 275 US special forces to allegedly protect US personnel in Iraq. Whatever the final details that emerge, what is clear in the days since the fall of Mosul is that some of the world’s largest oilfields in Iraq are suddenly held by Jihadists and no longer by an Iraqi government determined to increase the oil export significantly. More on this aspect in an upcoming article. More links: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/14/america-s-allies-are-funding-isis.html http://www.crescent-online.net/2014/06/us-saudi-funded-isis-spreads-terror-in-iraq-crescent-onlinenet-4513-articles.html
  10. Partial Israeli reserves call-up. US beefs up Qatar air base. Syria moves units into sheltered sites US B-1 strategic bombers Ahead of the US strike on Syria, the Israeli security cabinet in special session Wednesday, Aug. 28, ordered the partial mobilization of select, qualitative IDF reserve forces: Rocket, Air Force, missile interception, Home Defense command and intelligence units. Anti-missile Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome systems were spread out more widely than ever before across the country. US and Syria wound up last military preparations for the US strike. Barring last-minute hold-ups, debkafile’s military sources report the American operation is scheduled to start Friday night, early Saturday Aug. 30-31. In the past 24 hours, the US Air Force finished a major buildup at the big US Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. B-1B bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were brought over from other US Mid East air facilities on the Omani island of Masirah and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. These squadrons were not assigned to the US military strike against Syria, say our military sources, but will stand ready to move in should unforeseen complications in the course of the US missile assault on Syria call for the introduction of extra assets from outside. Israeli officials and spokesmen continued to insist Wednesday on low expectations of a Syrian counter-offensive against their country. Nevertheless, the new US air force reinforcements in Qatar will stand ready to rush to the aid of US allies - Israel, Jordan and Turkey - in the event of their coming under Syrian Scud attack. On the opposite side, the Syrian army Tuesday started scattering personnel, weapons and air assets to safe places to reduce their exposure to damage and losses from US assaults. Our military sources report that personnel, tanks and artillery of the Syrian Army’s 4th and Republican Guard Divisions, which are held responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attack on civilians, were being moved into fortified shelters built last year against potential foreign military intervention. Syrian army command centers in Homs, Hama, Latakia and the Aleppo region were also being split up and dispersed, after a tip-off to Syrian and Russian intelligence that they would be targeted by the US strike. Syria has also transferred its Air Force fighter planes, bombers and attack helicopters to fortified shelters which are armored against missile and air attack. In Israel, the IDF Wednesday installed two Iron Dome missile interceptors in the northern “Valleys” region and Safed in addition to Haifa. Another Iron Dome battery was posted in the heavily populated central district. Arrow, Patriot anti-missile missiles, as well as Iron Domes, have been deployed more widely across Israel than ever before. debkafile’s military sources report that Israel’s Arrow and Patriot interceptors are linked to the US missile shield with which their operation is synchronized. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was ready for any scenario. Although it takes no part in the Syrian civil war crisis, Israel would not hesitate to fight back for any attempted attacks – and would do so forcefully. Wednesday morning, the machinery for distributing gas masks to the population broke down under the pressure of demands to distribution centers across the country. The Homeland Ministry’s website crashed. Former Interior Minister Ellie Yishay complained of a shortage of protective masks due to budget cuts. He said there are only enough to supply 40 percent of the population. http://debka.com/article/23228/-Partial-Israeli-reserves-call-up-US-beefs-up-Qatar-air-base-Syria-moves-units-into-sheltered-sites I don't know why the article did not post. Here is is. Ahead of the US strike on Syria, the Israeli security cabinet in special session Wednesday, Aug. 28, ordered the partial mobilization of select, qualitative IDF reserve forces: Rocket, Air Force, missile interception, Home Defense command and intelligence units. Anti-missile Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome systems were spread out more widely than ever before across the country. US and Syria wound up last military preparations for the US strike. Barring last-minute hold-ups, debkafile’s military sources report the American operation is scheduled to start Friday night, early Saturday Aug. 30-31. In the past 24 hours, the US Air Force finished a major buildup at the big US Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. B-1B bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were brought over from other US Mid East air facilities on the Omani island of Masirah and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. These squadrons were not assigned to the US military strike against Syria, say our military sources, but will stand ready to move in should unforeseen complications in the course of the US missile assault on Syria call for the introduction of extra assets from outside. Israeli officials and spokesmen continued to insist Wednesday on low expectations of a Syrian counter-offensive against their country. Nevertheless, the new US air force reinforcements in Qatar will stand ready to rush to the aid of US allies - Israel, Jordan and Turkey - in the event of their coming under Syrian Scud attack. On the opposite side, the Syrian army Tuesday started scattering personnel, weapons and air assets to safe places to reduce their exposure to damage and losses from US assaults. Our military sources report that personnel, tanks and artillery of the Syrian Army’s 4th and Republican Guard Divisions, which are held responsible for the Aug. 21 chemical attack on civilians, were being moved into fortified shelters built last year against potential foreign military intervention. Syrian army command centers in Homs, Hama, Latakia and the Aleppo region were also being split up and dispersed, after a tip-off to Syrian and Russian intelligence that they would be targeted by the US strike. Syria has also transferred its Air Force fighter planes, bombers and attack helicopters to fortified shelters which are armored against missile and air attack. In Israel, the IDF Wednesday installed two Iron Dome missile interceptors in the northern “Valleys” region and Safed in addition to Haifa. Another Iron Dome battery was posted in the heavily populated central district. Arrow, Patriot anti-missile missiles, as well as Iron Domes, have been deployed more widely across Israel than ever before. debkafile’s military sources report that Israel’s Arrow and Patriot interceptors are linked to the US missile shield with which their operation is synchronized. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was ready for any scenario. Although it takes no part in the Syrian civil war crisis, Israel would not hesitate to fight back for any attempted attacks – and would do so forcefully. Wednesday morning, the machinery for distributing gas masks to the population broke down under the pressure of demands to distribution centers across the country. The Homeland Ministry’s website crashed. Former Interior Minister Ellie Yishay complained of a shortage of protective masks due to budget cuts. He said there are only enough to supply 40 percent of the population. Turkish army on war alert DEBKAfile August 28, 2013, 7:17 PM (GMT+02:00) “We are now at a more alert position ... Turkey will take whatever measures necessary within the framework of its own strategic interests," Foreign Minister Davutoglu told reporters Wednesday. "The Turkish armed forces have the mandate to take every measure against any security threat from Syria or elsewhere ... and retaliate within the rules of engagement." Turkey has the longest border with Syria of any of the wartorn nation's neighbors. http://debka.com/newsupdatepopup/5506/ Australia backs action against Syria, with or without UN DEBKAfile August 28, 2013, 8:39 AM (GMT+02:00) Foreign Minister Bob Carr said if it was proven that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons, the world had a mandate to respond, even if the UN failed to agree on such action. Austalia is due to take over the rotating Security Council chair next Sunday, http://debka.com/newsupdatepopup/5495/ Israel’s security cabinet in special session DEBKAfile August 28, 2013, 12:49 PM (GMT+02:00) The security cabinet was called into special session Wednesday to examine possible repercussions of US military intervention in Syria. Among those repercussions was a possible decision by President Bashar Assad to hit back at Israel for the US attack. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel was ready for any scenario. Although uninvolved in the Syrian civil war, Israel would not hesitate to fight back at any attempted attacks – and would do so forcefully. http://debka.com/newsupdatepopup/5501/ Russia says UK’s draft UN resolution on Syria is premature DEBKAfile August 28, 2013, 9:13 PM (GMT+02:00) A British draft UN resolution mandating military force against Syria failed to attain agreement Wednesday among the Security Council’s five permanent members. The Russian ambassador called it premature. If the measure were put to the vote at this time, it would almost certainly be blocked by the Russian and Chinese vetoes which are standard for any motions against Syria. The draft was tabled by the UK as momentum built up among Western allies for a military strike to punish Syria for using chemical weapons http://debka.com/newsupdatepopup/5508/
  11. I know enough to know that I don't know enough to know how accurate the information is in this video but I believe the premise is plausible. While the video primarily addresses the MIddle East and Petro Dollars it inadvertently explains why Venezuela earlier in the year transferred their gold from Europe to China.
  12. http://rt.com/usa/congress-derails-arming-syrian-rebels-865/ Congress derails Obama plans to arm Syrian rebels Get short URL Published time: July 10, 2013 04:07 Though the Obama administration has authorized military aid to the rebel opposition currently engaged in a civil war with the government of Bashar Assad, it now appears that the US Congress has essentially blocked that move over terrorism fears. Members of both the House and Senate intelligence committees have moved to enact stringent restrictions on funding the Syrian rebels, a move sufficient to prevent the White House from delivering on arms shipments according to sources who spoke with The Hill. In mid-June, following allegations from the White House that the Assad government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces moving to depose him, the Obama administration authorized arms shipments in a marked escalation of US involvement in the region. "This is going to be different in both scope and scale in terms of what we are providing," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser at the time. Now, according to sources familiar with committee activity, restrictions on that increased aid to Syria’s opposition may have essentially stopped the administration in its tracks. According to The Hill, lawmakers moved to block the military aid out of fears that weapons would fall into the hands of terrorist groups. US analysts are in particular concerned over the strengthening of the Syrian al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front. Though the Obama administration had long stated that the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government constituted a “red line,” it seems that lawmakers on the intelligence committees are more worried about the regional threat posed by Islamist elements now engaged against Syrian government forces. Syrian rebel fighters gather around a former Syrian army tank as rebels prepare to attack positions held by the Syrian army areas in the Salaheddine neighborhood of Aleppo, on July 8, 2013. (AFP Photo / Abo Mhio) Jabhat al-Nusra is thought to control as many as 10,000 supporters within Syria. Meanwhile, it is also believed that Iran is currently training Hezbollah fighters within Syria, in growing tension against the Sunni-backed al-Qaeda affiliates of the Syrian opposition forces. “Whatever we do, we have to make sure we do it right,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Tuesday. “If we are going to arm, we have to make sure we have control of what arms are out there and how people are trained to use those arms so they don’t fall into the hands of our enemy al-Qaeda,” added Ruppersberger. Since the mid-June announcement that the Obama administration would seek to funnel military aid to Syria’s insurgency, it had set out to sell that plan to members of Congress. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden briefed the intelligence panels in June. Despite efforts by the White House to increase momentum for its new Syria policy, support appeared to be splintered on Tuesday, even amongst members of Congress who were in favor of arming the opposition. “It’s not clear to me that the administration has a workable policy,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), a member of the Intelligence Committee. Beyond the key House and Senate intelligence committees, which hold funding oversight, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, accused the Obama administration of covertly pushing military aid behind the closed doors of the Intelligence Committee. “They should come and talk about this openly,” Corker told reporters Tuesday. “It puts the Intelligence Committee in a very awkward place. All of a sudden, they own it,” he added. According to The Hill, though Obama administration officials stopped just shy of saying efforts to arm the Syrian opposition had been thwarted, congressional opposition was not likely to make it any easier. The Associated Press had first reported last month that the congressional intelligence panels had rejected the administration’s initial plans to arm Syria’s rebels.
  13. http://rt.com/usa/ron-paul-syria-iraq-890/ Ron Paul: ‘Obama’s Syria policy looks a lot like Bush’s Iraq policy’ Get short URL Published time: June 18, 2013 18:07 Former US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) (AFP Photo / Joe Raedle) Share on tumblr Trends Syria unrest Tags Bashar Assad, Iraq, Obama, Syria, USA,War Did the White House’s remarks about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons sound familiar? Former congressman Ron Paul says the build up to a likely strike on Syria reminds him of the days before the invasion of Iraq. Paul, the longtime Republican lawmaker from Texas who retired last year following an unsuccessful attempt to gain the GOP nomination for the presidency, published a statement on his website this week criticizing the White House for their latest remarks regarding Syria. US President Barack Obama said months ago that any proof of Assad using chemical weapons against Syrians would constitute the crossing of a “red line” that would spur American intervention. Last week, the White House said evidence linked Assad’s government to using chemical warfare to kill as many as 150 opposition fighters during the bloody civil war that has so far costs more than 90,000 Syrians their lives, according to United Nation estimates. Washington is now likely to begin arming Syrian rebel fighters and is pondering a possible no-fly zone over Syria. According to Paul, the latest rhetoric from the White House is something he’s seen before. “Because of this use of gas, the president claimed, Syria had crossed his ‘red line’ and the US must begin to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government,” Paul wrote. But at the same time, Paul called into question a previous report from the Washington Post, in which the paper cited White House officials as having decided “weeks ago” to arm Syrian rebels. “[I]n other words, it was made at a time when the intelligence community did not believe ‘with high confidence’ that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons,” Paul said of that decision. “Further, this plan to transfer weapons to the Syrian rebels had become policy much earlier than that, as the Washington Post reported that the CIA had expanded over the past year its secret bases in Jordan to prepare for the transfer of weapons to the rebels in Syria.” On his website, Paul wrote that things are starting to seem all too similar to what preceded the invasion of Baghdad in 2003. “The process was identical to the massive deception campaign that led us into the Iraq War,” Paul claimed. Just like under President George W. Bush, Paul said the Obama administration is “fixing the intelligence and facts” so it can justify an already determined policy. “And Congress just goes along, just as they did the last time,” Paul wrote. Congress has not formally decided how it will heed any calls to arm Syrian rebels just yet, but a number of influential politicians on the Hill have raised their voices already, particularly in light of the White House’s recent claim. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), an outspoken supporter of the efforts to aid the rebels, said last week that the United States’ failure to act already in the civil war is “disgraceful.” “For us to sit by, and watch these people being massacred, raped, tortured in the most terrible fashion, meanwhile, the Russians are all in, Hezbollah is all in, and we’re talking about giving them more light weapons? It’s insane,” he said. “Frankly, every day that goes by and we don’t get rid of Bashar Assad, it becomes more and more complicated and difficult.” Indeed, even Pres. Obama has said that removing Assad from office has been a priority within Washington for quite some time now. But just as with a decade earlier, he’s already finding some opponents in Washington uninterested in opening up another war. Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation over the weekend, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) equated the news coming out of the White House as a lot of huff. "It seems to me they have a great media strategy," Rogers said. "They don't have a great Syrian strategy, and I don't believe any of our members - and we had both Republicans and Democrats on the committee - express concern about where they think we are today, and where we think the administration wants to go.” "What is the plan? Where are we going in Syria? And what do you want to accomplish?" Rogers asked. "Some of the things that they've told us - told the Intelligence Committee - in the past doesn't comport with what they're presenting as the direction they want to go. So we've asked them to come up and say if we're going to move in this direction, you're going to have to come up with a more comprehensive plan." "They've got a lot of explaining to do to come up and say, 'Here's our comprehensive plan on how we move forward on what is a catastrophic situation that's getting worse every single day in Syria,'" Rogers said. Speaking to PBS host Charlie Rose in an interview that aired late Monday, Pres. Obama dismissed the claims from the likes of Mr. Paul that the unrest in Syria would spark another war for his administration to be entwined in. "It is very easy to slip slide your way into deeper and deeper commitments," Obama told Rose, referring to the possibility of another war in the Middle East. "Now, on the other side there are folks who say, you know, 'we are so scarred from Iraq. We should have learned our lesson. We should not have anything to do with it,'" Obama said. "Well, I reject that view as well because the fact of the matter is, is that we've got serious interests there." "The goals are a stable, non-sectarian, representative Syrian government that is addressing the needs of its people through political processes and peaceful processes," added the president. "We're not taking sides in a religious war between Shi'a and Sunni. Really, what we're trying to do is take sides against extremists of all sorts and in favor of people who are in favor of moderation, tolerance, representative government - and, over the long-term, stability and prosperity for the people of Syria." Mr. Obama is currently overseas discussing the Syrian situation with other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian parliament’s International Affairs Committee, said in a tweet last week that the White House’s information about the usage of chemical weapons by the Assad regime “is fabricated in the same way as the lie about Hussein's weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.
  14. http://rt.com/news/rockets-russian-plane-syria-575/ Two missiles were reportedly fired at a Russian plane with at least 159 passengers on board flying over Syrian territory. Russian officials admit the jet faced danger, but are not talking of a targeted attack. On Monday Interfax cited “an informed source in Moscow,” which reported that a Russian passenger plane was attacked, while flying over a mountainous area of Syria. “Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline,” the source told the Russian agency. The pilots reportedly managed to maneuver the plane in time however, “saving the lives of passengers.” “No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as had been planned,”the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism told news agencies. There were 159 passengers and eight crewmembers aboard the aircraft. More info at the link. KK
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