“Exclusive to SyrPer” by Canthama

Southwest Aleppo: The open corridor toward eastern Aleppo city has been a fantasy for the terrorists and their supporters. In fact, very little has changed in the past few days on the ground. The Syrian Government’s forces and allies have ‘de facto’ fire control of the narrow corridor. Constant shelling and bombing prevents the terrorists from crossing freely. Battles have been concentrated in two areas lately: the Air Force College, where the SAA has found firm ground and where it controls parts of it, and in the quarries between Umm Al-Qara’ and Al-Shurfa, as well as Qaabliyyah and Tal Al-Mahrooqaat.


Map credited to @C_Military1

Northeast Aleppo: For the past few days we have witnessed the Turkish-backed terrorists’ invasion of the Jaraabulus area under the pretext of attacking ISIS. But, in reality, very little fighting has happened between these two forces so far. ISIS is retreating quickly from the area. The real fight has been taking place between the invading force against the SDF. Amazingly, both forces enjoy US backing which makes the situation very weird, to say the least. (Read Ziad’s article, infra) The invading forces are forcing the SDF to group back to the front lines prior to the Manbij offensive. The map is changing very quickly with a steady and constant advance that enjoys artillery and air support from the Turkish forces on the Turkish side of the border. Sporadic battles were also reported today near Kobaani, which is on the eastern side of the Euphrates. Clearly Turkey is testing the ground to check on the US reaction to it. The current situation has placed the US in a very delicate position against Turkey and against the SDF. Should there be a real fight in Kobaani, then the US position of supporting the Turkish invasion may shift. The latest from this battle front is that the Turkish-backed terrorists have crossed the Sajur river and reportedly captured ‘Awn al-Dadaat village north of Manbij. 

There is a possibility that the Turkish lead invasion is pushing ISIS back to Al-Raqqa, while occupying most of the northeast area of Aleppo Province and inflicting a defeat on the SDF forces. This could indicate that the plan may involve ISIS forces attacking the SDF in

Al-Raqqa toward Kobaani, clearly showing the connection between the Turkish Government and ISIS.


Damascus: The two maps below show clearly how the situation has changed around Damascus since 2013. A very small area,  yet to be liberated in East Ghoutaa, is all that is left for the Syrian Government to clean up.





 Maps credited to @Souria4Syrians


West Ghoutaa: In just two days Daarayyaa was emptied of terrorists. The final numbers have shown the breadth of the lies and the exaggeration from the terrorists’ supporting media in the West. There were 1027 terrorists and 750 civilians.  Most of the civilians were relocated to a new area in Damascus for displaced people while up to 500 terrorists opted for amnesty from the Syrian Government.

East Ghoutaa: Intense fight has been reported in the Al-Rayhaan area for the past two days. Syrian Government forces are attempting to advance and close the narrow corridor still open to Tal Kurdi. Combat is particularly fierce at the army base located southeast of Al-Rayhaan. So far, many small farms were liberated nearby.

Hama: The terrorists have opened a new front line in northern Hama to reduce the pressure in southwest Aleppo. So far the fight has been concentrated in a small area and the terrorist groups: Jund Al-Aqsaa and Jaysh Al-‘Izza have reported taking control of al-Buwaydhah, al-Masaasina and Hilfaayaa villageshours after launching the offensive. No counter-attack has been reported so far, but it is very likely to take place once more Syrian Government forces are sent to this new front line. It all indicates that the terrorist groups are attempting to cut the Salamiyya-Atharyaa highway, the vital route to Aleppo. Maharda has a large Christian community and it is now under threat from the terrorists. The next few hours will be critical for the defense of these villages.


Map credited to @Hamza_780

The following article shares an interesting additional view of the Turkish invasion into Syria.

Note from Canthama: Will be traveling for the next 3 weeks;  will have limitation in posting articles but will be active in commenting.




Image result for joe bidenThis dunderhead is only a heartbeat away from the presidency.  He fancies himself an expert on the Middle East.  If the truth be told, he is an avid follower of the disgraced imbecile, Raymond Tanter.  Joe Biden couldn’t find the State of Delaware on the map. (Photo: The Federalist).  


I am not joking, Biden really sees himself as some all-knowing guru in matters Near Eastern.  Besides following the down-curving career of dumbufski Near East “expert”, Raymond Tanter, he is also an aficionado of humiliated crypto-Kabalah-convert and Neo-Con darling, Joshua Landis, who continues to preach the self-same nonsense which brought him to this point in the history of the Syrian War, to wit:  complete befuddlement.  He can still be heard haranguing those feeble-minded sycophants in Arkansas or Oklahoma, or the vampires hanging from the nitred ceilings of Washington “stinktanks”:  “I’m married to an Alawite!  I’m Dr. Science.  I know more than you!”

Last week, Biden, decided he would bring his curious combination of panache and omniscience to Ankara in order to forge a stronger relationship with another Middle Easterner, the scabrous satrap,  Recep Tayyip Erdoghan.  Well, Erdoghan is miffed.  He, reportedly, viewed Biden’s trip as some kind of “damage control” after the attempted coup d’etat planned by the CIA flopped and the subsequent American refusal to extradite the one man the Erdoghani Turks think was behind the plot to begin with.  Biden, like any typical Ugly American, came with some really bad news for Erdoghan:  First, the U.S. will not turn over Fethullah Gulen, the moderate Islamist cleric who allegedly runs a shadow government in Turkey (from his lair in Pennsylvania) opposed to the present government.  In point of fact, Biden told all the Turks he met that Gulen was going nowhere to face any trial because the Turks have no solid evidence against him – they might against the CIA, but not against Gulen.  Moreover, still reeling from scenes from the movie “Midnight Express” (1978),  Biden was hesitant to send any American over to Asia Minor to face sodomy and bastinado in a Turk prison.  This really rankled the Turks.


Image result for midnight express movieThis is the actor, Paul Smith, who played the malicious warden, Hamidou, at the prison where Billy Hayes (Brad Davis)was sexually molested and beaten about the soles of his feet.  This so called actor, a Zionist piece of Hungarian schkuda, is really a Jewish Zionist freak of nature who moved to the Zionist Apartheid State where he died under the name of Adam Eden in 2012. 

Secondly, and with even greater grimness, Biden told Erdoghan that he wanted the Kurds to advance to the Turk border so that, on the off-chance the Kurds of the PKK wanted to establish a new state along his borders in Syria, they could – with, of course, American help and blessing.  Well!  That really did it.  You see, Biden told Erdoghan that a Kurdish State, a concept akin to French pastries for diabetics, would be good for NATO since it would finally give Western powers the kind of bragging rights they needed in the face of continuous Russian successes both on the ground in Syria and in diplomatic circles.  The U.S. desperately needed something to distract historians from the inevitable conclusion that the White House ran a program so shoddy in the Middle East that Obama and his entourage, Biden included, should have been indicted by some court for negligence, obnoxiousness or outright support for terrorism.  Obama, whose entire affordable medical care regime, his claim to immortality, is being whittled away by successive court decisions and Congressional malfeasance, now faces the ignominy of leaving office in February with nothing but a string of golf vacations and a wife who spent millions of tax payers’ dollars spanning the globe to model her normally tasteless frocks.

Biden could get nowhere with Erdoghan.  Biden, also, has other problems.  The Syrian Air Force had flown some sorties over Al-Hasaka in order to protect SAA troops and PDC militiamen after they were attacked by Asaayish, a paramilitary-police branch of the PKK known for gangsterism and turf warfare.  What caused a problem was the illegal presence of American Special Operations units (SEALs and SF) who were evidently threatened by the Syrian SU-24 bombers.  This led to a bizarre situation where the Pentagon contacted the Kremlin to complain about Syrian aircraft dropping ordnance on parts of northeastern Al-Hasaka and endangering American “advisors”.  American unctuousness was laid bare when they complained about Syrian jets flying in Syrian airspace!  One thing led to another, but,the SAAF flew out of the area only to return again the next day.  Supposedly fearful of bad press due to casualties, the U.S. pulled out its “advisors” and transported them to northern Jordan by helicopter.

The decision to implant American “advisors” with the Kurds is pure Biden.  Biden has the say today on American policy in the Middle East.   Obama has given up on trying to implement his liberal views during his presidency and has abdicated his destiny as Universal Love Child and Nobel Laureate of Peace.  It just cannot happen.  He has relegated the entire portfolio to others and has signed off.  His only red line is the creation of a new foreign conflict for the U.S. that would require a large number of boots on the ground.  Otherwise, Obama is just another screw in the Zionist Screw Factory.

The sole purpose of the American presence in Al-Hasaka, a normally halcyonic city with split Syrian/Kurd jurisdiction devoid of any ISIS infestations, is to get the Syrian government out and to push for the federalization of the country as a prelude to the creation of a Kurdish Republic obedient to the United States.  One of the serious problems facing Biden, besides his congenital inability to interpret history, is that the Kurds are mindful of the American track record in Iraq.  They are fully aware of American abandonment of both the Kurds and the Shi’is to Saddam’s vindictive tribalism.  If the Kurds throw in their lot with the Americans, what happens to them when the White House tells them “Sayonara”?  This is a pressing issue.

Another problem Biden is facing is that the PKK has its ideological roots in Marxism/Leninism similar to FARC in Colombia.  He has to convince tough-skinned commies inside the PKK and the PYG (both considered terrorist groups by Ankara) that the past is just “water under the bridge” and that president Obama can be trusted to oversee their extermination in the event American forces are required to intervene.  Such is the American/Zionist way of thinking.


Image result for PKK in Syria leadershipFahmaan Hussayn, the military leader of the PKK, (a/k/a “Bahoz Erdal”) was killed on Friday, August 27, 2016, by a car bomb as he was heading to Al-Hasaka in northeastern Syria to calm his fighters down and to rebut American claims of Syrian complicity with Erdoghan.  His loss might mean an opportunity for the U.S. to penetrate the PKK and PYG.  The overall leader of the PKK, Jameel Baayik, is viewed as a Casper Milquetoast who might just collapse into the tentacles of Biden and his crew of Neo-Cons. 


The fixation on creating a Kurdish state is not only pure Biden, it is also pure Zionist machination.   Remember what I wrote about Dr. Bashar Al-Jaafari’s visit to the Detroit area before the American-Zionist State Department limited his travel to a radius of 10 miles from NYC, when he told his audience that Zionism needed to establish other racist and bigoted states based on religion or ethnicity in order to justify its own reason for existence as a Judenstaat or Jew State?  This plan to take the somewhat gullible and vulnerable Kurds and lead them straight into the heart of Jewish exclusivism is a deranged ideation whose source is nothing other  than the criminal minds of the Zionist Ghetto State in Tel Aviv.  Biden, who is committed to the belief that Zionists are really “hip” when it comes to their “own” region, is playing into the game like a true proselyte – a demented Evangelical with half a brain addicted to the vision of an angry Christ who shall return in a chariot of fire to save all those souls from their original sin as it was told in the Good Book or some American Bible Belt state.

Whatever the case may be, Biden now has to deal with a furious Erdoghan who rules, not by logic or dispassionate judgment, but, by his own vision of himself as Sultan of the Sublime Porte and Defender of the Faith over whom Allah hovers always to protect him from the malodorous infidel.  How to deal with Erdoghan when Biden knows that the very mention of a Kurdish rump state gives his Turkish ally a renal colic, or worse.  What to do to convince Erdoghan to set aside decades of hatred – the classification of the PKK as a terrorist organization – the duties inherent in the NATO charter – the successive humiliations by the EU snubbing his country and his party – relegating Turkey once again to the status of a “sick oriental man” – the murder of Turkish citizens on the Marmara by Zionist thugs……..why, if Biden isn’t careful, it might seem Erdoghan is getting soft on Dr. Assad.

The U.S. is obsessed with stopping the natural gas pipeline from Iran, across Iraq, to Syria’s coastline.  I have written about this subject ad nauseam.  The U.S. would also like to prevent Syria from exploiting  the vast natural gas reservoirs underneath the Mediterranean which will become a billion dollar asset for Gazprom which is already scratching its left palm while waiting for the mayhem to stop.  The only way to bring Syria under control is by breaking it into pieces, as Biden wanted to do with Iraq.  With a Kurdish state reaching from the Turk border down past Al-Hasaka, the projected dimensions of the state might go beyond the natural lines and extend across territory necessary for the pipeline.  With a Kurdish state, the U.S. can have its own military bases to enable the Kurds to protect themselves from the government in Damascus.  Look for the first country at the U.N. to recognize a new Kurdish republic.  It won’t be Nigeria.

But, the situation in Al-Hasaka is murky.  The Kurds rarely, if ever, pull the SAA’s or PDC’s chain in the city.  Why there was an eruption of violence can only be attributed to the desire of the Americans to foment conflict.  It must be that the U.S. special forces were tasked with triggering some event that would roil the otherwise placid waters.  That event, as I was informed, was a decision by the Asaayish to confront a unit of PDC volunteers over their control of an intersection.  That resulted in the PDC contacting the SAA and receiving orders not to give up one inch.  When that happened, the Asaayish opened fire on the Syrian militiamen resulting in several casualties and an exacerbation of the agreement for coexistence.   PYG members were called to arms as the Americans began putting out an unfounded rumor that the Syrian Army and Air Force were planning to coordinate their actions with the Turkish and Russian armed forces in Al-Hasaka.

This was actually believed by the Kurds who view Dr. Assad as a Machiavellian leader willing to strike any kind of deal, even with the Turkish devil.   But, the fact that the SAAF did conduct several sorties in defense of the SAA and PDC only confirmed what the Americans were trying to disseminate. Fahmaan Hussayn, the top military commander of the PKK in Syria rushed to Al-Hasaka on Friday, but, was killed suspiciously by an IED planted by someone working, ostensibly, for the United States.   The Americans did not want Hussayn to arrive and scupper their plans.  What happened instead, was the PKK leadership, under intense pressure by the Turkish military at Manbij and Jaraabulus, which is supported by the United States Air Force (of all things), taking the decision not to continue cooperating with the U.S. in Al-Hasaka.  That is the real reason why the Americans left the city.  It wasn’t the aircraft.  It was rational thought that killed the beast.

Biden continues to play stupid, a role for which he is eminently qualified.  That he actually gave the order to support Turk ground troops while playing buddy-buddy with the Kurds only brought into detailed relief the complete breakdown of American foreign policy and its relegation into the hands of trolls.  As of today, Al-Hasaka is tense, but is regressing back to its original atmosphere of cooperation and tolerance.  How this will play out in the future is anyone’s guess.   I predict the Americans will continue to push the Kurd button.  Ziad




(Photo credit:  Al-Akhbar)


Foreign Ministry: Violations and massacres committed by #Turkish regime are condemned aggressions
Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Monday that the violations and massacres committed by the Turkish regime in the Syrian territories form a crime of aggression and crimes against humanity, adding that combating terrorism on the Syrian territories by any side must be done in coordination with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Arab Army.
“The Turkish army’s air and artillery forces, in coordination with the armed terrorist organizations, targeted the villages of Jub al-Kusa and al-Amarneh to the south of Jarabulus city in Aleppo through shelling randomly, leading to a massacre and killing 35 civilians, 20 of them were killed in Jub al-Kusa and 15 others in al-Amarneh village, in addition to dozens wounded persons,” The Foreign Ministry said in two identical letters sent to the UN Secretary-General and President of Security Council about the bloody ugly massacre committed by the Turkish army in the north of Syria.
“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns, with the strongest terms, the repeated crimes, violations, aggression and massacres perpetrated by the regime in Ankara against the Syrian people, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic for more than five years,” the two letters affirmed.


OCCUPIED PALESTINE:  Islam ‘Alloosh, the third member of the ‘Alloosh Three Stooges to shame himself publicly, has borrowed a line from his Daddy Warbucks in Saudi Arabia:  he has declared openly that he is willing to recognize “Israel” as soon as the necessary institutions are set up after the victory of the “revolution”.  He said this from Occupied Palestine.

Even funnier is Saudi Arabia’s now documented enlistment of ISIS to share in the burden of defending its southern border from the Yemeni Houthi fighters who are running roughshod over Saudi troops. Evidently, SA tribes are not willing to die for the House of Saud.  Te hee hee. I’m not joking.











Why paying extortion ‘aid’ to Israel is bad investment for the U.S. – By Grant F. Smith

Israel and its U.S. lobby are pressing President Barack Obama to sign an executive agreement pledging $45-$50 billion in military and other support to Israel over a ten-year period. The secret negotiations have hit so many administration roadblocks that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a special visit to the U.S.—on the pretext of receiving an award from a neocon think tank—but in reality angling for a meeting with Obama. Israel wants a greater percentage of U.S. taxpayer aid dollars to be spent in Israel, rather than flowing into U.S. military contractors. Israel’s side also opposes Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) caps on its flexibility to continually lobby Congress for additional aid for “joint” projects, such as anti-rocket defense systems, which mostly go to Israeli contractors.

It is surreal that Israel is even asking Obama to sign on the dotted line rather than waiting for the next president to promise aid. The Israeli government pulled out all the stops opposing the administration’s signature foreign policy achievement—the JCPOA—going as far as offering bribes to Congress and conducting espionage on U.S.-led negotiating sessions. However, Netanyahu has calculated he stands a better chance at extracting a new deal from Obama than whoever next occupies the Oval office.

The majority of Americans, on the other hand, overwhelmingly oppose U.S. aid to Israel, according to polls fielded in 2014 and 2016. Growing numbers would rather boycott, divest and sanction Israel for its human rights abuses than provide the arms and blanket diplomatic support (commonly stipulated in these MOUs) that enable the abuses to continue. Beyond that, there are five lessor known reasons Americans should be actively opposing U.S. aid to Israel:

1. U.S. aid to Israel yields a huge negative return on investment

From a strictly green-eyeshade perspective, U.S. aid to Israel is a horrible investment. The late Harvard economist Thomas Stauffer in 2002 tallied the cost of Israel to the United States since 1973 to be $1.6 trillion. Stauffer included the oil crisis triggered by Arab governments in the aftermath of wars fought with Israel and other costs emanating from Israel’s violent repression of the Palestinians. Since Stauffer’s death in 2005, no other high-profile economist has taken up the thankless task of calculating such figures, though fresh data to feed such models has been piling up.

It is now the consensus view that America was attacked on 9/11 because of U.S. troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and unconditional U.S. support for Israel. The 9/11 attacks cost $3.3 trillion according to one conservative estimate. Israel lobbyists often claim that U.S. foreign aid to Israel is an investment that yields “dividends” and is therefore a “bargain.” If we assume aid is an investment and adjust for inflation, publicly known aid through 2011 is $233.6 billion. If we then assign unconditional U.S. support for Israel half the blame for motivating 9/11, an actual return on investment calculation is possible. The ROI of U.S. aid to Israel considering only half the costs of 9/11 is negative 806 percent. By any measure, this is an extremely poor return.

2. U.S. Aid to Israel is not a significant “U.S. jobs creator”

Many pundits are now spinning the proposed new MOU as a “U.S. jobs creator,” particularly in view of the pending restrictions against spending much of the aid in Israel. But how many jobs do military sales actually generate? Pitifully few. The top five military contractors, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman claim to employ nearly a half-million, on annual 2015 revenues of just under a quarter trillion dollars. At $463,069 to support a single direct job, military equipment and service vendors employ many fewer employees per dollar of revenue than most other industries. Looking back, even if Israel spent 100 percent of its past ten-year $3.1 billion annual MOU dollars on “top shelf” U.S. military goods, like the Joint Strike fighter, it would have produced less than 7,000 direct U.S. jobs.

Military contractor revenue to support one direct job

However, Israel’s largest U.S. “purchases” by volume are not high-tech goods, but rather the jet and diesel fuel it needs to reach its ever-growing number of designated enemies both in territories it illegally occupies and neighboring countries. In April, 2016 Israel notified Congress of its need for 864 million gallons of aviation and diesel fuel on average priced at $3.09 per gallon. Such commonplace commodity purchases drag the number of jobs supported in the U.S. by the MOU down to embarrassingly low levels.

Redirecting such tax dollars to projects inside the U.S., in particular for rebuilding desperately-needed infrastructure, would employ many more Americans per dollar spent than military contractors while providing tangible benefits to the commonweal. The U.S. construction industry supports a job for every $174,000 in output. The proposed $5 billion in aid proposed for Israel could instead unleash the restoration power of nearly thirty-thousand American construction workers—rather than a future of bloody Israeli military onslaughts on Gaza or Lebanon or yet-to-be determined targets.

3. U.S. aid enables Israel to forever avoid a meaningful peace deal

Back in 1960, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency predicted what has since come to pass. If Israel were able to achieve military hegemony in the region, it would lose interest in pursuing peace with the Palestinians and its neighbors through meaningful and justified concessions. The very aid that most Americans now oppose makes resolving the oldest, most disruptive conflict in the region impossible. In turn, U.S. support generates periodic blowback against the U.S., in the form of oil embargoes, terror attacks and loss of goodwill across the globe.

4. U.S. aid to Israel offsets Israel’s nuclear weapons development costs

The CIA’s special national intelligence estimate based its prediction of Israeli regional military hegemony on its acquisition of nuclear weapons. Since the beginning, Israel has relied on being able to surreptitiously source materials, know-how and technology from the U.S. and evade punishment when its agents were caught in the act. Charities raising hundreds of millions in the United States, such as the American Committee for the Weismann Institute for Science count on the IRS and the rest of the U.S. Treasury to look the other way and pretend clandestine nuclear weapons development has some sort of social welfare function. American taxpayer dollars devoted to providing Israel with military goods including nuclear capable aircraft and commodities therefore offset, subsidize and empower Israel’s clandestine development of nuclear weapons. This situation—well known and endlessly explored in foreign news media—makes the United States the butt of jokes at Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conferences.

5. Israel’s nuclear weapons program makes aid illegal

In the mid-1970s, during investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade uranium from U.S. contractor NUMEC to Israel, Senators Stuart Symington (D-MO) and John Glenn (D-OH) amended the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to ban any U.S. aid to clandestine nuclear powers that were not NPT signatories. The legislative intent of the amendment, as expressed by Symington, was clear: “if you wish to take the dangerous and costly steps necessary to achieve a nuclear weapons option, you cannot expect the United States to help underwrite that effort indirectly or directly.”

Since the law went into effect foreign aid including estimated assumed intelligence support—which the CIA refuses to divulge under the Freedom of Information Act—has reached an inflation-adjusted $234 billion in taxpayer outlays. Eager to secure the political support and related campaign contributions from America’s soon-to-be $6 billion per year Israel lobby ecosystem, administrations flout the law by pretending not to know whether Israel has nuclear weapons, despite ample information in the public and government domain. The American public is not fooled. When polled in 2014, 63.9 percent claimed they believed Israel had nuclear weapons. Therefore, the continuance of illegal aid is a moral hazard that chips away at America’s already low confidence in rule of law and “justice for all.”

At this critical juncture, America’s only hope is that the courts issue an injunction against future illegal aid—and order an overdue claw back of the $234 billion unlawfully distributed in the past—to be spent on legitimate purposes in the future. This judicial act would remedy a boondoggle so vast, entrenched and long-running it makes even scandals such as Teapot Dome seem like tempests in teacups.

Grant F. Smith is the author of the new book, Big Israel: How Israel moves America. On August 8, 2016 he filed a lawsuit in federal court to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel and claw back aid illegally delivered since 1976.

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Symmetrical response: Russia will get coastal defense division 85 km off US border – By Sputnik

© Sputnik/ Igor Ageenko

Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the Russian military plans to establish a coastal defense division in Chukotka, eastern Russia by 2018. Respected independent defense analyst Sergei Ishchenko comments on the news, and on how it may ultimately affect the security situation in the region.

Speaking at a Defense Ministry meeting on Tuesday, Shoigu confirmed that “there are plans to form a coastal defense division in 2018 on the Chukotka operational direction.” The minister added that this decision was actually made in July 2015, and is part of a plan to establish a unified system of coastal defense stretching from the Arctic in the north to the Primorye Territory in the south.

The system, according to Shoigu, is intended “to ensure control of the closed sea zones of the Kuril Islands and the Bering Strait, cover the routes of Pacific Fleet forces’ deployment in the Far Eastern and Northern sea zones, and increase the combat viability of naval strategic nuclear forces” operating in the area. In other words, the new division will help ensure the defense of Russia’s sparsely populated eastern coast.

Commenting on the defense minister’s announcement in an analysis for the independent online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, defense analyst Sergei Ishchenko pointed out that so far, no other details have been provided on this future military force. “However, it’s obvious that this is not just ordinary news, not least because what we’re talking about is the creation of a serious military force just a stone’s throw away from the United States: only the Bering Strait will separate the Russian coastal defense division from Alaska. At its narrowest point, that’s only 86 km away. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at this announcement.”

What’s more, the military analyst pointed out that the news is important because today, the Russian military “does not actually have a single coastal defense division. Therefore, there is no model on how it may look, and how it will be staffed. The only similar force is based in Crimea – consisting of the 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet (formerly the 36th Separate Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy, which changed sides almost in its entirety to Russia in 2014). But a brigade-sized force is far from being a division. Its combat capabilities are much more modest.”

© Wikipedia
Light tanks belonging to the 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet.

“Secondly,” Ishchenko noted, “we have had a short-lived but not particularly successful experience in creating coastal defense divisions as part of the Soviet Navy.” The analyst recalled that in the late 1980s, in accordance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the Soviet military transferred four infantry divisions to the Navy, placing them in the charge of the Baltic, Pacific, Northern and Black Sea Fleets.

“Of course, the personnel, armaments and equipment used by these suddenly ‘navalized’ forces did not change, and remained typical Soviet ground forces’ fare. It’s just that their range of tasks now also included the defense of sea and ocean coasts, fighting enemy landing parties, and being prepared for their own deployment on enemy shores in the second tier after the naval infantry.”

“In reality, these coastal defense divisions did not have the time to prepare to carry out these tasks,” the analyst noted. “The two that stood at Klaipeda [Lithuania] and Simferopol [Crimea] did not survive the collapse of the USSR.” As for the divisions inside Russia proper, the last of them, the 40th Division of the Pacific Fleet, was disbanded in 1994.

Apart from that, the Chukotka region has already stationed another Soviet military force – the 99th Motorized Rifle Division, which while not operating formally as a coastal defense division, defended Anadyr and its environs beginning in 1983.

Back then, Ishchenko recalled, the Soviet Union and the United States were locked in the Cold War struggle. In a situation where US intermediate range missiles based in Western Europe were capable of reaching the Soviet capital in just over five minutes, the Soviet defense ministry responded with plans to deploy its own intermediate range missiles, the SS-20 Pioneer, against Alaska and the northern states of the US West Coast, in Chukotka.

© Wikipedia/ George Chernilevsky
The RT-21M Pioneer missile and launcher on display in Kiev. The missiles were destroyed in accordance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“The kill zones of our missiles included the US early warning station at Clear, Alaska, the Cobra Dane radar on Shemya Island in the Aleutians, the Parks early warning radar in North Dakota, and the US nuclear missile sub base at Bangor, near Seattle. That was enough to force Washington to put on its thinking cap.”

The 99th Motorized Rifle Division was deployed to the Far East to keep an eye on the Pioneer missiles, and to defend the strategically important Anadyr Airport, which then held the strategic bombers patrolling the northern Pacific near US borders.

“What were the conditions like for our motorized infantrymen in these parts? During the winter, which in Chukotka lasts nearly 9 months, the division’s tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles were buried so deep under the snow that it was necessary to search for them using improvised wire feelers. Those Moscow journalists who visited the area in the 90s named the 99th Motorized Rifle the ‘Frozen division’. But at the same time, neither would it be easy for anyone who dared to encroach on Soviet Chukotka. Across the Bering Strait, the US Army fielded the 6th Light Infantry Division.”

In the early 1990s, the expert wrote, “the winds of Gorbachev’s perestroika blew everything away – including the Pioneer missiles, the Anadyr airport, its top-secret Object C nuclear storage facility, and the 99th Motorized Rifle Division itself, which was disbanded in 1996.” For many years, “the polar winds whistled through Anadyr’s abandoned barracks, among the military equipment, and the clubs, cafeterias and homes of the officers…”

“The restoration of the area’s garrisons began with the airfield. The military returned there in 2014. Anadyr has once again become an airbase for the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 strategic bombers, which regularly visit from the Engels air force base along the Volga. Returning the Pioneers is impossible – they were all destroyed. But a division of troops, it’s now clear, will come here once again – this time not the 99th Motorized Rifle, but a coastal defense division belonging to the Pacific Fleet.”

Some may ask why the Russian military would seek to place a division’s worth of troops in such an inhospitable area. The answer, Ishchenko suggested, isn’t hard to find. “To find the answer to that question, it’s enough to look across the border. In Alaska, we see a scattering of important objects belonging to the US Army. First of all, this is the Elmendorf Air Force Base at Anchorage, which stations not only aircraft, but the command of the 11th Air Army and the Alaskan zone of NORAD. Next door is Fort Richardson, which houses the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division.”

“And most important, of course, is the air base. It’s from its well-heated hangers that the newest fifth generation US fighter, the F-22 Raptor, rises into the air to intercept the Russian strategic bombers which have resumed regular patrols along the edges of US Arctic borders.” Effectively, the analyst suggested, “if we suppose that alongside the coastal defense division, Russia deploys the Iskander mobile short range ballistic missile system, the US F-22s may no longer have time to intercept the Russian bombers, while US missile warning stations could unexpectedly go dark.” In any case, he noted, “the staff at the Elmendorf base, and the troops at Fort Richardson will go to bed at night with an uneasy feeling, as they did during Cold War days.”

Perhaps then, US military officials may get at least a taste of the concern Russian military planners feel when they see large-scale NATO exercises along Russia’s western frontiers, and parades involving US troops just a few hundred meters from Russia’s borders.

© Sputnik/ Alexander Liskin
Bering Strait connecting the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea. Chukotka Autonomous Region.




What the Hell? Satanism on the rise in America – By Iben Thranholm

© Rebecca Cook / Reuters

Satanists are not merely mystical eccentrics wearing black Gothic garb, sacrificing animals and operating in shady and secret societies. They are now ordinary people who call themselves ‘secular’ and praise reason and the individual freedom of thought.

In the US, explicitly satanic groups have begun drawing attention to themselves in the context of public governmental ceremonies.

Just this month, a member of the so-called Satanic Temple was allowed to make an opening prayer to Lucifer at a local council meeting in Alaska.

Assembly members stood around in a circle while the Satanist asked them to “embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge.” She then ended the surreal prayer with the words, “Hail Satan.”

Thoughtfully, meeting attendees were reminded that they did not have to participate in the opening ritual.

The Satanic Temple (TST) is a fairly new organization. Founded in 2013, it fights for political change by pointing out the ostensibly preferential treatment Christianity enjoys in politics. TST has seven chapters in the USA and Europe, and claims a membership of 100,000.

One of the group’s objectives is to embed Lucifer in the public school system by establishing afternoon clubs, adoringly dubbed “After School Satan”, which is TST’s response to a Supreme Court ruling allowing evangelical programs to operate in schools.

Currently nine clubs are listed under the program, including in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Washington DC. The clubs will focus on “rationalism, free inquiry … and fun”, according to a promotional video.

TST itself emphasizes that it seeks to implement “After School Satan” in locations where active Christian children’s clubs operate.

TST said it is “not interested in operating After School Satan clubs in school districts that are not already hosting the Good News Club.”

The Temple is attempting to present a challenge to the Good News Club, an interdenominational Christian program for five to 12-year-olds, operating in over 3,500 public schools across the country.

The Christian club’s curriculum was designed by the Child Evangelism Fellowship and includes Bible studies and workshops.

A spokesperson for TST, Lucien Greaves, said the controversial clubs will give children other alternatives than the Good News Club, which he claimed instills children “with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath.”

TST also aims to place demonic books on the shelves in the libraries of public schools, as well as having satanic prayers recited at high school games. It is, however, somewhat ironic that the Satanists’ intention is currently to get children to stop fearing hell, which runs counter to Christian teaching.

Satanists are of the opinion that Christianity has had too much influence on American society, but this must be because they have not kept up to date on the latest research. Or that they are governed by a different factor than reason.

But it seems that Europe may also be heading in the wrong religious direction. In June, several European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, were present at a bizarre ritual in connection with the opening of the world’s longest tunnel, the new Gotthard tunnel, in Switzerland this past June.

The ceremony is performed by masked men dressed in grass costumes, fallen angels descending from the ceiling and a man with a goat’s head, whom the other performers in the ceremony appear to worship. The opening ritual has subsequently been interpreted as depicting satanic scenes from hell.

More than one publication, and certainly more conspiracy theorists, slammed the dark performance “Satanic.”

A disturbing trend

According to The Pew Research Center, religious “nones”, a category that includes atheists, agnostics, and the “nothing in particular” group, make up 23 per cent of US adults, up from 16 per cent in 2007.

This group is growing as a percentage of the US population. At the same time, they are becoming increasingly secular, Pew reports, “a trend that also makes the US public overall less religious,” according to surveys made as part of the Religious Landscape Study.

But there is more to the story. To begin with, this group is not uniformly nonreligious. Most of them say they believe in God, and about a third says religion is at least somewhat important in their lives.

Seventy percent of those born between 1990 and 1996 with no religious affiliation say religion is not important in their lives. A similar share also report they seldom or never pray and 42 percent say they do not believe in God, according to the Pew study.

Obviously, most of the “nones” do not reject faith in “something”, and this often means that they seek some form of spirituality outside a traditional affiliation. Like Satanists also do. But why would one use Satan, a spiritual entity, as figurehead if the aim of their struggle is rationality and freedom from religion?

The perception of secular society as nonreligious is quite simply a delusion, as Lesslie Newbigin states in his book The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, in which he also points to a revival of ancient heathen religions, in opposition to Christianity.

The paradox is that the religions that have attempted to embrace rationalism perish in modernity, while those that embrace the supernatural elements revive.

Iben Thranholm examines political and social events with focus on their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She is one of Denmark’s most widely read columnists on such matters. Thranholm is a former editor and radio host at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), at which she created a religious news program that set a new standard for religious analysis in the newsroom. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Italy, the United States and Russia to carry out research and interviews. She has been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues.

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Israel And Honduras Enter New, Blood-Soaked Military Alliance To Support State-Sponsored Terrorism – By Kit O’Connell

Israeli arms deal and military training have fueled the most repressive elements in Central American politics since the 1980s, and profits from a new deal with Honduras will fund apartheid Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine.


AUSTIN, Texas — Israel and Honduras announced a new security agreement this month in which Israel will supply weapons and training to the Honduran military.

Honduras is ruled by an oppressive and murderous regime that took power after a 2009 coup, and the agreement marks just the latest chapter in Israel’s long, bloody history of arming Central American despots.

The deal, inked on Aug. 20, would dramatically upgrade the Honduran regime’s offensive capabilities.

“Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has announced that he will present his nation’s Congress with the deal signed with Israel that has the capability of strengthening the country’s armed forces to a level that Honduras ‘likely never would have obtained’ otherwise,” Julie Steigerwald reported for The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 22.

“There has been much handwringing over the dismal security situation in Honduras—which incidentally reached unprecedentedly appalling proportions after the coup, for anyone who would like to draw conclusions on that front,” noted Belén Fernández in an analysis of the security agreement published on Thursday by teleSUR English.

Fernández, an author and contributing editor from Jacobin, continued: “But when so much of the crime in the country is committed by Honduran security forces themselves, it’s difficult to see how giving them better weapons is going to fix matters.”

The Honduran government’s human rights record is indeed grim, especially in the post-coup years, during which the country has become increasingly corrupt and crime-ridden. In an overview of Honduras, Human Rights Watch notes:

“Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate is among the highest in the world. Efforts to reform the institutions responsible for providing public security have made little progress. Marred by corruption and abuse, the judiciary and police remain largely ineffective. Journalists, peasant activists, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals are among those most vulnerable to violence. Government efforts to investigate and prosecute violence against members of these groups made little progress.”

The March 4 assassination of Berta Cáceres, a renowned Honduran climate activist, brought renewed international attention not just to the country’s human records record, but also to U.S. government support for the coup. After her assassination, which came after days of threats against her life, it emerged that Cáceres had criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in the coup.

In a rarely seen clip from a 2014 interview on Argentine TV, Cáceres said:

“We’re coming out of a coup that we can’t put behind us. We can’t reverse it. It just kept going. And after, there was the issue of the elections. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book, ‘Hard Choices,’ practically said what was going to happen in Honduras. This demonstrates the meddling of North Americans in our country. The return of the president, Mel Zelaya, became a secondary issue. There were going to be elections in Honduras. And here she [Clinton] recognized that they didn’t permit Mel Zelaya’s return to the presidency.”

The Democratic presidential nominee is also outspoken in her support for Israel. In her March 21 speech to AIPAC, one of the most influential pro-Israel lobbying groups, Clinton promised to make a “firm commitment to ensure Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.”

Israel receives more than $3.1 billion in annual military aid from the U.S. and is poised to get much more under an upcoming deal. In turn, Israel has a long history of using its military might to arm repressive regimes and secret police in countries from Africa to Central and South America.

It’s not even the first time Israel’s teamed up with right-wing forces in Honduras. teleSUR’s Fernández noted, that in the 1980s, “Israel helped Honduras circumnavigate some minor obstacles to arming itself to the teeth.”

Israeli aid to Honduras continues its pattern of helping the U.S. promote regime change and instability in South America, while keeping American hands clean. “The obstructions owed to perfunctory U.S. concerns over human rights abuses—abuses that were of course completely permissible as long as the U.S. was not too blatantly linked to them,” she wrote.

“Israel peddles forms of repression — marketed as ‘security’ — that appeal to abusive regimes,” Fernández continued.

Quoting from a damning report published in March by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, she noted that the profits from Israel arms sales “are then used ‘to further repress and displace Palestinians, developing still more deadly weapons in the process.’”

Watch “How Israeli Arms Fuel Genocide, Civil Strife Across The World” from MintPress News’ “Behind the Headline”:






An Open Letter to Malcolm Turnbull about Misuse of the Word ‘Free’ – By Victoria Rollison


Dear Malcolm Turnbull

On the day you took the job of Prime Minister of Australia, you laid your flag in the ideological-dirt by proclaiming your intention to run a ‘thoroughly Liberal Government committed to freedom, the individual and the market’. I’ll cut to the chase. This letter calls bullshit on your misrepresentation of the word ‘freedom’. I think it’s time we all saw through this smug cover for what you are really running: a market that benefits the privileged over everyone else.

Let’s have a look at what the word freedom actually means. Here are two useful definitions: ‘The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint’. ‘Exemption from external control, interference, regulation’. Comparing these descriptions to the rules that you prefer to run the Australian economy by, it’s obvious that your idea of a ‘free market’ makes us all, collectively, not-free.

The muddying of the water starts with your notion that government regulation constrains freedom. The only thing government regulation does, which is why, coincidentally, you don’t like it, is to constrain the greed of you and your rich mates so you can’t monopolise resources in order to keep getting richer. The fact is, your ‘rich get richer’ rules are constraining our economy and in turn, our collective wealth. Government policies which level the playing field are actually making us all freer, and richer. All of us.

Let’s look at your job as an example. If there existed a free market for the job of Prime Minister, the only thing I would need to get this job is to be the most merited candidate. Tony Abbott disproves the freedom of the Prime Minister market by showing that any moron, born with a silver spoon, with a private school education, who lives in a blue-ribbon Liberal seat full of voters who would vote for the Liberal candidate even if that candidate was a misogynist bucket of cement, who can box his way to Oxford, is eligible for the top job. No merit required.

You also disprove the idea of meritocracy in the market for Prime Minister yourself, through your waffling-weak-incompetence, which so far in a year has made you a bigger disappointment than the Australian swimming team at Rio. In your world, freedom might mean the availability of means in which to donate $2 million dollars to your own campaign, without even noticing it gone, to ensure you win government by a one seat majority. But that’s not merit Malcolm. That’s buying your way out of trouble.

What this really comes down to is that you say freedom fries and I say potato. Where you see freedom in mining markets, I see big miners paying their way out of a fair rate of tax for selling resources that belong to Australians. Where you see freedom in healthcare, where the rich have access to better lifesaving services, I see those who can’t afford the services locked into health problems that limit their freedom to do what they want with their lives. Where you see freedom when your government stops taking responsibility for a social safety net, and hollowing out services for the disadvantaged, I see a small square box that locks poor people into prison-like poverty, where they don’t have any freedom to live their lives in dignity. Where you see freedom in education, where the rich can buy their way to test scores that privilege their futures over those who weren’t born into wealth, I see the poor chained at the bottom rung of the ladder, which they have no hope of climbing because your rules have removed the rungs. This is not freedom Malcolm. This is entrenched privilege. This is stacking the deck in favour of the people who already own the deck and all the deck chairs on it.

You have famously said, over and over again, that there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian. I beg to differ. Australia was better off without you and your greedy ideological crusade to lock us all away from a free Australia. A truly free market promoting government, under the real definition of the word free, would provide all the necessary regulatory requirements to ensure there is nothing constraining the freedom of all citizens to live a fulfilling life; to have the healthcare, the education, the job and career opportunities, the quality of life that should be afforded equally no matter the circumstances they are born into, to anyone who has the motivation and strive to achieve it.

Australia will never be the best version of itself until we strip away the limits to our freedom, which stop us meeting our full potential. When the rules you want us to play by mean that all the resources for wealth are unequally cloistered away by the upper-echelons of the wealthiest in society, and sometimes diverted into Panama tax havens, in order to privilege only the already rich and their offspring, to buy their way to success, to remove freedom for everyone else to compete, you do the whole country a disservice. When our collective talents aren’t given every opportunity to contribute – the freedom to contribute – our country is stifled by your rules of the game, where, low and behold, only people like you, the undeserving, can win.

You need to get out of the way of real freedom Malcolm. You need to stop being a roadblock in the way of meritocracy and embrace the true meaning of the word ‘free’. Only then will it really be an exciting time to be an Australian.

Yours Sincerely
Victoria Rollison



The empire of chaos and its illegal war of aggression – By Rick Staggenborg, MD

© ismet hasgül/Twitter

While Americans are justly concerned about the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Syria, they must be careful whose narrative they accept before deciding what we should do about it. Both sides have been responsible for civilian deaths and torture, but we are only being told one side of the story, and a distorted one at that. Though readily apparent to anyone who wants to look at the facts, the American role in the violence is never clearly spelled out. For instance, famous “humanitarian” Nicholas Kristof has been on the bandwagon arguing for US military intervention. It’s only right that the plight of Syrians he is highlighting should be put in proper perspective.

In his latest article, Kristof makes an emotionally powerful appeal for Obama to take in Syrian refugees. However, in doing so he compares the violence in Syria with the Nazi attempt to conquer the Western world. The truth is that the Syrian conflict, though often called a “civil war,” is actually a case of a sovereign nation defending itself against an invasion of foreign terrorists sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies.

The US government claims the right to topple the government of Syria for its own purposes, regardless of the effect on the civilian population. The claim of “humanitarian intervention” is unjustified either by the facts or international law. The effort is being led by a known al Qaeda affiliate, a fact not well concealed by claims about a mythical “moderate rebel” faction. It makes no sense to blame the resulting carnage on a government that is defending its sovereignty against a ruthless and brutal enemy.

Kristof’s implied comparison of Assad to Hitler might be written off as a bad analogy, except that, almost as an afterthought, he chides Obama for not doing “more to end the slaughter.” Since taking in more refugees would do nothing to ease the conflict, he must be referring to his previous arguments for a no-fly zone (here and here).

Establishing a no-fly zone” means attacking the Syrian military. That’s an act of war. Since neither we nor any NATO ally has been attacked by Syria, it would constitute another illegal war of aggression, much like Iraq. Vietnam might be a better comparison, since both involve baiting the targeted country, as the US did in the Gulf of Tonkin. There, as in Iraq, we went to war based on lies. Or perhaps Libya is the closest comparison, since the NATO attack on the Libyan people and government forces started with a no-fly zone.

Although that war used the legal fig leaf of a UN resolution, a Syrian no-fly zone would not. Having been fooled into supporting one illegal NATO war, Russia and China will not support such a resolution again. If NATO acts unilaterally, it will be even more blatantly illegal than the attack on Libya. The results would be at least as disastrous.

A major difference between Vietnam and Syria is that Russia has combat troops in Syria. An attack could be construed as an attack against Russia, which is legally in the country at the request of the Syrian government. The US recently threatened to do just that when the Syrian Army bombed separatist Kurdish forces, with which US Special Forces were illegally embedded.

Clinton and other neocons seem unconcerned with the possibility of sparking a war with a nuclear-armed power. They are calling for a no-fly zone or even more aggressive actions. Trump would be under intense pressure to abandon his no-regime-change position and do the same. No one in the foreign policy establishment appears willing or able to question the groupthink under which it is operating.

Few in Congress seem to understand that most of the official statements coming from the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence community reflect a distorted, one-sided view of the conflict that ignores the facts, international law and common sense. It’s our job to educate them and demand that the government attack the real roots of the terror in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and Washington itself.

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The Ankara-Tehran-Moscow (ATM) coalition – By Pepe Escobar

© Umit Bektas/Reuters
Turkish soldiers on an armoured vehicle are seen in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 25, 2016.

So Turkish President, a.k.a. Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to make a high-profile visit to Tehran – the date has not yet been set – to essentially kick start the ATM (Ankara-Tehran-Moscow) coalition in Syria.

Anyone as much as hinting at such a massive geopolitical tectonic shift a few weeks ago would be branded a madman. So how did the impossible happen?

A major strategic game-changer– Russia using an airfield in Iran to send bombers against jihadis in Syria – had already taken place, with its aftermath spectacularly misreported by the usual, clueless US corporate media suspects.

Then, there’s what Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, said last Saturday in Istanbul: “The most important priority for us is to stop the bloodshed [in Syria] as soon as possible.” The rest are irrelevant “details.”

Yildirim added Ankara now agrees with Moscow that Bashar al-Assad “could” – and that’s the operative word – stay in power during a political transition (although that’s still highly debatable). Ankara’s drive to normalize relations with Moscow had an ‘important share’ in this ‘policy shift’.

The ‘policy shift’ is a direct consequence of the failed military coup in Turkey. Russian cyber-surveillance aces – in action 24/7 after the downing of the Su-24 last November – reportedly informed Turkish intelligence a few hours before the fact. NATO, as the record shows, was mum.

Even minimalist optics suggests ‘Sultan’ Erdogan was extremely upset that Washington was not exactly displeased with the coup. He knows how vast swathes of the Beltway despise him – blaming him for not being serious in the fight against ISIS and for bombing the YPG Kurds – Pentagon allies – in Syria. The record does show Erdogan has mostly ignored ISIS – allowing non-stop free border crossing for ISIS goons as well as letting Turkish business interests (if not his own family) profit from ISIS’ stolen Syrian oil.

Compared to Washington’s attitude Moscow, on the other hand, warning Erdogan about serious, concrete facts on the ground in the nick of time. And for Erdogan, that was highly personal; the putschists reportedly sent a commando to kill him when he was still in Marmaris.

Fast forward to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif’s surprise visit two weeks ago to Ankara. Zarif and his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu did discuss serious options by which the budding ATM coalition could come up with a viable exit strategy in Syria. One week later Cavusoglu went to Tehran and talked again to Zarif for five hours.

It’s an uphill battle – but doable. Tehran knows very well IRGC officers as well as Hezbollah, Iraqi and Afghan fighters were killed in the Syrian war theater, and that shall not be in vain. Ankara for its part knows it cannot afford to remain forever trapped in an ideological dead end.

Rojava, where and for whom?

And then there’s the rub – the intractable Kurdish question. Iran, unlike Turkey, does not face active Kurdish separatism. A minimum understanding between Ankara and Tehran – central to the current flurry of meetings, face-to-face and ‘secret’, via mediators, necessarily points toward a united, centralized Syria.

That implies no Rojava – a possible independent Kurdish mini-state alongside the Turkish border, part of a not so hidden Washington/Tel Aviv balkanization agenda. Actually what is now in effect official Pentagon policy contains a mob element of Ash “Empire of Whining” Carter’s revenge on Sultan Erdogan; payback because Erdogan did not do enough to smash ISIS.

And that brings us to the current Turkish offensive – for all practical purposes invasion – of Jarabulus. That’s the last fort – as in the last town that allows ISIS back and forth from southern Turkey to Raqqa in terms of smuggling goons and weapons.

Ankara would never allow the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take Jarabulus. After all, the SDF – fully supported by the Pentagon – is led by the Kurdish nationalist YPG, which Ankara sees as a mere extension of PKK separatists.

Imagine Ankara’s terror at the YPG seizing Jarabulus. They would have crossed the ultimate Turkish red line; closing the gap between two Kurdish cantons across the border and for all practical purposes giving birth to the Rojava Kurdish mini-state.

Yet even if for Ankara an independent Rojava remains the supreme red line, there are declinations. A Rojava might come as quite handy if it became a dumping ground for Turkish PKK fighters. Arguably the PKK would not complain; after all they would have “their” state.

No one seems to be considering what Damascus thinks about all this.

And no one, for the moment, has a clue about the precise geography of a putative Rojava. If it includes, for instance, the recently liberated city of Manbij, that’s a major problem; Manbij is Arab, not Kurd. Kurds once again seem to be thrown into disarray – forced to choose whether they are allied with Washington or with Moscow.

Moscow, for its part, is crystal clear on ISIS. It is dead set on smashing for good, by all means necessary, any militants who consider Russia their enemy.

Erdogan certainly calculated that a rapprochement with Russia had to include being serious against ISIS. Extra incentive was added by the fact the bombing this past Sunday in Gaziantep was most certainly an ISIS job.

So Erdogan’s Syria master plan now boils down to – what else – another wilderness of mirrors. By crossing to Jarabulus, Ankara wants to establish a sort of remnants of the Free Syria Army (FSA)-controlled enclave. The Americans can’t blame him because this will be against ISIS – even though it’s mostly against Rojava. And the Russians won’t make a fuss because Moscow is in favor of Syria’s unity.

Got ATM, will travel

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, previously of “zero problems with our neighbors” then converted into “nothing but problems with our neighbors” is now history. Yildirim is a pragmatist. So the opening to Russia had to be inevitable.

And that leads us back to the – alleged – end of Team Obama’s obsession, “Assad must go”. He may stay, for a while. Yildirim has confirmed this is now Turkish official policy. Although that does not mean Ankara – and Washington for that matter – have given up on regime change. They will keep up the pressure – but tactics will change.

As it stands, the major fact on the ground is that ‘Sultan’ Erdogan seems to have had enough of the Americans (NATO of course included) and has pivoted to Russia.

Thus the sending of certified Keystone Cop Joe Biden to Ankara to plead “not guilty” on the military coup (forget it; most Turks don’t believe Washington) and to implore Erdogan not to pursue his massive purge (pure wishful thinking).

Considering Erdogan’s notoriously erratic record, his embrace of ATM may be just a gigantic illusion, or may open yet another unforeseen can of worms. But there are signs this may be for real.

Cavusoglu has already intimated that Ankara is aiming for a military/technological upgrade that is impossible under NATO’s watch. In his own words; “Unfortunately, we see countries in NATO are a bit hesitant when it comes to exchange of technology and joint investments.”

Moscow has every reason to be quite cautious regarding myriad aspects of Erdogan’s pivoting. After all the Turkish military has been part of NATO for decades. As it stands, there’s no evidence Moscow and Ankara are looking at the same post-war Syria. But if we’re talking about the future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), then it starts to get really interesting.

Turkey is already a “dialog partner” of the SCO, while Iran may become a full member as early as next year. Moscow is certainly envisioning Ankara as a valuable ally in the wider Sunni world, way beyond a role in repelling Salafi-jihadis in Syria. With Ankara and Tehran also talking serious business, this could eventually spill out into a serious debunking of the alleged apocalyptic Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian divide, which is the only Divide-and-Rule strategy spun and deployed non-stop by the US, Israel and the House of Saud.

It’s this enticing SCO-enhancing possibility that’s freaking Washington out big time. Russia pivoting East, Turkey pivoting East, Iran already there, and China now also actually involved in a stake in post-war Syria, that’s a geopolitical reconfiguration in Southwest Asia that once again spells out the inevitable; Eurasia integration.

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.



داريا خالية من الإرهابDAMASCUS:  It’s over.  Plain and simple.  Despite some die-hard degenerate foreigners who felt cheated out of their moment of death and rebirth in a temporal Paradise filled with 72 Virginians, the agreement to evacuate Daarayyaa was finally crowned when other terrorists warned the “end-of-timers” that they would face a different destiny if they were killed by fellow rodents.

The vast majority of the citizens and those who were once traitors were packed into buses and spirited off to Al-Harjala Temporary Shelter near Damascus.  About 300 rodents and their stinking reptilian issue were shunted off in the direction of Idlib where they will face the wrath of the Syrian people at the right time and place.  The number who left for Idlib is about 1000 in total.

Thus ended the second phase of the agreement struck between the Reconciliation Committees headed by Dr. ‘Ali Haydar and the remaining vultures inside Daarayyaa.  All weapons have been turned over to the SAA.  The Syrian Red Crescent Society and the SAA are now probing the area for wounded with the latter leading the project to find left-behind IEDs.    The plan to rebuild Daarayyaa is massive and will be implemented after all mines and IEDs have been dismantled.


 بماذا تحدث سكان داريا بعد خروجهم الى مركز الايواء..!؟

A bus provided by the government carries scores of residents from Daarayyaa to the Al-Harjala shelter.  Their stories would make anyone’s hair turn gray.

We can now say with confidence that hundreds of former terrorists have committed themselves to fighting alongside the Syrian Army inside the ranks of the Popular Defense Committees (NDF).



Harraan Al-‘Awaameed:  In a uniquely planned operation, the SAA invaded a base operated by Jaysh Al-Islam and killed 12 rodents west of the Rajm Al-Baqar area.  A rocket launching base was also destroyed.

Harraan Al-‘Awaameed:  The day before yesterday, the SAA killed 6 rodents belonging to Nusra/Alqaeda and destroyed  one armored car while disabling another 2 in a pitched battle south of the Thermal Energy Station near the farmlands.

Al-Darkhabiyya Farms near Khaan Al-Shaykh:  Nusra/Alqaeda lost 9 rodents while forming fortifications.





جيشNews of Daarayyaa’s fall can’t be very encouraging to those tarantulas still hiding under rocks waiting for the arrival of the 1000 capitulationists and their disease-carrying brood.  Maybe that’s why they have lost interest in the war:


East of Al-Lataamina:  In another superbly-planned operation by SAA rangers,  8 rats were sent straight to the Pastry Ovens of Hell with a leader of the “Infantry Brigade of ‘Abdul-Raheem Al-Jazzaar” leading the caravan.


Al-Mawrik (Mork):  1 rat was killed and 10 wounded in the southern neighborhoods.  Along with that, the SAA destroyed 2 pickups with the usual Doschkas.



Saudi Arabia is dying.  So says a Saudi ex patriate with some semblance of a brain:

Make this viral.  Murf the Surf sends this disturbing mini-docu about Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy:

Watch the PYG destroy 2 Turk tanks inside Syria.  Khaled Nawaz Al-Nouri sent the photo:


Khaled sends this one showing Houthis backing Dr. Assad:


ISIS broadcasted this photo and video of their children executing Kurdish men accused of helping the Syrian Army.  Do Wahhabists understand child psychology?


These are Kurds being slaughtered by Obama’s heroes.



Yemen: Saudi Arabia ‘too arrogant to accept defeat,’ rejects exit strategy – By SPUTNIK

© AFP 2016/Mohammed Huwais
Yemen in ruins thanks to US, UK, House of Saud.

Days after over 100,000 Yemenis rallied in Sanaa against Saudi Arabia for the latter’s continued shelling campaign, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Riyadh to discuss the ongoing bloodbath. The founder of the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, spoke with Radio Sputnik about Western involvement and possible outcomes of the war.

Framing the violence in Yemen as a proxy war involving Iran is flat-out wrong, in the words of Shadjareh, who was interviewed by Brian Becker on Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear program. Iran, accused by the Saudis of supporting the Houthi political opposition faction throughout the war, hasn’t got any influence on conflict in Yemen, he said. “There’s a total blockade of sea, and [Iranian] weapons cannot get through, personnel cannot get through. Iran has no air forces involved,” Shadjareh noted, offering that the real driving force of the hostilities in Yemen is Saudi Arabia that has been shelling the country since March 2015.

To justify its attempted invasion, the Saudis used the pretext of spreading democracy, which is patently absurd, given that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, and it practices executions and widely oppresses women, Shadjareh said. Riyadh “wants to be a regional power” and has instigated a number of conflicts, including those in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, he said. “They want to strengthen themselves so as to ensure the continuation of the royal family’s dictatorship.” The Saudi’s real goal in sending troops Yemen, he said, is to place a puppet president in power who will obey Riyadh. “Here we’ve got one of the richest countries in the region, or in the world, attacking one of the poorest countries, destroying infrastructure and killing children,” he said, speaking of the ongoing Saudi bombing campaign, known to be using US-manufactured weapons.

The war has not only killed over 9,000 people and left the country in ruins, but has also given a “kiss of life” to a branch of al Qaeda now planted in Yemen, he added. Concurrently, “the international community, that is supposed to be the peak of democracy and justice, is involved in it,” Shadjareh stated. Citing an Oxfam report, he observed that the UK is also actively supplying Riyadh with arms and ammunition, which are being liberally used against civilians. “Saudi Arabia couldn’t possibly get engaged in this sort of war without such support,” he said. Riyadh made it clear that its airstrikes, targeting hospitals and schools, are overlooked by the West, Shadjareh pointed out, citing the Saudi Foreign Minister’s claim that US and UK commanders have access to the list of Saudi airstrike targets. “The reality is that not only is Saudi Arabia committing war crimes, but also those who make it possible,” he added, referring to logistical assistance and weapons supplied by Washington and London. Among the reasons prompting Americans and Britons to turn a blind eye to the “carnage and international law violations” currently being committed in Yemen by the Saudis is the aggressive sale of weapons by the West, weapons specifically provided for the use of Riyadh against the Houthi opposition.

“There are no economic reasons, other than the sale of arms. There’s no oil, geopolitical interest for the US or the UK there. So it really goes back to old-fashioned corruption.” In spite of the far-reaching support of the Western allies, the Saudis are stuck in a quagmire similar to that being experienced by the US in Afghanistan. The Houthi faction, disorganized at the beginning of the war, have become a “fighting machine, manufacturing weapons and being able to sustain themselves, despite all the blockades that had been imposed.” The Saudis, in their wealth and Western friendships, are “too arrogant and don’t want to accept a defeat” that has already happened, he said. Riyadh will drag on the war, refusing to negotiate or discuss peace, which is the only intelligent exit strategy left to the House of Saud.

Comment: There is no respectability left for US, UK and especially Saudi Arabia.

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