The Syrian ceasefire officially went into effect last night. The Russian General Staff reports the Syrian government has fully halted attacks on all but Daesh and Nusra areas. Early reports yesterday suggested “some reduction in violence”, according to Kerry. German FM Steinmeier called it a “significant” reduction in violence. Today we have the same story: largely holding, only minor violations reported (e.g., rebels shelled army positions near the Castillo Road north of Aleppo – they even attacked Russian Marines during a live broadcast with the Russian Defense Ministry). Things are even reportedly calm in rebel-held east Aleppo — somewhat surprising given the presence of Nusra there. And even the UK-based one-man anti-Assad psyop known as the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” is reporting that not a single civilian has been reported killed in the last 15 hours. SOHR focuses on civilian deaths allegedly caused by Syrian airstrikes, but as usual, he (it’s just one guy) doesn’t pay all that much attention to civilian deaths caused by rebels.
The Russian military reported 23 violations by rebel militants over the past day, shelling residential and army positions and causing 6 deaths in Aleppo and 10 wounded. Russia has called on the Syrian government not to respond to these provocations: “I ask everyone not to succumb to provocations, to carefully record all possible violations and send the data to the Russian Reconciliation Center,” Russian General Staff official Viktor Poznikhir said.
Assuming reports of differences of opinion regarding Syria between the White House, State Department, Pentagon and CIA are true, the same dynamic is showing up in each organization’s outlook on the ceasefire, with the State Department cautiously optimistic, the White House wanting more assurances from Russia, and the Pentagon skeptical. Even the State Department is showing some institutional schizophrenia. Yesterday, John Kirby told reporters: “We are not ruling out Assad would be able to strike al-Nusra. There is really no grounds and frankly little purpose in trying to completely limit the Assad regime from hitting al-Nusra.” Which sounds rational: Nusra is the enemy, so the Syrian government should be able to attack them, especially since Nusra is a UN-recognized terrorist organization.
He also said: “They [the Assad government] will be permitted, if there is consensus here inside the JIC, to hit a designated, a known Nusra target,” Kirby stated. “There is no prohibition under this arrangement for them to do that.” The “whole idea” of discussions with Russia was “to provide a level of certainty and visibility of where Assad would be able to fly.” But later, he said this:
… the primary purpose of the ceasefire deal “is to prevent the Syrian regime air force from flying or striking in any areas in which the opposition or Nusra [Jabhat Fatah Al Sham] are present.”
“To clarify: the arrangement announced last week makes no provision whatsoever for the US and Russia to approve strikes by the Syrian regime, and this is not something we could ever envision doing,” Kirby stated.
Kirby added that there was never a plan to ground Assad forces permanently, but underscored they would not be able to fly over opposition-controlled or mixed areas.
So what’s the deal? Since the exact terms of the agreement are secret, who knows…
John “Shell Shock Trooper” McCain gave his two cents to Sputnik, arguing that the Obama administration has “abandoned all pretense of saying Assad has to go,” and calling the results of the negotiations “humiliation.” “I just read that they were going to, under certain circumstances, let Bashar Assad do airstrikes…. This is unbelievable.” The latest reports tell us that McCain has yet to come to the realization that he is in fact a satirical character who unknowingly broke the fourth wall of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove film and has been living his life completely oblivious to the comical and fictional nature of his existence.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said some very interesting things today:
“I have a very demanding task now – not to let the list [of terrorist organizations] be reduced,” Lavrov said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I have no reason not to trust [US Secretary of State] John Kerry, but what we see on the ground [in Syria] is that the coalition is very reluctant to strike the positions of the Nusra Front,” the minister noted. “I asked John Kerry about it directly, but he vocally denied the US having any plans to ‘shelter’ Nusra Front or to fend off the threat of airstrikes from [its positions].”
“This is a topic for a very serious discussion with our American partners,” Lavrov said, noting that while the obligation to separate Syrian opposition fighters from terrorists was taken up by the US almost a year ago, this has not happened yet.
Translation: we do not trust the Americans; they are sheltering al-Nusra terrorists; the Russians know it and have confronted them about it.
“To ensure there should be no doubts as to how we will go about the business of implementing the agreement in its original form, we have suggested making it public after all. Not keeping it secret, contrary to the wish of our US partners. We have nothing to hide. Everything that is stated there is a matter of agreement,” Lavrov said, as cited by TASS news agency. “And we suggest presenting this document to the UN Security Council for approval without any amendments,” Lavrov added.
Wow. During the negotiations, all signs pointed towards Washington being the ones who had the most problems with the terms, and making the most concessions. Now Lavrov is saying that the Americans are the ones that wanted to keep the document secret (presumably because of the “sensitive nature” of some of the terms). And he is not-so-subtly threatening to make it public and bring it to the UN, no less. All this suggests that the document itself is solid. If its terms were followed, that would be a good thing. Elements in Washington don’t want the ceasefire to succeed, and no doubt intend to subvert it. If it were made public and binding, it really would be like Minsk 2.0 all over again, and Washington would be exposed for the two-faced manipulator it really is.
So will it last? Gumer Isaev, director of St. Petersburg’s Center for Modern Middle East Studies, thinks it has “every chance for success”. Anton Mardasov, head of the Department of Middle Eastern Conflicts of the Moscow-based Institute for Innovative Development, thinks it depends on the Fatah Halab alliance of 30+ rebel groups in Aleppo under FSA command abiding. But if the past is precedent, it doesn’t look likely to be a full success, unless Russia has some extra leverage over the U.S. that it didn’t back in February.
Syrian War Report – September 13, 2016: New Ceasefire Attempt
Syrian War Report – September 12, 2016: Syrian Army Advancing in Latakia
Russia Defense Report: Electronic Ears over Aleppo
Israeli perfidy in the Golan Heights
The other big news in Syria today is the report that Syrian armed forces shot down an Israeli jet and drone over Syrian territory. According to Syrian officials, the shoot-down followed an attack in Quneitra province, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, at 1 a.m. Al-Qaeda rebels have been launching an offensive in the region, and a stray projectile from the Syrian army into Israeli-occupied Golan territory prompted IAF shelling of Syrian mortar positions in response a couple days ago. The same thing happened early this morning (the fourth such instance in the last two weeks).
Here’s an alleged “insider’s account” from Ziad Fadel over at Syrian Perspective:
The man who gave the order and fixed the coordinates to fire the S-300 missile at the invading vulture was Captain Rayyaan Dhaaher, my wife’s nephew. He confirmed his role in the event by calling Leith [presumably Ziad’s son, Leith Fadel of Al-Masdar News] and giving him general information about the strike.
I have received confirming information also from Monzer’s wife in Damascus. She informed me that Monzer was in Al-Ba’ath City and saw the Zionist bomber downed with his own eyes. The pilot was not seen to eject … The jet landed in an area close to Al-Qaeda positions and it is assumed the terrorists, who are now allied with Zionism openly, will return the burned parts to their masters. …
The Syrian High Command has also announced the downing of the bomber and a pilot-less drone over the Occupied Golan. Syrian Armed Forces have been placed on high alert emphasizing the western front.
The Zionists have denied the bombing, however, indicating no desire to use this event as some casus belli.
The Israelis do admit that “two surface-to-air missiles were launched from Syria after our aircraft attacked Syrian artillery positions”, but deny that their craft have been shot down. If it did indeed crash in Nusra territory, they can probably get away with this. And they insist their attacks on the Syrian army are just “self-defense”. How can you tell when Israeli officials are lying? Their lips are moving. An IDF spokesman had this bit of bizarro-world doublespeak to say in response to the shelling:
The IDF was cited as saying by the Jerusalem Post newspaper that it would take action against the Syrian government’s “attempts to hurt the sovereignty” of the Israeli state.
The chutzpah is just as bad as it ever was. The IDF is fully aware that Israel has no legal claim on the Golan heights. It is not Israeli sovereign territory. It is illegally occupied territory, and the Syrian army would have every right to fight back a lot harder than they have been.
Who to believe? The inveterate liars in the Israeli government and military, or the Syrians? We’ll go with the Syrians on this one, who reiterated and confirmed the earlier reports. According to General Samir Suleiman, head of the Syrian Arab Army information department, “Syrian air defense forces responded and shot down a F-16 fighter jet in the southwest of Quneitra, and an Israeli drone over the Damascus’ suburb of Sa’sa.”
And if the Israeli excuse of “retaliatory fire” is just as facile as their denial of the shoot-down, why were they really firing on Syrian positions in Quneitra? Again, Gen. Suleiman provides the best answer:
The [Israeli] enemies give logistical and moral support to the terrorist groups, they opened Israeli hospitals and medical centers for the injured terrorists after the Syrian army carried out operations against militants in Quneitra,” Suleiman told Sputnik. “Terrorists constantly receive military support from the Israeli armed forces via artillery fire and air attacks on Syrian army positions.”
And as SANA put it: “It noted that the Israeli attack came in support of the armed terrorist groups and in a desperate attempt to raise the deteriorating morale of their members due to the heavy losses they have suffered in Quneitra.”
Lavrov called on Israel to recall international law and adhere to UNSC resolutions regarding the Golan Heights: “There are terrorists universally recognized as enemies of mankind in the Golan Heights. But, of course, dealing with them including through airstrikes should remain within the UN Security Council resolutions dedicated to the Golan Heights and with general restraint, avoiding any provocations.” We guess they just forgot, temporarily. Easy to get all those “stirred up Muslim” groups confused…
The Kill-bot breaks down
Continuing coverage from yesterday’s Snapshot, the Hillary Health Scandal continues to make headlines:
- Clinton team avoided ER to conceal details of her medical treatment (New York Post)
- Three blood clots, a concussion, deep vein thrombosis: Hillary’s shielded medical history is no longer just for conspiracy theorists as her ‘penchant for privacy’ gets serious scrutiny (Daily Mail)
- Hillary’s health problems are not a figment of Matt Drudge’s imagination (Washington Times)
- The Internet thinks Hillary Clinton has a body double (USA Today)
- VIDEO: Bill Clinton likens Hillary to ‘a demon’ (The American Mirror)
- CBS News Edits Out Bill’s Verbal Slip: Hillary “frequently” experienced such faintness (Mediaite)
- Secret Service analysis: They’ve done this before (Zero Hedge)
- Former DNC Chair Calls For “Contingency Plan” If Hillary’s Health Forces Her Out Of The Race (Zero Hedge)
- Did Hillary Just Order The Destruction Of Her ‘Fainting’ Video? Copyright Strikes For Those On Youtube Who Post It! (InvestmentWatch)
- WABC TV in NY reports “Hillary Clinton’s death” (InfoWars called up WABC, who told them it was mistaken reporting)
Conspiracists are working themselves into a frenzy over Clinton being replaced by a double after the “overheating”, and the mainstream “coincidencists” are working themselves into a frenzy ridiculing the conspiracists.
Here at SOTT, while we don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that someone, somewhere, might have used a body double (think Saddam), we’re not convinced there are two Killarys out there. The differences shown in the photographic ‘evidence’ can all be put down to drugs, make-up, different lighting and camera angles, etc. As for the Killary herself, she says she’s feeling fine now after a small “dizzy” spell: “I felt dizzy, and I did lose my balance for a minute, but once I got in [the van], once I could sit down, once I could cool off, once I had some water, I immediately started feeling better.” Right.
This video and this follow-up from Dr. Noel are informative. He suggests Killary has symptoms of someone who’s been taking Parkinson’s medication for a long time. In sum, pneumonia can’t explain Clinton’s behavior; Parkinson’s explains it all. Now there’s this:
The man who discovered CTE thinks Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned (Washington Post)
Omalu, whose story was famously told in the movie “Concussion,” made the suggestion on Twitter, writing that he advised campaign officials to “perform toxicologic analysis of Ms. Clinton’s blood.”
The suggestion was greeted somewhat skeptically in the replies. But this is Omalu, whose credentials and tenacity are well known. He wasn’t giving up on Twitter, adding that his reasoning is that he does not trust Russian President Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee who has expressed admiration for Putin.
Once again, the MSM peddles outrageous conspiracy theories (didn’t Bush say something about the U.S. ‘not tolerating’ those? Or was he just talking about 9/11?). We’ve got a better theory for you, Omalu and WaPo: according to our anonymous sources, the news is right. Hillary died. But she’s been dead for a while now. The Nazi scientists brought over by Allen Dulles after WWII have reanimated her dead corpse and have been controlling her movements remotely. The ultimate aim is to install the perfect president, able to follow orders completely with no questions asked – if the Kill-bot’s parts hold out that long, of course.
Every once in a while, though, the operators get distracted and lose their grip on the controls, or the system goes haywire temporarily as a result of Russian hacking. This has resulted in several Kill-bot malfunctions, including numerous “blue screens” (what appear to outside observers to be fainting episodes), displays of completely inappropriate emotions given the context of the situation, maniacal laughing fits, and loss of functioning in various body parts and mechanically aided appendages. New York was just a concatenation of mishaps caused by overheating of Kill-bot’s components. One of its hinge joints even got jostled free, causing the Kill-bot to lose mobility in its right leg.
However, our other anonymous sources tell us that the Russian hacks on the Kill-bot have been a clever communist ruse. Putin actually hacked its system before it was even created and has full control of the Kill-bot whenever he wants it. He even installed a Kill-bot kill-switch, which he plans to use at an opportune time. But our other other anonymous sources tell us that in the event of such a catastrophic failure, the apparent death will then be blamed on Vladimir Putin and written off as a “KGB sleeper cell poison black op”. So Omalu’s conspiracy theory is undoubtedly correct; he’s just not seeing the big picture: Nazi robots. We don’t know about you, dear readers, but these accounts sound just as legitimate as the conspiracy theories being thrown around by the Democratic Party and the mainstream media.
But all joking aside, the interesting thing for us is the astonishing fact that Clinton is very ill, on the eve of a U.S. election, and this public acknowledgment comes after the media spent the last 18 months castigating anyone who pointed to that fact as a ‘conspiracy theorist’. We reckon the puppet masters believed they had it sown up for Hillary, but now they may be facing the U.S. equivalent of the Brexit result: a Trump presidency. Two major errors in one year – in both ‘seats of power’ (London and Washington) – might indicate that the ‘elite’ are rapidly losing their power. As the detective says to the Chief inspector in V for Vendetta… “It’s all gone wrong, hasn’t it?”
In other news
Turkey has apparently now formally requested the U.S. to arrest Gulen for conspiracy against the Turkish government. (This follows the extradition request, and would seem to be unrelated.) At the same time, Turkey sent a “humanitarian convoy” to Aleppo city, alleging to bring food, clothes and toys. Legit? Damascus then came out with this: “Following announcements made by the Turkish regime on its willingness to send substances it describes as humanitarian aid to Aleppo, Syria announces its refusal to allow such substances to enter from any party, especially if it was from the Turkish regime without the coordination with the Syrian Government and the United Nations,” an official Syrian Foreign Ministry source told the SANA news agency. Fair enough. The Syrians have good reason for skepticism when it comes to Turkey.
The U.S.-Iran confrontations have also been escalating. U.S. jets were ordered to fly extremely close to Iran’s 12-mile nautical border, in order to “test the Iranian reaction” according to Defense Dept officials interviewed on Fox News. Iran ordered the jets to change course under threat of being shot down, after which the U.S. hypocritically scolded Iran for such an “unprofessional” and “unsafe” reaction to Washington’s “test”. The Iranians know the U.S. is a belligerent aggressor that thinks it can do whatever it wants with no consequences – and then blame the victim as if the U.S. did absolutely nothing wrong, provocative, or harassing. Meanwhile, today Iran launched a new naval ship capable of transporting a helicopter and up to 100 men in the Persian Gulf. No revelations as to its weapons capabilities.
And some newsbites for the day:
Desperate measures: US lifts sanctions against Russian defense exporter
The U.S. government has lifted sanctions against the Russian defence exporter Rosoboronexport which will allow it to supply helicopter parts and services to Afghanistan. Several dozen Russian Mi-17 helicopters originally purchased by Afghanistan during the Soviet era are currently being used by the U.S. and its allies.
Open democracy? Brexit negotiations may be kept so secret not even Parliament will be told
David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union said Parliament and the British public will be kept in the dark about Brexit negotiations until Article 50 of the EU treaty is implemented.
Russia Ready to Host Israeli-Palestinian Talks Any Time, Place
So says Lavrov: “At any time, when all these circumstances converge at one point and the leaders of Israel and Palestine will be ready and, if the choice falls on Russia, we will do everything to make this meeting successful,” Lavrov told reporters.
Suicide bomber targets Shiite mosque in Shikarpur, Pakistan, injures four police
The attack occurred during Eid prayers, and a second would-be suicide bomber was shot and wounded at the scene before he could detonate his vest. No group has claimed responsibility as of yet. Now consider the next story:
Pakistan To Conduct First War Games With Russia This Year
The games will put together around 200 personnel from each country, and are part of warming ties between them. Moscow’s relations with Pakistan are on the rise as Washington’s grow colder. Russia has sponsored Pakistan to join the SCO
Riot & fire at Poitiers-Vivonne prison in western France
A prison in Vivonne, western France was evacuated after prisoners rioted, started fires and refused to return to their cells.
United Airlines Flights Resume Out of Newark Airport After Power Outage Causes Delays: FAA
The United Airlines control tower in Newark NJ lost power at 5 pm EDT. Power was restored 45 minutes later, but was then lost again, until 7pm. The FAA has not offered any explanation yet. All United Airlines flights are now back on schedule.
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