The Warmakers – By The Saker

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[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

Between the US strikes on Syria in April and the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, we are in somewhat of a lull in the Empire’s search for a new war to start. The always helpful Israelis, in the person of the ineffable Bibi Netanyahu, are now beating the drums for, well, if not a war, then at least some kind of false flag or pretext to make the USA strike at Iran. And then there is the always bleeding Donbass (which I won’t address in today’s analysis). So let’s see where we stand and try to guesstimate where we might be heading. To be honest, trying to guess what ignorant warmongering psychopaths might do next is by definition a futile exercise, but since there are some not negligible signs that there are at least a few rational people still left in the US White House and/or Pentagon (as shown by the mostly “pretend strikes” on Syria last month), we can assume (hope) that some residual degree of sanity is still present. At the very least Americans in uniform have to ask themselves a very basic and yet fundamental question:

Do I want to die for Israel? Do I want to lose my job for Israel? How about my pension? Maybe just my stock options? Is it worth risking a major regional war for such a “wonderful” state?

A lot depends on whether the US military leaders (and people!) will have the courage to ask themselves this question and, if they do, what their reply will be.

But, first, let’s begin with the good news:

The DPRK and ROK are in direct talks with each other.

This is indeed a truly great development for at least two reasons. First, of course, the main and objective one: anything which lowers the risks of war on the Korean Peninsula is good. But there is a second reason which we should not discount: Trump can now take all the credit for this and claim that his (empty) threats are what brought the North Koreans to the negotiating table. I say – let him. In fact, I hope that they organize a parade for Trump somewhere in the USA, with confetti and millions of flags. Like for an astronaut. Let him feel triumphant, vindicated and very, very manly. MAGA, you know?!

Yeah, that will be sickening to the thinking (not to mention counter-factual), but if a little bit of intellectual nausea is the price to pay for peace, I say let’s do it. If Trump, Bolton, Haley and the rest of them can feel that they “kicked ass” and that their “invincible military” is what brought “Rocket Man” to “give up his nukes” (he never said any such thing, but never mind that) then I sincerely wish them a joyful and highly ego-pleasing celebration. Anything to stop them from looking for another war to start, at least for a now.

Now the bad news.

The Israelis are at it again

Amazing, isn’t it? The Israelis have been whining about “imminent” Iranian nukes for years, and they are still at it. Not only that, but these guys have the nerve to say “Iran lied”. Seriously, even by the already unique Israeli standards, that is chutzpah elevated to a truly stratospheric level. If it were just Bibi Netanyahu, then this would be comical. But the problem is that Israel has now fully subjugated all the branches of the US government to its agents (the Neocons) and that they now run everything: from the two branches of the Uniparty to Congress, to the media and, now that Trump has abjectly caved in to all their demands, they also run the White House. They apparently also run the CIA, but there still might be some resistance to their lunacy in the Pentagon. The USA is now quite literally run by a Zionist Occupation Government, no doubt about it whatsoever.

So what are these guys really up to? Listen to the one man who knows them best, and whose every single word you can take to the bank, Hezbollah General Secretary Nasrallah (ever wondered why Hezbollah, which has not committed anything even remotely looking like a terrorist attack since the 1980s is called the “A-Team of terrorists”? Just saying…):

The first event is the Israeli blatant and manifest aggression against the T-4 base or airport on the outskirts of Homs, that targeted Iranian forces from the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution of Iran who were present there, hitting them with a large number of missiles, causing 7 martyrs among its officers and soldiers and wounding others. This was a new, significant and important event. Maybe some people do not pay attention to its importance and magnitude. In this operation, Israel has deliberately killed (Iranian soldiers). This is an unprecedented event. In the past, Israel has struck us [Hezbollah] for example in Quneitra, and it turned out that coincidentally Guardians [of the Islamic Revolution] officers were with us. Israel declared hastily that they did not know it, and thought that all (targeted soldiers) were Hezbollah’s. This is an event that has no precedent since 7 years, it is unprecedented since 7 years, that Israel openly targets the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Syria, killing deliberately, in an operation that caused a number of martyrs and wounded (…) I want to tell the Israelis that they must know – I wrote that statement accurately and I read it to them – they must know that they have committed a historic mistake. This is not a simple blunder. They committed an act of great stupidity, and by this aggression, they entered in a direct confrontation with Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran. And Iran, O Zionists, is not a small country, it is not a weak country, and it is not a cowardly country. And you know it very well. As a comment on this incident, I stress that it constitutes a turning point in the situation of the region. What follows will be very different from what preceded it. This is an incident that cannot be considered lightly, contrary to what happens with many incidents here. It is a turning point, a historic turning point. And when the Israelis committed this stupid act, they had some assessment (of the situation), but I tell them that their evaluation is false. And even in the future, since you have opened a new path in the confrontation, (you should ensure) not to be wrong in your evaluations. In this new path you opened and initiated, don’t be wrong in your assessment, when you are face to face, and directly (in conflict) with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I can only agree with this evaluation. As does The Jerusalem Post, NBC News, and many others. Regardless of how crazy this notion might sound to rational people (see below), there are all the signs that the Israelis are now demanding that the USA start a war against Iran, either by choice or more likely, to “stand by our Israeli allies and friends” after they attack Iran first.

Israel is truly a unique and amazing country: not only does it openly and brazenly completely ignore international law, not only is it the last overtly racist country on the planet, not only has it been perpetuating a slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians for decades, it also constantly uses its considerable propaganda resources to advocate for war. And in order to achieve these goals, it does not mind allying itself with a regime almost as despicable and evil as the Zionist one – I am talking about the Wahabi nutcases in the KSA. And all that under the high patronage of the United States. Some “Axis of Kindness” indeed!

What is their plan? Actually, it is fairly straightforward.

The Israeli plan “A” (failed)

Initially, the plan was to overthrow all the secular (Baathist) regimes in power and replace them by religious nutcases. That would not only weaken the countries infected by that spiritual rot, it would set them backwards for many decades, some of them would break up into smaller entities, Arabs and Muslims would kill each other in large numbers while the Israelis would proudly claim that they are a “western country” and the “only democracy in the Middle-East”. Even better, when the Daesh/ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc types commit atrocities on an industrial scale (and always on camera, professionally filmed, by the way), the slow-motion genocide of Palestinians would really be completely forgotten. If anything, Israeli would declare itself threatened by “Islamic extremism” and, well, extend a couple of “security zones” beyond its borders (legal or otherwise), and do regular bombing runs “because Arabs only understand force” (which would get the Israelis a standing ovation from the “Christian” Zionist rednecks in the USA who love the killing of any Aye-rabs and other “sand niggers”). At the end of all this, the Zionist wet dream: unleashing the Daesh forces against Hezbollah (which they fear and hate since the humiliating defeat the IDF suffered in 2006).

Now I will readily agree that this is a stupid plan. But contrary to the propaganda-induced myth, the Israelis are really not very bright. Pushy, arrogant, nasty, driven – yes. But smart? Not really. How could they not realize that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would result in Iran becoming the main player in Iraq? This is a testimony of how the Israelis always go for “quick-fix” short-term “solutions”, probably blinded by their arrogance and sense of racial superiority. Or how about their invasion of Lebanon in 2006? What in the world did they think they would achieve there? And now these folks are taking on not Hezbollah, but Iran. Hassan Nasrallah is absolutely correct, that is a truly stupid decision. But, of course, the Israelis now have a “plan B”:

The Israeli plan “B”

Step one, use your propaganda machine and infiltrated agents to re-start the myth about an Iranian military nuclear program. And never mind that the so-called “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” was agreed upon by all five of the UNSC Permanent Members, and Germany (P5+1) and even the European Union! And never mind that this plan places restrictions on Iran which no other country has ever had to ever face, especially considering that since 1970 Iran has been a member in good standing with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while Israel, of course, is not. But the Zionists and their Neocon groupies are, of course, quite exceptional people, so they are constrained by neither facts nor logic. If Trump says that the JCPOA is a terrible deal, then this is so. Hey, we are living in the “post-Skripal” and “post-Douma” era – if some Anglo (or Jewish) leaders say “highly likely” then it behooves everybody to show instant “solidarity” lest they are accused of “anti-Semitism” or “fringe conspiracy theories” (you know the drill). So step one is the re-ignition ex nihilo of the Iranian military nuclear program canard.

Step two is to declare that Israel is “existentially threatened” and therefore has the right to “defend itself”. But there is a problem here: the IDF simply does not have the military means to defeat the Iranians. They can strike them, hit a couple of targets, yes, but then when the Iranians (and Hezbollah) unleash a rain of missiles on Israel (and probably the KSA) the Israelis will not have the means to respond. They know that, but they also know that the Iranian counter-attack will give them the perfect pretext to scream “oy vey!! oy, gevalt!!” and let the dumb Americans fight the Iranians.

You might object that the USA does not have a mutual defense treaty with Israel. You are wrong. It does, it is called AIPAC. Besides, last year the USA established a permanent US military base in Israel, making it a “tripwire”: just claim that “the Ayatollahs” tried to attack the US base with “chemical weapons” and, bingo, you now have a pretext to use all your military forces in retaliation, including, by the way, your tactical nuclear forces to “disarm” the “genocidal Iranians who want to wipe Israel off the map” or some variation of this nonsense.

You might wonder what the point of all that would be if Iran does, as I say, not have any military nuclear program?

5My answer would be simple: do you really think the Syrians have been using chemical weapons?!

Of course not!

All this nonsense about Saddam’s WMD, the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian chemical weapons or, for that matter, Gaddafi’s “Viagra armed raping soldiers”, and before that the “Racak massacre” in Kosovo or the various “Markale market” atrocities in Sarajevo for that matter: these were just pretexts for aggression, nothing more.

In Iran’s case, what the Israelis fear is not that they will be “wiped off the map” (that is a mistranslation of words originally spoken by Ayatollah Khomeini) by Iranian nukes; what really freaks them out is to have a large, successful Muslim regional power like Iran openly daring to denounce Israel as an illegitimate, racist state. The Iranians are also openly denouncing the US imperialism and they are even denouncing the Wahabi dictatorship of the House of Saud. That is Iran’s real “sin”: to dare defy openly the AngloZionist Empire and be so successful at it!

So what the Israelis really want to do is:

  1. inflict a maximum amount of economic damage upon Iran
  2. punish the Iranian population for daring to support the “wrong” leaders
  3. overthrow the Islamic Republic (do to it what they did to Serbia)
  4. make an example to dissuade any other country who dares to follow in Iran’s footsteps
  5. prove the omnipotence of the AngloZionist Empire’s

To reach this objective, there is no need to invade Iran: a sustained cruise missile and bombing campaign will do the job (again, like in Serbia). Finally, we just have to assume that the Zionists are evil, arrogant and crazy enough to use nuclear weapons on some Iranian facilities (which they will, of course, designate as “secret military nuclear research” installations).

The Israelis hope that by making the USA hit Iran really hard, they will weaken the country enough to also weaken Hezbollah and the other allies of Iran in the region sufficiently and break the so-called “Shia crescent”.

In their own way, the Israelis are not wrong when they say that Iran is an existential threat to Israel. They are just lying about the nature of this threat and why it is dangerous for them.

Consider this:

IF the Islamic Republic is allowed to develop and prosper and IF the Islamic Republic refuses to be terrified by the IDF’s undisputed ability to massacre civilians and destroy public infrastructure, then the Islamic Republic will become an attractive alternative to the kind of repugnant Islam embodied by the House of Saud which, in turn, is the prime sponsor of all the collaborator regimes in the Middle-East from the Hariri types in Lebanon to the Palestinian Authority itself. The Israelis like their Arabs fat and corrupt to the bone, not principled and courageous. That is why Iran must, absolutely must, be hit: because Iran by its very existence threatens the linchpin upon which the survival of the Zionist entity depends: the total corruption of the Arab and Muslim leaders worldwide.

Risks with Israel’s plan “B”

Think of 2006. The Israelis had total air supremacy over Lebanon – the skies were simply uncontested. The Israelis also controlled the seas (at least until Hezbollah almost sank their Sa’ar 5-class corvette). The Israelis pounded Lebanon with everything they had, from bombs to artillery strikes, to missiles. They also engaged their very best forces, including their putatively ‘”invincible” “Golani Brigade”. And that for 33 days. And they achieved exactly *nothing*. They could not even control the town of Bint Jbeil right across the Israeli border. And now comes the best part: Hezbollah kept its most capable forces north of the Litany river so the small Hezbollah force (no more than 1000 man) was composed of local militias supported by a much smaller number of professional cadre. That a 30:1 advantage in manpower for the Israelis. But the “invincible Tsahal” got it’s collective butt kicked like few have ever been kicked in history. This is why, in the Arab world, this war is since known as the “Divine Victory”.

As for Hezbollah, it continued to rain down rockets on Israel and destroy indestructible Merkava tanks right up to the last day.

There are various reports discussing the reasons for the abject failure of the IDF (see here or here), but the simple reality is this: to win a war you need capable boots on the ground, especially against an adversary who has learned how to operate without air-cover or superior firepower. Should Israel manipulate the USA into attacking Iran, the exact same thing will happen: CENTCOM will establish air superiority and have an overwhelming firepower advantage over the Iranians, but other than destroying a lot of infrastructure and murdering scores of civilians, this will achieve absolutely nothing. Furthermore, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is no Milosevic, he will not simply surrender in the hope that Uncle Sam will allow him to stay in power. The Iranians will fight, and fight, and continue to fight for weeks, and months and then possibly years. And, unlike the “Axis of Kindness” forces, the Iranians do have credible and capable “boots on the ground”, and not only in Iran, but also in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. And they have the missiles to reach a very large number of US military facilities across the region. And they can also not only shut down the Strait of Hormuz (which the USN would eventually be able to re-open, but only at a cost of a huge military operation on the Iranian coast), they can also strike at Saudi Arabia proper and, of course, at Israel. In fact, the Iranian have both the manpower and know-how to declare “open season” on any and all US forces in the Middle-East, and there are plenty of them, mostly very poorly defended (that imperial sense of impunity “they would not dare”).

The Iran-Iraq war lasted for eight years (1980-1988). It cost the Iranians hundreds of thousands of lives (if not more). The Iraqis had the full support of the USA, the Soviet Union, France and pretty much everybody else. As for the Iranian military, it had just suffered from a traumatic revolution. The official history (meaning Wikipedia) calls the outcome a “stalemate”. Considering the odds and the circumstances, I call it a magnificent Iranian victory and a total defeat for those who wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic (something which decades of harsh sanctions also failed to achieve, by the way).

Is there any reason at all to believe that this time around, when Iran has had almost 40 years to prepare for a full-scale AngloZionist attack the Iranians will fight less fiercely or less competently? We could also look at the actual record of the US armed forces (see Paul Craig Roberts’ superb summary here) and ask: do you think that the USA, lead by the likes of Trump, Bolton or Nikki Haley will have the staying power to fight the Iranians to exhaustion (since a land invasion of Iran is out of the question)? Or this: what will happen to the world economy if the entire Middle-East blows up into a major regional war?

Now comes the scary part: both the Israelis and the Neocons always, always, double-down. The notion of cutting their losses and stopping what is a self-evidently mistaken policy is simply beyond them. Their arrogance simply cannot survive even the appearance of having made a mistake (remember how both Dubya and Olmert declared that they had won against Hezbollah in 2006?). As soon as Trump and Netanyahu realize that they did something really fantastically stupid and as soon as they run out of their usual options (missile and airstrikes first, then terrorizing the civilian population) they will have a stark and simple choice: admit defeat or use nukes.

Which one do you think they will choose?

Exactly.

Going nuclear?

Here is the paradox: in purely military terms, using nukes on Iran will serve no pragmatic purpose. Nuclear weapons can be used in one of two ways: against military assets (“counterforce”) or against civilians (“countervalue”). The point is that by the time the Neocons and their Israeli patrons come to the point of considering using tactical nuclear forces against the Iranians, there won’t be a good target to hit. Iranian forces will be dispersed and mostly in contact with allied (or even US forces) and nuking an Iranian battalion or even a division won’t fundamentally alter the military equation. As for nuking Iranian cities just out of savagery, this will only serve one purpose: to truly get Israel wiped off the map of the Middle-East. I would not put it past the Neocons and their Israeli bosses to try to use a tactical nuclear weapon to destroy some Iranian civilian nuclear facility or some underground bunker with the very mistaken hope that such a show of force and determination will force the Iranians to submit to the AngloZionist Empire. In reality, this will only infuriate the Iranians and strengthen their resolve.

As for the currently “macronesque” Europeans, they will, of course, first show “solidarity” on the basis of “highly likely”, especially Poland, the Ukies and the Baltic statelets, but if nuclear weapons start going off in the Middle-East, then the European public opinion will explode, especially in Mediterranean countries, and this might just trigger yet another major crisis. Israel wouldn’t give a damn (or, as always, blame it all on some totally mysterious resurgence of anti-Semitism), but the USA most definitely does not want the Anglo grip on the continent compromised by such events.

Maybe a Korean scenario?

Is there a chance that all the huffing and puffing will result in some kind of peaceful resolution as what seems to be in the works in Korea? Alas, probably not.

A few months ago it sure looked like the USA might do something irreparably stupid in Korea (see here and here) but then something most unexpected happened: the South Koreans, fully realizing the inanity of Trump’s reckless threats, took the situation in their own hands and began making overtures to the North. Plus all the rest of the regional neighbors emphatically and clearly told Trump & Co. that the consequences of a US attack on the DPRK would be apocalyptic for the entire region. Alas, there are two fundamental differences between the Korean Peninsula and the Middle-East:

  1. On the Korean Peninsula, the local US ally (the ROK) does not want war. In the Middle-East it is the local US ally (Israel) which pushes the hardest for a war.
  2. In Far-East Asia all the regional neighbors were and are categorically opposed to war. In the Middle-East most regional neighbors are sold out to the Saudis who also want the US to attack Iran.

So while the risks and consequences of a conflagration are similar between the two regions, the local geopolitical dynamics are completely different?

What about Russia in all this?

Russia will never *choose* to go to war with the USA. But Russia also understands that Iran’s security and safety is absolutely crucial to her own security, especially along her southern borders. Right now there is a fragile equilibrium of sorts between the (also very powerful) Zionist lobby in Russia and the national/patriotic elements. In truth, the recent Israeli attacks in Syria have given more power to the anti-Zionist elements in Russia, hence all the talk about (finally!) delivering the S-300s to Syria. Well, we will see if/when that happens. My best guesstimate is that it might already have happened and that this is simply kept quiet to restrain both the Americans and the Israelis who have no way of knowing what equipment the Russians have already delivered, where it is located or, for that matter, who (Russians or Syrians) actually operate it. This kind of ambiguity is useful to placate the pro-Zionist forces in Russia and to complicate AngloZionist planning. But maybe this is my wishful thinking, and maybe the Russians have not delivered the S-300s yet or, if they have, maybe these are the (not very useful) S-300P early models (as opposed to the S-300PMU-2 which would present a huge risk to the Israelis).

The relationship between Russia and Israel is a very complex one (see here and here), but if Iran is attacked I fully expect the Russians, especially the military, to back Iran and provide military assistance short of overtly engaging US/Israeli/NATO/CENTCOM forces. If the Russians are directly attacked in Syria (and in the context of a wider war, they very well might be), then Russia will counter-attack regardless of who the attacker is, the USA or Israel or anybody else: the Zionist lobby in Russia does not have the power to impose a “Liberty-like event” on the Russian public opinion).

Conclusion: Accursed are the warmakers, for they shall be called the children of Satan

The Israelis can eat falafels, create “Israeli kufiyeh” and fancy themselves as “orientals”, but the reality is that the creation of the state of Israel is a curse on the entire Middle-East to which has only brought untold suffering, brutality, corruption and wars, wars and more wars. And they are still at it – doing all they can to trigger a large regional war in which many tens or even hundreds of thousands of innocent people will die. The people of the USA have now allowed a dangerous cabal of psychopathic Neocons to fully take control of their country and now those, who Papa Bush used to call the “crazies in the basement” have their finger on the nuclear button. So now it all boils down to the questions I opened this article with:

Dear US Americans – do you want to die for Israel? Do you want to lose your job for Israel? How about your pension? Maybe just your stock options? Because make no mistake, the US Empire will not survive a full-scale war against Iran. Why? Because all Iran needs to do to “win” is not to lose, i.e. to survive. Even bombed out and scorched by conventional or nuclear strikes, if Iran comes out of this war still as an Islamic Republic (and that is not something bombs or missiles will change) then Iran will have won. In contrast, for the Empire, the failure to bring Iran to its knees will mean the end of its status as the world Hegemon defeated not by a nuclear superpower, but by a regional conventional power. After that, it will just be a matter of time before the inevitable domino effect breaks up the entire Empire (check out John Michael Greer’s excellent book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” for a very plausible account on how that could happen)

Okay, unlike Russia, Iran cannot nuke the USA or, for that matter, even reach it with conventional weapons (I don’t even think that the Iranians will successfully attack a US carrier as some pro-Iranian analysts say). But the political and economic consequences of a full-scale war in the Middle-East will be felt throughout the United States: right now the only thing “backing” the US dollar, so to speak, are USN aircraft carriers and their ability to blow to smithereens any country daring to disobey Uncle Sam. The fact that these carriers are (and, truly, have been for a long while) useless against the USSR and Russia is bad enough, but if it becomes known urbi et orbi that they are also useless against a conventional regional power like Iran, then that’s it, show over. The dollar will turn into monopoly money in a very short span of time.

Wars often have “Nietzschean consequences”: countries which wars don’t destroy often come out even stronger than before they were attacked, even if it is at a horrendous price. Both the Israelis and the Neocons are too dialectically illiterate to realize that by their actions they are just creating increasingly more powerful enemies. The old Anglo guard which ran the USA since its foundation was probably wiser, possibly because it was better educated and more aware of the painful lessons learned by the British (and other) Empire(s).

Frankly, I hope that the ruling 1%ers running the USA today (well, they are really much less than 1%, but never mind that) will care about their wealth and money more than they care about appeasing the Neocons and that the bad old Anglo imperialists who built this country will have enough greed in themselves to tell the Neocons and their Israeli patrons to get lost. But with the Neocons controlling both wings of the Uniparty and the media, I am not very hopeful.

Still, there is a chance that, like in Korea, somebody somewhere will say or do the right thing, and that awed by the potential magnitude of what they are about to trigger, enough people in the US military will follow the example of Admiral William Fallon and CENTCOM commander at the time who told the President “an attack on Iran will not happen on my watch”. I believe for his principled courage, the words of Christ “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt 5:9) can be applied to Admiral Fallon and I hope that his example will inspire others.

The Saker

David vs. Goliath: Russia Puts the Brakes on NATO Aggression – Without an Expensive Arms Race – By Robert BRIDGE (Strategic Culture Foundation)

David vs. Goliath: Russia Puts the Brakes on NATO Aggression – Without an Expensive Arms Race

As recent events in Syria suggest, Russia has found an effective way of keeping aggressive Western powers at bay with state-of-the-art missile systems and electronic warfare methods – much of it reportedly developed by young scientists and on the cheap.

War is rarely a pleasant topic, and even less so when it is known that particular conflicts – most regrettably in Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011, for example – were triggered due to the shameless machinations of foreign players and mercenaries.

Now the world is being held captive audience to yet another predictable Western rerun starring the usual suspects – the US, UK and France. These NATO members, willfully ignoring bona-fide terrorist groups in Syria, are blaming the ‘Assad regime’ for a series of chemical attacks against civilians – without evidence and formal investigation. To quote Thomas Paine, speaking on a different matter from a much earlier age, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

These are also the times, we might add, that challenge men to find ways to address the threat. After all, how many more sovereign states must fall to the Western regime-change fanatics? How long before the regime change juggernaut arrives at Russia’s front door? With NATO forces moving inexorably towards Russia’s border, these are no idle questions. Thus it was with no small amount of enthusiasm and optimism that an April 13th assault on Syria by the US, UK and France was met with surprisingly successful resistance: According to the Russian military, Syrian government forces, using Soviet-era surface-to-air missile systems, including the S-200 and Buk, shot down 71 of 103 missiles launched by the Western powers.

The Pentagon has denied the claim.

Meanwhile, uncomfortable questions regarding the illicit attack on Syria remain unanswered: For example, why would these NATO powers target a site near Damascus, which they purportedly believed was housing chemical weapons, thereby possibly releasing even more of the deadly toxins into the air? Moreover, since UN weapons inspectors were scheduled to arrive in Syria the very next day to start their probe into the alleged chemical attack, what exactly did the US and its allies hope to gain from an attack at that particular moment? Perhaps the destruction of evidence? But I digress.

Although nobody wants to see a full-blown military showdown between Western and Russian forces, it cannot be denied that the military assets are already in place for such a scenario. In the hope of warding off another Western military misadventure, this time in Syria, Russia has employed a layered defense system composed of the Pantsir-S1 mobile point-defense systems and S-400 missile systems.

The Pantsir, armed with 30 mm cannons that fire 5,000 rounds per minute, is a highly effective weapon against low-flying aircraft, drones and missiles. Meanwhile, the S-400, which has a range of 250-400 kilometers, has been deployed to protect the Khmeimim Air Base and Tartus naval facility, and other parts of Syrian territory.

Russia has stated its ability to shoot down US Tomahawk missiles with the S-400 air defense system, which is complemented by ship-borne radar systems in the Mediterranean to locate and track any missiles fired at Syria at great range.

And then there are the fighter jets. Beginning in early 2016, the super-maneuverable Su-35S fighter started performing combat missions at the Khmeimim airbase. This is probably the very last aircraft that an opposing pilot wants to see in his rearview mirror.

“The maneuverability of the Su-35 makes it an unsurpassed dogfighter,” notes military analyst Sebastien Roblin in The National Interest. “An F-35 stealth fighter that gets in a short-range duel with a Flanker-E will be in big trouble…”

More bang for the buck

On March 1, during the annual Presidential Address, Vladimir Putin set out his vision for Russia’s future, with heavy emphasis placed on rejuvenating all aspects of Russia’s national infrastructure. However, as Libya learned in 2011, a viable, vibrant infrastructure means nothing without a sound military to defend it.

Putin began by reminding the audience that it was due to the United States walking away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 that forced Russia to fast-track a number of defensive projects. One of these projects is the ‘Sarmat’ missile, which will “be equipped with a broad range of powerful nuclear warheads, including hypersonic, and the most modern means of evading missile defence.”

The Russian leader emphasized that the Sarmat “has practically no range restrictions.”

Putin then discussed another system, called ‘Kinzhal’ (Dagger) which also travels at a hypersonic speed, 10 times faster than the speed of sound, that “can also maneuver at all phases of its flight trajectory, which also allows it to overcome all existing and…prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, delivering nuclear and conventional warheads in a range of over 2,000 kilometers.”

Later, Putin revealed the shocking truth behind the research and development of these weapons systems, which have now at the very least balanced the strategic scales between Russia and the West.

“Like I said in my address to the Federal Assembly, we create second-to-none and state-of-the-art arms systems. One of those systems was created by a team of very young scientists. I asked them where they came from and how they could invent such things. They said that they united into a scientific group after graduation and developed the world’s most powerful arms system in seven years,” Putin said during a plenary meeting of the Russian Union of Rectors.

Perhaps even more amazing than the brief amount of time that was required for Russia to turn around its military situation, with the help of young scientists, is the fact that it is now able to concentrate its budget resources on infrastructure and the economy.

Putin is expected to allocate 10 trillion-ruble ($162 billion) on health care, education and infrastructure in keeping with his promise to continue promoting the wellbeing of the Russian middle class, which has seen a rapid growth since Putin came to power in 2000.

DIA OFFICER DECLARES ATTACK IN IDLIB TO BE FAKE!! USA SLAUGHTERS HUNDREDS OF CIVILIANS IN DAYR EL-ZOR – By Ziad Fadel

 TILLERSON REBUFFED IN RUSSIA OVER ILLEGAL ATTACK ON SYRIAN BASE; KAFARAYYAA AND AL-FAW’AH EVACUATED

Crashing 40 kms from its target, this lonely Tomahawk finds its grave in the Syrian countryside. (Courtesy: Veteranstoday)

John Esquire sent me this eye-opening account of the fakery in Washington D.C.. It proves that Ivanka Trump is now a war criminal along with her Zionist Yid husband.

https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/former-dia-colonel-us-strikes-on-a-syria-based-on-a-lie/

Now see this from Global Research:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-white-house-intelligence-assessment-is-no-such-thing-it-shows-support-for-al-qaeda/5584954

I have deliberately waited for the evacuation of Faw’ah and Kafaryaa to start before writing this post. The plan to relocate the inhabitants was engineered by Iran with a little help from terrorist-supporting Qatar. The residents will be sent to Al-Raashideen Quarter in Aleppo, Jibreen, Latakia and the now-mostly-abandoned towns of Zabadaani, Buqqeen and Madhaayaa. The terrorist rodents departing the three Damascene towns are heading to their deaths in Idlib. Some are reportedly interested in retiring from terrorism and finding a route to Europe. That would be smart because in just a few weeks, they will all be dead in Idlib.

Qatar tried, at the last minute, to scupper the talks when it demanded that the agreement be tied to the capture and detaining of its “diplomats” in Iraq by the People’s Mobilization Committees who rejected any such tie.

I have been reading with some interest several articles claiming that Ivanka Trump influenced her father’s decision to go ahead with the flopped bombing of the Shu’ayraat Airbase last Friday morning. If that is so, it means that the Trump administration is completely at sea since incompetent daughters are permitted to have a say in military matters and that the president, himself, is completely at sea now that we know he is in the clutches of the CIA. Trump appears to have succumbed to the machinations of the Deep State here – a Deep State infested with Zionist criminals.

We all knew Trump to be an Arab and Muslim hater due to the fact that he grew up in NYC with radical Jews fawning over him. Even his friendship with former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani gave us all reason to doubt Trump’s ability to deal fairly with people. Guiliani is the Arab hater par excellence. He is also the ultimate hypocrite, witness his adultery and ugly divorce – all the while playing the role of the righteous crime-buster.

_________________________________________

HOMS:

Note that only 6 MiG23s in various states of disrepair were damaged. The operational jets in their hangars were unharmed because the Tomahawks do not carry enough explosives to penetrate them.

EASTERN HOMS: We have learned that the American attack on the Shu’ayraat Base was a bigger flop than we thought. It started early Friday morning at around 4:40 a.m. Damascus time when all civilians and troops who were on the base would be sleeping. It was meant to kill as many people as possible. The U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the U.S.S. Porter and U.S.S. Ross from the Mediterranean Sea. Of the 59, only 23 reached the base. The other 36 were shot down or toppled by Russian anti-missile defenses and Syrian S-300 rockets. When Russia alerted the Syrian High Command of the attack, the soldiers and civilians at the base were ordered to evacuate ASAP. They did, but, 8 were killed before they could reach shelter. Of the 8 only 2 were in the Air Force.

The U.S. fired this many missiles because it wanted to insure the maximum amount of damage to the base and its inhabitants. The story that the missiles were not aimed at a suspected CW storage facility and the runways is pure nonsense. These missiles are not all that accurate. It is also not known how much upkeep the cruise missiles get. But, one thing is certain, the damage caused to the base was minimal. As everybody now knows, our bombers were flying missions from the runways of the base after only 24 hours.

The attack was initiated by a president who now relies on the idiocy of his own stinking daughter. She is married to Jared Kushner, a card-carrying Zionist who is supposedly being groomed to solve the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. That is a joke. But, the plan, was always at the CIA. The plan was hatched during Obama’s tenure when he ruled out its implementation. It was a pure false flag operation with the British, Saudis, French, Qatari and Turk governments aboard. All major “news” or propaganda institutions in the West would be alerted within minutes of the bombing to insure maximum saturation. The U.N. apparatchiks for those same governments were on notice that something big was going down and that they had better be ready to join in lockstep fashion in a wave of vilification against the Syrian government. This was slated to be the proverbial hair that broke the camel’s back. By the CIA’s reckoning, the Russians would now be under unsustainable pressure to cave in and hand Syria over to the terrorists or their hotel-based supporters.

Rex Tillerson reportedly begged Sergei Lavrov for an audience with Vladimir Putin. I have this on good authority. A friend who lives in Washington D.C., Cy, responded to my telephone call yesterday and told me that the meeting with Lavrov was so tense, Tillerson thought that the only way to highlight the significance of his trip was to see Putin personally. At first, Putin rejected any visit from Tillerson so as to make it clear that the Russian president would not play the American game. Finally, after repeated attempts, Lavrov gave in and suggested the meeting take place.

Putin gave Tillerson no quarter. Putin reportedly made the American Secretary of State wait 3 hours before seeing him. This, in diplomatic parlance, was a “timeout” meant to humiliate Tillerson. When they finally met, Putin treated the chief American diplomat with utter contempt. He confirmed to him that the next time the U.S. launched any attack on Syria, the Russian naval and ground forces would use every means to sink the American plan. He also affirmed that Russia would not abandon Crimea; would not admit to involvement in Ukraine; would not abandon Dr. Assad; and would not confess to interfering in the American elections. Tillerson was out in the cold. He came back to Washington empty-handed.

http://www.vox.com/world/2017/4/12/15276530/tillerson-russia-lavrov-press-conference-moscow

What is clear from all this, as Cy told me, is that the Trump administration had, for reasons mostly to do with the Trump family’s inexperience in government, started to rely on the Deep State institutions which include many in the CIA whose own future in intelligence is threated by repeated failures in Syria. The CIA, now a repository for Eastern Seaboard Jews operating as katsas, is conducting Zionist plots to Balkanize the Near East to protect itself and newly-found allies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The defeat of Iran’s efforts to expand its influence is the Zionist-Apartheid State’s major focus. It is also an obsession with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

___________________________________________

DAYR EL-ZOR:

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.322479&lon=40.212708&z=13&m=b&search=hatla

The U.S., naturally, claims it did no such thing. The U.S. Central Command argues that it only mistakenly bombed its own allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF or Qasad) when it received confusing coordinates from them causing the deaths of 18 fighters. But, that’s not what the “fighters” are saying in their communications. They are telling a story so repugnant the U.S. will do anything, pay anything, to keep it under wraps. In fact, the Pentagon has gone so far as to invent an alternative story about now the SDF gave poor coordinates resulting in the U.S. bombing its own allies.

The event took place at Hatla Village where over 478 civilians and SDF terrorists were massacred by drones, F-16s and Apache helicopters in an operation which was to devastate ISIS. What it did was devastate the relationship between the United States and its Kurdish allies in the SDF.

____________________________________________

IDLIB:

April 10, 2017: It has been reported that the Russian Air Force fired a missile at an area close to Jisr Al-Shughoor which struck a meeting of leaders of Ahraar Al-Shaam just when they thought they were completely safe. It is certain that the intelligence about the meeting was received from patriotic citizens who risked their lives to deliver such information. 22 rodent leaders were exterminated in the blast.

____________________________________________

ALEPPO:

The SAA liberated Khirbat ‘Anadaan on Tuesday, Apirl 11, 2017, in preparation for storming ‘Anadaan itself, one of Alqaeda’s chief centers for terrorism. So far, 60 rats have been killed in the fighting. The SAA is now looking over an area under its control from Al-Taamoora and Khirbat ‘Anadaan. The SAA also shot down 2 reconnaissance drones flown by the rodents.

____________________________________________

NEWS AND COMMENT:

Aimee Anderson provides this wonderful documentary on the People’s Army of Syria:


Trump humiliated courtesy of Veterans Today:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/04/09/trump-humilated-syria-shoots-down-34-of-59-cruise-missiles-russia-to-upgrade-system-soon/

Wonderful article about Trump’s illegal attack on Syria. A must-read from Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58ed59d8e4b0145a227cb95e

DIA OFFICER DECLARES ATTACK IN IDLIB TO BE FAKE!! USA SLAUGHTERS HUNDREDS OF CIVILIANS IN DAYR EL-ZOR; TILLERSON REBUFFED IN RUSSIA OVER ILLEGAL ATTACK ON SYRIAN BASE; KAFARAYYAA AND AL-FAW’AH EVACUATED by Ziad Fadel

Read more at https://syrianperspective.com/2017/04/dia-officer-declares-attack-in-idlib-to-be-fake-usa-slaughters-hundreds-of-civilians-in-dayr-el-zor-tillerson-rebuffed-in-russia-over-illegal-attack-on-syrian-base-kafarayyaa-and-al-fawa.html#jkXjuvfosjH1KQLR.99

TO READ MORE ARTICLES FROM SYRIAN PERSPECTIVE
CLICK ON THIS LINK   =   https://syrianperspective.com/

Anonymous – THE WORLD IN 2017: Message to Humanity – By Anonymous


https://youtu.be/qQmAXTiUGKU

Anonymous Message to Humanity

Since the day we are born, our corrupted societies are bombarding us with propaganda, ideologies and prejudices that distort our view of the world, and as a result, we are unable to share this world in peace with the rest of human beings, since our delusional minds make us fight with each other. So dear sisters and brothers, it’s time for us to drop all these primitives ideologies that separate us, and to realize once and for all, that we are all one.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.
Expect us.

TO READ MORE ARTICLES FROM ANONYMOUS

CLICK ON  =     http://anonofficial.com/

The Origins and Ultimate Purpose of ISIS: A Brief History of the US-Middle East Proxy War – By SteveMC [Reports from Underground]

This is a 5-part report which attempts to detail a history of the rise of ISIS and to explain its true relations to the actors involved in the war theatre. It attempts to show how and why ISIS has been exploited while attempting to answer the question: what has been the groups’ ultimate purpose in relation to the dominant powers manipulating the proxy conflict. Then, given what is known historically, it hopes to shed light on what the motivations are behind the current actions against the group and what purpose they serve.

ISIS is Born in Iraq

The origins of ISIS are buried beneath the rubble of the US occupation.

It was out of this crucible of war and invasion that the original grievances were born, leading analysts to conclude that “the basic causes of the birth of ISIS” were the United States’ “destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq.”1

The framework underlying this being the exacerbation of Sunni-Shia tensions in the aftermath of the invasion, which previously have been inflamed through various other foreign interferences. These were highlighted by the sectarian brutality of the post-invasion Iraqi government, which then continued under Maliki later on. Given this, some have concluded that Saddam had simply been replaced by another “repressive and murderous authoritarian state, albeit under a more representative sectarian set up.”2

Out of this sectarian nexus, a man known by the name of al-Zarqawi was able to bring together various groups of jihadists under the umbrella of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” and lay the foundations for a sort of governmental structure which could evolve into an eventual Islamic state. A veteran of the jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Zarqawi had reportedly obtained sanctuary in Iran where he accumulated weapons and equipment before later returning to Iraq to oppose the US occupation.4

Following al-Zarqawi’s death at the hands of a US airstrike, a new federation of jihadists then established the “Islamic State in Iraq” by the end of 2006, although it was at first marked by widespread defections as the Sunni insurgency was then losing momentum. However, evidence reveals that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad had helped the insurgents by facilitating the flow of jihadists into Iraq, in an apparent attempt to jeopardize the US occupation and thereby prevent against a similar US attack against Syria.5

Yet what really allowed ISI to expand its influence were the abuses and violence perpetrated by the US military.6 Rising to power during his imprisonment in the infamous Camp Bucca, the group was rejuvenated under the enhanced leadership of the mysterious to-be-named al-Baghdadi.

Camp Bucca: An American-maintained “jihadist university” and great networking opportunity for inspiring head-choppers.

However, it is widely accepted that the Camp Bucca prison served as a sort of training ground or “jihadist university” from which the eventual Islamic State was born. The networks Baghdadi established there going on to form the upper echelons of the groups top leadership. Indeed, without such military detentions “it would have been impossible for so many like minded jihadists and insurgents to have met together safely in Iraq at that time without such a protective atmosphere as Bucca.” In this sense, a former inmate explains that the US did “a great favor” for the mujahideen, having “provided us with a secure atmosphere, a bed and food, and also allowed books giving us a great opportunity to feed our knowledge with the ideas of al-Maqdisi and the jihadist ideology.”7

Yet the round-ups conducted by the US army were indiscriminate and civilians were targeted wholesale, estimates from 2006 confirming that only 15% of detainees were true adherents of any kind of extremist ideology.8 Yet now jihadists leaders like Baghdadi were given an opportunity to further radicalize others, prisoners explaining how “under the watchful eye of the US soldiers”, “new recruits were prepared so that when they were freed they were ticking time bombs”, not the least of which due to the extensively documented abuses and torture that took place there as well.9

Concurrent with this was a covert attempt by the US military to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq by fostering alliances with other al-Qaeda-affiliated Sunnis. Spelled out and confirmed by an army-commissioned Rand report, the strategy was to utilize groups like ISI, who, although having fought against the US military, could be counted on to “sow divisions in the jihadist camp” by fighting against al-Qaeda, and thereby the US could exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”

Mass releases from Bucca were therefore orchestrated in an attempt to augment the strategy with manpower and engender support from the local Sunni tribes. And while the strategy in a sense succeeded, at the same time, it also emboldened another segment of disgruntled Sunnis, when the original causes of their resentments were continuing under the anti-Sunni repression of the US-backed government. The resulting sectarian violence pushed other Sunnis into supporting ISI as the lesser of the two evils, further entrenching the groups foothold in the country.10 Yet this was only half of the story.

By this time influential policy planners were already thinking up other strategic uses which could be gleaned from supporting these disgruntled Sunni radicals.

The accelerated relationship then forming between Maliki and Iran had greatly distressed the White House. Fearing an Iranian-dominated Iraq more so than a resurgence of al-Qaeda, in the context of a “redirection” of US policy against Iran, it was thought that “ties between the US and moderate or even radical Sunnis could put fear into the government of Prime Minister Maliki.” The reasoning was that an alliance with Sunni extremists would be useful as it would “make [Maliki] worry that the Sunnis could actually win the civil war there”, and thus encourage him to cooperate with the US.11 Therefore, in order to remedy the Iranian influence spreading throughout the Maliki government, clandestine operations were adopted, the byproduct of which being the “bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”12

The Fake Arab Spring

With the eruption of the crisis in Syria and the subsequent lack of state authority that came with it, ISI was able to exploit the power vacuum and expand its grasp beyond Iraqi borders, changing its name to the “Islamic state in Iraq and al-Sham/the Levant” or ISIS/ISIL to reflect this greater reach.13

The Syrian crisis itself represents just one part in a much larger strategy by the Western powers aimed at manipulating the trajectory of the Arab Spring uprisings to ensure that they ultimately serve the regional agenda of the West. Having successfully thwarted the threats faced from the self-determination and pro-democracy uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, similar but smaller protests in Syria and Libya were covertly redirected into a pretext for attacking uncooperative regimes which had historically proven antagonistic to Western interests.14

The uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen all threatened to wrestle away the status-quo systems of control that the Western powers had exerted in these countries for almost half a century. This had ensured that foreign corporations maintained easy access to valuable markets and resources and that profits flowed primarily to Western investors.15

This framework of neoliberal reform began to be implemented during the 1970’s when Arab republics were struggling amidst the impacts of global economic downturns and began to institute policies largely directed from above by international finance institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF and World Bank. Given that the IFIs had been increasingly dominated by Western governments, they primarily represented the interests of the financial elite from wealthy Western countries. Therefore, the models they suggested were of rapid economic liberalization and denationalization which on the one hand gave Arab administrations immediate financial relief, yet at the same time, made their economies increasingly vulnerable to exploitation by Western multinational corporations and financial institutions.16 As some have described, such policies had the effect of “massively restricting the ability of [these] governments to promote policies in their own national interests”, as they promoted rules which the UN explained “reflect an agenda that serves only to promote dominant corporate interests”, while at the same time rejecting the kind of policies that historically have been shown to achieve developmental success, such as import controls, taxes on foreign corporations, and state interference in the private sector.17

The Tunisian ‘Arab Spring’ was a reaction to corruption and oppressive neoliberal domestic policies.

These policies resulted in the emergence of a growing state-bourgeoisie which was able to enrich itself in a nepotistic fashion through its proximity to influential players within the state sector, allowing connected persons and groups primary access to newly privatized assets which they were able to monopolize and monetize.18 These local elites served the function of clients of the Western powers which insured that the vast bulk of the country’s wealth would flow outwards and into the hands of foreign investors, resulting in a system of modern day neo-colonialism from which the United States and other previously colonial regimes were able to maintain effective control of the region and its resources.19

Apart from the liberalization of resources the prescriptions adopted from the IFIs included the removal of labor rights, the weakening of trade unions, increases in worker instability, tax advantages for foreign corporations, and the privatization of welfare systems.20 This lead to massive increases in inequality, large concentration of wealth, and an erosion of the previous Cold War-era social contract which had traded economic security for political quiescence to authoritarian political structures.21

As these policies advanced these states were increasingly unable to meet the basic needs of their citizens, and the compounding socio-economic pressures led to the rediscovery of long-suppressed notions of Arab dignity and self-determination which became personified within the Arab Spring protests. In this way, the Arab Spring was primarily a result of “people being drawn to the streets by the pressing economic grievances and uneven development that are the result of more than thirty years of neo-liberal policies.”22

Such movements were naturally a major threat to the established systems of power, primarily being centered around social justice and the rebuilding of domestic welfare states that threatened to unseat supplicant and compliant regimes with more assertive and indigenously representative administrations.23 Too much of a challenge for the Western powers to bear, externally-directed counterrevolutions were conducted to insure that such movements would be co-opted and redirected so that the governments which resulted would maintain as much of the previous order as possible, thereby insuring that the threatening ambitions for democracy and self-governance were effectively crushed.24

However, for states which at the same time sat astride coveted natural resources and had long frustrated the ambitions of Western powers to gain greater access, local protests represented a golden opportunity to overturn non-compliant regimes under the pretext of Arab Spring humanitarian and democratic concerns.25 The idea was, as Durham University’s Christopher Davidson explains, to give “ostensibly similar but evidently much smaller-scale protest movements in Libya and Syria the sort of outside helping hand they needed to become full-blown and state-threatening insurgencies.”26 Thus, those Western states which had insured the failure of progressive Arab Spring movements throughout the region, “soon took the concurrent role of funding and weaponizing a fraudulent and more violent Western-sponsored version of the Arab Spring” in both Libya and Syria.27 The cause of such bloody crisis therefore, being a result of these states having been “deliberately targeted in a calculated and sustained manner by external actors who saw a strategic use in supporting and boosting the ambitions of local oppositionists.”28

The “fake Arab Spring” and subsequent civil wars that resulted from these externally-directed and Western-backed insurgencies nevertheless were successful at insuring the failure of the protesters ambitions while as well providing the perfect environment for radicalized extremist organizations to expand their reach and control over territory.29 Such a situation was further encouraged and facilitated by the Western powers who, as previously explained, saw such groups as strategically beneficial foot-soldiers which could be utilized and directed against their enemies.

Notes here

Part 2

The “Moderate” Jihad in Syria

Syria was externally targeted because the US and its allies saw it as strategically beneficial to organize and foster an armed insurgency which could eventually become capable of overturning the government. The most prominent aspect of this being the attempt to create a “Free Syrian Army” of opposition fighters which could be displayed as the respectable and indigenous face of the insurgency and help sell the intervention to the Western public.

Helping to hide the foreign hand behind the militants, the rebel arming program was only officially announced in 2013, yet in reality began almost two years prior, at least as early as October 2011 after the fall of Gaddafi in Libya, but likely even much earlier.1 Also dispelling the illusion that these FSA groups were solely a native development, it was revealed in late 2011 that US Special Operations Forces were on the ground and privately discussing to themselves how “there isn’t much of a Free Syrian Army to train right now”, the groups only later gaining prominence as a result of the foreign interference.2

Indeed, by this time knowledgeable academics such as Columbia University’s Joseph Massad were writing that the “[Arab] League and imperial powers have taken over the Syrian uprising in order to remove the al-Assad regime”, while the West’s best journalists would later characterize the program by saying “the impression one gets is of a movement wholly controlled by Arab and Western intelligence agencies.”3 Corroborating much of this, a former rebel explained to the Wall Street Journal how the insurgency was largely being directed from abroad, saying that “decisions weren’t always being made at the local level.” Instead, it was “the Salafists from Gulf nations… and the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey” who would “send money to certain groups and then orchestrate attacks from afar.”4

The Free Syrian Army: Moderate terrorists the West could depend on to legitimize support for overthrowing the Assad government.

Concurrently, great efforts were made to portray the FSA as an entirely independent outfit and to separate Western involvement from the extremist groups that were beginning to form. However, apart from whatever the rebels would tell the Western press, the reality on the ground was that there was never any division between the FSA and groups like al-Qaeda, the Islamists having been welcomed from the very start.5 For instance, the founder of the FSA, Syrian army defector Riad el-Asaad, described al-Qaeda as “our brothers in Islam”, while another rebel commander, a main recipients of US aid, admitted that his organizations was very much alike al-Qaeda and that the two groups fought alongside each other. Al-Qaeda did not, he said, “exhibit any abnormal behavior, which is different from that of the FSA.”6 So while US officials maintained that they only supported “moderates”, journalist Patrick Cockburn gets much closer to the truth, explaining that “it is here that there was a real intention to deceive”, because “in reality, there is no dividing wall between them [ISIS and al-Qaeda] and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.”7

Also troubling for the oppositions’ image, the “moderate” nature of the US vetted groups soon began to unravel, the FSA consistently being described as even worse than the groups who are commonly associated with extremism. While Department of Defense officials were aware that the “vast majority of moderate Free Syrian Army rebels were in fact, Islamist militants”, counterterrorism specialists explained that the “undisciplined and brutal behavior of the FSA stood in contrast to the much more disciplined Jabhat Al-Nusra.” Indeed, the British press described this brutal behavior in terms of their “looting and banditry”, explaining that “the FSA has now become a largely criminal enterprise” as they have been primarily focused on “profiteering, gun-running, and the extracting of tolls from road checkpoints.”8

Also quite troubling, being enmeshed with the other fighters the FSA had soon assumed the de-facto function of serving as a weapons conduit to the extremists. While it was later confirmed that at least half of all supplies given to the “moderates” were duly handed over to al-Qaeda,9 multiple court cases earlier revealed that arms shipments received by the FSA would be unloaded and distributed quite indiscriminately to whoever was fighting nearby. Helping to explain this, former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke pointed out that “the West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaeda, let alone ISIS… but the system that they have constructed leads precisely to that end.” This is because the weapons shipments given to the FSA “have been understood to be a sort of ‘Wal Mart’ from which the more radical groups would be able to take their weapons and pursue the jihad”, as weapons always migrated “along the line to the more radical elements.”10

This wasn’t something that the Western backers of the opposition just turned a blind eye to, instead such cooperation with jihadists was explicitly ordered by them on multiple occasions, usually when the extremists were needed to win battlefield victories. In 2014, for example, a CIA-backed commander explained that “if the people who support us [the US and its allies] tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them. They asked us a month ago to send weapons to [hard-line Islamists] in Yabroud so we sent a lot of weapons there.”

On a separate occasion, US-led operations rooms “specifically encouraged a closer cooperation with Islamists commanding frontline operations” during the conquest of Idlib, the supervision given by US military intelligence operatives being “instrumental in facilitating their [Islamists’] involvement.”11

Enter the Proxies

Having successfully kept most of this hidden from view, focus on the FSA program helped to distract from the wider reality that the US and its allies were supporting the entire opposition indiscriminately.

It has long been known that states like Qatar had been supporting both al-Qaeda and ISIS,12 their own deputy foreign minister openly stating “I am very much against excluding anyone at this stage, or bracketing them as terrorists, or bracketing them as al-Qaeda given Qatar’s perceived necessity of removing al-Assad at all costs.” As well, al-Qaeda’s Syria franchise themselves admitted that they “get money from the Gulf” with their “great name.”13 Also widely known is that Saudi Arabia and Turkey both had intimate ties with al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the rest of the other radical jihadists. Far from trying to hide these connections, both countries had in fact openly supported a rebel coalition that was dominated by al-Qaeda.14 Yet in reality this was all undertaken in cooperation with the United States or with their implicit blessing.

Getting to the heart of the matter, an extensive investigation by Foreign Policy’s Elizabeth Dickenson uncovered that not only had Qatar gotten “such freedom to run its network for the last three years because Washington was looking the other way,” but that “in fact, in 2011, the US gave Doha de facto free rein to do what it wasn’t willing to do.”15 White House officials explained that “Syria is [Qatar’s] backyard”, while academics similarly concluded “there is no chance that Qatar is doing this alone.”16

“Thank you Qatar! Thank you CIA! I just love my new automatic!!”

Indeed, the weapons shipments coming from Qatar had been conducted in conjunction with the CIA, who US officials confirm acted in a “consultant role.”17 In the case of Saudi Arabia, whose former foreign minister himself admitted that it was the Saudi monarchy who created ISIS, stating “Daesh [ISIS] is our [Sunni] response to your support for the Da’wa [Iran-aligned Shia ruling party of Iraq]”,18 their involvement was also conducted jointly with the US. The terms of this arrangement, revealed by The New York Times, was that the Saudis would provide large sums of money and weapons and in exchange would be granted a seat at the table and have a say as to which groups would be supported, while the CIA would coordinate such shipments and help train the fighters.19 Seemingly finding no objections from their US partners, we now know that they and other Gulf allies were the ones “who fund [ISIS]”, as was revealed by then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in congressional testimony.20 Similarly, while it was revealed that Turkey’s intimate coordination with ISIS was “undeniable”,21 in fact evidence suggests the country’s weapons shipments were largely conducted in cooperation with CIA officers and US officials,22 cooperation which continued even as it was revealed that Turkey was collaborating with ISIS and allowing substantial tracts of its territory to remain open to the group.23

Honest reporters therefore correctly categorized the US’ involvement by explaining that “the U.S. in many ways is acting in Syria through proxies, primarily Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates”, while Turkey was “taking the lead as U.S. proxy.”24 Western officials however began to publicly distance themselves from this involvement, claiming the “US had growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants.” This was worrying because “this has the potential to go badly wrong… [because of] the risk that weapons will end up in the hands of violent anti-Western Islamists.”25 Yet as Christopher Davison explains, whom the Economist describes as “one of the most knowledgeable academics writing about the region”, this was all an attempt to “establish some distance” between the US and its allies in the Gulf, “so as to insulate themselves from any possible fallout from such risky moves.”26

Describing the true relationship, a former advisor to one of the Gulf states explained that the reason the US did not try to stop nations like Qatar from delivering weapons to extremists was simply because “they didn’t want to.”27

The reason the Western powers were supporting such virulent elements was actually quite simple. Besides having a well-documented history of supporting jihadist networks against their enemies,28 the most radical groups taking part in the Syria conflict were as well the best and most effective fighters. Joshua Landis, a US academic and specialist on Syria, explained that the “radicals got money because they were successful. They fought better, had better strategic vision and were more popular.”29 Helping to explain the thought process further, prominent think-tank analysts actually recommended supporting al-Qaeda under the basis that they bring “discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf,” and most importantly, “deadly results.”30

Therefore, as former British diplomat Alastair Crooke explains, the operative idea was to “use jihadists to weaken the government in Damascus and to drive it to its knees to the negotiating table.”31

Notes here

Part 3

A Salafist Principality for the West

As the opposition became increasingly sectarian, it was apparent that it was the militant elements and their “deadly results”1 which drove out and supplanted the real moderates.

A leading figure in the early uprisings, Haytham Manna criticized the negative impact that external intervention had on the protest movement. Writing in The Guardian in 2012, he explained that the main effect of taking up arms was to “undermine the broad popular support necessary to transform the uprising into a democratic revolution.” Furthermore, it was the eventual “pumping of arms to Syria [from] Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the phenomenon of the Free Syrian Army, and the entry of more than 200 jihadi foreigners… [that] have all led to a decline in the mobilization of large segments of the population… and in the activists’ peaceful civil movement.” The net result of this being that “the political discourse has become sectarian; there has been a Salafisation of religiously conservative sectors.”2

Going a way to back up this view, Vice President Biden succinctly admitted that in terms of finding “moderates”, in reality “there was no moderate middle because the moderate middle are made up of shopkeepers, not soldiers.” The shopkeepers and reformists being sidelined as the West’s allies, in Biden’s view, “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”3

The realization in the White House was that if they realistically wanted their policy to have any success they would have to empower those capable of producing results. “This idea,” Obama remarked, “that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth,” in other words, the moderate forces, “and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, was never in the cards.”4 Instead, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter explains, the US would have to accept “a tacit reliance on the jihadists to achieve [their] objective of putting sufficient pressure on the Assad regime to force some concessions on Damascus.” Obama would have to “hide the reality that it was complicit in a strategy of arming [al-Qaeda]” by maintaining the illusion that an independent “moderate” opposition existed, as this would be “necessary to provide a political fig leaf for the covert and indirect U.S. reliance on Al Qaeda’s Syria franchise’s military success.”5

Obama can now look back fondly on the movement he helped to create.

Indeed, not only was this all well understood by planners, the true extent of the empowerment of extremists was known to decision makers from the beginning. The CIA, for instance, very early on was informing the President in classified assessments that “most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar” were “going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition.”6 The man described as the CIA’s “eyes and ears on the ground” in Syria, tasked with drawing up plans for regime change after spending a year meeting with rebels, concluded from his journey that in fact, “there were no moderates.”7

Even earlier the Defense Intelligence Agency was warning officials that events on the ground “are taking a clear sectarian direction” and left no doubt as to who was heading the opposition, stating “the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency.” Most remarkably, this 2012 report had predicted the rise of ISIS a full two years before it occurred, stating that “if the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.” Far from being undesired, in terms of the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey, the report said “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”8

Heading the DIA at the time, Michael Flynn confirmed the validity of this report, explaining that he “paid very close attention… the intelligence was very clear.”9 Not only that, he confirmed that his agency sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the White House about these and other predictions, saying that the jihadists were in control of the opposition and that toppling Assad would have dire consequences. By 2013 the assessments were saying that the US’ covert effort “had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. The so-called moderates had evaporated… and the US was arming extremists.”

But instead of heeding these warnings there was “enormous pushback” from the Obama administration, Flynn explaining that “I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.” Indeed, according to a Joint Chiefs of Staff advisor, there simply was “no way to stop the arms shipments that had been authorized by the president.” Even though, Flynn said, “if the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.”10

When asked if this obstinacy was a result of mere negligence on the part of the civilian administration, remarkably Flynn replied “I don’t think they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.” Asked to clarify if he meant the US government deliberately decided to support extremist groups and the founding of a Salafist principality, Flynn stood firm and said “it was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.”11

Comment: These very statements strongly suggest, according to those who want regime change and war in Syria, why Flynn had to be ejected from the Trump administration. Michael Flynn not only knew quite a lot about the Frankenstein’s monster that was ISIS, but was set against it and the type of thinking that went into building it. He also expressed actual concern for how much of the American public would react to such information – about how horrible its own government’s actions were. Imagine how such a sentiment by Flynn was received among those in the military and intelligence circles who have been committing their regime change crimes for so many decades: “Who the hell does Flynn think he is?! Get him outta there!!

Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke later attempted to shed some light on the strategic thinking behind all of this. He explained that the idea “of breaking up the large Arab states into ethnic and sectarian enclaves” had been “established group think” at least as far back as 2006, and that this idea had been “given new life by the desire to pressure Assad in the wake of the 2011 insurgency launched against the Syrian state.” The idea being to drive “a Sunni ‘wedge’ into the landline linking Iran to Syria”, and thereby fracture the connection between Iran and its Arab allies.12

Following along with much of what Biden, Obama, and others had said about the inability to find moderates and the necessity of relying upon extremists, Crooke concluded that “the jihadification of the Syrian conflict had been a ‘willful’ policy decision, and that since Al Qaeda and the ISIS embryo were the only movements capable of establishing such a Caliphate across Syria and Iraq, then it plainly followed that the U.S. administration, and its allies, tacitly accepted this outcome, in the interests of weakening, or of overthrowing, the Syrian state.”13

A Useful Pretext

Much effort has been made to portray ISIS as antagonistic to US interests and to place blame for its rise on official enemies. This is not surprising given the near-unanimous outrage that the group elicited after emerging on the world stage. However, outside of being a useful ideological construct, this analysis neglects some very fundamental characteristics inherent to the situation.

Apart from the obvious conspiracy theories there is of course evidence that after ISIS was founded in 2014 it had made a sort of compact with Bashar al-Assad’s government. After gaining access to documents of a former deputy to Baghdadi, Der Spiegel uncovered what appeared to be an agreement between ISIS and Syria’s Ba’ath regime. The nature of the agreement was an understanding that Syria’s air force would not strike ISIS and in return ISIS commanders promised to order their fighters not to fire on Syrian army soldiers. This made sense for ISIS since its immediate goal was to gain supremacy over Sunni areas while the Syrian army was, as well, primarily concentrated on the immediate threats that it faced from other groups further west. It was in the interests of both sides to avoid a mutually assured destruction with each other.14

Some of the Syrian army taken from Al-Tabqa airbase and executed by ISIS.

The problem with taking this too far is that after ISIS had consolidated its hold over Raqqa and gained supremacy over much of the other rebel groups this understanding appeared to have dissolved, ISIS then mounting an assault against the Syrian army at Al-Tabqa airbase and executing more than 160 Syrian soldiers. Since that point, ISIS has been in a constant state of war with the Syrian army, despite many attempts by regime-change supporters to claim otherwise.15

These kinds of arguments seem to miss an even larger aspect of the bigger picture and misinterpret the motivation of the various players involved. A truer picture of the situation is perhaps best exemplified by the dilemma that faced the Western powers as the public became increasingly aware of ISIS’ atrocities and began calling for some kind of a response to be made against the group. As Western officials had portrayed ISIS as a grave threat to Western civilization, there was great pressure on them to put their money where their mouth was and act. However, this put them in an awkward position.

For one thing, in terms of breaking up an enemy state into sectarian enclaves, ISIS had indeed proven quite efficient. It was also emerging as the strongest opponent to Assad and had accomplished much in the way of weakening the Syrian state, while, as well, driving an effective ‘Sunni wedge’ between Iran and its’ allies. Problematically then, as Christopher Davidson explains, “the Islamic State was effectively on the same side as the West, especially in Syria, and in all its other warzones was certainly in the same camp as the West’s regional allies.” Moreover, “on a strategic level, its big gains had made it by far the best battlefield asset to those who sought the permanent dismemberment of Syria and the removal of Nouri Maliki in Iraq.”

The trick, therefore, was “trying to find the right balance between being seen to take action but yet still allowing the Islamic State to prosper.”16

The response was an airstrike campaign aimed primarily at delineating boundaries that the group was not allowed to cross, mainly around the US’ own allies. This campaign also served as a useful opportunity to establish a military presence in Syria which otherwise would not have been manageable. After all, who would object to such an operation when it was being targeted against such a horrific barbarity as the Islamic State?

After having done nothing to stop the previous sectarian massacres that ISIS had committed, the US decided to launch its’ campaign when it appeared that the Yazidi’s in Iraq were about to face an imminent genocide at the hands of the advancing jihadists. While the mission was portrayed as a selfless rescue mission necessary to break a debilitating siege that ISIS had inflicted upon the Yazidis, in reality Kurdish fighters had already arrived on the scene days before the US got there and had begun the process of evacuating the civilians from the area.17

The real reason the US launched the mission was because ISIS was advancing towards the nearby Kurdish capital of Irbil which represents a key US client and area of extraction for Western energy companies. Apart from Western oil interests being heavily invested in the exploitation of the area’s natural resources, it also houses Israeli and US intelligence and military operatives conducting anti-Syrian, anti-Iranian, and other regional operations.18 Yet the main strategic purpose of this US alliance with Iraqi Kurdistan has been to make sure that the regime in Baghdad stayed in line; one CIA memorandum stating that the Iraqi Kurds are a “uniquely useful tool for weakening Iraq’s potential”, as well as a “card to play” against the Iraqi state.19

Therefore, far removed from the very public displays of humanitarian concern, Obama explained that the US would “take action if [ISIS] threatens our facilities anywhere in Iraq… including Irbil”, and made good on his promise that airstrikes would be launched “should they move toward” the Kurdish capital.20

The analogous delineation of boundaries in Syria occurred a few months later when the US launched airstrikes to help defend the Kurdish enclave of Kobane from a similar assault by the Islamic State, the Syrian Kurds fast becoming a useful US ally on the ground. A highly-publicized spectacle, these airstrikes helped to solidify the legitimacy of the illegal bombing campaign. However, it was never apparent how crucial the US’ assistance actually was, or if the bulk of the city’s defense hadn’t already been secured by the towns battle-hardened fighters.21

Nevertheless, these pretexts proved useful. In one sense, they allowed the West to appear responsive to public demands for action, while, at the same time, allowing Western aircraft to conduct a de-facto no-fly-zone over ISIS territory in Syria. There was a real danger that states genuinely committed to the protection of the Syrian government, notably Iran but possibly Russia, would take matters into their own hands and actually try to eradicate the Islamic State. In this sense, the US-led campaign was useful in portraying the image of US commitment to defeating ISIS while insuring, as well, that no other state would defeat the group before their use had been exhausted and the West could claim that symbolic victory for themselves.22

Notes here

Part 4

The Purpose of ISIS

Awkwardly for those at the helm of the US-led bombing campaign, as time went on it became increasingly apparent that not only was the Islamic State not being “degraded and destroyed”, but, in fact, was growing and taking control of even more territory. This was further compounded by the groups’ relatively weak military capabilities, and the fact that the areas they occupied consisted mainly of open countryside with relatively few areas to hide their equipment and convoys.1 US war veterans have even remarked that the US could have turned the tide against the organization using only aircrafts from the WWII-era, while other academics explain that “an international force could defeat ISIS in a matter of months” if they wanted to.2 Despite all of this, after months of airstrikes, the Wall Street Journal noted that the US had “failed to prevent the Islamic State from expanding its control in Syria”, while the British press explained that “in both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.”3

Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr. demonstrates how well the Pentagon can make maps of things in the Middle East.

In fact, while the Pentagon paraded around statistics of killed ISIS fighters to showcase the campaign’s success, in reality by the summer of 2015 the Islamic State had seen a doubling in the number of its foreign fighters, more than replacing any of those claimed to have been killed.4 Maps were similarly published showing ISIS’ territorial losses, yet at the same time evidence showed that its other territorial gains had actually offset any sort of contraction.5 So while US aircraft patrolled the skies around the so-called caliphate, its fighters were more than free to roam throughout the territory they had claimed. Indeed, convoys consisting of upwards of hundreds of vehicles were mainly free to travel in long columns in wide-open desert terrain despite the ease with which such targets could be hit by US aircrafts.6

As this continued, it became increasingly difficult to conceal the truth, especially as Department of Defense analysts began to break ranks and complain that their superiors within senior levels of the intelligence command had deliberately been altering reports, downplaying the campaign’s failures and presenting it in a much more positive light.7 Furthermore, with the introduction of the Russian intervention, the insincerity of the US effort was even more laid bare. Not only had the Russians conducted more sorties against the group in one day than the US had in months, one of their first targets were its oil truck convoys which the US had deliberately refrained from hitting during their entire year-long campaign, despite it being one of the groups’ biggest sources of revenue.8 Awkwardly as well, it was becoming increasingly apparent that US fighter jets were being particularly careful about avoiding engagement whenever ISIS was fighting against US adversaries such as the Syrian army or Hezbollah, a situation which was not lost on the administrations in Tehran and Damascus.9

The motivations underlying all of this were quite clearly articulated by an Iraqi army officer who argued that the “Americans weren’t really that serious in hitting the Islamic State.” Getting even closer to the truth, a commander of a Shia militia fighting in Iraq as well explained “we believe the US does not want to resolve the crisis but rather wants to manage the crisis… it does not want to end the Islamic State. It wants to exploit the Islamic State to achieve its projects in Iraq and in the region.”10

Elaborating on the US’ calculation even further, international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier explained that “as long as ISIS was headed towards creating a serious danger to Assad in Syria”, then its presence could be tolerated. The strategy revolved around maintaining “the organizations continuing ability to fight for as long as necessary in the process [of] depleting Iran, Hezbollah and its Iraqi proxies in Syria… Its continuing presence was needed so as to exhaust Iran and its allies in both Iraq and Syria.”11

One of the more prominent examples of this was when ISIS began to expand its control over territories outside of Syria and led an offensive into Iraq.

The offensive was known to US intelligence long before it was launched. Indeed, far from being indecipherable, the Wall Street Journal explained that such an advance was “apparent to anyone paying attention to Middle Eastern events”, noting that it “wasn’t an intelligence failure. It was a failure by policy makers to act on events that were becoming so obvious that the Iraqis were asking for American help for months… Mr. Obama declined to offer more than token assistance.”12

The reasons for this lie in the continuing shift towards Iran that was being undertaken by then Prime Minister Maliki and the subsequent expansion of Iranian influence over the Iraqi government that resulted. By this time, Maliki had appointed the pro-Iranian Hadi al-Amiri as transport minister, and in doing so “had effectively given Tehran the green light to use Iraqi infrastructure to channel supplies and fighters through the country to fight in Syria.”13 Even more troubling, knowledgeable reports indicated that Maliki’s main objective was to prevent the establishment of any US military bases in the country, following an official request by Iran.14 Therefore, for those committed to toppling the increasingly Iranian-backed Nouri al-Maliki administration, the ISIS offensive represented an important opportunity.

In this sense, the failure of the US to respond was explained by Obama himself. He noted that the US “did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes all across Iraq as soon as ISIS came in” specifically because “that would have taken pressure off of al-Maliki.”15 Indeed, harkening back to the aforementioned strategy of utilizing radical Sunni’s to pressure and put “fear into the government of Prime Minister Maliki”,16 Obama said that a more forceful US response would have encouraged Maliki to think “We don’t actually have to make compromises. We don’t have to make any decisions. We don’t have to go through the difficult process of figuring out what we’ve done wrong in the past. All we have to do is let the Americans bail us out again. And we can go about business as usual.”17

Therefore, Al Rai newspaper’s Elijah J. Magnier explains that “as long as the aim of ISIS’s military activity and expansion was to occupy land in Iraq, governed by pro-Iranian Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (creating a weak state and much confusion in the Iraq-Iran relationship)”, then “the ISIS presence in Iraq could be tolerated” by the US.18

The result of this offensive was the unprecedented capture of Mosul, shocking observers worldwide.

Despite having a fighting force of no less than 350,000 battle-hardened soldiers, the Iraqi security forces simply “disintegrated and fled” in the face of roughly 1,300 lightly-armed ISIS jihadists.19 This was later explained by analysts as being the result of corruption within the military, or due to indications that ISIS was welcomed by a significant portion of the population, or that it had in many ways already been operating a shadow government of sorts within the city.20 While indicative, ISIS’ uncontested walk-in to Mosul could have been more directly linked to the desire of outside powers to replace Prime Minister Maliki. Indeed, the Gulf states did little to hide their animosity towards Maliki or their desire to overthrow his regime. As professor Fouad Ajami pointed out, after the US invasion “the Gulf autocracies had hunkered down and done their best to thwart the new Iraqi project” and were hoping to turn Maliki’s Iraq into a “cautionary tale of the folly of unseating even the worst of despots.”21 At least from Maliki’s own perspective, it was Saudi Arabia and Qatar which were the main drivers of his overthrow.22

After taking Mosul, ISIS finds new and more creative ways to terrorize, torture and kill people the US refuses to protect.

Whatever the case, it was the pressure exerted on Maliki from the loss of Mosul and the inability to halt the Islamic States’ advances that were the main catalysts which lead to his ouster. According to one Wall Street Journal reporter, “After the rout of the Iraqi military that year, combined pressure from Washington and Tehran led the Iraqi parliament to oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, seen in both capitals as responsible for the debacle, and to replace him with current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.”23

In this sense, the presence of the Islamic State had served a number of purposes for the outside powers involved within the region. Put in other words, University of Cincinnati professor emeritus Abraham Miller explains that “the Islamic State exists as a political structure whose function outweighs the political and military costs of defeating it, not just for the US but also for the Sunni sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.” Functions which include providing “a direct check on the hegemonic interests of Iran to extend its reach from its eastern border into the Levant… The threat they [ISIS] pose is tolerated even by the Gulf sheikdoms as long as ISIS is focused on stopping Iranian hegemony.” Because of this, “Obama has no intention of destroying the Islamic State”, but rather “ISIS is a chain reaction. As long as it is controlled, its chaos is perceived to serve a multiplicity of purposes within and outside the region.”24

Notes here

Part 5

The Strategic Asset, Then and Now

About a year after the fall of Mosul, ISIS as well overtook the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Afterwards, US intelligence and military officials revealed to Bloomberg that the US had “significant intelligence” about the pending attacking. For the US military, it was an “open secret” at the time, which “surprised no one.” The intelligence community was able to obtain “good warning” that ISIS was planning “a new and bolder offensive in Ramadi” because they had identified “the convoys of heavy artillery, vehicle bombs and reinforcements through overhead imagery and eavesdropping on chatter from local Islamic State commanders.”

Indeed, departing from ISIS’ base in Raqqa, these convoys consisted of long columns of vehicles and had travelled a full five-hundred and fifty kilometers through open desert in broad daylight to reach Ramadi. Despite this, the US coalition did not act, instead they “watched Islamic State fighters, vehicles and heavy equipment gather on the outskirts of Ramadi before the group retook the city.” The US “did not order airstrikes against the convoy before the battle started”, but instead “left the fighting to Iraqi troops, who ultimately abandoned their positions.”1

Commenting on this, former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke noted that “the images of long columns of ISIS Toyota Land Cruisers, black pennants waving in the wind, making their way from Syria all the way – along empty desert main roads – to Ramadi with not an American aircraft in evidence, certainly needs some explaining.” He continues by pointing out that “there cannot be an easier target imagined than an identified column of vehicles, driving an arterial road, in the middle of a desert.”2

Even more troubling, it seems that the US had taken further precautions to ensure that the Iraqi forces would not be able to repel the ISIS attack. In the same Bloomberg report, US officials revealed that Iraqi government forces in Ramadi were not being properly resupplied, stating that ever since the US-led campaign began they had been forced to acquire weapons and ammunition on the black market since supplies were simply not reaching them.3

After the fall of the city to ISIS, Iraq was thereafter dependent on the US military to help repel the invading forces, which appears to parallel closely with the aforementioned strategy envisioned by think-tank analysts whereby “moderate or even radical Sunnis” could be useful in order to pressure and “put fear” into the government, and thereby help “encourage [them] to cooperate with the US.”4

Explaining further how such situations may be used for the political benefit of outside powers, University of Cincinnati’s Abraham Miller explains that “as long as there is chaos” like that produced by the Islamic State, then “there is a need for foreign intervention” such as the American intervention in Iraq. Such interventions are important opportunities because “with chaos and bloodshed come arm sales and political and economic influence.”5

This seems to track quite closely as well to a strategy envisioned for Iraq during the Bush administration. Co-authored by then Vice President Cheney and other influential neoconservatives, the strategy put particular importance on Washington being able “to justify its long-term and heavy military presence in the region”, which could be accomplished through the Iraqi state being weak and unable to defend itself, and therefore the US military would ostensibly be “necessary for the defense of a young new state asking for US protection.” Yet the real reason for the US presence would be “to secure the stability of oil markets and supplies,” which “in turn would help the United States gain direct control of Iraqi oil and replace Saudi oil in case of conflict with Riyadh.”6

Today much of this has been achieved, Iraq having been forced to ask the US for protection while the chaos and bloodshed justify further arms sales and help to expand political and economic influence over the country.

More American troops are headed to Syria…

After the replacement of Maliki, Iraq has largely been secured by the US and rid of a lot of its former Iranian influences.7 Given this, the presence of ISIS now serves as a useful means to further demonstrate Iraq’s dependence on the US military, a dependence the US intends to nurture. In a telling admission, Secretary of State Tillerson confirmed that recent troop deployments would remain in the country after ISIS is defeated, in order to “help clear mines and establish stability.”8 As well, with the elimination of ISIS, Iran would be closed off from the opportunity of expanding its influence through its sponsoring of various proxy militias throughout the country.9

The symbolic victory of a US-backed ISIS defeat would further legitimize the US presence in Iraq and help convey a positive image of the US’ role in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the very recent threat that the Islamic State posed could be invoked in the future if the government in Baghdad ever flirted with closer Iranian ties or strayed too far from the US-designated course. With Trump’s increasingly Pentagon-influenced administration, the current fight against the Islamic State will also be useful in justifying increased arms sales both to the Iraqi forces and for the US jets flying overhead. In this sense, it appears “the political and military costs of defeating” ISIS would outweigh its previous functions.10

In Syria, however, the situation is different. In a revealing interview, the former British Prime Minister argued for Britain to join the US campaign against ISIS on the basis that it was a “direct threat to Britain”, and that he was “not prepared to subcontract the protection of British streets from terrorism to other countries’ air forces.” Analysts commented that such a remark was indicative of a policy among the Western administrations which would not allow other states genuinely allied to the embattled Syrian government to claim victory over ISIS for themselves.11 In this sense, while blocking others from defeating the group the universally accepted consensus of the need to eradicate the Islamic State could be transformed into an effective mandate to occupy and annex Syrian lands. With the attempt to overthrow the government having failed, strategy could shift from support to the opposition towards “defeating ISIS.”

Signaling the adoption of such a strategy, the Trump administration announced that it “accepts” the “political reality… with respect to Assad”, and that “foremost among its priorities” from here on out would be “the defeat of ISIS.”12 In many ways this realization was already understood in the final months of the Obama administration, exemplified by the withdrawal of their demand that “Assad must go” and support instead of a negotiated settlement.13 The plan, however, is not to fully abandon regime-change, but to focus on “ISIS” and then after occupation continue to exert pressure and push for Assad’s ouster.

The Partition of Syria

The change in strategy has further become apparent with indications that the CIA has discontinued its covert support for the opposition.14 This represents the failure of the regime-change effort while as well being indicative of the change in political leadership within the White House.

The transition from Obama to Trump represents a long-standing rivalry between the CIA and the Pentagon. During the Obama administration, the Pentagon forcefully opposed the CIA rebel program on the very realistic grounds that it was empowering Islamist extremists, even going so far as to leak military intelligence in order to subvert the operations’ success.15 However, the sectors of power that Obama represented largely centered around the CIA and NSA intelligence apparatus and therefore the program had continued. The Trump administration however largely represents the interests of weapons manufacturers, defense contractors, and the military industrial complex as a whole and is centered around the political leadership of the military and the Pentagon. The public displays of liberal antagonism to Trump are largely a reflection of this internal power-struggle, as are the administration’s efforts to consolidate control over the intelligence agencies and to increase the discretionary powers of the military establishment.

Under Trump the military’s influence over foreign policy has vastly increased, the Defense Secretary being granted leave to authorize deployments and operations with little oversight from the chief executive.16 The result of this has been an increase in the power of the vested interests behind the military industrial base and their ability to steer the course and direction of US foreign policy strategy. The main consequence being the specific character that US imperialism will take, a shift from secretive drone strikes, covert regime-change operations, and the financing of extremist elements towards a strategy of direct military deployment and the securing of foreign-policy interests through overt military operations.17

Thus, the CIA rebel-sponsoring program under Trump has ceased while the footprint of the US military in Syria has grown,18 and the beginning indications of a military occupation have started to become visible.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that “there is growing receptiveness among US and international officials to the idea of setting up unofficial Syria safe zones.” The nature of these “safe-zones” was described by the French Foreign Minister, who hypothesized “they would cover areas retaken from the Islamic State and help people return to their homes.” However, the plan is for US troops to stay in the region long after ISIS is defeated, US Central Command Army General Joseph Votel announcing that US forces will be “required” to stabilize the region and assist “America’s allies” on the ground for the foreseeable future. The zones would therefore consist of Syrian lands directly under the security control of the US military and their partners on the ground, Secretary of State Tillerson describing them as “interim zones of stability” which would “allow refugees to return home”, wherein the coalition would “help to restore water and electricity” and other vital infrastructure, authority over which is necessary for political control.19

In many ways, this strategy is not new, and was considered as a “plan B” of sorts by planners during the Obama administration.

This is what ‘Plan A’ looks like. What, one wonders, will ‘Plan B’ look like?

Exemplifying this mindset, Henry Kissinger had earlier put forward proposals which justified the annexation of Syrian lands under the pretext of defeating ISIS. “In a choice among strategies”, he writes, “it is preferable for ISIS-held territory to be reconquered either by moderate Sunni forces or outside powers than by Iranian jihadists or imperial forces.” The strategy called for the post-Islamic State areas to be put under the direct political control of US allies, who, of course, have been heavily invested in the overthrow of the Syrian state: “The reconquered territories should be restored to the local Sunni rule that existed there before the disintegration of both Iraqi and Syrian sovereignty. The sovereign states of the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Egypt and Jordan, should play a principal role in that evolution.” Turkey, as well, “could contribute creatively to such a process.”

The plan then called for a partition of Syria between these newly annexed entities and the areas still under Syrian government control: “As the terrorist region is being dismantled and brought under nonradical political control, the future of the Syrian state should be dealt with concurrently. A federal structure could then be built between the Alawite and Sunni portions.”20

In many ways, recent US maneuvers have shown that this is, in fact, the course of action being pursued.

The US military has long been setting up key infrastructure such as numerous military bases and an airport within the semi-autonomous Kurdish regions in Syria where hundreds of its special forces maintain a military presence; an indication of long-term plans to remain and establish autonomous regions within the country which the Syrian government would be prevented from reclaiming.21 As well, the US has recently conducted an unprecedented military operation involving hundreds of US soldiers aimed at reclaiming the Tabqa dam from the Islamic State, which is described by the New York Times as an vitally “important power source for north Syria.” The operation is understood to be a precursor to the launching of an offensive against ISIS’ de-facto capital of Raqqa in a final push to eliminate the group.22

The main consequence of the maneuver however has been to block the advance of the Syrian army and Russian air force, preventing them from moving onwards toward Raqqa and claiming victory over ISIS for themselves, harkening back to the strategy invoked by the West of being unwilling to “subcontract the protection of [its] streets from terrorism to other countries’ air forces.”23 International correspondent Elijah J. Magnier explains this operation represents the drawing of a line “of the new ‘safe zone’ that will be occupied by the US forces and will therefore be their future ‘safe haven’, thus beginning the partition of the north of Syria.”24

This paves the way for the split-up of the country into three separate zones of influence, a pro-US Kurdish northeast, a Syrian government controlled west and south, and likely a Turkish-occupied northwest.

The conquest of ISIS’ main capital by US-backed forces would allow Trump to gain a useful “symbolic victory” that will increase his domestic political standing, especially after justifying much of his administrations military build-up under the pretext of fighting extremist groups.25 The increased US military involvement will legitimize further arms sales for domestic weapons industries. As well, the strategy could see the US pushing ISIS towards cities controlled by the Syrian army, thereby keeping the pressure on Russia and Iran as they go about the partition of the country. Most importantly, the US will likely be able to ensure that any pipeline project aimed at directly connecting Iranian gas to European markets would be stymied and unable to pass through Syrian lands, especially those under their control, thus protecting such markets for Western corporations.26

All of this ensures that Syria remains a weakened state which the West will be able to exert significant influence over. After ISIS is dealt with and balkanization is accomplished the subsequent land and leverage gained can be utilized to continue the process of removing Assad from power. According to Tillerson, “The process by which Assad would leave is something that I think requires an international community effort—both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country, to avoid further civil war, and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving.”27

In this way, the threat of ISIS continues to serve its intended purpose of securing Western corporate and investor control over important consumer markets and valuable Middle Eastern energy resources. ISIS therefore representing the “gift that keeps on giving”,28 which continues to proliferate the interests of the Western powers and their strategic attempts for hegemony over the Middle East.

Those killed in the process outweighed by the “function” represented in the “political structure” of the Islamic State, as professor Abraham Miller describes, whose proliferation of “chaos is perceived to serve a multiplicity of purposes within and outside the region”,29 as can be seen in the recent maneuvers ostensibly aimed at the disintegration of the group.

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BREAKING: U.S. airstrike on Daesh poison gas depot leaves many civilians dead ~ [Reports] – By Syrian Free Press

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That is to say: this is the proof that groups of mercenaries-terrorists are in possess and are using chemical weapons, not the Syrian Army and the Syrian government



Army General Command: Hundreds, including civilians, killed in Int’l Alliance airstrike on ISIS depot that includes toxic materials in Deir Ezzor

(Damascus, 13 April 2017) ~ The  General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the aircrafts of the so-called “US-led International Alliance” on Wednesday between the hour 17:30 and 17:50 carried out an airstrike against a position of ISIS (Daesh, ISIL, IS) terrorists that includes a large number of foreign mercenaries in the village of Hatla to the east of Deir Ezzor, causing a white cloud that became yellow as a result of the explosion of a huge store that includes a large amount of toxic materials.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Army General Command  stressed that the airstrike of the “US-led International Alliance” killed hundreds, including large numbers of civilians, due to the suffocation resulted from inhaling toxic substances.



U.S. airstrike on Daesh poison gas depot leaves many civilians dead

(PressTV) ~ Reports coming out of Syria suggest that hundreds of people, including civilians, have lost their lives after an airstrike by the US-led coalition hit poison gas supplies belonging to Daesh terrorists.

The General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that the airstrike had taken place in the eastern village of Hatla, near the city of Dayr al-Zawr, at around 5:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT) the previous day.

The statement, published by Syria’s official news agency, SANA, added that a cloud of thick white smoke covered the area after the strike, before it turned yellow. The assault also caused a fierce blaze, which continued until late in the evening on Wednesday.

According to the Syrian Army statement, hundreds of people, including a large number of local villagers, were killed after inhaling high volumes of toxic fumes spread in the targeted area.

The statement further noted that the attack was evidence to the close coordination that exists between terrorist groups operating inside Syria and their sponsors to level accusations of chemical weapons use against the Syrian government forces, and also proved that the militants were in possession of chemical warfare.

A handout grab image from a video made available by the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service on the official website of the Russian Defense Ministry shows a hangar at the Shayrat air base after it was hit by a US strike on April 8, 2017.

The Syrian Army statement went on to say that terror outfits, particularly Daesh and al-Nusra Front, were able to acquire and transport chemical weapons through the assistance of certain regional powers, emphasizing that the Damascus government had repeatedly warned that terrorist groups would use chemical weapons against civilians and Syrian army forces.

It also highlighted that the Syrian army neither possessed chemical munitions, nor would ever use them, arguing that terrorist groups continued to use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians with impunity.

The development came less than a week after a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Homs Province reportedly left over 80 people dead on April 4.

Following the attack, the US Defense Department, Pentagon, said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been fired from two US warships in the Mediterranean Sea at the Shayrat airfield in the same Syrian province on April 7. US officials claimed that the suspected Khan Shaykhun attack had been launched from the military site.

In this image provided by the US Navy, the USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile on Friday, April 7, 2017, from the Mediterranean Sea, aimed at a Syrian air base in Homs Province. (Via AP)

SANA reported that at least nine people had been killed in the early morning strike on the Syrian airfield.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry condemned the US strike as “a flagrant aggression” against the Arab country, saying that Washington’s real objective was to “weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups.”

The ministry described the Khan Shaykhun attack as a “premeditated action that aimed to justify the launching of a US attack on the Syrian army.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also censured the attack as an act of aggression against a sovereign state.


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SANA
PressTV
Syrian News Free Press
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at :
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Vladimir Putin Spells it Out: Syria Gas Attack Was a False Flag Attack – By Paul Mansfield [Sott.net]

Even before the victims of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib could be laid to rest, cynical western politicians, primed to act on a pretext to escalate the war on Syria, scuttle coming peace talks and subvert a Syria conference in Brussels, reacted with premature accusations that the government of Bashar al-Assad was undoubtedly responsible. Ominously, the accusations were accompanied with threats to take further action, ranging from increasing sanctions on Syria to taking military action.

Vladimir Putin weighed into the issue, seeking to restore some sense of rationality, judgement and caution against reckless actions which would have extremely dangerous consequences.

Alex Christoforou, writing for The Duran, sums up perfectly Putin’s balanced position, his words of caution to world leaders agitating for swift military action, the same leaders hasty and rash judgement on the issue and how preposterous it is to believe that Assad could see any benefit in launching such a murderous attack when he is on the front foot in the war against Western-backed terrorism in his country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has seen the intelligence and unlike western counterparts, he did not rush to judgement. This is what leaders and statesmen do…they wait to get the information before rendering a guilty verdict.

In particular, Putin “pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation. In the absence of one (par for the course) today Putin stated that the Russian intelligence services had information that another similar attack was planned for the Damascus area, with the intent of blaming Assad again.

Using chemical weapons is an act of desperation, when you are losing a war, not when you are winning as Assad is.

Three things stand out here:

1. Putin is the only sane adult in the room. He is the one who is not allowing outright greed and an agenda of pedaling interests of his countries corporate giants to justify any outrageous actions and blatant lies.

2. The Assad government is on the front foot and has no need to resort to acts of desperation. It would gain zero advantage, scuttle the political settlement, and incur the wrath of already hostile Gulf States, Turkey, Israel and western powers.

3. Putin is calling out Netanyahu, and clearly, others like Tillerson, Haley, Hollande and the rest of the merry band of reprobates for making groundless accusations. Moreover, he is slamming them for using such a ready-made pretext to justify escalating aggression. Their threats are diametrically opposed to the path Syria, Iran and Russia have painstakingly embarked on to incorporate all legitimate groups into a robust and sustainable peace. These destructive forces appear to have plans in mind, waiting for a pretext to justify enacting them.

Implicit in such comments is a resolve to oppose implementing the threats being made by those who are the enemies of Syria and the enemies of peace. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley offensively holding up pictures of dead children who in all likelihood are dead because of the terrorists she supports reaches a level of grotesqueness and hypocrisy beyond description.

Haley said that the red line has been crossed again and that countries are “compelled to take our own actions.” Once bitten, twice shy. An armed to the teeth superpower run by war addicted, maniacal, internally contradicted deep state forces knows only the way of war when it perceives its power and authority is being challenged. Like a mafia boss, to let such challenges go without vicious, disproportionate responses risks losing credibility.

That is what it is all about; the US is fast losing its credibility, dominance and threat of force as deterrence. It is desperate to re-impose itself through brute force and desperate to act on the slightest pretext. It is tempting to say (as Putin has) that the US has agreed to, or even created a false flag to give public legitimacy to strike at Assad. As for concern over children, let’s recall this is the country that gave us Madeline “it’s worth the price” of 500,000 dead children, Albright. So let’s not give any kudos to Haley or those backing her for this ostentatious display of cynical manipulation of the suffering of children. If the death cult of Albright still holds sway in Washington, a handful of dead children causes no consternation at all for these people.

It is wise to caution against false flag accusations, because, as Putin says, “it is unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation.” However we reserve the right to remain skeptical and entertain the idea based on the long history of the effectiveness of false flags in propelling forward preordained agendas. There is evidence of this being a false flag which will be expanded upon further.

I say “we” as there are many real (sorry that doesn’t include you fakerstan media) journalists out there digging for evidence to gain as many facts as possible to be able to make sustainable and robust arguments.

War hawk without peer, John McCain spoke to CNN about his outrage that the US had changed its position to no longer insisting that Assad must go. McCain said without a touch of irony, “I’m sure they took note of what our Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) said just the other day that the Syrian people would be determining their own future themselves — one of the more incredible statements I’ve ever heard.” Worse still, he couldn’t stop himself from smirking as he said it, obviously amused at the concept that Syrian people should determine their own futures. In the same statement he said “the United States of America is going to be on the side of people who fight for freedom.” This is obviously McCain’s own peculiar version of freedom where Syrians getting to determine their own future is ridiculed.

Cheerleaders for the terrorists

World leaders lined up to make their instantaneous evidence free accusations against the government of Bashar Al-Assad.

The pusillanimous Francois Hollande said in a statement, “Once again the Syrian regime will deny the evidence of its responsibility for this massacre.”

The horrid Theresa May lined up for the chorus of condemnation, saying, “It is a despicable attack, I think if it is the case it is being conducted by the Assad regime is shows the barbarism of that regime.”

T-Rex Tillerson, fully on board the neocon regime change train has no doubts Assad was responsible, saying it will “require a serious response.”

Geopolitical dilettante, EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy head, Federica Mogherini, said the Syrian government bore “primary responsibility” for the suspected chemical weapons attack.

John McCain wannabe, Republican Adam Kinzinger advocated airstrikes to ground the Syrian air force and crater their runways.

Flip-flopper Erdogan drew into question his suitability as a guarantor to the cease fire by pledging to support US military action in response to the attack. Note that Erdogan met with Tillerson last week. Plotting against Syria perhaps?

Sputnik News reported the great orange bumbler, Donald Trump, as saying, “I think what Assad did is terrible,” and that the recent tragedy constitutes a “truly egregious” crime. “I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. It shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

When asked whether Assad should leave power, Trump replied, “He’s there and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen.”

Speaking at The White House Trump said “people were shocked to hear what gas it was – that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line.”

Adam Garrie, of The Duran, said Trump’s remarks “are terribly worrying because they are terribly wrong.” Placing responsibility for atrocities rightly at the feet of the terrorists controlling Idlib, Garrie offered 5 possible reasons for Trump’s about-turn.

1. He caved to the ‘Deep State’

2. He Is Stupid

3. Calculated Rhetoric

4. Speaking To His Audience

5. An Excuse To Divide Syria

Only time will tell what really motivated the sudden switch of Trump, but we can’t discount the fact that he has shares in Raytheon, the arm manufacturer that produces the Tomahawk missiles fired at the Syrian airfield. Raytheon’s stock jumped on news of the strike.

And no list of war addicts would be complete without the inclusion of the cacophonous utterances of the goddess of war herself, Hillary Clinton. She crawled out from under whatever rock she had been hiding from following her non-election humiliation, saying, “I really believe that we should have — and still should — take out his airfields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop Sarin gas on them.”

Fakerstan media and the likes of Hollande, May, Clinton and Haley rely on emotional manipulation and scant facts to reach instant conclusions. They lie in order to continue to lie. They lie to destroy Syria. They lie so that the optimism of peace evaporates. They lie to protect the most brutal of terrorists. Their lies spit in the face of Syrians bravely seeking a better future as they respect the dead and displaced from this war on Syria perpetrated by these very same liars.

Russia has called for a thorough investigation into the incident that should be led by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), It would be an on the ground evidence finding mission subject to approval by the UN Security Council.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Syrian air force had targeted and struck a warehouse storing chemical weapons bound for Iraq. Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said symptoms displayed by the victims of the attack in Khan Sheikhoun were similar to those of victims of a chemical attack in Aleppo in 2016 perpetrated by Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham-led terrorist groups.

In a statement that failed to stop the war hecklers, Kim Won-soo, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, said that there is as of yet no independent evidence on the suspected chemical weapons attack.

The events and aftermath of the Idlib incident is so reminiscent of the August 2013 Ghouta incident that it feels like we are in Groundhog Day.

Back then we had instant identification of what happened and that Assad was responsible. We had the controlled media obediently towing the company line in reporting speculation as fact. We had world leaders ready to pull the trigger, including Barack Obama and his arrogant threats that crossing the red line meant Assad would pay a heavy price.

Then in stepped the dedicated and real journalists to do the heavy lifting, the behind the scenes long hours sans the glamour, to uncover the evidence that might reveal what happened and who was responsible. I refer to people like Seymour Hersh, Tim Anderson, Brandon Turbeville, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Sharmine Narwani and Radwan Mortada, Christof Lehmann and others who take pride in going beyond the imperial serving soundbites of lazy fakerstan media journalists.

The Sources for the Attack

The very same lazy fakerstan journalists and political puppets of Washington would have you believe the evidence of another Assad atrocity is rock solid.

However let’s look at the sources.

First we have the Idlib Media Centre, a western supported carry over of the Aleppo Media Centre. They transferred to Idlib with their terrorist allies after the liberation of Aleppo. The AMC became famous for their “dusty boy” Omran Daqneesh photos in the back of an ambulance, sitting there looking confused while there was a scramble to photograph him, but not tend to any injuries.

Omran’s photographer, Mahmoud Raslan, took selfies with Nour Al-Din al-Zenki, infamous for the beheading of 12 year old Abdullah Tayseer Issa.

The second major source is the EU funded, UK intelligence front, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights SOHR, which as Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley wrote, has been “inventing a narrative of what’s happening in Syria that fits Western foreign policy interests.”

The one man band of Rami Abdul Rahman certainly has connections in Syria; with the opposition forces he fully supports. Being full aligned with the opposition he acts as a conduit for their propaganda and lies. His projection of the terrorist narrative is unfortunately ignored by the mainstream media who quote him constantly, usually with few questions.

Last but not least, we have the favorite humanitarians of the regime change brigade, the White Helmets. Headed by Raed Saleh, who was deported from the US in 2016 for what the State Department said was possible “extremist connections.” Saleh penned a piece for The Guardian last week, urging more war against the Syrian people. Rather an odd attitude for the head of a group which is supposed to save lives and call for peace, not agitate for more war

Their function as a western intelligence front masquerading as first responders is summed up by Miri Wood.

“Despite having received $23 million from the CIA, and millions more from the intelligence agencies of the EU, the gang still does not own a stethoscope, still does not utilize spinal precautions, still has not learned CPR. They do, however, know how to get nominated for a Nobel, win an Oscar, abuse corpses, and be friends with terrorists who cut off the head of a 12 year old child.”

White Helmets: terrorists by another name

Perhaps we expect too much if we think we can find any independent sources from Idlib. After all, would anyone dare oppose what the terrorists say? As John Wight says:

“No Western journalist or news crew would dare set foot there, or indeed in any part of opposition-controlled Syria, knowing that as soon as they did they would be kidnapped and butchered.”

On the issue of a possible false flag attack, about 250 people from Majdal and Khattab were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists more than a week ago. Local sources have claimed many of the dead from the chemical weapons were those from Majdal and Khattab.

This suggests an all too familiar pattern of false flag attacks and accusations of atrocities leveled at the government on the eve of upcoming peace negotiations.

We also can view images of White Helmets workers without masks and skin protection, leaving themselves vulnerable to exposure. If it was Sarin gas, it would penetrate their skin, leading to an agonizing death within minutes. A person would have to have head-to-toe protection and a special mask to safely enter an area where Sarin gas had just been released.

Again referring to Miri Wood, we had the obviously psychic reporter from Orient TV, ready to give the scoop on deadly Syrian and Russian attacks. Unfortunately he tweeted 5 hours before the attacks took place.

Here is the tweet from the psychic who planned to report on chemical weapons attack 5 hours before they were announced.

Tweet of the Psychic

One of the treating doctors in Idlib was Shajul Islam, deregistered as a doctor in the UK. Despite the bodies piling up, he was still eager for video interviews, perhaps with the notorious Bilal Abdul Kareem, who has interviewed him previously. Kareem is one of the terrorist affiliated journalists who trekked from Aleppo to Idlib and now finds himself on Donald Trump’s drone kill list.

Do people think the idea the terrorist groups would kill people for the cameras is far fetched? If so, they should pause and reflect on the fact that the Wahabbist ideology many of these nutjobs espouse leads them to kill without the slightest hesitation. There is a long history of civilian massacres across Syria in the last six years by the terrorist groups, so one more should not surprise in the least. Given the huge propaganda boost this incident has provided them, it may have been an opportunity too good to pass up. Given their history of chemical weapons use, they have the means at their disposal.

The possession and threats to use chemical weapons can be traced back to 2012, when masked men in a building in Turkey filled with the deadly nerve agent VX, “threatened to unleash the quick acting neurotoxin against the Syrian people, specifically the Alawite minority, and all supporters of the Syrian government, and their president.”

So we are entering perilous waters in Syria where the threats of action over the Idlib incident and the threat of partition of the north east through the US/Kurdish campaign to drive ISIS from Raqqa, undermines promising initiatives to achieve a lasting peace. Now more than ever, the wisdom and diplomatic skills of people like Vladimir Putin is badly needed.

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Paul Mansfield (Profile)

Paul is a budding freelance writer who currently works in the welfare industry in Melbourne, Australia.

Areas of interest include: Russia/US conflict, wars in the Middle East, particularly Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the damage to our economies from the global financial markets, the debt trap imposed on states by bankers seeking to privatize assets and “reform” economies while they line their pockets with cash and impoverish local populations.

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The Nasty Truth About the CIA – By Gordon Duff [ Society ]

 

67345342342Telling the truth is a dangerous thing as many know, illegal in fact. Doing so with circumspection, using allegory and a touch of irony is always best, but requires wit and even intellect, something in short supply. That said we move forward.

I have been in discussion recently, with intelligence officials from the Reagan era, military, FBI counter-intelligence and unnamed others and have reached some startling conclusions. You see, recent events have pushed the envelope as to what can be spoken of and “leaked.” There is also enough anger out there, and there is nothing more dangerous than old angry people, that what was once held back can now be spoken of.

Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981. The CIA was beginning a war in Central America, was running operations across Africa and was deeply involved in issues in Egypt and Lebanon. These were things I knew of but am unable to indicate why I may know of them, but my knowledge is personal.

Russia was at war in Afghanistan, the US still had hostages in Iran and America had over 500,000 troops in Europe.

One of the first moves of the Reagan presidency was to “de-task” the CIA and then “re-task the CIA.” Vice President George W. Bush had been CIA director under the truncated presidency of Gerald Ford and had spent this time learning the narcotics business and placing the Bush family at the forefront.

As CIA director, in 1977 Bush sent his son Jeb to Venezuela to take over banking relationships between that nation and Colombia. George H.W. and his son Jeb were seminal in the fostering and creation of the drug cartels in Colombia and established the CIA connection that would burgeon under Reagan, but I am getting ahead of myself. Colombia was all about controlling the world’s cocaine.

Simultaneously, the CIA under Bush established strong connections with the narco-tribes of Northern Afghanistan. While the US, through Pakistan and their military and ISIS, ran the Mujahedeen, the CIA began building a narcotics empire there based on heroin. It would have to wait until another Bush son could take advantage of 9/11, perhaps even have some inside involvement if other intelligence is correct, before the CIA could take over world heroin production as well.

When Reagan got into office, Bush set up a committee, names like North and Secord and even bin Laden were among the strategic planners. Reagan himself brought in Lee Wanta, who sat in on only some of the meetings, meetings that planned economic warfare on Russia, crashing the ruble and eventually crushing the Soviet Union.

However, the primary effort was in simply taking over activities of the CIA and ending America’s intelligence program, as we see now, “forever.” There is no CIA. This is not a fact carelessly stated. Real intelligence is dangerous and from that time onward, congress would never see anything not hand fed them with full approval of key controlling figures who ran the world’s drug trade.

You see, before that the CIA was always independent, and under Allan Dulles perhaps even involved in murdering Kennedy, or so rumors state. The CIA as with the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, was a law onto itself.

The CIA was certainly capable of using its skills previously aimed at assassinating foreign leader and focusing those capabilities back on the United States.

The CIA as with the Pentagon, were expressions of the will of world oligarchy and whatever the vision of the time was for a New World Order. That vision changed as ideas and situations changed, as technology changed, and as time and death pushed new ideas and new goals to the forefront. Suffice it to say, the CIA and Pentagon, as today, abide as part of America but are certainly not American, not hardly.

Here’s how it looks if you were there:

Let’s say you were working at an operational facility on Monday, January 26, 1981. Communications then was via Telex, there was no internet. As phones were not secure, other communication was via courier, sometimes from embassy channels, other times from airline personnel, “stews” who ran documents and other materials for the CIA. Without Pan Am, there would never have been a CIA.

Typically, an operational office, based on personnel and their skills, connections and networks, might overlap, dealing with let’s say Bulgaria and Jordan and even Panama, simply because the people were there than had the relationships, the language skills and the cover identities that allowed operations.

Nothing was done from Langley, nobody sat in a cube and then taxied to Dulles Airport, off to shoot down a dictator or rig an election, this is TV.

Pretty much everyone worked for a corporation, Michelin, Dupont, Fluor, Bechtel or was media or a banking official or even a diplomat. All were thugs mind you but thugs with day jobs, albeit theoretical cover “day jobs.” In January 1981, all that came to an end.

Now we go to allegory and circumspection. That morning of mornings, the “new broom” in Washington, a former CIA director as Vice President, everything changed. Stories say that one CIA station chief found a prominent Colombian drug cartel leader sitting across his desk when he arrived. Here is how the story goes:

“I got in that morning, past the receptionist, past the armed security that the public never sees, picked up my mail, got my telex’s and opened the door to my office. To my astonishment a Latin looking gentleman was there with a 4-pocket shirt, a big Rolex and a diamond the size of a marble. He was cutting a cigar. He introduced himself as a “Colombian businessman” and told me that he was advised that I would be able to help him. It was that day I met my new boss, or at least one of them.”

From that day forward, Russian agents in Egypt were no longer a problem for the CIA, overthrowing Ghana’s governments didn’t matter so much, in fact the Soviet Union had moved to “back burner.” From that day forward all CIA activities were to involve either moving narcotics or running operations that served no other purpose than to, wait for it…run narcotics.

Why have a war in Central America? Why invent Daniel Ortega, a liberal politician from Nicaragua as a dangerous dictator? Could it be because arming “contras” used planes that accidentally came back loaded with cocaine?

When the CIA took over oil operation services in the Gulf of Mexico around that time, the boats that came into New Orleans and other ports, were “tasked” with carrying “medical supplies” to Honduras to support the covert was on Nicaragua. They came back loaded with, wait for it…cocaine as well.

Every discussion was “cocaine” and how to use CIA technology to avoid police, jam radars, find missing bales of drugs or how to keep America’s allies in Colombia from killing each other off and ruining business.

Miami became the center of the drug universe, where the warriors fighting communism sat in hotel lobby’s with umbrella drinks, heading to the toilet every few minutes to stoke themselves up on cocaine.

Money moved in trash bags, too tiresome to count, some say they only weighed it. That money bought Washington and was a key aspect of White House policy, and the cover operation to sell weapons to Iran through Israel and Saudi Arabia, then use this as a front to launder billions in cocaine cash in what became known as “Iran Contra.”

There was no “Contra,” only cocaine and the cash it brought and the American cities inundated with crack cocaine and a descent into addiction and crime that continues today.

The family that brought crack cocaine to America’s school children now delivers Afghani heroin at even lower prices. When the farce of 9/11 led to two invasions, to Afghanistan to put the drug lords of the Northern Alliance in position to kick out the anti-opium Taliban and to loot Iraq’s oil resources, there was no independent CIA left.

Even the CIA that served the world’s oligarchs, much like other intelligence agencies, might well have stood against the War on Terror, an expression of New World Order that would as we have seen spin out of control taking everyone and everything with it.

By 2004, the Bush family had privatized the CIA, bought off the Pentagon with Afghani drug cash and set up private mercenary armies. Some say, some very knowledgeable people say that every senior American officer that served in Afghanistan is dirty.

The decision was made, based on the lessons, both positive and negative, from Reagan’s Iran Contra adventure, to keep a continual war going as cover but make sure there would never be an American congress capable of investigating.

Toward that end, the US Supreme Court, servants of the narco-thugs, 5 members at least until Scalia died, legalized narco-bribery under what is known as “Citizens United.” This case legalized unlimited “corporate” contributions to any campaign, any corporation, any country and money with “no questions asked.” That money is from drugs and human trafficking primarily and it, along with the curious restructuring of congressional districts after 9/11, that financed with drug cash as well, put the narcotics business in charge of the American House of Representatives, the only investigative body, forever.

From that time on, they only investigated whoever the drug lords told them to.

What is key to understand is that the CIA only runs drugs, nothing else. Drugs are a source of capital and endless political power, all untraced, all attributable and utterly unstoppable during a period of endless war when the CIA runs its own airlines and lives in a world with no frontiers and no oversight of any kind.

Expecting otherwise is insane.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
http://journal-neo.org/2017/04/04/the-nasty-truth-about-the-cia/

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China threatens to bomb North Korea’s nuclear facilities if it crosses Beijing’s ‘bottom line’ in retracted article – By Tyler Durden [Zero Hedge]

With everyone putting down new and/or revised “red lines“, be it on Syria or North Korea, it was now China’s turn to reveal its “red” or rather “bottom line”, and in a harshly worded editorial titled “The United States Must Not Choose a Wrong Direction to Break the DPRK Nuclear Deadlock on Wednesday” Beijing warned it would attack North Korea’s facilities producing nuclear bombs, effectively engaging in an act of war, if North Korea crosses China’s “bottom line.”

The editorial in the military-focused Global Times tabloid, owned and operated by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, said that North Korea’s nuclear activities must not jeopardize northeastern China, and that if the North impacts China with its illicit nuclear tests through either “nuclear leakage or pollution”, then China will respond with force.

“China has a bottom line that it will protect at all costs, that is, the security and stability of northeast China… If the bottom line is touched, China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back. By that time, it is not an issue of discussion whether China acquiesces in the US’ blows, but the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks to DPRK nuclear facilities on its own.”

This, as the editorial puts it, is the “bottom line” for China; should it be crossed China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back,” warned the editorial.

It is worth noting that shortly after publication, the article seems to have been retracted without explanation, the URL now returning a “404” error. However not before the original article was cached on a webpage owned by China Military, courtesy of google.

In the editorial, the author also declared that the “People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks to DPRK nuclear facilities on its own. A strike to nuclear facilities of the DPRK is the best military means in the opinion of the outside world.” The northeastern Chinese provinces of Liaoning and Jilin share borders with North Korea. These two provinces and Heilongjiang are part of the Shenyang Military Region, one of seven military regions of the People’s Liberation Army.

The editorial also explained the advantages to the world of a Chinese attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

It noted China and the world know the locations of North Korea’s nuclear facilities. Once the PLA attacks these nuclear sites, North Korea will permanently suspend its nuclear weapons programs.

North Korea “has limited resources of nuclear materials and is strictly blockaded in the outside world, erasing the possibility for DPRK to get the materials again.”

China also noted that “nuclear weapons is DPRK’s trump card for its defiance of China and the United States. Once this card is lost, it will become obedient immediately.”

The author then speculated rhetorically that if North Korea’s “nuclear facilities are destroyed, they will not even fight back, but probably block the news to fool its domestic people. The DPRK will freak out if its nuclear facilities are destroyed.” And yes, a Chinese author said “freak out.”

The report also said that “the DPRK must not fall into the turmoil to send a large number of refugees, it is not allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River, and the US military must not push forward its forces to the Yalu River.” It notes that “this sentence is meant for the United States, because the premise of it is that the US military has launched attacks to the DPRK.”

But what may be the most notable part of the oped is the mention in the Global Times editorial that North Korea will “not be allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River.” This implies that if and when the US initiate strikes on NK, the Chinese PLA will likely send out troops “to lay the foundation” for a favorable post-war situation.

In other words, China may be just waiting for Trump to “decapitate” the North Korean regime, to pounce and immediately fill the power vacuum.

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“U.S. strike helping Daesh, Al-Qaeda, the enemy U.S. supposed to fight against” [interview with Ron Paul]- By Syrian Free Press

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The UN security Council is holding an emergency meeting on the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airbase. To discuss the UN Security Council meeting we’re joined by Ron Paul, chairman and founder of “The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity”.


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Russian Defence Ministry: “American cruise missile strike had been planned long before” ~ RELATED:

Russian Defence Ministry: “American cruise missile strike had been planned long before” ~ RELATED: Russian General: “U.S. Trying to Destroy Syria’s Critical Infrastructure”

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Russian Defence Ministry:
“American cruise missile strike had been planned long before”

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

(Fort-Russ, 7 April 2017) ~ On April 7, from 3.42 to 3.56 (MSK), two destroyers of the US Navy (USS Ross and USS Porter) made a massive strike with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the area near Crete Island (Mediterranean Sea) against the Syrian Shayrat Air Base (Homs province).

According to the objective monitoring data, 23 missiles reached the Syrian Air Base.

As a result, an equipment depot, a training building, a mess, six MiG-23 aircraft in repairing hangars as well as a radar station were destroyed.

The runway, taxiways and aircraft of the Syrian Air Force at parking places were not damaged.

According to the information received from the Air Base Command, two Syrian servicemen are missing, 4 were killed and 6 got burning wounds during firefighting.

Therefore, the combat effectiveness of the American massive missile strike on the Syrian Air Base is extremely low.

These actions of the American party are considered as a serious violation of the Memorandum on prevention of incidents and providing security during operations in the air space of Syria signed in 2015.

The Russian Defence Ministry suspends the cooperation with the Pentagon within this Memorandum.

All the accusations against Damascus that it had violated the Chemical Weapons Convention of 2013 given by the USA as reasons for the strike are groundless.

The Russian Defence Ministry has repeatedly explained that the Syrian troops had not used chemical weapons. The Russian military department is looking forward to receiving explanations from the USA concerning the existence of irrefutable proof that the Syrian army had used chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.

It is to be stressed that in the years 2013-2016 the Syrian government undertook all measures to eliminate chemical weapons, its delivery systems, production facilities. All chemical weapons stocks have been eliminated. The components for their production have been transported from the Syrian Arab Republic to the enterprises of the United States, Finland, Great Britain, and Germany where they have been destroyed.

The US administrations have changed but the methods for unleashing wars have remained the same since bombardments of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. Allegations, falsifications, grandstand playing with photos and test-tubes with pseudo results in international organizations became the reason for aggression initiation instead of an objective investigation.

It is to be stressed that a large-scale offensive of the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra armed formations has been launched right after the massive missile strike against the Syrian Air Base.

The Russian Defence Ministry hopes that the activities of the insurgents had not been coordinated with the American party.

Today it is obvious that the American cruise missile strike had been planned long before this event.

It is necessary to conduct reconnaissance operations, to plan and prepare the missile flight paths, and put them on full combat alert.

It is clear for any specialist that the decision for the missile strike on Syria had been made well in advance of the events in Khan Sheikhoun, which have become just a formal reason for the attack, while the demonstration of military power has been dictated only by reasons of internal policy.

In the near future, the effectiveness of the Syrian Armed Forces air defence system will be improved in order to cover the most important objects of the Syrian infrastructure.


RELATED:

Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the town of Suruc in this file October 18, 2014 file photo.<br /> A U.S.-led military coalition has been bombing Islamic State fighters who hold a large swathe of territory in both Iraq and Syria, two countries involved in complex multi-sided civil wars in which nearly every country in the Middle East has a stake.<br /> The Turkish military and police had declared the Turkish-Syrian border area a "military zone", which limits the ability of the press to move around.<br /> In these days of modern warfare, the weaponry is more powerful than that in the old days. So all of my colleagues and I have to be doubly careful to ensure we do not end up in the line of fire, as positions of Kurdish YPG fighters and IS militants change quickly.<br /> For all those reasons, to stay away is the only solution at the moment.<br /> We ended up on hills about 2km (1.24 miles) away from Kobani using very long telephoto lenses, often more than 1000mm, to get a peek into the city while listening to the sound of war and smelling its scent.<br /> Sometimes you see a shadow of a fighter hiding behind a building and more often you see the massive impact of heavy airstrikes.<br /> It is a bit strange sitting there with lenses I usually use for sports photography alongside people from the area, who come to the hills to see what's going on. They bring binoculars and make tea - making it almost seems like a tourist attraction. - Kai Pfaffenbach REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (TURKEY - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)<br /> ATTENTION EDITORS: THIS PICTURE IS PART OF THE PACKAGE 'PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014 - THE PHOTOGRAPHERS' STORY'. SEARCH 'PHOTOGRAPHERS' STORY' FOR ALL IMAGES' - RTR4FOX1

Russian General:
“U.S. Trying to Destroy Syria’s Critical Infrastructure”

A top Russian general claims that the U.S. is trying to “completely destroy critical infrastructure in Syria and complicate post-war reconstruction as much as possible”

(Russia Insider, 29 March 2017) ~ Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said on Tuesday that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes were intentionally targeting critical infrastructure in Syria — which could lead to major ecological and humanitarian catastrophes. 

According to General Rudskoi,

 [The U.S.-led coalition is] trying to “completely destroy critical infrastructure in Syria and complicate post-war reconstruction as much as possible.”

He added that US-led military aircraft had destroyed four bridges over the Euphrates River in Syria and hit the Tabqa Dam that lies 40 kilometers west of Daesh’s main stronghold of Raqqah.

Rudskoi further warned that the collapse of the dam, most commonly known as the Euphrates Dam, would create an “ecological catastrophe” and lead to “numerous” civilian deaths.

The United States denies that it targeted the dam, but evidence suggests that the control rooms as well as other parts of the dam have been completely destroyed or damaged.

To make matters worse, fighting near the dam could further exacerbate any structural damages to the site:

On Tuesday, coalition forces could be seen standing near military vehicles less than 2 km (1 mile) from the dam, their mortar rounds casually stacked nearby.

After a brief pause in fighting on Monday to allow technicians to enter the dam complex, SDF fighters resumed their operations around the structure, said spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed.

“IS amassed its fighters and attacked our forces in the area, which forced us to respond and resume the operations to liberate the dam,” she said.

Earlier this year, the United Nations raised concern about the prospect of damage to the dam in fighting, warning that water levels — which put pressure on the structure — were already high.

On Tuesday, technicians accompanied by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent could be seen examining the dam to assess whether water levels had risen in recent days.

“The explosions and the clashes are threatening the dam, and we ask for all sides to distance themselves from it,” said Ismail Jassem, an engineer from the SDF-controlled Tishreen Dam in neighboring Aleppo province.

On top of all this, yesterday it was confirmed that the director of the dam was killed by a coalition airstrike:

On 28 March it was reported and later confirmed that Director of the Tabqa dam Ahmed Al Hussein was killed in coalition strike while trying to inspect the dam. He was filmed in ISIS video just day before.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster — or managed chaos. 



SOURCES:
Fort-Russ
Russia Insider
Submitted by SyrianPatriots, Lone Bear
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/usa-planned-strike/
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