Archive

09:01 [ Patrick Wintour / theGuardian.com ]

Syria: western nations seek to bypass Russian veto at UN

Called “uniting for peace”, it would enable nine members of the 15-strong security council to bypass a Russian veto and refer the matter to a full vote at the general assembly. It would then require a two-thirds majority by the general assembly for an attribution mechanism to be agreed.

The 1950 “uniting for peace” route was explicitly designed to be used when the security council could not meet its responsibilities over maintenance of peace.

07:56 [ Asharq Al-Awsat ]

Macron in Washington: A Second Syrian War Takes Shape

According to sources in Paris, Macron has already scored one success with Trump by persuading him to take back his earlier pledge to withdrawn US forces from Syria.

Trump accepted a delay because Macron said he had “new ideas” on Syria.

To be sure, the delay was also encouraged by “strong advice” from several Arab allies, as well as Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis and the new National Security Adviser John Bolton.

24.04.2018 - 22:01 [ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity ]

What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria – And Does it Matter?

In a Tweet just days ago, Rep. Thomas Massie expressed frustration that in a briefing to Congress last week the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense “provided zero real evidence” that Assad carried out the attack. Either they have it and won’t share it with Congress, he wrote, or they have nothing. Either way, he added, it’s not good. We should share Rep. Massie’s concerns.

24.04.2018 - 11:13 [ Tass ]

Russia hopes contacts with France will clear up cooperation on Syria

„I hope that after contacts with [our] French colleagues we will set the record straight on how we will cooperate on a settlement to the Syrian crisis in order to observe all rules and norms of the international law and the United Nations Charter,“ Lavrov explained.

The foreign minister noted that on Monday, the Russian and French presidents had a phone conversation „during which Vladimir Putin laid out our stance and confirmed [Russia’s] willingness to coordinate positions with [our] French partners.“

24.04.2018 - 11:11 [ Yahoo.com ]

France Had Some Big Problems Firing Missiles at Syria

The three naval cruise missiles fired from the French frigate Languedoc were initially intended to come from a different French frigate whose first salvo simply “did not fire,” French Joint Chief of Staff spokesman Col. Patrick Steiger told Defense News.

Steiger stated the cause of the misfire was currently unknown; Navy Recognition notes that the launch constituted the first time that the French military had ever actually fired its new MdCN (or “Missile de Croisiere Naval”) naval cruise missiles.

24.04.2018 - 11:04 [ Al-Masdar News ]

ISIS in serious trouble as Syrian, Palestinian troops storm several axes in southern Damascus

In the coming hours, the Syrian Arab Army’s elite Tiger Forces are expected to begin their long-awaited assault on the Yarmouk Camp, which will mean the Islamic State will be under attack from one of the most important axes in southern Damascus.

21.04.2018 - 22:58 [ EricMargolis.com ]

DOCTOR DEATH FROM DAMASCUS?

Butcher of Damascus. Gasser of children. Baby Killer of Syria. Tool of Moscow. Cruel despot. Monster. These are all names the western media and politicians routinely heap on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. He has now become the top Mideast villain, the man we love to hate.

20.04.2018 - 22:27 [ Washington Post ]

Russia: US did not violate red lines during Syria strikes

“We told them where our red lines were, including the geographical red lines,” Lavrov told Russian state television. “The results have shown that they haven’t crossed those lines.”

Moscow had warned the U.S. before the strike that it could hit back if the U.S. actions jeopardize Russian servicemen in Syria, and the allies had given Russia an advance warning to make sure no Russians were in the line of fire.

20.04.2018 - 17:57 [ theIntercept.com ]

Russia Sows Doubts Over Chemical Attack in Syria, Aided by Pro-Trump Cable Channel

Russia has chalked the delay up to security concerns in Douma, which seems odd, given that foreign journalists were taken on a government-run tour of the town on Monday, when they were able to wander freely along streets close to the site of the reported attack.

When those journalists filed their reports, it became clear why Syrian and Russian officials might have preferred to give limited access to reporters rather than unfettered access to inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

20.04.2018 - 17:51 [ One America News Network / Youtube ]

ONE AMERICA NEWS GETS EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO UNDERGROUND MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN SYRIA

(19.4.2018) ONE AMERICA’S „PEARSON SHARP“ HAS BEEN ON THE GROUND IN SYRIA FOR THE PAST WEEK…. WHERE HE HAS BEEN INVESTIGATING THE ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACK IN DOUMA. HE GOT A CHANCE TO VISIT AN UNDERGROUND MAKESHIFT HOSPITAL IN DOUMA… WHERE HE INTERVIEWED PATIENTS AND DOCTORS ABOUT THE ALLEGED ATTACK.

20.04.2018 - 13:06 [ Politico ]

Bolton and Russian ambassador meet at White House

The White House on Thursday said national security adviser John Bolton and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov agree that both nations want to have a better relationship, but cautioned that Bolton said such an improvement will only occur if Russia address „concerns“ about interference in 2016 election and its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

20.04.2018 - 08:18 [ Organisaton für das Verbot von Chemiewaffen ]

Media Alert: Update on the Deployment of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to Douma, Syria

(18.4.2018) On 16 April, we received confirmation from the National Authority of the Syrian Arab Republic that, under agreements reached to allow the evacuation of the population in Ghouta, the Syrian military were unable to enter Douma. The security for the sites where the FFM plans to deploy was under the control of the Russian Military Police. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) has made the necessary arrangements with the Syrian authorities to escort the team to a certain point and then for the escort to be taken over by the Russian Military Police. However, the UNDSS preferred to first conduct a reconnaissance visit to the sites, which took place yesterday. FFM team members did not participate in this visit.

On arrival at Site 1, a large crowd gathered and the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the reconnaissance team should withdraw. At Site 2, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated. The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus.

19.04.2018 - 09:03 [ rferl.org ]

UN Says Negotiating With Syria, Russia On Visit To Syria Site

A team from the United Nations is discussing security arrangements with Syrian and Russian authorities in Syria to allow experts access to the town of Douma to investigate an alleged chemical-weapons attack, UN officials say.

The remarks on April 18 came after the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, said UN security experts had come under fire in the town when they arrived in an attempt to assess the situation.

19.04.2018 - 09:01 [ New York Times ]

Gunmen Shot at U.N. Team Near Site of Reported Chemical Attack, Official Says

A United Nations security team was fired on in the Syrian town of Douma, raising doubts on Wednesday about when international investigators would be able to visit the site of what was suspected to have been a chemical attack.

Eleven days have passed since rescue and medical workers in Douma reported an attack that left victims choking and foaming at the mouth, killing at least 43 people.

18.04.2018 - 16:03 [ CBS News ]

Syria chemical weapons probe stalled after U.N. team shot at

„Shots were fired yesterday at a U.N. security team doing reconnaissance in Douma,“ a U.N. source told CBS News‘ Pamela Falk on Wednesday. „They were not injured and returned to Damascus.“ The team is working with the OPCW inspectors, who arrived in Damascus over the weekend, to determine when it will be safe to carry out the first inspection visit.

Syrian media said the chemical weapons inspectors had entered Douma on Tuesday, but a Syrian diplomat said later that only the U.N. security team had visited.

18.04.2018 - 15:52 [ theGuardian.com ]

Syrian medics ’subjected to extreme intimidation‘ after Douma attack

“There has been a very heavy security presence on the ground ever since the attack and they have been targeting doctors and medics in a very straightforward way,” said Tayara, a Birmingham-based physician, now in Turkey where he is supervising the departure from Syria of some of the Douma medics. “Any medic who tried to leave Douma was searched so vigorously, especially for samples. At one medical point, seven casualties were taken away. The Russian military police were heavily involved. They were directing things.

18.04.2018 - 12:14 [ Egypt Independent ]

Egypt to decline any request by US to send troops to Syria: former intelligence official

In response to a recent report published by American newspaper The Wall Street Journal regarding an alleged request by the United States to Egypt to send armed forces to Syria, former undersecretary of Egypt’s General Intelligence Mohammad Rashad said that Egypt will summarily decline any such invitation.

“The Egyptian Armed Forces are not mercenaries [and cannot be] leased or ordered by foreign states to deploy forces in a certain area. This is not acceptable and no one […] should dare to direct or give instructions to Egypt’s army,” Rashad told Egypt Independent.

18.04.2018 - 10:03 [ Kommunistische Partei von Israel ]

Hundreds Protest US-Led Strikes vs. Syria outside Haifa Consulate

Holding aloft red flags and chanting anti-imperialist slogans, several hundred Hadash and Communist Party of Israel (CPI) activists demonstrated in Haifa Saturday evening, April 14, against Washington-led missile strikes on Syrian targets. The rally against the attack was held in front of the US Consulate in Haifa.

Hadash and CPI condemned the attack and said that the US has a history of “aggression and bullying in the region, with the excuse of destroying weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be false.”

18.04.2018 - 09:56 [ TBU News / Youtube ]

USA protests against airstrikes “NO WAR ON SYRIA”

(15.4.2018) Protesters gathered in front of the White House in Washington and Union Square, New York City on Saturday to protest against the US-led airstrikes in Syria. Many of the protesters were holding banners and flags against the war on Syria while others used words of civil right activist Martin Luther King Jr., a week after the fiftieth anniversary of his death.

18.04.2018 - 09:01 [ New York Times ]

Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria. He Was Overruled.

Administration and congressional officials said the hawkish Mr. Bolton is not expected to defer to the defense secretary; already, neoconservative members of the Republican foreign policy establishment have started to air concerns that Mr. Mattis is ceding strategic territory to Iran and Russia in Syria.

Mr. Mattis is widely viewed by global leaders as the strongest and perhaps most credible voice on foreign policy in an administration that has been rocked by firings and resignations among senior presidential advisers.

18.04.2018 - 08:57 [ CNN ]

Senators leave classified briefing on Trump’s Syria policy ‚very unnerved‘

„I am very unnerved by what I’m hearing and seeing,“ said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who said the briefing on the strikes made him more worried, not less. The administration is „going down a dangerous path“ with regards to Syria, he said, without offering details.

18.04.2018 - 08:43 [ CNN ]

Bolton dealing to build an Arab military force in Syria

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is engaged in talks with the US and would consider sending forces to Syria along with other Arab countries as part of this contingent.
Jubeir also noted that the idea is not necessarily new, as Saudi Arabia made a similar proposal to the Obama administration, but that the US did not take them up on the offer.

17.04.2018 - 18:01 [ Business Insider ]

Syria claims to thwart missile attack, later says it fired off defenses in a false alarm

Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying a number of air defense missiles had been fired but no foreign attack had taken place.
Separately, a commander in the regional military alliance backing the government attributed the malfunction to „a joint electronic attack“ by Israel and the United States targeting the Syrian radar system.

17.04.2018 - 16:27 [ Al-Masdar News ]

Breaking: 1,000 militants prepare to leave Ad-Dumayr city in northeast Damascus as evacuation deal goes into effect

Reports have begun to emerge from Syrian state media (SANA) claiming that over one thousand rebel fighters are preparing to evacuate the city of Ad-Dumayr in northeastern Damascus province.

The militants are noted to all belong to the Jaysh al-Islam faction – a group which has seen its forces recently ejected from other areas east of the Syrian capital.

17.04.2018 - 09:29 [ CNN ]

New war authorization from Congress unveiled following Syria strikes

„For too long, Congress has given presidents a blank check to wage war. We’ve let the 9/11 and Iraq War authorizations get stretched to justify wars against multiple terrorist groups in over a dozen countries, from Niger to the Philippines,“ Kaine said. „Our proposal finally repeals those authorizations and makes Congress do its job by weighing in on where, when and with who we are at war.“

17.04.2018 - 09:15 [ euronews.com ]

EU calls on Russia to bring Syria back to talks

Some analysts hope that the western airstrikes can bring the parties to a peace deal. Here is Marc Pierini of Carnegie Europe.
„Russia has been carefully warned, it has sheltered its staff and equipment, and so it is to be hoped that these strikes, which are in no way an aggression against Russia and not even against the Assad regime, also serve to give the signal that it would be time after 7 years of an atrocious war to talk politics and talk about a settlement of the conflict.“

17.04.2018 - 07:43 [ Robert Fisk / The Independent ]

The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack

War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.

16.04.2018 - 16:51 [ Ron Jacobs / CounterPunch ]

War is Just F**kin’ Wrong

Unfortunately, this lack of historical memory means many of those residents can be manipulated into supporting not only an attack on Syria, but a greater conflict with other forces the US war machine considers the enemy, if only because they are not supplicant to Washington’s foreign ambitions. Some will support it simply because they see themselves as patriots who must support the military no matter what. Others, many of them liberals and even leftist, will support it (if only tacitly) in the name of human rights.

16.04.2018 - 16:36 [ Bloomberg.com ]

Merkel’s Struggle to Gain Trump’s Ear Leaves Berlin Sidelined

The U.S. tried to shame Merkel’s government into helping in Syria, arguing that Germany of all nations should be appalled by the use of chemical weapons on civilians, according to a U.S. official who asked not to be named discussing strategy.

16.04.2018 - 09:34 [ USA Today ]

Macron: France persuaded Trump to strike in Syria

Appearing in a two-hour live broadcast on French television BFM and online investigative site Mediapart, the 40-year-old leader said the U.S., Britain and France had “full international legitimacy to intervene” in order to enforce international humanitarian law.

The allies fired missiles early Saturday at three chemical-weapons facilities in Syria to punish the regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Douma.

“It was retaliation, not an act of war,” Macron said in justifying the operation a day before the French parliament was set to debate it.

16.04.2018 - 09:20 [ Haaretz ]

Despite Tensions Over Syria Attack, Israel’s Line to the Kremlin Remains Open

Moscow issued public denunciations of the strike and called in Israel’s ambassador to Russia for a „conversation.“ These are symbolic, relatively „soft“ use of tools in the diplomatic toolbox meant to telegraph Moscow’s displeasure with Israeli activities in its sphere of influence.But below the surface, a number of figures who are familiar with Israeli-Russian ties say the diplomatic and military communications have continued — consistent, stable and practical — even after the attack.

16.04.2018 - 09:17 [ Haaretz ]

How the U.S.-led Airstrikes in Syria Hit Their Targets Before Assad’s Missile Defenses Even Fired

Electronic warfare suppression, a decoy battle group in the Mediterranean and never-before-used stealth missiles were all part of the attack

16.04.2018 - 08:09 [ Jeremy Corbyn / theGuardian.com ]

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees being forced to flee Syria, and 6 million internally displaced. We must put negotiations for a political settlement centre stage, and not slip into a new cycle of military reaction and counter-reaction.

Protracted external military intervention in Syria – from funding and arms supplies to bombing and boots on the ground – has not helped in the slightest. Syria has become the theatre for military action by regional and international powers – the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates among them.

16.04.2018 - 08:06 [ Reuters ]

After Syria strikes, Britain’s May to face critical parliament

But she will be grilled over why she broke with a convention to seek parliamentary approval for the action, a decision that she and her ministers say was driven by the need to act quickly.

Much of the criticism will come from opposition lawmakers, but the prime minister may also have to work hard to defend her speed of action to members of her own Conservative Party who had wanted parliament recalled.

16.04.2018 - 05:10 [ Press TV ]

Protesters demand closure of UK airbase in Cyprus

Protest leader Akis Poullos told the Associated Press that demonstrators are demanding the closure of RAF Akrotiri, from where four British Tornado warplanes took off to take part in Friday night’s missile strike.

Poullos said Sunday’s demonstration also wanted to send the message to the Cyprus government not to lend any assistance to „imperialist attacks“ on Syria and to demand an end to the war in the country.

15.04.2018 - 19:48 [ Arab News ]

Arab leaders meet in Saudi Arabia as Syria tensions reach boiling point

Leaders of the 22-nation Arab League, who will meet in the Saudi city of Dhahran on Sunday, are expected to stress continuity in their efforts to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. It follows airstrikes by the US, UK and France against the Assad regime on Saturday. The leaders are likely to seek Arab and international support to increase pressure on the regime to find a solution to the conflict.

15.04.2018 - 18:51 [ Sydney Morning Herald ]

How could the Syrian strikes affect Australia?

We therefore need to think very carefully about what is in our national interest when it comes to our overseas military commitments and the next American military adventure, whether it be in the Middle East, North Asia or elsewhere – particularly if it puts Australia on a strategic collision course with China.

15.04.2018 - 07:51 [ WashingtonExaminer.com ]

Chuck Schumer: US strikes on Syria ‚appropriate‘

(13.4.2018) “A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria,“ Schumer said in a statement Friday night.

Schumer supported the president’s strikes on Syria last April.

15.04.2018 - 07:47 [ washingtonexaminer.com ]

Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi endorse Trump’s attack in Syria

(6.4.2017) „Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,“ Schumer said in a statement released late Thursday. „I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today.“

„Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the the regime’s use of chemical weapons,“ Pelosi said in a statement.

15.04.2018 - 07:30 [ Reason.com ]

When Trump Loses Alex Jones‘ and Gains Elizabeth Warren’s Support, All Things Are Possible!

In the other direction, a wide variety of #NeverTrump conservatives and liberal interventionists—including John McCain and Elizabeth Warren—are praising the attacks. Hillary Clinton was calling for them a week ago and there are apologists for unbridled state power such as former Obama State Department official Anne Marie Slaughter, who writes:

15.04.2018 - 06:50 [ ThinkProgress.org ]

Republicans and Democrats blast Trump for bombing Syria without legal authority

In a briefing after Trump’s announcement, Secretary of Defense Mattis argued that the President relied on his Article II powers under the Constitution to authorize the strike. This is the same authority Trump claimed to authorize his 2017 attack.

15.04.2018 - 06:47 [ theAtlantic.com ]

The Unconstitutional Strike on Syria

“To see what is under one’s nose,” George Orwell wrote in 1946, “requires a constant struggle.” Orwell didn’t add that trying to point out what is under our noses can turn one into a kind of Ancient Mariner at whose approach both friend and foe are tempted to flee.

But here goes: Trump did not have the authority to order any kind of strike on Syria. Congressional authorization was needed before any use of force against Syria; Friday’s attack was unconstitutional.

15.04.2018 - 05:15 [ Information Clearing House ]

Strike Against Syria Would Be Illegal

(11.4.2018) The unlawful killing of any human being without legal justification, under every legal system, is murder. And an act of violence committed by one government against another government, without lawful justification, amounts to the crime of aggression: the supreme international crime which carries with it the evil of every other international crime, as noted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946…

We understand the urge to act to protect innocent civilians. We strongly condemn any and all violence against civilians, whoever the perpetrators. But responding to unlawful violence with more unlawful violence, bypassing existing legal mechanisms, is a road to a lawless world. It is a road that leads to Hell.

Accordingly, we urge the United States and its allies to refrain from illegal conduct against Syria. We must point out that for the last several years, as is now common knowledge, the United States has armed rebels/insurgents to overthrow the current government of Syria. This is illegal under international law.

15.04.2018 - 04:32 [ Max Blumenthal / Gray Zone / Truthdig ]

How the Syrian American Medical Society Is Selling Regime Change and Driving the U.S. to War

The organization is a USAID-funded lobbying powerhouse that functions with a single-minded determination to stimulate a US-led war of regime change that will place Syrian Islamists in power in Damascus.

SAMS was founded in 1998 by members of the Syrian American exile community, which is concentrated in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Prior to the 2011 armed rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, the group led several medical delegations to Syria, presumably cooperating with the government to gain access.

15.04.2018 - 03:59 [ teleSUR ]

Latin America Leaders Condemn US-led Attack on Syria

Several Latin American governments, including those in Cuba and Venezuela, as well as regional leaders and presidents condemned Saturday the attacks by the U.S., France and the United Kingdom on Syria, using as a pretext the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma by President Bashar Assad’s forces without proper investigations being done.

14.04.2018 - 15:47 [ Common Dreams ]

In ‚Clear Violation of Domestic and International Law,‘ Trump Bombs Syria

Foreign policy experts, human rights groups, and anti-war activists all immediately and forcefully condemned the U.S. bombardment of Syria on Friday night after reports indicated the „illegal“ attack on the sovereign Middle East nation had begun and President Donald Trump announced in a national address that he had ordered the strikes alongside French and U.K. forces.

14.04.2018 - 14:37 [ Ted Lieu, Abgeordneter des U.S. Repräsentantenhauses / Twitter ]

Use of force by @realDonaldTrump against Syria is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This is not self defense & no AUMF covers it.

Use of chemical weapons is horrific. But our Constitution does not allow @POTUS to attack a country–which has not attacked the US–without Congressional approval.

14.04.2018 - 14:25 [ Elijah E. Cummings, Abgeordneter des U.S. Repräsentantenhauses / Twitter ]

Finally, the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. The President must obtain congressional authorization to use military force in Syria, and it is unacceptable that he did not do so before ordering tonight’s military action.

14.04.2018 - 13:30 [ Organisation des Nordatlantikvertrages ]

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the actions against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities and capabilities

I support the actions taken by the United States, the United Kingdom and France against the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities and capabilities. This will reduce the regime’s ability to further attack the people of Syria with chemical weapons.

NATO has consistently condemned Syria’s continued use of chemical weapons as a clear breach of international norms and agreements. The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, and those responsible must be held accountable.

14.04.2018 - 09:57 [ Rob Lee / Twitter ]

After warning the US against a future strike against Damascus, Gen. Gerasimov had a conversation with Gen. Dunford. The Russian MoD is concerned because, while they have Russian air defenses at their bases in Khmeimim (S-400 and Pantsir-S1) and Tartous (S-400V4),

(13.3.2018)

14.04.2018 - 06:14 [ Spring Actions 2018 ]

ALL OUT AGAINST WAR! – STOP U.S. Bombing of Syria – Not Another War

Join hundreds of antiwar and social justice groups that are organizing demonstrations in:
• New York City, Oakland CA, Minneapolis, and dozens of other cities across the country on Sunday, April 15, and
• Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Washington DC on Saturday April 14