Every story has to begin somewhere and that is the neocon trick. You take a situation that you have framed from your own perspective and then use it as a starting point for developing additional arguments that favor the action you wanted to take in the first place. In the case of a country like Iran, you claim that the Iranians must be checked because (a) they are destabilizing the region (b) building a Shi’ite land bridge to the Mediterranean (c) supporting terrorism (d) secretly constructing a nuclear weapon and (e) developing ballistic missiles that will enable them to deliver the nuclear weapons. By establishing your premise of Iranian threat as the basis for the discussion, you completely avoid having to demonstrate that Iran is actually doing any of those things, which is a good thing because every single point is either palpably false or can be easily challenged.
During its last session prior to last year’s parliamentary elections, the German cabinet chose to establish diplomatic relations with the Sovereign Order of Malta, thereby ostensibly valorizing this Catholic organization. The Order disposes of no genuine sovereign territory, is seen as an archconservative association of aristocrats, and has been repeatedly suspected of involvement in dubious financial transactions in Germany and elsewhere. It has proven, however, to be a useful tool for Berlin’s foreign policy – with its medical emergency missions accompanying NATO operations or in regions of German interests, such as Syria and Northern Iraq
Editor’s note: Fake translations of this story are on the internet. This is a real one and Israel’s story about it’s pilots not seeing the Russian plane are cast aside as the total bullshit they are.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday described the downing of a Russian plane in Syria as the result of “tragic chance events,” appearing to dial back a rare flare-up in tensions with Israel.
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, the Russian transport plane was shot down Monday night, local time, as Israel F-16’s attempted to use it as cover while carrying out a bombing mission against targets in the Latakia region of western Syria near the Meditarranean coast.
„By using the Russian plane as cover the Israeli air pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defense fire. As a result, the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of the F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system,“ Konashenkov told reporters.
“The memorandum on the Idlib demilitarized zone will be agreed upon with the Syrian government in the next few hours,” Shoigu added.
The bilateral meeting, which was closed to the media, started at 2:50 pm local time (1150GMT) and lasted around an hour and 50 minutes.
This exclusive Grayzone investigative mini-doc by Dan Cohen exposes the cynical deceptions and faux humanitarianism behind the campaign to sell the dirty war on Syria. It will demonstrate the lengths that the US and its allies have gone to develop new ploys to tug at Western heartstrings and convince even liberal minded skeptics of war that a US intervention was necessary — even if it meant empowering Al Qaeda’s largest franchise since 9/11 and its theocratic allies among the insurgency. Big lies and little children have formed the heart of what is perhaps the most expensive, sophisticated, and shameless propaganda blitz ever conducted. Welcome to the Syria Deception.
The Netherland just announced that it is ending its support for al-Qaeda’s propaganda gang, the „White Helmets“. It also ends its support for the so called Free Syrian Police. Last week the Netherlands shut down its „non lethal“ support for the Free Syrian Army after Dutch news organizations found that members of these groups were accused of terrorism by their General Prosecutor.
Von der Leyen spoke during a visit to the Azraq air base in Jordan where some 300 German troops support a refuelling plane and four Tornado warplanes that fly reconnaissance missions as part of U.S. led-coalition operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Asked if Germany needed a strategic base in the Middle East, von der Leyen said, “First we must bring this deployment to a successful end. I don’t want to rule the idea out, let me put it this way.”
(14.4.2018) German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday (April 14) backed air strikes by the United States, France and Britain as a „necessary and appropriate“ action to warn Syria against further use of chemical weapons.
(5.3.2018) Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would work with France to tackle pressing issues such as trade policy and the war in Syria after the Social Democrats (SPD) voted to join a coalition government with her conservatives. Merkel welcomed the vote by a majority of SPD members that ended more than five months of political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy after an inconclusive election and said the right-left government must quickly get to work.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Monday, amid reports of a heavy Turkish arms drop into Syria in recent days.
(15.9.2018) „It is everyone’s common belief that the solution in Idlib must be political rather than military,“ Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after hosting a meeting in Istanbul with officials from the three states.
He said there was a general consensus that the consequences of an attack on Idlib would be severe, including triggering a new wave of migration.
(15.9.2018) Kalin said that there is a general consensus that the consequences of a full-scale military attack on Idlib will cause humanitarian crises and a new wave of refugees.
He said on Friday that his government seeks to maintain Idlib’s current status, protect civilians, and prevent a humanitarian crisis in Idlib.
(14.9.2018) Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, German chancellor’s foreign policy adviser Jan Hecker and French president’s diplomatic adviser Philippe Etienne joined the meeting hosted by Turkish presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT Haber said.
According to the broadcaster, the main agenda of the meeting, also attended by technical experts from the four states, is setting the program and other details of a summit meeting of leaders of the four countries in the upcoming days.
That’s not the first time the government of Israel has surprisingly popped up during the Russia probe, investigations into President Donald Trump and his associates and White House policy on a number of issues. It should be noted that whatever Israel’s role has been in propping up Donald Trump, it’s fairly shocking, given that the Trump campaign was arguably propelled by white nationalists and avowed anti-Semites.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today (Sept. 13) spoke on the House floor, calling on Congress to condemn the Trump Administration’s protection of al-Qaeda in Idlib, Syria.
The eight days of drills ended this week at the US military outpost in Tanf, located 24 km to the west from the al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq in Homs Governorate, said Colonel Muhanad al Talaa, the commander of the US-backed Maghawir al Thawra militant group.
German and Russian foreign ministers were announced to be set for a meeting on September 14 over the situation in Syria.
Those are the „children“ @realDonaldTrump and @nikkihaley are trying to save
When it comes to the state of the nation at home, anyone who believes America is a classless society need only spend half an hour walking around Hollywood, acknowledged epicentre of the American Dream, to realise how wrong they are. For not only will they be assured that there is no society more defined by class than US society, they will be left in little doubt that every minute of a every day a fierce class war is raging with up to now only one side taking all the punches and doing all the bleeding.
Not only in Hollywood but all across America the abandonment of the poor, downtrodden and sick to their fate has and continues to be so brutal that its human consequences given new meaning to the words ‘wretched of the earth’. And this wretched constituency of millions — lacking healthcare, decent housing, jobs, and hope — hardly saw their fortunes improve under Obama, despite the soaring rhetoric about hope and change, etc.
The chance that rebel forces will be able to win the civil war is, the ministers say, now ‘extremely limited’. Dutch support for the rebels has ‘not had the desired effects’, the ministers said. The Netherlands had set aside €70m to fund the opposition. In addition to funding ‘moderate’ rebels, the Netherland had also put money into their police forces and to the White Helmets programme, the civilian rescue service.
The Dutch government faced a storm of protest from lawmakers Monday after a news report said it supported a Syrian opposition group which Dutch prosecutors had labelled a „terrorist“ organisation.
Parliamentarians demanded answers after the report aired by the national public broadcaster said the Netherlands gave „non-lethal assistance“ (NLA) to 22 armed opposition groups battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
John Bolton warned Monday that a new attack by the Western allies would be much stronger than the two airstrikes launched in April 2017 and April 2018 after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemical weapons that killed scores of civilians in…
Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with “bad guys” in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.
Mr Black said Britain’s MI6 intelligence service was planning a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people, which it would then blame on Mr Assad.
“Around four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syria responsible,” Mr Black said on Al Mayadeen, an Arab news channel based in Beirut.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip is looking to „identify steps“ which can help to find an lasting solution to the seven-plus year Syrian conflict, when he meets with Russian and Turkish counterparts in Iran on Friday.
Israel also provided salaries to rebel fighters, paying each one about $75 a month, and supplied additional money the groups used to buy arms on the Syrian black market, according to the rebels and local journalists.
The payments, along with the service Israel was getting in return, created an expectation among the rebels that Israel would intercede if troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tried to advance on southern Syria.
When regime forces backed by Russian air power did precisely that this past summer, Israel did not intervene, leaving the rebel groups feeling betrayed.
Al-Watan, a Syrian daily close to the government, wrote on Monday that the result of the talks will be presented in Tehran for the three powers „to endorse it and decide on the ‚zero hour‘ for the Syrian army’s military operation, which is expected to immediately follow the summit“.
(11.5.2018) Israeli PM has lobbied hard to keep Russia from providing advanced anti-air system to Syria. Top aide to Putin now says Assad has all it needs.
With the large Russian bombardment, the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) long-awaited offensive is bound to start in the next few days.
Airstrike attributed to Israel and threats made by its leaders suggest Israel may respond to any danger – even if it means deviating from deals made with Moscow
The Kremlin aide further said on the sidelines of the summit, Putin will hold separate bilateral meetings with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts.
The remarks came as some Israeli reports said Tel Aviv believes that the fate of Idlib will be determined in the Tehran summit.
The commanders from the four countries, which have joint operation rooms to coordinate the fight against the Daesh terror group, attended the conference on Saturday.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said it had received delegations led by deputy chiefs of staff to „strengthen cooperation and coordination in terms of security and intelligence among these countries.“
Several explosions went off around an ammunition depot at the Mazzeh military airfield in southwestern Damascus on Saturday night.
“The delegation held a meeting of four hours” with Ali Mamluk, the head of Syria’s security services, said Al-Akhbar, which reported that the meeting was facilitated by Emirati and Russian intermediaries.
Certain Western states, he said, are using their “black flags and White Helmets” to stage new chemical attacks in order to obstruct the political process and justify their aggression against Syria, he said.
And the cause he championed, compulsive intervention in foreign quarrels to face down dictators and bring democrats to power, appears to be a cause whose time has passed.
(25.8.2018) „To carry out the alleged ‚chemical attack‘ in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, militants from the Tahrir al-Sham group (affiliated with the Jabhat Nusra* terror organization) had delivered 8 tankers with chlorine… to a village a few kilometers from Jisr al-Shughur,“ the general stated.
For this purpose, the destroyer USS The Sullivans armed with 56 cruise missiles had arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago, while a US В-1В bomber carrying 24 air-to-surface AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles has been deployed at Al Udeid air base in Qatar, the spokesman suggested.
(25.8.2018) The attack would be used as a pretext for US, UK and French airstrikes on Syrian targets, Konashenkov added. USS ‘The Sullivans,’ an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, has already been deployed in the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago, he said.
The destroyer has 56 cruise missiles on board, according to data from the Russian Defence Ministry.
(23.8.2018) Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday during a visit to Jerusalem, John Bolton said: „We now see plans for the Syrian regime to resume offensive military activities in Idlib province.
„We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again.
„Just so there’s no confusion here, if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time,“ he added.
Syria’s Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said Sunday that the Syrian army will recapture Idlib, the last major rebel bastion in Syria, either through military action or reconciliation.
Ayyoub made the remarks during a press conference held following his meeting with the visiting Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami at the Syrian Defense Ministry on Sunday
Netanyahu made his remarks after US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the issue is not currently under consideration by Washington.
Heading a high-ranking military delegation, General Hatami arrived at Damascus airport on Sunday morning and was received by top Syrian military commanders as well as the Iranian ambassador to Syria,
(23.8.2018) Patrushev, according to state-run RIA news agency, said that no statement had been written “because the Americans wanted this to say that we had meddled in their elections, as is their opinion, but we deny this.”
Bolton said they also discussed Syria and Iran.
(22.5.2018) In March, President Donald Trump said he would be pulling U.S. troops out of Syria „very soon.“ But they’re still there, and will stay there, to defeat what’s left of the so-called Islamic State, says the man in charge of military efforts in the region.
Despite the commander-in-chief’s comments, Army Gen. Joseph Votel said it didn’t require much pushback to convince Trump to stay the course.
(24.7.2018) Seven months after routing ISIS from large swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Department of Defense says a coalition of 77 nations and numerous international organizations remains determined to keep the terror group from resurfacing.
(16.8.2018) According to findings by the Lead Inspector General of Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States-led military coalition against the Islamic State, the terror group is much larger than previously thought and still poses a significant threat.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in its continued commitment to serve as stabilizing force in the region, has contributed $100 million dollars for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS-supported stabilization projects in areas liberated from ISIS in northeast Syria. This is the largest Coalition contribution to date for these liberated areas, and follows the pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir during the July 12, 2018 Global Coalition Ministerial Conference in Brussels, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(31.8.2017) Mercenaries are back, a dangerous trend occurring in the shadows. Their very lack of accountability is their main selling point; they offer plausible deniability and brute force to those too weak or squeamish to wage war. Customers are buying too, with mercenary proliferation in Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Clients include countries, extractive industry and even terrorists. This trend may one day alter international relations: When anyone can rent a military, then super-rich and large corporations can become a new kind of superpower. Worse, mercenaries can start and elongate conflicts for profit, breeding endless war. A world with more mercenaries means a world with more war, which is why Prince’s proposal is so dangerous.
With military forces from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russia gathering around Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province, the last major military offensive of Syria’s seven-year-long war may only be weeks away. As the noose tightens around Idlib, the last hold-out for majority of terrorist fighters still active in Syria, the Syrian army seems to have secured the help of a new military ally: the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Turkish media reported on Sunday that 1,300 YPG fighters have been transferred to Aleppo over the course of the past two weeks to take part in the upcoming Syrian military offensive against the rebel-controlled Idlib province.
President Bashar Assad has called rebuilding of Syria his “top priority” but stressed that the West „won’t be part of reconstruction in Syria, because very simply we won’t allow them to be part of it, whether they come with money or not.“
(4.12.2014) UN troops monitoring the 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria have witnessed interactions between members of the Israeli Defence Forces and the Al Nusra Front who have taken over a large part of the Golan Heights.
(21.2.2018) With the Assad regime’s advances the civil war and America’s reduced involvement in the region, Israel has been forced to make significant changes in its policies in the Golan Heights
(8.12.2016) Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.
The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will pay a visit to the Turkish capital on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14 where he will hold talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on recent developments in Syria and other regional issues.
A Syrian man holds a leaflet stamped with the government forces‘ seal and dropped by helicopters flying over the city of Saraqibon August 9, 2018 reading in Arabic: „Which do you prefer? This was Syria before terrorism and its militiamen, and this is what armed terrorism has one to Syria and its people. The fate of your family, children, and future depend on your decision. Quickly join the local reconciliations to return the smile and guarantee the future.“
(6.8.2018) The Kurdish delegation, however, did not offer much information, simply saying that committees will be set up to prepare for a transition to the phase of negotiations.
This Kurdish-regime dialogue, which was held July 26-27, offered optimism that war may not be the only option, yet there are many obstacles left to overcome. For one thing, the 50,000-strong SDF and the proposed model of democratic autonomy, with its abundant local institutions, are not easy for a centralized system like Damascus to accept.
(28.7.2018) A Syrian Kurdish group said on Saturday it had decided with the government to “chart a roadmap to a democratic and decentralized Syria”, but there was no immediate confirmation from Damascus.
But at least a third of Syria remains outside government control, and those areas are occupied both by Turkish and American troops. Turkey has deployed soldiers in the northwest, in parts of the rebel-held province of Aleppo and in Idlib, which Assad has identified as the next target of an offensive. About 2,000 U.S. Special Operations forces hold sway in the northeast, in support of their Kurdish allies fighting against the Islamic State.
It was at least the fourth assassination mission by Israel in three years against an enemy weapons engineer on foreign soil, a senior official from a Middle Eastern intelligence agency confirmed on Monday. The following account is based on information provided by the official, whose agency was informed about the operation.
“Asked about the possibility that his country would take part in the Syrian Arab Army’s upcoming campaign against the terrorists in Idlib, especially in light of the presence of Uyghur fighters [there], [Qi] replied that China ‘is following the situation in Syria, in particular after the victory in southern [Syria], and its military is willing to participate in some way alongside the Syrian army that is fighting the terrorists in Idlib and in any other part of Syria,” the article from Al-Watan was translated as saying.
Damascus must make a choice about where to advance next. The Kurds of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and their allies are backed by the Americans but appear willing to negotiate with Assad. During the past two weeks, they sent representatives to hold talks with the regime. Since the beginning of the civil war, the PYD avoided fighting the regime whenever possible and never adopted the position that Assad must be removed from power in any peace deal.
If Assad can show a little flexibility by allowing some level of decentralization for the Kurdish-led cantons, it thus seems likely that he can reassert at least nominal control of these areas.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has captured more than 200 Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists alive in the Yarmouk Basin region after concluding their field operations in southwest Syria.
According to a field report, the more than 200 Islamic State fighters surrendered themselves to the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Division after failing to fend off the government’s large-scale advance earlier this week.
Russian military police secured UN mission access to Golan Heights on Friday, for the first time since the beginning of the conflict in Syria on. Deputy commander of the Russian forces in Syrian Arab Republic Sergei Kuralenko said that today’s event will allow the UN mission to „fully fulfil its obligations to the international community.“
(18.8.2011) As Obama issued his statement, the leaders of France, Germany and Britain joined him in calling on Assad “to face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside.”
Obama had spoken to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron over the past two weeks to discuss calling for Assad’s resignation and to coordinate steps on sanctions.
The U.S. “has not fulfilled its own promises” made in Helsinki to remove opposition forces to enable a buffer zone on Syria’s border with Israel, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of sabotaging the agreement after a senior American commander, General Joseph Votel, said that his country’s military won’t cooperate with Russian forces beyond a de-confliction hotline to avoid unintended clashes.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) has conducted their first official meeting with the Syrian government in Damascus, today, the SDC co-chair, Riad Darar, told the Reuters News Agency this morning. The SDC’s meeting with the Syrian government this morning marks the first time during this war that this Kurdish-led political faction has conducted an official visit in Damascus.
It is commonly known that when a ship is sinking, the crew does not board the lifeboats before the passengers. Most noble of all is when the captain and crew go down with the ship. Then with what level of ignobility should we assess the so-called “Syrian Civil Defense” more commonly referred to as the White Helmets?
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks.
The rare attacks in Sweida and its capital, a predominantly Druze city, came amid a government offensive in the country’s south. Government forces are battling an affiliate of the Islamic State group near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and near the border with Jordan.
(1.12.2014) 5. In view of the heavy fighting, which was approaching close to the UNDOF headquarters at Camp Faouar and the mission’s positions in the central part of the area of separation, the Force Commander briefed both parties early in September on the Force’s plans to relocate its personnel and assets should the Nusra Front or other extremist fighters who posed a clear threat to the mission endanger the safety and security of the United Nations personnel. It should be noted here that from information posted on social media as well as in the course of its efforts to secure the release of the peacekeepers, the United Nations learned that its personnel had been taken and held by members of the Nusra Front. There were indications that the Nusra Front intended to detain additional UNDOF personnel and take from UNDOF more weapons and vehicles as opportunities arose. (…)
12. Crossing of the ceasefire line by civilians, primarily shepherds, was observed on an almost daily basis. On 24 October, United Nations observation post 73 observed 12 IDF soldiers who detained one civilian between the Alpha line and the Israeli technical fence south-east of the observation post and subsequently took him away. IDF informed UNDOF that they released the person within one hour at the same location. On 27 October, position 80 observed two IDF soldiers east of the technical fence returning from the direction of the Alpha line towards the technical fence. UNDOF observed IDF opening the technical fence gate and letting two individuals pass from the Bravo to the Alpha side. Following the evacuation of UNDOF personnel from position 85 on 28 August, UNDOF sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line in the vicinity of United Nations position 85.
(4.12.2014) UN troops monitoring the 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria have witnessed interactions between members of the Israeli Defence Forces and the Al Nusra Front who have taken over a large part of the Golan Heights.
(25.11.2016) An RFS spokesperson told CNN the group wanted to use the hashtag to „reach the western audience“ and „show them part of the Syrian suffering.“
(23.11.2016) This video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defence volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral ‚Mannequin challenge.‘ This was an error of judgment, and we apologize on behalf of the volunteers involved.
(22.11.2016) The video that shows members of Syria’s White Helmets partaking in the popular ‚Mannequin Challenge‘ with an injured man, was first posted online by the Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office (RFS), an anti-Assad media outlet. #MannequinChallenge was in the video’s title along with ‚edge of death.‘ The video was not shared on the White Helmets‘ social media pages and has since been removed from RFS social media.
(22.1.2017) I was in East Aleppo during its final liberation from Nusra Front-led extremism and during the lead up to Christmas until the 27th December. I witnessed the emaciated civilians arriving at the Jebrin registration centre to receive food, hot drinks and medical treatment. Medical treatment that the Nusra Front dominated, extremist groups, had refused them. We saw a young boy whose foot was missing, he told us that he had received no attention for his wounds prior to arriving in Jebrin. He had been injured in a terrorist mortar attack on the district he had been living in.
I was in East Aleppo between the 9th and the 14th December when the majority of the districts were liberated. Every civilian I spoke to said the White Helmets were effectively Nusra Front’s civil defence. Some said they „occasionally“ helped civilians but then qualified by adding that their priority was the „armed groups“.