Archive | Syria

ISIS Terrorists on the Run in East Aleppo   ‘Video’ 

NOVANEWS
 

ISIS terrorists are on the run in the eastern part of the Syrian province of Aleppo as government forces are rapidly advancing in the Maskanah countryside.

On May 24th, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces liberated 5 more villages taking control of Battushiyah, Salihiyah, Jabab Musaid Kebir, Jabab Musaid Segirr, and Shummari. Tiger Forces also advanced on Mushayrifat Bani Jamil and Kherbet Ghudraf.

[On] the same day, the Syrian Defense Ministry released a statement describing the current achievements of the operation against ISIS in Aleppo. According to the ministry, the army liberated 30 villages, the Jirah Military Airbase, killed some 3,000 ISIS terrorists, destroyed 19 battle tanks, 5 BMP vehicles, and 11 VBIEDs. Concurrently, the Syrian Air Force destroyed 9 ammunition depots. To say the least, ISIS losses in man-power provided in the report seem overestimated.

Syrian troops also neutralized a number of ISIS top members during the operation, including ISIS Minister of War, Abu Mosaab al-Masri. If confirmed, this constitutes a major blow to ISIS ahead of the expected government push in the direction of Deir Ezzor and the US-backed advance on Raqqah.

The SAA 5th Assault Corps has taken control of the Arak gas field east of Palmyra as well as the Abtar mountain, the missile battalion, the Hillabat Palace area, and Tal Al-Fari south of the ancient city.

According to local sources, ISIS intends to withdraw from the entire area south of Palmyra and eastern Qalamoun. This comes amid the SAA push against ISIS in the eastern Homs countryside and the US-backed Free Syrian Army advance in the direction of Al-Bukamal.

According to local sources, the US-led coalition carried out an air landing operation in the area of Hamidiya near the city earlier this week. During the operation, US Special Forces reportedly killed 8 ISIS fighters.

Meanwhile, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured the villages of Hamra Balasim, Nasira, and Al-Furqun in the Raqqah countryside.

The SDF is aiming to capture the Baath dam west of Raqqah in order to cut the last ISIS logistical line in the area.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

Hillary Clinton’s Syria Revenge

NOVANEWS
Image result for Hillary Clinton CARTOON
By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | May 24, 2017

Four months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the U.S. military is fighting Hillary Clinton’s war in Syria. Last week’s U.S. airstrike against a mixed column of Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese soldiers marks a major escalation, as the U.S. draws lines in the sand to claim parts of Syria as its own. Although the presence of the Russian air force has prevented the establishment of Clinton’s “no-fly” zones over Syria, the Americans appear to be attempting to establish “no-go” zones on the ground to provide sanctuary for their Islamic jihadist proxies. The larger goal is to seize eastern Syria, under the guise of fighting ISIS, severing the land route between Syrian government-held territories in the west and the Iraqi border, and further east to Iran.

The U.S. claimed it struck the column, killing at least six soldiers and knocking out several tanks, to protect U.S. and British special forces troops training anti-government jihadists on the Syrian side of the Jordanian border, where Washington is amassing a large invasion force. The attack is a blatant violation of international law, an act of war, since the Americans and Brits have no right to be on Syrian soil, while the Iraqis, Iranians, Lebanese and Russians are guests of the sovereign, internationally recognized government in Damascus.

Washington claims it is preparing a big offensive to destroy ISIS outposts in eastern Syria — as if invocation of anti-ISIS intent makes Washington immune from international law. However, it is the Syrian Arab Army that has prevented ISIS from seizing the whole of eastern Syria, while the U.S., acting as the Islamic State’s air force, attacked Syrian government troops defending the city of Deir Ezzor in September of last year. Deir Ezzor has been encircled and besieged by ISIS since 2014. The September bombing by jets from an assortment of NATO countries killed at least 100 Syrian soldiers and allowed ISIS to launch a coordinated assault seven minutes later, overrunning key government positions and parts of the city of 100,000 people. Since then, the Syrian garrison and civilian population have been sustained by helicopter supply missions.

The U.S. later claimed the attack was a “mistake,” but it had all the marks of a military mutiny against the lame duck Obama administration’s agreement to a cease-fire with the Russians. As we wrote at the time:

“The cease-fire agreement arrived at between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart calls for the U.S. and Russian armed forces to collaborate, after a period of seven days, in targeting both ISIS and the al Qaida force formerly known as the al Nusra Front, the military backbone of the West’s proxy war against the Syrian government. If the U.S. superpower, whose military assets in the arena far outweigh Russia’s, honestly adhered to the agreement, the war against the Assad government would collapse. The mutineers see the waning weeks and months of the Obama presidency as a make-or-break moment for their jihadist proxy strategy in the region.”

As intended, the U.S. attack on Deir Ezzor snuffed out the cease-fire pact with Russia. The U.S. doubled down on its not-so-covert support for al Qaida (aka al-Nusra, now calling itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, and no longer on the U.S. terror list), with the Clinton-led War Party and its corporate media screaming bloody murder as the jihadists were finally driven from Aleppo in the last weeks of 2016.

The triumph in Aleppo allowed Bashar al Assad’s government to free up Syrian forces for a general offensive, and to accelerate the government’s program of negotiating cease-fires and withdrawals by isolated pockets of (non-ISIS and non-al Qaida) “rebel” fighters. With their jihadist proxies in disarray, the Americans concentrated on supporting a largely Kurdish force that is slowly closing in on Raqqa, the so-called capital of ISIS, and with training yet another batch of “moderate” rebels in Jordan for what the U.S. is marketing as a final knockout blow against ISIS in eastern Syria — at Deir Ezzor. But of course, it is the Syrian government that is actually holding the line at Deir Ezzor against both ISIS and the U.S. “coalition.” The column of Syrian and allied troops that the U.S. attacked last week was part of the force the Syrians are gathering to liberate the eastern part of their country. The U.S. war plan is to deliver eastern Syria to its “rebel” mercenaries and jihadists.

The U.S. drew its line in the sand 18 miles from the U.S.-British special ops base on the Syrian of the Jordanian border. The ritual U.S. flag-planting-by-fire is a sick imperial response to the agreement reached by Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey, earlier this month in Astana, Kazakhstan, to create de-escalation zones in Syria, where fighting and government air strikes would be put on hold and aid deliveries allowed to proceed around four main zones held by rebels — excluding ISIS and al Qaida. With Donald Trump now dutifully in synch with the War Party, the U.S. has countered the Syrian-Russian-Iranian-Turkish “de-escalation” with a major escalation: “no-go zones.”

Hillary Clinton may never win the presidency, but she has won the battle over U.S. imperial policy in Syria. The U.S. will soon begin laying political-military trip-wires at strategic “no-go” points around Syria, to create space for Washington’s Islamic jihadist foot soldiers. Hillary’s style of warring diplomacy requires that targeted nations react to U.S. aggressions in prescribed ways: the Russians are supposed to blink in the presence of a real superpower; the Syrians must accept the loss of their territorial integrity and sovereignty; and the Iranians are required to surrender or become the next inferno. Otherwise, “We came, we saw – everybody died.”

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

Fake news about Syria continues to be everywhere

NOVANEWS

New York Times (1993): “Human rights monitors estimate that 500 Palestinian detainees are subjected to [torture in Israel] each month and that at least 30,000 have been interrogated since the beginning of the anti-Israel uprising in December 1987.”

Yes, fake news about Syria is still ubiquitous. If you read the Washington Post, you will get heading titles like this: “A ‘human slaughterhouse’ in Syria.” It states that

“a Syrian military prison where thousands of civilians have been killed “after being repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care.” Allegations of atrocities against civilians are nothing new for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which has subjected entire towns to starvation sieges, dropped barrel bombs full of nails or chlorine on hospitals, supermarkets and schools and pulverized a U.N. aid convoy during the recent siege of Aleppo.”[1]

The BBC is no different. It stated last year that “Nearly 18,000 people have died in government prisons in Syria since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.”[2] The Daily Mail tells us that “Inside Assad’s death chamber: Three minute trials… then torture and hangings as report says Syrian regime ‘exterminated’ 13,000 captives.”[3]

Fox News said the same thing: “Up to 13,000 hanged in Syria’s ‘slaughterhouse,’ activists say.”[4] CNN is no better: “Inside Syria’s prisons, where an estimated 17,723 have died since 2011.”[5]

Again, let us assume that those stories are true and the figures are correct. Do warmongers in America and the Zionist media seriously want to tell us that they have nothing to do with this? Would we have a Syrian war if the warmongers didn’t support ISIS and other terrorist factions in the region?

Do warmongers mean to tell us that Assad is literally slaughtering civilians? Is Assad that stupid? Do the civilians actually say that Assad is their enemy? Don’t they say that ISIS is being supported by the West? Why do you think the warmongers in America hate Tulsi Gabbard?

Gabbard has been doing what the warmongers and the Zionist media fail to do. She went to Syria, talked to the civilians and even the Assad government, talked to the Christians, and their conclusion was unanimously and independently stunning: why is the West, particularly America, supporting ISIS in the region in order to get rid of a sovereign government?

Peter Ford–former UK ambassador to Syria

It wasn’t the Assad government that murdered to Syrian Catholic priests in 2010.[6] It was ISIS, the same terrorist organization that both Israel and the West have been supporting. The warmongers prefer to use fake news about Syria because that’s how they can convince the people who have been living on a steady diet of mass manipulation.

Furthermore, why don’t warmongers and the Zionist media apply the same standards everywhere? For example, David Palumbo of Stanford University has documented last year:

“Children represent 46.2 percent of the 4.68 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and instability and violence defines much of their lives. Since 2000, Israeli forces and extremists have killed more than 2,045 Palestinian children, including 551 in 2014 alone, the majority during Israeli military offensives on the Gaza Strip, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

“… Palestinian children living in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are routinely subjected to widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture and the excessive use of force by Israeli forces. At least 48 Palestinian children from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have been killed between October 2015 and March 2016 as a direct result of intensified violence, all except one at the hands of Israeli forces.

“Of this number, 34 allegedly carried out knife or gun attacks. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported more than 2,177 Palestinian children from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, sustained injuries.”[7]

Now, get this from the New York Times itself—way back in 1993:

“Amnesty International, in a human rights report in July, said Palestinian detainees under interrogation are ‘systematically tortured or ill-treated’ by Israel. The International Committee of the Red Cross, whose representatives regularly visit Palestinian prisoners, has accused Israel of using interrogation methods that violate the Fourth Geneva Convention on treatment of civilians in occupied areas…

“Persistent reports and accumulating evidence of abuse, including the deaths of several Palestinians under interrogation in recent years, have produced a gradual change in official Israeli attitudes after years of secrecy and denial…

“Human rights monitors estimate that 500 Palestinian detainees are subjected to such treatment each month and that at least 30,000 have been interrogated since the beginning of the anti-Israel uprising in December 1987.”[8]

Do the math: 500×12 = 6,000. So, at least 6,000 Palestinians were being tortured every single year. Let us assume that this has been going on for 10 years. Do the simple math again: 6,000 x10 = 60,000. When was the last time that Israel got punished for this? Where are John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the entire Neoconservatives when you really need them?

When Israel does it, it is all right. But when Assad presumably does it, everyone goes mad.


[1] “A ‘human slaughterhouse’ in Syria,” Washington Post, February 11, 2017.

[2] “Nearly 18,000 have died in Syria state jails, says Amnesty,” BBC, August 18, 2016.

[3] “Inside Assad’s death chamber: Three minute trials… then torture and hangings as report says Syrian regime ‘exterminated’ 13,000 captives,” Daily Mail, February 8, 2017.

[4] “Up to 13,000 hanged in Syria’s ‘slaughterhouse,’ activists say,” Fox News, February 7, 2017.

[5] Emanuella Grinberg, “Inside Syria’s prisons, where an estimated 17,723 have died since 2011,” CNN, August 18, 2016.

[6] “Baghdad: slain Syrian Catholic priest had prepared for worst,” Catholic Culture, November 2, 2010.

[7] David Palumbo, “The UN’s damning report on Israel and torture: The desperate case of Palestinian youth in the occupied territory,” Salon, June 17, 2016.

[8] Joel Greenberg, “Israel Rethinks Interrogation of Arabs,” NY Times, August 14, 1993.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

Russian Special Forces to Thwart Trump’s Moves in Southern Syria

NOVANEWS

Russian Special Forces Arrive in Southern Syria after Recent US Air Raid on Army Convoy

Russian Special Forces Arrive in Southern Syria after Recent US Air Raid on Army Convoy
A military source confirmed that a group of Russian paratroopers and special forces have arrived in the Southern province of Sweida, after the US-led coalition fighter jets targeted heavily a military convoy of the Syrian pro-government forces near the town of al-Tanf at the border with Iraq.

The source told AMN that the Russian military personnel are in the region to advise the Syrian government troops in Southern Syria, while also helping to deter any potential response from the US and Jordanian forces that have carved a niche in Sweida and Homs provinces.

According to some media activists, the Russian forces are planning to build a base along the Sweida province’s border with Jordan.

Other media reports suggested that they are allegedly meant to engage the enemy forces and help the government troops capture the Iraqi border-crossing.

Lebanese Army General Charles Abi Nader, an expert in military strategy in the Middle East, told TASS on Saturday that the United States carried out a direct military intervention in Syria to prevent the establishment of the Syrian army’s control over the border with Iraq.

“There is no other explanation of the strike delivered by the US Air Force on the Syrian forces and units supporting them,” the general said, TASS reported.

He added that the border area in Eastern Syria, where the army units are carrying out offensive now, has major strategic importance.

“There is the only border crossing there, through which one can get to Baghdad now, taking into consideration that the Rutbah-Ramadi road has been cleared of terrorists of the ISIL,” the expert said.

“The goal of the US is evident – to prevent the restoration of transport links between Syria and Iraq and also Iran, which is the ally of Damascus,” he stressed.

The expert noted that a similar intervention of the US Air Force occurred in September 2016 in the outskirts of Deir Ezzur. Then, the ISIL militants used the airstrike of the US aviation to seize a defensive position on the Jebel-Sarda mountain near a military airfield, which serves as a major basis of the government forces.

As the US-led coalition headquarters reported, on May 18 the aircraft struck pro-Syrian government forces operating within the established de-confliction zone with Russia Northwest of al-Tanf. The statement claimed that these units posed a threat to the United States and its partners. Several servicemen were killed in the strike.

Syrian Army Retakes Control of Strategic Region near Border with Jordan

Syrian Army Retakes Control of Strategic Region near Border with Jordan

TEHRAN (FNA) – The Syrian Army troops continued their anti-terrorism operation towards the border region near al-Tanf passageway and managed to recapture a key region in Sweida province near the border with Jordan.

The army men engaged in tough battle with Jeish al-Hor terrorists in Eastern Sweida and managed to take back control over the strategic region of al-Zalaf Dam region at Sweida-Jordan border.

The army men also drove terrorists out of Zahra Um al-Salasel and al-Eiseh.

Well-informed sources said, meantime, that the army units also took control over 50 sq/km of Sweida Badiyeh (desert) which was under the control of the terrorists of Jeish al-Ahrar al-Ashayer and Jeish al-Aswad al-Sharqiyeh.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the army and popular forces took back a large chunk of the terrorist-controlled territories East of Sweida province in the Southern parts of the country.

“The Syrian army and its allies seized more than 60 square kilometers of lands in the al-Zalfa region in Sweida province,” the Arabic-language media quoted a military source as saying on Saturday.

The military source noted that after securing al-Zalfa area, the Syrian army troops would push further East in order to secure the provincial border and lay siege on the Free Syrian Army (FSA) near the al-Tanf border-crossing to Iraq.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

Soft-Pedalling with Satan – Russia Today and the White Helmets

NOVANEWS
[Editor’s note: 

… by the time the ‘dot connectors’ have finished, everyone who questioned these events was painted with the same brush and equally discredited, though undeserved. This pattern was repeated over and over to the extent that we began to see that false flag terrorism, now recognised as a very real threat after many years of getting a ‘pass’ from the media, could and would not exist without the armies of dot-connecting conspiracy theorists who poisoned the well for real investigative journalists.

Veterans Today exposed the White Helmets as proof Western Intelligence Agencies, media along with Israel, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Holly wood buffoon George Clooney, had formed a cabal. The seeming victims of that cabal, other than those duped into believing the White Helmets were something other than simply terrorists changing hats were primarily Syria and their Russian allies.

We are adding one name to the cabal now and that is the media outlet known as Russia Today.

Though years ago we identified the White Helmets, Infowars, Wikileaks, Stratfor, DEBKA and the entirety of the mainstream and alternative media as members of this cabal, we also began to recognise this cabal designed to manufacture Fake News, Fake History and even Fake Events including news agencies like RT, Sputnik, Moscow Times, Russia Insider and even, for a short period, Press TV.

The most dangerous of these operations today are the White Helmets, clearly partnered with Trump’s controllers and now able to openly wield American military force, with the threat of Israeli super-agent Julian Assange prowling the streets, the threat level should be moving to Defcon 1.

The article below is meaningless and confusing, we know that RT has the facts because VT has laid them out carefully and seen to it they were published by the Russian government via New Eastern Outlook; for those unaware, nothing is published by NEO that isn’t vetted by the Russian Foreign Ministry and Security Services. VT takes the opportunity from time to time to push them to the wall, when we fear that intelligence failures might threaten global stability.

Thus we move to the drivel below and an editorial staff at RT wonderfully informed with facts to support their assertions, facts they chose to ignore – does RT sandbag any attempts at real investigative reporting? In 2014 we watched them murder the investigation of MH17, quickly jumping over to Kiev’s (and by that we mean Tel-Aviv’s) party line and implicating, through purposeful incompetence, Russia.

RT has, time and time again, accidentally discredited Russia, almost continually made them a laughing stock, has embarrassed Russia with international audiences and painted Russian policy with a wide brush steeped in cheap, Stalinist propaganda and ineptitude. The worst part of this by far, is that after laying all of this criticism on RT, they are a hundred times better than the BBC and a thousand times better than Fox News – at least somebody is watching there, just not watching well enough.

Obviously the problem isn’t just Russia Today, the real problem is that when potential solutions and there are so very few of those, like Russia Today, are compromised, the little world of Veterans Today becomes a lonelier place. Long ago, we walked away from mass audiences; we recognised the danger that writing for approval caused. The most prolific advocates and consumers of alternative media are some of the stupidest sons of the bitches on the planet; writers like Fetzer and Webb became addicted to the short-lived adulation.

The demented, the dangerous and the disfunctional – here’s the disaster that caused: the terror events in Boston, Sandy Hook and Paris had very real startling inconsistencies. There were clear fingerprints of intelligence agencies throughout all, but by the time the ‘dot connectors’ have finished, everyone who questioned these events was painted with the same brush and equally discredited, though undeserved. This pattern was repeated over and over to the extent that we began to see that false flag terrorism, now recognised as a very real threat after many years of getting a ‘pass’ from the media, could and would not exist without the armies of dot-connecting conspiracy theorists who poisoned the well for real investigative journalists.

Here’s what we’re saying, and listen carefully because we’re going to be as clear as possible; be it RT or beforeitsnews.com, there is a recognisable pattern that, under careful analysis, proves complicity after the fact and in some cases, even foreknowledge, though not always specific as to type of event, on the part of these organisations in acts of terrorism.

What we’re saying here is that, through varying forms of control, such as underwriting expenses with phony cancer cure ads or, as with some who are no longer with VT, recognisable relationships on their part with Israeli intelligence or even as FBI informants, the entirety of media, social media, network TV, the big newspapers, Breitbart, Infowars, pretty much everybody, are controlled because they can be controlled, because they are in the hands of weak and vulnerable people. That bears repeating and emphasising:

pretty much everybody is controlled because they can be controlled, because they are in the hands of weak and vulnerable people.

With VT proving conclusively, that the powers behind Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Instagram and others, are part and parcel with the Mossad and aligned with Israelo-American globalist depradations, they have sold their soul to a very Zionist devil.

We have just named and shamed those that are the problem, deal with it….

Oh, and one more thing – it’s pretty hard to not know the things we’ve just written, so why are other people not saying this, wait a minute, we just told you. G]

__________
Russia Today
Syria’s White Helmets suspend members caught on camera during rebel execution

Syria’s White Helmets have suspended several members of their rescue team after stomach-churning footage emerged showing rebel militants conducting a summary execution of a man in the town of Jasim, with the White Helmets helping get rid of the body.

Graphic images released on Wednesday show blood pouring out of the execution victim’s head. After the man is shot dead on camera – in front of a large crowd in the town of Jasim in Daraa, southern Syria – volunteers from the White Helmets move in to dispose of the body, AMN reported.

On Thursday, Syria’s White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, issued a statement, acknowledging that their volunteers’ actions “did not fully uphold the strict principles of neutrality and impartiality.”

“Two Civil Defense volunteers were seen to act improperly and not in accordance with the voluntary Code of Conduct for Syria Civil Defense members,” the statement said, adding that the members have been suspended for three months.

“Syria Civil Defense expects each and every volunteer to perform their duties to the highest professional standard, as the individual actions of one member impact the reputation of all volunteers and the organization as a whole,” the statement noted.

The group explained that earlier this week, members of Syria Civil Defense received a request from local authorities to “dispose of the body of a person that had been sentenced to death by the local court for murder.”

The problem appears to be that the White Helmets’ local team leader failed to seek “permission from his superiors before agreeing to the request” to dispose of the body, and was later dismissed, the group said.

Hailed as peace-bearing heroes by the mainstream media, the White Helmets have long been plagued by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said late last month that the White Helmets support terrorists and cover up their crimes.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” Zakharova said, as cited by TASS.

She noted that “there is documentary evidence” showing that White Helmets members were in fact part of certain operations by the terrorists. Zakharova said there are videos showing Syrian troops being tortured and executed in the presence of White Helmets.

The Western mainstream media have repeatedly ignored all these reports, however, Zakharova said. The group’s behavior during the alleged chemical attack on Syria’s Khan Shaykhun on April 4 is “particularly worth mentioning,” she said.

“It was the allegedly-irrefutable evidence provided by them that gave the US a pretext to carry out an act of aggression against the Syrian Shayrat Airbase on April 7,” Zakharova noted, adding that that the Swedish NGO Doctors for Human Rights had accused the White Helmets of falsifying information about their humanitarian work in Syria by producing staged videos.

The group’s website meanwhile states that White Helmets volunteers have saved “90,922 lives – and this number is growing daily,” with rescue workers actively “operating in areas outside of government control” in Syria.

Yet a Canadian journalist and rights activist, Eva Bartlett, who has traveled to Syria multiple times since the start of the conflict, said that while members of the group “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib [but] …no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them.”

Bartlett noted during a highly-emotional speech at the UN in December, that “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

Aleppo residents also told RT that the group’s rescue efforts go only as far as to release dramatic videos, saying the White Helmets are nothing but “camera posers, thieves, and raiders.”

Posted in Syria0 Comments

The Battle for Raqqah, The Islamic State’s Stronghold ‘Video’

NOVANEWS
 

The city of Raqqah is considered one of the most important Syrian cities. The city is located on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River, at the edge of “Sharqiya Syria”, a term used to describe eastern Syria.

Syria’s largest dam, the Tabqah Dam is located 40 kilometers west of Raqqah. The dam is one of the most important electricity and water sources in Syria. It was built to generate the hydroelectric power, as well as irrigate lands on both sides of the Euphrates. The town of Tabqah and the nearby Tabqah Military Airport are located directly south of the dam.

Raqqah is linked with the Syrian industrial capital of Aleppo, the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, and the fertile area Hasakah through the M4 Highway. The city’s inhabitants number 220,000, according to the 2004 census. The Raqqah countryside is home to about 100,000 people.

The strategic importance of the city as well as the nearby Tabqah dam turned Raqqah into a target for every faction involved in the war and all of them have attempted to take control of it.

At the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Raqqah was one of the calmest provinces, as it did not witness any significant protests or violence. Sporadic protests by opposition groups did not exceed a hundred protestors at their peak.

Thus, Raqqah and its capital became one of the safest provinces accepting scores of loyalist refugees displaced from the Aleppo, Hasakah, and Deir Ezzor where fierce clashes between pro-government forces and militants took place in 2012.

At the end of 2012, Ahrar Al-Sham with the support of Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda; Now it’s known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) declared its intention to capture the provincial capital of Raqqah and launched a military operation to do this. Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra captured the Jirah Airbase and the important town of Maskanah in the province of Aleppo, and entered into the province of Raqqah. Militants captured Tabqah and the Tabqah Military Airport and captured the city of Raqqah after 3 days of clashes on March 6, 2013.

Image result for al-nusra raqqah

The Syrian Army did not organize any real defenses for the city. This led to many questioning the loyalties of the provincial leadership, which seemingly played an integral role in the loss of this strategic province.

Initially, ISIS activities inside the city were aimed at supporting Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra in actions against the besieged Syrian Army military installations in its vicinity. However, later ISIS began own operation in order to recapture Raqqah from Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra. ISIS declared a control over Raqqah in January 2014. A majority of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra militants fled, abandoning the entire city to ISIS. Those who remained either defected to ISIS or were executed.

In the past three years, ISIS was systematically strengthening its presence and influence in Raqqah as it did not face any real danger from other forces involved in the war.

In 2016, following the first liberation of Palmyra, the Syrian Army, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, launched an advance with the goal of recapturing the Tabqah Military Airport and even the city of Raqqah from ISIS. However, government forces did not reach even their first goal and were pushed to retreat after a series of ISIS counter attacks.

The start of the Russian military operation in Syria in 2015 dramatically changed the course of the war and returned an ability to conduct successful operations to the Assad government. The government advance on the Tabqah Military Airport resulted in no gains. Nonetheless, it became clear that if the US-led coalition against ISIS continues ignoring the terrorist group in Syria, the Syrian government and its allies would be able to solve this problem by themselves. [Just for example, in the same year, the Syrian army liberated the city of Aleppo from Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies. This was one of the biggest government victories in this war.] This could become a major diplomatic and PR failure for the US and its regional allies.

Related image

In October 2015, the new brand of the US-backed forces appeared in the war. The establishment of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was declared during a press conference in Hasakah, a town controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG). While the US and the mainstream media claimed that, the SDF was multi-ethnic organization, the YPG and the YPJ, the female equivalent of the YPG, became the core of the group. Understanding this problem, the US-led coalition contributed significant efforts in 2016 and in early 2017 to build an Arab faction in the SDF. However, the Kurdish militias remained the undisputed core of the SDF.

On November 6, 2016, the SDF, backed up by the US-led coalition’s air power and special forces, launched the Operation Euphrates Wrath aimed at expelling ISIS from the province of Raqqah.

Now, the SDF officially includes:

  1. 36,000 YPG fighters
  2. 24,000 YPJ fighters
  3. 20,000 Arab tribal fighters including groups like the Manbij Military Council

Between 10,000 and 20,000 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) present in the SDF-held area in northern Syria and unofficially participate in SDF military operations. Official representatives of the PYD and the YPG have repeatedly denied this fact because it could negatively impact the US-Turkish relations. An official recognition of this fact will also create a pretext for Ankra to launch a military operation against the SDF. Turkey and a number of other nations describe the PKK as a terrorist group. The Turkish leadership insists that the YPG is just a branch of the PKK.

However, this does not stop Ankara from conducting military strikes on YPG targets along the Turkish-Syrian border. The United States have been pushed to increase its military activity along the border and at a contanct line between the SDF and pro-Turkish militants in the province of Aleppo to prevent a possible full-scale Turkish military operations against the SDF/YPG in northern Syria. Thus, US troops play a role of buffer force between Turkey and the SDF.

The SDF advance in the Raqqah countryside is ongoing amid an immense fire support from the US Coalition’s warplanes, attack helicopters and artillery. The US also expanded few airfields inside Syria. They are used for delivering supplies to the SDF and as forward bases for US attack helicopters. The US, French and Germany special operations forces also play an important role in supporting the SDF on the ground. The US Marine Corps provides an artillery support for SDF operations around Raqqah.

So far, the SDF has been able to outflank Raqqah from the western, eastern and northern directions, to cross the Euphrates and to capture the Tabqah Military Airport, the town of Tabqah and to set a foothold for isolating the ISIS self-proclaimed capital from the southern direction.

From its side, ISIS began preparing for the Battle of Raqqah since the Coalition’s announcement of the Raqqah operation in 2016.

Since the beginning, it became clear that ISIS was not intending to defend numerous villages in the Raqqah countryside. In turn, ISIS implemented a mobile defense approach. ISIS units were retreating under the pressure of the SDF and the US-led coalition from small villages and were counter-attacking relying on technicals and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs).

The goal of this strategy was (and is) to deliver a maximum possible damage to the SDF manpower and military equipment instead of attempting to defend small settlements without any strategic value. Tabqah, the Tabqah Military Airbase and the Tabqah dam were the only locations that ISIS had attempted to defend because of their strategic value – controlling these sites, US-backed forces will have a foothold on the southern bank of the Euphrates west of Tabqah.

Inside and around Raqqah, ISIS started setting up a series of fortifications around the city at the end of 2016 by constructing a high berm and a trench that encircles the city in its entirety. Several local sources also reported that the terrorist group had worked on establishing an intricate series of tunnels, trenches, and cement barriers inside Raqqah.

Furthermore, opposition sources reported that ISIS began lacing explosives and planting IEDs in sensitive areas inside and around the city.

At the turn of 2017 following the success of US-backed forces in Raqqah’s western and eastern countryside and the cutting off of the Raqqah-Deir Ezzor highway in addition to the Syrian Army’s resilience in Deir Ezzor, ISIS began relocating its equipment and ammunition to the insides of the city as well as establishing firing points and sniper nests. The terrorist group has been also relocating its most experienced fighters to the city.

According to different sources, in Raqqah ISIS has between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters and its most effective armament including TOW and Fagot missiles smuggled from Idlib. ISIS also has stocked weapons like RPG-29 and OSA M-79 for the Battle of Raqqah. Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles have been deployed inside the city. The group is actively manufacturing various kinds of VBIEDs using their stock of explosives.

A military planning, a motivated infantry and a sophisticated usage of VBIEDs are the key strong sides of ISIS forces.
The current goal of the US-led forces is to seize control of the Raqqah countryside putting an additional pressure on the terrorist group from the northern and western direction. It’s expected that the US-led coalition and its allies on the ground will attempt to repeat the Mosul-like operation. However, there is a difference: US-backed forces could leave an escape route for ISIS members south of Raqqah. This could allow to ease the resistance of ISIS members inside the city. Meanwhile, if this is done, many terrorist group members will be able to remain alive and free in Syria. Some of them could then move to Europe as refugees.

The storm Raqqah will include a heavy bombing campaign by the US-led coalition air force with warplanes, attack helicopters and drones, as well as Marine artillery. The United States will expand their military presence on frontlines against ISIS and deploy more troops and military equipment. Like in Mosul, Washington and the mainstream media will likely deny that US troops are directly engaged in a battle against ISIS in Raqqah. However, without an active US military support, the SDF will be hardly able to retake Raqqah from ISIS in a realistic time.
ISIS will also use the Mosul experience, using well-equipped small groups of fighters, deploying huge numbers of snipers on all streets of the city, and of course the heavy use of VBIED and suicide bombers to attack any gathering of SDF, and to deploy mines and IEDs on all roads.

One of the biggest problems that the SDF will face is a high number of civilians in the city. According to local sources, there are over 250,000 people, including refugees from Deir Ezzor and Iraq, and families of ISIS terrorists in Raqqah.

In general, the battle is expected to last months, and unfortunately, as in Mosul, large numbers of civilians will be killed due to a fighting and the coalition’s bombing campaign. US military officials argue that US-backed forces will start storming Raqqah this summer. Nonetheless, it’s complicated to forecast when the city is retaken from terrorists. Iraqi forces launched their final push towards the ISIS stronghold of Mosul on October 16, 2016 and the city has not been liberated completely so far.

Image result for pyd ypg syria

Tensions between the PYD/YPG and the Turkish government is another factor that impacts and slows down the SDF advance on Raqqah.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish-dominated SDF has announced that the liberated city will be included in the Federation of Northern Syria–Rojava, the YPG/SDF-held area of northern Syria.

This raises a lot of concern in the Syrian government and many pro-government activists question the loyalty of the administration that will rule the city and the people’s desire to join Kurdish federalism, especially after much talk about the racist practices of the Kurdish federal administration in Hasakah and Qamishli against the Arabs. Some speculations even say that if SDF succeeded in controlling the city, it may fail in managing it. However, it is too early to make such far-reaching conclusions.

The liberation of Raqqah is an important part of the broader effort aimed at expelling ISIS terrorists from Syria and Iraq. All sides share this point.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

US Attack on Syrian Forces, A Criminal Act of War

NOVANEWS

US Attack on Syrian Forces, A Criminal Act of War: Asserting the “Safe Zones”, Perpetuating the War

 

In legal terms, it was both an act of war and criminal. The US military is currently occupying Syrian territory without invitation by the Syrian government and without any form of mandate from the United Nations.

In geostrategic terms, the United States is attempting to assert itself and its geopolitical strategy of establishing and subsequently expanding “safe zones” inside Syrian territory in a bid to topple the Syrian government, then divide and destroy the Syrian state.

Foreign Policy, a clearinghouse for corporate-financier funded think tank policymakers, in an article titled,US Bombs Syria Regime for the First Time,” would admit:

The strike showed American commanders are willing to use force to maintain de facto safe zones in the country’s east, where U.S. forces are training local militias to battle the Islamic State and provide security in liberated regions.

While Foreign Policy’s article confirms US intentions of carving out “safe zones” in Syria, it misleads readers regarding the purpose of doing so.

While it claims that these “safe zones” are intended to host training for “local militias to battle the Islamic State,” US intentions to create such zones stretches back long before the threat of the Islamic State was introduced into the conflict.

US policymakers themselves openly admitted the “safe zones” were meant to both perpetuate the conflict and seek a more long-term process of regime change after initial attempts to stampede the government in Damascus out of power failed in 2011.

A March 2012 Brookings Institution paper titled, Middle East Memo #21: Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), proposes the concept of “safe zones” or “safe-havens” not to fight the yet-to-be invented Islamic State, but specifically to assist US-backed regime change. It claims (emphasis added):

An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.

A 2015 Brookings paper titled, Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country  would elaborate on the nature of these zones, not as bases for fighting terrorism – but as a means of incrementally dividing and literally “deconstructing” Syria as a unified nation-state (emphasis added):

The end-game for these zones would not have to be determined in advance. The interim goal might be a confederal Syria, with several highly autonomous zones and a modest (eventual) national government. The confederation would likely require support from an international peacekeeping force, if this arrangement could ever be formalized by accord. But in the short term, the ambitions would be lower—to make these zones defensible and governable, to help provide relief for populations within them, and to train and equip more recruits so that the zones could be stabilized and then gradually expanded.

It would also elaborate regarding the role the Islamic State specifically plays in all of this – not as an enemy to be defeated – but as a pawn to be used against the Syrian government:

The  idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other Arab forces would actin support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via the  presence  of  special  forces  as  well. The  approach would  benefit  from  Syria’s open desert  terrain  which  could  allow  creation  of  buffer  zones  that could  be  monitored  for possible  signs  of  enemy  attack  through  a  combination  of  technologies, patrols,  and other methods that outside special forces could help Syrian local fighters set up.

Were Assad foolish enough to challenge these zones, even if he somehow forced the withdrawal  of  the  outside  special  forces,  he  would  be  likely  to  lose  his  air power  in ensuing  retaliatory  strikes  by  outside  forces,  depriving  his  military  of  one  of its  few advantages over  ISIL. Thus, he would be unlikely to do this.

Here, not only is the focus on tempting the Syrian government into an attack to justify wider direct conflict between US and Syrian forces, Brookings policymakers openly use the prospect of stripping away tools the Syrian government is using to fight the Islamic State as leverage while the US invades and occupies larger stretches of Syrian territory.

The use of the Islamic State as a pawn against the Syrian government should come as no surprise and is hardly a “conspiracy theory.” The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) itself in 2012 would publish a memo (PDF) detailing specifically what a prescribed “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) would be used for by the US and its allies:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran). 

The DIA memo then explains exactly who the supporters powers are – as well as who the principality’s enemies would be:

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

America’s strategy in Syria is an admittedly more drawn out process than was used against Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011. All three nations are now destabilized and virtual breeding grounds for terrorism, conflict, instability, and human catastrophe – cautionary examples of Syria’s fate should US foreign policy “succeed” there as well.

With the recent strike, the US proves that it will continue its illegal, unwarranted aggression in Syria until it either topples the Syrian government and succeeds in transforming the nation into yet another failed state amid its growing collection of global military interventions, or until the US is stopped by sufficient deterrence by Syria and its allies in Moscow and Tehran.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

US-led Coalition Airstrike on Syria Government Was Not Accidental

NOVANEWS

On May 18, the moving convoy of the Syrian pro-government forces consisted of militias was hit by a massive airstrike of the U.S.-led international coalition. The accident occurred at the Syrian-Jordanian border near the settlement of At-Tanfa.

As reported by the official representative of the U.S. Central command Josh Jakes, the Pentagon did not have any information about the number of casualties as a result of the airstrike.

It is worth noting that the U.S. has previously hit the pro-government forces in Syria. For example, during Obama’s presidency the Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor were attacked by ISIS terrorists right after the United States had launched their own airstrike. According to the US officials that attack was a mistake caused by “the human factor”.

In April the U.S. Navy has already bombed Syria’s Shayrat Air Base, in response allegedly to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.

So, what’s the true reason of such aggressive actions of the US-led international coalition this time? A number of Syrian military analysts believe that the U.S. Air Force main task was to hamper Syrian pro-government forces and to slow down their further advance towards Deir ez-Zor rather than to ‘protect’ U.S. ‘partners’.

Their actions are motivated by the fact that the Syrian military command is ready for a large-scale military operation to liberate the city from ISIS. Damascus sees the complete liberation of Deir ez-Zor province from the blockade as the restoration of the control over the largest oil fields. This may significantly improve the economic situation in the country.

This Syrian city is also a tasty little deal for the coalition forces. The overwhelming desire of the West to plunge the country into a state of constant chaos is the main reason for the planned seizure of oil rigs.

The Syrian city was samely a kind of dainty bit for the US-led coalition. The irresistible impulse of the West to drive the country into the permanent chaos is the primary reason for the oil derricks seizure.

Furthermore, the air strike was performed amid the ongoing Syrian talks in Geneva. A show of power like that may have targeted at making the talks even more difficult and troublesome as they are.

Apparently, the US-led coalition’s regular strikes on the pro-government troops in Syria testify that Washington intends to continue its double-standard policy towards the Syrian conflict. We remember how they supported the establishing “de-escalation” zones but now their actions indicate the opposite. It is sheer cynicism to strike against those who really fight ISIS terrorists. But this doesn’t come as a surprise either in Syria or in the world.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

US Coalition Airstrikes against Syrian Government Forces ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

 8

Warplanes operating under the US-led coalition carried out airstrikes against a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) convoy advancing along the Al-Tanf-Damascus-Baghdad international road. The airstrikes targeted Syrian forces in Al-Shuhaimi area, 50 km from the town of Al-Tanf located at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The airstrikes destroyed two battle tanks, and damaged a Shilka vehicle, several pickups and trucks. Six SAA fighters lost their life and 3 were injured.

The US-led coalition said that the airstrikes were “warning shots” against Shiite militias. However, Shiite militias operation at the Al-Tanf road don’t have tanks or Shilka vehicles and there were many pictures and videos showing the presence of elements of the SAA in the area.

The US airstrikes on government forces are a clear signal that Washington are seeking prevent the Syrian government from taking control over the border and to build a buffer zone between Syria and Iraq that could establish an alliance in the near future.

Meanwhile, Jaysh al-Thuwar, a US-backed Free Syrian Army group, claimed that its militants have attacked the SAA and prevented it from approaching the Al-Tanf area. Earlier this week, a representative of Jaysh al-Thuwar, said that the target of the Free Syrian Army and the US-led coalition is to capture the city of Deir Ezzor.

Recently, Jaysh al-Thuwar received 20 technical vehicles as well as some TOW missiles and mortars from the US-led coalition, claiming that it will be used in the battle for capturing Al Bukamal.

From its side, the SAA transferred significant forces from Homs and Damascus to Suweida including tanks and 130 mm artillery pieces. It was also announced that the National Defense Forces in Suweida will participate in the operation.

Government forces, led by the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces, have been advancing against ISIS terrorists in the eastern part of the province of Aleppo. Following the previous advances, the Tiger Forces got control over the villages of Wadi Muwayih, Jub al-Ali, Tal Hasan, Nafiyah, Atirah and Mazyuna. In coming days, government forces will continue their operation against ISIS in the area aiming to isolate the ISIS stronghold of Maskanah.

248 men from the province of Raqqah have received training and joined the US-backed Syrian Democratic Fores (SDF). These fighters will participate in an operation aimed at capturing Raqqa city from ISIS terrorists.

The SDF has also trained more than 50 men from the province of Raqqah as security forces. The task of this force will be to secure the province of Raqqa after capturing it.

Meanwhile, the SDF has the captured villages of Thoul Nail, Hamrat Ghanam, Annadah and Tall Zaidan and advanced on the villages of Hamrat Buwaytiyah and Raqqah as Samra in the Raqqah countryside.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

Mark Taliano, Voices from Syria

NOVANEWS    

Voices from Syria

Global Research, Canada

Slowly but surely, the truth about the planned attack on Syria by Western powers under the leadership of the US Empire and its allies comes to the fore.

For too long, the mainstream media held the monopoly on reporting about this havoc inflicted by the West together with its terrorist partners such as ISIS, al-Nusra front, and so-called moderate rebels in Syria. Especially the Obama administration pampered the last one. As the public knows by now, there hasn’t been such a thing as “moderate rebels.”

That the public in the West could have been so misinformed, was the fault of CNN, BBC, NYT and other media outlets. They prostituted themselves to the power elite in Washington D. C. Independent reporting was not their task. They were part of the international war party, which wanted to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to establish another Islamic dictatorship according to the Saudi Arabian model. Already in August 2011, President Obama said, “Assad must go.”  Assad is still alive and kicking, and Obama is old news.

The Western propaganda machine didn’t even flinch from creating a false humanitarian organization, named “The White Helmets.” A British intelligence officer established it, and Western powers poured in 100 million US dollars. These folks were, in fact, al-Qaida affiliates disguised as paramedics. They operated in East Aleppo, long held by different terrorist organizations. The biggest fake-producing company, Hollywood, even awarded an “Oscar” to “The White Helmets.” [1] The British journalist Vanessa Beeley[2] was the first who disclosed this charade. “The White Helmets” cared only about wounded terrorists.

Besides these reports, Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” brings another aspect to a wider audience. Taliano, who is a Canadian investigative reporter and works as a research assistant at the “Centre for Research on Globalization” (CRG), shows an entirely different reality about Syria. He gives ordinary Syrians a voice. He reveals that the Western powers undermined the Syrian government and exposed it to attack. Apparently, the West has been fighting against the “criminal Assad regime” while, simultaneously, combating Islamic terrorists.

In his foreword, the director of CRG, Professor Michel Chossudovsky, emphasizes the concern of the author, namely, “what unites humanity with the Syrian people in their struggle against foreign aggression.” [3]Taliano was interested in the “mystery” of the courage and resilience of the Syrian people to endure six years of NATO-sponsored terrorist and “peacemaking” airstrikes that devastated the civil infrastructure. Strikingly, is the author’s documentation of the fight of the Syrian people against “NATO-terrorism.

Taliano’s book dispels several Western myths: The so-called “war on terrorism” is a fraud. The US and its coalition partners have created ISIS as stooges in the first place to bring about a regime change in Syria. The West mocked its aggression as “humanitarianism” to create heaviest crimes. That this aggression violates international law goes without saying. Without the massive propaganda support of the mainstream media, the “news” could not have spread that Assad oppresses and murders his people. If that had been the case, Assad would be gone long ago. The book shows that Assad has the support of the majority of the Syrians.

The author has good advice to the media: “The mainstream media must reinvent itself. They must stop spreading war propaganda, and they must begin to report truths based on evidence.” His book provides a convincing testimony to the bravery and resilience of the Syrian people, who have been fighting against an alliance of Western aggressors and Islamic terrorists for over six years. The fact that one of the oldest cultural nations of the world is bombed back to the Middle Ages by the West and its Arab allies is not only a colossal war crime but also a crime against humanity. The book corrects a large part of Western propaganda claims on Syria. Very readable and revealing.

Posted in Syria0 Comments

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031