Archive | Syria

Syria – Russia Accusing U.S. of Attacks, Abduction Attempts, Team-play with Al-Qaeda

NOVANEWS

The situation in Syria is reaching another critical point. There is an increased possibility of a large scale clash between U.S. and Russian forces. We had warned of such a clash over control of the rich fields east of Deir Ezzor. At least three incidents over the last days point to more significant escalations.

  • On the 17th the U.S. accused Russia of a light air attack on its proxy forces north of Deir Ezzor. Russia denied that it had attacked those forces.
  • On the 18th and 19th large contingents of Russian and Syrian troops crossed the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor in east-Syria. The U.S. Kurdish/Arab proxy force in the area actively tried to hinder that movement.
  • In parallel a large al-Qaeda attack was launched in west-Syria. The Russian forces accuse U.S. intelligence services of having initiated that campaign. (The Syrian-Russian forces defeated the attack.)
  • Today the Russian military accused the U.S. Kurdish proxies near Deir Ezzor of firing artillery on its forces. It threatened massive retaliation.

The most dramatic incident was the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb.

Al-Qaeda in Syria, renamed to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, currently controls Idleb governate and Idleb city in north-west Syria. On September 19 it launched a large scale attack on Syrian government positions in north Hama, south of Idleb provinces. The al-Qaeda forces gained significant grounds before being stopped and forced to retreat. Nearly all the heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, that al-Qaeda had in the area were used and in the attack.

The spokesperson of the Russian military said (vid with English subtitles) that, according to Russian intelligence reports, al-Qaeda’s attack was made on behalf of the U.S. to slow down the Syrian-Russian campaign in the eastern province Deir Ezzor. A subtask for the terrorists was to capture a platoon of Russian soldiers. This is, to my knowledge, the first time that Russia made such a direct and extremely grave accusation against the U.S. forces and intelligence services in Syria.

From the Russian military statement:

For 24 hours, insurgents managed to dent the government troops’ defence line for up to 12 kilometers in depth and up to 20 kilometers in front.According to the received data, this offensive was initiated by the US special agencies in order to stop successful advance of the Syrian Arab Army to the east from Deir ez-Zor.

Seizing of a unit of the Russian Military Police was one of the main aims of insurgents. The Russian MP unit was operating in an observation post deployed as de-escalation observation forces.

As a result, the MP platoon (29 persons) was blocked by insurgents.

The encirclement has been breached. Units of the Russian Armed Forces have reached locations of SAA without losses.

After the al-Qaeda attack was launched the Russian air force in Syria initiated a massive counter campaign over Idleb province.

For the last 24 hours, aviation and artillery units have eliminated 187 objects, 850 terrorists, 11 tanks, 4 IFVs, 46 pickups, 5 mortars, 20 trucks, and 38 ammunition storages.Units of the 5th Airborne Assault Corpse launched a counter-attack and almost took [all] lost positions.

Pictures from the area showed several destroyed tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. This was a very costly campaign for al-Qaeda with no significant gain. It seems that Syrian and Russian intelligence were aware that an attack was coming but not of the details. For a while the situation was extremely critical. Then the large aerial counter campaign caught al-Qaeda by surprise and destroyed the attacking forces.

At the same time as the al-Qaeda attack in Idleb started U.S. proxy forces in east-Syria (yellow) took measures to hinder the fight of Syrian forces (red) against the Islamic State (black).

Source: Weekend Warrior

The Syrian government forces are cleared nearly all of Deir Ezzor city of ISIS forces. At stake now is the control of the oil fields east of Deir Ezzor and north of the Euphrates river.

Soon after crossing the Euphrates Syrian troops came under fire from U.S. proxy positions:

“According to the reports that the Syrian commanders have been sending from the frontline, most serious counter-attacks and mass shelling on the Syrian troops come from the north,” he said. “It is the area where units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as the US special operations units, are deployed, who, according to CNN, are providing medical aid to these militants instead of participating in the operation to liberate Raqqa,” [Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor] Konashenkov said.

The U.S. proxies also use their control of the Tabqa dam to hinder the river crossing:

Water discharges from the Euphrates dams controlled by the US-backed opposition hamper the advance of Syrian government troops near Deir ez-Zor, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.”Thus, the water situation on the Euphrates has deteriorated dramatically in the past 24 hours. As soon as the Syrian government troops began to cross the river, water level in the Euphrates rose within hours and the current velocity nearly doubled to two meters per second,” he said.

Today the Russian Defense Ministry accused the U.S. proxy forces of directly shelling its Syrian allies and the Russian forces accompanying them:

Russia warned a representative of the US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, that “any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed.””Firing points in these areas will be immediately suppressed by all means of destruction,” the general said.

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces approaching Deir ez-Zor from the north are easily joining IS terrorists, and Russian drones and reconnaissance recorded no clash between the IS with a “third force,” namely the SDF over the past week, he explained.

However, massive fire from mortars and rocket artillery was opened twice on the Syrian troops from the areas on the eastern shore of Euphrates where the SDF fighters and servicemen of US special forces are based, Konashenkov said.

The U.S. paid “Syrian Democratic Forces” that pushed into northern Deir Ezzor without meeting any resistance are mostly local tribes who were aligned with the Islamic State until the U.S. diplomat Brett McGurk hired them to fight on the U.S. side. They are led by Kurdish commanders and “advised” by U.S. special forces.

The U.S. wants to keep Syrian government forces away from the oil fields north of the Euphrates. It has plans to build and control a Kurdish proto-state in north-east Syria and control over the eastern Deir Ezzor oil would give such a state the necessary economic base.

But the U.S. has too few proxy forces available to actually take the oil area away from the Islamic State. Only the Syrian army has enough resources in the area. The U.S. is now cheating, attacking Syrian-Russian forces, and rushing to get an advantage. According to the Russians the U.S. Kurdish proxies have even stopped the fight against ISIS in Raqqa and moved forces from that area to take the oil in the east. I doubt that Syria and Russia will allow that to happen without taking measures to counter it.

With the al-Qaeda diversion attack in north-west Syria defeated and more reserves available the Syrian alliance should think about a fast air-assault on the oil fields. As soon as the oil wells are under Syrian government control and the ISIS presence eliminated the U.S. has no more excuse to continue the current deadly game.

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US-backed Forces Push for Syrian Oil ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

Early on Friday, the Israeli Air Force struck a target in the Damascus International Airport, according to pro-opposition sources and the Israeli media. There are no details about the damage caused by airstrikes. Pro-Israeli sources claim that the Israeli Air Force targeted a part of the airport used for providing supplies to Hezbollah.

At the same time, reports appeared that the Syrian Air Defense Forces downed “hostile aircraft”, most likely an Israeli reconnaissance drone, over the Damascus countryside.

Late on Thursday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the US-led coalition’s airpower and military advisers, seized Tabiyeh and al-Isba oil and gas fields northeast of Deir Ezzor city, according to pro-Kurdish sources.

With this advance, the SDF at least partly blocked an advance of Syrian government forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. This and future possible SDF successes in seizing oil and gas infrastructure will directly affect the negotiations between the sides after the defeat of ISIS.

In the city of Raqqah, the SDF, supported by coalition aircraft and artillery, killed 63 ISIS fighters and destroyed 3 VBIEDs as well as further advanced inside the ISIS-held area. Pro-SDF sources claim that the ISIS is on the run and the city will be freed soon.

ISIS fighters in the eastern Hama pocket and the Syrian government have reportedly reached a withdrawal agreement. The agreement will allow ISIS members to withdraw to Idlib or Deir Ezzor provinces, according to different sources. The agreement will allow the Syrian military to free additional forces for operations across Syria. On Wednesday, the Syrian government allowed 1,500 civilians and ISIS family members to withdraw to an area controlled by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib.

Turkey will deploy troops in Syria’s Idlib province under as part of a “de-escalation” agreement reached by Ankara, Tehran and Moscow within the Astana format of talks on the Syrian conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters in an interview.

Meanwhile, reports appeared that Turkey deployed more forces additionally to on the border with Syria’s Idlib province. The reinforcements strengthened a grouping of 80 armoured vehicles and 18 MRAPs that had been deployed earlier.

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Syria: 850 Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Jihadists Killed

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850 Jihadists Killed as Russian Warplanes Help Syrian Army Repel Idlib Offensive

Featured image: ussian Su-25 attack aircraft take off from the Khmeimim airbase in Syria (Source:Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik)

Russian warplanes and Syrian forces have repelled an offensive by jihadists in a de-escalation zone in Idlib governorate in Syria. The forces killed some 850 militants and destroyed 11 tanks and other assets, Russia’s General Staff reported.

The offensive was launched by the militant group formerly called Al-Nusra Front and its allies on Tuesday morning, a statement from the General Staff said.

The jihadists attacked the positions of government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. The positions are part of a designated de-escalation zone, which covers Idlib governorate, the powerbase of a number of anti-government armed groups in Syria, the Russian military said.

The report accused US security services of instigating the offensive, which, the statement said, is meant to derail the successful operation of Damascus forces east of Deir ez-Zor.

The Russian General Staff said the militants tried to capture a unit of the Russian military police, which have a mandate to monitor the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The unit was forced to fight against a larger enemy presence for several hours, but prevailed thanks to the support of a local militia.

The Russian command in Syria ordered an operation to repel the militants’ assault, including airstrikes and a ground offensive conducted by the military police and special operations forces, General Sergey Rudskoy, spokesman for the Russian General Staff, added in the statement.

The Russian unit was successfully rescued. Three troops from the special operations forces were injured, but the Russian forces suffered no fatalities, Rudskoy said.

The General Staff said the jihadist offensive had been stopped. The militants’ estimated losses include some 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points.

The statement says Syrian government forces supported by Russian warplanes launched a counteroffensive and recaptured territories previously seized by the jihadists.

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Syrian Army Crossed Euphrates River ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are preparing for a joint advance on the ISIS border strongholds of al-Bukamal and al-Qaim.

On Saturday, the Iraqi Army and the PMU launched an anti-ISIS operation in the border area, liberated the border town Akashat, the H-3 station, Akashat factory and the Akashat housing complex, and secured a road linking it with the Damascus-Baghdad highway.

At the same day, the SAA and Hezbollah, supported by Liwa Fatemiyoun, Liwa Haydaryoun, Liwa al-Zainabyoun and the National Defense Forces (NDF), captured al-Rutimah, Ghizlaniah and the desert area north of Sharat al-Wa’ar.

On Sunday, Syrian and Iraqi forces officially met on the border near Akashat. The SAA and Hezbollah deployed several special force and armoured units right on the border line. According to the UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, the sides had agreed to establish three joint positions there.

Damascus gave Iraqi forces a permission to enter 10km deep inside the Syrian territory if needed. Iraqi sources claimed that some Syrian battle tanks and armoured vehicles of entered the Iraqi territory and joined Iraqi units.

The expected joint push towards al-Bukamal and al-Qaim will ease a battle against ISIS in the border area. Furthermore, many PMU factions particiapte in an anti-ISIS campaign of the Syrian government inside Syria. Units of these factions could cross the border and to assist the SAA in its advance towards al-Bukamal.

On Saturday, the US-led coalition officially accused Russian forces of striking a position on the eastern bank of the Euphrates near the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and coalition troops. Six SDF members were injured, according to the SDF statement. The alleged strike came after SDF representatives had repeatedly threatened to strike Syrian government forces if they attempt to cross the Euphrates in the Deir Ezzor countryside.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry rejected these claims adding that Russian forces strike only ISIS positions and the US had received a notice about this in advance. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov added that the Russian military has not observed any fighting between ISIS and SDF in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor over the past few days.

“Therefore, only representatives of the international coalition can answer the question as to how ‘opposition members’ or ‘military advisers of the international coalition’ managed to get to the IS-held areas in the eastern part of Deir Ezzor without striking a blow.”

The SAA and its allies have liberated Jafrah, Ayyash, the Hujeif mount, Muraieiah, Hawayej, Hawayej Abu Arab, Ain Abu Jumah and Hajj Hammoud as well as some nearby points on the both northwestern and southeastern flanks of the city.

On Monday, Syrian forces crossed the Euphrates east of Deir Ezzor. Since start of September, the SDF and pro-SDF sources have repeatedly claimed that they will not allow the SAA to cross the Euphrates. So what now?

 

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Syria’s Victories Are Our Victories

NOVANEWS

One year ago I was in Syria, and for my birthday on September 17 I learned that Western “Coalition” forces, who had been bombing illegally in Syria for years, had just murdered about 100 Syrian Arab Army soldiers who were stationed in the Jabal Thardeh1 area, where they were protecting the lives of their fellow Syrians from ISIS/Daesh terrorists.

The attack was no doubt executed in collaboration with ISIS, because immediately after the massacre, ISIS was able to occupy the strategically important position.

In terms of Western military strategy, little has changed except that now Syria and its allies are very close to restoring Syria’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity, as they crush the “opposition”, all of whom are supported by the West and its allies.

The West still wants to partition Syria, and for this they are using both “Kurdish” and ISIS “assets”. Coalition forces previously bombed bridges spanning the Euphrates, and ISIS assets did the same, so that they could better occupy and terrorize the oil-rich region. Meanwhile, Kurdish assets will be used to re-occupy and “legitimize” that which is not legitimate. The Kurds, ISIS, and the Coalition are all committing war crimes in their failing efforts to destroy and plunder Syria.

Dr Bouthain Shaaban2, political and media advisor to President Assad, recently remarked that US-backed SDF forces captured areas in northeastern Syria from Daesh “without any fighting,” thus demonstrating (yet again), the strategic collusion between SDF and Daesh to occupy and plunder the oil-rich areas, for the benefit of their imperial masters.

Every day, the West’s criminality becomes more transparent. Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva3, for example, recently uncovered primary-source documentation which demonstrates that the Pentagon falsified paperwork to covertly ship as much as $2.2 billion4 in weapons to terrorists in Syria.

HUGE: Pentagon caught doctoring records for $2.2 billion in weapons transfers from criminal orgs to  militants http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-13/bombshell-report-catches-pentagon-falsifying-paperwork-weapons-transfers-linked-orga 

Photo published for Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers Linked To Organized...

Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers Linked To Organized…

A new bombshell joint report issued by two international weapons monitoring groups Tuesday confirms that the Pentagon continues to ship record breaking amounts of weaponry into Syria and that the…

zerohedge.com

The West’s double-game of pretending to fight terrorism as it supports terrorism may soon be over in Syria. This will be cause for celebration in Syria, and it should be cause for celebration amongst Western populations as well. 

Notes

1 Leith Fadel, “US Coalition knew they were bombing the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor.” AMN September 27, 2016. (https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-coalition-knew-bombing-syrian-army-deir-ezzor/) Accessed September 18, 2017

2 “ ‘Syria will be Freed Completely from any Aggressor’ ” – Dr Shaaban Challenges US Proxies.” 21st Century Wire, Setember 16, 2017. (http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/09/16/syria-will-freed-completely-aggressor-dr-shaaban-challenges-us-proxies/) Accessed September 18, 2017.

3 Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, “350 diplomatic flights carry weapons for terrorists| Azerbaijan’s Silk Way Airlines transports weapons with diplomatic clearance for Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo.” July 2, 2017. (https://trud.bg/350-diplomatic-flights-carry-weapons-for-terrorists/) Accessed September 18, 2017.

4 Tyler Durden, “Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers To Syrian Rebels.” September 13, 2017.( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-13/bombshell-report-catches-pentagon-falsifying-paperwork-weapons-transfers-linked-orga) Accessed September 18, 2017.


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Overview of The Battle for Deir Ezzor

NOVANEWS
On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

On September 18, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Syrian Republcian Guard (SRG) officially crossed the Euphrates River and engaged ISIS terrorists on its eastern bank.

The SAA and the SRG advanced on ISIS positions in the Saqr Island and captured a major part of it. According to pro-government sources, ISIS units withdrew towards the Kanafat bridge in the northern part of the island.

Separately, government troops liberated the village of Sabha and entered the villages of Marrat and Mazlum on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq also confirmed that government forces have crossed the Euphreates following multiple airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force.

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

Amaq said that ISIS members conducted 2 VBIED attacks against government troops in Marrat and Mazlum as well as a VBIED attack against the SAA in the Saqr Island. According to Amaq reports, about 40 SAA troops were killed in the clashes there.

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

While even Amaq has found strength to admit that the SAA is on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, a spokesman for the US-led coalition still has nothing to say about this. Howeer, he promised that the coalition “will defend itself and the SDF against threats”. Is it an attempt to blame Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance forces?

1/2 @CJTFOIR committed to our  partners in operations to  in Dayr Az Zawr province;  cleared >40km2 from  in Syria

2/2 @CJTFOIR will defend itself and  against threats; continue to defeat  in Syria.

On the northeastern flank of Deir Ezzor city, government forces liberated Hawi, Zughayr, Hamad and Shumaytah villages and entered the nearby oil wells area.

Meanwhile, Kurdish militias that are a core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released another propaganda video blaming the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance for combating ISIS in the area of Deir Ezzor. The video was released following the confirmation that government forces crossed the Euphrates.

“If the Russian/‘n attacks continue we will use our right to legitimate defense, we will retaliate in kind.” https://youtu.be/zF8dh_aE5Jw 

Earlier on September 18, the US asked Russia for a meeting to discuss a future of Deir Ezzor, according to the Russian media. Most likely, the US-led coalitino aims to use the ongoing anti-Syrian/Russian propaganda campaign to strengthen its position during the negotiations. The only problem that this will hardly help amid the rapid advance of the SAA.

Government troops are crossing the Euphrates River:

Photos of government troops near the Euphrates:

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 18, 2017 (Evening)

Deir Ezzor Airport is fully operational and planes deliver supplies and ammunition to government forces in the city:

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Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and I$raHell

NOVANEWS
 Image result for MOSSAD AND SAUD FAMILY CARTOON

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is under a new cloud after a jailed al-Qaeda operative implicated senior Saudi officials as collaborators with the terror group and the shadow could even darken the political future of Israeli Prime Netanyahu because of his odd-couple alliance with Riyadh, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The disclosure that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has identified leading members of the Saudi government as financers of the terrorist network potentially reshapes how Americans will perceive events in the Middle East and creates a risk for Israel’s Likud government which has forged an unlikely alliance with some of these same Saudis.

According to a story in the New York Times on Wednesday, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. (White House photo)

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. (White House photo)

“Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money,” Moussaoui said in imperfect English, “who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad.”

Although Moussaoui’s credibility came under immediate attack from the Saudi kingdom, his assertions mesh with accounts from members of the U.S. Congress who have seen a secret portion of the 9/11 report that addresses alleged Saudi support for al-Qaeda.

Further complicating the predicament for Saudi Arabia is that, more recently, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified as backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow the largely secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The major rebel force benefiting from this support is al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

In other words, the Saudis appear to have continued a covert relationship with al-Qaeda-connected jihadists to the present day.

The Israeli Exposure

And, like the Saudis, the Israelis have sided with the Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Tehran and Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut is the greatest threat to their interests in the Middle East.

That shared concern has pushed Israel and Saudi Arabia into a de facto alliance, though the collaboration between Jerusalem and Riyadh has been mostly kept out of the public eye. Still, it has occasionally peeked out from under the covers as the two governments deploy their complementary assets Saudi oil and money and Israeli political and media clout in areas where they have mutual interests.

In recent years, these historic enemies have cooperated in their joint disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt (which was overthrown in 2013), in seeking the ouster of the Assad regime in Syria, and in pressing for a more hostile U.S. posture toward Iran.

Israel and Saudi Arabia also have collaborated in efforts to put the squeeze on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is deemed a key supporter of both Iran and Syria. The Saudis have used their power over oil production to drive down prices and hurt Russia’s economy, while U.S. neoconservatives who share Israel’s geopolitical world view were at the forefront of the coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

The behind-the-scenes Israeli-Saudi alliance has put the two governments uncomfortably at times on the side of Sunni jihadists battling Shiite influence in Syria, Lebanon and even Iraq. On Jan. 18, 2015, for instance, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisors were engaged in operations against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra Front militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with these Nusra forces.

An Odd Alliance

Israel’s odd-couple alliances with Sunni interests have evolved over the past several years, as Israel and Saudi Arabia emerged as strange bedfellows in the geopolitical struggle against Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and southern Lebanon. In Syria, for instance, senior Israelis have made clear they would prefer Sunni extremists to prevail in the civil war rather than Assad, who is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam.

In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Skepticism and Doubt

In August 2013, when I first reported on the growing relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia in an article entitled “The Saudi-Israeli Superpower,” the story was met with much skepticism. But, increasingly, this secret alliance has gone public.

On Oct. 1, 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted at it in his United Nations General Assembly speech, which was largely devoted to excoriating Iran over its nuclear program and threatening a unilateral Israeli military strike.

Amid the bellicosity, Netanyahu dropped in a largely missed clue about the evolving power relationships in the Middle East, saying: “The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

The next day, Israel’s Channel 2 TV news reported that senior Israeli security officials had met with a high-level Gulf state counterpart in Jerusalem, believed to be Prince Bandar, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States who was then head of Saudi intelligence.

The reality of this unlikely alliance has now even reached the mainstream U.S. media. For instance, Time magazine correspondent Joe Klein described the new coziness in an article in the Jan. 19, 2015 issue.

He wrote: “On May 26, 2014, an unprecedented public conversation took place in Brussels. Two former high-ranking spymasters of Israel and Saudi Arabia Amos Yadlin and Prince Turki al-Faisal sat together for more than an hour, talking regional politics in a conversation moderated by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

“They disagreed on some things, like the exact nature of an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and agreed on others: the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat, the need to support the new military government in Egypt, the demand for concerted international action in Syria. The most striking statement came from Prince Turki. He said the Arabs had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and ‘don’t want to fight Israel anymore.’”

Though Klein detected only the bright side of this détente, there was a dark side as well, as referenced in Moussaoui’s deposition, which identified Prince Turki as one of al-Qaeda’s backers. Perhaps even more unsettling was his listing of Prince Bandar, who had long presented himself as a U.S. friend, so close to the Bush Family that he was nicknamed “Bandar Bush.”

Moussaoui claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States.

According to the New York Times article by Scott Shane, Moussaoui said he was assigned to “find a location where it may be suitable to launch a Stinger attack and then, after, be able to escape,” but that he was arrested on Aug. 16, 2001, before he could carry out the reconnaissance mission.

The thought of anyone in the Saudi embassy, then under the control of “Bandar Bush,” scheming with al-Qaeda to shoot down George W. Bush’s Air Force One is shocking, if true. The notion would have been considered unthinkable even after the 9/11 attacks, which involved 15 Saudis among the 19 hijackers.

After those terror attacks which killed nearly 3,000 Americans, Bandar went to the White House and persuaded Bush to arrange for the rapid extraction of bin Laden’s family members and other Saudis in the United States. Bush agreed to help get those Saudi nationals out on the first flights allowed back into the air.

Bandar’s intervention undercut the FBI’s chance to learn more about the ties between Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 perpetrators by giving FBI agents only time for cursory interviews with the departing Saudis.

Bandar himself was close to the bin Laden family and acknowledged having met Osama bin Laden in the context of bin Laden thanking Bandar for his help financing the jihad project in Afghanistan during the 1980s. “I was not impressed, to be honest with you,” Bandar toldCNN’s Larry King about bin Laden. “I thought he was simple and very quiet guy.”

The Saudi government claimed to have broken ties with bin Laden in the early 1990s when he began targeting the United States because President George H.W. Bush had stationed U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, but if Moussaoui is telling the truth al-Qaeda would have still counted Bandar among its supporters in the late 1990s.

Bandar and Putin

Bandar’s possible links to Sunni terrorism also emerged in 2013 during a confrontation between Bandar and Putin over what Putin viewed as Bandar’s crude threat to unleash Chechen terrorists against the Sochi Winter Olympics if Putin did not reduce his support for the Syrian government.

According to a leaked diplomatic account of a July 31, 2013 meeting in Moscow, Bandar informed Putin that Saudi Arabia had strong influence over Chechen extremists who had carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Russian targets and who had since deployed to join the fight against the Assad regime in Syria.

As Bandar called for a Russian shift toward the Saudi position on Syria, he reportedly offered guarantees of protection from Chechen terror attacks on the Olympics. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year,” Bandar reportedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Putin responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism.”

Bandar’s Mafia-like threat toward the Sochi games a version of “nice Olympics you got here, it’d be a shame if something terrible happened to it” failed to intimidate Putin, who continued to support Assad.

Less than a month later, an incident in Syria almost forced President Barack Obama’s hand in launching U.S. air strikes against Assad’s military, which would have possibly opened the path for the Nusra Front or the Islamic State to capture Damascus and take control of Syria. On Aug. 21, 2013, a mysterious sarin attack outside Damascus killed hundreds and, in the U.S. media, the incident was immediately blamed on the Assad regime.

American neocons and their allied “liberal interventionists” demanded that Obama launch retaliatory air strikes even though some U.S. intelligence analysts doubted that Assad’s forces were responsible and suspected that the attack was carried out by extremist rebels trying to pull the U.S. military into the civil war on their side.

Yet, pushed by the neocons and liberal war hawks, Obama nearly ordered a bombing campaign designed to “degrade” the Syrian military but called it off at the last minute. He then accepted Putin’s help in reaching a diplomatic solution in which Assad agreed to surrender his entire chemical weapons arsenal, while still denying any role in the sarin attack.

Later, the Assad-did-it case crumbled amid new evidence that Sunni extremists, supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, were the more likely perpetrators of the attack, a scenario that became increasingly persuasive as Americans learned more about the cruelty and ruthlessness of many Sunni jihadists fighting in Syria. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mistaken Guns of Last August.”]

Targeting Putin

Putin’s cooperation with Obama to head off a U.S. military strike in Syria made the Russian president more of a target for the American neocons who thought they finally had reached the cusp of their long-desired “regime change” in Syria only to be blocked by Putin. By late September 2013, a leading neocon, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, announced the goal of challenging Putin and recognizing his sore point in Ukraine.

Taking to the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important step toward ultimately ousting Putin. Gershman wrote, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents.   Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.“]

However, in early 2014, Putin was obsessed with Bandar’s implicit threat of terrorism striking the Sochi Olympics, thus distracting him from the “regime change” being pushed by NED and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland next door in Ukraine.

On Feb. 22, 2014, putschists, spearheaded by well-organized neo-Nazi militias, drove elected President Viktor Yanukovych and his government from power. Putin was caught off-guard and, in the resulting political chaos, agreed to requests from Crimean officials and voters to accept Crimea back into Russia, thus exploding his cooperative relationship with Obama.

With Putin the new pariah in Official Washington, the neocon hand also was strengthened in the Middle East where renewed pressure could be put on the “Shiite crescent” in Syria and Iran. However, in summer 2014, the Islamic State, which had splintered off from al-Qaeda and its Nusra Front, went on a rampage, invading Iraq where captured soldiers were beheaded. The Islamic State then engaged in gruesome videotaped decapitations of Western hostages inside Syria.

The Islamic State’s brutality and the threat it posed to the U.S.-backed, Shiite-dominated government of Iraq changed the political calculus. Obama felt compelled to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria. American neocons tried to convince Obama to expand the Syrian strikes to hit Assad’s forces, too, but Obama realized such a plan would only benefit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

In effect, the neocons were showing their hand much as Israeli Ambassador Oren had done favoring the Sunni extremists allied with al-Qaeda over Assad’s secular regime because it was allied with Iran. Now, with Moussaoui’s deposition identifying senior Saudi officials as patrons of al-Qaeda, another veil seems to have dropped.

Complicating matters further, Moussaoui also claimed that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.

But Moussaoui’s disclosure perhaps cast the most unflattering light on Bandar, the erstwhile confidant of the Bush Family who — if Moussaoui is right — may have been playing a sinister double game.

Also facing potentially embarrassing questions is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, especially if he goes through with his planned speech before a joint session of Congress next month, attacking Obama for being soft on Iran.

And, America’s neocons might have some explaining to do about why they have carried water not just for the Israelis but for Israel’s de facto allies in Saudi Arabia.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Saudi Arabia, Syria0 Comments

“The More You Watch, The Less You Know”. Preferred Conclusions – The BBC, Syria and Venezuela

NOVANEWS
 

As the late media activist Danny Schechter wrote, when it comes to the corporate broadcast media: ‘The more you watch, the less you know.’

Schechter’s observation only fails in one key respect: ‘mainstream’ output does tell us a lot about which foreign governments are being lined up for regime change.

In 2013, it was remarkable to see the BBC reporting claims from Syria on a daily basis in a way that almost always blamed the Syrian government, and President Assad personally, for horrendous war crimes. But as the New York Times reported last month, the picture was rather less black and white. The US was embroiled in a dirty war that was ‘one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A’, running to ‘more than $1 billion over the life of the program’. Its aim was to support a vast ‘rebel’ army created and armed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to overthrow the Syrian government.

The BBC’s relentless headline stories were mostly supplied by ‘activists’ and ‘rebels’ who, in fact, were militants attempting to overthrow Assad, and whose claims could not be verified. Veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn described the problem afflicting virtually all ‘mainstream’ reporting on Syria:

‘All wars always produce phony atrocity stories – along with real atrocities. But in the Syrian case fabricated news and one-sided reporting have taken over the news agenda to a degree probably not seen since the First World War… The real reason that reporting of the Syrian conflict has been so inadequate is that Western news organisations have almost entirely outsourced their coverage to the rebel side.’

There was a simple reason why ‘rebel’ claims were uncontested: they originated from ‘areas controlled by people so dangerous no foreign journalist dare set foot among them’. The additional point being that ‘it has never been plausible that unaffiliated local citizens would be allowed to report freely’.

This was obvious to everyone, doubtless including the BBC, which nevertheless produced a tsunami of ‘rebel’-sourced propaganda. Crucially, these stories were not balanced attempts to explore the various claims; they sought to establish a version of events justifying regime change: ‘rebels’ and ‘activists’ were ‘good’, Assad was ‘bad’ and had to go. Journalist Robert Parry explains:

‘The job of the media is not to provide as much meaningful information as possible to the people so they can exercise their free judgment; it is to package certain information in a way to guide the people to a preferred conclusion.’

The BBC campaign was clearly inspired – whether consciously or otherwise – by a high-level decision to engineer regime change in Syria.

The key moment arrived in August 2013 when the US came very close to launching a major attack against Syrian government forces, supposedly in response to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, Damascus. Only the UK parliament’s rejection of the case for war and warnings from US generals on doubts about the claims, and likely fallout from regime change, prevented Obama from attacking.

Source: New Eastern Outlook

Particularly disturbing was the fact that, as the possibility of a direct US regime change effort faded, so too did the steady flow of BBC atrocity claims. It was as if, with the goal temporarily unattainable, the propaganda tap was simply closed. It was later re-opened ahead of an anticipated, pro-war Clinton presidency, and then as part of an attempt to push president-elect Trump to intensify the Syrian war.

‘Well, Shock, Shock, It’s The Oil!’

This year, we have witnessed a comparable BBC propaganda blitz on Venezuela centred around opposition claims that President Maduro has ‘eroded Venezuela’s democratic institutions and mismanaged its economy’.

The BBC campaign has again been characterised by daily reports from Venezuela presenting a black and white picture of the crisis: Maduro ‘bad’, opposition ‘good’. The BBC has again promoted the sense of an escalating crisis that will inevitably and justifiably result in regime change. It is no surprise, then, to learn from the Independent:

‘The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government of Venezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.’

CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was ‘hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there’.

No eyebrows were raised in a US political culture obsessed with unproven claims of Russian interference in last year’s US presidential elections. Last month, Pompeo’s boss, President Trump, commented on Venezuela:

‘We don’t talk about it but a military option, a military option is certainly something that we could pursue.’

Pompeo’s and Trump’s statements indicate a continuation of US policy that supported a 2002 coup that temporarily overthrew (then) President Chavez and which ‘was closely tied to senior officials in the US government’.

Political analyst Ricardo Vaz notes the ironic fact that ‘many of the opposition leaders’ denouncing Maduro’s alleged attacks on democracy, including Henrique Capriles, Julio Borges, Leopoldo López and Maria Corina Machado, ‘were directly involved in the 2002 coup attempt’.

US interest in Venezuela was explained with admirable candour in a classified US government document from December 12, 1978:

‘OUR FUNDAMENTAL INTERESTS IN VENEZUELA ARE:1. THAT VENEZUELA CONTINUE TO SUPPLY A SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION OF OUR PETROLEUM IMPORTS AND CONTINUE TO FOLLOW A MODERATE AND RESPONSIBLE OIL PRICE POSITION IN OPEC…’

According to the respected BP ‘Statistical review of world energy’ (June 28, 2015), proven oil reserves in Venezuela are the largest in the world, totalling 297 billion barrels.

The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, naturally shares Trump’s and Pompeo’s view of the country, commenting:

‘We are evaluating all of our policy options as to what can we do to create a change of conditions where either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord or we can return the government processes back to their constitution.’ (Our emphasis)

The fact that Tillerson was chairman and chief executive officer of the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil, from 2006-2016, having joined the company in 1975, might give cause for pause in considering the ‘change of conditions’ he has in mind. In 2007, the Evening Standard reported:

‘BP and the other majors are taking a hard line with Chavez, demanding conditions and compensation for [Venezuelan policy changes]… Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson said that unless the negotiations produce a profitable proposal, “we won’t be staying”.’ (‘Oil giants face reserves blow in Venezuela grab,’ Evening Standard, April 30, 2007)

And of course Trump has left us in no doubt about who is the rightful owner of the world’s oil:

‘I wasn’t a fan of Iraq, I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you – when we were in, we got out wrong. And I always said, in addition to that: “Keep the oil!”… So we shoulda kept the oil. But okay, maybe we’ll have another chance… But the fact is: we shoulda kept the oil.’

Our search of the Lexis database (August 30, 2017) for UK national press articles mentioning ‘Tillerson’, ‘Exxon’ and ‘Venezuela’ over the seven months since Tillerson was made Secretary of State generated precisely three hits. None of these discussed oil as a possible motive driving US policy – a taboo subject.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast describes why and when Venezuela became an Official Enemy of the West:

‘Well, shock, shock, it’s the oil! Chavez, back in 2000, 2001, decided that he wasn’t going to give it away anymore… Big US oil companies were paying a royalty for Venezuela’s super-heavy oil of about 1 per cent – 1 per cent! – okay. And for the regular oil, the heavy oil, it was 16 per cent. So the oil companies were keeping 84 per cent, and Chavez said: “You’re going to have to pay 30 per cent, you can only keep 70 per cent of our oil… You gotta split off a bit for the people of Venezuela.” And, of course, that made him enemy number one – not to Americans, but to America’s landlords, the oil companies.’

Regional specialist Mark Weisbrot commented recently on the Venezuelan opposition’s US allies:

‘These right-wing U.S. politicians – with much cooperation from all of the U.S. administrations of the past 15 years – have consistently fought to overthrow the Venezuelan government. This is all they can think about, regardless of the consequences of escalating violence, increased suffering, or even civil war.’

Weisbrot’s overly-optimistic conclusion:

‘The U.S. strategy of “regime change” has contributed to the death of hundreds of thousands of people — mostly civilians — in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. It has also had a hideous history in the Americas. Hopefully something has been learned from these crimes and tragedies.’

The BBC’s Propaganda Blitz

In numerous ‘reports’, the BBC has presented damning criticism of the Venezuelan government, often with no or nominal balance. We will sample below from a large number of similar offerings with a few related examples from other corporate media.

On May 6, the BBC published a piece titled: ‘Venezuela protests: Women march against Maduro’. The article reported:

‘The US has also expressed concern about what UN ambassador Nikki Haley called a “violent crackdown”.’At least 36 people have died and hundreds have been injured in weeks of protests.’

This gave the impression that a government ‘crackdown’ was responsible for the deaths. But the truth was more mixed. In July, Venezuela Analysis reported that since violent anti-government protests began on April 4, there had been 14 deaths caused by the authorities and 23 direct victims of opposition political violence, with 61 deaths disputed or unaccounted for.

Like so many BBC articles, this one focused on claims that Venezuela is a ‘dictatorship’:

‘”The dictatorship is living its last days and Maduro knows it,” former MP Maria Corina Machado told AFP news agency at the women’s march.’

The BBC even included a comment presumably intended to remind readers of the infamous toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad (in fact orchestrated by US forces):

‘Meanwhile video posted on social media purportedly showed the pulling down of a small statue of Hugo Chavez in the western town of Rosario de Perija.’

In similar vein, a May 9 BBC piece included the comment:

‘The secretary general of the Organisation of American States (OAS) likened the country to a dictatorship.’

While recognising that the Maduro government certainly merits criticism for mishandling the current situation, ‘both economically and politically’, political analyst Greg Wilpert noted that

‘none of the arguments against the democratic legitimacy of the Maduro government hold much water’. Moreover, ‘polls repeatedly indicate that even though Maduro is fairly unpopular, a majority of Venezuelans want him to finish his term in office, which expires in January 2019’.

Western media devoted intense coverage to Maduro’s decision to hold elections for a Constituent Assembly in July. In response, the Trump administration extended sanctions. Mark Weisbrot commented:

‘The pretext for the sanctions is that the new Constitutional Assembly will essentially carry out a coup d’etat, abolishing the National Assembly – which the opposition won by a wide margin in December 2015 – and allowing President Nicolas Maduro to cancel presidential elections, which are due next year.’

But as Weisbrot noted, such a cancellation ‘will not happen automatically’ as a result of the Constituent Assembly election, and so ‘it does not make sense that the sanctions should be triggered by the election itself’.

On May 11, the BBC published ‘Inside Venezuela’s anti-government protests’. The first comment relayed by the BBC:

‘There’s no freedom of expression here in Venezuela. There’s no freedom of any kind.’

Media analyst Joe Emersberger describes the reality:

‘The biggest lie told over the past fifteen years about Venezuela is that its media is cowed by the government and that it has rendered the opposition voiceless.’

He adds:

‘In fact the protests and the leading opposition leaders’ take on the protests are being extensively covered on the largest private networks: Venevision, Televen, Globovision. If people abroad sampled Venezuela’s TV media directly, as opposed to judging it by what is said about it by the international media and some big NGOs, they’d be shocked to find the opposition constantly denouncing the government and even making very thinly veiled appeals to the military to oust Maduro.’

The BBC’s second quoted opinion:

‘We’re here to put an end to the dictatorship in Venezuela, so that our children can grow up in a free Venezuela.’

There was no balance and there have been no similar compilations looking ‘inside’ Venezuela’s pro-government protests. One would hardly guess that Maduro was elected president on April 14, 2013 in a democratic election.

In a May 12 report, ‘Venezuela protests: a week in pictures’, the BBC included two successive photo captions, which read:

‘People angry with the government of President Nicolas Maduro have been taking to the streets almost daily since the beginning of April.’

And:

‘Many have been injured, and there have been close to 40 protest-related deaths.’

 

This again suggested that people ‘angry with the government’ had been killed. Opposition violence has included bomb attacks on police, grenades thrown at the supreme court building from a helicopter, a government supporter burned alive, shootings, attempted lynchings, and so on. This violence was not mentioned by Paul Mason when he condemned ‘Maduro’s crackdown’ in the Guardian. A New York Times op-ed under the title, ‘Venezuela Needs International Intervention. Now.,’ commented in similar vein:

‘President Nicolás Maduro has responded with an iron fist. More than 50 people have been killed, 1,000 injured, and 2,700 arrested…’

The bomb attack on Venezuelan National Guard soldiers shown in this video, severely injuring several of the soldiers and cheered by people watching, would of course have been described by all US-UK media as a ‘terror attack’, if it had happened in the West.

The Guardian published a similar photo gallery of anti-government protestors, but not of pro-government protestors. The compilation came with remarkable captions of this kind:

‘Drawing inspiration from Ukraine’s 2013-14 revolt, young protesters in Venezuela carry Viking-like shields as they battle government security forces during protests against President Nicolás Maduro’

One photo caption read:

‘”Miraflores on fire” is written on the front of this shield. Miraflores Palace is the president’s official workplace’

Another:

‘The opposition says President Maduro has created a dictatorship. The last parliamentary vote held in 2015 gave the opposition a majority but the government has repeatedly blocked any attempts to oust Maduro’

The BBC’s May 16 piece was titled, ‘Venezuela: Teenager killed as mass protests rage’. A May 18 BBC piece maintained the sense of developing crisis: ‘Venezuela: Soldiers sent to quell looting amid protests’. On May 22, a BBC report opened with these words:

‘”Venezuela is now a dictatorship,” says Luis Ugalde, a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who during his 60 years living in Venezuela has become one of the South American nation’s most well-known political scientists.’

The BBC later offered another ‘inside’ look at anti-government protestors: ‘Apathy to activism: Venezuelan students on why they protest.’ Mario Bonucci, rector of the University of the Andes, was quoted:

‘This is an institution where you can speak your mind freely without fear of repercussion and that’s uncomfortable for this government.’

A remark that again ignored the fact that widespread criticism of Maduro’s government is published and broadcast by many Venezuelan media. The BBC offered no balancing comment.

The 2002 Coup – Telling Omissions

On July 9, the BBC wrote of opposition leader Leopoldo López:

‘Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has praised the decision to release from prison one of the country’s main opposition leaders, Leopoldo López…’Mr López was serving a 14-year sentence for inciting violence during anti-government protests in 2014, a charge he has always denied. The Supreme Court said he was released on health grounds.’

Leopoldo López

There is rather more to be said about Lopez. Venezuela Analysis commented:

‘Lopez is also well known in Venezuela for his active participation in the April 2002 coup against the democratically elected president Hugo Chávez. During the coup, using his authority as Mayor of Chacao, he led the illegal arrest of Minister of Justice Ramón Rodríguez Chacín.’

The report continued:

‘In a joint appeal with Maria Corina Machado, López called on citizens to join his “La Salida” campaign (“The Way Out”), described the government as a “dictatorship” and called on Venezuelans to “rise up” emulating the example of January 23, 1958 (when a popular uprising overthrew the Perez Jimenez dictatorship). The message was clear: Venezuela was a dictatorship, the government had to be overthrown by force.’

The Guardian also reported on Lopez:

‘Security agents have since seized two opposition leaders from their homes after they called for protests against the vote.’

Joe Emersberger pointed out some telling omissions:

‘Umm no. Leopoldo Lopez – while already under house arrest – made a video in which he called for a military coup. Don’t try this while under house arrest in the UK, where you can get put away for Facebook posts advocating a riot (even if you are not under house arrest at the time).’

Writing for OffGuardian, Ricardo Vaz asked of corporate media performance:

‘Why is there never a mention that the opposition leadership is full of protagonists from that US-backed military coup that ultimately failed? Quite simply because it would undermine the entire “democracy vs. dictatorship” propaganda narrative.’

Numerous journalists have attempted to use the Venezuelan crisis to also attack Jeremy Corbyn as part of the relentless smear campaign against him. In The Times, David Aaronovitch wrote of the Venezuelan revolution:

‘I believe we need to know why you [Jeremy Corbyn] think it’s failed.’

This from the columnist who has tirelessly backed wars of ‘liberation’ generating mass death and utter disaster in IraqLibya and Syria.

Conclusion – Enforcing ‘The Truth’

The goal of a mass media propaganda campaign is to create the impression that ‘everybody knows’ that Saddam is a ‘threat’, Gaddafi is ‘about to commit mass murder’, Assad ‘has to go’, Corbyn is ‘destroying the Labour party’, and so on. The picture of the world presented must be clear-cut. The public must be made to feel certain that the ‘good guys’ are basically benevolent, and the ‘bad guys’ are absolutely appalling and must be removed.

This is achieved by relentless repetition of the theme over days, weeks, months and even years. Numerous individuals and organisations are used to give the impression of an informed consensus – there is no doubt! Once this ‘truth’ has been established, anyone contradicting or even questioning it is typically portrayed as a shameful ‘apologist’ in order to deter further dissent and enforce conformity.

A key to countering this propaganda is to ask some simple questions: Why are US-UK governments and corporate media much more concerned about suffering in Venezuela than the far worse horrors afflicting war-torn, famine-stricken Yemen? Why do UK MPs rail against Maduro while rejecting a parliamentary motion to suspend UK arms supplies to their Saudi Arabian allies attacking Yemen? Why is the imperfect state of democracy in Venezuela a source of far greater outrage than outright tyranny in Saudi Arabia? The answers could hardly be more obvious.

Posted in USA, Media, Syria, UK, Venezuela0 Comments

Syria’s Victory in Deir Ezzor

NOVANEWS

The Syrian Arab Army have achieved yet another dramatic victory this time lifting the ISIS siege of the heroic city of Deir Ezzor. For years Deir Ezzor has been surrounded by enemies and under siege first by the FSA and Al Nusra and then by ISIS. They have withstood repeated attacks by the US-NATO air force most infamously last fall when the Americans bombed Deir Ezzor right after agreeing to a ceasefire, a treacherous move that paved the way for a nearly successful ISIS offensive to capture the city. The brave defenders of Deir Ezzor withstood these endless attacks becoming a symbol of the heroic resistance of all of Syria. For years Syrians and their friends around the world have dreamed that one day this siege would be lifted. Our dreams have finally come true and faster then anyone could have imagined.

The liberation of Deir Ezzor from ISIS siege is the culmination of months of dramatic SAA victories against ISIS. Now we dream that a final victory may be near in Syria. Once again the SAA and their allies Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran have stunned the world. The empire of Chaos is in a panic. Netanyahu of Israel is hysterical with rage attempting to spoil the victory in Deir Ezzor with yet another of it’s illegal and cowardly air strikes on Syria. The whole strategic balance of the world is changing before our eyes. And it is all due to the enormous courage of the Syrian people who have withstood this dirty war launched by seemingly half the world on their country. Syria has resisted the US, Israel, the British, the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait, France, Germany, and the rest of the GCC/NATO lackeys that make up the the Axis of Chaos. They have resisted armies of fanatical, brutal, killers recruited across the middle east, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. They have defeated a CIA trained horde of torturers, rapists, slavers, cannibals, and of course killers. Has any country in history battled against the odds Syria has faced? Is the victory in Deir Ezzor the most glorious in human history? 

Only a few short months ago it was unclear whether Deir Ezzor would survive long enough for the SAA to lift the siege. ISIS launched offensive after offensive and with the help of the earlier  US air strikes ISIS even managed to cut the city in half last January. Then even more desperate offensives followed and ISIS made some dangerous strategic gains. ISIS always began every offensive with their trademark suicide truck bomb attacks. However the SAA managed to crush these ISIS offensives turning the town into the graveyard of ISIS. The SAA were under the command of the legendary Major General Issam Zahreddine who has lead the defense of the city since July of 2014. Every day for over 1000 days the SAA, Hezbollah and the local national defense forces were on the front lines defending the cities’ 100,000 residents from ISIS. The civilians were equally heroic in withstanding years of siege especially the defiant women of Deir Ezzor who braved kidnappers,  snipers and rocket attacks to find food for their families. Their husbands were often dead or fighting on the front lines and it was the stubborn bravery of the women of Deir Ezzor that allowed the city to survive the siege. The people of Deir Ezzor withstood untold suffering their electricity was cut off, food was scarce, medicine hard to find. Thanks to the treacherous attack of the US air force ISIS was able to seize the towns clean water supply and the town was forced to drink polluted river water to survive. Rockets, artillery,  mortars and sniper fire terrorized them like so many Syrians who have survived these terrorist sieges. They lived in constant fear that ISIS might capture the city. Despite all this they remained defiant determined to resist to the end. I’ll never forget the sight of hundreds of Syrian mothers, and grandmothers armed with Ak-47s and warning ISIS they would fight to the death to defend their families. Thankfully due to bravery of the SAA and their allies it never came to that and against all the odds the city resisted every attempt to capture it. In the end they were defending the city with only 2 tanks and artillery that were long past their life expectancy after being fired so many times without replacement.

The victory at Deir Ezzor is the culmination of months of SAA offensives that have liberated thousands of square kilometers in the past few months. To the North expanding on the victory in Aleppo the SAA steadily advanced east towards and then past Raqqa. To the south of them was a huge swath of Syrian territory occupied by ISIS separating them from the SAA territory extending into Palmyra. In a stunning series of victories the SAA managed to cut this ISIS pocket off from it’s supply lines divide it in two and completely encircle them liberating a huge amount of territory and opening the way for the final push towards Deir Ezzor. Those who followed the amazing victories of the NAF during the war in Ukraine could not help but recognize the brilliant behind the scenes role Russian Spetsnaz advisers played in the recent SAA victories. ISIS is still desperately resisting it’s inevitable defeat but it is clear that the SAA, Hezbollah and Russia have dealt it a decisive defeat in Syria. These victories owed much to Syria’s elite Tiger Forces who also played a decisive role in both the victory in Aleppo and the end of the siege of Deir Ezzor. In a war where battles have raged for weeks over a tiny village or even a single building the SAA have managed to liberate thousands of miles in recent weeks. Once again the SAA have accomplished the impossible.

It is no wonder Syria’s enemies are acting even crazier then usual. The US has sent it’s SDF Kurdish mercenaries to try to block further SAA advances. The Kurds would be wise to break out of their servitude to the empire soon before the Americans provoke some terrifying disaster.   At the same time the US is trying to embroil the Kurds with a war with the SAA rumor has it the US has already made plans to abandon them to their fate. In the week before the siege on Deir Ezzor was broken the US sent it’s helicopters in to evacuate certain key ISIS commanders exposing yet again that ISIS is merely a tool of the CIA and it’s allied intelligence agencies. In revenge Russia bombed ISIS with a thermobaric bomb and has been showing off it’s cruise missiles in devastating attacks on ISIS which are also a warning to the US and it’s SDF pawns.  The US responded to the liberation of Deir Ezzor by bombing a nearby refugee camp killing Syrian children in a criminal and cowardly attack. The US is also in an ever intensifying panic over Russia although it seemed impossible for the anti-Russian Hysteria to grow even crazier. They are locked in a diplomatic war with Russia expelling each others diplomats and installing more harsh sanctions on Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. They are targeting RT and Sputnik. It has gotten so out of control that USA Today foolishly attacked my blog for exposing the fascist coup in Ukraine. It was part of the latest Russian propaganda Hysteria backed by the CIA/BND Front the German Marshall Fund and it’s Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Hamilton 68 Project which spies on 600 pro-Russian twitter accounts or as they call them “Kremlin controlled bots and trolls.” Basically anyone who opposes fascist Ukraine or the schemes to have Al Qaeda and ISIS destroy Syria is now being labeled a Russian propagandist regardless of whether they are Americans, Canadians or western europeans and are accused of destroying democracy by informing the public. This arrogant NATO think tank believes the only way “to secure democracy” is to destroy free speech. Luckily they are far too late to prevent the world from realizing the criminal nature of American Foreign Policy which brings destruction, misery, poverty, and war to the entire planet.

Syria’s other enemies are also in a panic. Netanyahu of Israel made himself into a global laughingstock when he traveled to Russia to beg Putin to stop the SAA advances which he insanely believed was Iranian expansionism. Putin told him Iran was a Russian ally and they say Netanyahu flew into a rage and threatened to bomb Assad’s presidential palace. He had to content himself with yet another illegal Israeli bombing. Still Israel remains dangerous and unpredictable and is in a panic over the fact that Hezbollah has only grown stronger during the war on Syria. Hezbollah achieved a major victory in the Qalamoun mountains finally cleaning out a nest of ISIS terrorists who were forced to evacuate in busses to their ever shrinking territory in Eastern Syria. The Saudis are feuding with the Qataris while they continue their US-UK-NATO backed genocidal war on Yemen. Meanwhile the whole world is wondering wether mad emperor Trump will embroil the world in a nuclear war over North Korea. I predict that the whole thing is just an embarrassing bluff another humiliation for the Empire of Chaos. Still the US is on the attack everywhere in the world. It’s latest coup plot in Venezuela has met a humiliating defeat the fascist opposition discredited themselves with their reign of terror and Venezuela has voted to further advance the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution.

Meanwhile in Syria they are celebrating and rebuilding, Syrian’s forced to flee as refugees are now returning home now that the NATO death squads have been driven out of so much of the country. Where two years ago there was a gloomy determination now Syrians are again dreaming of the bright future ahead when they have rebuilt their country. The liberation of Deir Ezzor was celebrated across Syria especially in Deir Ezzor itself. Now that the SAA have broken the siege food and medical supplies can finally enter the town and children can now go to school without fear of being shot by snipers. Everywhere in Syria people are dreaming of a final victory and the return of peace. Unfortunately the war is far from over but Syria has become an inspiration to the world a symbol of heroism and resistance. In the face of all the Axis of Chaos could throw at them the armies of terrorists, NATO bombers, the US marines, the CIA plots, the billions in weapons, the sanctions and the propaganda war Syria refused to surrender. A lesson to everyone resisting the empire of chaos remember Syria and never stop fighting.

Sources

ANNA news Documentary on life in Deir Ezzor under ISIS Siege

https://youtu.be/KewY8HETxhY

ANNA News Documentary on Lifting the ISIS Siege of Deir Ezzor

https://youtu.be/OoRPvHVQASQ

The latest from Deir Ezzor as SAA continue their offensive

https://southfront.org/syrian-army-captures-important-areas-around-deir-ezzor-continues-advance-in-eastern-hama/

Sharmine Narwani on Israel’s Panic over SAA victory

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/israels-geopolitical-gut-check

Dr. Shaaban: On the Syrian Victory

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/the-defeat-of-their-project-and-the-victory-of-ours/

Flashback to the my article on the treacherous US bombing of Deir Ezzor

http://anti-imperialist-u.blogspot.com/2016/09/bombing-at-deir-ezzor.html

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Syrian troops will fight US-backed militia to free Arab country: Assad aide

NOVANEWS

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban

The political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says government troops, backed by fighters from allied popular defense groups, will fight any force, including the US-backed militia, to fully liberate the Arab country plagued with terrorism for over six years.

“Whether it’s the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), or Daesh or any illegitimate foreign force in the country… we will fight and work against them so our land is freed completely from any aggressor,” said Bouthaina Shaaban in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network on Friday.

She added that the US-backed SDF forces had managed to capture areas in northeastern Syria from Daesh “without any fighting,” implying that the Takfiri militants were working hand in glove with the SDF to take oil-rich areas.

“But they will not get what they want,” the Syrian official added.

The SDF is a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is in control of large parts of northeastern Syria for many years. The SDF forces have gained ground against Daesh in the northern city of Raqqah, the terror group’s de facto capital in the Arab country.

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. They also support some groups, such as the SDF, claiming that they help them in their alleged fight against Daesh terrorists.

Different foreign-backed terrorist groups have been wreaking havoc in Syria since 2011. The government controls the main urban centers in the west of the country and has recaptured much of the eastern desert from Daesh in recent months.

On Tuesday, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lapin, the Russian chief of staff in Syria, announced that Damascus was in control of 85 percent of the Arab country’s territories. He added that Syrian forces must now purge terrorists from the country’s remaining 15 percent, which amounts to 27,000 square kilometers.

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