Thursday, 27 October 2016
US Killed Around 250 Civilians Just in Attacks on Manbij
Amnesty International has issued a new statement warning that the US needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its coalition airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, and cautioned the US has dramatically under-reported the number of civilians killed in their air war.
The new report centered on Syria, noting that the US-led coalition had killed at least 300 civilians in Syria, and had not admitted to the vast majority of those slain. They reported the US had killed around 250 civilians just in the city of Manbij and the surrounding area.
The US backed a Kurdish invasion of Manbij earlier this past summer, and conducted several major airstrikes in the surrounding areas, including some which killed scores of civilians. As Amnesty pointed out, the US has not officially included any civilians from the Manbij strikes on their official count, despite the incidents being well established.
Amnesty warned that the lack of official recognition raised concerns that the US had not made any corrections to their policy, and that this was particularly concerning with the ongoing invasion of the city of Mosul, which is many times larger and expected to be an even longer conflict.
The Pentagon has only acknowledged a few dozen civilian deaths in both Iraq and Syria combined. The Amnesty report, while drastically higher, is still considered very conservative, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights putting the US-caused civilian death toll in Syria between 600 and 1,000.
Naughty Russia could shoot down USA aircraft flying illegally over Syria if they threaten Russian forces
Hillary Clinton has proposed establishing a no-fly zone in Syria, but Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday that such a move could lead Russia to shoot down U.S. planes.
“I wouldn’t put it past them to shoot down an American aircraft if they felt that was threatening to their forces on the ground,” Clapper said during a talk at the Council of Foreign Relations.
Russia recently deployed mobile S-400 and S-300 missile batteries to Western Syria, which are capable of shooting down aircraft and cruise missiles. Clapper signaled that they posed a threat to American planes should the U.S. try to institute a no-fly zone in Syria.
“The system they have there is very advanced, very capable,” said Clapper, “and I don’t think they’d do it – deploy it – if they didn’t have some intention to use it.”
In the past, Clinton has called for “safe zones” and “no-fly zones” in Syria. During the third presidential debate last week, moderator Chris Wallace asked Clinton whether she would fire on Russian aircraft that were violating a U.S.-imposed no-fly zone. She did not answer the question, saying only that a no-fly zone “would take a lot of negotiation,” and that she thinks she could “strike a deal” where Russian planes would avoid no-fly zones.
General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel last month that for the U.S. to “control all of the airspace in Syria, it would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia.”
President Obama dismissed calls for a no-fly zone last year, calling the idea “half-baked.”
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
All in the name of regime change–and because the US thinks it has the right to tell other countries who they’re allowed, and not allowed, to have as their leaders. Arrogance, particularly of the US variety, is lethal.
October 25, 2016
by Pepe Escobar for Strategic Culture
«Your honors, in this venue I announce my separation from the United States… both in military and economics also».
Thus Philippines President Rodrigo «The Punisher» Duterte unleashed a geopolitical earthquake encompassing Eurasia and reverberating all across the Pacific Ocean.
And talk about choosing his venue with aplomb; right in the heart of the Rising Dragon, no less.
Capping his state visit to Beijing, Duterte then coined the mantra – pregnant with overtones – that will keep ringing all across the global South; «America has lost».
And if that was not enough, he announced a new alliance – Philippines, China and Russia – is about to emerge; «there are three of us against the world».
Predictably, the Beltway establishment in the «indispensable nation» went bananas, reacting as «puzzled» or in outright anger, dispersing the usual expletives on the «crude populist», «unhinged leader».
The bottom line is that it takes a lot of balls for the leader of a poor, developing country, in Southeast Asia or elsewhere, to openly defy the hyperpower. Yet what Duterte is gaming at is pure realpolitik; if he prevails, he will be able to deftly play the US against China to the benefit of Filipino interests.
«The springtime of our relationship»
It did start with a bang; during Duterte’s China visit, Manila inked no less than $13 billion in deals with Beijing – from trade and investment to drug control, maritime security and infrastructure.
Beijing pulled out all stops to make Duterte feel welcomed.
President Xi Jinping suggested Manila and Beijing should «temporarily put aside» the intractable South China Sea disputes and learn from the «political wisdom» of history – as in give space to diplomatic talks. After all, the two peoples were «blood-linked brothers».
Duterte replied in kind; «Even as we arrive in Beijing close to winter, this is the springtime of our relationship,» he told Xi at the Great Hall of the People.
China is already the Philippines’ second-largest trade partner, behind Japan, the US and Singapore. Filipino exports to these three are at roughly 42.7 percent of the total, compared to 22.1 to China / Hong Kong. Imports from China are roughly 16.1 percent of the total. Even as trade with China is bound to rise, what really matters for Duterte is massive Chinese infrastructure investment.
What this will mean in practice is indeed ground-breaking; the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will definitely be involved in Philippine economic development; Manila will be more involved in promoting smooth China-ASEAN relations in all sorts of regional issues (it takes the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2017); and the Philippines will be more integrated in the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. One Belt, One Road (OBOR).
Three strikes; no wonder the US is out. And there’s even a fourth strike, embedded in Duterte’s promise that
he will soon end military cooperation with the US, despite the opposition of part of the Filipino armed forces.
Watch the First Island Chain
The build-up had already been dramatic enough. On the eve of his meeting with Xi, talking to members of the Filipino community in Beijing, Duterte said, «it’s time to say goodbye» to the US; «I will not ask but if they (the Chinese) offer and if they’ll ask me, do you need this aid? [I will say] Of course, we are very poor».
Then the clincher; «I will not go to America anymore … We will just be insulted there».
The US was the colonial power in the Philippines from 1899 to 1942. Hollywood permeates the collective unconscious. English is the lingua franca – side by side with tagalog. But the tentacles of Uncle Sam’s «protection» racket are not exactly welcomed. Two of the largest components of the US Empire of Bases were located for decades in the Philippines; Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Base.
Clark, occupying 230 square miles, with 15,000 people, was busy to death during the Vietnam War – the main hub for men and hardware in and out of Saigon. Then it turned into one of those Pentagon «forward operating» HQs. Subic, occupying 260 square miles, was as busy as Clark. It was the forward operating base for the US 7th Fleet.
Already in 1987, before the end of the Cold War, the RAND corporation was alarmed by the loss of both bases; that would be «devastating for regional security». Devastating» in the – mythical – sense of «defending the interests of ASEAN» and the «security of the sea-lanes».
Translation; the Pentagon and the US Navy would lose a key instrument of pressure over ASEAN, as protecting the «security of the sea-lanes» was always the key justification for those bases.
And lose they eventually did; Clark was closed down in November 1991, and Subic in November 199
It took years for China to sense an opening – and profit from it; after all during the 1990s and the early 2000s, the absolute priority was breakneck speed internal development. But then Beijing did the math; no more US bases opened untold vistas as far as the First Island Chain is concerned.
The First Island Chain is a product, over millennia, of the fabulous tectonic forces of the Ring of Fire; a chain of islands running from southern Japan in the north to Borneo in the south. For Beijing, they work as a sort of shield for the Chinese eastern seaboard; if this chain is secure, Asia is secure.
For all practical purposes, Beijing considers the First Island Chain as a non-negotiable Western Pacific demarcation zone – ideally with no foreign (as in US) interference. The South China Sea – which in parts is characterized by Manila as the Western Philippine Sea – is inside the First Island Chain. So to really secure the First Island Chain, the South China Sea must be free of foreign interference.
And here we are plunged at the heart of arguably the key 21st century hotspot in Asian geopolitics – the main reason for the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia.
The US Navy so far counted on the Philippines to oppose the proverbial, hyped up «Chinese aggression» in the South China and East China seas. The neocon/neoliberalcon industrial-military complex fury against «unhinged» Duterte’s game-changer is that containing China and ruling over the First Island Chain has been at the core of US naval strategy since the beginning of the Cold War.
Beijing, meanwhile, will have all the time needed to polish its strategic environment. This has nothing to do with «freedom of navigation» and protecting sea-lanes; everyone needs South China Sea cross-trade. It’s all about China – perhaps within the next ten years – being able to deny «access» to the US Navy in the South China Sea and inside the First Island Chain.
Duterte’s game-changing «America has lost» is just a new salvo in arguably the key 21st century geopolitical thriller. A Supreme Court justice in Manila, for instance, has warned Duterte that, were he to give up sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal, he could be impeached. That won’t happen; Duterte wants loads of Chinese trade and investment, not abdicate from sovereignty. He’d rather be ready to confront being demonized by the hyperpower as much as the late Hugo Chavez was in his heyday.
October 26, 2016
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he wants US troops out of his country in the next two years and is willing to scrap defense pacts with longtime ally Washington if necessary.
The remarks during a high-profile visit to Japan follow a series of anti-American tirades by the firebrand leader.
“I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops,” Duterte told an economic forum in Tokyo, in a clear reference to US forces, ahead of a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“I want them out and if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, I will,” he added.
The US has a small number of Special Forces on the southern island of Mindanao to aid counter-terrorism operations.
But Duterte has already said he wants US troops out of Mindanao because their presence stokes tensions on the island where Islamic militants have waged a decades-long separatist insurgency.
Duterte has repeatedly attacked the US while cozying up to Beijing, upending his nation’s foreign policy in comments that have sometimes been quickly retracted.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, asked to clarify the president’s remarks, said that Duterte did not mean US troops would be ousted, stressing that “our national interests still continue to converge”.
The acid-tongued leader arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday on his first visit to Japan since taking office on June 30, looking to persuade executives his country is “open for business”, after seeming to overturn Manila’s traditional diplomatic alliances.
The 71-year-old has slammed Washington for questioning his violent crime crackdown, which has claimed some 3,700 lives and attracted widespread international criticism.
Jeremy Diamond — CNN Oct 25, 2016
Donald Trump. Click to enlarge
Donald Trump warned in an interview Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s policies as president to address the Syrian conflict would lead to World War III, arguing the Democratic nominee would draw the US into armed confrontation with Russia, Syria and Iran.
“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” Trump told Reuters on Tuesday morning at his resort in Doral, Florida. “You’re going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”
The Republican nominee, who has called for a rapprochement with Russia in order to jointly combat ISIS, argued that his Democratic rival’s calls for taking a more aggressive posture in Syria to bring the conflict there to an end and combat ISIS will only draw the US into a larger war. Trump’s remarks come as he trails Clinton in most national and key battleground state polls just two weeks from Election Day.
“You’re not fighting Syria anymore, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he said.
Trump has not laid out a clear strategy for combating ISIS or addressing the globally destabilizing conflict in Syria, which has killed hundreds of thousands and pushed millions more to flee their homes. He has suggested the US should allow ISIS, anti-government rebels and the Syrian government to fight it out and more recently has focused on joining forces with Russia — which has aided the Syrian regime in the bombing of civilians and US-allied rebels — to combat ISIS.
“Assad is secondary, to me, to ISIS,” Trump told Reuters of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom US officials have argued must step down.
Clinton has called for establishing a no-fly zone over Syria to help bring the five-year civil war to an end, a proposal top Republicans in Congress have championed, which President Barack Obama and others have opposed due to the risk of entering into conflict with Russia. A US-enforced no-fly zone would mean the US could shoot down a Russian jet should it enter Syrian airspace.
Clinton addressed those concerns in the final presidential debate, arguing that it would “save lives and hasten the end of the conflict,” while cautioning that “this would not be done just on the first day.”
“This would take a lot of negotiation and it would also take making it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that our purpose is to provide safe zones on the ground,” Clinton said during the debate earlier this month. “I think we could strike a deal and make it very clear to the Russians and Syrians that this was something that we believe the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria. It would help us in the fight against ISIS.”
Trump has additionally called for establishing safe zones in Syria to protect civilians — as has Clinton — which could also put the US in conflict with the Syrian government or Russia should they oppose the policy.
While Clinton has accused Trump of being Putin’s “puppet,” Trump knocked Clinton for her criticism of the Russian strongman, asking, “How she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil.”
And just two days after he tied the successful enactment of his agenda as president to the election of Republican majorities in Congress, Trump also returned to his more typical complaints of a lack of Republican unity weighing down his candidacy.
“If we had party unity, we couldn’t lose this election to Hillary Clinton,” he told Reuters.
That complaint didn’t put Trump in more of a bipartisan mood, though, as the Republican nominee also told Reuters he would not consider putting any Democrats in his cabinet — a departure from recent presidents, who have sought to post at least one member of their rival party in a top administration post.
Written by Nasser Kandil,
The Turkish message has been received in Lebanon through raising the flags in the supportive march for the Minister Ashraf Rifi in order to reveal the identity of the regional sponsor of the minister who broke away with Al Mustaqbal Movement, but away from the Lebanese presidential details neither Rifi nor the Turks have the ability to effectively influence its course. This message shows that Turkey is a regional player in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, in addition to the Turkish role in Palestine and the Egyptian Turkish estrangement, that was followed by the Turkish sponsorship of the subversive actions of the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian security towards Libya, which means that the Turkish positioning after the big clash with Russia and then normalizing the relations with it and the searching for a new ceiling of the Turkish role did not lead to a Turkish understanding that is able to absorb the new balances.
The Turkish insistence on troublemaking across the Syrian and the Iraqi gates militarily contrasts fundamentally the destination which was drawn by the Turkish defeat in front of Russia and the acceptance of its conditions to go on in normalizing the relations. It indicates to the Turkish attempt of testing by fire the limits which on their basis it can draw the new Turkish regional role. Through the Turkish current speech including its Ottoman language for a country that is supposed to work according to the rules of the International Law it grants itself the right of the military intervention, the positioning and playing roles which it draws for itself into the international borders of another sovereign country. What the Turks said about the interpretation of what they are doing in Syria and Iraq without the consent of the governments of the two countries does not resemble but an American forgotten and extinct speech since the US occupation of Iraq and from outside the United Nations and the International Law , a speech abandoned by the Americans in the stages of the recognition of the failure of their military choice in Iraq and Afghanistan, so this was translated by the intervention in Libya and the refrain from the UN mandate of the direct intervention in Syria.
There is no opportunity for applying the Turkish speech and there are no possibilities to make settlements with it under the Turkish feeling of tactic spaces, which they suggest that they are strategy in the Syrian and Iraqi geographies. On the basis of this suggestion the Turks tested the geography of the western of Euphrates in Syria as a field for the military tempering since they are areas outside the borders which was drawn by Washington and which it tries to grasp a legitimacy for them from the Syrian country from the gate of the US Russian understanding, as well as the Turks tempered in the eastern of Tigris in Iraq for the same consideration, because the US drawn area between the courses of the two rivers was covered by the international coalition in the war on ISIS in Iraq. It is not a secret what the Turks are doing by linking their role by breaking up their relations with ISIS in Iraq and with Al Nusra front in Syria with getting Syrian-Iraqi consent on this Turkish role, without taking into consideration that the Americans are betting on Al Nusra and ISIS, but according to other demands that are related mainly to the future of the Syrian-Iraqi borders not to the Turkish aspirations which temper in a fragile geography temporarily, because it thinks that it will become under light and fire together after resolving Aleppo by the Syrians and resolving Mosul by the Iraqis, and because the Americans will no longer be able to grant the cover to Ankara and they will find Moscow raising the red card against them.
he value of the Syrian deterrent position of the Turkish tempering regarding Aleppo’s battle and the threat of dropping the aircrafts converges the value of the Iraqi position by refusing the form of the fabricated settlement which the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wanted to pass it, which means that the political confrontation which might be military at any moment against the Turkish incursion in Syria and Iraq, especially after the tendency of forming a resistance in these two countries to treat this incursion as an occupation is met by the preparation of the Syrian Kurds to engage in it, by regaining their relation with the Syrian country which is ready to support this resistance in Syria, while the popular crowd prepares to launch this resistance in Iraq. In both cases this resistance will receive sponsorship, auspices, and cover from the Syrian and Iraqi governments.
The coordination and the integration of the efforts between the two governments and armies in Syria and Iraq is continuing since it is the main current task in confronting what surpasses the Turkish demolition, then the preparation for the risks associated with the war on ISIS which plans to a regressive fight from the main countries on the banks of Euphrates and Tigris rivers to the vast spaces between the two rivers. This plan gets an American coverage, where Washington is satisfied with the glitter of getting rid of ISIS in Mosul preceded by Tikrit on the course of the Tigris River and Ramadi on the course of Euphrates River in Iraq, and in Raqqa and Deir Al Zour on the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria, It aspires to manage a long war on ISIS in the Mesopotamia, because this war will grant it the desired opportunity to negotiate on what it aspires to as security privileges in each of Syria and Iraq.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,
ناصر قنديل– جاءت الرسالة التركية في لبنان عبر رفع الأعلام في مسيرة مساندة للوزير أشرف ريفي لتكشف هوية الراعي الإقليمي للوزير المنشقّ عن تيار المستقبل، لكنها وبمعزل عن التفاصيل اللبنانية الرئاسية التي لا يملك ريفي ولا الأتراك من خلفه قدرة وفاعلية للتأثير في مجراها، جاءت لتقول إنّ تركيا لاعب إقليمي في سورية والعراق ولبنان، عدا عن تظهير الدور التركي فلسطينياً والقطيعة التركية المصرية ومن خلفها الرعاية التركية للأعمال التخريبية للإخوان المسلمين على الأمن المصري، وصولاً إلى ليبيا، ما يعني أنّ التموضع التركي بعد التصادم الكبير مع روسيا، بالذهاب لتطبيع العلاقات معها والبحث عن سقف جديد للدور التركي، لم يصل إلى إنتاج فهم تركي قادر على استيعاب التوازنات والموازين الجديدة.
– الإصرار التركي على المشاغبة عبر البوابتين السورية والعراقية عسكرياً، يتناقض جوهرياً مع الوجهة التي رسمها الانهزام التركي أمام روسيا وقبول شروطها للسير في تطبيع العلاقات، ويؤشر لمحاولة تركية لاختبار بالنار للسقوف التي يمكن على أساسها رسم الدور الإقليمي التركي الجديد، والخطاب التركي الراهن بما يحمل من لغة عثمانية، تمنح عبره دولة لنفسها، يفترض أنها تعمل وفق قواعد القانون الدولي، حق التدخل العسكري والتموضع ولعب أدوار ترسمها هي لذاتها ضمن الحدود الدولية لدول أخرى ذات سيادة، فما يقوله الأتراك عن تفسير ما يفعلونه في سورية والعراق من دون موافقة حكومتي البلدين، لا يشبهه إلا خطاب أميركي بائد ومنسيّ، منذ الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق من وراء ومن خارج الأمم المتحدة والقانون الدولي، وهو خطاب تخلّى عنه الأميركيون في مراحل الاعتراف بفشل خيارهم العسكري في العراق وأفغانستان، وهو ما ترجمه التدخل في ليبيا والإحجام بدون التفويض الأممي عن التدخل المباشر في سورية.
– لا فرص حياة للخطاب التركي ولا إمكانيات للتسويات معه، في ظلّ الشعور التركي بفراغات تكتيكية يتوهّمون أنها استراتيجية في الجغرافيتين السورية والعراقية. وبناء على هذا الوهم ذهب الأتراك في اختيارهم لجغرافيا غرب الفرات في سورية كميدان للعب العسكري باعتباره مناطق تقع خارج الملعب الذي رسمته واشنطن لنفسها وتسعى لانتزاع مقدار من الشرعية له من الدولة السورية من بوابة التفاهم الروسي الأميركي، ومثله اللعب التركي شرق مجرى نهر دجلة في العراق للاعتبار نفسه، حيث الملعب الأميركي المرسوم بين مجرى النهرين، يتغطى عراقياً بالتحالف الدولي للحرب على داعش، ولا يخفى ما يقوم به الأتراك من ربط دورهم بقطع حبال الصرة مع داعش عراقياً، ومع جبهة النصرة سورياً بالحصول على قبول سوري وعراقي بهذا الدور التركي، من دون أن ينتبهوا أنّ الأميركيين أيضاً يفاوضون على رأس النصرة وداعش، لكن وفق جدول طلبات أخرى يتصل أساساً بمستقبل الحدود السورية العراقية، وليس بالتطلعات التركية التي تلعب في جغرافيا رخوة موقتاً، لكنها ستصير تحت الضوء وتحت النار معاً بعد حسم حلب سورياً وحسم الموصل عراقياً، ولن يكون بمقدور الأميركيين توفير الغطاء لأنقرة، وسيجدون موسكو تُشهر بوجههم البطاقة الحمراء.
– تأتي قيمة الموقف السوري الرادع للمشاغبات التركية بجناحَي، معركة حلب، والتهديد بإسقاط الطائرات، لتلاقي قيمة الموقف العراقي برفض صيغة التسوية الملفقة التي أراد وزير الدفاع الأميركي آشتون كارتر تمريرها. ما يعني أنّ المواجهة السياسية التي قد تصبح عسكرية في أيّ لحظة بوجه التوغّل التركي في سورية والعراق، خصوصاً مع الاتجاه في البلدين لتشكيل أفواج مقاومة تعامل هذا التوغل كاحتلال، يُبدي الأكراد السوريون الاستعداد للانخراط فيها، باستعادة الحرارة لعلاقتهم مع الدولة السورية المستعدّة لرعاية هذه المقاومة في سورية، بينما يستعدّ الحشد الشعبي لإطلاق هذه المقاومة في العراق. وفي الحالتين ستحظى هذه المقاومة برعاية أو احتضان وتغطية من الحكومتين السورية والعراقية.
– يتقدّم التنسيق والتكامل في الجهود بين الحكومتين والجيشين في سورية والعراق، بصفته المهمة الرئيسية الراهنة في مواجهة ما يتخطى التخريب التركي، إلى الاستعداد للمخاطر المرافقة للحرب على تنظيم داعش الذي يخطط لقتال تراجعي من المدن الكبرى الواقعة على ضفاف نهري دجلة والفرات، إلى المساحات الشاسعة بين النهرين، ويحظى هذا المخطط بقدر من التغطية الأميركية، حيث تكتفي واشنطن ببريق تصفية داعش في المدن ذات السماء الرنانة الموصل، وقبلها تكريت على مجرى نهر دجلة والرمادي على مجرى نهر الفرات عراقياً، وبالرقة ودير الزور الموجودتين على ضفاف نهر الفرات سورياً، وتطمح لإدارة حرب طويلة على داعش ما بين النهرين، لتمنحها هذه الحرب فرصتها المنشودة للمفاوضة على ما تطمح إليه من امتيازات أمنية في كلّ من سورية والعراق.
- War Crimes Alert: U.S., Turkey helped Daesh’s offensive on Kirkuk
- Turkish Military Operations in Northern Syria Flagrant Violation of International Law: Former Czech PM
- Syrian Arab Army: “Any Turkish military presence inside Syria will be dealt with by all means available”
- كركوك.. عود ثقاب تركي
- ماذا يُعدّ لكركوك ومَنْ صاحب المشروع؟
- أنقرة… واستراتيجة «المدى المجدي»!
- العراق | «الحشد» يستعجل خيار تلعفر… والضغوط الأميركية تزداد
- العراق | بغداد تحذّر من تصعيد إقليمي يتزامن ومعارك الموصل
- معركة الموصل: رهان واشنطن لاستعادة العراق
- «غزوة كركوك» تفضح الخيارات الأميركية
3 Killed in Aleppo, Including 7-Year-Old Girl; West Reportedly Seeking to Protect Terrorist Ringleaders
In addition to the attack described in the above video, a report has surfaced today of Western governments seeking to rescue terrorist ringleaders from Aleppo. The following is from the Real Syrian Free Press:
A senior Syrian legislator said the western states seek to rescue the terrorist groups’ foreign ringleaders from Aleppo and ordered them to stay in the city until they can work out a deal with Damascus and Moscow.“The terrorists stationed in Eastern Aleppo had taken orders from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to remain in the region,” Fares al-Shahabi told FNA on Monday.“The main reason behind such an order was the West’s intention to make a deal (with Syria and Russia) which would lead to the evacuation of foreign ringleaders of the terrorists from Eastern Aleppo,” he added.Al-Shahabi said that the foreign commanders of the terrorist groups in Aleppo are nationals of the NATO member states and Israel.The latest reports from Eastern Aleppo said that Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) continues to seize people’s food supplies by force and executed an Imam who tried to persuade civilians and militants to leave the Eastern part of Aleppo.“On the third day of the humanitarian paused in Aleppo, the Fatah al-Sham arrested and assassinated a popular leader who called on militants to lay down arms and enter peace with government and urged people to leave the city as soon as possible,” sources in the Eastern parts of the city said on Sunday.In the meantime, more civilians in Eastern Aleppo called on international organizations to help them leave Aleppo.“People in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo face very bad situation. The terrorists groups take by force their food supplies and money and beat them,” one of residents said.Fatah al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists prevent the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission from evacuating the wounded from the Eastern districts of the Syrian city of Aleppo, a Geneva source familiar with the situation told RIA Novosti of Saturday.“The ICRC has been trying to convince the representatives of the key armed groups (al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham) to allow access to Eastern Aleppo to evacuate the wounded. There are hundreds of injured. The militants set a condition for giving access (to the area), (they) demand medical supplies and medical treatment of militants,” the source added.The Russian and Syrian governments agreed to stop airstrikes on terrorists controlling parts of Aleppo starting Thursday to ensure the safe evacuation of unarmed militants, and civilians from Eastern Aleppo via eight designated corridors.The Russian General Staff said that the humanitarian pause in Aleppo was extended for one day, from 08:00 to 16:00 local time on October 22.
Meanwhile, political analyst Stephen Lendman says Russia “would be well advised to liberate key parts of Syria before both Clintons assume power,” while Russian press spokesman Dimitry Peskov says all efforts must be made to prevent the breakup of the country.
“Syria’s territory should be liberated,” Peskov said. “And everything should be done to hinder the breakup of that country into any parts, which may have most catastrophic consequences for the region.”
I would assume Peskov realizes that the only way prevent the catastrophic consequences he fears is to liberate all of Syria. Otherwise, shells will continue to fly and hospitals like the one in Aleppo in the video above will continue to be inundated.
By Zen Adra –
- Syrian Army makes significant advance in northeast Aleppo
- Elite pro-government forces arrive in Aleppo
- Jaysh Al-Fateh launches counter-assault in southern Aleppo
- الجيش السوري.. الأجراسُ لك تَدُقُّ
- الجيش يُبادر ويعزّز طوق حلب: تحضيرات معارك ما بعد «الهدنة»
- صحيفة تكشف تلاعبه والشرطة تحقق: هل انكسرت أسطورة «مهرّب الألعاب» لأطفال حلب؟
- دمشق تطالب بوقف غارات «التحالف» ضد مواقعها النفطية
- التصعيد في حلب وشمالها: عزفٌ تركي على إيقاع معركة الموصل
- حلب تودّع «هدنة» موسكو: عودة إلى ما قبل «لوزان»
- «الناتو»: «أواكس» لمراقبة الأجواء السورية
- حراك غربي ضد موسكو: الإعداد لـ«فشل» هدنة حلب
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
October 24, 2016
On October 22, clashes resumed between the Syrian government forces and the Al-Nusra-led coalition of militant groups in Aleppo city. Next days, heavy clashes were reported in the southern neighborhoods of Aleppo – Amiriyah, Sheikh Saeed and the 1070 Apartment Project – and in the southern Aleppo countryside.
Air strikes have been reported inside and outside Aleppo since October 21. According to local sources, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force have bombed al-Nusra’s supply lines southwest of the city. Unspecified number of air strikes was also delivered inside Aleppo, according to pro-militant sources.
The Syrian army, Lebanese Hezbollah and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (an Iraqi pro-government militia) deployed in total up to 4,000 fighters to the area of Aleppo within the ceasefire.
Al-Nusra and the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ additionally deployed some 1,500 fighters, over 10 units of heavy military equipment and some 20 vehicles equipped with machine guns and mortars. The total manpower of the joint terrorist forces outside Aleppo city is about 12,000 fighters. The Russian Ministry of Defense informed that the terrorists received additional arms and military equipment, including portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS), and now they are preparing to attack the government forces from the southwestern direction.
The Syrian military decided to counter this threat during a fresh operation in the same area, taking control of the Air Defense Battalion south of Mushrifah. Some 30 terrorists were killed in the clashes there. The strategic goal of the operation is Khan Tuman that remains the advance base of al-Nusra-led coalition.
The whole Syria must be “liberated,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman announced. “There are just two options: Assad sitting in Damascus or the Nusra sitting in Damascus,” Dmitry Peskov said. The statement came at the day with the resumption of battle for Aleppo and followed the US State Demartment’s confirmation that the US-led coalition was not going to fight the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group because it was not the ‘goal’ in Syria.
An alliance of Turkish-backed militant groups that operates under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) brand continue attempts to break the defense lines of Kurdish YPG in the northern part of province. The FSA’s advance on the YPG-controlled villages of Sheikh Isa, Harbul, Hasiyah is supported by the Turkish Armed Forces’ battle tanks and artillery. There are also reports about Turkish troops embedded with FSA militants at the frontline. Over the weekend, the YPG were pushed to retreat to the previous front lines west of Hawsh. Over 10 Turkish battle tanks arrived to the town of Marea to participate in further clashes with the YPG. The Turkish army is also massing military equipment northwest of Al-Bab, preparing for an advance on this ISIS-controlled town.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Syrian city of Aleppo and the Iraqi city of Mosul belong to Turks, speaking during an opening ceremony for an educational institution in Bursa on October 23. Erdogan compared the way that Syrians and Iraqis have been driven away from homes because of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, to how Turkish people were once forced out from their cities. The speech indicates that Ankara is set to continue its military expansion in Syria and Iraq.
The Syrian Air Force conducted a series of air strikes on ISIS terrorists near the city of Deir Ezzor on October 23. The air strikes took place near the Panorama checkpoint and the Deir Ezzor military airport and resulted in killing of 50 ISIS terrorists.
At least 14 militants were killed by the Syrian Army after launching an attack on the town of Jobar, east of Damascus. The militants used underground tunnels to approach the government-controlled areas but were repelled.
On Monday morning, infamous Israeli settler Anat Cohen attacked a group of school-children harvesting olives near their school in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). She then ordered the soldier to not only evict the students and teachers from the area, but assist in her attack.
A group of scout students was helping Palestinian families, picking olives for them next to the Qurtuba school on Shuhada Street. Immediately after the group started picking the olives, a soldier from the nearby Daboya checkpoint came to order them not to pass the fence when harvesting, but allowing them to harvest the olives, as long as they don’t cross the fence.