Israel successfully foils Russian/Syrian gov Idlib liberation

It appears that the Russians have pressed the pause button on their plans for an offensive alongside the Syrian government to retake Idlib. By the time they return to play mode the martial music may have changed.

New US policies for Syria

Without fanfare the US has just reformulated its position to create the conditions for it to launch devastating strikes on Syria no longer just on the pretext of alleged use of chemical weapons but on any ‘humanitarian’ pretext the US sees fit. In an interview with the Washington Post on 6 September, James Jeffrey, the hawkish new Special Envoy for Syria fresh from the neocon incubator of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, did not mince words:

“We’ve started using new language,” Jeffrey said, referring to previous warnings against the use of chemical weapons. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate “an attack. Period.”

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation” he said. “You add to that, if you use chemical weapons, or create refu¬gee flows or attack innocent civilians.”

Jeffrey’s remarks were little noticed because he was that day announcing something else more immediately striking: a ‘new’ policy on Syria involving cancellation of Trump’s announced departure of US troops before the end of 2018 and instatement of a plan to stay on indefinitely until achievement of the twin goals of removing all trace of the Iranian presence in Syria and installation of a Syrian government which would meet US conditions – conditions which President Asad would by Jeffrey’s own admission not be likely to meet.

The headlines naturally focussed on this latest Washington folly – do they think Iran will up sticks as long as there is a single US soldier on Syrian soil, or that there is Syrian Mandela waiting in the wings? – and the importance of the remarks about Idlib was missed. Yet those words may be about to bring the world to the brink of global war.

New doctrine for US intervention

What Jeffreys was saying was quite clear. That with or without alleged use of chemical weapons, a sudden exodus of frightened civilians from a part of Idlib, use of the fabled ‘barrel bombs’, or launch of a major offensive will be taken by the US as a trigger for drastic and probably sustained bombing aimed at bringing the government of Syria to its knees.

Until now successive US administrations have been careful to draw the red line for intervention in Syria at use of chemical weapons, presumably on the grounds that there is universal agreement and international law to the effect that use of prohibited weapons is taboo. WMD after all were the casus belli for Iraq, even if it turned out to be false. Now suddenly we have a new, broader and consequently more dangerous doctrine.

The State Department has not yet favored the American public, Congress or anyone else with an explanation or justification for the change, but we can speculate. Can it be, for example, that US policy makers realize that when the next alleged use of chemical weapons occurs in Syria, as surely it will, it will be more difficult to sell intervention to the public than the first two times because the game has now been rumbled?

Not only has the idea that the White Helmets might not be all they seem entered the bloodstream of media discourse, but the OPCW inspectors, able for once after Douma actually to visit a crime site, failed to find any proof of use of prohibited weapons. Add to that those pesky Russians unhelpfully telling the world exactly how and where the White Helmets were going to stage their next Oscar-winning performances. So why bother with all that rigmarole over chemical weapons when Western opinion is already sufficiently primed to accept any intervention whatever as long as it is somehow ‘humanitarian’ and doing down the evil Russians?

Responsibility to Protect

Step up ‘Responsibility to Protect’, the innocuous-sounding UN-approved doctrine beloved of interventionists of both Left and Right. Never mind that most legal scholars utterly reject the notion that this doctrine legalizes armed aggression other than with Security Council approval or in self-defense. Was it not effectively invoked in the British government’s legal position statement provided at the time of the post-Douma strikes? (The US administration, knowing their audience, never bothered to provide any legal justification whatever.)

Slight snag: although the British government have preemptively sought with their legal statement to give themselves cover to commit acts of war on a whim, and without recourse to Parliament, as long as it can be dressed up as humanitarian, nevertheless there might be considerable disquiet in Parliament and possibly even among service chiefs were the government to appear to be about to launch strikes alongside the US had there not been even the appearance of a chemical weapons incident.

For this reason it is likely that the British government will attempt to persuade the US not to give up just yet on chlorine.

Is it this new amplified threat – of strikes whether or not Assad obliges or appears to oblige with suicidal use of chlorine – which has given the Russians reasons to call off the dogs, pro tem at least? Probably not, because the Russians were taking it as read that fake chemical attacks were coming anyway. They will take note however that the US has just effectively lowered the bar on its own next heavy intervention in Syria and will not be deterred by any blowing of the gaff.

For those who naively but sincerely believed that if Asad laid off the chlorine he would not get bombed the world has suddenly become a lot more dangerous. For realists however the new doctrine merely removes a hypocrisy, or rather introduces an inflexion into the hypocrisy, whereby the itch felt by those salivating at the prospect of striking Syria, Russia and Iran can be masked as a humanitarian concern which goes beyond abhorrence of chemical weapons.

White Helmets stealing children for ‘chemical attack’ theater in Idlib

“Leave our children in peace. Let our children play, stop ‘playing’ with our children.” These are the words of a mother whose child was stolen and is being imprisoned in Idlib by US Coalition-sponsored terrorist groups and the White Helmets.

17 Sep, 2018

The US Coalition-sponsored White Helmets had kidnapped 44 children in order to use them as ‘props’ in the staging of a chemical weapon attack in Idlib. The White Helmets have a history of providing the scenarios required to precipitate aggression against Syria.

Their most recent chemical attack hoax attempt in Douma in April 2018 was proven unreliable by the OPCW interim report. Sensationalist suggestions of sarin use by the Syrian government during the last moments of the liberation of Douma from the murderous Jaysh al-Islam fanatics was dismissed by the findings in the report.

The chlorinated elements detected in the samples taken by the OPCW could come from any manner of household items and no conclusions of chlorine use by the Syrian government have been drawn. Western media and their governments have ignored the findings of the OPCW and are once more preparing the ground for a “chemical attack” in Idlib to enable further unlawful aggression against Syria during the Arab Army’s campaign to cleanse Idlib of the terrorist infestation.

Wafaa’s greatest fear is that Ahmed will be used alongside other children as actors in such a staged chemical attack.

“I stopped working when Ahmed was taken from us. About six months ago, a friend came from Turkey to Idlib. As they were crossing the border between Syria and Turkey, they stopped to rest. Their son knows Ahmed very well. Ahmed has a particular way of communicating by making a sound that is very recognizable by those who know him. Their son heard Ahmed making this sound. He told his parents that Ahmed was close by,” she said.

Wafaa’s voice trembled as she described this identification of her son. At least he was alive. Shortly after the family were given this information, an alleged chlorine gas attack was carried out in Saraqib to the east of Idlib city. A recent OPCW report on this alleged incident concludes that:

“Chlorine, released from cylinders through mechanical impact, was likely used as a chemical weapon on 4 February 2018 in the Al Talil neighborhood of Saraqib.”

However, the FFM (Fact-Finding Mission) was unable to enter Saraqib due to the risk of being executed or kidnapped by the “moderate” fanatics occupying the area. They instead relied entirely on “open-source” testimonies and evidence provided by compromised sources such as the White Helmets.

“Shortly after the Saraqib reports of a chemical attack, we received a phone call from the groups who were holding Ahmed. The man told me that the

I asked her if they knew who was holding Ahmed captive.

“Shortly after Saraqib happened, some women who managed to leave Idlib came to me. They told me that Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda in Syria) were in charge of the children and the White Helmets were helping them with this. When I reported it, the White Helmets accused me of being ‘Shabiha.’ This is a death sentence if you are caught by the armed groups.”

Wafaa still has a sister in Idlib who is able to pass some information on to her directly or to people leaving Idlib via the Russian/Syrian established humanitarian corridors, which evacuate civilians to safety ahead of the ground campaign to liberate Idlib commences.

“Abu al-Duhur corridor is going to reopen, but we know that the terrorist groups are charging civilians 300,000 Syrian Pounds ($600) to leave by these corridors. People are leaving with nothing except the clothes on their back and yet we are told these monsters bring us ‘freedom and democracy.’”

Wafaa described the foreign fighters occupying Idlib: “Most people in Idlib avoid the foreign fighters, they are very extreme and dangerous. My sister told me that a few days ago she walked past some Uyghur children in her district. They started taunting her because the hem of her skirt was too high. People see the White Helmets in the same way. They are foreign, and they are well paid. They are wealthy like the foreign extremists. Most people in Idlib don’t allow their children to go to school because they fear that the White Helmets will kidnap them.”

Wafaa explained that the White Helmets don’t ask for money for the safe return of the children, which was the practice of the armed groups earlier in the conflict, according to her family.

“Why don’t they ask for money? This means they want to use the children for something else. They call anyone who questions them “shabiha” because they need to keep their image clean in the West. They are not ‘humanitarians,’ they are terrorists in a uniform, that’s all.”  

Wafaa is terrified that these US coalition proxies, which include the White Helmets, have already used Ahmed for one of the reportedly staged events that have been prepared in advance, in order to criminalize the Syrian government and its allies as soon as the SAA liberation campaign begins in earnest.

 

Omran Daqneesh, still living in liberated Aleppo, under the control of the Syrian government. A happy, well-adjusted little boy. © Vanessa Beeley

“Ten days ago, a woman came to see me. She had just arrived from Idlib. She showed me a photo of Ahmed and confirmed he is still alive but imprisoned with many other children. She told me that the White Helmets move the children from place to place depending upon where the attacks might be staged. They are kept in prisons all the time. I worry so much that he is sick or scared and he can’t speak. I am convinced I will see Ahmed’s face in one of these chemical attack videos or reports,” said Wafaa.

As we were talking about Ahmed, his younger brother Hamza was reacting strongly and becoming increasingly agitated.

“He does this every time we discuss his brother, Ahmed. He is deeply disturbed by the loss of his brother,” Wafaa explained. “I used to take more care of Ahmed because he had special needs but now I try to protect Hamza more also.”

Throughout the interview, Wafaa remained composed and eloquent. She presented facts in a considered and objective way. Her child has been abducted, he is imprisoned by some of the most brutal extremist groups in Syria, but Wafaa displayed a fortitude that defied fear or pity. She remained proud and resilient. Mohammed Ibrahim, Ahmed’s father, was quieter and more withdrawn but the unbreakable bond between the couple and Ahmed’s brothers was evident. They were united in hope and determination that Ahmed will survive his ordeal and will be returned to them.

“If Idlib is liberated, we know that our army will bring Ahmed home to us. They will rescue him.”

Wafaa’s first display of anger and frustration came when I asked her to describe the reality of the “moderate” occupation of her homeland to people in the West.

“We have no voice. We are the forgotten Syrian people. Nobody listens to us when we tell the world that these monsters are killing us, killing our children, stealing our lives and destroying our homes. These ‘moderates’ don’t bring freedom or democracy, they bring only bloodshed, fear and loss. We want Idlib cleansed of their presence, we want the West to take their terrorists out of our country. What did we do wrong to deserve this? Why should my son suffer, for what? Please bring this to an end, let us live in peace as we did before 2011.”

Just before I left this family, I filmed Wafaa as she gave perhaps the most powerful message of her interview – “Leave our children in peace. Let our children play, stop ‘playing’ with our children.” In Syria, children have been cruelly exploited to promote war to ensure the deaths of more children. Wafaa is demanding that people in the West recognize this fact and do all they can to prevent more children suffering at the hands of the Western client fanatics and affiliated White Helmets. We should hear her plea and act upon it before it’s too late for Ahmed and all the other children who will suffer the same fate if we do nothing.

Funny Report: Syria’s Assad said to OK chlorine gas use in Idlib offensive

The truth

09.10.18 timesofisrael

The Lie

Though US intelligence has suggested Assad okayed using chlorine gas in the assault on Idlib, according to the report, it was not clear whether he also authorized the use of more deadly sarin gas.

The US launched dozens of missiles at a Syrian military airfield last April after dozens were killed in a sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib.

On Saturday, the United States’ top general said he and Trump have “routine dialogue” about possible military consequences if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons in Idlib.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford told reporters in New Delhi that no final decision had been made as yet, Reuters reported.

“But we are in a dialogue, a routine dialogue, with the president to make sure he knows where we are with regard to planning in the event that chemical weapons are used,” said Dunford.

The truth

On 7 April 2017, conspiracy web site Truth Theory revived a now-deleted 2013 story by the British tabloid the Daily Mail (headlined, “U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime’”). The article’s republishing coincided with an American missile strike retaliating against a chemical attack by the Syrian government on civilians in rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun three days earlier.

The Daily Mail article reported having evidence of an impending “false flag” attack. (A so-called “false flag” is a common conspiracy theory that asserts governments initiate crises — real or fabricated — to lay the groundwork for unpopular actions such as confiscating guns, or, in this case, removing a president from power.) Conspiracy web sites claimed the reason for the article’s deletion was “unclear,” implying that forces intent on hiding a nefarious plot to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad pressured the publication to do so.

The Daily Mail article, originally published 29 January 2013, reported that U.S. officials had told a British defense company they had been given a “green light” for chemical weapons use in Syria that could then be blamed on Assad:

Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.

A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ‘approved by Washington’ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.

 

Israel and US Neocons will never give up on Syria to get to Iran

America is just cheap, vulgar and shameless, just like the Jewish Zionists.

June 21, 2018

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement today warning the Syrian government to cease and desist from its final military push against ISIS and al-Qaeda groups in southwest Syria.

The United States is “deeply troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria” because such operations are within the “de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November,” the statement says.

What a strange warning. The United States, which illegally occupies territory of a country nearly 6,000 miles away, is warning Syria, the country it partly occupies, not to conduct military operations against terrorist organizations within its own borders!

Aside from the absurdity of Nauert’s press release, there is the important matter that the whole statement is a lie.

First, the “deconfliction zone” to which she refers has been unilaterally declared by the United States. Syria never agreed to cease military operations within its own borders. Suggesting that Damascus is violating some agreement when it was never party to the agreement is shockingly dishonest.

Second, even the “de-escalation zones” agreed between Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan, in May, 2017, exempted UN-recognized terrorist groups from the deal. So even if Syria was a party to the US-claimed “de-escalation” agreement, its current advance on ISIS and al-Qaeda controlled territory would not be a violation.

Third, the State Department’s claims on the “Da Nang” agreement between Presidents Putin and Trump are purposely misleading. The very first sentence of the “Da Nang” statement affirms the two leaders’ “determination to defeat ISIS in Syria,” demonstrating the high priority placed on fighting ongoing terrorist occupation of parts of Syria.

So why now, seven months later, is the US warning Syria against completing the very task that Trump and Putin made a top priority?

Also, the “Da Nang statement” discusses the “de-confliction” areas explicitly in the context of the fight against ISIS:

The Presidents agreed to maintain open military channels of communication between military professionals to help ensure the safety of both US and Russian forces and de-confliction of partnered forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. They confirmed these efforts will be continued until the final defeat of ISIS is achieved.

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Israel and US neo cons will never give up on Syria and Iran.

So, again, why is the US objecting to the Syrian government’s actions to achieve a goal — defeat of ISIS — reiterated by the US government?

The “Da Nang” statement also made it clear that when it comes to Syrian territory, that country’s sovereignty must be respected:

The Presidents affirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity, and non-sectarian character…

How can the US be committed to Syria’s sovereignty when it violates that sovereignty by occupying Syrian territory and warning the Syrian government against attacking al-Qaeda and ISIS-dominated areas of Syria?

The United States — which maintains hundreds of US troops illegally in Syria — warns Syria about conducting military operations within its own borders against internationally-recognized terrorist groups, citing the “Da Nang” agreement, which:

…reinforces the success of the ceasefire initiative, to include the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area…

But those “foreign fighters” they agreed to eliminate by definition must include the US military itself! So actually it is the US that is violating the agreement by remaining in Syria, not the Syrian government by fighting al-Qaeda!

As an astute colleague wrote today, “have also been rumors in Washington that the Administration is preparing for something ‘big’ in Syria, possibly related to warnings from the Pentagon that Syrian forces have been threatening the unilaterally declared “de-escalation zone” in the country’s southeast.”

Nauert’s release may be one big lie, but the US threat against Syria is looking to be deadly serious.

Israeli warplanes in Yemen

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Saudi-Led Coalition Bombs Yemen Wedding with US Weapons, Killing 131 Civilians

Back-drop quicki–The Israeli goal is to take out Iran. But first they needed US to take out Syria for them to neutralize Syria and make the path clear for Israel to reach Iran without getting a bloody nose.  US planned to use a chemical attack false flag in Syria to blame on President Al-Assad but before they could, Syria agreed to become a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it did and is. That took away US excuse to invade Syria for “humanitarian” reasons. So the US sent Al-Qaeda to Iraq and came back with “ISIS” to terrorize the Syrians etal, thus the US used ISIS terrorists as an excuse to go into Syria.

As it happened, Putin went into Syria also to fight ISIS with Iran’s help. That was for the purpose of embarrassing the US since they created ISIS to last long enough for Israel to get to Iran. Putin exposed the fact that US wasn’t fighting ISIS at all and Israel was aiding the wounded. Yemen was a part of the counter-terror coalition in the region and realized that US was not fighting ISIS but on the contrary was aiding the terrorists. They saw the war on ISIS was a fraud. So Yemen quit the coalition. Saudi Arabia soon led a coalition against  Yemen.

presstv.com

Houthi said Israeli jets have been seen in Hudaydah’s skies over the past few days amid a push by Saudi mercenaries to seize the city, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

“Yemen is actually fighting against a Saudi-Zionist coalition,” he said, referring to a military campaign which Riyadh has been carrying out against Yemen since 2015.

Several Western countries, the US and the UK in particular, are widely known to be helping Saudi Arabia in the aggression, but this is the first time claims of Israeli complicity have been made.

Referring to close ties between Israel and terrorist groups in Syria, Houthi noted that the Takfiri elements in Yemen are also the “mercenaries and servants” of Tel Aviv and Washington.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but latest reports say the two regimes are working behind the scenes to establish formal contact.

A senior Israeli nuclear expert revealed recently that Tel Aviv was selling Saudi Arabia information that would allow the kingdom to develop nuclear weapons.

Israel is providing Saudi Arabia with the kind of information that allows Riyadh to develop nuclear weapons, warns an Israeli nuclear expert.

Ami Dor-On, a senior nuclear commentator with the Israeli military organization iHLS, said the cooperation has been made possible in the wake of widening ties between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hudyadah situation

Hudaydah, home to about 400,000 people, is a lifeline for aid to war-torn Yemen. Riyadh claims the Houthis are using the key port for weapons delivery, an allegation rejected by the fighters.

The city, which lies on Yemen’s western Red Sea coast, has witnessed renewed tensions over the past few days. Saudi-backed forces have closed in on Hudaydah, sparking fears of an all-out assault.

The UN and humanitarian organizations have warned that a potential Saudi attack on Hudaydah could result in a disaster.

Jan Egeland, a former UN aid chief who now heads the Norwegian Refugee Council, told Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster on Saturday that a Saudi attack would make the situation “much worse.”

“We must avoid war at all costs in Hudaydah, not only because of the hundreds of thousands of people who would get in the crossfire but also because the port and the lifeline will be destroyed,” he said.

Egeland further demanded “a ceasefire and peace talks” to resolve the crisis in Yemen.

“What we asked for is that the United States, the United Kingdom and France who have influence over the Saudi-led coalition – they sell arms, they have close military relations, close diplomatic and intelligence cooperation – guarantee that attacks stop,” he added.

Earlier this week, the UN voiced grave concerns about the situation around Hudaydah.

The United Nations voices grave concern over the Saudi-backed militant attack on Yemeni city of Hudaydah.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also warned that fighting in Hudaydah would make “an already catastrophic situation even worse.”

“The ICRC is line with international humanitarian law urges all the parties to the conflict to respect civilian lives by taking every possible measure to protect civilians,” the Geneva-based humanitarian institution said in a statement.

Yemenis conduct retaliatory attacks

Separately on Saturday, al-Masirah reported that Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees had destroyed seven Saudi armored vehicles in the kingdom’s southern regions of Asir and Najran.

The Yemeni attacks came in retaliation for the Saudi-led military campaign on the impoverished state.

Yemeni forces further managed to prevent the advance of Saudi and Sudanese mercenaries in Asir and killed dozens of them, the report said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a war on Yemen in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthis.

The military campaign has killed and injured over 600,000 civilians, according to the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia has also imposed a blockade on Yemen, which has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state.

Israel believes Iran ‘got the message, won’t mess with us again soon’

Netanyahu, idiot: “We did not cross Iran’s borders,” he said. “They came here.” Looks like WW3 isn’t here yet.

The United States considers the Golan Heights to be Syrian territory held under Israeli occupation subject to negotiation and Israeli withdrawal. The United States considers the application of Israeli law to the Golan Heights to be a violation of international law, both the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force and United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.

In February, Israel accused Iran of sending an armed drone into its territory, which Iran denied, and the Syrian Golan is no part of Israel territory, after which an Israeli plane was shot down while bombing Syria – the first time the country had lost an aircraft in combat in 35 years. Israel has since retaliated with bolder strikes on Iranian positions in Syria which have killed at least 13 Iranian nationals.

It is understandable that observers are alarmed about an Iran-Israel conflict in the aftermath of the violation by Trump of the 2015 Iranian nuclear enrichment treaty. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu worked hard to undermine the treaty in the US, using cut-outs such as allegedly corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Republican Party in Congress with massive campaign contributions.

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Golan Heights is very important because Israel steals it’s water, land and all resources. Between 80,000 and 130,000 Syrians were driven from the heights during the Zionist Six-Day War of expansion including 17,000 Palestinians refugees from the 1948 Zionist invasion.

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Israel military occupation of the Syrian Golan

The Israelis struck a Golan village in Syria, baiting Hizbullah and Iran into a response, and then used the response as a pretext for a substantial set of bombing raids on alleged Iranian facilities in Syria. Netanyahu appears to have cleared these strikes with Vladimir Putin, who seems to have okayed them as long as they did not threaten Syrian regime stability or harm Russian military forces in Syria.

 Israel’s security cabinet believes Iran “has gotten the Israeli message, and won’t mess with us in the near future,” officials told Hadashot TV news Friday night, a day after Israel launched dozens of strikes on Iranian military sites in Syria in response to an Iranian missile barrage directed at Syria’s Golan Heights occupied by Israel illegally.

Israeli leaders assess that the Israeli action has made it clear to Tehran that it does not possess the operational infrastructure it needs in Syria to successfully contend with IDF capabilities, the report said.

The army has told ministers in the top forum that it thus believes the current round of hostilities to be over, though tensions in the Zionist occupied north will persevere, and border incidents are still possible.

Speaking in Syria’s Golan earlier Friday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sent a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad, telling him to “throw” Iranian forces out of his country.

Liberman visited the northern city of Katzrin to debrief residents following Israel’s largest air campaign in Syria in more than 40 years, in which it said it bombed over 50 Iranian targets.

The sortie came after Iran fired 20 missiles toward Israel [legally Syria] just after midnight on Thursday morning, the IDF said, forcing illegal Zionist residents of the Syrian north into bomb shelters. Military reported Four of the missiles were knocked down by the Iron Dome air defense system and the rest fell short of Syrian territory, occupied by Israel illegally. But actually what Israel calls an attack was Iran using anti-aircraft system to protect it’s legal defense forces in Syria.

Liberman urged Syria to expel the Revolutionary Guard’s al-Quds Force, which Israel lied about the missile attacks early Thursday morning.

“I want to use this opportunity to give Assad a message,” he said. “Throw out the Iranians, throw out Qassem Soleimani and the Quds force. They don’t help you, they only harm you, and their presence makes us to bomb you because we don’t like it..”

Liberman also told Israelis they should not let the threat from Syria deter them from visiting the Syrian Golan. “You can come, you can return to the bed and breakfasts, to tour, to hike, ” he said. “There are truly amazing views and among the most beautiful places [they’ve occupied illegally] , and there is no problem. We are back to normal.”

He said that it was a mistake to think that Thursday morning’s attacks on the Iranian bases had completely solved the problem, but that the army was ready for anything and would continue to do whatever necessary to ensure Israel [occupied Syria] is secure.

The defense minister welcomed Iran’s statement that it did not want an escalation between the two countries and stressed that Israel was also not looking for more confrontation with anyone.

“We did not cross Iran’s borders,” he said. “They came here.” [LOL, where is here? Golan Syria? The Iranians are in Syria legally. Everywhere. The Israelis are not welcome in any part of Syria including the Syrian Golan. Legally they have been ordered to get out]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel would be victorious in its “ongoing campaign” against Iran.

“I have established a basic principle: Whoever strikes us, we are going to strike them,” Netanyahu said.

Israel has long warned it will not accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighboring Syria, where the Islamic Republic backs Assad’s regime in the country’s seven-year civil war.

The Jewish state has said said it also conducts operations in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Iran-backed Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed ‘terror’ group [Hezbollah’s function is to protect the sovereignty of Lebanon] which is said to have 140,000 missiles and rockets aimed at Israel from Lebanon. [Israel is perpetually at war with all it’s neighbors.]

Israel distorts timeline of events to play victim in the dangerous escalation with Iran and Syria

“Netanyahu appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front.”

 

May 10, 2018

Distorting the timeline of events is a longtime Israeli strategy to make its enemies look like the aggressors and pass itself off as the victim. Israel’s massive aerial attacks earlier today on Iranians and Syrians — its most extensive cross-border strikes in decades — are carrying out this propaganda strategy to perfection, and even normally skeptical news outlets are being fooled.

Here’s the actual order of events:

* Just one hour after Donald Trump violated the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, Israel launched missiles against targets south of Damascus, Syria, reportedly killing 15 people, at least 8 of them Iranians.

* In response, Iran early this morning apparently struck back with 20 rockets aimed at the Golan Heights, (which is occupied by Israel since 1967 but is still legally part of Syria).

* Hours later, Israeli warplanes attacked dozens of allegedly Iranian targets in Syria.

The mainstream Western media is falling into Israel’s propaganda trap. Most reports are treating the Iranian rockets as the original provocation, and framing Israel’s massive air strikes as the (understandable) response. Unusually, the New York Times coverage was actually moderately less biased than other outlets, such as the Washington Post and the BBC. The Times at least noted — down in paragraph 12 — that Israel had first attacked Syria right after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal.

Nor, so far, are the major media connecting Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerence to his desperate need to distract from the multiple domestic corruption investigations against him and his wife — an angle some of the Israeli press is not too squeamish to note. In the excellent online publication, +972, Dahlia Scheindlin notes today that Netanyahu’s strategy is working; he “appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front.” She adds that the latest Israeli opinion polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party with its highest level of support in a decade.

Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli who is one of that country’s most experienced reporters, is hammering away at the truth on his Facebook page:

I’ve been arguing all day against Israel’s policy of continually bombing Syria, Lebanon and Iran, pointing out that they’re not bombing us, we’re bombing them, which means we’re not acting in self defense, we’re the aggressors. . . For [people with the opposing opinion] it doesn’t matter how many times Israel bombs the enemy and the enemy doesn’t bomb back — Israel is still bombing in self-defense and the other side is still the aggressor. Why? Because Israel is Israel and Iran/Syria/Lebanon is Iran/Syria/Lebanon. Israel is right because it is good and they are wrong because they are bad. . .

mondoweiss.net

A history of Israeli military aggression against Syria

Journalist Jamal Ghosn says this is the latest in a long string of threats, while Israel violates Lebanese sovereignty every day.

This is the title of the “Arab” Zionist station: depicting the Israeli enemy as a victim. “Launching rockets from Syria on the Golan… Israel is responding. ” Israel is answering? Israel has carried out more than 110 raids on Syria in the past years, and Golan is Syrian territory according to International law.

 May 2018 Trump exits the Iran deal, an hour later Israel is flying over Lebanon [illegally] and bombing Syria [illegally].

June 9-10, 1967: Israel attacks Syria, occupying the country’s Golan Heights during its Six Day War on Arab territories.

October 5, 2003 (Ain es Saheb airstrike): An Israeli warplane squadron attacks a camp about 24 kilometers northwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus, injuring a civilian guard.

September 6, 2007: Israel attacks Dayr al-Zawr Province in northeastern Syria, striking what it says is a suspected nuclear reactor.

November 11, 2012: Israel fires a “warning shot” in the direction of Syria, alleging that it is responding to a stray mortar round fired from the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra.

November 17, 2012: Israel opens artillery fire against positions belonging to the Syrian Army, alleging that it was retaliating for attacks on an Israeli patrol near the demilitarized zone. It later stages a direct strike at the source of mortar shells that it says the Syrian Army fired in response to the first Israeli strike.

January 30, 2013: Israeli warplanes strike a convoy that Tel Aviv claims was carrying weapons to Hezbollah.

March 24, 2013: The Israeli military releases a guided missile at a Syrian trench used for deploying machineguns. It alleges it is responding to shots fired at Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights, though affirming that none of its troops had been wounded in the alleged incident there.

May 21, 2013: Israeli forces attack what they say is the source of fire targeting an Israeli vehicle in the Golan Heights.

July 17, 2013: The Israeli military fires at a group of unidentified individuals on Syria’s border after an Israeli patrols comes under purported fire near the demilitarized zone.

August 17, 2013: Israeli forces hit a Syrian Army outpost with a guided missile, alleging that they are responding to Syrian mortar rounds.

March 18, 2014: Israel hits Syrian military targets, including a military headquarters and an Army base, with artillery and aerial fire, describing the attacks as tit-for-tat strikes after a purported explosive goes off near an Israeli military vehicle close to the Syrian border. It says one Israeli soldier was killed in the alleged incident.

March 28, 2014: Israeli forces fire volleys of bullets at what the regime calls the source of Syrian mortar shells fired at Israeli military positions on Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

June 23, 2014: The Israeli regime bombards Syrian Army targets several times, killing at least 10 Syrian soldiers in response to an alleged strike a day earlier on a water truck moving along the border fence.

July 15, 2014: The Israeli military kills 18 Syrians, including eight civilians, in attacks on three locations on Syrian soil. It says it had come under rocket attack in the occupied Golan Heights earlier.

September 23, 2014: Israel downs a Syrian military aircraft that it alleges wandered into the occupied Golan Heights.

August 20, 2015: Israel takes Quneitra and its neighboring province of Rif Dimashq under successive airstrikes, hitting Syrian military outposts and soldiers. The regime claims it had come under rocket fire in the occupied Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee area earlier. It kills five civilians in an attack on a vehicle a day later, claiming it is seeking to take out those behind the rocket attacks.

Syria shoots down Israeli F-16 jet, pilots eject The Syrian military targets at least one Israeli F-16 warplane that attacked Syrian territory, hitting it and sending it down in flames and smoke.

November 28, 2016: Israel hits an abandoned UN building in the occupied Golan Heights, claiming it is suspected of being used by the militants.

March 16-17, 2017: Israel confirms, for the first time, that it targeted what it called a convoy belonging to the Hezbollah resistance movement near the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra. The attack marked the deepest foray by Israel into Syrian territory yet.

April 23, 2017: Israel’s military strikes positions on the outskirts of Quneitra’s capital city of the same name, killing three forces allied with the Syrian government.

June 24, 2017: Israeli warplanes destroy two Syrian tanks and a machine gun position in response to alleged shells hitting Israel the previous day, killing several Syrian soldiers and civilians.

June 24-26, 2017: Israel kills 13 Syrian soldiers in repeated attacks on Syrian military targets in Quneitra.

October 21, 2017: Israel hits Syrian artillery positions after five mortar rounds come down in an open area in the occupied Golan Heights. Syrian government sources say later that the mortar fire, which caused no damage or casualties, had been aimed at “terrorists linked to Israel.” The terrorists, they say, “had [themselves] launched mortar shells, upon the instructions of the Israeli occupation, on an area of empty land inside the occupied territories to give the Israeli enemy a pretext to carry out its aggression.”

February 10, 2018: The Israeli military conducts strikes against Syrian positions. The Syrian military hits at least one Israeli F-16 warplane during the attacks.

The Israeli military confirms the downing of the F-16.

US stops funding Al Qaeda’s rescue team, ‘White Helmets’

Well, well. The ‘White Helmets’ aren’t looking quite so pristine as they flee with terrorists from liberated areas in Syria.

The Duran has reported extensively on the real identity of The White Helmets, and we would suggest George Clooney seriously examine the overwhelming amount of evidence that exposes The White Helmets as the Al Qaeda-ISIS terrorists fakes that they are.

The “White Helmets” stole the name Syria Civil Defense from the real Syrian organization. They appropriated the name “White Helmets” from the Argentinian rescue organization Cascos Blancos/White Helmets. They are not independent; they are funded by governments. They are not apolitical; they actively campaign for a No Fly Zone. They do not work across Syria; they ONLY work in areas controlled by the armed opposition, mostly Nusa/Al Qaeda. They are not unarmed; they sometimes do carry weapons and they also celebrate terrorist victories. They assist in terrorist executions.

cbsnews.com May 3, 2018

Less than two months ago the State Department hosted members of the White Helmets at Foggy Bottom. At the time, the humanitarian group was showered with praise for saving lives in Syria.

“Our meetings in March were very positive. There were even remarks from senior officials about long-term commitments even into 2020. There were no suggestions whatsoever about stopping support,” Raed Saleh, the group’s leader, told CBS News.

Now they are not getting any U.S funding as the State Department says the support is “under active review.” The U.S had accounted for about a third of the group’s overall funding.

“This is a very worrisome development,” said an official from the White Helmets. “Ultimately, this will negatively impact the humanitarian workers ability to save lives.”

White Helmets founder Le Mesurier, who graduated from Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, is said to be an ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer involved in a number of other NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ theatres of war, including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, as well as postings in Lebanon and Palestine. He also boasts a series of high-profile posts at the UN, EU, and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Not to mention his connections back to the infamous Blackwater (Academi).

The White Helmets, formally known as the Syrian Civil Defense, are a group of 3,000 volunteer rescuers that have saved thousands of lives since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. A makeshift 911, they have run into the collapsing buildings to pull children, men and women out of danger’s way. They say they have saved more than 70,000 lives

Having not received U.S. funding in recent weeks, White Helmets are questioning what this means for the future. They have received no formal declaration from the U.S. government that the monetary assistance has come to a full halt, but the group’s people on the ground in Syria report that their funds have been cut off.

Assad: Chemical Attack Was 100% Fabricated, “al-Qaeda Shaved Their Beards And Put On White Helmets”

The group has an “emergency plan” if the funding is halted for one or two months — but they are worried about the long-term freeze.

“If this is a long-term or permanent halt, it would have a serious impact on our ability to provide the same intensity and quality of services that we currently provide to civilians,” said Saleh.

An internal State Department document said that its Near East Bureau needed confirmation from the administration to green light funding for the White Helmets in Syria by April 15th or the department would initiate “shut-down procedures on a rolling basis.” That document also said that the department needed to be notified by April 6th that it could continue programs that focus on removing land mines, restoring essential services and providing food to moderate forces and their families or those programs would also have to be shut down.

However, U.S. government officials are not talking on the record about the date of the actual funding cutoff for each program, which is leading to confusion.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has previously called the White Helmets “selfless men” and asked journalists to watch a documentary about their work. But the State Department did not respond to a CBS News inquiry earlier this week about which programs are still receiving funding, and the date for when certain programs will lose their funding. 

President Trump put a freeze on the $200 million in U.S. funding for recovery efforts in Syria in late March. This freeze means that U.S. support for the White Helmets is not the only project in jeopardy. There are also many other stabilization efforts that are backed by the U.S. — including the clearing of explosive devices, bringing back electricity, rebuilding schools, and getting water running — that may end soon.

U.S. officials are working to see if there is a way to adjust existing funding to cover the costs for these projects. They are also trying to get other countries, such as Germany, to cover some of the costs. Earlier this year, at the Brussels for the donor conference for Syria, German Foreign Minister Maas pledged more than $1.1 billion to help people in need in Syria. But as of now, Germany has not officially committed to stepping in beyond this initial commitment.

Observers are also increasingly concerned about Syria’s young people, who are more prone to radicalization if they don’t get the security and support that they need. As a result of the fighting in the country, thousands of schools have been destroyed. The handful of schools that opened their doors again have received simple necessities like chairs, tables and blackboards from the U.S. — but in most schools children are still sitting on the ground, and teachers are extremely hard to come by.

“The amount of U.S. support is very limited but it is better than nothing, so if that will stop, that will be a disaster. After ISIS they started to open the schools and if money stops, that will be done,” said a senior member of the Deir ez-Zor city council. “Without education the people only have ISIS ideas.”

This week, the State Department said it would continue to defend its partners on the ground in Syria when they announced the final operations to liberate ISIS strongholds in the country.

“The fighting will be difficult, but we and our partners will prevail. We will defend United States, Coalition, and partner forces if attacked. The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” wrote State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert. She did not write anything about the stabilization projects.

Meanwhile, much of Syria that has been cleared of ISIS control — such as Raqqa, its self-proclaimed capital — is still in ruins and almost impossible to live in.

“Raqqa is like a sick person in an emergency room. So the money or treatment should come faster than the routine way. He is not a normal sick person,” Abdullah al-Arian, a lawyer in Raqqa advising the governing Civil Council.

“The passion and power the U.S. put in to liberate Raqqa does not at all equal the passion to rebuild Raqqa. It is very much different, much less, much more slow,” says al-Arian. “They give us very beautiful words and promises but not much else.”

The Regime Changers: “A Reckoning Will Come in Syria”

Image result for syria fake news

“The United States can help the world remember who is the author of this dangerous impasse: “Syria, Iran, and Russia, who have serially transgressed the laws of war, lied in international forums, and mocked countless agreements, including the shambolic deal that was supposed to rid Syria of chemical weapons in 2013.”

A former correspondent for the New York Times provides targets for Western military to bomb in Syria: can you imagine a Western writer presenting a list of Israeli targets for the West to bomb in the wake of Israeli massacres?

 “command and control, delivery mechanisms including aircraft and bases, storage, research, and the like.“ This is in a magazine edited by a “former” Israeli occupation soldier and funded by a billionaire.

theatlantic.com

This weekend’s strikes have established a bar and set a perilous, but unavoidable, process in motion. What counts is what comes next.

In order to have any real impact on chemical-weapons use, the American response needs to be sustained.
It is undoubtedly a good thing that a small international coalition of the willing responded to Syria’s latest chemical outrage with a limited military strike. But it marks only the first step in an effective strategy to stop Syria’s use of chemical weapons—and more importantly, to hold Russia accountable for its promise to oversee a chemical weapons-free Syria.

Syria and Russia have displayed characteristic bluster and dishonesty, warning of “consequences” for a crisis that the Syrians themselves provoked by apparently violating, once again, their 2013 agreement not to use chemical weapons. Any confrontation with destabilizing bullies is dangerous, and there is no predicting whether and how they’ll respond.

Even a limited and justified effort to contain Syria and its allies carries a risk of escalation. The Trump administration, with its capricious chief executive and broken policy-making process, is ill equipped to forge the sort of complex strategy needed to manage Russia, Syria, Iran, and a Middle East in conflict. Nor has it so far displayed much interest in building the international cooperation necessary to implement such a strategy—although it was a pleasant development that the United States was joined this time by France and the U.K. rather than proceeding unilaterally. However, the considerable drawbacks of the Trump administration don’t give the West a pass when it comes to Syrian use of chemical weapons, and Russia’s belligerent expansionism. Both need to be checked and contained, even considering the additional risks Trump creates.

In order to have any real impact on chemical weapons use, the response needs to be sustained. Every time the regime uses chemical weapons, there needs to be a retaliation, which specifically targets the regime’s chemical-weapons capacity—command and control, delivery mechanisms including aircraft and bases, storage, research, and the like. A political strategy is indispensable as well. Since Russia is the guarantor of the failed 2013 chemical weapons agreement, the West needs to keep Russia on the hook for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons. The Pentagon chief suggested that these strikes were a one-off, and only time will tell which of Trump’s preferences prevail.

Deft diplomacy will also be necessary to reduce the risks of wider war. It doesn’t help that Trump is undermining the nuclear deal with Iran at the same time as he is ratcheting up the stakes in Syria. One key determinant now is how much Russia is willing to add action to match its relentless campaign of lies and bluster about Syria and chemical weapons. Another is whether Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah are willing to sit on their hands after these strikes. In the past, all three have been willing to refrain from action despite angry promises.

* * *

The problem is the context. Any American action in the Middle East ought to be embedded in a comprehensive, engaged strategy—which is not likely to be forthcoming. Today, we can be sure that America’s significant moves—from proposals to withdraw military assets fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, to promises to degrade the capabilities of Bashar al-Assad or limit the reach of Hezbollah or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—will land à la carte, increasing the danger of miscalculation and violent, destabilizing escalation.

At stake is how to manage disorder in the Middle East, and more important still, where to draw the line with a resurgent Russia.

Containing rival powers is an art, not a science. Military planners talk about the “escalation ladder” as if it were a chemical equation, but in reality escalation hinges on unpredictable questions of politics, interests, psychology, hard power, and willingness to deploy it.

Obama’s strategy could most simply be understood as a desire to contain regional fires with minimal involvement, while keeping an equal distance from regional antagonists, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, and difficult regional allies including Turkey and Israel. The U.S. got involved in the fight against ISIS, by this logic, with minimal resources and local alliances that it knew couldn’t outlive the immediate counter-terrorism operation.

In the Syrian context, Obama early on made clear that the United States commitment to principles of democracy and human rights would remain primarily rhetorical. Today, the United States has discarded even many of the rhetorical trappings of American exceptionalism. Trump has made clear that he doesn’t apply a moral calculus to superpower behavior. But he’s also expressed personal outrage about Syria’s use of chemical weapons—and he visibly takes umbrage at being personally embarrassed or humiliated.

Whether one thinks it’s wise or fully baked, President Trump also has a Middle East strategy. He wants to reduce America’s footprint, and disown any responsibility for the region’s wars, as if America played no role in starting them and suffers no strategic consequence from their trajectory. He wants to outsource regional security management to regional allies. Most of this is continuous with Obama’s approach, except when it comes to regional alliances; Obama attempted a “pox on both your houses” balance among all of America’s difficult allies. In his biggest departure from his predecessor, Trump has tilted fully to the Saudi Arabian side of the regional dispute, and has erased what little daylight separated American and Israeli priorities in the Middle East.

This is the bedrock of Trump’s moves in the region—moves that are all the more consequential because they are overtly about confronting, or trying to check, Iran and Russia.

* * *

The United States has a critical national interest in reestablishing the chemical weapons taboo. It also has countless other equities in the Middle East that require sustained attention and investment, of diplomatic, economic, and military resources. A short list of the most urgent priorities includes preventing the resurgence of ISIS or its successors; supporting governance in Iraq; limiting the reach and power of militias supported by Iran; and reversing the destabilizing human and international strategic toll of the world’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. A major regional war will only make things worse.

Given the stated priorities of the president, the most realistic possibility is an incomplete, and possibly destabilizing policy of confrontation, containment, and reestablishment of international norms.

But a reckoning can’t be deferred forever. Iran has been surging further and further afield in the Middle East, to great effect. Russia has been testing the West’s limits mercilessly since the invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. At some point, the United States and its allies will stand up to this expansionist behavior, although there’s wide latitude about where to set limits.

When the West, or some subset of NATO, does confront Russian ambitions, there’s no pat set of rules to keep us safe. Such confrontations are inevitable, and dangerous, and unpredictable. The best we can do is enter into them carefully, with as many strong allies as possible, and clearly stated, limited expectations about what we intend to accomplish.

The United States and its allies also need to more carefully distinguish things they dislike (Iranian influence in Iraq) from things they won’t tolerate (Hezbollah and Iran building permanent military infrastructure in the Golan). Rhetoric in the region often conflates the two. Israeli officials, for instance, talk about “intolerable” developments in Syria, but in practice their security policy often allows for a great deal of ambiguity about just what level of military threat they’re willing to tolerate along their frontiers. Iran, Hezbollah, and now Russia have made grandiose claims about retaliating if the United States takes action, but after past strikes by both the United States and Israel, the actual response has been quite restrained.

The United States and its allies need to set limited, achievable goals. The U.S. might for instance stand firm against the use of chemical weapons, or against new military campaigns against sovereign states, but it can’t very well seek to turn back the clock to a Syria free of Russian and Iranian influence.

In addition, the United States can help the world remember who is the author of this dangerous impasse: Syria, Iran, and Russia, who have serially transgressed the laws of war, lied in international forums, and mocked countless agreements, including the shambolic deal that was supposed to rid Syria of chemical weapons in 2013. This won’t justify American actions or give them political cover, but it is a key reason why we’re in such a difficult position in the first place. Despite American restraint, or even American willingness to tolerate war crimes by Syria and its allies, Syria and its allies have insisted on pushing past every limit and exhausting the world’s willingness to turn a blind eye toward abuses so long as those abuses stay within national boundaries.

Finally, to have any impact at all the United States will need to pay consistent and sustained attention. Russia, Syria, and Iran have gotten away with murder, literally, and have found themselves able to run circles around Western governments that still care to some extent about international norms and institutions. They are dangerous, but they are far weaker than their words would suggest. The West cannot deter every action it does not like, yet it can draw boundaries and impose a cost—but it must do so consistently.

This weekend’s strikes have established a bar and set a perilous, but unavoidable, process in motion. What counts is what comes next.