SYRIA: US War Crime in Jabal Al Tharda, Deir Ezzor and the Implausible Denials

On 17 September 2016 a carefully planned US-led air raid on Jabal al Tharda (Mount Tharda), overlooking Deir Ezzor airport, slaughtered over 100 Syrian soldiers and delivered control of the mountain to DAESH / ISIS. After that surprise attack, the terrorist group held the mountain for almost a year, but did not manage to take the airport or the entire city. US-led forces admitted the attack but claimed it was all a ‘mistake’. However uncontested facts, eye witness accounts and critical circumstances show that was a lie. This article sets out the evidence of this crime, in context of Washington’s historical use of mercenaries for covert actions, linked to the doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’.
Syrian eyewitness accounts from Deir Ezzor deepen and confirm this simple fact: the US-led air raid on Syrian forces at Jabal al Tharda on 17 September 2016 was no ‘mistake’ but a well-planned and effective intervention on behalf of the terrorist group ISIS (DAESH in Arabic). After days of careful surveillance a devastating missile attack followed by machine gunning of the remaining Syrian soldiers helped ISIS take control of the strategic mountain, that same day.
Mercenary forces – like ISIS and the other jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria – were a staple of US intervention during the early decades of the cold war, deployed in more than 25 conflicts, such as those of the Congo, Angola and Nicaragua. Whatever their claimed aims and ideologies, they allowed for the ‘multiplication’ of US power and were associated with the doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’, where the ‘formal’ denial of the mastermind role in covert operations minimised damage to domestic public opinion and international relations (Voss 2016: 37-40).

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 17, 2017.

Abduct, Imprison, Repeat: Israel’s Brutal System of Occupation, False Imprisonment of Palestinians

By now, western audiences are familiar with shocking photos of horrific ‘routine’ torture which has taken place at various U. S. military bases and detention centers in places Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Why many westerners will express outrage over these images and condemn such practices, few have been brave enough to acknowledge that Palestinians have endured similar or worse treatment inside Israeli prisons and ‘interrogation centres’ since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Moreover, the institutionalized racism which is pervasive throughout the Israeli government and society would normally trigger outrage in the international community, but for some reason (likely its relationship with the US).
How long will moral crusaders in the west remain gagged over Israel’s treatment of the native Palestinian population?
Simply put, the levels of systematic abuse by a thuggish Israeli security apparatus is shocking…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 16, 2017.

Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months, New Study Reveals

Mainstream media in 2013: “Conspiracy Theorists!” Mainstream media in 2017: “ISIS Got a Powerful Missile the CIA Bought!” Years late to the party, mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Reuters, and Buzzfeed are just out with “breaking” and “exclusive” stories detailing how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed’s story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing “a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group.”
The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State’s advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.
‘Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties – notably the United States and Saudi Arabia – have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,’ states the CAR report. ‘These weapons include anti-tank guided weapons and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.

Mapping World War In Syria & Iraq

Via GEFIRA,
For some time now Syria and Iraq have been a place where interests of many players are clashing. The region is being devastated by civil war or a war by proxy, fought by a number of participants, where the borderline between friend and foe is sharp or vague as the case may be.
The military sorties, airstrikes and other activities are taking place on a day-to-day basis. Conflicting pieces of information that can be gleaned from a variety of sources may reflect both the factual status or the propaganda of the powers that be, hidden behind the media outlets. It is not easy to see the forest for the trees, to filter valuable data in this informational noise. Still, our readers deserve to be informed. With all this in mind, the Gefira team has made an effort to present the current situation in Syria and Iraq in an accessible graphic and textual way according to the best of our ability.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 14, 2017.

Is Jihad Festering In America?

Authored by A Z Mohamed via The Gatestone Institute,
Saudi influence on American administrations, and relationships between senior officials in both countries, is behind Washington’s ignoring Riyadh’s “well-established… involvement in supporting terrorism and terrorist groups.” – Report by the Institute for Gulf Affairs (IGA), released on June 1. The IGA report, covering the three-year period since then and including extremely serious charges against both Saudi Arabia and previous U. S. administration and security officials, indicates the urgency with which the current administration needs to treat the issue and act upon it. A new investigative report reveals that hundreds of Saudi and Kuwaiti nationals residing in the United States — some with dual citizenship, and most students subsisting on government scholarships — have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq during the past three years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 13, 2017.

Syria – ISIS Is Defeated – The U.S. Is Next In Line

Is the US really a superower or just the biggest collection of stupidity on the planet?
Syria – ISIS Is Defeated – The U. S. Is Next In Line
Washington has already lost the Syrian war once. Now it is about to lose it a second time.
A few days ago the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared a ‘complete victory’ in Syria:
‘Two hours ago, the (Russian) defense minister reported to me that the operations on the eastern and western banks of the Euphrates have been completed with the total rout of the terrorists.’
The Iranian commander of the forces which support the Syrian and Iraqi governments sent a note to the U. S. to let Washington know that any remaining U. S. forces in Syria will be fought down:
‘The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a verbal letter, via Russia, to the head of the US forces commander in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier ‘or the doors of hell will open up.’’
‘My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it.’

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 11, 2017.

Iraqi Militia Says Trump’s Recognition Of Jerusalem Is A “Legitimate Reason” To Attack Americans

In the latest sign that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s true capital has put American lives at risk, Russia Today is reporting that Shia paramilitary group Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba has declared that the US’s violation of the holy land status quo is a ‘legitimate reason’ to attack American troops in Iraq.
‘Trump’s stupid decision… will be the big spark for removing this entity [Israel] from the body of the Islamic nation, and a legitimate reason to target American forces,’ said Akram al-Kaabi, the Iraqi organization’s leader, as cited by Reuters.
Of course, militia leaders aren’t the only ones speaking out against Trump’s decision. Heads of state and other senior officials in the governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and – of course – the Palestinian territories have denounced the declaration. Meanwhile, the embassy’s impending move to Jerusalem will probably only further infuriate much of the Muslim world. One Palestinian official said Trump’s declaration has effectively precluded the possibility of a two-state solution.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 8, 2017.

Russia Announces The Complete Destruction Of ISIS In Syria

In a historic moment, ignored by much of Western media, Russian military officials have announced the complete and utter defeat of ISIS in Syria. The Russian General Staff issued a statement Wednesday declaring that all territories previously under terrorist control were liberated in a final push by the Syrian Army this week, and with the support of Russian forces.
‘All terrorist units of ISIS on Syrian soil have been destroyed, and the territory is liberated,’ Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov said in comments translated and published by RT. “Therefore, as of today, there’s no territory controlled by ISIS in Syria,’ he added. The announcement came during an annual briefing for foreign military attaches, and incidentally on the same day President Trump gave an extremely controversial televised address wherein he gave official US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, thus it could mean that the demise of one problem could give rise to another in an increasingly volatile and explosive Middle East environment.
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The rapid collapse of ISIS – which once controlled an area the size of Britain stretching from the edges of Aleppo to Mosul in Iraq, and down to Ramadi and Fallujah – began in earnest in early September when the Syrian Army breached ISIS lines around Deir Ezzor city, after which the city was fully liberated by early November. As ISIS retreated in the Deir Ezzor countryside, it lost its previous Syrian capital of Raqqa in mid-October to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which also struck a deal to allow the quick exit of ISIS terrorists to other parts of Syria and region, according to a report by the BBC.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.

Caught On Video: ISIS-Driven “Jihadimobile” Explodes In Massive Fireball

Editor’s note: The confrontation depicted in the video below is 100% authentic.
In a showdown that demonstrated the destructive power of ISIS-aligned suicide bombers, a tank manned by Iraqi Shia fighters appeared to trigger a massive explosion when it pointed its muzzle at a rickety pickup truck packed to the brim with explosives. First, militia soldiers try to stop the truck with small-arms fire. Then the truck, presumably driven by ISIS fighters, advances toward the tank.
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Then suddenly, there’s a massive explosion.
Debris flies everywhere, hitting the tank and a combat infantry vehicle, and narrowly missing a group of fighters on the ground.
Combat experience in Iraq and Syria prove that light vehicles including trucks can be converted into dangerous weapons capable of inflicting hundreds of casualties if detonated in a densely packed area.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.

Is ‘Geopolitical Risk’ Behind Rising Oil Prices?

Toward the end of October, Brent crude prices crossed $60 per barrel for the first time in two years. They continued their ascent, peaking at around $64. Experts explained the spike with vague references to ‘geopolitical risk,’ without really detailing what those risks entailed. Such explanations are not wrong, but they are careless. A proper geopolitical risk assessment necessitates that we go beyond equivocal wording and develop an understanding of the relevant economic, political, and military factors.
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Threats to Supply For weeks, developments in Saudi Arabia have been cited in commentary on oil markets. It all comes down to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran – a rivalry that plays out throughout the region, in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 27, 2017.

Saudi Coalition Crumbles In Yemen: Sudanese Mercenaries On Front Lines, Foreign Officers, Proxies In Revolt

Most Americans might be forgiven for having no clue what the war in Yemen actually looks like, especially as Western media has spent at least the first two years of the conflict completely ignoring the mass atrocities taking place while white-washing the Saudi coalition’s crimes. Unlike wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, which received near daily coverage as they were at their most intense, and in which many Americans could at least visualize the battlefield and the actors involved through endless photographs and video from on the ground, Yemen’s war has largely been a faceless and nameless conflict as far as major media is concerned.
Aside from mainstream media endlessly demonstrating its collective ignorance of Middle East dynamics, it is also no secret that the oil and gas monarchies allied to the West are rarely subject to media scrutiny or criticism, something lately demonstrated on an obscene and frighteningly absurd level with Thomas Friedman’s fawning and hagiographic interview with Saudi crown prince MBS published in the New York Times.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.

Pentagon To Admit To 2,000 Troops In Syria; Number Likely Far Higher

General Had Previously Said US Had 4,000 Troops There…
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US officials said on Friday that the Pentagon is expected to concern confirm that there are ‘about 2,000’ US ground troops in Syria, a major increase from the roughly 500 that they officially claim is the case.
An accounting system, known as the Force Management Level (FML), was introduced in Iraq and Syria under the Obama administration as a way to exert control over the military.
But the numbers do not reflect the extent of the US commitment on the ground, since commanders often find ways to work around the limits, sometimes bringing in forces temporarily or hiring more contractors.
Current FML figures are officially 5,262 in Iraq and 503 in Syria, but officials have privately acknowledged that the real number for each country is more.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 26, 2017.

Militants Who Killed Over 300 At Egypt Mosque Brandished ISIS Flags

Yesterday, Egypt suffered its worst mass killing since at least 2013 – a massacre that was ironically carried out by the country’s security forces – when five armed gunmen stormed a mosque in northern Sinai and killed more than 300 people, including at least two dozen children.
And while no group has stepped up to take responsibility for the murderous rampage, Reuters reported that the attackers brandished an Islamic State flag, according to witness accounts. Prosecutors are already investigating the group.
Egyptian forces are battling a stubborn Islamic State affiliate in the region, one of the surviving branches of the militant group after it suffered defeats by US-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.
The assault on the mosque has stunned Egyptians, prompting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government to tighten security at places of worship and key buildings, and call three days of mourning for the bloodiest attack in Egypt’s modern history. The official death toll rose to 305 Saturday, including 27 children, and 128 people were injured.
Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office, citing interviews with wounded survivors as part of its investigation, linked Islamic State militants, also known as Daesh, to the attack on the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El-Arish city.
‘The worshippers were taken by surprise by these elements,’ the prosecutor said in a statement.
‘They numbered between 25 and 30, carrying the Daesh flag and took up positions in front of the mosque door and its 12 windows with automatic rifles.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2017.

The Saudi System And Why Its Change May Fail

Via Moon Of Alabama blog,
The Saudi clown prince Mohammad Bin Salman is an impulsive tyrant. But what accounts for his urge to purge the country of any potential competing power center? Why does he run a such an activist foreign policy? The answer might be Iran. Not Iran the country, but Iran the system.
Since the U. S. war on Iraq the sclerotic Saudi Arabia continuously lost standing in its region. The Iranian model gained ground. A decade later the authoritarian Arab systems were challenged by the so called “Arab spring”. While the movements in the various countries -as far as they were genuine- have failed, they were a warning sign for things to come.
Saudi Arabia reacted to the challenges by moving away from a sedate, consensual run family business towards a centrally controlled, supercharged tyranny. The move allows for more flexible and faster reactions to any future challenge. But it also increases the chance of making mistakes. To understand why this endeavor is likely to fail one needs look at the traditional economic and social system that is the fabric of the country. The fate of the Hariri dynasty is an example for it.
Since Salman climbed the throne he has moved to eliminate all competition to his rule. The religious establishment was purged of any opposition. Its police arm was reigned in. First crown prince Murqrin was removed and then crown prince Nayef. They were replaced with Salman’s inexperienced son. Economic and military powers were concentrated in his hands. During the recent night of the long knives powerful family members and business people were detained. The Wall Street Journal reports of a second arrest wave. More higher ups have been incarcerated. This round includes senior military commanders and very wealthy business people.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.

SYRIA: The Emerging ‘Peace’ Bloc Challenges the Weakened ‘War’ Bloc

21st Century Wire says…
The Taylor Report speaks to Vanessa Beeley, associate editor at 21st Century Wire.
‘Peace Bloc’ vs. ‘War Bloc’ emerging in Middle East
Even though the ISIS ‘caliphate’ has been defeated in Iraq and Eastern Syria, Beeley points out that the war in Syria is not yet over. There are still pockets of terrorists in several places inside Syria, including a concentration of Al Qaeda inside Idlib province and ISIS along the Israeli border adjacent to the Golan Heights, occupied illegally by Israel since 1967.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 22, 2017.

Faux Outrage: Reuters Says Tillerson Violating “Child Soldier Laws”; Ignores Same Policies Under Clinton-Obama

Late last night, Reuters published an “exclusive” report which was undoubtedly intended to be a “gotcha” hit piece on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, courtesy of some disgruntled Obama/Clinton holdovers at the State Department. The report from Reuters came after they got their hands on a confidential “dissent” memo, signed by ” a dozen U. S. State Department officials” accusing Tillerson of violating the “Child Soldiers Prevention Act.” Here’s a summary from Reuters:
A group of about a dozen U. S. State Department officials have taken the unusual step of formally accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of violating a federal law designed to stop foreign militaries from enlisting child soldiers, according to internal government documents reviewed by Reuters.
A confidential State Department ‘dissent’ memo not previously reported said Tillerson breached the Child Soldiers Prevention Act when he decided in June to exclude Iraq, Myanmar, and Afghanistan from a U. S. list of offenders in the use of child soldiers. This was despite the department publicly acknowledging that children were being conscripted in those countries.
Keeping the countries off the annual list makes it easier to provide them with U. S. military assistance. Iraq and Afghanistan are close allies in the fight against Islamist militants, while Myanmar is an emerging ally to offset China’s influence in Southeast Asia.
Documents reviewed by Reuters also show Tillerson’s decision was at odds with a unanimous recommendation by the heads of the State Department’s regional bureaus overseeing embassies in the Middle East and Asia, the U. S. envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the department’s human rights office and its own in-house lawyers.
‘Beyond contravening U. S. law, this decision risks marring the credibility of a broad range of State Department reports and analyses and has weakened one of the U. S. government’s primary diplomatic tools to deter governmental armed forces and government-supported armed groups from recruiting and using children in combat and support roles around the world,’ said the July 28 memo.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

20/11/17: Tallying the Costs: U.S. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan

The folks at Brown University have carried out the most detailed assessment of the disastrous costs of the U. S. wars fought since 9/11. The details can be found here: These are a must read! While Russia stands accused by the U. S. of triggering the humanitarian crisis through its intervention in Syria (the civil war that started with the U. S. support and blessing), here is Brown University’s conclusion about the real refugees crisis:
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Not to say that one wrong (U. S.) makes another wrong right (Russia), but 10.1 million estimated refugees caused by the U. S. wars? This got to stand out, folks.
The U. S. has spent estimated USD5.6 trillion from 9/11 through fiscal year 2018 according to the study.

This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

History Lesson: America’s Renegade Warfare

Nicolas J S Davies
Consortium News
Seventy-seven million people in North and South Korea find themselves directly in the line of fire from the threat of a Second Korean War. The rest of the world is recoiling in horror from the scale of civilian casualties such a war would cause and the unthinkable prospect that either side might actually use nuclear weapons.
Since the first Korean War killed at least 20 percent of North Korea’s population and left the country in ruins, the U. S. has repeatedly failed to follow through on diplomacy to establish a lasting peace in Korea and has instead kept reverting to illegal and terrifying threats of war. Most significantly, the U. S. has waged a relentless propaganda campaign to discount North Korea’s legitimate defense concerns as it confronts the threat of a U. S. war machine that has only grown more dangerous since the last time it destroyed North Korea.
The North has lived under this threat for 65 years and has watched Iraq and Libya destroyed after they gave up their nuclear weapons programs. When North Korea discovered a U. S. plan for a Second Korean War on South Korea’s military computer network in September 2016, its leaders quite rationally concluded that a viable nuclear deterrent is the only way to guarantee their country’s safety.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 17, 2017.

Manic Tories Trump Monty Python

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,
There can be little doubt that the British, in general, have a sense of humor. And that’s perhaps the lens through which we should view the country these days. After all, what other options do we have? A comment yesterday to a Guardian article sums up the situation quite perfectly in just a few words (note: Dignitas has something to do with assisted dying):
Brexit is rapidly becoming like someone who booked a trip to Dignitas when they were told they were dying and has now been told there’s a cure. But they’re going to Switzerland anyway, because they can’t face dealing with Ryanair’s customer service team.
There are two main British political parties, Tories and Labour, which fight each other whenever and wherever they can. Moreover, each party has several camps that fight each other even more, if at all possible. The George W.- friendly Tony Blair Orchestra in the Labour Party seems to have lost out to the actually left-wing Jeremy Corbynistas for now, but they won’t give up without a fight (power is their only hobby). Blair is still commenting from the sidelines on Corbyn’s perceived follies while his faithful lament about how their Tone was misled by 43 into bombing Iraq.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 14, 2017.

Millions Face Starvation in Yemen Due to Saudi Arabia’s Blockade

Two years ago, German intelligence warned the world of the unique risks Saudi Arabia posed to the region. I covered it at the time in the post, German Intelligence Warns – Saudi Arabia to Play ‘Destabilizing Role’ in the Middle East. Here’s an excerpt:
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a major destabilizing influence in the Arab world, German intelligence has warned.
Internal power struggles and the desire to emerge as the leading Arab power threaten to make the key Western ally a source of instability, according to the BND intelligence service.
‘The current cautious diplomatic stance of senior members of the Saudi royal family will be replaced by an impulsive intervention policy,’ a BND memo widely distributed to the German press reads.
Saudi Arabia has previously been accused of supplying arms and funding to jihadist groups fighting in Syria, including Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
At the core of this intelligence warning was none other than crown prince Mohamed bin Salman, or MBS. I’ve been warning about the specific dangers presented by his brazen and sociopathic personality for years, and the recent purge finally threw it all into the spotlight for everyone to see.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Nov 13, 2017.