Russia, U.S. Trade Threats As Tensions Heat Up Over Syria

After Sunday’s shoot-down of a Syrian war plane over the Raqqa countryside, hostilities are flaring between the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, complete with an exchange of threats.
‘Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets,’ the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement addressing the incident on Sunday.
In prior weeks the Russians expressed tacit approval for anti-ISIS operations carried out by the U. S.-led coalition, but the willingness for cooperation diminishes by the day.
In another statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense also said it would halt all interactions with the United States under an agreement meant to prevent clashes between Russian and American forces.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 20, 2017.

The Middle East Is Blowing Up

Every day brings another scary headline from the Middle East – which makes it easy to treat them as background noise rather than a clear and present danger. But the latest batch is reminiscent of the Balkans circa 1914, which means it may be time to tune back in. Some examples:
A US Navy jet shot down a Syrian warplane. Syria is a Russian client state, so this puts the US and Russia on opposite sides in a shooting war.
Russia warned the US that it takes the destruction of its client’s military assets seriously. It suspended the hot line Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace and threatened to target US aircraft.
Iran has begun launching missiles into Syria targeting ISIS. This is new in at least two ways: 1) Iran hasn’t used those particular missiles in decades, and 2) it was not previously active in Syria. This escalation from advising the Assad regime to actually killing people and blowing things up adds another player on Russia’s side against the US.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on JUNE 20, 2017.

US Jet Shoots Down Syrian Army Drone In “Dangerous Escalation”

A US F-15E fighter jet shot down a Syrian regime drone on Monday near At Tanf, Syria, the third downing of a pro-regime aircraft this month, CNN reported. The downing of the drone comes a day after a US jet shot down a regime aircraft that was engaging a fleeing ISIS convoy, according to the Syrian government.
An armed Shaheed-129 UAV ‘displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces’ at 12:30 am local time on Tuesday, the coalition said in a statement. The drone was observed in the same area where another UAV was shot down on June 8.

Here’s CNN:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.

SYRIA: US Flagrant Aggression is Absurdly Described as ‘Self-Defence’

The shooting down of a Syrian fighter jet by US forces this week comes on the back of several aggressive actions by American military on the ground. Taken together the US actions mark an alarming escalation of intervention in the Syrian war – to the point where the Americans can be said to be now openly at war against Syria.
The American military actions also come despite repeated warnings from Russia against such unilateral deployment of force. Following the shoot-down of the Syrian SU-22 fighter bomber this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the American violence as an act of flagrant aggression against a sovereign state. Some Russian lawmakers such as Duma foreign affairs chief Alexei Pushkov went further and condemned it as an act of war by the Americans.
Of course, Washington’s logic is riddled with absurdity. To claim that its forces are acting in self-defense overlooks the glaring reality that the US-led military coalition has no legal mandate whatsoever to be in Syria in the first place. Its forces are in breach of international law by operating on Syrian territory without the consent of the government in Damascus and without a mandate from the UN Security Council.
Another absurdity is the claim that the US forces are protecting militants whom they are supposedly training to fight the Islamic State terror group (ISIS). On at least three occasions over the past month, American military have carried out air strikes on Syrian government forces and their allies near a strategically important border crossing between Syria and Iraq. The Americans claim that the Syrian government forces were posing a threat to a military base at Al Tanf on the Syrian side of the border where they are training militants belonging to a group called Maghawir al Thawra.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 20, 2017.

Dangerous Development: Iranian Missile Launch into Syria Against ISIS Puts US in Precarious Position

Yesterday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced that it had fired several missiles at ISIS positions in the Deir Az Zor province in Syria. The reason given for this unprecedented military strike was retaliation for a double terrorist attacks which struck Tehran two weeks ago. Readers should not underestimate the significance of this event.
According to a statement issued by the news agency for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Sepahnews, ‘Multiple medium-range missiles were fired from the Iranian provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdestan, and a large number of terrorists were killed and their weapons were destroyed.’
Regarding the alleged ISIS attack which killed 13 people and wounded 50 others, the Revolutionary Guard added, ‘The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered.’
Make no mistake about it – this was a major media event. It’s been 30 years since Iran has fired missiles at targets outside of its own borders.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 20, 2017.

Another Step Toward Devastating War

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An idiot American pilot shot down a Syrian fighter that was attacking ISIS, thus confirming that Washington is not fighting ISIS, as Washington claims, but is protecting ISIS, its agent sent to Syria by Obama and Hillary to overthrow the Syrian government. General Michael Flynn revealed on a TV interview that Obama and Hillary had, over his objection as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made the ‘willful decision’ to send ISIS to Syria.
Washington’s pretense that Washington is fighting ISIS, rather than supporting it, is the excuse for Washington’s illegal presence in the Syrian conflict. Russia and Iran are in Syria legally, invited there by an elected government. The Americans are there uninvited as war criminals. Under international law established by the Americans themselves, it is a war crime to initiate aggression against a country that has not raised a fist against you.
So, to be in Syria, Washington has to pretend to be ‘fighting terrorism’ rather than supporting it. The lie has been given to this claim many times, but now that an American pilot has proven that the US is in Syria to support its agent, ISIS, not even a Megyn Kelly presstitute can honestly claim to believe that Washington is fighting ISIS.
The Russians, Syrians, and Iranians have known this from the beginning. However, these official sources are all suspect in the presstitute Western media. So with the presstitutes’ complicity, Washington’s lie has stood until the idiot American pilot blew the lie out of the sky along with the Syrian fighter and its pilot.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on June 19, 2017.

Pentagon Responds: “US Pilots Will Defend Themselves If Attacked By Russians”

One wouldn’t know it by looking at the market, but the biggest developing story today was Russia’s threat to intercept any aircraft – including US – flying in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, and “be followed as targets” after yesterday’s downing by a US F-18 of a Syrian Su-22 fighter jet. Moments ago the US responded to this unmistakable deterioration in relations between the two nations, when a Pentagon spokesman said U. S. pilots over Syria will defend themselves if attacked by Russians.
“We are aware of the Russian statements,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday morning quoted by WashEx. “We do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS, but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened,” Davis said, seemingly unaware that shooting down a sovereign nation’s plane above its own territory is exactly what “seeking a conflict” looks like. In a follow up statement this afternoon, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US will “retain the right of self-defense in Syria.”
Separately, Col. Ryan Dillon, chief U. S. military spokesman in Baghdad said “coalition aircraft continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, targeting ISIS forces and providing air support for coalition partner forces on the ground.”
Unlike Davis, Dillon appeared to indicate the U. S. will avoid the parts of Syria where Russia said U. S. planes would be tracked as potential targets or providing additional airpower to counter threats.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.

PHILIPPINES: A Real Threat to Washington’s Interests in Asia, Triggers ‘Operation ISIS’

In a recent chain of events, the Philippines has been rushing towards chaos. The failure by the Philippine special forces to capture Isnilon Hapilon, considered to be the top brass of the infamous Abu Sayyaf organization in the country, coincided with a quick operation by a series of Daesh-affiliated terrorist groups to take the city of Marawi. This is an escalation of internal and external pressure on the Duterte administration brought on by his foreign-policy shift.
The events of May 23 in Marawi in the Philippines, the first city to fall into the hands of Daesh in Asia, shows disturbing parallels with the operational methods of Daesh in Syria, Iraq and Libya. The presence of 500 operatives, part of different dormant cells in Marawi, allowed a coordinated assault on the police station and the city prison, enlarging the number of recruits and acquiring multiple firearms in the process. In a series of events difficult to verify, Daesh took control of the city and established several checkpoints. Employing an operational mix of tactics inspired by the beginning of the attacks on Syria in 2011 and in 2014, Daesh quickly expanded into Syria from Iraq.
The Philippines government and its armed forces have suffered numerous deaths and injuries, and although most of the city of Marawi has now been brought under control, problems remain, with continued employment of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft as well as numerous ground troops to confront the threat.
The drama continued in the Asian country, with a bombing in Manila sending the country into panic and forcing authorities to leak little information in what was seemingly becoming a worsening climate.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 19, 2017.

Syrian “Rebels” In Turmoil After Qatar Crisis

The ongoing Qatar crisis has had an unexpectedly adverse outcome among the Syrian “rebels”, in many cases formerly known as al-Qaeda, who expect the crisis between two of their biggest state backers – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to deepen divisions in the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad. Together with Turkey and the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been major sponsors of the insurgency, arming an array of groups that have been fighting to topple Syria’s Iran-backed president. However, in recent weeks the Gulf support has been far from harmonious, fuelling splits that have set back the revolt.
Quoted by Reuters, Mustafa Sejari of the Liwa al Mutasem rebel group in northern Syria said “god forbid if this crisis is not contained I predict … the situation in Syria will become tragic because the factions that are supported by (different) countries will be forced to take hostile positions towards each other.”
“We urge our brothers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar not to burden the Syrian people more than they can bear” he said magnanimously, when what he really meant is that he needs Saudis and Qatar on the same page so that the supply of weapons and cash can resume.
To be sure, for the terrorists rebels the Qatar crisis comes at the worst possible time: the opposition to Assad has been losing ground to Damascus ever since the Russian military deployed to Syria in support of Assad’s war effort in 2015. As Reuters adds Assad now appears “militarily unassailable”, although rebels still have footholds near Damascus, in the northwest, and the southwest. These are unlikely to hold without a continued infusion of support from the feuding Gulf states.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.

SYRIA: Washington’s Boots and Missile Systems on the Ground to Defend ISIS and Associated Proxies

The US’ deployment of the HIMARS missile system to eastern Syria is designed to deter the Syrian Arab Army’s Dash for Deir az-Zor.
Many people were caught off guard when the Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier this week that ‘The US has redeployed two High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from Jordan to a US special operations forces base near the Syrian town of Al-Tanf’, and that ‘the range of HIMARS cannot allow for providing support for US-controlled Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating against Daesh in Raqqa’. This led to the logical conclusion that the HIMARS could be used by the US to strike Syrian Arab Army (SAA) forces, just as the Pentagon’s developed a habit of doing several times already since April.
To put this all into context, the SAA just broke through some of Daesh’s occupied territory to reach the Iraqi border, thereby cutting off the US’ special forces and allied ‘rebel’ forces in Al-Tanf from linking up with the majority-Kurdish ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) laying siege to Raqqa right now and committing ethnic cleansing there. Moreover, this development prevents the US-backed forces from driving through the desert to Deir az-Zor, the last major Daesh-occupied city in eastern Syria and the location of a small encircled SAA contingent. The ‘Dash for Deir az-Zor’ is becoming the new ‘Race for Raqqa’ now that the latter is all but over, as the former will decide whether or not the entirety of eastern Syria falls under pro-American proxy control or not.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 19, 2017.

NUDGING TO WAR: U.S. Shoots Down Syrian Army Fighter Jet

21st Century Wire says…
Yesterday a US F/A-18E Super Hornet is reported to have shot down a Syrian Army SU-22 jet near the village of Rasafah, south of Raqqa. Washington claims it was an act of ‘collective self-defense’ because the Syrian jet had dropped bombs ‘near US-backed forces.’ Syrian officials in Damascus deny the US claims, stating that their plane was downed while conducting a strike on an ISIS position.
According to a statement released by Damascus, the US act of aggression in Syria airspace was a ‘flagrant attack was an attempt to undermine the efforts of the army as the only effective force capable with its allies… in fighting terrorism across its territory.’ Officials added that, ‘this comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the (ISIS) terrorist group.’
US officials are claiming that ‘pro-Syrian regime forces’ on the ground attacked the US-backed Kurdish militias under the ‘SDF’ brand (Syrian Democratic Forces) near Tabqa outside Raqqa, after which time the US-led Coalition planes engaged Syrian military. US officials then claim that a Syrian planes ‘dropped bombs near the US-backed forces.’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issue this statement: ‘We call on the United State and all others who have their forces or advisors on the ground [in Syria] to ensure the coordination in our work. Zones of de-escalation are one of the possible options to jointly move forward. We call on everyone to avoid unilateral moves, respect Syrian sovereignty and join our common work which is agreed with the Syrian Arab Republic’s government.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 19, 2017.

Washington’s “Good Terrorists, Bad Terrorists” Policy In Middle East

Karl Marx famously said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. The only difference between the Afghan jihad back in the ’80s that spawned Islamic jihadists like the Taliban and al Qaeda for the first time in history and the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, 2011-onward, is that the Afghan jihad was an overt jihad: back then, the Western political establishments and their mouthpiece, the mainstream media, used to openly brag that the CIA provides all those AK-47s, RPGs and stingers to the Afghan so-called ‘freedom fighters’ to combat the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
After the 9/11 tragedy, however, the Western political establishments and corporate media have become a lot more circumspect, therefore this time around, they have waged covert jihads against the Arab-nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and the anti-Zionist Assad regime in Syria, in which Islamic jihadists (aka terrorists) have been sold as ‘moderate rebels’ with secular and nationalist ambitions to the Western audience.
Since the regime change objective in those hapless countries went against the mainstream narrative of ostensibly fighting a war against terrorism, therefore the Western political establishments and the corporate media are now trying to muddle the reality by offering color-coded schemes to identify myriads of militant and terrorist outfits that are operating in Syria: such as the red militants of the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front, which the Western powers want to eliminate; the yellow Islamic jihadists, like Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, with whom the Western powers can collaborate under desperate circumstances; and the green militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) and a few other inconsequential outfits, which together comprise the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition.
If we were to draw parallels between the Soviet-Afghan jihad of the ’80s and the Syrian civil war of today, the Western powers used the training camps located in the Af-Pak border regions to train and arm Afghan ‘Mujahideen’ against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.

Russia Halts Cooperation With US In Syria, Will “Intercept Any Aircraft” In Russian Areas Of Operation

Shortly after Russia’s deputy foreign minister slammed the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 jet as an “act of aggression” and “support for terrorists”, Russia announced that starting June 19 it was halting all interactions with the US under the framework on the “memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies”, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, thereby assuring the probability of even more deadly escalations between Russia and the US-led coalition.
In retaliation, the ministry warned that Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria,
“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced, quoted by Sputnik.
Contrary to the earlier statement by the US according to which, it “contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line” to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing”, Russia claims the US-led coalition command didn’t use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa:
“Russian Aerospace Forces’ jets were conducting operations in Syrian airspace that time. However, the command of the coalition forces didn’t use the existing channel between the air command of the Qatari airbase al Udeid and the [Russian] Hmeymim airbase to avoid incidents over Syria.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.

U.S-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

You American bastards just shot down my cousin's aircraft (Ali) while taking out the scumbags of ISIS in the area.
Ali hope you are OK bro pic.twitter.com/z6IKFgbtqJ
— Majd Fahd (@Syria_Protector) June 18, 2017

Update: U. S. Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Tabqah. It is unclear if these particular “forces” were getting their funding from Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
And a quick situational take from Worldview:
A U. S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 fighter jet on June 18 that had dropped bombs on Syrian rebel forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, ABC News reported. The U. S.-led coalition said in a statement that its focus is on fighting the militant group, and not fighting the Syrian government or Russian forces, but it will defend coalition forces coming under attack. The incident occurred in a town south of Tabqa, Syria, which had been retaken from the Islamic State by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces, in preparation for the offensive on the stronghold of Raqqa.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.

Iran Launches Missile Strikes Against “Terror Bases” In Eastern Syria

#Iran has launched missiles from #IRGC #missile bases in provinces of Kermanshah & Kordestan, targeting terrorists in #DeirEzzor of #Syria.
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) June 18, 2017

In a major escalation of the Syrian proxy war, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it launched multiple missile strikes from IRGC missile bases in provinces of Kermanshah & Kordestan, targeting “terror bases” in Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria in retaliation for ISIS-claimed attacks in Tehran.
Footage of the moment the IRGC fired the missiles is shown below:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.

Are These The Only Options The Elite Have Left, If So It Won’t End Well – Episode 1309b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 18, 2017
A new bill was introduced to setup a Russian response center to provoke the Russians. Congress is now looking into the failed coup attempt in Montenegro. Iraqi troops regain control of the border. Russian and Syrian forces liberating more towns and hitting the rest of the IS oil convoys. Europol warns that attacks could happen at anytime that the IS has the ability to carry out terror. The elite are running out of options and the only options left will not end well for the rest of us.

Iran, China Conduct Joint Naval Drills

Last summer, when the Syrian conflict was near its peak under the Obama administration, China unexpectedly warned it was ready to enter the proxy war when in a stunning announcement, Xinhua reported that Beijing was prepared to side with Syria and Russia, against the US-led alliance, and that Xi and Assad had agreed that the Chinese military will have closer ties with Syria and provide humanitarian aid to the civil war torn nation.
A high-ranking People’s Liberation Army officer also said that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed: the Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Xinhua added. Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria. “China and Syria’s militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria’s military,” Xinhua quoted Guan.
Then last month, as the lingering Syrian proxy war dragged on, we reported that Moscow was hoping “for China’s help in solving the Syrian crisis and restoring the country.”
As Russia’s deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov said on May 29, “our cooperation with China on Syria at various international venues is unprecedented. We blocked six attempts to pass anti-Syrian resolutions in the U. N. Security Council,” Morgulov said at “Russia and China: Taking on a New Quality of Bilateral Relations” international conference adding that “together we call for a peaceful and political-diplomatic solution to conflicts, without double standards, unilateral action or attempts at ousting regimes. Our approaches coincide, among other things, on the uncompromising fight against terrorism.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.

The Economic System Is Ripping Itself Apart & Will Lead To “Cataclysmic Events” – Episode 1309a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 18, 2017
A new bill was introduced to setup a Russian response center to provoke the Russians. Congress is now looking into the failed coup attempt in Montenegro. Iraqi troops regain control of the border. Russian and Syrian forces liberating more towns and hitting the rest of the IS oil convoys. Europol warns that attacks could happen at anytime that the IS has the ability to carry out terror. The elite are running out of options and the only options left will not end well for the rest of us.