Category Archives: Middle East

UK directing hideous Yemen civilian bombing campaign. Is Parliament not interested?

U.S. and U.K. Continue to Participate in War Crimes, Targeting of Yemeni Civilians

By Glenn Greenwald

From the start of the hideous Saudi bombing campaign against Yemen 18 months ago, two countries have played active, vital roles in enabling the carnage: the U.S. and U.K. The atrocities committed by the Saudis would have been impossible without their steadfast, aggressive support.

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The Obama administration “has offered to sell $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia over its eight years in office, more than any previous U.S. administration,” as The Guardian reported this week, and also provides extensive surveillance technology. As The Intercept documented in April, “In his first five years as president, Obama sold $30 billion more in weapons than President Bush did during his entire eight years as commander in chief.”

Most important, according to the Saudi foreign minister, although it is the Saudis who have ultimate authority to choose targets, “British and American military officials are in the command and control center for Saudi airstrikes on Yemen” and “have access to lists of targets.” In sum, while this bombing campaign is invariably described in Western media outlets as “Saudi-led,” the U.S. and U.K. are both central, indispensable participants. As the New York Times editorial page put it in August: “The United States is complicit in this carnage,” while The Guardian editorialized that“Britain bears much responsibility for this suffering.”

From the start, the U.S.- and U.K.-backed Saudis have indiscriminately and at times deliberately bombed civilians, killing thousands of innocent people. From Yemen, Iona Craig and Alex Potter have reported extensively for The Intercept on the widespread civilian deaths caused by this bombing campaign. As the Saudis continued to recklessly and intentionally bomb civilians, the American and British weapons kept pouring into Riyadh, ensuring that the civilian massacres continued. Every once and awhile, when a particularly gruesome mass killing made its way into the news, Obama and various British officials would issue cursory, obligatory statements expressing “concern,” then go right back to fueling the attacks.

This weekend, as American attention was devoted almost exclusively to Donald Trump, one of the most revolting massacres took place. On Saturday,warplanes attacked a funeral gathering in Sana, repeatedly bombing the hall where it took place, killing over 100 people and wounding more than 500 (see photo above). Video shows just some of the destruction and carnage:

Video shows double tap Saudi airstrike on funeral hall in Sanaa, #Yemen, today. Hundreds killed or wounded. Saudis deny, no word from US.pic.twitter.com/6TYlQWPrCN

— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) October 8, 2016

Saudi officials first lied by trying to blame “other causes” but have since walked that back. The next time someone who identifies with the Muslim world attacks American or British citizens, and those countries’ leading political voices answer the question “why, oh why, do they hate us?” by assuring everyone that “they hate us for our freedoms,” it would be instructive to watch that video.

The Obama White House, through its spokesperson Ned Price, condemned what it called “the troubling series of attacks striking Yemeni civilians” — attacks, it did not note, it has repeatedly supported — and lamely warned that “U.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check.” That is exactly what it is. The 18 months of bombing supported by the U.S. and U.K. has, as the NYT put it this morning, “largely failed, while reports of civilian deaths have grown common, and much of the country is on the brink of famine.”

It has been known from the start that the Saudi bombing campaign has been indiscriminate and reckless, and yet Obama and the U.K. government continued to play central roles. A U.N. report obtained in January by The Guardian “uncovered ‘widespread and systematic’ attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law”; the report found that “the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure.”

But what was not known, until an excellent Reuters report by Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay this morning, is that Obama was explicitly warned not only that the Saudis were committing war crimes, but that the U.S. itself could be legally regarded as complicit in them:

The Obama administration went ahead with a $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year despite warnings from some officials that the United States could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, according to government documents and the accounts of current and former officials.

State Department officials also were privately skeptical of the Saudi military’s ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying “critical infrastructure” needed for Yemen to recover, according to the emails and other records obtained by Reuters and interviews with nearly a dozen officials with knowledge of those discussions.

In other words, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner was explicitly advised that he might be a collaborator in war crimes by arming a campaign that deliberately targets civilians, and continued to provide record-breaking amounts of arms to aid their prosecution. None of that should be surprising: It would be difficult for Obama to condemn “double-tap” strikes of the kind the Saudis just perpetrated — where first responders or mourners are targeted — given that he himself has used that tactic, commonly described as a hallmark of “terrorism.” For their part, the British blocked EU inquiries into whether war crimes were being committed in Yemen, while key MPs have blocked reports proving that U.K. weapons were being used in the commission of war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians.

The U.S. and U.K. are the two leading countries when it comes to cynically exploiting human rights concerns and the laws of war to attack their adversaries. They and their leading columnists love to issue pretty, self-righteous speeches about how other nations — those primitive, evil ones over there — target civilians and commit war crimes. Yet here they both are, standing firmly behind one of the planet’s most brutal and repressive regimes, arming it to the teeth with the full and undeniable knowledge that they are enabling massacres that recklessly, and in many cases, deliberately, target civilians.

And these 18 months of atrocities have barely merited a mention in the U.S. election, despite the key role the leading candidate, Hillary Clinton, has played in arming the Saudis, to say nothing of the millions of dollars her family’s foundation has received from its regime (her opponent, Donald Trump, has barely uttered a word about the issue, and himself has received millions in profits from various Saudi oligarchs).

One reason American and British political and media elites love to wax eloquently when condemning the brutality of the enemies of their own government is because doing so advances tribal, nationalistic ends: It’s a strategy for weakening adversaries while strengthening their own governments. But at least as significant a motive is that issuing such condemnations distracts attention from their own war crimes and massacres, the ones they are enabling and supporting.

There are some nations on the planet with credibility to condemn war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians. The two countries who have spent close to two years arming Saudi Arabia in its ongoing slaughter of Yemeni civilians are most certainly not among them.

October 11, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “The Intercept” –

 

UK directing hideous Yemen civilian bombing campaign. Is Parliament not interested?

Russian Defense Minister Warns US: Do Not Strike the Syrian Army

It’s well-known by now that desperate imperial behemoths do desperate deeds. 

Russian Defense Ministry announced today that any US Coalition airstrike or missile hitting targets in territory controlled by the Syrian Army and its government – would place Russian personnel in danger, something Moscow considers unacceptable.

“Any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen.”

In response, Moscow has deployed its own hypersonic S-400 mobile surface-to-air missile defense system in Syria.

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S-400 SAMs: Russia’s mobile air defense systems ready to deployed against US Coalition aggression in Syria.

Washington and its terrorists-for-hire in Aleppo are losing at present. The US response has been twofold:

1) threaten Syria.

2) threaten Russia. 

With all of the sabre rattling and threats of “alternative means” or even a targeted assassination of the Syrian President by the Obama Administration, it would be a surprise for sure if Washington actually followed through with whatever it portends from one day to the next.

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Most pundits are in agreement that it would be difficult for any US administration to start an actual shooting war with Russia, as the US are already in violation of every conceivable international law by arming international terrorists in Syria and by carrying out illegal bombing in another country’s sovereign airspace. But that doesn’t rule out a preferred liberal warhawk option – to use a proxy to do its dirty work (ideally, before November 8th). The Obama Administration already has an established track record here, most notably back in October when it tasked NATO member Turkey with shooting down a Russia fighter jet along the Syrian-Turkish border. This stunt was, of course, accompanied with a prepackaged lie where NATO claimed that the Russian fighter had somehow violated Turkish airspace. In the end, this cheap stunt, designed somewhere in either the Pentagon or the Rand Corporation, was exposed as another fraud – perpetrated by the west as a vain and reckless attempt to bait Russia into a serious military confrontation.

If the US ‘Coalition’ (Washington, Gulf theocratic dictatorships and a series of water carrying nations) is going to hit Syrian Army and government positions, it’s more likely it will use a proxy like Turkey, or a country who is allowed to operate outside of international law… like Israel. Either of these will allow Washington and London to play dumb (“Oh, what a terrible situation, what can we do?”) and get off the hook without having to take responsibility for any new geopolitical chaos it has fomented.

The primary challenge for US Coalition and Israeli aircraft is clear: Russia’s new S-300 and S-400 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile defense systems. If deployed, it would almost certainly mean that the US and its allies would lose aircraft over Syria. This is a very dangerous prospect because events could easily spiral out of control. That being the case, another trick that Washington will surely organize is to bait a Russian SAM counter attack so that a Coalition aircraft was downed in Turkish or Israeli airspace – which would give John Kerry and Samantha Power the ability to create another dramatic scene at the UN Security Council, while doing what they do best: blame any incident on “Russian aggression”, and creating yet another diplomatic stalemate in the UN, allowing jihadists to continue expanding their violent enclaves.

RT confirms that Moscow has officially thrown down the gantlet to the US:

“Russia’s Defense Ministry has cautioned the US-led coalition of carrying out airstrikes on Syrian army positions, adding in Syria there are numerous S-300 and S-400 air defense systems up and running.

Russia currently has S-400 and S-300 air-defense systems deployed to protect its troops stationed at the Tartus naval supply base and the Khmeimim airbase. The radius of the weapons reach may be “a surprise” to all unidentified flying objects, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson General Igor Konashenkov said.”

The US has already demonstrated it is willing to try and trigger a wider war when it officially broke and international ceasefire agreement signed with Russian by attacking a Syrian Military position back on Sept 17th, killing some 83 Syrian servicemen.

 

Russian Defense Minister Warns US: Do Not Strike the Syrian Army.

SYRIA: “Bashar Al Assad is Determined to Hold Syria Together”

 

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Syrian Arab Army soldier after the liberation of al-Lairamoun from Nusra Front terrorists, Aleppo July 2016

Jeremy Salt
Palestine Chronicle

The massacre of 106 Syrian soldiers in a US-led air attack brings the Middle East and the world closer to the edge of complete chaos. If Syria can be torn apart, why not your country, or mine? If Syrians can be killed so brutally, and so casually, so dishonestly, so brazenly, so callously, why not all of us? Why should our lives be sacrosanct when theirs are not?

The policymakers in Washington organizing this destruction are not affected. Their wives and children are safe in their suburban houses in their leafy streets and they cannot imagine themselves or their country being sucked into the vortex of annihilation any more than Hitler did before invading Poland. We are back to the 1930s and no-one should be surprised if this situation ends where the 1930s ended.

But the next war will not end where 1939 ended because it will be nuclear and those smug policymakers in Washington and their wives and children will be burnt to a smudge on the wall like everyone else even if they don’t have the imagination to see it.

The fascists of yesteryear have resurfaced in the liberal democracies of today. The fascists wore uniforms, military jackets, belts and caps in black and brown. The liberal democrats wear uniforms, too, grey or blue suits, white shirts and pastel ties. The fascists killed remorselessly. The liberal democrats kill remorselessly. The fascists tore international law to shreds. The liberal democrats tear international law to shreds. The fascists lied as a matter of course. The liberal democrats lie as a matter of course. The fascist media trumpeted lies around the world. The liberal democrat media trumpets lies around the world.

World order now is being torn apart by the liberal democracies. This was made explicit by Condoleeza Rice during the George W. Bush presidency when, spelling out the national security policy of her country, she said the US would not respect the sovereign rights of countries where they did not deserve to be respected in the opinion and in the interests of the US. Well, the US never did respect the rights of other countries when it did not want to respect them but here was the reality being spelled out, arrogantly and openly, for the world to hear.

The 17th century Treaty of Westphalia, guaranteeing order in the European world and still a foundation of hope for global order, was torn up in a second. We have seen the results: countries destroyed and drone missile attacks ordered on the basis of authorization signed by the US president. What international law might say is irrelevant because this is the exceptional state.

Syria may as well not be a country with borders, sovereign rights and represented at the United Nations by the government in Damascus. There might as well not be a UN as far as Syria is concerned. It has done nothing to save Syria from this tempest of destruction and everything to enable it, in the same way that the feeble League of Nations failed to protect Spaniards, Ethiopians and Chinese from the onslaught of the fascists. There might as well be no international law as far as Syria is concerned.

The only country with the right to position military forces in Syria is Russia. All the others are engaged in the most tremendous violation of international law. Even distant Australia was part of the air attack outside Deir al Zor. The government apologized for the ‘mistake’ and moved on while the real story for the media was not this violation of international law, ending in the killing of 106 Syrians, but the domestic problems of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The arch villain is the United States. It’s record as an international pirate is seamless. It lives in a permanent state of war with someone, as if this is an existential requirement. The wars began with the wars against the North American Indians, moved on to the war against the colonial British master, then the war against the slaves, then the continuing war against Afro-Americans, then the wars exported around the world, as if the territory of the US was not big enough to contain its inherent violence, as if the belt around a bulging waistline had to be loosened. Wars shipped to Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East: invasions, coups, assassination, economic destabilization and the sponsorship of theft and occupation by the Zionist colonists of Palestine. In the past decade alone the US has torn Iraq and Libya apart and is now trying to finish off Syria.

The attack outside Deir al Zor was not accidental. It was planned, it was deliberate, it was preceded by drone reconnaissance and it lasted for at least an hour, way past the point at which the US would have been informed that it was bombing the wrong target. The aerial assault was immediately followed by an ISIS attack on what was left of the Syrian military installations. In context, the attack was foreshadowed four months ago when 51 State Department personnel petitioned the US government to launch direct attacks on the Syrian military.

It was foreshadowed by the Defence Intelligence Agency evaluation that the establishment of a ‘salafist’ state in eastern Syria would serve US interests: in the form of the Islamic State, this is what the US now has. It was foreshadowed by Hillary Clinton’s statement that if elected president she would authorize direct military attacks on Syrian targets. Finally, after these threats, noone should be surprised that it finally happened.

What has been made clear, yet again, as if the point needs to be made again, is that the US has no more interest in bringing peace to Syria than it did five years ago. It remains determined to break it apart, towards which end it is utilizing the most brutal terrorist groups operating in the world today. They include the Islamic State. The US did not begin launching serious attacks against the Islamic State until shamed by Russia: how serious these attacks have been since remains a matter of conjecture.

It is completely inconceivable that the US did not know the Islamic State was moving against Mosul, Ramadi and Palmyra. Its satellites and drones would have picked up the pickup trucks speeding across the desert. The clouds of dust whirling up from their wheels would have been enough to give them away. The US turned a blind eye, and was therefore complicit in the seizure of these cities by the ostensible terrorist enemy. Furthermore, the attack on Syria has been in the works for decades, planned by the neo-conservatives, including Israel’s American Zionist implants, and honed and refined ever since.

Several times now, at the precise point the Syrian military was poised to liberate those areas of Aleppo infiltrated and occupied by terrorist groups, Russia and the US have declared a ‘cessation of hostilities.’ Each one has been violated by the US and its allies. This repeated disruption of an ongoing military operation has had to be extraordinarily frustrating for Syria and its allies, Iran and Hezbollah. They either know or have to assume that as part of the greater game these are moves Putin has to make. In July he warned that the world was being pulled in an ‘irreversible direction’ by US/NATO war preparations against Russia. It is a sign of the demented state of world politics that a nuclear war can even be regarded as possible. But Putin’s conclusions would seem to be confirmed by the behavior of the US and its allies, recently manifested by Samantha Powers when she walked out of the UN Security Council just as the Soviet ambassador was about to speak and demonstrated also in the statement just released by the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany, the UK, the US and the ‘high representative’ of the EU.

Their demarche against Russia is not just deeply dishonest but extremely belligerent. The US attack on the Syrian military position is not mentioned: it is Russia that is responsible for the breakdown of the ‘cessation of hostilities’, Russia by insinuation that bombed the aid convoy outside Aleppo, Russia that is supporting the ‘siege’ of eastern Aleppo and Syria by insinuation that has launched chemical weapons attacks. These liars warn that their patience with Russian unwillingness to live up to its commitments is not unlimited. This has to be read as a threat to Russia and Syria, perhaps of direct intervention in the form of an entirely illegal no-fly zone to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered takfiris in Aleppo.

If Putin has concluded that war with the US is a real possibility, he is also likely to have concluded that it has to be held off for as long as possible, giving Russia time to prepare militarily. The obvious parallel would be Stalin’s agreement with Hitler in 1939.

Thus negotiations between Kerry and Lavrov can be expected to continue to the bitter end despite their obvious futility insofar as the situation on the ground in Syria is continued. The only other explanation for Putin’s stop-start behavior is that he is in the process of selling Syria out to appease the Americans and gain ‘concessions’ for Russia elsewhere. This does not seem likely as what the US wants from all its ‘partners’ is not cooperation and respect as equals but subjection to the US-directed world political and economic order.

The collapse of the USSR was one great victory (by default) and the incorporation of a westernized Russian satrap into the US world system would be another. Russia already has a corrupt capitalist economy, fed off by oligarchic parasites, but it also has its own history, culture and identity and as much as Putin will try to accommodate the US, these are red lines he is most unlikely to allow himself and Russia to be pushed over.

In the meantime, while this deadly game is being played out, Syria bleeds every day of the week. Its ability to resist this onslaught has been astonishing. Government, people and army have held together against the most intense attempt to destroy an Arab government in modern times. Iraq was fatally weakened in the air war of 1991. It never recovered and was quickly knocked over when the US attacked again in 2003. Libya had no chance and had the US succeeded in getting another fig leaf from the UN Security Council, Syria would have been subjected to a far more devastating aerial attack.

Instead, frustrated and angry, the US had to settle for a war of attrition fought by Takfiri contras funded by the Gulf States and pouring into Syria from Jordan and Turkey. This has resulted in further frustration, anger and more openly expressed belligerence as with Russian help the Syrian military has slowly turned the Takfiri tide. Now only open intervention will save the grand plan, this time not just against Syria but Russia.

In the name of its own security, having undermined Syria’s security and paving the war for the rise of the Syrian Kurdish drive for autonomy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent the Turkish army into Syria. This is not an ‘incursion’ but an invasion which Syria cannot resist because it is too hard pressed on too many other fronts.

The Turkish army has occupied 900 square kilometers of Syrian territory and Erdogan is talking of increasing this to 5000 square kilometers, stretching from the east to the predominantly Kurdish city of Afrin in the west. The army is also moving towards Al Bab, on the road to Aleppo.

Erdogan has asked parliament to authorize additional military action in Iraq, where his ambitions would rest on Mosul, claimed by Turkey in the 1920s but awarded to Iraq (and thus Britain) by the League of Nations. Erdogan has now got the ‘safe zone’ in Syria he wanted from the beginning. How ‘safe’ this will be for Turkey, given the developing confrontation between the US and Russia remains to be seen.

Bashar al Assad is determined to hold Syria together. His enemies are determined to pull it apart.

Towards this end they have funded, armed and aligned themselves with armed groups whose only value is to show the world that there is no limit to the degeneracy of which human beings are capable. Are their besuited or otherwise berobed backers in Washington, London, Paris and Middle East capitals any less despicable? No respect for law, no respect for human dignity, no respect for human life, no remorse, no regrets, no morality and no ethics, just the drive to get what they want irrespective of the harm they do to other people.

We are back in the ‘devil’s decade’, Claud Cockburn’s description of the 1930s.

***

Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press).

 

SYRIA: “Bashar Al Assad is Determined to Hold Syria Together”.

SUNDAY WIRE with host Patrick Henningsen

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Nothing to See Syria, Move Along…

America is really trying to keep the wars alive. Melissa Dykes from Truthstream Media exposes the US military strikes on Syrian troops and how they tried to blame the Russia. Meanwhile ISIS coincidentally uses stooges to strike inside the United States? Who still believes this nonsense.

 

 

Nothing to See Syria, Move Along….

Syria: White Helmets Staged ‘Russian Bombing’ Scene Near Aleppo, Lapped-up By Mainstream Media

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Image of one of the burned out SARC trucks in Urm-Al-Kubra, West Aleppo (Image Source: Reuters)

21st Century Wire
REPORT

When it comes to Syria, the level of disinformation fraud from US Coalition-aligned agencies shows no sign of diminishing. Once more, the West is attempting to produce an open and shut case of  humanitarian law violation, with which to further demonize the nations of both Syria and Russia. This, in turn, will enable them to escalate hostilities on the ground in Syria and invoke the much sought after ‘No Fly Zone’ which will be used to facilitate full spectrum destablization and a NATO bombing of Syria into the oblivion of a Libya-style failed state.

Last Saturday saw one of the most shocking and incendiary international incidents of this NATO war against Syria – a US-led, one hour-long airstrike which massacred 70 Syrian Army soldiers and wounded 100 others near the city of Deir al-Zour. The US claimed they were targeting ISIS.  However, the US brutal attack on the Syrian Army provided cover for an ISIS advance into Syrian Army held territory.

Just 48 hours later, new reports then began to circulate through the western media about an attack on a UN-sponsored Aid Convoy.  It is alleged that 18 of the 31 reported trucks were bringing “food relief ” from UN stores, said to be managed by Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), to the town of Urm al-Kubra, west of Aleppo.  This is an area controlled by one terrorist group, US backed Nour al-din al-Zenki and surrounded by US/NATO supported Al Nusra Front.

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One of the burned out SARC humanitarian aid trucks, despite claims of an air-strike, the surrounding countryside, road and electrical pylons are undamaged (Image Soure: Reuters)

The UN and international groups were immediately up in arms: “Yesterday’s attack is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and it is unacceptable,” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement. “Failing to protect humanitarian workers and structures might have serious repercussions on ongoing humanitarian work in the country, hence depriving millions of people of aid essential to their survival.”

The only problem is: the NATO backed terrorists occupying areas such as East Aleppo have never recognized international humanitarian law. That lawlessness applies universally across the spectrum of terrorist entities, including Nusra Front, ISIS and the myriad of US/NATO funded and armed terrorist brigades without exception.

Naturally, the US immediately labeled the attack, “a bombing” and proceeded to accuse both Russia and Syria’s Airforce. The US claimed it had reached a “preliminary conclusion” that indicates two Russian Su-24 jets were responsible, although unnamed ‘intelligence sources‘ have told Pentagon media operative Barbara Star at CNN and other media outlets, that their “intelligence” is classified and so they can’t actually show it to anyone.

Q: would countries like the US and UK lie and fabricate intelligence or evidence , in order to accelerate a case for escalating military intervention? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. They’ve done it before, and they most certainly will go with what works in terms of advancing their geopolitical agenda. In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, this is one of those “known knowns.”

Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t support US claims that a combined Russian/Syrian airstrike hit this Aid Convoy.  The evidence points more towards a ground attack, one most likely carried out by Nusra Front terrorists, with the aftermath filmed and media-managed as a false flag attack by the western-backed pseudo NGO the ‘White Helmets.’ Here’s why…

The UN, itself,  almost immediately began back-tracking on the initial US-backed conspiracy theory of a ‘Russian airstrike.’ Regardless of this obviously questionable and uninvestigated conjecture,  John Kerry and the west doubled-down on their initial, knee-jerk accusation fingering Russia and Syria.

bc-eliot-600x600A website called Bellingcat, run by Eliot Higgins (photo, left), immediate produced ‘a report’ entitled, “Confirmed : Russian Bomb Remains Recovered from Syrian Red Crescent Aid Convoy Attack”. This was meant to implicate Russia in the said airstrike, or “bombing” incident. ‘Bellingcat’ claims to be an independent ‘open source‘ intelligence website run “by and for citizen investigative journalists“, but in reality, it exists in order to support the narratives that serve NATO, and more specifically – the British Foreign Office or the US State Dept narratives. Producing flimsy and unsubstantiated evidence to support accusations against Russia, especially with regards to the Ukraine and the MH17 event, and now with Syria – seems to be Belingcat’s primary function.

One clear indicator that Bellingcat is probably working on behalf of the British Foreign Office is that Eliot Higgins has a direct line of communication with the Foreign Office construct, embedded exclusively in and alongside Nusra Front & ISIS terrorist forces in Syria, none other than the ‘White Helmets’. This connection was openly admitted by Bellingcat:

“Since the post was published the Bellingcat team has been in touch with the Syrian Civil Defence unit closest to the attacked site, who recovered and photographed two pieces of debris, including the object featured above.”

It’s worth noting here that the ‘White Helmets’ plagiarized the “Syria Civil Defence” name,  after stealing ambulances and fire engines, kidnapping and even murdering real rescue volunteer workers, according to members of the REAL Syria Civil Defense shortly after this western creation was launched in 2013 by high ranking British and NATO military intelligence operative James Le Mesurier:

“They came in and they drove us out of our homes and they came to the Syria Civil Defence yard and they killed some of my comrades, they kidnapped others.  They wanted to force me to work with them.  I escaped at night.  I was forced to leave my teenage sons behind. They burned my house to the ground and they put my name on all the terrorist checkpoints so if I go back, they will kill me.” ~ ‘Khaled’ (REAL Syria Civil Defense survivor, recounting 2012 terrorist takeover, Aleppo)

Note also that the ‘White Helmets’ are drawing finance of at least $60 million primarily from NATO members states, including at $23 million from US AID (US State Dept), $25 million (£19.7 million) from British Foreign Office, $4.5 million (€4 million) Netherlands, and other funding directly from the EU supposedly for ‘assistance and training,’. Initial investigations into the extent of the EU funding and equipping of this deceitfully self proclaimed “independent” NGO is still ongoing but has already demonstrated that the EU is also heavily  invested in this terrorist support group, the White Helmets.

It was announced, just today, that the German Foreign Office is officially funding the White Helmets with $7.86 million (7 million Euros). Also, the recent awarding of the “Alternative Nobel Peace Prize” to the White Helmets seems to be another conveniently-timed PR device designed to further legitimized additional public funding for what can rightly be described as a terrorist-linked criminal entity.

This funding is concealed behind the generic heading of  “Emergency Health and Relief Support to the Population Affected by the Crisis in Syria”, through the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office.

This latest media stunt essentially amounts to heavily politicized ‘gotcha’ blogging by Bellingcat. In this instance it appears that Bellingcat is attempting to amplify a fraudulent, and poorly staged “Russian bombing” of a “UN supply warehouse” supposedly run by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the ‘rebel’ terrorist-held town of Urm al-Kubra.

Here, Bellingcat’s director, Higgins posts a colourful array of images, diagrams and “proof” of a Russian bomb landing:

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(Image Sources: Bellingcat)

The only problem with Higgins’ elaborate “open source” trove is that he is much more likely to be analysing a staged photo-op, a set-dressing job courtesy of the White Helmets media team. Put simply, the narrative that’s been contrived by Belingcat and the White Helmets is an impossibility, based on image scenes provided by the White Helmets.

Here we see the primary photo of the alleged “Russian bombing” scene:

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Alleged scene of a Russian OFAB 250-270 high explosive fragmentation bomb (Source: Twitter)

According to independent analyst, Petri Krohn:

“This really looks like something considerably smaller, mortar shell sized, did explode there, and this fin is thrown into the crater, and all converted into this photo-op scene.”

“I don’t think anything exploded here, just hit the ground with force to make that crater, or it was already there. The shredding of the boxes to me suggests shrapnel, small, anti-personnel fletchettes.”

Krohn outlines a more likely sequence of events, and suggests the following possible scenario:

“Three things happened:

1) In August or July a small rocket or bomb came through the roof and left the burn marks seen on the walls.

2) On September 19 boxes of medical aid from the SARC convoy were placed next to the old crater, right under the hole in the roof. A small hand explosive was detonated in the old crater.

3) A OFAB-250 tail section was placed in the crater by White Helmets and partly covered with some boxes.

Photographs were taken, proving, ‘ASSAD KILLED US! PUTIN KILLED US!’

Give al-Nusra a No-Fly Zone now!”

“Bellingcat obtained its photos directly from the White Helmets that show that the object is not a dud OFAB-250, as previously assumed, but a crushed OFAB-250 tail section from a bomb that exploded somewhere else.”

The idea of the damage having been done prior to the alleged Russian/Syrian airstrike is more than plausible, as Urm al Kubra is a Nour al Din Zenki held area, an island in amongst Nusra Front held areas. 21WIRE has also learned that heavy inter-gang warfare had been going on since the 17th of September according to multiple sources on the ground in Syria.

The following tweet also further demonstrates the invalidity of the White Helmet reports. Indeed, how could the “witness” know for certain that it was Russian and Syrian planes, at night and in the dark, and in the midst of a supposed strike? Equally, why cant we hear and jets and helicopters?

21WIRE contributor Vanessa Beeley recently returned from Aleppo , and told us that the, “sounds of the Russian jets are deafening.”  Therefore, if this had been an extended air-strike conducted by both Russian and Syrian jets [and helicopters according to initial reports of ‘barrel bombs‘] they should have been clearly audible in this video of the said “attack”:


The ground conflict in Syria is being perpetuated by western terrorist brigades under a variety of names , but perhaps the greatest damage to  Syria and the Syrian people has been inflicted upon them by the propaganda merchants, a compliant western media, ‘humanitarian’ NGOs, US/NATO think-tanks, and all manner of NATO-biased, ‘Leftist’ peace activists or anti-war protesters in the west calling for another ‘war to end a war’ – when this present war was started by their  own governments who are still determined to escalate this war against Syria to effect their “regime change” policy targets.

This latest media incident once more demonstrates the size and power of the apparatus driving this propaganda – with a full compliment of ancillary crisis actors and extras.

From the reactions of Kerry and the West, it is hard not to conclude that we are being propelled closer to the abyss of a dangerous geopolitical standoff, or a World War.

For additional information on the west’s ‘White Helmets’, watch this short video:

Syria: White Helmets Staged ‘Russian Bombing’ Scene Near Aleppo, Lapped-up By Mainstream Media.

Syria: Attack on Aid Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group?

 

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By Felicity Arbuthnot

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Candidate Barack Obama, December, 2007

As the US heaps blame and accusations on Russia and Syria for the alleged air strike on the aid convoy on Monday 19th September, as ever there are more questions than answers – and whatever US spokespersons state, absolutely no certainties.

The only undeniable fact is that another tragedy killed at least twenty Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and the organisation’s local Director Omar Barakat, father of nine. At least eighteen of the thirty one-truck convoy were destroyed with the warehouse where humanitarian aid was stored.

The Russian Defence Ministry has categorically denied any attack and claims the convoy caught fire (1): “We have studied video footage from the scene from so-called ‘activists’ in detail and did not find any evidence that the convoy had been struck by ordnance”, commented Igor Konashenkov, a Ministry spokesman.

“There are no craters and the exterior of the vehicles do not have the kind of damage consistent with blasts caused by bombs dropped from the air.” His observations are hard to challenge, anyone who has studied the assaults of the “international community” on far away countries over the last decades knows what a bombed truck looks like – what fragments remains of it.

Photographs of the affected lorries show burned out vehicles, metal skeleton intact.

Konashenkov said that damage visible in footage was instead the result of cargo igniting – “oddly” occurring at the same time as militants (formerly Nusra Front) had started a big offensive in nearby Aleppo, backed by tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment.

He added:

“Only representatives of the ‘White Helmets’ organization close to the Nusra Front who, as always, found themselves at the right time in the right place by chance with their video cameras can answer who did this and why.”

Indeed the ‘White Helmets’ boasted in a video of being on the scene within “moments.”

The “White Helmets” who have had the gall to entitle themselves the Syrian Civil Defence Force are seemingly neither Syrian, nor Civil, nor Defence. Vanessa Beeley who has meticulously charted their antics points out (2)

“This is an alleged ‘non-governmental’ organization … that so far has received funding from at least three major NATO governments, including $23 million from the US Government and $29 million (£19.7 million) from the UK Government, $4.5 million (€4 million) from the Dutch Government. In addition, it receives material assistance and training funded and run by a variety of other EU Nations.”

She informs of such concerns regarding the organization that:

“A request has been put into the EU Secretary General to provide all correspondence relating to the funding and training of the White Helmets. By law this information must be made transparent and available to the public.”

Beeley points out: “There has been a concerted campaign by a range of investigative journalists to expose the true roots of … the White Helmets.” The most damning statement, however (comes from) their funders and backers in the US State Department who attempted to explain the US deportation of the prominent White Helmet leader, Raed Saleh, from Dulles airport on the 18th April 2016.

Of the incident, Mark Toner, State Department spokesman stated:

“And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.”

Figure that one, Dear Reader.

The Ron Paul Institute has pointed out:

“We have demonstrated that the White Helmets are an integral part of the propaganda vanguard that ensures obscurantism of fact and propagation of Human Rights fiction that elicits the well-intentioned and self righteous response from a very cleverly duped public. A priority for these NGOs is to keep pushing the No Fly Zone scenario which has already been seen to have disastrous implications for innocent civilians in Libya, for example.” (See 2.)

What better chance to push “the No Fly Zone scenario” than arriving within “moments” of the convoy tragedy, filming it and creating a propaganda scenario before any meaningful forensic investigation could even be started, since the trucks were still burning. And of course, the “White Helmets”, aka “Syrian Defence Force”, were filming rather than attempting to put out the fire and rescue those in the burning trucks.

The Russian Defence Ministry subsequently caused outrage by claiming that Drone footage: “shows bombed Syrian aid convoy included truck full of militant fighters carrying mortar guns.” (3)

However: “The footage emerged as the United Nations rowed back from describing the attack on the aid convoy as air strikes, saying it did not have conclusive evidence about what had happened.”

It must be asked, why on earth, after long and protracted negotiations over the convoy would Syria and or their Russian ally risk the wrath of US and “coalition” further decimation of the country by laying themselves open to accusations of bombing and aid convoys?

The tragedy has emphatically achieved one thing, however. Wiped from the headlines is another atrocity – the US bombing which killed over sixty Syrian soldiers and wounded over a hundred others just two days earlier, on Saturday 17th September, causing Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to comment: “We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that”, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

Again – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards?

Notes

1.http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-convoyfir-idUSKCN11Q1SG

2.http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/06/21/who-are-the-syria-white-helmets/

3.http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/drone-footage-shows-bombed-syrian-8879319

The original source of this article is Global Research – Copyright © Felicity Arbuthnot

 

Syria: Attack on Aid Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group?Alternative News Network | Alternative News Network.

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