Category Archives: Russia

SYRIA: In a Surprise Attack, Russia Bombs US Assets on the Ground Not Once but Twice

 

putin glasses
Moon of Alabama

The U.S. is unwilling to stop the war on Syria and to settle the case at the negotiation table. It wants a 100% of its demands fulfilled, the dissolution of the Syrian government and state and the inauguration of a U.S. proxy administration in Syria.

After the ceasefire in Syria started in late February Obama broke his pledge to separate the U.S. supported “moderate rebels” from al-Qaeda. In April U.S. supported rebels, the Taliban like Ahrar al Sham and al-Qaeda joined to attack the Syrian government in south Aleppo. The U.S.proxies broke the ceasefire.

Two UN resolutions demand that al-Qaeda in Syria be fought no matter what. But the U.S. has at least twice asked Russia not to bomb al-Qaeda. It insists, falsely, that it can not separate its “moderates” from al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda can not be attacked because that would also hit its “moderate” friends.

The Russian foreign minster Lavrov has talked wit Kerry many times about the issue. But the only response he received were requests to further withhold bombing. Meanwhile al-Qaeda and the “moderates” continued to break the ceasefire and to attack the Syrian government forces.

After nearly four month Kerry still insists that the U.S. needs even more time for the requested separation of its proxy forces from al-Qaeda. Foreign Minister Lavrov recently expressed the Russian consternation:

“The Americans are now saying that they are unable to remove the ‘good’ opposition members from the positions held by al-Nusra Front, and that they will need another two-three months. I am under the impression that there is a game here and they may want to keep al-Nusra Front in some form and later use it to overthrow the [Assad] regime,”  ~ Lavrov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The bucket was full and Kerry’s latest request for another three month pause of attacking al-Qaeda was the drop that let it overflow. Russia now responded by hitting the U.S. where it did not expect to be hit:

“Russian warplanes hit Pentagon-backed Syrian fighters with a barrage of airstrikes earlier this week, disregarding several warnings from U.S. commanders in what American military officials called the most provocative act since Moscow’s air campaign in Syria began last year.

The strikes hit a base near the Jordanian border, far from areas where the Russians were previously active, and targeted U.S.-backed forces battling the Islamic State militants.

These latest strikes occurred on the other side of the country from the usual Russian operations, around Tanf, a town near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet.

The Russian strike hit a small rebel base for staging forces and equipment in a desolate, unpopulated area near the border. About 180 rebels were there as part of the Pentagon’s program to train and equip fighters against Islamic State.

When the first strikes hit, the rebels called a U.S. command center in Qatar, where the Pentagon orchestrates the daily air war against Islamic State.” ~ LA Times

U.S. jets came and the Russian jets went away. The U.S. jets left to refuel, the Russian jets came back and hit again. Allegedly two U.S. proxy fighters were killed and 18 were wounded.

Earlier today another such attack hit the same target.

This was no accident but a well planned operation and the Russian spokesperson’s response makes the intentions clear:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov appeared to confirm the attack Friday, telling reporters it was difficult to distinguish different rebel groups from the air.

Translation: If you can not separate your forces from al-Qaeda and differentiate and designate exclusively “moderate” zones we can not do so either.

The forces near Tanf are supported by U.S. artillery from Jordan and air power via Iraq. British and Jordan special operations forces are part of the ground component (and probably the majority of the “Syrian” fighters.) There is no al-Qaeda there. The Russians know that well. But they wanted to make the point that it is either separation everywhere or separation nowhere. From now on until the U.S. clearly separates them from AQ all U.S. supported forces will be hit indiscriminately anywhere and anytime. (The Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State with U.S. support are for now a different story.)

The Pentagon does not want any further engagement against the Syrian government or against Russia. It wants to fight the Islamic State and its hates the CIA for its cooperation with al-Qaeda and other Jihadi elements. But John Brennan, the Saudi operative and head of the CIA, still seems to have Obama’s ear. But what can Obama do now? Shoot down a Russian jet and thereby endanger any U.S. pilot flying in Syria or near the Russian border? Risk a war with Russia? Really?

The Russian hit near Tanf was clearly a surprise. The Russians again caught Washington on the wrong foot. The message to the Obama administration is clear.

No more delays and obfuscations. You will separate your moderates now or all your assets in Syria will be juicy targets for the Russian air force.

The Russian hits at Tanf and the U.S. proxies there has an additional benefit. The U.S. had planned to let those forces move north towards Deir Ezzor and to defeat the Islamic State in that city. Eventually a “Sunni entity” would be established in south east Syria and west Iraq under U.S. control. Syria would be split apart.

The Syrian government and its allies will not allow that. There is a large operation planned to free Deir Ezzor from the Islamic State occupation. Several hundred Syrian government forces have held an isolated airport in Deir Ezzor against many unsuccessful Islamic State attacks. These troops get currently reinforced by additional Syrian army contingents and Hizbullah commandoes.

A big battle is coming. Deir Ezzor may be freed within the next few month. Any U.S. plans for some eastern Syrian entity are completely unrealistic if the Syrian government can take and hold its largest eastern city.

The Obama administration’s delaying tactic will now have to end. Russia will no longer stand back and watch while the U.S. sabotages the ceasefire and supports al-Qaeda.

What then is the next move the U.S. will make?

 

SYRIA: In a Surprise Attack, Russia Bombs US Assets on the Ground Not Once but Twice.

Putin Warns Romania [US] and Poland [US] Against Installing ABM Missiles

From the “Can you hear me now?” Russian president to the deaf, Nobel Peace Prize winner[?] corporate federal United States president, Putin is essentially telling Obama that the blatant lies to Russia, indeed to the American people and world at large, are insanely putting everyone at risk of nuclear war, and Russia is being pushed too far.

The US has been lying to Russia for decades, ever since 1990, when Gorbachev was told there would be no further expansion, no encroachment by NATO upon Russia.  Every promise made by the US since then has been broken and disregarded, and now the US is seeking to have Romania and Poland move further toward the point of no return in forcing Russia’s hand.

Putin Warns Romania and Poland Against Installing ABM Missiles

On Friday, May 27th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin again asserted that American President Barack Obama lies when saying that the reason America’s anti-ballistic missile (“ABM”) or Ballistic Missile Defense (“BMD”) system is being installed in Romania, and will soon be installed in Poland, is to protect Europe from Iranian missiles that don’t even exist and that Obama himself says won’t exist because of Obama’s deal with Iran. Putin is saying: I know that you are lying there, not being honest. You’re aiming to disable our retaliatory capacity here, not Iran’s. I’m not so dumb as to believe so transparent a lie as your assurances that this is about Iran, not about Russia.

Putin says that ABMs such as America is installing, disable a country’s (in this case, Russia’s) ability to retaliate against a blitz invasion — something increasingly likely from NATO now as NATO has extended right up to Russia’s very borders — and that Russia will not allow this disabling of Russia’s retaliatory forces.

He said that “NATO fend us off with vague statements that this is no threat to Russia … that the whole project began as a preventive measure against Iran’s nuclear program. Where is that program now? It doesn’t exist. … We have been saying since the early 2000s that we will have to react somehow to your moves to undermine international security. No one is listening to us.” 

In other words, he is saying that the West is ignoring Russia’s words, and that therefore Russia will, if this continues, respond by eliminating the ABM sites before they become fully operational. To do otherwise than to eliminate any fully operational ABM system on or near Russia’s borders would be to leave the Russian people vulnerable to a blitz attack by NATO, and this will not be permitted.

He said: “At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know.”

In other words: Only the Americans, who have designed and control the ABM system, will be able to know if and when Russia is left totally vulnerable. Not even the Romanians will know; and Putin says, “Russia has ‘no choice’ but to target Romania” — and later Poland, if they follow through with their plans to do the same.

By implication, Putin is saying that, whereas he doesn’t need to strike Romania’s site immediately, he’ll need to do it soon enough to block the ABM system’s upgrade that will leave Russia vulnerable to attack and (because of the fully functional ABM) with no ability on Russia’s part to counter-strike.

He is saying: Remove the ABM system, or else we’ll have to do it by knocking it out ourselves.

Putin knows that according to the Article Five, “Mutual Defense,” provision of the NATO Treaty, any attack against a NATO member, such as Romania, is supposed to elicit an attack by all NATO members against the nation that is attacking. However, Putin is saying that, if NATO is going to be attacking Russia, then it will be without any fully operational ABM system, and (by implication) that Russia’s response to any such attack will be a full-scale nuclear attack against all NATO nations, and a nuclear war resulting which will destroy the planet by unleashing all the nuclear weaponry of both sides, NATO and Russia.

Putin is saying that either Romania — and subsequently Poland — will cancel and nullify their cooperation with U.S. President Obama’s ABM installation, or else there will be a surgical strike by Russia against such installation(s), even though that would likely produce a nuclear attack against Russia by NATO, and a counter-strike nuclear attack by Russia against NATO.

When Putin said “No one is listening to us” on the other side, the NATO side, Putin meant: I don’t want to have to speak by means of a surgical strike to eliminate a NATO ABM system, but that’s the way I’ll ‘speak’ if you are deaf to words and to reason and to common decency.

He will not allow the Russian people to become totally vulnerable to a nuclear attack by the United States and its military allies. He is determined that, if NATO attacks Russia, then it will be game-over for the entire world, not only for Russia.

He is saying to Obama and to all of NATO: Please hear and understand my words, and be reasonable, because the results otherwise will be far worse for everyone if you persist in continuing to ignore my words.


Since posting the above, lest the uninformed still believe the US is not guilty of anything against Russia and believes all the elite-sanctioned propaganda mainstream news, here is yet more:

UK To Stockpile Tanks, Heavy Equipment Close To Russia’s Border

And then, as if on cue, NATO made it even more explicit that its primary prerogative remains to provoke Russia into an offensive move, when over the weekend the Times reported that the British military may soon start stockpiling tanks and other heavy equipment in Eastern Europe as part of NATO’s military beef up close to Russia’s border. The decision may come at the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

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Putin Warns Romania [US] and Poland [US] Against Installing ABM Missiles – Gold And Liberty.

WW3 LIVE!!! Turkey Shelling into Syria; Directly Attacking Syrian Arab Army and perimeter of Russian Base in Latakia

LIVE UPDATES EVERY FEW MINUTES . . . .

It appears that World War 3 is beginning right now.  This morning, Turkish Artillery began shelling positions outside of Azzaz, Syria.  Those positions are held by the Syrian Arab Army (legitimate, duly-elected government of Syria) and are NOT being aimed at ISIS terrorists! These are direct attacks by Turkey upon the lawful government forces of Syria.With their rebel pals falling to the legitimate government of Syria, Turkey has now begun shelling into Syria to aid their Rebel forces and ISIS Terrorists!

 

Sources on the ground inside Syria tell SuperStation95 that the Turks began a furious artillery barrage at about 6:00 AM eastern US time today.  Turkey is attacking the Kurdish YPG .

 

 

It is unclear at this time, whether the YPG is pro-Bashar Assad and his duly elected government, but it is clear that YPG directly engaged and destroyed ISIS in past battles.  So on the surface, it appears that YPG are the “good guys” and Turkey is attacking them!

 

It is not known if Russian air forces will engage the artillery firing into Syria because to do so would mean attacking those forces  located inside Turkey.  If Russia were to attack them – even though they have lawful cause to do so — it is clear that Turkey would cry to NATO that they had been “attacked” and try to invoke Article 5 of the NATO self-defense agreement.  That would require NATO to come to the defense of Turkey, thus engaging Russia directly.

 

One intelligence source in the US, who must remain anonymous – told SuperStation95 “This has disaster written all over it.”

 

 

 

This is a fast developing story, and will be updated frequently today (13 February 2016).  Check back often.

 

 

 

UPDATE:  12:10 PM EST —  Turkish Official boldly declares “major escalation will take place in Syria within 24 hours.”

 

 

 

UPDATE: 12:32 PM EST — Turkish warplanes are flying on the Turkey side of the Turkey/Syria Border, fast and low.    Russian warplanes are flying on the Syrian side of the Turkey/Syria border.  If any single one of these pilots flies across — or fires across – the border, all hell is going break lose TODAY.

 

 

 

UPDATE 12:50 PM EST — Kuwait caught moving troops and war gear into Turkey! A Kuwaiti Air Force C-17 Globemaster, no identification tracking, on final approach to IST Ataturk 5/23runway:

 

 

 

Updates 1:30 PM EST —
YPG still is moving south of Azaz, Syria towards the town of Tel Rifat. This offensive appears coordinated with Russian Air Force.

 

BREAKING: Heavy clashes outside Tel Rifaat between YPG/SDF and Turkish backed jihadists!

 

Source in Efrin says they are OUTSIDE Tel Rifaat but offensive launched to retake it. Heavy clashes ongoing!

 

37 air raids at least by Russian Air Force on Til Rifaat today, now YPG/SDF will try to take it. It’s been held by jihadists for long time.

 

 

 

URGENT:  1:56 PM Eastern US Time,  13 February 2016 — Stratfor is now confirming Russia has dispatched a ship to the Mediterranean, to deliver NUCLEAR-TIPPED CRUISE MISSILES.

 

 

 

UPDATE  2:03 PM Eastern US Time — Syrian Forces Commander Abu Omar told Russian news outlet “Sputnick” via electronic interview “Turkey is attacking us with mortars and rockets across the border. If the attacks continue, we will respond”   http://haber.sol.org.tr/dunya/afp-turkiye-ypg-ussunu-top-atesiyle-vurdu-145795

 

 

 

UPDATE  2:34 PM Eastern US Time — In an utterly UNPRECEDENTED move, Turkey has begun notifying NEWS AGENCIES (Like Ours) to make certain we are at worked and properly staffed tomorrow because there will be very big news and a huge escalation in Syria.  This is amazing to us; governments don’t do this sort of thing.  They aren’t saying exactly what will happen but the thought is a major air offensive with the Saudis ahead of ground troops. Some pathfinder forces are already on the ground in Syria

 

 

 

UPDATE 2:41 PM Eastern US Time — Turkey is closing major roads near Syrian border and hospitals are being cleared.

 

 

 

URGENT UPDATE: 2:45 PM Eastern US Time —  UK military members told to cancel all plans and all leave, prepare for deployment to Syria!

 

 

 

UPDATE 2:49 PM Eastern US Time — Turkish Military Artillery Forces have just begun yet another barrage of artillery fire into Syria; this one is directly targeting the Syrian Arab Army and is a direct attack upon the lawful government of Syria —  Turkey is now levying war upon Syria.  Turkey attacked first.  Turkey cannot expect to be able to invoke NATO Article 5 because Turkey attacked first.

 

 

 

Update  2:58 PM Eastern US Time — An entire FLEET of Russian Antonov-124 cargo planes (the largest cargo planes in the world) have begun arriving in Syria carrying Russian Tanks, Nuclear-tipped artillery shells and other major warfighting gear.  Within the last 90 minutes, TWO of these massive cargo aircraft have landed and began unloading.  Other Antoniv’s can be seen circling under the watchful eye of Russian warplanes as shown below:

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 3:17 PM Eastern US Time 13 February 2016 — Russian Air Force Strategic Bomber/Tanker HF Voice Net “BALANS” Heavily Active with numerous fighter jets arranging re-fueling on their trip from northwestern Russia to Syria.  NUMEROUS NUMEROUS Russian Fighter Jets in the air enroute to Syria right now

 

 

 

UPDATE 3:20 PM Eastern US Time — THIRD Antoniv-124 Cargo Jet landing in Syria . . . many more circling or enroute to supply Russian Military Forces again what is now believed to be IMMINENT ATTACK By Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others.  War likely to start by Tomorrow, Sunday, 14 February 2016 . . . . . . . . .

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 3:40 PM Eastern US Time —   Turkish artillery in Hayat, Turkey is targeting Syrian Arab Army positions near #Latakia. Syria.  This is an additional line of attack by Turkey, directly against the lawful army of the duly-elected government of Syria.  Turkey and Syria are now in a de facto state of war.

 

 

 

UPDATE 3:45 PM Eastern US Time — FLASH: Turkish artillery has begun hitting Syrian Army positions in northern #Syria

 

 

 

UPDATE 3:51 PM Eastern US Time —  Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu says “Syrian Kurdish militia must withdraw from area around Azaz in northern Syria.”   (Did you get that?  The TURKISH foreign minister is telling certain people in ANOTHER COUNTRY, that they must leave their country because TURKEY says so!  What balls!)

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:01 PM Eastern US Time — The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia has told CNN “Assad will leave — have no doubt about it. He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.”  (Did you get that?  The foreign minister of SAUDI ARABIA is deciding who can be the duly-elected President of ANOTHER COUNTRY, Syria!!  What Balls!)

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:25 PM Eastern US Time — SuperStation95 has consulted with military experts who told us “Turkey is ready to deploy some 18,000 troops with substantial artillery and air support to occupy a 30-kilometer deep territory across the border running from the city of Jarabulus westward to the city of Azaz. The operation would cover an area under ISIS control, and it would provide a direct military assistance to terrorists and facilitate establishing of a buffer zone for the vestiges of their forces in Northern Syria. It would drastically escalate the tensions with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, the Turkish military is fully capable of completing the first move aimed to push the SAA and the SDF from the aforementioned area and occupy a significant part of Northern Syria.

 

This step will likely face a hard answer of the Russian military grouping located in the country. The Russian land and navy air-defense systems and fighter jets are fully capable to neutralize the Turkish air force which will allow the Syrian government to counter-attack the Turkish intervention forces. Thus, the anti-terrorist forces will get a chance to exercise a counter-attack which will be likely supported by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.”

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:43 PM Eastern US Time — Turkey has now opened fire with artillery against FOUR separate Geographic zones inside Syria.

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:50 PM Eastern US Time — Qatar-i warplanes Have arrived with Saudi Arabia warplanes at Incirlik Airbase in Turkey — Air Attacks upon Syria deemed “Imminent”

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:53 PM Eastern US Time — Russia has increased the Alert Level for its entire military.

 

 

 

UPDATE 5:00 PM Eastern US Time — Turkish Artillery is shelling Deir Jamal, Syria and Malikiyah, Syria

 

 

 

Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis has warned that Turkey may risk losing a portion of its own territory should it decide to intervene militarily in Syria amid an intensified military campaign by regime forces backed by Russia.

 

 

 

UPDATE: 5:57 PM Eastern US Time —  Russia is amassing military supplies in its Southern Military District – high alert

 

 

 

UPDATE 5:58 PM Eastern US Time — Eyewitnesses: The Main highway from Kerch to Simferopol, Crimea is completely LOADED with huge military convoys and trucks carrying VAST amounts of heavy military hardware to the Black Sea Port at Simferopol.  The road has a traffic back-up two-hundred eight kilometers long  (208 KM) made up of 100% military convoys.

 

 

 

UPDATE 6:04 PM Eastern US Time — BREAKING: Turkey confirms that its artillery targeted Syrian regime positions in Latakia  (This is now an actual admission by the sovereign government of Turkey that it has deliberately attacked the forces of the legitimate and sovereign government of Syria.  Without cause or justification, Turkey has begun a war.)

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 6:11 PM Eastern US Time — Emergency Action Messages (EAM) – the highest priority message in the entire United States Military Command Structure, requiring IMMEDIATE attention and action —  have been broadcasting non-stop for about the last ten minutes on 8992 KHz USB.

 

 

 

UPDAT 6:16 PM Eastern US Time — URGENT: Turkish artillery renews attack on Syrian govt army positions in Aleppo

 

 

 

UPDATE 7:13 PM Eastern US Time — Reports from border town Kilis, Turkey: Heavy shelling still continues towards positions inside Syria.

 

 

 

Prolific researcher and analyst John Galt of the Shenandoah web site says that should Saudi Arabia put boots on the ground and attempt to engage ground forces in Syria the consequences may be disastrous:

 

The Saudi forces allegedly deployed are designed for operations to protect the royals. Saudi SF are not trained for foreign engagements, have no familiarity with Syrian, Iranian, or other combat operations.

It would be like sending our TSA to fight the Mexican Drug cartels in Monterrey.

If the Saudi and GCC SF’s engage in combat inside of Syria without US oversight, they will lose 50% of their forces in the first engagement with Syrian or Hezbollah forces who now have learned how to launch coordinated air and ground assaults on enemy positions.

The Saudi military is a joke.

 

The Saudis have a bigger problem; they don’t even control their Southern border. They are losing tanks, men, and other equipment daily to a bunch of sandal clad Houthi warriors while they have the “best” equipment from the United States.

“Whatever propaganda the Saudis continue to feed their domestic population,” he says, “is being betrayed by the arrival of body bags from the front lines.”

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Only YOU can spread brushfires of Freedom

 

Source : The Daily Coin.

U.S., Russia “Base Wars” In Syria As Turkey Allegedly Prepares For Invasion

 

russiaamerica

The chess pieces are continuing to be set by the world’s two superpowers in Syria in steps that are slowly leading to the possibility of a direct military confrontation between them. That is, if the United States and NATO do not abandon their pipe dreams of world hegemony and the destruction of the secular government of Bashar al-Assad.

The latest chess pieces being moved around on the board come in the form of air bases now being set up and expanded by both the United States and Russia inside Syrian territory.

According to reports from a number of media outlets, most notably Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy, the United States has now taken control over the Rmeilan Airbase in Northeastern Syria, in the Hasakah Province.

The information was first reported after a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesperson told Al Jazeerathat U.S. troops have taken control of the airbase in order to “assist” the SDF in their “fight against ISIS.”

The SDF is made up of a number of participants – mostly Kurdish, but also members of the Free Syrian Army, and other “moderate cannibal” groups fighting Assad and, allegedly, ISIS. The SDF has been supported by the United States in the past.

Hasakah, and the Rmeilan Airbase specifically, are located in the Northeastern tip of Syria, close to both the Iraqi and Turkish borders thus making the base a strategic location.

Taj Kordish, the SDF spokesman told Al Jazeera:

Under a deal with the YPG, the US was given control of the airport. The purpose of this deal is to back up the SDF, by providing weapons and an airbase for US warplanes. This airport was previously controlled by the YPG for over two years now. This strategic airport is close to several oil bases – one of the biggest in this area. Rmeilan airport was previously used for agricultural purposes by the Syrian government.

The notoriously discredited “human rights watchdog” the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR), stated that the airfield is still in the process of being prepared by U.S. forces.

While, at the time of the initial reports, U.S. CENTCOM refused to either confirm or deny the information, a recent BBC article seems to suggest that the U.S. military has admitted to taking over the base and expanding the facilities. The article, “Syria Conflict: ‘US Expanding Air Strip’ In Kurdish North,” states,

Satellite imagery appearing to show the US expanding a formerly disused air strip in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria has been seen by the BBC.

The images, from the security analysts Stratfor, show a runway near the town of Rmeilan being extended from 700m (half a mile) to 1.3km.

That would make it more suitable for a larger aircraft such as a Hercules.

A spokesman for the US Department of Defence said its small team in Syria needed “occasional logistical support”.

Only about 50 miles west of the newly US-seized Rmeilan air base, the Russians are in preparations to develop their response in the form of a corresponding airbase in Qamlishi, located right along the Turkey-Syria border. Some reports have claimed that Russia has deployed about 100 troops and advisors to the Qamlishi base.

While it appears that American base is further along in terms of development than its Russian counterpart, it is nevertheless a clear strategic response to the illegal insertion of American bases into Syrian territory and an attempt to checkmate the American aggression.

As the International Business Times reported in the article “US Forces Setting Up Base In Northern Syria Near Russian Forces In Qamishli Airfield: Report” that:

…Russian experts had “arrived to explore” the Qamishli airport’s “readiness and to check what is needed to develop and use it” near the Turkish border. The [SOHR] report added that Russian warplanes were expected to use the airport in the “coming days and weeks.” Qamishli is located south of the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.

Ulson Gunnar of New Eastern Outlook commented on the “base wars” in his own article where he wrote:

Russian forces, if they are indeed setting up in Qamishli, will establish a permanent bastion in Syria’s northeast. When inevitably Syrian forces cut off terrorists from their foreign supply routes and reestablish control over Syria’s largest cities back west, they will be able to reenter the northeast of their nation in force with Russian backing up to and including onto the doorstep of any illegal US occupation. There would be little the US could do to stop this, and no strategic or tactical means of “holding” territory already under the control of Syrian-Russian forces.

The US in this scenario is reduced to a trespasser coming up to an occupied house, unable to do anything else but leer through the window. While the US would surely be trampling the flowerbed outside the home, it would be unable to access anything of value within it.

Syria and Russia are displacing US ambitions to occupy Syria with physical forces that once in place will be difficult to remove. The US will come to the bargaining table with its “Syrian Democratic Forces” operating at the fringe of Syrian territory, with a Russian airbase standing between it and Syria’s interior. Meanwhile, the lion’s share of military victories against both Al Qaeda forces masquerading as the West’s “moderate fighters” and the “Islamic State” (IS) itself goes to Russia and Syria, not the US.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for the US and its allies to explain just what they are actually even doing in Syria besides perpetuating the war for as long as possible. It is clear that the only progress being made in Syria against the forces of extremism is being made by the long-chastised Syrian government and their Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies. It is also clear that remaining hurdles preventing the final restoration of peace and order in Syria is the US and its regional allies who insist on propping up armed groups opposed to the Syrian government, and direct threats and undermining by the US itself aimed at Damascus.

Yet, in addition to the “base wars” between the United States and Russia in Syria, there is a new possible spark for World War 3 emerging on the Turkish side of the border. Evidence has been mounting for some time that the Turks were massing troops and equipment on the border with Syria in what appears to be preparations for some type of invasion. Indeed, Russia recently addressed the Turkish preparations publicly when Russia’s Defense Ministry stated that Turkey is trying to conceal “illegal military activity” on its side of the border.

Russian officials made this accusation after Turkey canceled plans for a Russian observation flight over Turkish territory.

Major General Igor Konashenkov, Defense Ministry Spokesman, stated that “Such steps carried out by a country, which is a NATO member state, in no way contribute to the strengthening of trust and security in Europe.”

Konashenkov stated that the decision to cancel the flights was “a dangerous precedent and an attempt to conceal illegal military activity near the border with Syria.”

Konashenkov also pointed out that Russia is boosting its intelligence and surveillance capabilities in the region so the cancellation of observation flights will fail to hide Turkey’s military activity on the border.

For his part, Erdogan has also been abrasive in his tone toward the Russians. In regards to reports surrounding the Qamlishi base development, Erdogan immediately stated, “We have said this from the beginning: we won’t tolerate such formations (in northern Syria) along the area stretching from the Iraqi border up to the Mediterranean.” Erdogan was not specific in terms of what the Turkish response could or would be but, if the Russians are telling the truth, it appears that Turkey is at least preparing for the possibility of invading Syria from its southern border.

Konashenkov also pointed out that Russia recently provided the international community with “irrefutable video evidence of Turkish artillery firing on Syrian populated areas in the north of Latakia Province.”

As RT reports,

Turkey is also supplying manpower and weaponry to terrorists in the Syrian cities of Idlib and Aleppo, Konashenkov said.

The spokesman showed the media a photo of the Reyhanli checkpoint, saying that “through this very border crossing – mainly at nighttime – the militants, who seized the city of Aleppo and Idlib in northwestern Syria, are being supplied with arms and fighters from the Turkish territory.”

The terrorists in northern Syria are suffering losses and retreating to the Turkish border, the Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The fact that Turkey has been supporting, facilitating, arming, and guiding ISIS and other related terror groups since the beginning of the Syrian crisis is not in question. However, risking a direct military confrontation – especially in open war – with the Russians would be a stunning new escalation to the Turk position.

While such a prospect would likely be immensely destructive to the Turks, it is not outside the realm of possibility since Turkey downed a Russian jet it claims was flying over its territory only months ago, risking a wider confrontation with Russia. All evidence, however, showed that the jet did not violate Turkish airspace.

Still, the Turks, even as unstable as Erdogan might be, are not likely to attack Russian forces or even Syrian military positions without the blessing of the United States and NATO and the assurance that they would back Turkey up in the event of a military clash with Russia. Thus, any large scale confrontation between Turkey and Russia threatens to encompass many more nations than the two originally involved.

The Turks would be wise to protect their borders and immediately end any and all support for terrorist “rebels” fighting in Syria as well as closing any corridors being used by these foreign-backed invaders. Not one Turkish or Russian citizen – or any average citizen anywhere in the world – will stand to gain from a world war and those powers who stand to gain from the continued destabilization of Syria do not deserve to do so.

By Brandon Turbeville

 

&Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.;

 

Source : Activist post

Putin becomes target of bizarre personal attacks as West’s regime-change policy fizzles

Russian President Vladimir Putin © Alexei Nikolsky / Sputnik
Although Vladimir Putin rarely gets an honest and objective handling from the Western political and media establishment, the level and type of attacks against the Russian leader of late can only be described as dangerous, delusional and very deliberate.

The West has kicked off 2016 with a level of vilification against Putin that is so detached from reality that it actually serves to highlight the misdeeds of the accusers, desperate as they are to keep their regime-change operations going strong, as well as a wobbly anti-Russia alliance, complete with a NATO build-up on Russia’s border.

The first personal attack of the year against Putin came courtesy of a British public inquiry, which pronounced from the media mountaintops that Putin “probably” ordered the assassination of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

The indecisive nature of the so-called ‘verdict,’ which essentially threw legal procedure out the window, not to mention the barest scrap of evidence, would be easy to ignore if the announcement was not so conspicuously politically motivated at a time of high dungeon on the global stage.

Imagine what could possibly go wrong with a case involving the murder in London of a former KGB agent, who had close connections to the late exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, especially at a time when tensions between Russia and the West are at an all-time high. In a nutshell, pretty much everything.

Alexander Mercouris, a practicing lawyer for 12 years at the Royal Courts of Justice, described the failings of the public inquiry: “The Public Inquiry that has now delivered its verdict in the Litvinenko case has thrown all this out of the window. There was no jury. Part of the evidence was secret and the defendants and their lawyers were denied sight of it. Some of the witnesses gave their evidence to the Judge in secret and their identities were not disclosed to the defendants.”

Clearly, when it comes to anything involving Russia in general, or Vladimir Putin in particular, any notion of fair play is cast aside in order to portray the Russian leader as some sort of bogeyman. As journalist John Wight commented in a recent opinion piece for RT, “If his depiction in the West is to be believed, Putin makes Don Corleone look like a petty bag snatcher by comparison, with Russia under his watch guilty of everything up to and including climate change, you could be forgiven for thinking.”

What next? Putin declared ‘corrupt’ by US Treasury

No sooner had the world digested the unsavory news of Britain’s laughable verdict against Putin, along came another head scratcher, this one accusing the Russian leader of being ‘corrupt.’ The allegations were put forward by one Adam Szubin, the US Treasury’s Acting Under-Secretary for terrorism and financial crimes in an interview with none other than the BBC.

“He supposedly draws a state salary of something like $110,000 a year. That is not an accurate statement of the man’s wealth, and he has long time training and practices in terms of how to mask his actual wealth,” Szubin squealed to BBC’s Richard Bilton. When asked by Bilton “If Putin is corrupt,” Szubin responded: “In our view, yes.”

“Whether that’s Russia’s energy wealth, whether it’s other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don’t. To me, that is a picture of corruption,” Szubin said. And much like the Litvinenko public inquiry that delivered very ambiguous and suspiciously timed ‘verdict’ against Putin, Szubin failed to support his outrageous statements with any evidence whatsoever.

President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC that “none of these questions or issues needs to be answered, as they are pure fiction.” Such unsubstantiated charges of corruption, now being foisted upon the Russian leader by a US government agency, represents the next level of a longstanding effort to demonize the Russian government and president for nothing less than raw geopolitical gain.

In an interview with RT in May 2015, the head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, referred to such tactics as a “sort of blacklisting process… mostly in the American and British papers.”

“I often read articles saying that President Putin and his ‘cronies’ – the language is not mine, but the papers’ – are fully corrupted, connected with criminality, they have huge profits which they successfully hide, and things like that,” Ivanov said at the time. Ivanov dismissed the reports as “rubbish” that “can’t be respected by those who are serious enough to analyze the information.”

As an American, I am more than dismayed to see that the US Treasury – which surrendered its constitutional duties to the Federal reserve many decades ago – is demonstrating an eagerness to stain the reputation of a foreign world leader, yet turns a blind eye to the well-known crimes committed by the American financial elite, activities that led to the 2008 Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of 1929.

Considering how things have been going for the United States and its global pursuits of late – most of which subscribe to vicious regime-change operations, as already witnessed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, with efforts hotly underway in Syria – perhaps these personal vendettas of sorts are least surprising of all for Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, his unmatched leadership is almost single-handedly responsible for thwarting US imperial ambitions in a number of hotspots of late, most notably in Ukraine and Syria.

Not only has Putin demonstrated tremendous finesse in handling the Syrian crisis (too easily has it been forgotten that he convinced Assad to surrender his chemical weapons, thus temporarily thwarting Washington’s regime-change plans), he has opened up a fierce military campaign against Islamic State, the most loathsome terrorist organization to bestride planet Earth since the Mongols and Huns were in business.

Yet this significant and exceedingly risky act has not won Putin any accolades in Western circles – and despite the fact that Russia’s aerial offensive has dealt ISIS a severe setback. Indeed, the ‘gratitude’ for Putin’s actions was nowhere more felt than when Turkey – believed by many to be profiting handsomely from Islamic State’s oil venture in Syria – shot down a Russian fighter jet near its border on November 24.

With these factors in mind, it should come as no surprise that Vladimir Putin has become the target of a fierce Western propaganda campaign that is aimed at destroying his reputation both at home and abroad. But given Putin’s outstanding accomplishments to date, the ill-conceived strategy will ultimately fall flat, with the majority of people around the world comprehending where the real root of evil and corruption really exists. Hint: It’s nowhere near the Kremlin.

This article first appeared in slightly altered form at Rethinking Russia

@Robert_Bridge

 

Source : RT Op-Edge

Is the EU Breaking Up? Sanctions Against Russia Are Extended.

Not only is there dissension within the European Union on account of the Polish President of the European Commission’s having rammed through on December 21st an extension of economic sanctions against Russia, but on the same day, the person who (though only until the end of this year) speaks for the Presidency of the European Union, who is Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, said that Poland’s new far-right government is going too far to change Poland’s own Constitution in order to enable that government to do what it wants to do. He says: if that Polish Party carries it out, Poland’s voting rights in the EU should be suspended. 

German Economic News (GEN) reports that Asselborn “said that the government of Poland’s nationalist conservative party Law and Justice (PiS) of Jaroslaw Kaczynski kicks fundamental European principles ‘underfoot,’” and engages in “Night and Fog actions” against its nation’s Constitution and journalists, which actions remind Asselborn of “the Soviet Union.” Even that right-wing Polish Party’s own founder, Lech Walesa, now criticizes his Party’s actions.

GEN says that this far-right Polish Party, “with 38 percent of the vote, has become the strongest force in the parliamentary elections in October and had won an absolute majority of seats. Since taking office, the government of Prime Minister Beata Szydlo tries to get the Constitutional Court and unfavorable news media under its control. On Saturday, the second weekend in a row, thousands of protesters were demonstrating in the streets against the new government.”

 

By comparison, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party had imposed German dictatorship after winning 43% of the votes (5% more than PiS did).

A week before this anti-PiS statement from Asselborn, on December 14th, the Guardian had reported that the EU “Parliament’s German president, Martin Schulz, likens events in Poland to ‘coup d’etat’ after new rightwing government altered make-up of constitutional court.” Schultz told German Radio that, “What is happening in Poland has the character of a coup d’etat and is dramatic. I assume that this week or in January at the latest we will have to discuss this extensively in the European parliament.” Poland’s new Foreign Minister called Schultz’s statement “unfounded” and “irresponsible”; and Poland’s new Prime Minister called Schultz’s statement “unacceptable.” Both demanded an apology, which Schultz refused. Poland’s Foreign Minister went on to say that, “as in many other democratic countries, we are simply having a normal political debate about institutional solutions.”

The Guardian’s  report also noted that, “In November Schulz criticized Poland’s government, which is anti-immigrant, for what he called a lack of solidarity in dealing with the refugee crisis. The interior minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, reacted by calling Schulz’s words ‘scandalous’ and ‘another example of German arrogance’.”

This far-right Polish Party had won because of a voter-backlash against the flood of refugees pouring into Europe to escape the jihadists that the U.S. and its Saudi and other fundamentalist-Sunni allies had produced by importing and weaponizing jihadists into Syria, and ultimately into Libya after the U.S. and its allies had bombed away the prior, Russian-friendly, non-sectarian government of Muammar Gaddafi there. Also, the U.S. had overthrown in February 2014 Ukraine’s Russia-friendly government and weaponized them to perpetrate ethnic cleansing of the region of Ukraine that had voted 90%+ for him, and which refused to accept the coup-imposed government.

As a consequence of America’s actions (assisted by the Sunni Arab aristocracies), the EU has developed grave splits, which increasingly threaten to break up that governmental organization, and to return Europe to its independent nations, not all of whom will continue to accept their existing subordination to America’s aristocracy.

Another source of those splits has been Ukraine. Back in February 2014 the U.S. — in a carefully planned and executed coup pretending to be a spontaneous “Maidan revolution for democracy,” in order to overthrow Ukraine’s Democratically elected Russia-friendly President — hired organizers and gunmen from one of Ukraine’s two racist-fascist or ideologically nazi Parties, “Right Sector,” who carried out this coup, in which the U.S. State Department instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine whom to appoint to run Ukraine after the coup would be completed. She chose Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 4 February 2014, and he became installed 22 days later, and he in turn installed top members of Ukraine’s two nazi Parties to run the internal security and the military, as well as the Ukrainian central bank, and he replaced the existing top generals with ones that wanted to exterminate and drive out the residents in the areas that had voted more than 75% for the man whom the U.S. had overthrown (including both Crimea and Donbass). (Eliminating those voters would make Obama’s nazi government of Ukraine virtually permanent.)

Obama’s Ukrainian nazis massacred at least dozens of Crimeans who were fleeing from their coup in Kiev (Ukraine’s capital), and this “Pogrom of Korsun” became a rallying cry for Crimeans to call for Russia’s protection, since the residents of Crimea have always been far more pro-Russian than pro-Ukrainian and they loathe the U.S. But Obama and his European stooges imposed economic sanctions against Russia for having done what it could to protect the Crimeans, and the people in Donbass. Even though Russia refused to accept the urgings of Donbassers to be accepted into Russia as Crimenans had been, Obama and his stooges claimed that the ethnic cleansing in Donbass was somehow due to Russia, and slapped economic sanctions against Russia. Obama and his stooges are still backing Ukraine’s ethnic-cleansing program and want it to continue; and they blame Russia for ‘violations of the peace process’ whenever people in Donbass fire back against invading Ukrainian troops.

Though some EU nations were strongly against anti-Russia sanctions, all of the European Commissioners voted to continue them. Unanimity in these things is required, and it was achieved. On 8 October 2014, the Economist Intelligence Unit predicted, “we think that EU sanctions against Russia will be eased substantially when they come up for renewal in mid-2015, owing to the need for unanimity among the 28 member states, which will be harder to reach after another year of weak or negative growth for many.” This “weak or negative growth for many” has continued, and the Economist’s prediction noted that, “Unanimity is a difficult threshold to reach in the EU at the best of times; the 28 members did well to reach it once in order to impose sanctions.”  But despite those things, unanimity is being repeated, yet again. Even countries such as Italy (which had passionately protested) voted for them at the European Commission.

Clearly, the entire West gets in line, whenever President Obama says: Line up!

But how long can this slavishness continue, until one EU member-nation quits? And what will then happen after? Will the EU (and perhaps NATO too) end up ultimately consisting only of former Eastern-Bloc EU members? Maybe that’s all the United States needs, in order to be able to place its nuclear weapons right on Russia’s doorstep (which seems to be America’s supreme objective here — capitulation by Russia).

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

Source : Washington’s Blog.

CISA Is Now The Law: How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act

Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN

* * *

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.” 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”

“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours.

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes  – or an Obama – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.

The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.

 

 

Source : Zero Hedge.

Syria Right to Hit NATO Warplanes

Military exercise involving S-300 surface-to-air missile systems.

Syria is ready to deploy the fearsome S-300 air-defence system supplied by its Russian ally. The anti-aircraft surface-to-air missiles will give Syria control over its territory and the capability to shoot down any intrusive warplane or missile. NATO warplanes beware!

The fatal shoot-down of a Russian fighter jet by a Turkish F-16 two weeks ago has given urgency to installing the air-defence system. It is as much in Russia’s interest as it is in Syria’s to have air cover – and the S-300, and its newer generation, the S-400, are reckoned to be the best technology in the world for that job.

“It’s a top-of-the range weapon”, says the British defence publication, IHS Jane’s, probably surpassing the American Patriot missile system. The Russian-made S-300 can take out any modern fighter plane or missile, including Cruise missiles, at a range of up 150 kilometres and an altitude of 27 kilometres.

According to a senior officer at the Syria-Russia joint military operations room in Damascus, the mobile S-300 is ready for deployment at various locations across the country.

 

Flags of Turkey, right, and the European Union are seen in front of a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

Translated from Arabic language Alrai Media (thanks to the reliable Fort Russ Russian news site), the senior Syrian officer at the operations room is quoted as saying: “Soon Syria will announce that any country using the airspace without coordinating with Damascus will be viewed as hostile and [we] will shoot the jet down without warning. Those willing to fight terrorism and coordinate with the military leadership will be granted safe corridors.”
This may seem like a dangerous escalation. American fighter jets have been bombing Syrian territory since September 2014, having carried out thousands of air strikes allegedly against the Islamic State (IS) terror group (also known by its Arabic name Daesh).

Since the Paris terror attacks last month, France has stepped up its air strikes in Syria too. In the past week, Britain and Germany parliaments have voted for their air forces to join the other NATO members in aerial operations. The US-led bombing coalition in Syria also includes Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Russia is the only country whose military aircraft are legally deployed in Syria because Moscow has the full consent of the Syrian government. All the others do not have consent from Damascus.

So we have at least seven foreign powers deploying their warplanes to bomb Syrian territory – all in violation of international law.

 

S-300 PMU-1 air defense missile system

It is irrelevant whether the US-led alliance claims to be fighting terrorists, or whether they claim it is in “self-defence” as France, Britain and Germany are. The Germany justice minister Heiko Maas, speaking after the Bundestag voted for military action this week, claimed that the United Nations Security Council resolution passed last month in the wake of the Paris attacks makes the German intervention legal. That UNSC resolution does not specifically sanction military action.
In any case, the ultimate legal criterion is the position of the Syrian state authorities. Western governments and their media have done everything to discredit, demonise and delegitimise the Syrian government. That’s part of the US-led criminal enterprise for regime change in Syria. But the fact remains, Syria is a sovereign state fully entitled the legal rights of all other UN members.

If the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad – which is the internationally recognised governing authority of Syria and retains its seat at the UN – does not consent to foreign military intervention, then that intervention is illegal, as Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly pointed out.

Syria, with the S-300 missile system supplied by its Russian ally, now has the technical means to defend its borders and airspace from all intruders. It also has the legal right to defend the inviolability of its territory. After all, US President Barack Obama invoked this right with regard to Turkey after the shoot-down of the Russian Su-24. Obama said Turkey had “every right to protect its skies” (even though the evidence shows that the Russian fighter jet did not breach Turkish territory).

In other words: what’s good for Turkey is good for Syria, as for any other nation.

 

A rebel fighter from the First Battalion under the Free Syrian Army takes part in a military training on June 10, 2015, in the rebel-held countryside of the northern city of Aleppo

Now, some might say it is a reckless move for Syria to train its skies with the powerful S-300. If a US, French, British or German warplane is shot down then that may ignite a full-on war with the American NATO military alliance. Russia would inevitably be dragged into the fight, which could slide into a world war between nuclear powers.
But hold on a minute. That logic amounts to the US and its allies using such fear as a weapon to disarm others and to prevent sovereign states from exercising their rights.

Such a dynamic is a blank cheque for powers to bully and oppress others.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin has said time and again, the issue is one abiding by international law. Without respect for international law then the world resorts to the law of the jungle and barbarism, as Putin said in his recent state of the nation speech.

What we have seen in recent years since the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001-2003 is the wholesale erosion of sovereignty. This has involved the overt deployment of military force and the covert use of “asymmetric war”, says American political analyst Randy Martin (who writes at crookedbough.com).

“The use of proxy military force by the US and its NATO allies has been seen in regime-change operations in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, combined with media propaganda campaigns and economic sanctions,” says Martin. “A key strategy here by the Washington-led powers is to erode sovereign rights of designated enemy states.”

The deployment of so-called Islamist terror groups to destabilise Syria as with neo-Nazi paramilitaries in Ukraine is all part of the West’s asymmetric warfare.

For whatever reason, the US bombing coalition is claiming that it is combating the IS jihadists in Syria. However, the evidence shows that Western “combat” efforts in Syria are very late in coming and not very effective, indicating a lack of commitment to genuinely defeat the terror network.

 

Syrian Army near Latakia

There is also reason to believe that the NATO rush to bomb IS oil smuggling routes in Syria is really motivated by a need to cover up the tracks of Western collusion with the terror groups. The American CIA and British MI6, along with Turk military intelligence, have been implicated in running the terror “rat lines”. Russian intelligence is lifting the lid on this sordid racket.
Western air strikes without the approval of the Syrian government are not only illegal, they lack credibility in their stated aim.

But either way, the imperative here is that Syria re-establishes its sovereignty and the principles of international law. If Syria is lost, then Western state sponsored banditry and terrorism will only escalate. Russia is already being targeted by the West’s asymmetric warfare, as is Iran and China.

Therefore, a line has to be drawn. And with Russia’s military support, Syria has the power to do just that. From now on, NATO warplanes violating Syrian territory should be put on notice. Keep out or get shot down.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

 

Source : Sputnik News

America’s Creeping War in Syria

 

F16

A string of recent provocations against both Russia and Syria are meant to look like isolated incidents, but in fact constitute incremental “mission creep” into what may become full-scale US intervention in Syria.

The Background

It was clear in 2011 that the United States sought regime change in Syria, just as it did in Libya. It was clear that it had backed heavily armed sectarian extremists to carry out this regime change. What wasn’t clear, at least apparently to US policymakers, was the resolve the Syrian government, the Syrian Arab Army, and the Syrian people themselves had to defeat this conspiracy, revealed as early as 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker piece, “The Redirection.”

In it, Hersh revealed that the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were determined to build a proxy army of sectarian extremists aligned with or sympathetic to Al Qaeda, for the purpose of undermining and overthrowing the nations of Syria and Iran.

By 2011, with Libya already decimated by NATO-backed extremists, the US State Department was busy transferring weapons and terrorists from Benghazi and Eastern Europe to Turkey where they would be staged, armed, trained, and sent in to invade Syria.

As the Syrian government confounded the US’ proxy war, at various stages attempts were made for a more direct intervention – again, just like in Libya. However, attempts to create a “safe zone” in northern Syria or otherwise carry out strikes on the Syrian military itself were blocked by both the realities on the ground and the support of Syria’s allies – Russia, China, and Iran.

When Russia entered the conflict, the calculus changed dramatically. The prospects of direct intervention by the West against the Syrian government all but dimmed entirely, and what was exposed as a feigned US “fight” with the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) gave way to a very real Russian-led war on the terrorist group and its affiliates across the country, in coordination with Syrian troops on the ground.

Quickly the true source of ISIS’ fighting capacity – supply lines stretching out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory, long protected by NATO itself since the conflict began – came under threat. Russian warplanes are now flying sorties directly along the border, decimating ISIS-bound convoys long before delivering their supplies, weapons, and fresh fighters. Syrian troops have likewise made significant gains near borders they once were deterred from approaching because of NATO treachery.

The endgame is soon approaching, and to prevent this, the US and its regional allies have begun a series of provocations meant to tip toe the West into deeper war in the region, and in particular, against Russia and Syria.

The Provocations

Turkey’s downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber inside Syrian airspace, with Turkish-backed terrorists then gunning down one of the parachuting pilots – a blatant war crime – before ambushing a subsequent rescue mission which left a Russian Marine dead, was the first major provocation. While the United States has attempted to distance itself publicly from Turkey’s actions, it is clear that Turkey would never have undertaken such a brazen move without coordinating it with the US directly.

In the days and weeks before the incident, US Senators openly called for the shooting down of Russian planes over Syria. Their goal has been clear since 2011, overthrow the government of Syria before moving on to Iran, then finally Russia and China.

Turkey then moved troops and heavy armor into northern Iraq to begin what it claims will be a permanent occupation. It has carried out a “beta test” for its long-sought-after “safe zone” the US has engineered and attempted to implement in northern Syria since at least as early as 2012.

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And now reports indicate that the US itself has struck Syrian troops near Deir ez Zor City, Deir ez Zor province. There are also unconfirmed reports that the airstrikes which the Syrian government claims killed several of its soldiers, was also followed up by a coordinated ISIS counterattack.

The UK Independent reported in its article, “Syria calls US-led coalition air strike on Assad regime forces an ‘act of aggression’,” that:

An air strike carried out by the US-led coalition in Syria is reported to have targeted regime forces for the first time, killing at least three soldiers and destroying a number of vehicles.

The Syrian government said four warplanes bombed its Saega military camp in Deir al-Zor province, describing it as an “act of aggression” by coalition forces.

Whether reports of a counterattack are true or not, the US strikes appear to have happened. While the US denies that carried out the strikes, it has refused to coordinate with the Syrian Arab Army throughout its illegal operations in Syrian airspace. And just as in the case of the downed Russian bomber, US senators had also been eager to see US strikes against Syrian forces carried out as “retaliation” for Russia striking US proxies in the region.

With the US and its axis of collaborators attempting to normalize the violation of foreign nations’ airspace, territory, and now the normalization of striking at forces unrelated to its alleged mission to “fight” ISIS, we see a pattern developing that indicates an escalation toward direct confrontation between the West and Syria which includes a direct confrontation between the West and Syria’s allies as well.

The Need to Raise American Costs in Syria

The inability of Syria and its allies to fully secure Syria’s territory has invited these incremental transgressions. The fact that US warplanes are not only still violating Syrian airspace with absolute impunity, but being joined by French and British planes who equally have no real intention of stopping the terrorist menace of their own creation is a sign of hesitation on Syria and its allies’ part that they lack the will to draw a risky line and then enforce it.

Indeed, it would be a risky line to draw – to declare Syria’s airspace and territory off-limits to all nations not formally permitted by the Syrian government. To enforce such a line while legally sound, would require Syria or its allies to eventually target and shoot down Western planes that would inevitably continue violating Syria’s airspace. Such a confrontation could serve as ample impetus for the West to make a limited, full-scale invasion of certain parts of Syria where Syrian forces and their allies are weakest, thus effectively carving Syria into pieces.

However, incremental steps taken now toward establishing such a line coupled with continuously expanding military operations aimed at displacing Western military operations and restoring order across all of Syria’s territory by the government in Damascus and its allies, could help blunt, delay, and even eventually roll back America’s creeping war in Syria.

Likely there are cards yet to be played by Syria and its allies, which include wider roles for Iran and China to contribute in if and when necessary. The idea is to make continued Western intervention in Syria as costly as possible. It must be remembered that beyond the deepening rhetoric of the West, they still have only one goal – the same goal that they had when first beginning their proxy war with Syria – regime change in Damascus before pursuing regime change in Tehran, then Moscow and then Beijing.

It is likely the West will not stop until forced to tactically, strategically, economically, and politically. It is therefore incumbent upon Syria and its allies to create and apply the necessary force to do this.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

By Tony Cartalucci

 

Source : Activist Post

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