Feb 9, 2016
International journalist Eva Bartlett provides fresh coverage from on the ground in Syria and Palestine. We discuss what is happening there and why our mainstream news reports are misleading.
See Eva’s report: 21stcenturywire.com/2016/02/08/wher…-syria-lebanon/
A little known fact that many in the “anti-imperialist” crowd would rather ignore is that Iran and Hezbollah both supported the rebel uprising in Libya and welcomed Gaddafi’s demise.
An August 2011 report from the International Business Times noted Iran’s embrace of the “National Transitional Council,” the rebel government seeking to oust Gaddafi:
Iran is now supporting the National Transitional Council, Libya’s rebel-lead interim government, severing its final ties with Moammar Gadhafi.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi spoke with N.T.C. Chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil over the phone on Tuesday, congratulating the rebels on their victory over dictatorship. He also invited Abdul-Jalil to Teheran on a state visit in order to deepen bilateral ties.
Earlier in the campaign, Iran sent aid and humanitarian assistance to the Libyan people. The country has been supporting the rebels since March and called the fight against Gadhafi an Islamic Awakening. However, Iran is wary of the West’s involvement in the revolution, and thinks that NATO’s presence in Libya may come with the cost of colonization.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took a particularly strident anti-Gaddafi stance, praising the Libyan rebels as “revolutionaries” and wishing them victory over the “arrogant tyrant” Gaddafi. After Gaddafi was ousted and lynched in the streets by rebels, Nasrallah praised Gaddafi’s killers as “revolutionary fighters” and congratulated them on their “huge victory over the dictatorial regime of tyrant Muammar Gaddafi.”
via New Eastern Outlook
“Spontaneous.” “Genuine.” Defiant.” The US State Department’s marketeers have used these labels in attempts to differentiate its latest wave of global “color revolutions” from the now tired, ineffective, and familiar formulas used everywhere from the US-engineered “Arab Spring,” to the Euromaidan in Ukraine, to Bersih 4.0 in Malaysia.
The latest target is Lebanon where protests have begun in the streets of the capital, Beirut. Branded the “YouStink!” marches, the alleged provocation was dysfunctional municipal garbage collection services. However, very predictably, the protests have shifted quickly from what could have been perceived as legitimate demands to outright calls for regime change.
Color Revolutions 2.0
Just recently in Armenia, the US conducted what appeared to be a test run of its new and improved “color revolution” system of regime change. It attempted to create a movement with little if any initial political affiliation and with deeply hidden ties between protest organizers and their US State Department affiliations. Ultimately the so-called “Electric Yerevan” protests, whose alleged grievances were rising electric bills, spent so much time trying to convince Armenians and people around the world that they weren’t a US-backed mob, they never succeeded in building up sufficient momentum to move on to the next step.
The trick was to first use rising electrical costs as a pretext to stage the protests, then quickly swing them around to demand a change in government. Likely, provocations and violence were planned for later stages, as well as opportunities for America’s client opposition parties to take over and swell the ranks of street mobs with their supporters.
In Armenia, America’s next generation of color revolutions failed.
In Beirut, however, it seems that the protests have made it at least to the point where the alleged pretext – piles of garbage – have now been replaced with demands for regime change.
Despite the 2005 so-called “Cedar Revolution” being exposed as entirely US-engineered, paving the way for the expulsion of Syrian troops from Lebanon and an Israeli attack on the country the following year, many even in the alternative press have been taken in by what should be an obvious, albeit more carefully concealed, follow-up to 2005’s events.
by Brandon Turbeville
Sept 30, 2014
While mainstream media outlets in the Western world continue to shill for the White House and NATO’s plans to destroy the Syrian state and oust its democratically elected president, one notable linchpin of propaganda involves the labeling of Raqqa province in Syria as the “home base” of ISIS.
For instance, in an article and video published by the Wall Street Journal , an attempt was made to present “what it’s like to live” inside the “home base” of ISIS. As one might expect, the video paints a terribly bleak picture of the life of women and Syrians in general. Yet the video, as it has been presented by many mainstream outlets, falsely refers to Raqqa as the “home base” of ISIS.
Still, in this video as well as other reports, ISIS is presented as a shadowy group that appeared out of nowhere. For instance, the WSJ states that Raqqa changed in 2014, when ISIS suddenly overran the city and made it “into their home base.”
Yet the reality is that, while Raqqa may have been overtaken by ISIS, it is by no means their “home base.” The truth is that the actual home base of ISIS is located much further away than Raqqa, Syria, or anywhere in Iraq. The reality is that the home base of ISIS is located in Washington, D.C., Langley, VA, London, and other NATO countries that have provided the funding, weaponry, and direction that ISIS has used to conquer Raqqa to begin with.
by James Corbett
September 6, 2014
The hysteria over the supposed threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) is now undeniable. Every day new stories emerge focusing on the group’s brutality, its resources, its capabilities and its intention to strike out at the West. The US Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ranking Senators have all delivered somber assessments of the group’s evil aims in recent weeks, and have they been joined in that effort by a host of counterparts in foreign nations. The mainstream media, for their part, report these pronouncements without question, and with only a bare minimum of context to help their audience understand the group.
An open source investigation is desperately needed to sort through the hype to determine the facts behind this shadowy terror group. In this article we will examine the background, current status and future aims of the group, as well as the numerous facts that have been carefully omitted from the officially-sanctioned narrative of the group. In the comments section below, Corbett Report members are encouraged to contribute links, analysis and questions to further expand our understanding of the current situation and whether we are in fact heading toward a new false flag provocation like the September 11 attacks. [Not a Corbett Report member? Sign up today.]
Background – History of ISIS
The Islamic State is a caliphate established by a jihadist Islamic group in June 2014. Their expressed goal is to establish Salafist government over the Levant region of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus and Southern Turkey. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been declared caliph and “leader for Muslims everywhere.”
The Islamic State has gone through numerous name changes since its founding in Iraq in 1999. originally known as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (JTJ), (“The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad”), it changed to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn (“The Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers”) in 2004 after the group swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. During this period it was popularly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2006 it became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), but changed again in 2013 after expanding into Syria. At that point it became Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Its latest moniker, the “Islamic State,” came about after the proclamation of a new caliphate on June 29, 2014.
June 13, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Heavily armed, well funded, and organized as a professional, standing army, the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) swept southward into Iraq from Turkey and northeastern Syria, taking the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, and now threaten the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad itself. The United States was sure to prop up two unfounded narratives – the first being that US intelligence agencies, despite assets in Iraq and above it in the form of surveillance drones, failed to give warning of the invasion, and that ISIS is some sort of self-sustaining terror organization carving out a “state” by “robbing banks” and collecting “donations” on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal in its report, “Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard,” stated:
The quickly unfolding drama prompted a White House meeting Wednesday of top policy makers and military leaders who were caught off guard by the swift collapse of Iraqi security forces, officials acknowledged.
In another WSJ post, “U.S. Secretly Flying Drones Over Iraq,” it claimed:
A senior U.S. official said the intelligence collected under the small [secret US drone] program was shared with Iraqi forces, but added: “It’s not like it did any good.” The rapid territorial gains by the Islamist forces loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, caught the U.S. by surprise, the officials said.
|Image: ISIS has convoys of brand new matching Toyota’s the same
vehicles seen among admittedly NATO-armed terrorists operating
everywhere from Libya to Syria, and now Iraq. It is a synthetic, state-
sponsored regional mercenary expeditionary force.
Despite drone flights collecting intelligence, and a 3-year ongoing CIA program (here, here, and here) all along the Turkish-Syrian border to “monitor” and “arm” “moderate” militants fighting the Syrian government, the US claims it was caught “by surprise.” If drones and CIA operatives operating in ISIS territory weren’t enough to detect the impending invasion, perhaps the CIA should have just picked up a newspaper.
Indeed, the Lebanon Daily Start in March 2014 reported that ISIS openly withdrew its forces from Latakia and Idlib provinces in western Syria, and redeployed them in Syria’s east – along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The article titled, “Al-Qaeda splinter group in Syria leaves two provinces: activists,” stated explicitly that:
On Friday, ISIS – which alienated many rebels by seizing territory and killing rival commanders – finished withdrawing from the Idlib and Latakia provinces and moved its forces toward the eastern Raqqa province and the eastern outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, activists said.
The question remains, if a Lebanese newspaper knew ISIS was on the move eastward, why didn’t the CIA? The obvious answer is the CIA did know, and is simply feigning ignorance at the expense of their reputation to bait its enemies into suspecting the agency of incompetency rather than complicity in the horrific terroristic swath ISIS is now carving through northern Iraq.
Described extensively in the full New Eastern Outlook Journal (NEO) report, “NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion,” the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, have funded and armed terrorists operating in Syria for the past 3 years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – coincidentally the same amount that ISIS would require to gain primacy among militant groups fighting in Syria and to mobilize forces capable of crossing into Iraq and overwhelming Baghdad’s national defenses.
|Image: The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” (page 20). These same networks were then used to invade and attempt to overthrow the Syrian government itself in 2011, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, and today in 2014, to re-invade Iraq once again.|
The NEO report includes links to the US Army’s West Point Countering Terrorism Center reports, “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq,” and “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” which detail extensively the terror network used to flood Iraq with foreign terrorists, weapons, and cash to fuel an artificial “sectarian war” during the US occupation, and then turned over to flood Syria with terrorists in the West’s bid to overthrow the government in Damascus.
What’s ISIS Doing in Iraq?
The NEO report would also post Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection,” documenting over the course of 9 pages US, Saudi, and Israeli intentions to create and deploy sectarian extremists region-wide to confront Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hersh would note that these “sectarian extremists” were either tied to Al Qaeda, or Al Qaeda itself. The ISIS army moving toward Baghdad is the final manifestation of this conspiracy, a standing army operating with impunity, threatening to topple the Syrian government, purge pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, and even threatening Iran itself by building a bridge from Al Qaeda’s NATO safe havens in Turkey, across northern Iraq, and up to Iran’s borders directly. Labeled “terrorists” by the West, grants the West plausible deniability in its creation, deployment, and across the broad spectrum of atrocities it is now carrying out.
It is a defacto re-invasion of Iraq by Western interests – but this time without Western forces directly participating – rather a proxy force the West is desperately attempting to disavow any knowledge of or any connection to. However, no other explanation can account for the size and prowess of ISIS beyond state sponsorship. And since ISIS is the clear benefactor of state sponsorship, the question is, which states are sponsoring it? With Iraq, Syria, and Iran along with Lebanese-based Hezbollah locked in armed struggle with ISIS and other Al Qaeda franchises across the region, the only blocs left are NATO and the GCC (Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular).
With the West declaring ISIS fully villainous in an attempt to intervene more directly in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, creating a long desired “buffer zone” within which to harbor, arm, and fund an even larger terrorist expeditionary force, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and others are offered an opportunity to preempt Western involvement and to crush the ISIS – cornering and eliminating NATO-GCC’s expeditionary force while scoring geopolitical points of vanquishing Washington’s latest “villain.” Joint Iraq-Iranian operations in the north and south of ISIS’s locations, and just along Turkey’s borders could envelop and trap ISIS to then be whittled down and destroyed – just as Syria has been doing to NATO’s proxy terrorist forces within its own borders.
Whatever the regional outcome may be, the fact is the West has re-invaded Iraq, with a force as brutal, if not worse than the “shock and awe” doctrine of 2003. Iraq faces another difficult occupation if it cannot summon a response from within, and among its allies abroad, to counter and crush this threat with utmost expediency.
November 19, 2013
Two blasts near the Iranian embassy in Beirut killed at least 23 people, injuring 146 and causing havoc and massive fire in the Lebanese capital. Six buildings were reportedly destroyed in the embassy compound. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/038ycv
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October 6, 2013
Hezbollah has reportedly pulled large numbers of its troops out of Syria, where they’ve been fighting against the opposition rebels. It’s thought the Lebanon-based militant group had up to ten-thousand people in the country, but that may have dwindled to just a couple of thousand. RT’s Paula Slier traces the rapid rise of Hezbollah – from a small militia, to one of the most-powerful political and military forces in Lebanon.
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September 4, 2013
An SOS button in your pocket. Smartphone developers in Lebanon have launched their own early warning system for mobile devices – software that allows users to instantly map terror bombing sites and report crimes or suspicious behaviour. RT’s Paula Slier reports from Beirut. READ MORE http://on.rt.com/gz3xui
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August 28, 2013
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.
As the United States, along with its European and Israeli allies, prepares to launch yet another illegal war of aggression in the Middle East, the geopolitics of the US strategy could not be more apparent.
Despite the high-minded talk of humanitarianism, the US is advancing a transparently neo-colonialist agenda aimed at securing hegemony in the region by destroying what little opposition remains.
The images and videos flooding the internet since last week purport to show ‘evidence’ of a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Assad regime. This development neatly and conveniently coincides with the declaration by the Obama administration that the use of such weapons constitutes a ‘red line’, merely a euphemism for the point at which the US would feel emboldened to militarily intervene on behalf of the rebels.
And so, as news outlets report on the ‘likely use of chemical weapons’ by Damascus without anything other than unverifiable hearsay and ambiguous video footage, the drumbeat of war gets louder and louder.
A clear-thinking and rational political analyst would immediately be suspicious about the attack considering the presence of international chemical weapons investigators in Syria, as well as the fact that Damascus was undeniably winning the war against the jihadi rebel factions in cities like Qussair, Homs, Aleppo and elsewhere. That Assad would sabotage his own military victories and provide the perfect pretext for a foreign intervention is not only far-fetched, it runs contrary to his own record throughout this conflict. Remember that Damascus has shown restraint in the face of international war crimes committed against it by Israel, Turkey and other regional actors who have been fomenting the conflict in Syria for more than two years.
August 30, 2013
Looking at the Middle east through the eyes of a Lebanese woman who supports Hezbollah.Lebanese Expat Champions Hezbollah With Some ME Insights
This is re uploaded – I made a mistake earlier
June 20, 2013
Clashes have erupted in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, between security forces and demonstrators protesting the extension of the parliament’s term.
The clashes between the protesters and security forces took place on Thursday near the parliament building.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
On May 31, 2013, the Lebanese government decided to extend the parliament until November 2014, while the lawmakers’ term has actually terminated.
The demonstrators are now calling for the government to hold a parliamentary election originally scheduled for June, so that people can elect a new legislative body.
They criticized the extension of parliament as unconstitutional and urged the government to respect democracy.
May 27, 2013
Head of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the Lebanese resistance movement will continue to support the Syrian government against U-S-backed extremism. During a celebration to mark the 13th anniversary of the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon, the leader of the resistance also gave clear reasons as to why Hezbollah is fighting alongside the Syrian Army in the battle of Qusayr. Nasrallah considered Hezbollah’s contribution as an action to protect Lebanon and Syria with their various sects. The venue of the event was filled with loud cheers when Sayyed Nasrallah promised a victory against extremists like the victories of 2000 and 2006 against Israel.
Mariam Saleh, Press TV, Bekaa
End the Lie – Independent News
May 25, 2013
A damaged building is seen through a hole in a wall in the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh following overnight clashes with the Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli, on May 25, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ghassan Sweidan)
At least 28 people were killed and 250 wounded in weeklong clashes between Sunni and Alawite Muslims in Tripoli, Lebanon, according to security officials. The violence is another sign of the Syrian conflict spilling over to Lebanon.
Last night, four Sunnis and one Alawite died in clashes, the Daily Star reported. The casualties raised this week’s death toll to 28.
Fierce fighting has raged in Tripoli since last Sunday, with assailants firing rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns. The violence is seen as a spillover from the recently intensified fighting between rebels and government forces in Qusayr, Syria, near the border with Lebanon.
Most of the clashes in Tripoli were between residents of the Sunni-majority Bab el-Tebbaneh district and the Alawite-majority Jabal Mohsen district. A third party in the conflict is the Lebanese Army, which has so far failed to quell the unrest.
Although the clashes subsided in the morning, the area is still reportedly controlled by snipers.
The week-long conflict brought life to a halt in Tripoli, home to 500,000 residents, with schools and shops closed because of the violence.
This is not the first time Tripoli has witnessed an outbreak of violence between Sunnis supporting the Syrian rebels and pro-regime Alawites, the religious branch of Shia Islam to which Syrian President Bashar Assad belongs. The Lebanese Army deployed in the city last October to broker a ceasefire.
A Lebanese gunmen stands guard behind a barricade in the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh following overnight clashes with the Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli, on May 25, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ghassan Sweidan)
People inspect the damage after overnight clashes in Al-Koubbeh, in Tripoli May 23, 2013 (Reuters / Omar Ibrahim)
Lebanese army soldiers patrol the Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tebbaneh neighbourhood after being deployed to tighten security, following clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in the port city of Tripoli, northern Lebanon May 21, 2013 (Reuters / Omar Ibrahim)
A Lebanese army soldier walks with his weapon on a patrol after being deployed to tighten security, following clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in the northern port city of Tripoli May 21, 2013 (Reuters / Omar Ibrahim)
May 26, 2013
Two rockets have hit the southern district of Zahyieh in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, Press TV reports.
Several people were wounded in the incident that took place on Sunday, according to Lebanese security sources. Some vehicles and homes were also damaged.
The security sources said 107-mm rockets were used in the attack.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the rocket attack so far.
Lebanon’s caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, who visited at the site of the rocket attack, said it was an “act of sabotage.”
“The rockets were fired from a secluded area, southeast of the scene of the incident,” he stated.
“I believe this was an act of sabotage,” Charbel added, when asked about the motive for the attack. “I hope what is happening in Syria will not happen in Lebanon.”
The rocket incident in Beirut comes amid recent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, which have led to the death of more than two dozen people.
[hat tip: Syrian Girl]
May 22, 2013
Widening of Syria War into a Regional War with Global Implications becoming Inevitable.
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc),- The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has passed legislation that, if signed by U.S. President Obama, approves of officially supplying weapons to what the committee describes as “The Syrian Opposition”.
According to international law the bill implies, that the U.S.A. officially becomes a conflicting party. The official approval of weapons deliveries and other aid to “the opposition” is arguably changing its status to that of a mercenary corps.
The Senate´s decision has significantly increased the likelihood of the development of a regional war with global implications and has, if it is signed by President Obama, for the foreseeable future undermined attempts to settle the war by political means.
The bipartisan U.S. Senate´s Foreign Relations Committee voted 15 – 3 in favor of the bill that would allow U.S. politicians to officially arm the terrorist organizations, which the USA has been directly and indirectly financing, arming and otherwise supporting since the genesis of the conflict in 2011.
Already in 2011 a whistleblower at the U.S. Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, U.S.A. stated to nsnbc, that the USA has special forces deployed in Syria and the the USA is financing and arming the “Syrian opposition”.
If signed by President Obama, the U.S.A. would technically become a directly involved party to the war. Arguably, the so-called opposition would receive the legal status of being a US-sponsored mercenary corps. In other words, the legal status would concur with its de facto status.
While some analysts state, that the decision would not imply significant changes on the ground because the USA has sponsored terrorists in Syria since the onset of the crisis, others predict that the new legislation implies a significant increase of arms shipments, a significant increase in recruitment efforts, a substantial increase of funding, and an inevitable widening of the war into Lebanon and Iraq.
The legislation calls to “provide defense articles, defense services, and military training” directly to the “opposition” on the ground in Syria who “have been properly and fully vetted and share common values and interests with the United States”.
The legislation officially endorses an illegal military strategy on Syria, which a US Training Circular for Special Forces and “Foreign Students” designates as being official US military doctrine. The Training Circular, TC-18-01 explicitly states, that the US military, for the foreseeable future, would primarily be involved in unconventional warfare.
The subversion of foreign nations, as described in the TC-01 is a de-facto outline of the political and military strategy which the USA has used against the Syrian Arab Republic since 2011. The full document has previously been disclosed on nsnbc.
It is especially the last part of the sentence, “vetted and share common values and interests with the United States”, that would also officially transform the United States into a party that is directly involved in the war by recruiting, financing and arming mercenaries.
According to reliable Syrian statistics, which repeatedly have been sent to the office of U.N. Secretary Ban Kyi-moon, more than 80 per cent of the persons involved in combat operations against the Syrian military forces and the Syrian Civil Defense Forces are foreign fighters.
As documented in a previous article, much of the recruitment of these mercenary forces is being organized via Libya, under supervision of the Emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Since the US-backed coup d´etat in Libya in 2011, Abdelhakim Belhadj, who has a long history of cooperation with the British Foreign Intelligence Service MI6, Mossad and NATO Intelligence, and who according to former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar is the main responsible person for the 2004 Madrid Train Bombings that killed dozens, Abdelhakim Belhadj also functions as official Tripoli Military Governor. The largest so far documented arms shipment, including SAM-7 surface to air missiles was shipped from Libya through Turkey and into Syria. It is safe to conclude that the greatest part of arms shipments and deployment of recruits from Libya to Syria as well as to Mali is being organized through the Belhadj network.
With the main body of Syria recruits being recruited through a network that is in liaison with NATO, NATO is by implication, also becoming directly involved in the Syria War if the bill is passed. In fact, some international lawyers argue that NATO´s legal status already is that of a party to the conflict due to the fact that Turkey is directly involved.
The legal implications are mind-boggling and bound to significantly worsen the crisis between Russia and the USA, the crisis between Russia and the EU, and the crisis between some EU member states, first and foremost Germany and the USA.
Most experts on US – Israeli foreign relations agree that the Israeli lobby in the USA, which has a significant influence over the majority of members of Congress, has been lobbying strongly in support of the bill. Over the course of the last month reports of direct Israeli involvement in the war have significantly increased.
Already in 2011 Israel was arming the so-called Syrian opposition through third parties in Lebanon. Most prominently among them, the Saudi-Lebanese national and chairman of the “Movement for the Future Party” Saad Hariri, and the leader of the Lebanese Druze community and chairman of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt. Jumblatt is known for having facilitated shipments of weapons and equipment from Israel´s Raphael Industries since 2011.
One of the few Senators who have voted against the bill was Senator Rand Paul who stated ” You will be funding today the allies of al-Qaeda…. It is an irony you cannot overcome”. Critics of Rand Paul however state that his nay-vote was cheap since it was well known that the majority would vote in favor of the bill. Others criticize Paul for being representative of double standards by not clearly stating that al-Qaeda and “The Opposition” are euphemisms for a network of NATO mercenaries who can be used as friend or foe, terrorist of freedom fighters, all and alone depending on utility.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is currently visiting Jordan to meet representatives from 11 nations. Part of the agenda will be discussions between Kerry and Russian representatives about the so-called U.S.-Russian roadmap to end the Syria crisis.
The chances for ending the war in Syrian by political means however, are becoming increasingly slim. According to some analysts, the crisis is developing a propensity toward a deterioration into a Sarajevo-like situation, where the events begin determining the decisions of the policy makers, rather than the policy makers being the ones who determine the development of the events. The odds are clearly stacked against a political resolution and overwhelmingly for a widening of the war into Lebanon and Iraq.
Russia has repeatedly warned that the material support of the terrorists in Syria violates international law, and Russian officials have warned that the passing of the legislation is one more, and a most serious violation of international law.
The Russian position always was and remains the position, that only direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition can solve the crisis and that the arming of terrorists sabotages ongoing attempts to solve the crisis and the ongoing political reform process in Syria.
In March, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated, that “International law does not permit the supply of arms to non-governmental actors and our point of view is that it is a violation of international law” .
May 17, 2013
Erdogan is in the USA after the bombing, his paymasters want him to do more against Syria and the turkish public are growingly against his policies. Nevertheless he will go to Gaza next month, and he will look like a saviour, at least in western eyes, he will be able to funnel aid to Hamas from what the US et al have given him.
The Hamas leader was always in hiding when he lived in Damascus, now he travels openly to Gaza and talks about negotiating with the Jewish Race: http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/ade…
What will the armed PKK do now that they are withdrawing into Iraqi Kurdistan? And what have they been promised that they are leaving Turkey voluntarily?
On the ground in Syria Hezbollah and Syria with Iranian and Russian support have turned the tables against the west’s insurgents.
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May 5, 2013
Syria says Israel has effectively declared war, after its planes bombed targets in Damascus, the second airstrikes in as many days. Syria’s state media says Israeli rockets targeted a military research centre on the outskirts of the capital. Video footage and eye witness accounts suggest the attacks hit weapons dumps, triggering large explosions.
Syria says a number of people were killed and wounded amid widespread destruction. The Arab League has condemned the strikes and demanded the UN Security Council act to stop any more. The League say there has been a “dangerous violation of an Arab state’s sovereignty”. Article 2 of the United Nations Charter bans the use of force against the territorial integrity of any state. RT’s Gayane Chichakyan in Washington and Polly Boiko in London told RT more about the reaction coming from the UK and the US.
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March 25, 2013
March 23, 2013
A political analyst tells Press TV that it is clear that with Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s resignation the divisions are going to be even greater and it is only going to bring on greater instability in the region.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has resigned after a deadlock in his cabinet over preparations for forthcoming legislative elections in June. Mikati’s resignation came after disagreements on the formation of an electoral watchdog and the extension of the term of office of police chief Major General Ashraf Rifi.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Michael Maloof, former Pentagon official, to further discuss the issue.
by Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
The evidence is now in, as list of state actors can now be seen openly conspiring to drive the Middle East into full-blown war.
It’s well known by now that NATO and the Gulf States initial plans to overturn the sovereign state of Syria has been running behind schedule since their operation was launched two years ago. They had hoped for the sort of slam dunk which they enjoyed in overturning the country of Libya in late 2011.
This same formula could not be applied again however, so Plan B, a ground war using proxies has meant a longer drawn out conflict. It hasn’t been working fast enough in Syria, and western backed terrorist groups still sustaining heavy losses in their fight to topple the Assad government on behalf of the NATO and its Gulf allies.
The main obstacle with Plan B is that the very idea of directly arming terrorists in Syria is not one which can be sold openly in either the US or Britain. Plan C is to draw in the UN by creating a ‘chemical weapons’ crisis in Syria, and thanks to a prominent online leak of documents relating to UK DOD contractor Britam, the British have been caught brokering a deal transferring ex-Gaddafi stocks from Libya to Syria to be blamed on Assad, and paid for by Qatar. But the WMD threat still remains a hard sell for western voters…
From the NATO Allied corner, something drastic needed to be done.
Whilst politicians in the West, namely those in Washington DC, London and parts of Europe, have been publicly denying that they were helping to organise running arms into Syria and issuing very public pleads for ‘humanitarian aid’ for those they identify as the Syrian Opposition, activity back stage has been furious. The debate in government and the media has been mere window dressing for the real operation being quietly carried out.
NATO Gun-running via Croatia
It can now be revealed that NATO allied nations were busy using proxy states to drive their war in Syria – putting together one of the biggest international black operation transfers of military supplies in recent history. So it’s official: large caches of hardware from the West have been transferred to the Syrian jihadist mercenary collective known as the ‘Free Syrian Army’ , ‘Syrian Rebels’, or ‘Syrian Opposition’ – depending on who you ask, a brash move which may be vehemently opposed by other UN Security Council members – namely Russia and China.
Multiple media sources reveal the details of this massive airlift comprised of 75 airplanes, and an estimated 3,000 tons of military weaponry on board has left Croatia and has already been delivered… to Syria.
It is also confirmed from these reports that Saudi Arabia has financed a large portion of this purchase secretly transported to al Qaeda and other FSA fighters – who are working with the support of the CIA, MI6 and others, along with other financial and material support of Qatar and Saudi, to further destabilise and overthrow the Assad government in Syria.
“From the start of November last year, till February this year, 75 planes flew out from Zagreb Airport with over 3,000 tons of weapons and ammunition bound for Syrian rebels…The newspaper, quoting diplomatic sources, says that besides Croatian weapons the planes were full with weapons from other European countries including the UK. The weapons were organised by the United States of America.
Sources say that the first few flights to leave Croatia bound for Syria with weapons were operated by Turkish Cargo, which is owned by Turkish Airlines. After those flights, Jordanian International Air Cargo took over the flights. The deal to provide arms to the rebels was made between American officials and the Croatian Ambassador to the US.”
In addition to this huge gun-running operation, Croatia also appears to be guilty of either having advanced knowledge, or possibly coordinating with Syrian terrorists as evidenced by their recently withdraw all of troops from the UN observer mission in Golan Heights, indicating that the recent kidnapping by Free Syrian Army Terrorists of at least 20 UNIFIL peacekeepers in the Golan Heights was known in advance by Croatia.
The kidnapping incident may have been designed to test the UN, but also to pull Syria’s southern neighbor, Israel, even closer to the conflict, a development which would almost surely prompt the UN to declare this as trigger to a regional crisis, followed by an authorised military intervention. Pulling Israel in would also risk involving Hezbollah from Lebanon, who are already engaging in assisting Assad in training a new specialist paramilitary force in Syria to deal with urban warfare.
If it was known by Croatia, then one can only conclude that this was also known by US and British operatives as well. Both the US and Britain will naturally claim deniability as their legal out in this case, by deniability through the use of proxies makes no innocent parties when the prospect of a multi-regional war beckons as a result of the west’s financial, logistical, political, and now material involvement in the overthrow of a sovereign state and internationally recognised government.
Much worse, however, is that by employing proxies like Jordan, Croatia, Turkey,and others, the NATO allies have guaranteed long-term retribution down the road, should Syria prevail in this fight. For Syria, it is now known which countries collaborated with the West to dismantle their country. This fact alone will ensure conflict in the region for a generation.
US officials are on record as admitting to helping arrange the weapons airlift, as cited in this Feb 25, 2012 article in the New York Times:
“An official in Washington said the possibility of the transfers from the Balkans was broached last summer, when a senior Croatian official visited Washington and suggested to American officials that Croatia had many weapons available should anyone be interested in moving them to Syria’s rebels.”
Revelations are not limited to the Croatian news report, as we see the US and Europe’s mainstream media wall of silence has begun to crack, including here a recent report from London’s Daily Telegraph sent across Syria’s borders with Jordan and NATO-member Turkey. The article entitled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’“goes on to give further details of direct European involvement in illegal weapons running:
“The United States has coordinated a massive airlift of arms to Syrian rebels from Croatia with the help of Britain and other European states, despite the continuing European Union arms embargo, it was claimed yesterday…
Decisions by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, to provide non-lethal assistance and training, announced in the past week, were preceded by much greater though less direct Western involvement in the rebel cause, according to a Croat newspaper.
The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours.
…as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.
British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers…
… The weapons, including rocket launchers, recoil-less guns and the M79 anti-tank weapon, have been seen in rebel hands in numerous videos, and were first spotted by an arms expert Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses. He traced them moving from Dera’a in the south, near the Jordanian border, to Aleppo and Idlib provinces in the north.”
It is also no big secret that Britain has deployed a significant contingent of troops and support personnel to Jordan at least as far back as Autumn 2012 as part of its ongoing ‘joint military exercises’ with the Jordan military, but this latest revelation puts into clearer perspective the overwhelming likelihood that high level British military operation have actually been involved in the transfer of arms from Jordan into the hands of the international terrorist confab of mostly foreign fighter running under the west’s media banner of “Syrian Rebels”.
Consequences for Croatia, and Britain
What Britain may be guilty of here, is cynically – and illegally, trying to side-stepping the EU embargo on arms into Syria by using the fledgling EU state of Croatia as their delivery mechanism, because Croatia does not officially join the EU until July 1, and has not implemented any binding EU legislation. This flagrant violation of both EU and international law should mean that Croatia’s entrance into the EU could be appealed by other members states willing to raise an objection, with what are now clear grounds to mount a legal challenge against Croatia.
Regardless of any EU outcomes however, Croatia at least – is guilty of international war crimes.
International and EU Sanctions Against the US, Britain, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia
As expected, Britain’s Foreign Office denies all of the claims connecting it to the Croatian gun-running program, but if Britain is involved – even indirectly, through a proxy like Croatia, or if British military personnel are aiding and abetting these known terrorist fighters in Syria through the transfer of weaponry, then Britain can also be brought into the international legal framework to answer for what it has done behind the public’s back.
The international war crimes which are now in the public view could test the legal framework of the EU, the UN and the ICC in the Hague. The legal door is now open for charges against state actors including US, Britain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – for the crimes of illegally arming a force of foreign fighters and known terrorists in Syria – designed to destroy the country from within. Many UN resolutions, including the recent Resolution 1973 applied in Libya by the UN, have been implemented on much more spurious and shaky grounds than the overwhelming evidence available regarding Syria.
Consequences for NATO and the UN
Despite any denials in Brussels, NATO are involved through their member states Turkey and Croatia, as well as US, UK, and France from behind. Any involvement should question these country’s NATO status, or at least it begs the question what is NATO for, or even the UN, if their member states are conspiring together to subvert international law?
Moreover, Israel’s unwarranted airstrike against a Syrian Military Research facility last month was also ignored by the UN, but this is not surprising as Israel has long been allowed to operate outside of international law and norms.
If the international community does not act in this instance, then it opens the door to more brazen criminality sans borders, which could spawn similar illegal operations against Iran, opening the door to a Third World War.
US uniformed Personnel Training Rebels in Jordan
Der Spiegel also reports this week that, despite denials by Washington DC, Americans are definitely training Syrian rebels in neighboring Jordan. The reports goes on:
“It is not clear if the Americans are members of the US armed forces or are part of a private contracting firm, but the trainers wear uniforms, the paper reported.
It added that the training, which also involves Jordanian intelligence officers, had been going on “for some time,” and that the rebels were being taught how to use anti-tank weaponry.”
France sends ‘aid’ for Syria to Jordan
France played an integral part in the destruction of Libya in 2011, and they might also have an interest in their former colonial possessions in Syria, but it’s not clear as yet if France’s commitment to overthrowing the Assad government is on par with the US and Britain’s efforts. Back in August 2012, France had also been sending large shipments designated for Syria via Jordan, claiming that these shipment contained ‘aid and medical supplies’ – intended for Syrian refugees. Real Syrian News reported:
“An Antonov 124 cargo aircraft landed at the Marka military airport in Amman on Saturday. The cargo is said to include a field hospital and medical supplies for the refugees in the Zaatari camp near the Syrian border. An A310 airliner carrying 85 French military staff and medical equipment arrived in Jordan on Thursday.”
After the Croatian airlift, it’s now not a stretch to suspect that other countries could be involved in similar operations under the cover of supplying ‘humanitarian aid’.
Consequences for Jordan
The overwhelming body of evidence proves that Jordan is playing the key role as proxy and facilitator for the West’s wishes and desires to destroy the country of Syria. The consequences for Jordan, should the West’s efforts fail, is that Jordan has now exposed itself as a provocateur and enemy of both Syria, and Lebanon, and indeed Iran also. It is not know how much Jordan has been paid for its services, or what promises have been made to its royal family in exchange for facilitating the Syrian upheaval, but it cannot compensate Jordan for playing the crucial role in possibly fomenting a regional or multi-theatre global war.
Syria Crisis Planned by the US and NATO Allies Before the ‘Arab Spring’
Despite previous denials and avoiding the issue by states persons like Hillary Clinton and William Hague, it is certain that ‘al Qaeda’ terrorists are operating in Syria and receive various kinds of support from the West and their Gulf allies, and that these are many of the same terrorist who are responsible for violence and killing in Iraq. The New York Times confirmed this fact recently:
“Iraqi officials said the extremists operating in Syria are in many cases the very same militants striking across their country. “We are 100 percent sure from security coordination with Syrian authorities that the wanted names that we have are the same wanted names that the Syrian authorities have, especially within the last three months,” Izzat al-Shahbandar — a close aide to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki — said in an interview on Tuesday. “Al Qaeda that is operating in Iraq is the same as that which is operating in Syria,” he said.”
Bangkok based analyst, Tony Cartalucci, from Land Destroyer blog, adds another important piece of evidence in this mix, pointing out the fact that the US and its NATO operatives have been engineering the crisis in Syria well before the official ‘uprising’ began in 2011:
“Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“stated explicitly that:
“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”
Cartalucci provides further background to support the west’s own knowledge and involvement is the current crisis:
Is there any doubt that the US has executed this plot in earnest, arming and funding sectarian extremists “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” on both Syria’s northern and southern border? Where else, if not from the West and its regional allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, could extremists be getting their weapons, cash, and logistical support from?
And of course, Syria’s borders with Jordan and Turkey have been long-ago identified by the US Army’s own West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) as hotbeds of sectarian extremist/Al Qaeda activity – hotbeds that the West is purposefully funneling thousands of tons of weaponry through, while disingenuously claiming it is attempting to prevent such weapons from falling into the hands of extremists.
The CTC’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” identified Syria’s southeastern region near Dayr Al-Zawr on the Iraqi-Syrian border, the northwestern region of Idlib near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border, as having produced the majority of fighters found crossing over into Iraq throughout the duration of the Iraq War.
Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from during the US invasion/occupation. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”
These areas are now admittedly the epicenters of fighting, and more importantly, despite being historical hotbeds of Al Qaeda activity, precisely where the West is flooding with cash, weapons, and military “advisers.”
Just like in Libya where the West literally handed an entire nation to sectarian extremists, we are watching a verbatim repeat in Syria – where we are told Al Qaeda terrorists are “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters” that deserve US cash, weapons, and support, when it couldn’t be any clearer they aren’t.
Not only has the US and UK lied to the world about their policy toward Syria and their current level of support for increasingly overt terrorists committing an array of atrocities – their latest act including the taking of over 20 UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights – but have revealed once again the manufactured facade that is the “War on Terror…”
Terrorist Groups Currently Active in Syria
Known terrorist groups are operating in Syria and are receiving the full backing of NATO Allies and Gulf states Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They include – but are not limited to, Saudi Intelligence-backed Jabhat al-Nusra or ‘al Nursa Front’, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades and Al Baraa ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade, the jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham, the PKK (in northeast Syria), Kata’ib Mohadzherin from the Russian Caucus region – to name only a few.
Earlier reports of rogue Russian and Chechen terrorists filtering into Syria appear to be preceded by Salafists killing Sufi leaders in the Russian Federation. The Pakistan Christian Post reports:
“Recently in Dagestan the Sufi spiritual leader Said Efendi Chirkeisky was killed by a suicide bomber along with a few followers. This happened in late August and the closeness to the recent attack against Sufi leaders in Tatarstan is a clear reminder that Salafism is a potent force within parts of the Russian Federation. Therefore, not surprisingly the Russian Federation is extremely alarmed by major Western powers once more working in collusion with the FSA, al-Qaeda and a whole array of Salafi terrorist organizations.”
It’s worth noting also that like Libya’s new militant governor of Tripoli, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, terrorist group Kata’ib Mohadzherin’s leader Airat Vakhitov was also imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002 after being captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Both were released and filtered back into fighting regions to organise al Qaeda-type Islamist groups – both active in countries which the US and NATO have been actively vying for regime change, in Libya and Syria respectively. You can draw your own conclusions here about what Guantanamo is in reality.
The same New York Times article(above) also mentions terrorists’ theocratic designs of establishing some caliphate in the region:
“One Qaeda operative, a 56-year-old known as Abu Thuha who lives in the Hawija district near Kirkuk in Iraq, spoke to an Iraqi reporter for The New York Times on Tuesday. “We have experience now fighting the Americans, and more experience now with the Syrian revolution,” he said. “Our big hope is to form a Syrian-Iraqi Islamic state for all Muslims…
It’s important to understand that such claims by any shadowy ‘al Qaeda’ figures must also be balance with the reality that these militants have been historically, and are still today, directed and funded at the highest levels of both US and Saudi intelligence, and others. When you see terror spokesman like Ayman al-Zawahri, the alleged leader of Al Qaeda, praise the Syrian fighters by referring to them as “the lions of the Levant,” in messages released exclusively via a known CIA media dissemination outlets like SITE, or INTEL CENTER, then readers should be suspicious of why it’s been released and what political effect it is designed to have.
Now that some of the scope of NATO Allies operation in Syria has been exposed to the public, perhaps political representatives, media journalist, and editors will be able to report more accurately on the Syrian crisis, and demand a withdrawl of NATO, Arab League and others country’s support for the growing and highly dangerous paramilitary and other al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups who are currently working to take power by destabilising the country of Syria.
It’s all happening out in the open now.
by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
March 9, 2013
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen received Israel’s president Shimon Peres at NATO headquarters in Brussels on March 7.
The order of the day: to enhance military cooperation between Israel and the Atlantic Alliance focusing on issues of counter-terrorism.
“Israel will be happy to share the knowledge it has gained and its technological abilities with NATO. Israel has experience in contending with complex situations, and we must strengthen the cooperation so we can fight global terror together and assist NATO with the complex threats it faces including in Afghanistan. “
Israel is already involved in covert operations and non-conventional warfare in liaison with the US and NATO.
This agreement is of particular significance because it deepens the Israel-NATO relationship beyond the so-called “Mediterranean Dialogue”.
The joint statement points to an Israel NATO partnership “in the fight against terror and the search for peace… in the Middle East and the world”.
What this suggests is the participation of Israel in active theater warfare alongside NATO –i.e. as a de facto member of the Atlantic Alliance.
In other words, Israel would be directly involved were US-NATO to launch an outright military operation against Syria, Lebanon or Iran.
Israel offered to assist NATO in counter-terrorism operations directed against Hezbollah and Iran.
“The two agreed during their discussions that Israel and NATO are partners in the fight against terror…the statement said.
President Peres stressed the need to maintain and increase the cooperation between Israel and NATO and Israel’s ability to cooperation and provide technological assistance and knowledge from the vast experience Israel had gained in the field of counter-terrorism.
“Israel will be happy to share the knowledge it has gained and its technological abilities with NATO. Israel has experience in contending with complex situations, and we must strengthen the cooperation so we can fight global terror together and assist NATO with the complex threats it faces including in Afghanistan, ” Peres told Rasmussen.
History of Israel-NATO Military Cooperation
It is worth noting that in November 2004 in Brussels, NATO and Israel signed an important bilateral protocol which paved the way for the holding of joint NATO-Israel military exercises. A followup agreement was signed in March 2005 in Jerusalem between NATO’s Secretary General and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
The 2005 bilateral military cooperation agreement was viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.”
The ongoing premise underlying NATO-Israel military cooperation is that “Israel is under attack”.
There is evidence of active military and intelligence coordination between NATO and Israel including consultations pertaining to the occupied territories.
“Before Operation Cast Lead was launched in Gaza, NATO was already exchanging intelligence with Israel, sharing security expertise, and organising military drills. …. Former NATO chief Scheffer visited Israel in the midst of Israel’s offensive on Gaza. And NATO officials were at the time of the opinion that cooperation with Israel was essential for their organisation. (Al Ahram, February 10, 2010)
The March 2013 Israel-NATO Brussels bilateral agreement is the culmination of more than ten years of Israel-NATO cooperation.
Does this agreement “obligate” NATO “to come to the rescue of Israel” under the doctrine of “collective security”?
The agreement tightens the ongoing process of US-NATO-Israel military planning and logistics relating to any future operation in the Middle East including an aerial bombing of Iran’s nuclear plants.
The Israeli presidential delegation consisted of several top military and government advisers, including Brigadier General Hasson Hasson, Military Secretary to President Peres (See image below: first from left) and Nadav Tamir, policy adviser to the president of Israel (first right of president Peres).
The text of the Israel NATO agreement following discussions behind closed doors (see image below) was not made public.
(Click image to enlarge)
Following the meeting, a joint statement was released by NATO. Secretary-General Rasmussen stated in the press report:
“Israel is an important partner of the Alliance in the Mediterranean Dialogue. The security of NATO is linked to the security and stability of the Mediterranean and of the Middle East region. And our Alliance attaches great value to our political dialogue and our practical cooperation. Israel is one of our longest-standing partner countries. We are faced with the same strategic challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean.
And as we face the security threats of the 21st century, we have every reason to deepen our long-standing partnership with our Mediterranean Dialogue countries, including Israel. We all know the regional situation is complex. But the Mediterranean Dialogue remains a unique multilateral forum, where Israel and six Arab countries can discuss together with European and North American countries common security challenges. I see further opportunities for deepening our already close political dialogue and practical cooperation to our mutual benefit.”
by Stephen Lendman
February 23, 2013
Make no mistake. Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. Regime change is policy. At issue is replacing Assad’s government with a pro-Western puppet one.
Washington tolerates no independent governments. It demands subservience to US policies. Outliers are targeted for removal. Options include war.
Mass slaughter and destruction don’t matter. Unchallenged dominance is policy. It’s longstanding, ruthless and lawless.
Western-recruited death squads ravage Syria. They’ve done so for two years. They’re imported from abroad. Rules of engagement include mass murder, torture, and other atrocities.
Pro-Assad loyalists are prime targets. Innocent civilians are massacred. Doing so is official US policy. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Terrorism is what they do, not us.
Syria was peaceful before US proxies invaded. So was Libya in 2011. It was ravaged and destroyed. It remains unstable and violent. Libya 2.0 looms.
Syria may become NATO’s latest charnel house. It’s well along the way already. Countries are ravaged on the pretext of liberating them. Empires never say they’re sorry. Policy isn’t pretty. It’s violent and lawless.
It reflects state terrorism. It proliferates death and destruction. It prioritizes wealth, power, privilege and dominance. Direct and proxy wars are waged.
Cutthroat killers are used. They’re recruited abroad. They’re heavily armed, trained, funded and directed. They’re ordered to commit mass murder. Obama bears full responsibility. He’s a war criminal multiple times over.
On February 22, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured so far in Terrorist Bombing in al-Thawra Street in Damascus.”
Attacks struck central Damascus’ Mazraa neighborhood. Health Minister, Dr. Saad al-Nayef, said “terrorist bombing reflects the criminal nature of its perpetrators.”
Innocent men, women, children, the elderly and infirm were massacred. Syria continues to be ravaged and destabilized.
Al-Hayat Hospital and Abdullah Bin al-Zubir school were heavily damaged. So was Russia’s embassy. Itar Tass quoted a diplomat saying “The building has really been damaged. The windows are shattered.”
Other car bombs struck Damascus’ Barzeh neighborhood. A police station, telecommunications facility, and drug enforcement agency were targeted.
Mortar fire hit Syria’s Army General staff headquarters, Tishreen Sports City and residential buildings. Authorities said a car loaded with tons of explosives was stopped before it exploded.
Perhaps the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra was involved. It’s become Washington’s lead belligerent. It vows to “liberate” Damascus. It claims responsibility for 17 or more February Damascus area terrorist attacks. They included at least seven bombings.
Syrian communities abroad, Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah condemned Thursday’s bombings.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:
“Once again, we call upon all countries and parties, which might influence the extremists and radicals, to pressure them and demand immediate stop of such terrorist acts and armed violence in order to create appropriate atmosphere to hold a Syrian dialogue that is based on Geneva statement issued last June, 2010.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon showed which side he supports. He’s an imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. He violates UN Charter provisions. He urged both sides to show restraint. He called for ending Syria’s crisis politically.
Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry addressed two identical letters to the Security Council president and Ban. They condemned Thursday’s bombings. They called them cowardly acts.
They targeted crowded civilian areas. They followed previous ones conducted by Al Qaeda linked groups. They get “financial and logistic support and media and political coverage from regional and (Western) countries.”
“The Ministry added that the credibility of combating terrorism which has always been a matter of concern for the international community is now under unprecedented test as the most disgusting form of terrorism hit the Syrian civilians with no mercy or differentiating between an elderly man or a child.”
“The letters added that Syria, in its previous letters to the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, called for firm and clear condemnation of these heinous terrorist crimes by the UN member states and for holding countries which support such acts as responsible, whatsoever the form of such support was.”
“The Ministry said that Syria hopes the UN Security Council now will be able to adopt a firm stance which proves its commitment to combating terrorism regardless of its timing or place.”
If the Security Council turns a blind eye, “it will deepen doubts in its seriousness in combating terrorism and its commitment to implementing its resolutions in this regard, in addition to the fact this will be considered as a kind of political concealment of these crimes.”
The international community’s credibility “is at test,” it added. Failure to condemn this type terrorism is morally unconscionable.
It provides evidence of Western double standard duplicity. It reflects support for “organized terrorism.” Doing so won’t deter government forces from defending its citizens. Assad is committed to do so.
On February 21, Washington vetoed a Russian draft statement. It condemned Wednesday’s terrorist attacks. Moscow denounced US policy. It reflects support for what demands condemnation.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left no doubt where Russia stands, saying:
“This opposition by our American partners….is not the first time in which they seek a form that justifies those who fight the Syrian regime.”
“Russia sees in the American position an application of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms.”
Russia’s UN mission issued a statement saying:
“It is obvious that by doing so, the US delegation encourages those who have been repeatedly targeting American interests, including US diplomatic missions.”
It’s not the first time Washington obstructed responsible policy, it added. Moscow called doing so unacceptable. It reflects support for mass murder. It’s official US policy.
It threatens Lebanon. Free Syrian Army General Selim Idriss accused Hezbollah of shelling villages around Qusayr in Homs Governorate.
He issued an ultimatum. He threatened to respond if attacks don’t stop in 48 hours. He accused Hezbollah of sending combatants to Syria.
“As soon as the ultimatum ends,” he added, “we will start responding to the sources of fire.”
Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah categorically denies sending fighters to Syria. At the same time, he said party members may be acting individually. He added that around 30,000 Shitte Lebanese inhabit 22 Syrian villages. Volunteers defend them against terrorist attacks.
On February 21, Lebanon’s Daily Star headlined “FSA claim of strikes on Lebanon false.”
An FSA statement claimed otherwise. It said one of its battalions targeted two Hezbollah bases. It struck with mortars, “machine guns and anti-tank missiles.” It did so near the Syrian/Lebanon border. It vowed more “surprises” ahead.
Longstanding Washington/Israeli policy prioritizes destabilizing Lebanon. At issue is replacing Hezbollah with pro-Western puppets, toppling Assad, isolating Iran, and solidifying US regional control.
Lebanon is small and vulnerable. From 1975 – 1989, it was wracked by internal conflict. From 1982 – 2000, Israel occupied southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah arose out of Israel’s 1982 invasion. It’s falsely called a terrorist organization. It’s for political reasons. It’s part of Lebanon’s government. It’s also a social, charitable, educational, and medical organization.
It provides essential social services. It’s military wing is defensive. It threatens no one. It’s prepared to respond forcefully if attacked. Israel learned the hard way in 2006. Its forces were outfoxed and humiliated. Israel yearns for revenge.
Involving Lebanon in Syria’s war may be planned. Obama and Netanyahu may have that in mind.
On February 21, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Hizbollah on high alert, jockeys for a role in potential Syrian peace accord,” saying:
Its forces went on alert after the FSA’s ultimatum expired. Will its Beqaa Valley serve Assad, DF asked? Will its forces get involved? Are ceasefire talks credible?
According to DF, Assad’s military largely controls most of Syria. Ties to Hezbollah and Iran are firm. Each ally helps the others.
At the same time, FSA fighters may escalate conflict. They may conduct cross-border attacks. They’re no match for Hezbollah’s “far more organized and professional capabilities.”
“If they decide to go on the offensive, they are liable to suffer heavy losses.” Of greater concern is widening Syria’s conflict.
Israel’s currently involved. Last fall, IDF tanks shelled Syrian mortar batteries. Washington OK’d Israeli air strikes. Several targets were struck.
Israeli warplanes invade Lebanese airspace multiple times daily. They do so without permission. Policy is longstanding. It violates international law. Perhaps escalated conflict is planned.
It shouldn’t surprise. Washington and Israel partner in imperial lawlessness. Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran are prime targets. Regional conflict may follow. What’s possible bears watching. Future updates will discuss more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
January 26, 2013
The secretary general of Lebanon’s resistance group Hezbollah says the results of the general elections in Israel indicate that the regime will suffer from a deep political leadership “crisis.”
“The Israeli election results showed a retreat of parties that founded and led the entity, such as Likud” Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast on Al-Manar television channel on Friday.
The results of the polls show incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line Likud-Beitenu bloc and their allies have won a narrow majority in the Israeli general election. The right wing coalition secured only 31 seats, losing a quarter of its seats in the Knesset.
Nasrallah went on to say that no party had achieved a decisive victory, “as Netanyahu hoped in order to lead Israel.”
He added that the results demonstrated a “crisis for the new political leadership, a crisis for the parties and a crisis of confidence” in the new Israeli cabinet.
The new centrist party, Yesh Atid (There is a Future), led by journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid, won 19 seats, followed by left-leaning Labor, with 15 seats.
In the end, the right-wing bloc won 61 of the 120-seat Knesset, while 59 seats went to center-left parties.
After the election, Netanyahu vowed to reach out to other parties to form a large coalition. “Tomorrow we start anew.”
“Netanyahu’s victory is a Pyrrhic victory, and it is not clear he will be the next prime minister,” Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi said on Wednesday. “Netanyahu will face difficulty in constructing a viable coalition,” he added.
Ezrahi said he believed the next Israeli government would only last about 18 months.