A Syrian opposition group have called for Israeli intervention in Syria to help overthrow President Bashar al-Assad
The group comprised of certain foreign-based oppositionists have openly pleaded with Israel to directly confront Assad
Press TV reports:
The so-called National Salvation Front in Syria, which represents certain members of the anti-Damascus opposition in diaspora, including some who are based in France and Belgium, also proposed a “roadmap” for closer relations with Tel Aviv, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Monday.
Citing an Israeli radio station, SANA said the roadmap features the recognition of Israel by a post-Assad Syrian regime, arriving at a compromise over the issue of Syria’s Golan Heights, which have been occupied by Tel Aviv since 1967, and the setting up of friendly ties and strategic cooperation between the two sides.
The plan also obligates the dissolution of all Syria-based anti-Israeli Palestinian resistance groups.
The group’s spokesman Fahd al-Masri, meanwhile, released audio and video messages, demanding that Tel Aviv expand its support for anti-Damascus militants.
The Israeli regime has been a vociferous supporter of the Assad administration’s ouster. It has been arming the Takfiri militants fighting the government forces and providing treatment for those arriving in Golan Heights under the pretext that it would render such service to those in “its” territory.
Last year, Riad Hijab, the head of a Saudi-backed so-called opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), met with former Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
In the past, Kamal al-Labwani, a well-known anti-Assad activist with close ties with US and Israeli officials, hailed Tel Aviv for its support for the militants, and urged the regime to establish a safe zone for them on the border with the Golan Heights.
The Syrian Arab Army say that Israeli jets carried out airstrikes on the the Mezzeh military airport, west of Damascus on Friday.
According to several reports, the airport compound was reportedly hit by several rockets leaving an as-yet unknown number of people dead.
Following the attack, the Syrian state news agency SANA have accused Israel of supporting terrorism.
The airport and area surrounding it are used primarily as support for the elite Syrian Revolutionary Guard and has been the base of operations for targeting rebel positions in the suburbs of Damascus.
The Syrian Arab Army has warned that there will be repercussions for Israel for the “flagrant attack” on the military base, state TV said, citing a Syrian army command spokesman. It also linked the alleged strike to Israel’s “support of terrorist groups.”
The army said several missiles were fired at the Mezzeh airport’s compounds from the Lake Tiberias area in northern Israel at about 12am Friday. The strike reportedly damaged one of the compounds of the crucial military facility.
The Mezzeh airport is located west of Damascus, just 5 kilometers from the Presidential Palace, the official residence of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
There was no information on the death toll resulting from the airstrike immediately available. The base is reported to house Syria’s elite Republican Guards and Special Forces.
Footage from the scene with heavy fire and the sounds of explosions has surfaced on social media. Multiple reports from journalists and activists on the ground described the bombing, with the opposition also reporting there were rockets fired.
“Rockets strike at Mezzeh Military airport in Damascus minutes ago,” tweeted Hadi al-Bahra, former president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces.
This is the second time in two months the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has being accused by the Syrian government of targeting Syrian positions from Israeli territory.
On December 7, SANA reported that “several surface-to-surface missiles” were launched by the IDF from the Golan Heights. At the time, the source in the Syrian armed forces slammed the attack as a “desperate attempt” by Israel to endorse terrorists.
On Thursday, at least nine people were killed and several others injured as result of a suicide attack in the Kafr Sousa neighborhood in Damascus. The terrorist had reportedly detonated an explosive belt near the al-Muhafaza sports club, SANA reported. RT’s Lizzie Phelan reported, citing a National Defense Forces (NDF) commander on the ground, that allegedly as many as five perpetrators took part in the attack, out of which three managed to escape and one was killed by a sniper.
The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside” – Barack Obama, speaking in August 2011.
When the US President made his first explicit call for the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power in August 2011, who would have thought that the Syrian leader would have outlasted Barack Obama in office. Even for the most optimistic supporter of the territorial integrity of the Syrian state, there must have been moments when they felt that the US/NATO war machine would topple Assad and completely Balkanize the Syrian state (I know I did). And yet here we are, more than five years later, watching Obama conclude his shambolic reign with a final frenzy of anti-Russian attacks, as Assad still stands in Damascus.
Outside of any last gasp strike or invasion of Syria by the US or its allies, it seems that Assad’s presidency will outlast that of Obama’s. Despite all the media propaganda and demonization; the hordes of foreign mercenaries armed to the teeth by the US and their allies; the false flag attacks to justify a full-scale invasion of the country (the Ghouta sarin attack for instance); the sanctions against Assad and other high-level Syrian officials; and the countless other assaults on the country: the Syrian people refused to be bullied or swayed by outside powers.
Although the war is still ongoing and far from over, the recent liberation of eastern Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army illustrates which side has the momentum in the conflict. The move led by Moscow to forge closer ties between Russia, Iran and Turkey in relation to Syria is also a significant development, considering the role that Turkey has played in supporting the opposition during the conflict. A Turkey that is committed to ending the conflict and stopping the flow of arms and mercenaries across the border is a major step towards the stabilization of Syria.
Obama vs. The US Military
The West has been unable to force Libyan-style regime change in Syria due to a variety of reasons, with the support of regional and international allies one of the most significant factors. Iran, Hezbollah, China and most notably Russia, have been crucial players in supporting the Syrian government, a fact that has been well documented in the media. What has been less well documented however, is the role that certain elements within the US military have played in stopping the neoconservatives, the CIA and other factions close to Obama forcing regime change in Syria.
Despite many elements within the US military being far from perfect, there has been a core of high-ranking military officers who have resisted the Syrian strategy advocated by many in Washington. As the award-winning journalist, Seymour M. Hersh, wrote in his article for the London Review of Books in January 2016, titled: Military to Military, numerous individuals in the US military were concerned over the nature of many of the opposition groups that would have been empowered if Assad was ousted from power, and so they began to secretly share US intelligence with other militaries around the world, intelligence that was intended to help the Syrian military in their fight against extremists:
“In the autumn of 2013, they [(the Joint Chiefs)] decided to take steps against the extremists without going through political channels, by providing US intelligence to the militaries of other nations, on the understanding that it would be passed on to the Syrian army and used against the common enemy, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.”
One of the individuals in the US military that has been a vocal critic of Obama’s Syrian strategy is the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn. The former DIA head has been consistently warning over the dangers of overthrowing Assad, and in 2015 he lambasted the Obama administration for taking the “willful decision” to support the rise of extremists in Syria. Flynn, who has been appointed as Trump’s National Security Adviser, is well aware of the situation on the ground in Syria, with an August 2012 intelligence document from the DIA stating that:
“The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq, are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria… Opposition forces are trying to control the Eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to the Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighbouring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts… If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”
Flynn was not alone in opposing the Syrian policy of the Obama administration however, although he was perhaps the most vocal in public. Retired General Martin Dempsey for instance, who served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between October 2011 and September 2015, was fairly consistent at emphasising the costs of military action in Syria, including during the debate over whether to directly strike Syria after the Ghouta chemical attack in August 2013. Dempsey’s general position on using overt military force in Syria against Assad can be seen in a July 2013 letter to the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, Senator Carl Levin. The overall tone of the letter is cautious and thoughtful, with Dempsey warning that the US “could inadvertently empower extremists” by ousting Assad:
“It is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state. We must anticipate and be prepared for the unintended consequences of our action. Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control… Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. We should also act in accordance with the law.”
If Obama had got his wish in 2011, and Assad was removed from power in Damascus, the political vacuum left by Assad would have been filled by a plethora of ‘moderate rebels’ (i.e. hardcore terrorists). After eight years of carnage and broken promises, many people in the US and around the world will be delighted to see Obama leave office.
It should come into force this evening at midnight
Turkey and Russia have agreed a ceasefire plan for all of Syria that should come into force this evening at midnight, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.
The plan aims to expand a ceasefire in the city of Aleppo, brokered by Turkey and Russia earlier this month to allow the evacuation of civilians, to all of the country, it said.
But, like previous ceasefire plans that had been brokered by the United States and Russia, it excludes “terror” groups, the agency said.
If successful, the plan will form the basis of upcoming political negotiations between the regime and opposition overseen by Russia and Turkey in the Kazakh capital Astana, it added.
Turkey and Russia will work for the plan to come into force at midnight, the agency said, without giving further details.
Source: Asia Mayfield
Obama refuses to stop arming Syrian rebels. The outgoing president is tampering with foreign policy with only weeks left in office.
Rebel forces in Syria are collapsing under the weight of never-ending bombardments by Iranian and Russian forces. They’ve been blasted out of Aleppo, their last stronghold. Obama’s weak support is the last lifeline that the rebels have.
The question is, why is Obama doing it? There’s no moral high-ground that Americans can find in Syria. Our allies are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Muslim-majority countries that routinely trample on basic human rights.
Arming the rebels in Syria irritates Russia and divides forces that should be fighting ISIS. Obama the war-monger doesn’t mind. Fighting both sides of the war increases military spending and prolongs the conflict.
The Syrian rebels aren’t a ragtag group of do-gooders. Many are rightfully enraged at the treatment they’ve endured under President Bashir al-Assad, but others are little more than terrorists. Many have connections to groups like Al Qaeda.
Fueling the fire that’s currently consuming Syria empowers Islamic extremists. ISIS is strengthened when Russia is forced to battle Syrian rebels instead.
Obama’s throwing a wrench in Donald Trump’s foreign policy plans before the future president is even inaugurated. Trouble in Syria threatens the proposed change in relations between the US and Russia. Trump has already expressed his desire to take a sensible course in Syria, but his actions have now been complicated. He can’t make America look weak abroad. If Obama promises something, Trump will have to follow through or have a very good reason for not doing so.
Investigative reporters recently uncovered a $1 billion trail linking arm sales in Syria to Obama’s administration. Suddenly, the president’s actions make a lot more sense. So much money is being made by the devastation in Syria that it’s a reason in of itself to prolong the struggle.
The entire Middle East has been destabilized by Obama’s actions. Thousands of lives have been lost and millions have been forced from their homes. The man of peace ushered in a new era of chaos.
On the campaign trail, Trump expressed his disapproval of Obama’s actions, particularly those regarding Syria. He excoriated the president’s decision to arm the rebels, and wondered why the administration hadn’t fostered a closer relationship with Russia.
Vladimir Putin seemed amenable to forging a warmer relationship with the US, but his sympathies will likely harden as his forces continue to be attacked by Syrian rebels.
“Thus ruling out the possibility of co-operation with Russia and Syria over fighting IS, Obama’s decision to bolster the “rebels” appears to be as much of an attempt at “rescuing” these groups from the Trump administration as from the Syrian forces…”writes the New Eastern Outlook.
Outgoing president’s usually refrain from making major policy decisions, understanding that to do so is no longer their job. Obama shouldn’t be creating new problems for Trump to deal with, he should be making the next president’s job as easy as possible.
Obama’s tenure has been plagued with allegations of connections and links to terrorist organizations. For good reason. Groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda are more powerful than ever.
“The US president Barack Obama’s most recent announcement about lifting the previously imposed restrictions on the supply of (sophisticated) weapons to the “Syrian rebels” not only glaringly shows the true nature of the conflict as a foreign imposed, but also sheds light on the American establishment’s obsession with imposing regime change in Syria regardless of the human cost.
This announcement is nothing short of a departing gift by the US president to the “rebels” who have lost most of the territory they had under their control until a year ago.” writes NEO.
The human costs of Obama’s miscalculations has been staggeringly high. Thousands of people have been slaughtered because of his policies. American and Syrian lives have been endangered.
Obama’s legacy will be one of bloodshed and destruction. Trump must break away from his predecessors example and forge an entirely new path. Stop arming the rebels, or at least stop arming them in such a halfhearted way. If Obama actually wanted to decimate Bashir al-Assad’s forces he could. He doesn’t do so because he fears retaliation from Russia or Iran.
Trump should completely stop the US from providing arms from the terrorists, and join forces with Russia to rout ISIS out of the Middle East. The Syrian rebels fight is not ours, especially while we list a country like Saudi Arabia as one of our biggest allies.
Unfortunately Obama still has almost four weeks left in which to wreak havoc. He might critically injure Trump’s ability to soothe tensions in the Middle East.
What would happen then? Perhaps the endless, recurring conflicts that Obama seems to desire, the conflicts that keep the American industrial military complex flush with cash.
Source: Asia Mayfield
Barack Obama, recipient of the Noble Peace prize, is leaving the world in chaos. His legacy will be one of blood and destruction.
Under his watch, the Middle East exploded into madness. Syria is being ripped apart by civil war as Iranian and Russian forces fight to keep President Bashir al-Assad in power. Aleppo, the last stronghold of the rebels, is enduring unconscionable violence as Assad’s forces batter the city.
“The fact is that Aleppo has been occupied by…mercenaries,” says the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, the largest opposition group to the Islamic mullahs who rule Iran. “Mass executions, preventing the transfer of the civilians, including women and children, [and] attacking the civilians has all been done by the forces of the mullahs’ regime.”
Obama is silently watching a genocide that was partially engineered by his own forces. Laughably, the presidents administration once boasted of its “responsibility to protect.” Now he’s hesitating to attempt stopping the destruction in Syria because he’s afraid of endangering another boast of his administration- the successful agreement with Iran to temporarily restrain their nuclear weapons program.
Iran, along with Russia, has thrown its support behind al-Assad. Obama meanwhile has been pussyfooting around and offering ineffectual, halfhearted support to both sides. The US fights alongside al-Assad to rout ISIS out of the country, but has also been providing arms to the rebels attempting to topple al-Assad’s regime. The fruitless decision’s sole consequence has been to prolong the war by making it more difficult for al-Assad and his supporters to defeat ISIS.
Obama, with the aid of former Secretary of State and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, destabilized the Middle East so severely that the region is likely to be remain gripped in turmoil for years to come.
One of the most striking examples of the administration’s ineptitude is Libya. Previous to Clinton’s needless meddling in the country, Libya had a national budget surplus of 8.7 percent of GDP, with oil production at 1.8 million barrels a day.
After Clinton sparked a revolution, the country tumbled into debt and oil production fell by more than 80 percent.
“Before the revolution, Libya was a secure, prospering, secular Islamic country and a critical ally providing intelligence on terrorist activity post–September 11, 2001. Qaddafi was no longer a threat to the United States. Yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly advocated and succeeded in convincing the administration to support the Libyan rebels,” writes The National Interest.
Within weeks of the turmoil breaking out, Clinton was presented with two rare opportunities to stop the fighting she created. A valid offer of a cease-fire was presented to the Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff. A second opportunity was granted to the U.S. Africa Command for direct military commander negotiations to effect Gaddafi’s abdication.
Both proposals were rejected by Clinton.
She learned nothing from the incident. Not content with destroying one country, she applied her misguided ideas about “justice” to Syria.
There’s no reason, moral or otherwise, that the US should ever have been providing support to the rebels in Syria. It’s hypocritical and harms American interest.
Obama and Clinton fostered an extremely close relationship with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two countries currently ruled by oppressive Islamic regimes. Obama praised Turkish President Erdogan mere days after the failed coup in Turkey.
Where is America’s support for the rebels in Turkey, for those in Saudi Arabia? Bashir al-Assad certainly won’t be winning any humanitarian awards anytime soon (although anything’s possible in a world where Obama snags a Nobel prize) but it’s ludicrous to say that al-Assad’s regime is somehow more brutal than that other Islamic nation’s.
Obama has been as heavy-handed in his policy decisions as Clinton. He approved a massive drone strike initiative that’s mostly served to turn the entire Middle East against us.
Democrats spent the last presidential campaign bleating about Donald Trump’s supposed war-mongering tendencies while ignoring the fact that Obama’s administration has ignited the entire world. The devastating effects of the conflict rocking through the Middle East are felt across the globe.
So this is the world that Obama has created. War, destruction, and strife. The man of “peace” started new wars, and nursed old ones. Terrorist groups surged to unprecedented power under his watch.
We we were tricked. For a Washington outsider, Obama sure seemed to follow a familiar playbook. His campaign promises were lies. He should be worried about his legacy- its going to be a bad one. Few presidents have wreaked as much havoc on the world.
Donald Trump will inherit the problems created by Obama. Much of his presidency will have to be spent rectifying his predecessor’s mistakes. Let’s hope he succeeds.
See if you can spot the pattern:
Following its bombing of Iraq in 1991, the United States wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Following its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the United States wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia.
Following its bombing of Afghanistan in 2001-2002, the United States wound up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Yemen and Djibouti.
Following its bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States wound up with Iraq.
Fast forward a dozen years and now the playing field is made up of Libya, Syria, and fragments of Iraq.
That is the way the American empire grows–a base in every neighborhood, ready to be mobilized to put down any threat to imperial rule, real or imagined. Seventy years after world War II ended, the United States still has major bases in Germany and Japan; over sixty years after the end of the Korean War, tens of thousands of American armed forces continue to be stationed in South Korea.
As Americans it is hard for us to accept the idea that our leaders sometimes really are the bad guys. That sometimes foreign media gives us less spin than our American media. That sometimes spreading democracy is really about defeating it in uncooperative countries.
The country in the spotlight right now is, of course, Syria. Desired by ISIS, torn apart by rebels, squeezed in a battle of wills between Russia and America. As I recently reported, the majority of the anti-Assad news coverage is either guesswork or totally controlled by the al-Qaeda-like rebel groups who let cooperative reporters live only to broadcast misleading videos.
Hollywood and Bollywood are movie capitals I know about–but Aleppo?
Here’s another staged episode from the Syria that American leaders want you to see:
And don’t think that these videos random outliers or isolated pranks. They are really just two tiles in a much larger, years-old mosaic of anti-Assad media misinformation. CBS’s Ben Swann lays it out very well.
“Moderate” Islamic rebels are “extremely” good at taking American money.
As if all of this weren’t bad enough, as of yesterday America has been caught red-handed, with its hand in the cookie jar, under the spotlights, in the rat trap–whatever metaphor you prefer, the result is the same:
America has not only been “supporting” and “advising” the anti-Assad insurgents–we are the insurgents.
his is no milk-and-cookies press conference. He names names and calls out nationalities.
As you listen, it might just sound like “the usual suspects”–a bunch of Arabic names. In fact, though, early on, you hear this:
“David Scott Wiener – American”
That’s right. An American, not identified as a defector, but simply an American, was captured among armed rebels.
But I thought we were just encouraging moderate Muslims, right?
Historically, US foreign policy has no moral factor built into its DNA. We must clear our minds of that baggage which only gets in the way of seeing beyond the clichés and the platitudes.
Remember: American allies are often just those countries willing to “pay the piper.”
It’s rather difficult for most Americans and Americophiles throughout the world to accept such a grim, cold picture of American foreign policy. We are used to seeing American leaders on TV smiling and laughing, telling jokes; they see them with their families, hear them speak of God and love, of peace and law, of democracy and freedom, of human rights and justice, and even baseball.
These leaders know how to condemn the world’s atrocities in no uncertain terms, with just the right words that decent people love to hear, just the right catch in their throat to show how moved they are. How can such people be monsters, how can they be called immoral?
They have names like George and Dick and Donald, not a single Mohammed or Abdullah in the bunch. And they all speak English. People named Mohammed or Abdullah cut off people’s hands as punishment for theft. Americans know that that’s horrible. Americans are too civilized for that.
But people named George and Dick and Donald drop cluster bombs on cities and villages, and the many unexploded ones become land mines, and before very long a child picks one up or steps on one of them and loses an arm or a leg, or both arms or both legs, and sometimes their eyesight; while the cluster bombs which actually explode create their own kind of high-velocity, jagged steel horror.