SYRIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


SYRIA

Jan 18 11:40

Let’s Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They Are

As the nation continued to reel from President Donald Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of US soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president’s withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

The reflexive hatred for Trump that dominates the national conversation is bad for the US, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This is not to say that the president isn’t a flawed figure; after all, I’ve spent the better part of two years critiquing most of his policies. Still, when the man demonstrates prudent judgment—as in his recent calls to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan—he should be applauded. But that’s unlikely to happen in a divided America, as long as an interventionist, bipartisan consensus runs the show in Washington.

Jan 18 11:17

Russia and Israel discuss ways to prevent troop friction in Syria

Officials of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have announced that they have held a series of meetings with a delegation of senior Russian army officers to discuss ways to improve relations between their troops and prevent friction. The IDF released the news via Twitter on Thursday, reported Anadolu. Although it was not specified, the meetings are believed to have taken place in Israel.

“The IDF Operations Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Yaniv Asor, presided over the meetings held by high-ranking military staff of the two armies,” said the statement. “They discussed the development and improvement of the friction prevention mechanism on the northern front, as well as the Israeli army activities against Iranian positions and Hezbollah militarisation in Syria.”

The IDF added that “understandings” have been reached. The two sides agreed to continue the dialogue.

Jan 18 10:50

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 18, 2019: SYRIAN MILITARY REINFORCES POSITIONS IN NORTHWESTERN HAMA

Units of the Tiger Forces have been deployed on a frontline near the militant-held town of Qalat al-Madiuq in northwestern Hama, several pro-government sources claimed on January 17 speculating that this is a sign of the upcoming offensive in the area.

However, sources in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) say that the claims of an immediate military operation in response the Idlib de-escalation zone are not accurate. A source in the SAA told SouthFront that many units of the Republican Guard, 1st Division, 3rd Division, 9th Division and the 100th Regiment will also be deployed in northwestern Hama soon.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are set to meet in Moscow on January 23. They will discuss the situation in Idlib among other issues. Some experts believe that the two leaders will discuss on a new mechanism to reinforce the failed demilitarized zone agreement during the meeting.

Jan 18 10:18

The US Institute of Peace … Promotes Endless Syrian War

By Tony Cartalucci

An “independent national institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible,” would be the last place you would expect to find calls for continued war.

Yet the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is just the place to go for exactly that...

Jan 17 18:17

WATCH: Rand Paul Spars With Brian Kilmeade Over Pulling Out Of Syria, Afghanistan

Senator Rand Paul appeared Thursday morning on Fox and Friends to discuss his meeting with President Trump on pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan.

Jan 17 13:58

Iran vows to will keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats

Iran will keep military forces in Syria, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, defying Israeli threats that they might be targeted if they do not leave the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israeli forces would continue to attack Iranians in Syria and warned them “to get out of there fast, because we will continue with our resolute policy”.

Rebuffing the threats, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Revolutionary Guards top commander, was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will keep all its military and revolutionary advisers and its weapons in Syria.”

Jan 17 12:07

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 17, 2019: 4 AMERICANS KILLED, 3 INJURED IN ISIS ATTACK IN MANBIJ

On January 16, a suicide bombing attack hit the center of Manbij in the province of Aleppo. According to initial reports, over 25 people were killed or injured in the attack, which also caused casualties among US service members. Minutes after the explosion, a coalition H-92 helicopter landed in Manbij for an evacuation operation.

Later the US military stressed that 2 US service members, a US Defense Department civilian employee and a contractor supporting the department were killed while “conducting a routine patrol” in the area. The names of those killed were not released immediately.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and revealed that it was carried out by a suicide bomber named “Abu Yasin al-Shami”. According to local sources, al-Shami blew himself up in front of a US-led coalition patrol outside the Prince Restaurant in the center of Manbij.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another reason to think the attack was a false-flag to justify cancelling the withdrawal from Syria.

Jan 17 04:36

US senator links Trump troop withdrawal to deadly ISIL attack

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Lindsay Graham, a staunch Trump ally, directly blamed Wednesday's attack in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on the president's decision to quickly pull US forces out of the war-torn country.

>>>

Jan 16 18:13

WAS MANBIJ ATTACK A FALSE FLAG TO IMPEDE SYRIA WITHDRAWAL?

Reportedly, four American soldiers were killed and three wounded in a suicide bombing in Syria’s northern flashpoint town of Manbij on Wednesday. Additionally, seven civilians were also killed and nine injured in the bombing, though some reports are mentioning a higher number of casualties.

Jan 16 12:57

The US Five-point ‘Non-Paper’ for Syria Delivered by Bolton to Turkey

US diplomats and military officials failed to present any specific details to their Turkish counterparts about Washington’s plans to withdraw its forces from northern Syria during National Security Adviser John Bolton‘s visit to Ankara on Tuesday, Middle East Eye has learned.

Turkish officials had been expecting Bolton and his entourage to bring with them draft plans for the withdrawal of about 2,000 soldiers deployed as part of the US-led campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants following US President Donald Trump‘s announcement last month of his intention to pull them out of Syria.

But the US delegation instead delivered what Turkish officials described as a “non-paper”, an unofficial diplomatic note listing a country’s position on certain matters which is open for discussion.

Jan 16 12:53

U.S. troops killed in Syria suicide attack claimed by ISIS

U.S. troops were among those killed in an attack in northern Syria Wednesday -- the same day that Vice President Mike Pence said ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the attack, "has been defeated."

The U.S.-led coalition in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve, said a tweet that "U.S. service members were killed during an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria today." A U.S. military official also confirmed to CBS News senior national defense correspondent David Martin reports by Kurdish media outlets that at least two Americans were among the dead in the city of Manbij, not far from the Turkish border, after an explosion hit a coalition convoy.

The U.S. military has not said how many Americans were among the bombing victims, but at least one report said as many as four U.S. service members were killed. If true, Martin notes that it would be the single largest loss of U.S. life in Syria since American forces were deployed there in 2015.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This feels like a false-flag attack to justify Trump cancelling the withdrawal.

Jan 16 12:47

Israeli Army Chief Admits to Arming Syrian Rebels in Golan Heights

While reports to that effect have been around for months, over the weekend, Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot finally confirmed that the Israeli military indeed provided weapons to Syrian rebels operating in Golan during the Syrian War.

This was the first official confirmation from the army chief, but back in September Israeli media were reporting that Israel has armed as many as 12 rebel factions. Those reports were quickly censored by the Israeli military, however.

The rebel factions have been confirming such support for awhile as well, saying they were given large amounts of money and aid as well. Syria confirmed capturing arms and munitions with Hebrew writing on them held by the rebels.

By late 2018, however, Syria was making major gains in this part of the country, ultimately forcing the Israeli-backed rebels to surrender, with some negotiating relocation to Idlib.

Jan 16 12:45

Barak slams Netanyahu for breaking Israel ambiguity on Syria

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak attacked the country's current leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, for breaking with Israel's ambiguity over its strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.

Barak's comments Monday came a day after Netanyahu's abrupt confession that Israel had struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria in recent years, including a weapons facility over the weekend.

Israel has generally refrained from commenting about its covert activities for fear of triggering a reaction and being drawn into the deadly fighting in neighboring Syria's civil war.

Barak, a former military chief, told Israel's Army Radio that "exposing it was completely unnecessary" and increased the chances of a deterioration.

Jan 16 12:44

Americans OK With Leaving Syria and Afghanistan

The long life of the Afghan war makes it hard to remember how popular it was when it began. As the fighting began, 80 percent of America supported it. Nobody in Congress except Rep. Barbara Lee (D–Calif.) was prescient enough to vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force and its open-ended-enough-to-attack-a-dozen-more-countries wording. Not until 2014 did a majority of Americans begin to regret that the war ever started.

Now some polls suggest it's nearly as unpopular as the wildly unpopular ill-fated war in Iraq.

Jan 16 12:34

4,500 Marines & F-35 Squadron on Standby as US "Mulls" Syrian Exit

"The withdrawal plan, whose details are classified, includes bringing hundreds of additional troops into Syria temporarily to facilitate the pullout

"The USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship is now in the region and could provide troops and equipment to support the withdrawal."

Jan 16 11:33

US-Led Coalition Reports on New Strikes in Syria, Iraq

In recent weeks, the US military has reduced the amount of information released in periodic strike reports from Syria and Iraq - a period in which about 2,000 US ground forces began preparations to withdraw from Syria.

Unlike past US-led coalition strike reports, Tuesday’s release contained, however, no details of the Syrian strikes. The report covered the period between 30 December and 6 January, the release said.

The US-led coalition concentrated airstrikes and coordinated fires on Syria’s middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq’s Anbar Province during the first week of the new year, while American backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed the town of al-Kashmah from the Daesh terror group, Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced in a press release on Tuesday.

Jan 16 11:11

The US Institute of Peace… Promotes Endless Syrian War

An “independent national institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible,” would be the last place you would expect to find calls for continued war.

Yet the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is just the place to go for exactly that.

In a recent article appearing on the USIP website titled, “What Does the U.S. Troop Withdrawal Mean for Syria?,” USIP’s senior adviser for Syria would claim the recently announced US troop withdrawal from Syria would “undermine U.S. interests in Syria and the broader region.”

Jan 16 10:55

Trump’s “Hail Mary” Becomes Bolton’s Nightmare

National Security Advisor John Bolton is making the rounds in the Middle East to try and salvage what’s left of the long-standing plan to balkanize Syria and overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in the wake of President Trump’s announced troop withdrawal.

What began as a political Hail Mary for Trump has morphed into a foreign policy quagmire for Bolton and the bloody-minded neoconservatives he is the tip of the spear for.

Bolton first met fellow war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu to announce their conditions under which US troops would leave Syria. The big sticking point was getting the Turks to guarantee the safety of the Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that have been the US proxy forces in securing that part of Syria east of the Euphrates river for future plans vis-à-vis Iraq and Iran.

Jan 16 10:09

A Major Regional Reset: The Syria Outcome Will Haunt Those Who Started This War

The Middle East is metamorphosing. New fault lines are emerging, yet Trump’s foreign policy ‘hawks’ are still trying to stage ‘old movies’ in a new ‘theatre’.
The ‘old movie’ is for the US to ‘stand up’ Sunni, Arab states, and lead them towards confronting ‘bad actor’ Iran. ‘Team Bolton’ is reverting back to the old 1996 Clean Break script – as if nothing has changed. State Department officials have been briefing that Secretary Pompeo’s address in Cairo on Thursday was “ slated to tell his audience (although he may not name the former president), that Obama misled the people of the Middle East about the true source of terrorism, including what contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. Pompeo will insist that Iran, a country Obama tried to engage, is the real terrorist culprit. The speech’s drafts also have Pompeo suggesting that Iran could learn from the Saudis about human rights, and the rule of law.”

Jan 16 10:08

Bolton’s Radical Reshaping Plan for Mideast Included “Mind Boggling” Strikes on Iran, Syria, and Iraq

In 2017, less than a year before he became national security advisor, John Bolton promised a gathering of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) that:

The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. … The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself. … And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here's your rifle...

Jan 16 10:07

Israel inflating Iran’s presence in Syria to cover its own failures, Tehran says

Israel has falsely inflated Iran’s presence in Syria to cover for its own failures in the region, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday.

Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Iran did not have any military bases or military presence in Syria, and was only in the country “at the request of the Syrian government for advisory mission and fighting the terrorists,” according to a report by Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

Jan 16 10:03

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 16, 2019: CHEMICAL ATTACK PREPARATIONS IN IDLIB DE-ESCALATION ZONE

Militants are preparing a new chemical attack in the Ma’aret al-Nu’man area in the province of Idlib, the Interfax news agency reported on January 15 citing an informed source.

According to the source, militants store toxic chemicals in several warehouses across Idlib province and the far northern part of Lattakia province.

The source stressed that Ajnad al-Caucasus, Jaish al-Izza and the Turkistan Islamic Party, all of which are linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, are preparing for a series of synchronized chemical attacks in the provinces of Lattakia, Idlib, Aleppo and Hama. According to the report, militants will use use shells and mortar mines as well as drones loaded with toxic materials.

The same report said that militants have shipped 500 liters of chemicals to the Abu al-Duhour and Helfaya areas in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Jan 16 10:01

Blackwater Founder Says US Troops In Syria Could Be Replaced By Private Contractors

Controversial founder and ex-CEO of the private security firm Blackwater, Erik Prince told Fox Business this week that private military contractors could replace the U.S. troops that are withdrawing from Syria.

Following a similar failed proposal Prince reportedly made through White House channels in 2017 to privatize the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan — which some contractor industry analysts have suggested Trump was "sympathetic" to — it appeared Prince was attempting to pitch both Washington and the American public in the Fox interview on the "alternate" plan. “The United States doesn’t have a long-term strategic obligation to stay in Syria. But, I also think it’s not a good idea to abandon our allies,” he told Fox Business.

Jan 16 09:34

REPORTS: US Soldiers Killed in Apparent ‘ISIS Bombing’ in Manbij, Syria

A bomb blast has struck near a US-led coalition patrol killing and injuring and killing civilian and US-led coaltion military personnel in Syria’s northern city of Manbij today, according to multiple witnesses.

According to reports, casualties are believed to include at least 16 people, including at least 2 US soldiers. The death of US soldiers was also confirmed by CBS News.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could be a false-flag to justify staying in Syria.

Jan 16 04:35

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh, not Americans: Iran’s Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the victory over the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria was the result of endeavors by the two nations themselves and that the United States played no role in defeating the outfit.

Foreign Minister Zarif made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with Iranian and Iraqi businesspeople as well as local officials in the Iraqi city of Karbala.

Zarif pointed to the fact that America has not succeed in combating terrorism in other parts of the world and said success in Iraq and Syria came about because the people of the two countries stood up, fought, and sacrificed lives. “That is why this victory has nothing to do with America...">>>

Jan 15 09:56

How Trump Thwarted Calculated Israeli Effort to Keep U.S. in Syria

The Pentagon was not the only party pressing Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria last year. It turns out the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington were working very hard to get the Trump administration to use America’s military presence there to support an Israeli campaign of airstrikes aimed at threatening war with Iran.

The Israeli strategy was aimed at dividing Russia from Iran and thus putting pressure on Tehran to withdraw its military personnel from Syria. A campaign by a pro-Israel think tank actually succeeded in getting such a policy ready for Trump’s approval last fall—although it was not supported by some Pentagon officials.

Jan 15 07:27

US Sends More Military Convoys to Eastern Syria to Reinforce Military Bases Despite Trump's Pullout Call

The US Army continued reinforcing military bases under its control in Eastern Syria despite US President Donald Trump's declared decision for a pullout of Syria.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) quoted informed sources as saying that a US military convoy comprising 100 military vehicles has entered Syria via the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

It noted that the US military convoy also contained military and logistic equipment and has been sent to the US-led coalition bases in Eastern Euphrates region.

The source reiterated that the fortification of the US military bases in Eastern Syria is still continuing after Trump's decision to pull out forces from Syria.

>>>

Jan 15 07:17

Erdogan, Trump consider setting up 'security zone' in Syria

Two leaders discuss situation in Syria over the phone amid growing tensions over the fate of US-allied Kurdish fighters.

The conversation on Monday came a day after Trump threatened on Twitter that he would "devastate" Turkey's economy if its forces attacked the US-backed Kurdish fighters, who helped Washington in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The war of words between the two NATO allies is the latest consequence of Trump's surprising decision last month to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, potentially leaving the Kurdish militia under threat as Ankara weighs a new offensive there.

>>>

Jan 15 07:16

US warns Turkey of economic 'devastation' if it hits Kurd forces

Threat by Trump draws response from Ankara telling Washington not to conflate Syrian Kurds with 'terrorist groups'.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to "devastate" Turkey's economy if it carries out a military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria, drawing a response from Ankara which warned Washington against "shadowing" the country's strategic partnership with "terrorist propaganda".

Trump's threat on Sunday came amid tensions between the United States and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) following his announcement last month that he plans to withdraw US forces from Syria.

"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions," Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to ISIL.

"Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds," he added, while pushing for the creation of a 30km "safe zone

>>>

US 'a highly unreliable' partner to Ankara: Turkish official

Jan 14 17:22

Canada Welcomes Al-Qaeda from Syria

Justin Trudeau invited 16 families of Al-Qaeda terrorists into Canada via Israel shortly after the U.S pulled funding for ISIS terrorist proxies on the Golan Border; The relocation was an overt response by Netanyahu over loss of this support from its main ally in the region. 10 more families are awaiting relocation. This occurred mere weeks after the White Helmates had kidnapped 44 Syrian children in preparation for another botched chemical false flag attack, according to the Syrian Foreign Ministry. Absolute treason.

Jan 14 12:38

Benjamin Netanyahu confirms Israel has carried out air strikes on an Iranian target in Syria

Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed today that Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria on Friday, in a rare public confirmation of such attacks.

The Israeli PM said the country successfully blew up an Iranian weapons storage facility at Syria's biggest airport.

'Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport,' Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting today.

Jan 14 12:32

Turkey sends more reinforcements to border with Syria’s Idlib

Turkey loaded tanks and armoured vehicles onto trucks on Saturday and dispatched the convoy to the Turkish province of Hatay on the Syrian border, the Demiroren and Reuters news agencies reported.

It was the second day of reinforcements of the Turkish military presence on the border near the northern Syrian province of Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

On Friday, a Turkish security source said the Turkish army had been rotating forces in and out of the region, and declined to say whether the latest movement was in preparation for an operation inside Idlib province itself.

US President Donald Trump announced last month that he had decided to withdraw US troops from Syria. The decision injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-long Syrian war and spurred a flurry of contacts over how a resulting security vacuum will be filled across northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are stationed.

Jan 14 12:09

Arab Nations Inch Toward Rehabilitating Syria’s Assad

He has survived eight years of war and billions of dollars in money and weapons aimed at toppling him. Now Syrian President Bashar Assad is poised to be readmitted to the fold of Arab nations, a feat once deemed unthinkable as he forcefully crushed the uprising against his family’s rule.

Gulf Arab nations, once the main backers of rebels trying to oust Assad, are lining up to reopen their embassies in Syria, worried about leaving the country at the heart of the Arab world to regional rivals Iran and Turkey and missing out on lucrative post-war reconstructive projects. Key border crossings with neighbors, shuttered for years by the war, have reopened, and Arab commercial airlines are reportedly considering resuming flights to Damascus.

Jan 14 11:20

Why Israel’s Airstrikes in Syria Are a Sign of Weakness, Not Strength

I will proceed from what seems to be an established fact (SANA confirmed) that on the night of January 11th Israel hit one depot at Damascus international airport. I.e., material damage. 12 projectiles were fired in total. Syrian air defences worked, and by all accounts they were as effective as they were in the previous Israeli bombing run (80% accuracy approx.).

Even if Israel had hit two warehouses or a local farm in addition, then it changes absolutely nothing. What the Syrian Army lost can be replaced with little risk; Iran has seemingly supplied the Syrian Army very well and continues to do so at will.

Jan 14 09:48

Israel determined to take further action against Iran in Syria - Israeli PM

Israel is prepared to take further action against Iranian targets in Syria to prevent Iran’s gaining a military stronghold in that country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

"Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses with Iranian weapons at the international airport in Damascus. The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, just as we promised," he said as quoted by his office.

"Overnight, the air force also attacked on the southern front against Hamas targets in Gaza and this morning we announced the exposure of an additional tunnel, a main tunnel, perhaps the most important, that crossed the border into our territory. We are thus approaching the completion of the goal we set at the outset of Operation Northern Shield - the eradication of Hezbollah's tunnels weapon," he said.

Jan 14 09:39

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

President Trump was wrong in asserting that the United States destroyed the Islamic State’s territorial statehood in a large part of Syria—Russia and its allies accomplished that—but he is right in proposing to withdraw some 2,000 American forces from that tragically war-ravaged country. The small American contingent serves no positive combat or strategic purpose unless it is to thwart the Russian-led peace negotiations now underway or to serve as a beachhead for a US war against Iran. Still worse, its presence represents a constant risk that American military personnel could be killed by Russian forces also operating in that relatively small area, thereby turning the new Cold War into a very hot conflict, even if inadvertently. Whether or not Trump understood this danger, his decision, if actually implemented—it is being fiercely resisted in Washington—will make US-Russian relations, and thus the world, somewhat safer.

Jan 14 09:27

Trump issues threat to 'decimate Turkey economically' if they attack the Kurds after asking his NATO ally to mop up ISIS in the wake of the controversial US pullout from Syria

President Trump warned Turkey on Sunday of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in the wake of the US troop pullout from Syria, while also urging the Kurds not to 'provoke' Ankara.

Trump took to Twitter to reveal some of his latest thoughts in the slow drip of information being released by his administration after his shocking December announcement to withdraw troops.

His top diplomat Mike Pompeo is on a whirlwind regional tour aimed at reassuring allies amid rising tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Pompeo also sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against IS, who fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them.

Jan 14 09:26

Syria: Assad to Rebuild Memorial Church of Armenian Genocide in Deir ez-Zor

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has pledged to rebuild with state funding the church-sanctuary of the Armenian martyrs located in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, which was devastated by the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh ) in September 2014, Fides News Agency reported January 11, 2019.

The intention to revive the shrine dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide from its rubble – refer Armenian sources such as Armenpress, and also channel Ishtar TV – was expressed by the Syrian President during a recent meeting with a delegation of Armenian businessmen visiting Syria, led by George Parseghian, President of the representative committee of Armenian Syrians in Armenia.

Jan 14 08:59

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 14, 2019: NETANYAHU CLAIMS “DEPOTS FULL OF IRANIAN WEAPONS” DESTROYED IN SYRIA

Early on January 12, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out an airstrike on Syria. According to reports, Israeli warplanes, coming from the direction of Galilee, fired several missiles at a depot in the Damascus International Airport. The Syrian Air Defense Forces reportedly intercepted at least 8 of them.

Following the airstrike, Israeli warplanes were seen flying at high speed and low altitude over the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.

On January 13, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the IAF had targeted several “Iranian depots full of Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport”.

This incident was the second Israeli attack on Syria within a few weeks. On December 25, Israeli warplanes targeted several military positions around the Syrian capital. While Israeli sources claimed that the positions were being used by Iranian forces only, the airstrikes injured several Syrian service members.

Jan 14 08:57

Why Are the Media So Eager To Declare Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Dead?

Virtually from the moment Donald Trump announced that he would be removing U.S. troops from Syria, corporate media have converged around a narrative that the president has been forced to walk back his decision. But while a withdrawal will undoubtedly prove more challenging than the president originally anticipated, this verdict simply does not reflect the facts on the ground.

When John Bolton spoke in Jerusalem earlier this month, leading news outlets reported that Trump’s national security adviser had declared that withdrawal would not be completed unless and until specific conditions had been met or objectives achieved. The New York Times announced that “Bolton Puts Conditions on Syria Withdrawal, Suggesting a Delay of Months or Years,” claiming that he “told reporters that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States.”

Jan 14 08:56

Pompeo: Syria Pullout Just a ‘Tactical Change’

In comments on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to downplay the US withdrawal from Syria, saying it was merely a “tactical change” that would neither deter the US war on ISIS not hurt US interests in the region.

These comments come amid Pompeo’s tour of the Middle East, during which he is both explaining the Syria withdrawal and pushing the idea of US hostility toward Iran in visits to the GCC member nations.

With the Pentagon’s narrative on Syria long presenting the US presence as a big part of picking fights with Iran, the pullout has raised concerns among hawks, and has left Pompeo and others to explain the policy abroad.

Jan 14 08:55

Trump Threatens to ‘Devastate Turkey Economically’ If They Attack Syrian Kurds

In a statement Sunday evening on Twitter, President Trump announced that he will establish a 20 mile “safe zone” between Turkey and the US-backed Syrian Kurds as part of the US pullout from Syria. He also threatened to “devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds.”

Trump appeared to downplay the pullout itself, saying the US would attack ISIS from existing nearby bases if they reform. This presumably refers to US bases being set up on the Iraqi side of the Syrian border.

Overtly threatening Turkey is a new tactic, after a month of puzzling policy proclamations. The evidence, early on, was that President Trump’s pullout was announced immediately after speaking with Turkey’s President Erdogan, amid Erdogan’s open talk of invading Syrian Kurdistan.

Jan 14 08:53

Outgoing IDF chief: Israel has struck ‘thousands’ of Iranian targets in Syria

The outgoing IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot on Friday said that Israel has carried out “thousands” of airstrikes against Iranian military targets in Syria in recent years.

In an interview to the New York Times ahead of his retirement next week, Eisenkot for the first time confirmed the scale of Israel’s ongoing military campaign to thwart Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

Jan 14 08:52

Israeli actions in Syria no different from those of IS: ministry

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the Israeli actions in Syria are no different from those of Islamic State (IS) militants, state news agency SANA reported.

The ministry made the remarks in its letters to the UN about the Israeli missile attack on Syrian military sites in the capital Damascus on Friday.

"These coward attacks and the deliberate repetition of such dangerous provocations indicate the reality of what Israel is doing, which doesn't differ from the actions of the IS and the al-Qaida Nusra Front," the ministry said.

Jan 13 12:57

Belgium Orders Repatriation of Syrian-Born Children of Daesh Fighter – Reports

Two children of an Islamist from Belgium who died fighting in Syria will be brought to the Western European country, in what is the first such decision, the Brussels Times said Saturday.

The Belgian immigration minister's office told the Mediahuis group that the Belgium's diplomatic mission in Turkey had been ordered to issue the girls with travel papers and identification documents.

The two girls, aged 2 and 4, were born in Syria and have been in Turkey for a year since their mother came there in late 2017 following the death of her husband, according to the Brussels Times newspaper.

Jan 13 12:52

Turkey deploys further military reinforcements to Syrian border

The Turkish military has sent new reinforcements to the country’s areas on the border with Syria’s militant-held province of Idlib as Ankara is preparing for a military operation against US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from the war-torn country.

Turkey's private Demiroren news agency reported that battle tanks and armored vehicles were loaded onto trucks on Saturday, and dispatched to the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

The development came on the same day that Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and top-brass military officials, namely Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander General Umit Dundar, in addition to Head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, held a meeting in Hatay and exchanged viewpoints on the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.

Jan 13 10:32

IF AMERICA STOPPED DESTROYING THE WORLD, THE BAD GUYS MIGHT WIN

What is the difference between the behavior of the United States, which remains far and away the single worst offender in foreign election meddling on the planet, and what Russia is accused of having done in 2016? According to a comment made by former CIA Director James Woolsey last year, it’s that the US interferes in foreign democracies “for a very good cause.”

Jan 13 09:05

TURKISH FORCES CONDUCT MILITARY EXERCISES ON SYRIA BORDER

Turkey has carried out military exercises at the border with Syria before an expected offensive on the northern city of Manbij, currently held by the United States-backed Kurdish fighters.

Jan 13 06:54

US Army Fortifies Military Bases in Raqqa & Aleppo

US Army Fortifies Military Bases in Raqqa, Aleppo Despite Trump's Call for Troops Pullout from Syria

(*as Trump talks the $#!^ , the deep state walks the walk . Isn't that convenient , I MEAN AWFUL ?)

Jan 12 11:55

Turkey Holds 'Trump Card' in Negotiations Over US Pull Out From Syria – Scholar

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan skipped a meeting with US National Security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday after calling Bolton's demands with respect to Turkish military activity in Syria "a serious mistake". Bolton had insisted that US forces would remain in Syria until Turkey agrees not to attack the Kurdish forces there.

Media reports suggested that the top adviser to US President Donald Trump had hoped to reach a consensus with Ankara over a roadmap for a US troop withdrawal. He has met with his Turkish counterpart, national security adviser Ibrahim Kalin, as well as the deputy defence and foreign ministers. Bolton reportedly presented a document listing the terms of US military pull out in a "deliberate, orderly, and timely manner".

Jan 12 11:54

Syria shoots downs 'most of Israeli missiles' fired towards Damascus: State media

Syrian air defenses have managed to destroy most of the missiles fired by Israeli warplanes toward the capital Damascus, Syrian state media say.

“The results of the aggression so far were limited to a strike on one of the warehouses at Damascus airport,” the Arab country’s SANA news agency reported, quoting an unnamed military source as saying.

The source further said that the aggression occurred at 11:15 p.m. local time on Friday, adding, “Eight enemy targets spotted in the skies of Damascus exploded.”

According to the military source, the Syrian air defenses were “immediately” engaged overnight after a number of Israeli fighter jets came “from the direction of the Galilee (and) fired several missiles towards the vicinity of Damascus.”

Jan 12 11:50

As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party’s Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties, but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington’s reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country’s most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump’s decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

Jan 12 11:50

Turkish, Russian defense ministers discuss situation in Syria's Idlib

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu ahead of the possible visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account on Wednesday.

Jan 12 10:39

DM: Iran Not to Leave Syria Alone until Final Victory

"The Syrian nation has fended off a major threat posed to the nation and the region by fighting against terrorism and we will accompany Syria until final victory as we have been standing beside the Syrian nation so far," General Hatami said in a meeting with Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Major General Mahmoud al-Shawa in Tehran on Monday.

He also underscored Tehran's preparedness to participate in reconstruction efforts in Syria.

General al-Shahwa, for his part, said that the Syrian government, nation and Armed Forces believe that their victories against the terrorists are indebted to Iran's supports.

Iran has played a military advisory role in Syria but has always denied deployment of forces in the country and other regional states.

Jan 12 10:38

REPORT: IDF STRIKES IRANIAN, HEZBOLLAH TARGETS NEAR DAMASCUS

According to a report in Lebanon, Israeli Air Force planes circled low in the south of the country and there were "sonic booms" over Tyre.

Jan 12 09:48

Turkey finishes construction of 764-km security wall on Syria border

Turkey has completed the construction of a 764-kilometer (475-mile) concrete wall along its border with Syria, according to a Turkish official on Saturday

TOKI, the state backed housing developer, built 564-kilometer (350-mile) section of the wall, while the governorates of the border provinces built 200 kilometers (124 miles), the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

Ankara had launched the construction project in 2015 to build an 826-km (513-mi) wall on the Syrian border, as part of Turkey's measures to increase border security and combat smuggling and illegal border crossings.

Jan 12 09:26

GCL demands $250 billion from ME

This demand is an insult meant to provoke Iran into staying in Syria which would thus prevent the US form leaving Syria. It failed. Bolton also tried to meet with Erdogan and Turkey rejected him. Fire John Bolton

Jan 12 09:21

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

A wise decision is greeted by denunciations, obstructionism, imperial thinking, and more Russia-bashing.

Jan 11 13:20

'We Don't Take Orders From Bolton': US Begins Withdrawing From Syria

The US has "begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria," possibly starting with the removal of "10 vehicles and 150 personnel from the Rmelan military base" in northeast Syria.

Jan 11 09:52

Erdogan To Trump: Leave Syria Now Before We Strike

Turkey has threatened to strike the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia if the United States delays its troop withdrawal from the country, according to The Guardian.

"If the [pullout] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision," said Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu, referring to their threat to launch a military operation in Kurdish controlled Syria.

Jan 11 09:51

US will expel every last Iranian boot from Syria, says Mike Pompeo

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has vowed the US and its allies will “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria as he sought to reassure Middle Eastern nations it was not withdrawing from the region despite Donald Trump’s call for troops to return home.

In a keynote speech delivered in Cairo, pitched as the centrepiece of his nine-country regional tour, Pompeo called for a common stand against Tehran. “It’s time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region,” he said.

Jan 11 09:31

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 11, 2019: 5 BRITISH SERVICEMEMBERS REPORTEDLY KILLED IN ISIS ATTACK

At least five British soldiers were killed in a rocket attack by ISIS in the village of al-Shaafah in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, al-Watan newspaper reported on January 9. Several more soldiers were reportedly injured in the incident. They were airlifted to a hospital in Hasakah.

If this were confirmed, this would be the second incident including casualties among British forces deployed in Syria in several days. On January 6, 2 British Special Forces soldiers were injured in an ISIS attack, also in Deir Ezzor province.

On January 7, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also recalled Washington’s contribution to the war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq by claiming that the US had eliminated 99% of ISIS’ Caliphate.

Jan 11 09:11

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

President Trump was wrong in asserting that the United States destroyed the Islamic State’s territorial statehood in a large part of Syria—Russia and its allies accomplished that—but he is right in proposing to withdraw some 2,000 American forces from that tragically war-ravaged country. The small American contingent serves no positive combat or strategic purpose unless it is to thwart the Russian-led peace negotiations now underway or to serve as a beachhead for a US war against Iran.

Jan 11 08:14

"We Don't Take Orders From Bolton": US Withdrawal From Syria Begins

Contrary to assurances from Trump's National Security Advisor, neocon John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who suggested earlier this week that US troops would remain in Syria for at least a little while longer, the Associated Press reported on Friday that the US has begun the process of removing the 2,000 soldiers based in northeastern Syria.

Citing information provided by activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the withdrawal officially began Thursday night local time. A convoy of about 10 armored vehicles and some trucks left the town of Rmeilan into drove into Iraq. Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, later confirmed that the US has started "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria."

Jan 10 10:14

Pompeo: US Troops to Withdraw From Syria, Continue Anti-Daesh Fight

On 19 December, US President Donald Trump announced victory over Daesh in Syria, adding that the fight against the terrorist group was the only reason the United States remained in Syria.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented at a joint press conference in Cairo on the US troops withdrawal from Syria and Washington's plans in the Middle East.

America is a "force of good" in the Middle East, Pompeo said. He also claimed that "when America retreats, chaos follows."

"For those who fret about the use of American power, remember: America has always been a liberating force, not an occupying power, in the Middle East. We've never dreamed of domination. Can you say the same of the Iranian regime?" the US secretary of state said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am amazed Pompeo didn't spontaneously combust on that last one!

Jan 10 09:38

The Syrian War Is Over – It Never Should Have Started

At the close of 2018, President Donald Trump announced that American troops were being withdrawn from Syria. By the open of 2019, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Senator Lindsey Graham were saying that there would be no withdrawal before a full defeat of the Islamic State and other objectives were achieved.

As usual, the tune being played by the White House is more cacophony than symphony, and no one knows when the troops will be withdrawn from Syria. The notes played have included everything from immediately, to a month, to several months to not until were done.

Jan 10 09:36

The shameful insubordination of John Bolton

"Don't upstage the boss" is a powerful maxim in Washington, and usually it applies to President Trump's White House. But National Security Adviser John Bolton doesn't seem to have gotten the memo.

"Bolton puts conditions on plan for withdrawal from Syria," reads one recent headline. "Contradicting Trump, Bolton says no withdrawal from Syria until ISIS destroyed, Kurds' safety guaranteed," blares another. "John Bolton says certain conditions must be met before U.S. withdraws from Syria," states a third.

Trump has been talking about U.S. troops leaving Syria for months. "We're coming out of Syria very soon," he said in March. "Let the other people take care of it now — very soon, very soon, we're coming out." By December, he'd lost his patience with those inside the government resistant to the move and abruptly announced a change in policy.

Jan 10 09:22

EXCLUSIVE: The US five-point 'non-paper' for Syria delivered by Bolton to Turkey

US officials failed to offer any specific details of an exit plan during John Bolton's visit to Ankara, instead presenting a 'non-paper' for discussion

Jan 10 09:02

With Golan at Stake, Netanyahu, Bolton Set Trump Straight on US Syria Withdrawal Plan

The state of Israel seems to share at least some of the responsibility for the latest shift of U.S. Syria policy — as National Security Adviser John Bolton announced on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s call to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria would now be “coordinated” with Israel, after meeting with top Israeli officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s main motivation in preventing a swift U.S. exit from Syria was also made explicit by Netanyahu, who openly stated on Twitter that Israel’s push to obtain sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights – which is internationally recognized as part of Syria – was the driving factor behind Israel’s recent efforts to dramatically slow down Trump’s plan for an “immediate” withdrawal of U.S. troops currently occupying Syrian territory illegally.

Jan 10 08:59

Republicans push recognition of Israeli annexation of Golan

As the Senate considers a bipartisan defense of the Israeli government from boycotts, senior Republicans are urging the Trump administration to recognize Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

As recognized by international law, the Golan Heights is Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967 along with the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from which Israel eventually withdrew.

After Israel claimed to annex the Golan Heights in 1981, the UN Security Council declared the move “null and void and without international legal effect.”

Jan 10 08:53

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 10, 2019: AL-QAEDA DEFEATS ANOTHER TURKISH-BACKED ‘OPPOSITION’ GROUP

On January 9, Ahrar al-Sham groups in northwestern Hama surrendered and dissolved themselves under pressure from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), according to local sources. Thus, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) imposed full control over the towns of al-Ankawi and Habit.

Ahrar al-Sham is the core of a Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups known as the National Front for Liberation (NFL). However, neirther other NFL factions nor Turkey intervened to support Ahrar al-Sham during the incident in northwestern Hama.

According to pro-opposition media, the defeated Ahrar al-Sham members will get an opportunity to withdraw to the region of Afrin after they hand over their heavy weapons to HTS.

The current focus of HTS attention is southern Idlib, in particular the town of Maarrat al-Nu’man, which is still in the hands of the NFL.

Jan 10 08:51

Erdogan to Bolton: “We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel” (Video)

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan issued a crushing rebuke against U.S. national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish non-aggression against the American backed Kurds in Syria.

Erdogan’s said on Monday that, “We [Turkey] cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel” adding that Bolton made a “serious mistake”…a statement that left many U.S. warmonger neocon’s stunned

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Turkish President Erdogan’s forceful shut down of war hawk John Bolton on Syria.

What does this mean for the NATO allies, for the Kurds who are now seeking to reconcile with Damascus, and for Russia, which appears to have firmly positioned its partners in Syria, to work towards a diplomatic solution to America’s failed regime change war.

Jan 09 14:45

ISIS ‘kills’ five UK soldiers in Syria rocket attack – report

Five British soldiers were killed in a rocket strike launched by Islamic State militants in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, state media reports, citing sources on the ground. It comes days after two UK troops were injured in fighting there.

Rockets launched by IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) hit the village of Al-Shaafah, in the Abu Kamal district of Deir ez-Zor province, the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan reported on Wednesday. The British soldiers were part of an international coalition operating in the area, which is the portion of Euphrates River valley near the Iraqi border where the militants still hold territory.

Several more soldiers were injured and airlifted to the coalition hospital in Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, according to Al-Watan.

If confirmed, this would be the second IS attack on British troops in Syria in days. On Sunday, two soldiers were reportedly injured and one member of the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was killed in an IS rocket attack.

Jan 09 11:46

Turkey ready for new military incursion into Syria: Turkish president

Turkey is determined to eliminate the “terror corridor” in northern Syria and “makes no distinction between terrorist groups,” President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said on Jan. 8, adding that Turkey’s preparations to eradicate ISIL in Syria’s north “together with other terrorist organizations” are underway.

Very soon, we will act on neutralizing terrorist groups in Syria, and we will take out other terror groups that might try to prevent us from doing this,” Erdo?an said, addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in parliament.

The president said Turkey would confront the YPG in the same way that it will take on ISIL. “For Turkey, there is no difference between the PKK, YPG, PYD or Daesh,” the president said, using the Arabic name for ISIL.

Jan 09 11:42

Turkey asks US to hand over military bases in Syria

Ankara has asked the United States to hand over 16 of its military bases in northern Syria, which were set up for the fight against ISIL, to Turkey or local authorities in the region after the U.S. withdraws, the Turkish presidential spokesperson said after discussions with U.S. officials.

“We are pleased with [President Donald] Trump’s decision for withdrawal [from Syria], but it needs to be clarified as to what kind of structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been deployed, the fate of American military bases and logistics centers. In this meeting we discussed these in detail,” presidential spokesperson ?brahim Kal?n said on Jan. 8.

Turkey also expects the U.S. to collect the arms delivered to the YPG back, said the spokesperson, noting that the U.S. authorities informed Turkey that they were conducting a work on the issue of arms.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That must have been in the context of Trump's announcement of a withdrawal. But since that is not happening, I imagine the US will tell Erdogan to get stuffed!

Jan 09 09:22

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 9, 2019: TURKEY WANTS US MILITARY BASES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

Ankara has asked the US to hand over 16 of its military bases in northern Syria to Turkey or to local authorities in the region after the U.S. withdraws, presidential spokesperson ?brahim Kal?n said on January 8 after discussions with U.S. officials.

“We are pleased with Trump’s decision for withdrawal [from Syria], but it needs to be clarified as to what kind of structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been deployed, the fate of American military bases and logistics centers. In this meeting we discussed these in detail,” Kal?n stressed.

He added that the US withdrawal should not allow “new opportunities for terrorist organizations or other elements, including the PYD/YPG.”

Earlier, Ankara repeatedly vowed that the US has to collect the weapons and equipment, which they had supplied to Kurdish armed groups in Syria. However, this demand as well as the transfer of US infrastructure to Turkey seems unrealistic.

Jan 09 09:10

Bases, Bases, Everywhere...

Within hours of President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, equipment at that base was already being inventoried for removal. And just like that, arguably the most important American garrison in Syria was (maybe) being struck from the Pentagon’s books — except, as it happens, al-Tanf was never actually on the Pentagon’s books. Opened in 2015and, until recently, home to hundreds of U.S. troops, it was one of the many military bases that exist somewhere between light and shadow, an acknowledged foreign outpost that somehow never actually made it onto the Pentagon’s official inventory of bases.

Jan 09 08:54

Trump’s Neocons Reverse His Syria Withdrawal Plan

I’m starting to wonder whether President Trump has any power over US foreign policy at all. Many people believe that the US president is just a figurehead, with actual foreign policy firmly in the hands of the deep state. Trump’s latest dramatic U-turn on pulling troops from Syria certainly feeds such theories.

Jan 09 08:45

Military approves 'conditions-based' Syria withdrawal plan

The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has approved a now-in-motion plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria that “is conditions-based” with no timeline, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) “has an approved framework for the withdrawal of forces from Syria, and is now engaged in executing that withdrawal,” Cmdr. Sean Robertson said in a statement.

“That framework is conditions-based and will not subject troop withdrawal to an arbitrary timeline. The framework will be influenced by a number of factors, including weather.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We are calling it the non-withdrawal withdrawal!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Jan 09 08:35

John Bolton: Trump’s Foreign Policy Architect or Saboteur?

On December 19, as Christmas Day was fast approaching, Donald Trump delivered an early holiday gift to American troops stationed in Syria: pretty soon they would be packing their bags and getting out. To illustrate the point, the showman-turned-president released a video, one minute and 19 seconds long, of him in front of the White House portico proclaiming that the withdrawal was imminent. “After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home,” Trump said.

Jan 09 08:34

Turkey Rejects New U.S. Syria Plan - Humiliates John Bolton

The YPG Kurds, which the U.S. uses in Syria as cannon fodder to fight the Islamic State, are the same organization as the PKK which acts as a terrorist group in Turkey. Turkey can not allow that group to exist on its border as an organized military force.

When Bolton landed in Turkey today he received a very cold welcome. The planned meeting with the Turkish President Erdogan did not take place. The meeting John Bolton, Joint Chief of Staff Joe Dunford and Syria envoy James Jeffrey held with the Turkish National Security Advisor Ibrahim Kalin was downgraded and took less than two hours. A planned joint press conference was canceled.

Jan 09 08:23

Republicans push recognition of Israeli annexation of Golan

As the Senate considers a bipartisan defense of the Israeli government from boycotts, senior Republicans are urging the Trump administration to recognize Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

As recognized by international law, the Golan Heights is Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967 along with the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from which Israel eventually withdrew.

After Israel claimed to annex the Golan Heights in 1981, the UN Security Council declared the move “null and void and without international legal effect.”

Jan 09 08:16

Bolton ignores Trump at Israel’s request

Jan 08 12:35

#Turkey demands the US vacate all 16 military bases in #Syria and collect all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurds, says #Erdogan's spox Ibrahim Kalin after meeting with US National Security advisor @AmbJohnBolton in Turkish capital.

Jan 08 10:50

FAKE NEWS OF TRUMP’S VOLTE-FACE ON SYRIA EXIT STRATEGY

Quoting Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was recently on a visit to Israel and told reporters in Jerusalem that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States, fake news have been circulating on the mainstream media that Trump has made a turnaround by delaying his planned Syria withdrawal.

Quoting the corporate media’s preferred, though highly partisan and dubious source of information on Syria, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Al-Jazeera’s sister news outlet The New Arab in particular is reporting [1] the Syrian Observatory’s purportedly “extensive network of on-ground activists and reporters” has seen American military convoys of hundreds of trucks and vehicles headed to the US military bases in Raqqa in eastern Syria, and Manbij and Tal Abyad in northern Syria from the Iraq border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bolton has just created two situations on the ground, from which the US military will never be able to extricate itself; the first is, that the Turks will "protect" the Kurdish troops who are there, a condition to which the Turks will never agree, and and second, that ISIS has been completely eliminated in Syria.

And the question for me is, who, actually, is running US foreign policy?!? Is it really President Trump, or is it Netanyahu, and his minions in DC, Bolton and Pompeo?!?

Very hard to tell at that moment.

Jan 08 10:43

TYPHOID JOHN SPREADS NEOCON INFECTION AT THE WHITE HOUSE

While the corporate media doubled down on the prospect of Trump’s wall emergency, the neocon infection inside the floundering Trump administration spread. John Bolton appointed one of his buddies from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to a key post.

Richard Goldberg is an ideal selection for a neocon-ized National Security Council, a forum created in 1947 as then President Truman went about building the national security state. The NSC drives US foreign policy—and with Bolton stomping around the White House unbound, that foreign policy is primarily about Israel and its enemies, although emphasis is shifting ominously toward confrontation with China and Russia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Right after the inauguration, I was somewhat hopeful that Trump would actually "drain the swamp"; unfortunately, as his term of office grinds into its third year of destruction of the US economy, through wildly punitive tariffs on Russia, Iran, and China, and threatening war against any country he doesn't particularly like, I am forced to realize that this hope was hope was an utter and complete delusion.

It is now clear to me, that President Trump is getting ready to start a major war in the Middle East, on Israel's behalf, and as to whether it will be against Iran; Syria, Lebanon, I cannot say at the moment.

The other large unknown will be, that it is very possible that should such a war come about, that Russia and China will join these countries in fighting the US and Israel.

Should this happen, and I think it will be well before Israel's election on 9 April, so that Netanyahu will have something "positive" to share with the Israel people going to the polls. It will most likely be well before the Israel's AG decides to prosecute Netanyahu for corruption. Israel's AG will announce decision on whether to indict Netanyahu next month

Counting from today, that gives Netanyahu and the US government a total of 50 days between now and the end of February, to "do something butch" in the Middle East, in order to push the impending announcement of the indictment off the top of news.

And It also pushes this action against these Middle East countries sooner, if the announcement is to be made in February; we on have 23 days left in January.

But the heavy pre-positioning of military assets in the region, in terms of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine troops, should be enough to concern any thinking American.

I don't know how the bookies in Vegas are placing odds of the resurrection of the draft in this country might be, but if I were a betting woman, I would bet them to be very high right now, as our troop force strength is relatively low, and our military recruitment from volunteers is dwindling.

Jan 08 09:26

Syrian Army Arrive in Northwestern Provinces to Repel Nusra Attacks - Reports

Additional forces of the Syrian army arrive in the provinces of Idlib, Aleppo and Hama and are ready to repel the attacks of the terrorists from the Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham group (former Jabhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia), the pro-government Syrian newspaper al-Watan reported on Monday, citing local sources.

"Syrian army forces from military units in the south and in the centre of the country arrive in the north and north-west of Hama Province and south-east of Idlib Province, while other military convoys move north and north-east of Aleppo province," local sources told the newspaper.

The sources added that the army in Aleppo and its neighbourhood is fully prepared "for any confrontation with Nusra, after it seized control all the points on the line of contact with the army."

Jan 08 09:20

Reasons To Believe In Trump's Syria Withdrawal Are Vanishing

On the first of April last year I published an article titled “Ignore The Words Of US Presidents. Watch Their Actions Instead.”, about Trump’s claim that his administration would be pulling troops out of Syria “very soon”. Watching the actions and ignoring the words is a personal policy I’ve found very useful in dealing with top government figures who understand that power has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with narrative control, and in that particular case the president’s claims were quickly memory holed after a highly suspicious chemical weapons allegation in Douma a few days later. The president’s words said the troops were leaving, and what actually happened was the US bombing the Syrian government for a second time in a year while troops remained where they were.

Jan 08 09:02

Hypocrisy Without Bounds: The Tragedy of ‘Liberal’ Foreign Policy

If anyone else were president, the "liberals" would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a "win" for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and lacks an end state. Afghanistan is an unwinnable war – America’s longest – and about to end in outright military defeat. Getting out now and salvaging so much national blood and treasure ought to be a progressive dream. There’s only one problem: Donald Trump. Specifically, that it was Trump who gave the order to begin the troop withdrawals.

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