After all the headlines about the supposed defeat of Isis, anyone who doesn’t believe a word of it may seem a bit of a spoilsport. But whenever I read that victory has been declared – whether it be of the Bush “mission accomplished” variety or the “last Isis stronghold about to fall” fantasy – I draw in my breath. Because you can make a safe bet that it’s not true.
Not just because the fighting around Baghouz is, in fact, still continuing outside the wrecked town. But because there are plenty of Isis fighters still under arms and ready to fight in the Syrian province of Idlib, along with their Hayat Tahrir al Sham, al-Nusra and al-Qaeda comrades – almost surrounded by Syrian government troops but with a narrow corridor in which they could escape to Turkey; always supposing that Sultan Erdogan will let them. There are Russian troop outposts inside these Islamist front lines, along with Turkish military forces but the tentative ceasefire which held for five months has become a lot more tenuous in the past few weeks.
Maybe it’s a failure of our institutional memory – or it’s just plain simpler to go along with the simplest story – but Idlib has for three years been the dumping ground of all Syria’s Islamist enemies, or at least the antagonists who didn’t surrender when they fled the big cities under Syrian and Russian bombardment.
Last September – though we seem to have forgotten this – Trump and the UN were warning of the impending “last battle” for Idlib, fearing – so they said – that the Syrians and Russians would use chemical weapons in their assault on Isis and its chums. Even the Syrian army announced the impending conflict, minus the chemicals, in a military website called “Dawn at Idlib”.
But I took a long trip around the Syrian front lines at Idlib, from the Turkish frontier then south, east and north again up to Aleppo and saw no tank convoys, no troop transporters, few Syrian helicopters, no supply trains and concluded – even as the warnings of final extinction continued – that this particular “last battle” was still a long way away. On the day I arrived south of Jisr al-Shughur, al-Nusra and Isis had fired a few mortars at Syrian army positions – the Syrians had fired a few shells back at them – but that was it.
A complicated truce agreement, involving both the Turks and the Russians, managed to forestall the carnage everyone predicted. There was much talk of the Isis, al-Nusra and al-Qaeda men – some of whom are Saudis – being shipped out by the Turks under a laissez passer to the wilds of Saudi Arabia for a little “re-education”. I always hoped this might be the woefully hot Empty Quarter where their superheated theology might be turned to a crisp.
But they are still in Idlib, happy no doubt to hear that the west thinks it has scored its “final victory” over Isis. The battle for Baghouz, of course, was always likely to pick up the headlines. The American air bombings and the presence of the friendly (and very brave) Kurds made this a more accessible – although still dangerous – story. And it switched attention away from other questions: like who invented the title “Syrian Democratic Forces” – which are in fact mostly Kurdish, many of whose members would prefer not to be thought of as Syrians, and whose ranks never enjoyed a democratic election in their lives.
If the Americans are in fact leaving at last, the Kurds are still going to be betrayed and left to the mercy of their enemies – be this Turkey or the Syrian regime (with whom the Kurds held some not very successful talks last year). A good time for the Americans, therefore, to call it a day outside Baghouz – a victorious one of course – and get the hell out. Hoping that the world will forget about Idlib.
But I don’t think it will. The Syrian war is not yet over – although that’s what the world (including, it seems, the Syrian government) believes. Idlib remains a land of tens of thousands of refugees as well as legions of fighters, a place of destitution, broken railways and blown-up motorways and Islamist groups who sometimes fight each other with more enthusiasm than they wish to fight the Syrian military.
But this will now be Russia’s chance to show it knows how to defeat Isis. There are contacts, of course, between Moscow and every group involved in the Syrian war. Isis fighters left Syrian cities over the past two years under Russian military protection. This could be repeated. Putin has allowed the Isis women and children to return home. There is still just a chance that Isis, Nusra/al-Qaeda and their comrades will be able to leave unharmed – although time suggests they may yet have to fight a real last battle for Idlib.
But even then, it might be a good idea to put a hold on our “victory” headlines.
Leader of France’s far-right National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment as it probes her posting of graphic images of Islamic State executions on social media. (Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)
“ISIS is THIS,” Le Pen wrote in an outraged response to the accusation, attaching pictures of a man being burned alive, another being run over by a tank, and the headless corpse of American journalist James Foley.
Marine Le Pen delivers her comeback speech in Frejus, France, on Sunday. She said today that she would skip the psychological tests ordered by a French court. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters)French law prohibits the dissemination of “violent messages that incite terrorism or … seriously harm human dignity.”
Le Pen, a former member of the European Parliament, was only put under formal investigation in March after that body voted to strip her of immunity as part of an unrelated fraud investigation. If convicted, she faces up to three years in jail and a fine of €75,000 ($113,000 Cdn).
Today, Le Pen reacted angrily to the court’s assessment order, posting a photo of the legal papers on her Twitter account and calling the decision “crazy.”
Later, speaking to reporters, she suggested that the evaluation is part of a wider attempt to silence her and the party, and said that she will skip the tests.
“I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me do it,” Le Pen said.
Legal experts were quick to point out that such an assessment is in fact required under the law to establish whether she suffers from any mental illness that might have diminished her capacity to understand what she was doing when she posted the images. The psychiatrist will also determine whether she poses a risk to herself or the public.
Other European populists were quick to leap to her defense.
“A court orders a psychiatric assessment for Marine Le Pen. Words fail me! Solidarity with her and with the French who love freedom!” said Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, in a statement.
The campaign posters of French presidential election candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron are seen in Henin-Beaumont, northern France, in April 2017. Macron resoundingly defeated Le Pen in the run-off election for France’s presidency. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)French banks, which had denied her requests for campaign loans, closed her personal and party accounts last fall. Le Pen denounced the moves as political “persecution.”
Le Pen and former U.S. President Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon give a joint press conference during the National Rally’s annual congress on March 10 in Lille, north of France. (Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)The strategy may be working.
Did Canadians get to vote on whether or not to bring potential terrorists or supporters of terrorists to Canada? No. Will Canadians get a say in where these potentially dangerous men will be settled? Highly unlikely.
Ninety-eight members of the White Helmets, and a few hundred of their families, were evacuated by Israel and allies to Jordan late in evening of July 21. They will seemingly be shipped off to a few Western nations for resettlement: Canada, the UK, and Germany. So far, Canada has pledged to take 50 White Helmets and around 200 family members.
Wrongly dubbed the “Syrian Civil Defense” (the actual Syrian Civil Defense has existed since 1953), the White Helmets narrative is flawed in every conceivable manner.
Packaged as neutral, heroic, volunteer rescuers, who have “saved 115,000 lives”, according to White Helmets leader Raed Al Saleh, they are in reality a massively Western-funded organization with salaried volunteers, and have no documentation of those 115,000 saved. They contain numerous members who have participated in or supported criminal acts in Syria, including torture, assassinations, beheading, and kidnapping of civilians, as well as inciting Western military intervention in Syria.
James LeMesurier, a former member of the British military who founded the White Helmets, did so in countries neighbouring Syria: in Turkey and Jordan. They have since worked solely in terrorist-held areas of Syria, and according to Syrian civilians in eastern Ghouta, they worked directly with, or were themselves, extremists of Jaysh al-Islam or other extremist groups. Civilians in east Aleppo said that White Helmets worked with al-Qaeda in Syria (the Nusra Front).
The fact that White Helmets centres are frequently, if not always, found near or next to headquarters of al-Qaeda and other terrorist factions further supports the accusations that they collaborate with terrorists—even with ISIS, as noted by ISIS hostage John Cantlie. He described the White helmets as an “ISIS fire brigade“.
White Helmets have also been at the scene of executions; filmed standing over dead Syrian soldiers; cheering on and cleaning up after an execution in Daraa Governorate, and disposing of the bodies of assassinated Syrian soldiers (including decapitated bodies) in Daraa Governorate.
White Helmets members were present to welcome Saudi terrorist Abdullah al-Muhaysini, leader of al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) who the US government designated a terrorist for “acting for or on behalf of” al-Nusra, and helping to finance them.
Over sixty White Helmets members have clear ties to terrorist and extremist groups, as shown by their own social media accounts and videos. In many of their own photos they hold weapons. Some White Helmets members have called for the murders of Shia villagers in Idlib governorate, and were instrumental in the massacre and injury of over 300 villagers, including 116 children in April 2017.
Not exactly neutral and members of the Daraa batch of White Helmets could very possibly be among those soon to be en route to Western nations.
Not Russian propaganda: Canadian, American, British journalists first exposed the White Helmets
In September 2014, independent Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar wrote about the New York City PR firm, Purpose Inc, and its propaganda role regarding the White Helmets. In March and April 2015, independent US journalist Rick Sterling, further scrutinized the White Helmets and related “humanitarian” groups serving to call for a no-fly-zone in Syria.
Since then, and for years now, concerned journalists and commentators have written or posed questions on the entity known as the White Helmets. In addition to the years-long investigations by Vanessa Beeley, commentators – from former British ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, award-winning US journalist Gareth Porter, award-winning journalist John Pilger, and even rock legend Roger Waters, have noted that the White Helmets are a dangerous and fraudulent group, or as Pilger put it, a propaganda construct.
I have already outlined this chronology of investigations, refuting corporate media claims that voices critical of the White Helmets stem from Russian influence. Yet, slavish supporters of the White Helmets, continue to demonize anyone posing critical and needed questions on this group, generally labelling such people as “Russian bots”, “influenced by Russia”, or some variation of that, in an attempt to insist only people under the influence of Russia have been critical of the White Helmets.
In the case of the Atlantic Council’s Ben Nimmo, his tweet on the lack of or scant mention by RT or Sputnik in 2014, 2015, to mid 2016 of the White Helmets supports my argument: those are precisely the times when the above-mentioned independent journalists were investigating the group.
White Helmets next to terrorists’ headquarters
In Syria, I saw two different White Helmets centres in close proximity to terrorists’ headquarters: one in eastern Aleppo, and one in Saqba, eastern Ghouta. The Saqba centre was two hundred metres from a factory extremists used to manufacture mortars and missiles, quite possibly those used to bomb civilians in Damascus. It contained a fire-truck stolen from the real Syrian Civil Defense, as well as ambulances and vehicles all torched when the White Helmets left Ghouta with terrorists of Jaysh al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, among others. They were all safely transported to Idlib as per the deal with the Syrian government.
The other White Helmets centre I saw was in the Ansari district of Aleppo’s east. Formerly a school (and now returned to this status), this centre was a half minute’s walk to the headquarters of al-Qaeda in Syria, as well as the Abu Amara Brigades, and other extremists.
Vanessa Beeley, who had previously been to Ansari, wrote a detailed article additionally noting that just 200 metres from that same White Helmets centre was Al Mashad Square, where 12-year-old Palestinian youth, Abdullah Issa, was savagely tortured and then slowly beheaded.
In the Old City, next to Aleppo’s citadel last May, I spoke with an older man who had remained in Aleppo during the terrorists’ rule. He told me: “The Civil Defence is supposed to rescue people, but they used to steal women’s earrings from their dead bodies. If she was wearing gold, they’d cut her hand to steal it. They are thieves, not rescuers. We saw them murdering people, many times.”
In Douma and Kafr Batna, I spoke with civilians who told me they saw Jaysh al-Islam extremists wearing White Helmets uniforms, and White Helmets working with Jaysh al-Islam. Another eastern Ghouta resident, Marwan Qreisheh, said the early White Helmets members who came to Ghouta weren’t Syrian, didn’t speak Arabic, and used their money to attract “volunteers”.
He spoke of them staging rescue scenes: “They’d start filming and claiming that SAA hit this area, it was in front of our eyes, and we knew it was all staged, but we didn’t dare to stand against them because they would kill us, they would empty their gun in you immediately.”
Who killed the civilians in White Helmets Douma videos?
It was the White Helmets who released (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) videos and photos alleging a chemical attack in Douma in April 2018. Yet, no civilian among the many I met in Douma believed there had been a chemical attack and medical staff didn’t see patients exposed to a chemical agent. More recently, the OPCW ruled out the use of a nerve agent used in Douma, finding only traces of “chlorinated organic chemicals”.
So, who and what killed the women and children shown in the White Helmets-distributed video from Douma? Did the White Helmets take part in their murder, or merely film their bodies (some arranged) after the fact?
Corporate media has diligently avoided asking a single honest question of the propaganda group they laud, and has for years attacked those of us who do ask questions and take testimonies of Syrian civilians on this matter.
Canada has been assisting the White Helmets for some years now, under the pretext of aiding humanitarians. While the full extent of Canadian financial support to the White Helmets has yet to be revealed, at least Can$7.5 million (US$5.7mn) was given to the group, helping with “the development and expansion of early warning air raid systems.”
Following the Israeli evacuation of White Helmets and their families from southern Syria, Global Affairs Canada released a statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, on the “courageous volunteers”, regurgitating the White Helmets “save the innocent and the wounded” unsubstantiated claim.
Unsubstantiated because, in spite of the fancy videos, neither the White Helmets nor its UK backers can provide a list of the supposed over 115,000 civilians rescued.
While the media has lauded Canada’s role in the evacuation of the White Helmets members, it’s worth noting the person, Robin Wettlaufer, behind this evacuation effort. Wettlaufer met with White Helmet leader Raed Saleh (once denied entry to the US due to his potential ties to extremists, according to Mark Toner) in late June, as the Syrian army was regaining territory in Daraa governorate.
In fact, she is the Special Representative to the Syrian Opposition, something noted in a December 2016 Global Affairs Canada video featuring Wettlaufer.
Given that Wettlaufer is thus Canada’s Representative to extremists in Syria, her key role in instigating the evacuation of the White Helmets is hardly surprising, let alone praise-worthy. But it should be worrying to Canadians. Did Canadians get to vote on whether or not to bring potential terrorists or supporters of terrorists to Canada? No. No vote in the Parliament, no public discussion. Will Canadians get a say in where these potentially dangerous men will be settled? No sign of that so far, and indeed highly unlikely.
Why did the Canadian government refuse the entry of 100 injured Palestinian children from Gaza in 2014, a truly humanitarian effort, and yet will fast-track the entry of potentially dangerous men with potential ties to terrorists?
As for the claims of danger to the White Helmets in southern Syria, their comrades in eastern Aleppo and in eastern Ghouta were safely transported out of those areas, along with their families and with extremists who refused to take amnesty, while Aleppo and eastern Ghouta had peace restored. The White Helmets are potential security threats to citizens in the Western nations planning on hosting them.
As citizens privy to all this information and all the questions on the White Helmets, we must demand our governments reverse this plan, or at least provide us with confirmation that the immigrants in question have been fully investigated and have not been involved in terrorist activities in Syria in any way.
Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.
“The planning and execution of this effort, in less than 24 hours, was both incredible and heroic. Israeli forces met absolutely no resistance from ISIS or al Qaeda but were, rather, greeted with full cooperation and open arms.”
It’s late July, 2018. In the Middle East, 800 men and their families are heading for Western Europe, Canada and the US, to be resettled as refugees. The true story behind their evacuation by Israel and their proposed “resettlement” as heroes is one of the most devious and frightening tales of our time.
Sources also tell us that among the 800 are top ISIS commanders who will soon be living in Germany, Britain, Canada and the United States, doing what terrorist commanders do, organizing cells and murdering innocent civilians, just like they did in Syria and Iraq and just like the White Helmets had done all along.
The White Helmets are an enigmatic group, lauded as volunteers and life savers, servant of mankind, they were organized by Britain’s MI6 as a black propaganda and anti-Assad organization funded by the governments of Britain, the US, Germany and others. They are not an NGO. There is nothing “non-governmental” about them.
Essentially, they are terrorist mercenaries.
With up to 30,000 opposition fighters inside Syria giving up arms and either rejoining Syrian society under the Damascus government in the last 12 months, or for some being resettled and perhaps continuing the fight, the 800-man force known as the White Helmets is unique.
Perhaps this is why they had to be “disemboweled” from Syria though an illegal military incursion that to the trained observer also demonstrates the curious close relationships between ISIS, al Qaeda and the Israeli Defense Forces, almost as if they were one in the same and the White Helmets were simply just another ISIS or al Qaeda organization.
It was the White Helmet’s fabricated stories of gas attacks and “barrel bombings” that drove Donald Trump to calling the elected Syrian leader “animal Assad” and launching multiple strikes on Syrian territory without UN authorization or NATO consensus.
It was the same Trump advisors and the same Donald Trump who now says he believes President Putin that, not so long ago, took the word of perhaps the sleaziest of all CIA terror operations, the White Helmets, a CIA he now says has always misled him, has always been useless, as justification for attacking Syria.
Why then did Trump attack Syria when the information he based his decision on was, by his own admission, “fake news” from his political enemies. Taking it one step further, not just fake but crazy as well, with Syria triumphant on the battle field. Syria had warned the world that the White Helmets were preparing a provocation in order to justify an American defense of ISIS against a Syria more united than ever under President Assad.
That news was everywhere, certainly across the international and alternative media that Trump is known to monitor nearly 20 hours a day on his smart phone. How did he miss it?
Trump and Putin
One thing the world now knows beyond a doubt is that Donald Trump believes Vladimir Putin. But if this is true, which we know it to be, then Trump’s actions regarding the White Helmets are bizarre and even criminal. Let us take a closer look.
On July 18, 2018, President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They asked that Israel send IDF units well into ISIS and al Qaeda held territory, into Syria, in violation of the 1974 cease fire agreement.
There, the IDF was to, in less than 4 hours, screen 800 adult males claiming to be “White Helmets,” along with their families, load same onto busses and drive them to CIA controlled training camps in Jordan about 50 miles south of the recently liberated Syria city of Daraa.
The planning and execution of this effort, in less than 24 hours, was both incredible and heroic. Israeli forces met absolutely no resistance from ISIS or al Qaeda but were, rather, greeted with full cooperation and open arms.
Let us remember that, only a week ago, American President Donald Trump met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Trump was effusive in his praise of Vladimir Putin, particularly in his trust of Putin and Trump’s belief that Vladimir Putin is an honest man.
This being the case, one can’t help but wonder why President Trump would ask Israel to rescue the White Helmets from the Syrian Arab Army. Moscow has stated for many months that the White Helmets are, in fact, a terrorist organization and has offered proof at both the United Nations and at The Hague backing its assertions.
In fact, the White Helmets, supposedly a civil defense NGO made up of Syrian volunteers, has long been exposed by journalists like Vanessa Beeley, Nahed al Husaini and Carla Ortiz as guilty of the murder of thousands of Syrian civilians through staged gas attacks and bombings.
The White Helmets, lauded by American leftist and Hollywood actor, George Clooney, have been cited in the media, particularly in Russia, Iran and Syria, but other nations as well, as among the most dangerous terrorists in the world.
Why then, as Trump has stated he values Putin’s opinion so much, and this is a case where Putin’s opinion is backed up by significant and irrefutable evidence, has Trump done something so stupid?
You see, it isn’t just that Trump and Trudeau asked Israel to send troops into Syria in violation of UN agreements and Syria’s sovereignty, a war crime in itself, but Trump and to a lesser extent for Trudeau, knowingly asked Israel to aid terrorists who are guilty of crimes against humanity.
It gets worse.
According to the German newspaper, Bild, the White Helmets, 800 so far, will be sent to Germany, Britain, Canada and the US. There is considerable evidence that this is an army of “800 little bin Ladens,” with many trained bomb makers, nearly all jihadists and most minimally need to be adjudicated as to their crimes against the Syrian people.
Additionally, one might well note that no screening process was employed whatsoever. We are certain that Israel simply loaded anyone who showed up onto a bus.
Let’s take a second and picture this. We have 800 families who traveled to an embarkation point deep inside the ISIS enclave in Southern Syria, an enclave shrinking by the minute.
ISIS fighters are all around, flags and guns, many carrying their head chopping swords, others with cameras and phones, recording and uploading events to their YouTube channels and Facebook accounts that are never cancelled no matter what kind of material they post.
Along side them are IDF units, in uniform, armed, standing side by side with ISIS fighters while dozens of busses are driven in from Jordan.
Does anyone find anything wrong about this picture? Do I have something wrong here?
How was this going to be sold to the public when these ISIS terrorists show up at the Toronto or Indianapolis airports and are rushed through customs and into their new lives, paid housing, free medical care for life, government checks in the mail, their children not seized, no danger of deportation and detention.
Does anyone find anything wrong with this picture as well?
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
The death toll in one of Pakistan’s bloodiest attacks that targeted an election campaign event continues to rise as the country prepares for general elections later this month.
The number of dead increased to 149 with 189 other people wounded in Mastung district in Balochistan province, senior police official Qaim Lashari told Al Jazeera on Sunday.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an election rally of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in the southwestern town of Drigarh, about 35km south of the provincial capital Quetta, on Friday afternoon.
Several of the wounded are still receiving medical treatment, provincial health official Mustafa Jamali said on Saturday.
(CE) On more than one occasion, Russian President Vladmir Putin has shared information that Western media won’t air. Two months ago he revealed that ISIS is funded by the West (you can watch that video below), and now he is making more noise at the G20 summit that’s currently taking place in Turkey, where he has supposedly shared intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues.
[During the summit] I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them.
He also voiced his concern regarding the illegal oil trade by IS, stating that he has seen photos taken from space and from aircraft that demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products.
I’d also like to mention that I am aware that RT News is sponsored by Russia, but the fact remains that Putin has said that Western nations are funding ISIS before.
At the summit he also revealed that the “motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon. “
Again, it’s not the first time Putin has stressed that the people who are going after ISIS and invading other countries (U.S. and their allies) are the very same people who funded and created ISIS in the first place.
And it’s not as crazy as it might sound. If we take 9/11, for example, you may be surprised to learn that approximately half the population of the United States does not believe the official story provided to them by their government. Many people think that 9/11 was an inside job, a ‘false flag’ terrorist attack enacted in order to justify the infiltration of Iraq for ulterior motives. And there is a tremendous amount of evidence to prove it.
This trend appears to continue with the recent attacks in Paris. A Canadian Economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Ottawa recently called them “9/11 French Style.” He argues that the global war on terrorism is based on fake premises, and that the Western world is going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported by the Western military alliance.
As you can see, Putin isn’t alone in his thoughts, and even some celebrities have been weighing in. Russell Brand is one, who touches on the topic on this video, and Steven Seagal is another, doing the same in this video.
That being said, when it comes to politics and the hidden hands that control this sphere, it is difficult to know what to believe, regardless of who is spreading the message. For all we know, this could all be part of one big, elaborate plan toward establishing a New World Order.
The world is waking up, and it’s not easy to come to grips with the fact that the version of reality being presented to you via your television might be completely false. If the so-called ‘terrorists’ we are going after are nothing but the creation of the same countries who are attacking them, what is really going on here? Why is it so hard to believe that Western media would be lying to us? Why do we instantly believe what mainstream media offers, without ever questioning it? Why do we experience such a harsh resistance to the simple questioning of these matters?
I did not delve into false flag terrorism with this article because we’ve written about it in detail in the articles below, so if you would like to learn more, feel free to check them out.
(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — On November 13, 2017, the BBC dropped a bombshell report that exposed how the U.S. cut a secret deal with “hundreds” of ISIS fighters and their families to leave the Syrian city of Raqqa under the “gaze of the U.S. and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.” The convoys reportedly included some of ISIS’ “most notorious” members, as well as its foreign fighters and tonnes of weapons and ammunition.
Almost a month later, Reuters reported that a high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces in Syria had revealed that the number of ISIS fighters given safe passage by the U.S.-led coalition was actually in the thousands, not hundreds. This account was seconded by a security official in Turkey despite the fact that Turkey and the Kurdish militia do not typically see eye to eye).
“Agreement was reached for the terrorists to leave, about 4,000 people, them and their families,” the defector said, as quoted by Reuters, adding that all but about 500 were fighters.
The defector also noted that the fighters were headed toward Deir ez-Zor, Syria’s most oil-rich region. The U.S. had been eager to bomb Deir ez-Zor for some time prior to the deal, and allowing ISIS safe passage to get there would merely give them the pretext to do so. In June of this year, regional outlet Al-Masdarreleased a video that appeared to show convoys of ISIS fighters leaving Raqqa, as well, though the media paid very little attention to this.
All of this begs the question: If the U.S. allowed 4,000 ISIS fighters to leave Raqqa, who on earth were they bombing during their brutal siege? Donald Trump’s illegal air campaign killed well over 1,800 civilians and brought the city to ruin — to the point that Russia accused the U.S. of wiping Raqqa “off the face of the earth.” The U.S. government knew ISIS was leaving the city safely but kept on bombing it into devastation, anyway.
Raqqa Secret Deal Barely Scratches the Surface
Now that we know the U.S. is amenable to granting ISIS fighters safe passage, ISIS’ ability to take over huge swaths of Iraq and Syria in the first place start to make a bit more sense. In June 2014, ISIS effortlessly took the strategic oil-rich cities of Mosul and Baiji and almost made it as far as Baghdad. The U.S. sat on its hands and did nothing the entire time, even as the militants took massive loads of American military equipment as spoils and brandished it all over social media. While ISIS was flaunting its activities untouched by the American military in Iraq, the U.S. was busy launching drone strikes in Pakistan, instead.
Why would the Obama administration prioritize air strikes in a country that overwhelmingly disapproves of them when it could have prevented ISIS from setting up a mini-state in Iraq at the same time?
Over the last few years, we have seen this similar pattern occur over and over again. When it came to Obama’s grand offensive to retake Mosul in 2016, reports also began emerging that the U.S. was granting safe passage for ISIS fighters to move from Mosul into Raqqa. Even if the U.S. hadn’t cut a formal deal with ISIS on this particular occasion, the reality on the ground was that the U.S. was allowing ISIS fighters to make their way into Syria from Mosul and doing little to stop them regardless. As Anti-Media documented at the time:
Why weren’t they striking these traveling ISIS fighters before they made it to Syria? When viewed in its recent historical context and with the most recent reports in mind, the answer to that question should be clear.
The U.S. Has Also Provided ISIS With Direct Air Support
The Syrian government and its allies are the most heavily engaged entities fighting ISIS inside Syria – not the U.S. military (or its allies). Yet the U.S. military has struck these pro-government forces directly multiple times over the last year, even when these troops have proven to be very effective against the jihadist group.
In September 2016, the U.S.-led coalition launched a barrage of airstrikes at Syrian government troops who were fending off the ISIS component of Deir ez-Zor at the time. Russia accused the U.S. coalition of providing air cover for ISIS because the terror group used the coalition strike to launch an offensive of their own. Over 60 Syrian soldiers died as a result of this illegal act of war, but no one was held accountable.
It has also been speculated that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Syria strike in April paved the way for an ISIS offensive, as well.
ISIS Took Advantage of U.S. Weapons Transfers
So far, we know that ISIS has received safe passage from the U.S. on at least one occasion and that the terror group has also received free air support on a number of other occasions. We also know the U.S. either directly or indirectly allowed ISIS to gain territory in the first place only to provide the pretext for a military intervention.
But wait, it gets even better. Just this month, a report conducted by the U.K.-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) group, which analyzed 40,000 items its investigators recovered along ISIS’ front lines between July 2014 and November 2017, found that the terror group was able to successfully arm itself by taking advantage of U.S. weapons transfers between Washington and its other allies in Syria. ISIS even garnered some of the more powerful anti-tank missiles through the CIA’s covert arms program.
“International weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces — in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone,” the report said.
The U.S. didn’t need to wait for an official report for this horrifying development to come to light. As far back as October 2012, the New York Times reported the following:
“[M]ost of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster…” [emphasis added]
Even if the U.S. had zero control over ISIS and the mayhem it has exacted over Iraq, Syria, and beyond — and was genuine in its bid to rid the world of its ideology and the horror the terror group has unleashed — there is one issue yet to be discussed: ISIS’ existence.
US Created Conditions for ISIS to Exist
ISIS evolved out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which only became a formidable fighting force after the U.S. invaded in 2003. This was in part due to the Bush administration’s decision to fire close to 400,000 servicemen in Iraq, simply because of their affiliation with Saddam Hussein’s secular Baathist party. Some of these disgruntled servicemen now hold senior ISIS positions and are responsible for the terror group’s success.
History clearly demonstrates that al-Qaeda only exists in the first place because the U.S. actively trained, funded, and armed the mujahideen in Afghanistan as a means of bogging the Soviet empire down into a quagmire. The Independent even ran a story on Osama bin Laden at the time, portraying him as a heroic freedom fighter and “anti-Soviet warrior.”
However, since 9/11, the U.S. made a specific point of making aiding and providing material support to al-Qaeda and its affiliated organizations a crime under U.S. law. Yet the U.S. has openly aided Syria’s al-Qaeda branch, as well as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, and now we have more than enough formal proof that the U.S. has knowingly continued a foreign policy strategy that essentially provided all manner of material support to ISIS, one of the most deadly terror groups in recent history, as well.
It’s time for someone to be held accountable. There is a case to be made against the U.S. for some very serious criminal behavior here, and if anyone is serious about defeating “radical Islamic terror,” they should start by launching a court action against the U.S. government for its die-hard support for terrorism in the Middle East and beyond.
“The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a verbal letter, via Russia, to the head of the US forces commander in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier ‘or the doors of hell will open up.’”
“My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it.”
According to reports, Russia has confirmed that Iran will stay in Syria as long as Syrian President Assad, who insists on liberating all of Syria without exception for the Americans, decides. Washington’s plan to occupy a corner of Syria and revive ISIS is dead in the water, as will be all US troops sacrificed to this purpose.
According to reports, CIA director Mike Pompeo sent a letter to Soleimani expressing his concern about Iran’s intention to attack American interests, declaring Washington “will hold Soleimani and Iran accountable for any attack.”
According to reports the CIA’s letter had no effect and was treated with total contempt:
“Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, a senior aid to the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei confirmed Pompeo’s attempt to send a letter but said ‘Soleimani refused to read it or to take it because he has nothing further to add.’
Sources in the area believe it is not unlikely that Kurdish troops – operating in al-Hasakah and who are faithful to the government of Damascus – are willing to be spearheaded against the US forces. Many of these troops remained loyal to Syria: they reject any occupation forces on its land or the partition of the country.”
There are references to 1983 events where hundreds of US Marines and French paratroopers were killed following double suicide attacks by Islamists in Beirut. As a consequence of these attacks, the American forces left in a rush. The future could well mirror this past event.
Possibly this is fake news.
If not, we must accept that the humiliation that the United States, its government and its peoples have suffered is the work of the Neoconservatives and their doctrine of American World Hegemony. It is the Neoconservatives who caused the US to be at war with Muslims for 16 years. It is the Neoconservatives acting through Obama and Hillary who brought America to humiliating defeat in Syria.
There are only a handful of these neoconservatives. Why do Americans tolerate them?
Why doesn’t Trump have them arrested? They are anti-American, pro-Israel to the core. The Neoconservatives are the worst enemy of Americans and of all mankind.
Russian general Konashenkov, whose Su-35 chased away the inferior US F-22 that was attempting to interfere with a Russian attack on ISIS said that any claims made by US military officials concerning the fact that there is “any part of the airspace in Syria that belongs to the US” are “puzzling.”
Konashenkov also said that “Syria is a sovereign state and a UN member and that means that there can be no US airspace ‘of its own.’ Unlike the Russian Air Force, the US-led coalition is operating in Syria without any legal basis.”
Will Washington realize that it has squandered its leadership in the Middle East and go home, or will Washington bring more humiliation upon America?
Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) operatives managed to infiltrate US military command centers and obtain documents allegedly proving collusion between Washington and ISIS terrorists in the region, a top Iranian commander claims.
The claim was made by IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh on Friday during a TV interview.
“We have documents showing the behavior of the Americans in Iraq and Syria. We know what the Americans did there; what they neglected and how they supported Daesh [Islamic State – IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” Press TV cited the commander as saying.
If the IRGC receives the green light to release the documents, it would bring more “scandals” for the US, he said.
It is not the first time a top Iranian official has accused the US of aiding terrorists in the region, claiming to have a solid proof of collusion.
Back in June, in the aftermath of attacks in Tehran killing 17 people, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mostafa Izadi accused the US of waging “proxy warfare in the region” through IS terrorists, which was a “new trick by the arrogant powers against the Islamic Republic.”
“We possess documents and information showing the direct supports by the US imperialism for this highly disgusting [IS] stream in the region, which has destroyed the Islamic countries and created a wave of massacres and clashes,” Izadi said.
Izadi’s accusations were backed by Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani, who claimed that “the United States has aligned itself with the ISIL in the region.” No evidence to support the accusations has been released so far.
A message came through from Syria on my mobile phone last week. “General Khadour kept his promise,” it read. I knew what it meant.
Five years ago, I met Mohamed Khadour, who was commanding a few Syrian soldiers in a small suburb of Aleppo, under fire from Islamist fighters in the east of the city. At the time, he showed me his map. He’d recapture these streets in 11 days, he said.
And then in July this year, I met Khadour again, far out in the east of the Syrian desert. He was, he said, going to enter the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor before the end of August. I reminded him, a trifle cruelly, that the last time he told me he’d recapture part of Aleppo in 11 days, it took the Syrian army more than four years to retake. That was long ago, he said. In those days, the army had not learned to fight in a guerrilla war. The army were trained to retake Golan and defend Damascus. But they had learned now.
Indeed they had. Out in the desert, Khadour said he was going to bomb the town of Sukhna – the Russians would do much of the bombing – and his Syrian troops would break through from there to Deir ez-Zor, which had been surrounded by Isis for three years with its encircled 80,000 civilians and 10,000 soldiers. Khadour said he’d reach Deir ez-Zor by 23 August. He turned out to be almost dead on target. Now he is heading towards the rest of Deir ez-Zor and then towards the Syrian-Iraqi border.
So it seems – after the capture of the city is complete and when Khadour is on the frontier, and now that Aleppo is totally in the hands of the regime and only Idlib province remains a dustbin of largely Islamist rebels (including al-Qaeda), many of whom were allowed to travel there in return for surrendering bits of Syrian cities – that what has always been unthinkable in the West is now happening: Bashar al-Assad’s forces look to be winning the war.
And not just “look like”. Hassan “Tiger” Saleh, Syria’s favourite army officer – referred to twice by the Russian defence minister – broke his way into the compound of the 137th Syrian army brigade at Deir ez-Zor and relieved the soldiers there, while Khadour, his commanding officer (they are personal friends), is set to liberate the airbase in the city.
How many remember the day when the Americans bombed the Syrian soldiers close to that airbase and killed more than 60 of them, allowing Isis to cut it off from the rest of the city? The Syrians have never believed the American claim that they made a “mistake”. It was only the Russians who told the US air force they were bombing Syrian forces.
The Brits already seem to have got the message. They slyly withdrew their military trainers last week – the men intended to prepare David Cameron’s mythical “70,000 rebels” who were supposedly going to overthrow the Assad government. Even the UN’s report that the regime killed more than 80 civilians in a gas attack this summer got little play from the European politicians who used to play up war crimes in Syria and supported Donald Trump’s pointless Cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase.
And what of Israel? Here is a nation which truly counted on the end of Assad, going so far as to bomb his forces and those of his Hezbollah and Iranian allies while giving medical help to Islamist fighters from Syria in Israeli cities. No wonder Benjamin Netanyahu was so “agitated” and “emotional” – Russian descriptions – when he met Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Iran was Russia’s “strategic ally” in the region, Putin said. Israel was an “important partner” of Russia. Which was not quite the same – and not what Netanyahu wanted to hear.
The repeated victories of the Syrians mean that the Syrian army is among the most “battle-hardened” in the region, its soldiers used to fighting for their lives and now trained in coordinating troops and intelligence from a single command headquarters. As former St Antony’s College associate scholar Sharmine Narwani put it this week, this alliance now has political cover from two permanent UN Security Council members, Russia and China.
So what will Israel do? Netanyahu has been so obsessed with Iran’s nuclear programme that he clearly never imagined – in company with Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump, Cameron, May, Hollande and other members of the political elites in the West – that Assad might win, and that a more powerful Iraqi army might also emerge from the rubble of Mosul.
Netanyahu still supports the Kurds, but neither Syria nor Turkey nor Iran nor Iraq have any interest in supporting Kurdish national aspirations – despite the military use by America of Kurdish militiamen in the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (it being largely Kurdish rather than “Syrian”, not “democratic” at all and scarcely a “force” without US air power).
So while we’re all waiting for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to start World War Three, we’ve not spotted that the military map of the Middle East has substantially, bloodily changed. It will be years before Syria and Iraq (and Yemen) are rebuilt, but the Israelis, so used to calling on Washington for help, may have to go back to Putin again to clear up the mess they’re in.
Those in the Israeli political right who claimed that Assad was a greater danger than Isis may have to think again – not least because Assad may be the man they’ll have to talk to if they want to keep their northern border safe.
It’ s always about oil, isn’t? This is plain attempted theft, thuggery of the worse kind:
“…the whole Syrian war may once again be a war fought over natural resources. The proposed natural gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey was reportedly rejected by Assad who preferred to support Russia’s financial interests of providing natural gas to Europe, over its own interests in allowing the pipeline to cross its territory.
Israel bombed the Syrian Army — the ones who’ve been defeating ISIS — and killed their soldiers. Whose side are they on?
Israel has officially admitted striking targets inside Syria on Thursday. For the first time since the conflict began, the State of Israel has targeted Syria with air strikes. The attack came just as the Syrian government declared a major victory against ISIS.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in a radio interview, reportedly said of the attack, “We will do everything to prevent the existence of a Shiite corridor from Iran to Damascus,” adding [Israel isn’t], “looking for adventures, and we don’t want to be dragged into this fight or another.” Furthermore, Lieberman said, “We are determined to prevent our enemies from harming or even creating the possibility of harming the security of Israeli citizens.”
According to ABC News, “Thursday’s air raid was seen as a message to both Russia and Iran that Israel can strike anywhere in Syria. It was also a rare instance of Israel striking a Syrian government facility rather than an arms shipment and harked back to an Israeli airstrike that destroyed a suspected, partially constructed nuclear reactor in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour exactly 10 years ago.”
The factory was reportedly being used by Hezbollah to create surface to surface missiles, presumably the same type used to reign terror into Israel in 2006. “Yaakov Amidror, Israel’s former national security adviser and a former general, said the strike targeted a weapons development and manufacturing site that was producing arms for Hezbollah,” wrote ABC News adding, “Former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin wrote on Twitter that the facility produces precision missiles, chemical weapons and barrel bombs.”
Syria disputes those assertions and called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel’s attack on Syria. They claim it wasn’t Hezbollah who was killed but two of their own soldiers. “At 02:42 a.m. on Thursday September, 7th, 2017 , the Israeli warplanes targeted one of the Syrian military positions near Misyaf in Hama province with several missiles, killing two army personnel and causing material damage to the site,” according to a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General written by Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry.
The Ministry added that the new Israeli attack aims at raising the morale of its agents represented by the terrorist groups which are carrying out its aggressive agenda
The state-run news agency also claims the air missile attacks were carried out:
in response to the great achievements made by the Syrian Arab army and its allies in their war against terrorism, the last of which is breaking the 3-year ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor city.
SANA also claims it isn’t the first time Israel has attacked them and blames the UN and Israel’s allies of supporting global terrorism:
The repeated Israeli attacks have become systematic behavior with the aim of protecting Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS terrorists, said the ministry, noting that it is unacceptable that the UNSC has not taken decisive measures to put an end to such flagrant attacks. It concluded that any attack against the Syrian Arab army forms a direct support to terrorism, taking into account that the Syrian Arab army is fighting terrorism on behalf of the entire world. The Ministry called upon the UNSC and countries which have an influence on the Israeli entity to immediately condemn those attacks and halt them in order to defend security and stability and protect the lives of people all around the world.
Ironically, a Geo-political analyst who goes by the name Partisangirl on Twitter, predicted the attack on Syria by Israel one week ago. She tweeted her prediction and a link to her previous assertion Israel would use a false flag event (April gassing in this case) to launch an attack into Syria.
Hezbollah, one of Israel’s mortal enemies, has been fighting with the Assad regime to drive back the Islamic State and opposition fighters who had taken control of large swaths of the country in its 7-year war with extremists. Those extremists are considered terrorists by Assad and his government, yet counted as freedom fighters by the U.S. government who supports them.
We know the U.S. government supports terrorists because two of the nation’s congressmen attempted to halt the government’s military agenda in Syria by introducing legislation which could have put a stop to funding of financial and material support to extremist groups. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rand Paul (R-KY) both introduced legislation to Congress in March called the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” a measure which quickly aroused the suspicions of those who’ve maintained all along the U.S. was fighting a proxy war using terrorists against Assad.
Thursday’s attack on Syria came amid Israel’s largest military drill in twenty years, according to Al Jazeera. The 10-day drill which started earlier in the week is being held along Lebanon’s border, the same area where the 2006 Hezbollah war took place. The attack on Syria and the massive military exercises along Lebanon’s border has led many to question if there will be an all out war between Hezbollah and Israel. Kassem Kassir, a Lebanon-based journalist with close ties to Hezbollah, told Al Jazeera:
Based on the information that we have, I think it is improbable that a war would break out, even though there have been several limited attacks by both parties. However, Israel could surprise us with war in the moment we least expect it.
Putting it all into perspective, Assad is working with the Russians, Iranians, and Hezbollah (Lebanese-based fighters) to secure and restore his once prosperous country to manageable levels of peace, security and stability. They’re all fighting Islamic State, and other U.S. backed opposition groups identified by the United States as “moderate rebels.” The Syrian government appears to now be winning the war and turning the tide against the Islamic State. Just this week, government forces broke through the the 3-year-long siege of Deir Ezzor, a major city in Syria’s Eastern province.
The besieged Brigade 137 airbase was liberated, along with its soldiers, and reunited with fellow comrades who brought 1,000 tons of food, medicine, and educational materials with them for the 70,000 residents who were being held hostage by ISIS. According to the Independent, ISIS is so desperate to replace their human losses they’re calling on women to step up and become front-line fighters.
As TFTP reported, the whole Syrian war may once again be a war fought over natural resources. The proposed natural gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey was reportedly rejected by Assad who prefered to support Russia’s financial interests of providing natural gas to Europe, over its own interests in allowing the pipeline to cross its territory.
After urging its supporters in the west to turn cars into weapons, guidance that inspired terror attacks in the UK, Spain and France, ISIS is now calling for sympathizers to poison the food in US supermarkets with cyanide, according to SITE.
In recent days, channels associated with the terrorist army have posted calls for attacks on Europe, Russia and the United States to mark the occasion of the Islamic “Sacrifice Feast” Eid al Adha. In the third part of an English-language series on jihad, IS advised would-be attackers to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison. According to Spiesa, the organization has tested these methods on prisons, causing horrifically painful deaths.
“The Islamic State group used prisoners as “human guinea pigs,” carrying out chemical weapons experiments in order to plan for attacks against the West, documents found in Mosul have revealed. The papers detailing the tests, which led to the agonizing deaths of prisoners, were discovered at Mosul University in January when it was recaptured by Iraqi special forces. The documents verified by United States and British forces were detailed by The Times in a report published Saturday.
Prisoners had their food and water contaminated by the sprinkling of chemicals found in easily accessible pesticides. The US and Britain now fear that the same methods could be used on a larger scale to contaminate food supplies in the West.”
Aside from the obvious death toll, we imagine that a terror attack in an American grocery store would annihilate billions in grocery stock market cap, adding to the industry’s Whole Foods Market-inspired woes. Investors who once saw grocers as an oasis in the troubled retail sector are increasingly balking now that Amazon has promised to use sensors and automation to save on staffing costs and undercut rivals on pricing. And the terror threats won’t help.
In other Islamic State news, a convoy of 17 buses carrying Islamic State terrorists and their families has been stranded in the Syrian desert since Thursday as the US, Russia, and Syria debate its fate: attack the convoy or allow it to pass?
In an unusual deal, the convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families was allowed to exit their contested stronghold along the Syrian-Lebanese border under the watch of the Lebanese and Syrian armies and Hezbollah after being defeated. As first announced by Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in a speech Monday night, the deal involved the transportation of 26 wounded and 308 ISIS fighters, along with 331 civilian family members via buses and ambulances to Syria’s eastern province.
The images of the convey of terrorists helplessly stranded in the desert is perhaps the biggest blow to their propaganda.
At the same time, the group is struggling for relevance with a resurgent Al Qaeda, which is encouraging supporters to sabotage trains and other public infrastructure in the US – specifically the New York City subway.
Barcelona, 17 August, 5 PM – a white van plows with 70 km/h into a mass of pedestrians, many of them tourists, on the famous Las Ramblas, in the heart of Barcelona. The death toll, 13 plus more than 100 injured. In an adjacent event, the police kill one alleged perpetrator. The main suspect flees and is still at large. Or is he? – Maybe he has already been killed.
All the recent truck killings were carried out by white vans. Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But importantly ISIS has already claimed responsibility, through their news agency Amaq, so say the presstitute media. Does anybody other than the mainstream media check? – Probably not. Doesn’t matter. When ISIS claims responsibilities, it puts hearts and minds at ease. The culprit has been found. It’s always the bloody Islamists-jihadists. We can rest in peace. And life goes on.
Indeed, life must go on and being prepared for more and increasing terror attacks is what the Mayor of London and Mr. Macron, the novice French President, already predicted. They must know a thing or two we don’t. OK, let’s brace ourselves. Much else we can’t do anyway – or can we?
The French head of the conservative Republican Party, François Fillon, a losing contender of the recent Presidential elections, said with regards to the French tourists who died in the Barcelona attack: “We must assume our responsibility…” referring to the fact that he was not elected President – as he, Monsieur Fillon, would have done away with this Islamist terror. How low-low can you sink? There are no words, no comments.
Fortunately, the alleged chief perpetrator leaves, as usual and conveniently, an ID behind in the cabin of the white van. So, he can be traced to Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Morocco. In a related event, in a small town, Alcanar, some 250 km south of Barcelona, where on Wednesday night – well before the deadly Ramblas run, a massive explosion took place in a residence, leaving one person dead and 7 insured. One person was arrested by police. One of the injured persons was suspected to be the driver of the white Rambla van.
In the early morning hours of Friday, hours after the Barcelona van-ram in the beach town of Cambrils, some 120 km south of Barcelona, another van runs a police barricade, attempting to embark on a similar terror attack against a tourist-packed pedestrian strip. Apparently one pedestrian was killed. The police however, so the ‘news’, killed all five alleged terrorists in the van. The police now say they suspect one of them was the driver of the white van that rammed the Rambla. Dead men can’t talk.
All has – sadly but predictably – the putrefied smell of another false flag. And the ‘system’, the deep-deep dark state, again, gets away with it.
The mix of information, is seemingly incoherent and purposely very confusing. Connections must be fabricated. Let chaos reign. Keep people confused. Keep them in the belief that police are on top of it and on the guard. You people must not think. Indeed, shopping, according to RT is almost back to normal. There is a candle vigil going on in plain daylight – and a bit of a somber ambiance – and a crowd is holding an anti-islamisation rally in the center of Barcelona. All the while the Rambla is overflowing with tourists as usual. That’s the way it should be. Shopping is first. Put police in charge. They will protect us henceforth. In case they can’t handle it, the military are right at hand.
In the meantime – and foremost – and immediately after the horror massacre, messages of condolences poured in from such illustrious personalities, like Theresa May, Madame Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Sweden’s PM Stefan Löfven, from Belgium, Denmark…. Sorrow, no end.
Let’s not forget, in the last year the Ram-Truck-Terror, now a convenient tool of horror, fear and killing, has hit Nice, France – 14 July 2016, Promenade des Anglais, 86 killed, almost 500 injured; Berlin, 19 December 2016, Christmas Market, 12 people dead, 56 injured; England twice, 22 March 2017, Westminster Bridge, 5 dead, more than 50 injured; London Bridge, June 2017, 7 dead; Stockholm, 8 April 2017, the city’s busiest shopping street – 4 died, 15 injured. And now Barcelona Spain.
The condolences of these leaders sound hollow and so hypocritical because they, the very leaders, are at the heart of the problem. If not the direct instigators of this simply patterned string of terror attacks, they are utterly complicit, allowing the strings being pulled on their secret services by order of the Master Global Deep State, whose goal it is to subdue Europe, to convert her into a police – military state, chaos, possibly civil war. A civil war not as bad as to curtail essential consumption. But civil strife all the same. Give corporate finance enough room to escalate their debt and profit spiral, but leave the populace poor enough to produce a Europe that is devoid of thinking; no time to reflect, no time to protest – as people will struggle for their sheer survival.
You don’t believe it? Look at Greece and elsewhere, what’s going on around you. Militarization slow motion. Macron is fully committed to it – and doesn’t shy from saying so. The French have understood, and Macron’s popularity has sunk from 66% after the “election” to less than 35% today. Never mind. He is there to stay for 5 years. The French Constitution says so. A (people’s) miracle would have to happen to remove him.
On another occasion, I have mentioned the sophisticated hundreds of millions of euros worth ghost town being built in a German military camp in Saxony-Althaus – for the very purpose of training urban warfare – just in case, you and your fellow protesters, when you can’t take it anymore, you may take to the streets and go on the barricades – that’s when the urban trained forces of power come in to oppress you, even kill you, if necessary. What you saw in Hamburg at the G20 Meeting in early July was just a benign precursor of what’s to come.
Yes, that’s what’s expecting us Europeans – the US is already there, they are always a few notches ahead of us, they are doing the trial run for us. – Barcelona is just a little stone in the mosaic, in the Big Picture of “Full Spectrum Dominance” – the ultimate goal of the PNAC (Plan for a new American Century) – the Washington’s and the Deep-Dark One-Eyed State’s Bible, written and periodically updated by the ultimate One-Eyed Anglo-Zionists on top of the echelon. We are almost there.
Why now Spain? – Spain has been spared of major terror attacks since the 11-M (11 March 2004) attack, when a few explosions at Madrid’s Atocha train station killed 192 people and injured over 2000, three days ahead of Presidential elections. This had nothing to do with Jihadism. Though the terror was immediately blamed on Al Qaeda, no proof was ever found. It was the work of the right-wing government under PP (Partido Popular) in power at the time, blaming the Socialist Party (PSOE), hoping to defeat it. It backfired. The socialists won and stayed in power for two terms, a total of 8 years. But in the second term neoliberal might descended also on the socialists in Spain, as it did and does everywhere in Europe. The Socialists became and still are to this day, traitors to the people.
Today, Spain, with a smooth Parliamentary coup in 2016 that went almost unnoticed, has quietly slipped back to the neoliberal Rajoy Government. So, Spain is supposed to be safe for the system. It also followed the strict rules of the IMF, today reaching 100% debt to GDP, up from about 66% before the neoliberal manufactured crisis hit Europe and the western world in 2007 / 2008.
That’s exactly what the system wants. Spain is ready for another economic collapse, orchestrated in connivance with her leadership. Ready for another round of rent taking – more privatization, pension and base salary cuts – the usual. Again, look at Greece and you see the pattern. Wall Street’s appetite is never satisfied. It’s the fraudulent dollar (and euro) economy we are enslaved to that makes this human tragedy possible – and people don’t seem to even notice who and what is behind the planned misery.
Spain is on track for further ‘milking’. So, why more suffering now? – Spain is an important NATO country with three naval and military bases. The majority of the population hates NATO, would like to get rid of it. What better way of convincing the people that the forces of NATO are useful defenders against Islamist attacks. Yes, weak and with fear you accept (almost) anything. Actually, you call for your hangman to protect you – in fact, it’s the collective Stockholm syndrome.
Therefore, let’s not get sidetracked by the hollow and hypocritical words of sorrow of the chief vassal-leaders (sic) of our three most powerful European countries which are meant to lead the way for the people of the European Continent to become gradually but surely enslaved into mere hapless and powerless serfs, deprived of civil and human rights. We are well on the way there. Have you noticed?
It’s called Fascism with a smile. It’s a slow-moving soft but deadly fascism that fascinates you at every corner, pulling you deeper and deeper into the hole of no return. It’s the neoliberal fascism, that has abrogated and done away with every law, every regulation that may have protected you and your hard-earned savings and public assets; it conveyed everything to the market. Even your pensions and your saving. They are no longer yours. The market decides. Don’t believe it? – Just look at Greece. – “Hasn’t happen yet to me” – Well it will, I guarantee it, if you don’t take over your nation and make her again YOUR sovereign country. Act rather sooner than later. Time is running out.
Naturally, the situation will become unbearable to the point where you can’t take it anymore, and you will want to take to the street. It’ll be too late. Urban warfare will be ready against you.
Fascism with a smile has brought you to the point where there is no going back. It’s a new fascism. It’s not Hitler’s fascism. It’s soft, sophisticated and deadly, if you oppose it. You are manipulated by a blue-managed matrix, encircled by police and military, ready to fire – but you will be fine and get fed as long as you nod, as in agreement.
Barcelona, Nice, London, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm – and whatever else is to come, are mere little pebbles in a growing mosaic. You better look ahead what the picture, the mosaic may look like when its finished – the Big Picture is nasty, very nasty.
Think about the message of sorrow Mr. Putin sent to King Felipe VI of Spain:
“We strongly condemn this brutal and cynical crime against civilians. What has happened once again emphasizes the need for the global community to join efforts to fight against the forces of terror.”
Mr. Putin has not mentioned Islam. He knows that he talks to western leaders who are in bed with terror, that getting them out of bed is a pipe dream. They are bought or threatened – with promises of heaven – to lead this system of terror all the way to a One World Order, or as India’s President Modi said so eloquently in a recent RT interview – until the world is eventually one happy family. Bingo.
But it is not the end. There are alternatives. The western world is like a sinking ship. It’s a slow sinking ship, slow and smiling as the fascism that drives it. We may not notice it. But look all around you, the massive killing, the fraud, the lawlessness at every step, up to the highest levels of government. Forget the msm presstitute, they are lying.
Most everybody knows this today. The next few centuries or more, are the Age of the East – Russia and China are opening the gates for an Economy of Peace, led by President Xi Jinping’s initiative, the enormous multi-pronged OBI – One Belt Initiative, formerly the OBOR – One Belt One Road; a new Silk road that stretches from Shanghai to Hamburg and from Vladivostok to Lisbon and connecting Syria and Iran in the South.
Be brave! Dare to detach. Detach from the lie and fraud we have been living for the last two millennia, all the way back to the Roman Empire and which may be reaching soon a peak, a fiery and bloody peak which may end life as we know it in a nuclear all-annihilating holocaust. Because the dying beast may not want to leave survivors on this planet of ours.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.
With numerous distractions unfolding on the newly released reality TV show that is “Keeping Up with the Trump Administration,” it may surprise readers to learn that the U.S. is using the terror group ISIS as a pawn in its depraved foreign policy.
Video footage obtained by Al-Masdar appears to show convoys of ISIS fighters fleeing the Syrian city of Raqqa untouched by the U.S. military, which is currently bombing that exact location. As Al-Masdar notes, despite having Kurdish and American drones hovering around the city of Raqqa, U.S. bombs are nowhere to be seen as hundreds of fighters pass safely. The release of this footage comes on the heels of accusations from both Russia and Iran that the U.S. is colluding with ISIS to allow the group’s safe passage into areas controlled by the Syrian government.
Iran claims to have direct proof but thus far has not released it. Even if Russia and Iran don’t have any secret documents that directly expose this collusion, the fact remains that we don’t necessarily need them.
After all, this is exactly how ISIS grew exponentially in Syria in the first instance – as a direct result of U.S. foreign policy strategy. In 2012, a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report predicted the rise of ISIS, something actively encouraged by the U.S. establishment. The report stated:
“If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”
Further, leaked audio of former Secretary of State John Kerry shows he knew ISIS was gaining momentum in Syria, and that in turn, the U.S. hoped this would bring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table.
In recent times, the safe passage of ISIS fighters to areas under the control of the Syrian government has been an unspoken but official strategy and has been the reality on the ground in Iraq and Syria.
Late last year, Anti-Media reported on an anonymous military-diplomatic official’s claims that the United States was allowing safe passage to Syria for ISIS fighters exiting Mosul, Iraq – even though the U.S. was supposedly waging an offensive to defeat ISIS in the area. As we noted, acknowledging the admittedly undesirable, questionable nature of the anonymous source:
“An anonymous source claiming to a Russian newspaper something as conspiratorial as the U.S. directly aiding ISIS militants may seem a bit dubious, but since the offensive was launched on Monday of this week, this has been the reality on the ground.
Not long after, ISIS launched an offensive into a very strategic area in Syria called Deir ez-Zor, battling through Syrian government defenses. The most horrifying part of this offensive was the fact that, asnoted by the Guardian, the ISIS fighters who successfully broke through government defense lines in Syria were “primarily reinforcements coming over the border from Iraq’s Anbar province.”
Deir ez-Zor is not outside the U.S. military’s strike range capacity. This is the same city that was attacked by the American-led coalition in September of last year – an attack that targeted Syrian troops for over an hour, paving the way for a timely ISIS offensive. Yet when it comes to hundreds of reinforcements raging through the Iraqi border into Syria, the U.S. military is on a brief vacation.
We were told Raqqa was to be ISIS’ last stronghold in Syria, but this is clearly not true. In order for the U.S. to ultimately put pressure on the Syrian government, the real prize is not Raqqa but a combination of two very strategic locations that are very heavily interlinked.
“There, a complex confrontation is unfolding, with far more geopolitical import and risk. Daesh [ISIS] is expected to make its last stand not in Raqqa but in an area that encompasses the borders with Iraq and Jordan and much of Syria’s modest oil reserves, making it important in stabilising Syria and influencing its neighbouring countries.
“Whoever lays claim to the sparsely populated area in this 21st-century version of the Great Game not only will take credit for seizing what is likely to be Daesh’s last patch of a territorial caliphate in Syria, but also will play an important role in determining Syria’s future and the post-war dynamics of the region.”
And this is ultimately the problem for the U.S.-led coalition of anti-Assad (and anti-Iranian) nations. The behind-closed-doors official rationale for targeting Syria’s government for regime change was to undermine Iranian influence in the region, according to Hillary Clinton’s email archive. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the other Gulf States have long feared that a fully dominated Shia-led bloc of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon could completely overthrow the regional balance of power. They have opposed such a development at all costs.
As Gulf News explains, the Iranians are in the process of fully implementing this Shia bridge, known as the “Shia Crescent”:
“The contested area also includes desert regions farther south with several border crossings, among them the critical highway connecting Damascus and Baghdad — coveted by Iran as a land route to Lebanon and its ally, the Hezbollah militia.”
This is why the U.S. military has set up a training base at the Aal-Tanf border crossing. If the Syrian government were to retake the area and open it up under its control, they would be able to directly link Iran to Syria and the rest of its allies, including Iraq and Lebanon.
Further, the Syrian government’s outpost in Deir ez-Zor is isolated, hence why these two offensives are running in tandem. They both rely on the liberation of the other to have any real value to the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.
As fascinating as the Comey testimony spectacle has been (don’t forget to tune in for tomorrow’s scandal of anonymous leaks and misspelled tweets), the real scandal lies in the fact that the U.S. is now openly siding with ISIS while allowing the terrorists safe passage into parts of Syria so that these extremists can battle a secular government. The U.S. is moments away from an all-out confrontation with Iran (and Russia, a nuclear power).
Don’t expect the corporate media to report on these damning facts anytime soon, as the public continues to sleepwalk into a global powder keg of deceit, death, and destruction.
The Israeli-Islamic terrorism connection can’t be hidden any more. This article contains 11 clues (out of many). Above: Jabat al-Nusra terrorists wounded in Syria taken to Israeli hospitals. Image credit: SyrianFreePress.wordpress.com.
The Israeli-Islamic Terrorism connection has become
as clear as day. There are so many clues it’s impossible for the Anglo-American-Zionist axis to hide it any more. This article offers further proof of the Israeli-Islamic terrorism link, beyond what I have already exposed in previous articles such as Top 10 Indications or Proofs ISIS is a US-Israeli Creation. There is really no doubt that Israel is following the logic that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Since its arch-enemy Iran is helping Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, Israel is turning to the enemies of the Syrian Government to collaborate and conspire with them in the overthrow of Assad. These enemies are the “Syrian rebels”, or Salafist, Wahhabi and Takfiri terrorists (see this article for a breakdown of what all these terms mean, and how mainstream Sunni Muslims are distancing themselves from these violent groups). Whether it’s ISIS, Al Qaeda, Fatah Al Sham, Jahbat Al Sham, Al Nusra Front, Syrian rebels in general or any other Takfiri terrorist group, Israel has been actively pursuing relationships with all them to undermine the Iran-Syria alliance.
The following 11 clues are arranged in chronological order, from the most recent (#1) to the oldest (#11), however all the following articles and reports have been written within the last 2 years.
Clues Exposing the Israeli-Islamic Terrorism Connection
1. Israel is building a new hospital for Islamic takfiri terrorists: A recent PressTV report from July 19th 2017 states that Israel is planning on building a new field hospital to help wounded soldiers. Do you think Israel is just doing this out of their love for humanity?
“Israel’s military says the Tel Aviv regime plans to build a new field hospital in Syria … Lieutenant Colonel Tomer Koler told reporters in a phone conference on Wednesday that the hospital would be located on the Syrian side of the fence but on the Israeli side of the demarcation line in the Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory occupied by Israel … He noted that Israel had delivered what he called “humanitarian aid” into Syria, including hundreds of tons of food and clothing, as well as fuel and equipment such as generators.”
“Humanitarian aid”? Smells like another Orwellian euphemism, similar to humanitarian intervention. Try “takfiri terrorist support” and you’ll be closer to the mark.
2. Israel takes Fatah Al Sham / Al Nusra Front terrorists to Israeli hospitals: According to a June 25th 2017 article from the AhlulBayt News Agency (an Iranian source), Israel is continuing to accept Syrian terrorists who have been wounded in battle with the SAA (the Syrian Arab Army which is the official, legitimate army of the Syrian Government) in Quneitra province. The articles states:
“The sources reported that a number of injured members of Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) have been transferred to the Israeli hospitals via al-Hamidiyeh region in Quneitra countryside. The army troops repelled Al-Nusra Front’s offensives in the Southwestern province of Quneitra, leaving tens of terrorists dead and many more wounded. Later, the Israeli aircraft attacked the Syrian government forces’ tanks and artillery positions South-West of the war-hit country. This is not the first time that Al-Nusra terrorists have been transferred to Israeli hospital after sustaining injuries in clashes with the army soldiers. In September and November 2016, tens of wounded fighters of Fatah al-Sham (formerly know as the Al-Nusra) Front were transferred from Quneitra battlefields to Israeli hospitals in the occupied Golan Heights, as several Israeli ambulances entered Syria’s Southern province of Quneitra and transferred those terrorists injured in clashes with Syrian Army troops to their hospitals in the occupied part of the Golan Heights.”
3. Israel is coordinating attacks inside the Golan Heights with Al Nusra: Further evidence of the Israeli-ISIS connection can be found in this PressTV article of June 25th 2017, which reports a Syrian military source. Israel claims plausible deniability by saying their attacks on Syria are in retaliation for attacks that come out of Syria against Israel (though no necessarily from the SAA). The source states:
“Israel’s airstrikes on the Golan Heights on Saturday coincided with a push by Nusra Front terrorists against army (i.e. SAA) positions … Israel regularly hits positions held by the Syrian army in the Golan Heights, describing the attacks as retaliatory. Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.”
Israeli-Islamic terrorism is right in line with the Mossad’s motto.
“… the growing interactions between the two sides could lead to escalation and cause harm to members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force deployed to the Golan Heights. UN observers listed 16 meetings between the Israel forces and the Syria militants in the border area, including on Mount Hermon, in proximity to UN outposts in Syria’s Quneitra Province and the Golan Heights, from March 2 to May 16.”
It should of course be noted that the entire Golan Heights region was annexed by Israel during its 6-Day War of 1967. It has been illegally occupying that region ever since, for over 50 years now. Rather than trying to find a way to give some territory back to Syria, Israel is pushing forward to create a buffer zone to further entrench themselves in the stolen land.
5. Israel communicates with and funds Islamic Terrorists to maintain its buffer zone in the “stolen Golan”: Israel stole the Golan Heights region from Syria during the 6-Day War of 1967, and has up to this point refused to give back all the territory it illegally annexed. This Russia insider article from June 19th, 2017, highlights how Israel is attempting to create a new buffer zone around Quneitra in Syria so that it can retain control of the Golan Heights forever.
6. Wall Street Journal reports that Israel has been secretly helping the Syrian rebels: The original Wall Street Journal article on June 18th 2017 claimed they had interviewed around half a dozen Syrian fighters to reach this conclusion:
“Israel has been regularly supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.
The Israel army is in regular communication with rebel groups and its assistance includes undisclosed payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons, according to interviews with about half a dozen Syrian fighters.”
The rest of the article is hidden behind a paywall. Subsequently, several other articles summarizing this have sprung up, such as this one which also states:
“The commander identified by the nom de guerre Abu Suhayb who leads the terrorist group told the Journal that he receives about $5,000 a month from Israel.”
Rita Katz of SITE further cements the Israeli-Islamic terrorism link. Image credit: HelpFreeTheEarth.com
7. ISIS videos are distributed to the world via SITE, an Israeli Intelligence Front: I have exposed previously on the The Freedom Articles how the organization SITE (Search International Terrorist Entities) led by Rita Katz is a Mossad or Israeli intelligence front. Isn’t it strange and very convenient how almost all (if not all) of ISIS’ videos (beheadings, killings, etc.) come via SITE? In this article from May 10th, 2017, Christopher Bollyn exposes SITE and people connected to it, such as Aaron Zelin – a Jewish Zionist from Illinois who works with Zionist think tanks like the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and who runs Jihadology.net.
8. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted as saying that Israel will keep taking in Syrians to its hospitals: We also have an April 9th 2017 article from the Times of Israel that quotes Netanyahu as admitting that Israel has helping been helping wounded Syrian civilians, and will continue to do so:
“Netanyahu [said] “… Israel is treating injured civilians from Syria as part of the humanitarian effort. We will continue to do so.””
“In a status posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Knesset Member Akram Hasoon (Kulanu) claimed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is bombing the Druze village of Khadr with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s support and protection.
Hasoon said that since the weekend, the quiet village of Khadr near the Syrian border has been subject to persistent bombardments by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants. “We have gotten information from all fronts and from people who are responsible within the village that the Nusra Front is operating with unprecedented support from Israel, because the organization’s fighters are advancing in those places where the Israel Defense Forces had previously bombed Syrian positions and the organization is holding those positions, in addition to the logistical and medical assistance it’s getting from Israel.”
Citing eyewitnesses, Hasoon said that the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fighters have advanced technological equipment that gives them an advantage over Assad’s forces. “To date dozens have fallen and the fighting continues, all with Israeli support,” he wrote.”
Israeli-Islamic terrorism: Herzi Halevi (above) suggests that Israel directly support ISIS.
10. Israeli Intelligence Head Admits Israel Prefers ISIS: This Antiwar.com article from June 21st, 2016 quoted a high-ranking Israeli military officer, Major General Herzi Halevy, at the Herzliya Conference. Halevy is a major general in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the current chief of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate. According to the article, which used Hebrew-language NRG site as its source, Halevy openly declared that Israel “prefers ISIS” to the Syrian Government and that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war. The article stated:
“Halevy went on to express concern that the defeat of ISIS might mean the ‘superpowers’ leaving Syria, saying this would put Israel ‘in a hard position’ after being so opposed to the survival of the Syrian government. He then said Israel will do ‘all we can so as to not find ourselves in such a situation,’ suggesting that the Israeli military is looking at direct support for ISIS as a matter of policy, and not just rhetoric.”
11. Israel was the main buyer of stolen ISIS oil in 2015: This well-researched article from November 30th, 2015 published by the Qatari-owned new outlet al-Araby al-Jadeed concluded that Israel was the biggest buyer of stolen ISIS oil.
Other Nations Funding ISIS and Islamic Terrorism
Islamic terrorism and creations like ISIS are, of course, not only supported by Israel. There is a mountain of evidence revealing the role of the US, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and others. In this video posted in 2015 former VP Joe Biden openly admits that ISIS terrorists are being funded by the allies of the US (and therefore of Israel). He specifically names Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. In November 2015, Russia exposed how ISIS trucks were carrying oil out of Syria to fund their operations, and presented evidence “that provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them.” In June 2017 Turkish politician Enis Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime of leaking secret documents to a newspaper showing the Turkey’s MIT (National Intelligence Organization) shipped weapons to foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria. US support of ISIS is well known, as is the fact that Britain helped to create ISIS along with America.
The Israeli-Islamic Terrorism Connection: The Game is Up
The evidence of the Israeli-Islamic terrorism link is overwhelming. We know that radical Islamic terrorism is really Zio-Islamic terrorism. Both radicalized individuals and key Zionist players (both using religion as an excuse to steal and kill) are involved. It’s a slick game but the cat is out of the bag.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news siteThe Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.
Hoshyar Zebari, the Kurdish leader and former Iraqi finance and foreign minister, told me in an interview last week: “Kurdish intelligence believes that over 40,000 civilians have been killed as a result of massive firepower used against them, especially by the Federal Police, air strikes and Isis itself.”
The real number of dead who are buried under the mounds of rubble in west Mosul is unknown, but their numbers are likely to be in the tens of thousands, rather than the much lower estimates previously given.
It does not give an exact figure for the number of dead, but otherwise it confirms many of the points made by Mr Zebari, notably the appalling damage inflicted by continuing artillery and rocket fire aimed over a five-month period at a confined area jam-packed with civilians who were unable to escape.
However, even this does not quite explain the mass slaughter that took place. Terrible civilian casualties have occurred in many sieges over the centuries, but in one important respect the siege of Mosul is different from the others. Isis, the cruellest and most violent movement in the world, was determined not to give up its human shields.
Even before the attack by Iraqi government forces, aided by the US-led coalition, started on 17 October last year, Isis was herding civilians back into the city and not allowing them to escape to safety. Survivors who made their way to camps for displaced people outside Mosul said they had to run the gauntlet of Isis snipers, booby traps and mines.
Determined to hang on to its hundreds of thousands of human shields, Isis packed them into a smaller and smaller space as pro-government forces advanced. Isis patrols said they would kill anybody who left their houses; they welded shut metal doors to keep them in, and hanged people who tried to escape from electricity pylons and left the bodies to rot.
“Consequently, as IS lost territory during the course of the battle, IS-controlled areas became increasingly crowded with civilians,” says the AI report. “Mosul residents routinely described to Amnesty International how they sheltered in homes with relatives or neighbours in groups of between 15-100.”
Outside Mosul, people tend to assume that most of this destruction was the result of airstrikes – and much of it was – but Mr Zebari is correct in saying that it was shell and rocket fire from pro-government ground forces, particularly by the Federal Police, that caused the greatest destruction and loss of civilian life.
How this happened is easily explained by a look at the types of ordnance used by pro-government forces: these include 122 mm and 155mm howitzers, but also notoriously inaccurate 122mm Grad rockets and locally made Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs) that might land almost anywhere.
The Grad is a Soviet weapon that dates back fifty years, and consists of 40 rockets mounted in a vehicle which can be fired in volleys over a half minute period. Earlier versions of this weapon had a devastating effect on dug-in German infantry in fortified positions in World War II. Civilians crammed together in fragile houses in west Mosul would stand little chance.
The US-dominated coalition said that it tried to avoid carrying out air strikes where civilians were present, and its planes dropped leaflets telling them to move away from Isis positions. People on the ground in Mosul regarded this as a cruel joke, because they had nowhere else to go to and Isis would shoot them if they tried to run away.
“There were very few Daesh [Isis] in our neighbourhood, but they dropped a lot of bombs on them,” Qais, 47, a resident of Mosul al-Jadida district told me. He reckoned that between 600 and 1,000 people in the district had been killed, and he showed me pictures on his phone of a house that had once stood beside his own but had been reduced to a heap of smashed-up bricks.
“There were no Daesh in the house,” he said. “But there were seven members of the Abu Imad family there, of whom five were killed along with two passersby.”
A further reason for the devastation caused by the battle for west Mosul was the outcome of the fighting for east Mosul between 17 October and 24 January. The Iraqi government and the Americans had expected a hard fought but relatively swift victory, perhaps taking about two months to seize the whole of the city (in fact, it took nine months).
The attack on the part to the east of the Tigris River was primarily undertaken by the highly trained and experienced Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), fighting house to house. Air strikes were usually against carefully selected targets, and not called in at will by ground troops at the first sign of resistance.
These tactics of the pro-government forces did not work. True, they eventually captured east Mosul after three months of heavy fighting and at the cost of casualties to the CTS reported as being between 40 and 50 per cent. But they could not afford this scale of losses repeated in west Mosul, where Isis was even more deeply entrenched.
When the assault on west Mosul began on 19 February, the pro-government forces were therefore using artillery, rockets and airpower much more freely. And in addition to the CTS, they fielded the Federal Police and Emergency Response Division, both of which were far less well-trained and deemed more sectarian than the CTS. As they in turn suffered heavy casualties, they lost all restraint in use of their firepower.
Why has there not been more outcry over the destruction of west Mosul? There should be no question about the massive civilian loss of life, even if there are differences over the exact numbers of the dead.
The biggest reason for the lack of outrage is that Isis was seen as a uniquely evil movement that had to be defeated – whatever the cost in dead bodies to the people of Mosul.
It is an understandable argument, but one that in the past has meant Iraq never finds peace.
More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the devastating battle to retake Mosul from Isis, according to intelligence reports revealed exclusively to The Independent – a death toll far higher than previous estimates.
Residents of the besieged city were killed by Iraqi ground forces attempting to force out militants, as well as by air strikes and Isis fighters, according to Kurdish intelligence services.
Hoshyar Zebari, until recently a senior minister in Baghdad, told The Independent that many bodies “are still buried under the rubble”. “The level of human suffering is immense,” he said.
“Kurdish intelligence believes that over 40,000 civilians have been killed as a result of massive firepower used against them, especially by the Federal Police, air strikes and Isis itself,” Mr Zebari added.
Mr Zebari, a native of Mosul and top Kurdish official who has served as the Iraqi Finance Minister and prior to that Foreign Minister, emphasised in an exclusive interview that the unrelenting artillery bombardment by units of the Federal Police, in practice a heavily armed military unit, had caused immense destruction and loss of life in west Mosul.
The figure given by Mr Zebari for the number of civilians killed in the nine-month siege is far higher than those previously reported, but the intelligence service of the Kurdistan Regional Government has a reputation for being extremely accurate and well-informed. Isis prevented any monitoring of casualties while outside groups have largely focused on air strikes rather than artillery and rocket fire as a cause of civilian deaths. Airwars, one such monitoring group, estimated that attacks may have killed 5,805 non-military personnel in the city between 19 February and 19 June 2017.
Mr Zebari accuses the government in Baghdad, of which he was until recently a member, of not doing enough to relieve the suffering. “Sometimes you might think the government is indifferent to what has happened,” he said. He doubts if Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and other minorities, who have lived in and around Mosul for centuries, will be able to reconcile with the Sunni Arab majority whom they blame for killing and raping them. He says some form of federal solution for future governance would be best.
Reading from Kurdish intelligence reports, Mr Zebari says that a high level of corruption among the Iraqi military forces occupying Mosul is undermining security measures to suppress Isis in the aftermath of its defeat. He says that suspect individuals are able to pass through military checkpoints by paying $1,000 (£770) and can bring a vehicle by paying $1,500. He says corruption of this type is particularly rife in the 16th and 9th Iraqi Army Divisions and the Tribal Volunteers (Hashd al-Ashairi), drawn in part from the Shabak minority in the Nineveh Plain.
The ability of Isis militants to remain free or be released from detention by paying bribes has led to a change in attitude among people in Mosul whom Mr Zebari says “were previously willing to give information about Isis members to the Iraqi security forces.” They are now wary of doing so, because they see members of Isis, whom they had identified and who had been arrested, returning to the streets capable of exacting revenge on those who informed against them. Several anti-Isis people in Mosul have confirmed to The Independent that this is indeed the case and they are frightened of these returnees and Isis “sleeper cells” that continue to exist.
Civilians in Mosul say they do not fault the behaviour towards them of combat units that have borne the brunt of the fighting, such as the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), but they are concerned about what to expect from less well-disciplined troops. A belief that Isis fighters and officials detained in Mosul are later able to bribe their way free explains why soldiers, most of whom are not complicit in bribery networks, have summarily executed Isis prisoners, sometimes by throwing them off high buildings.
Corruption by the occupying military forces takes different forms, according to Kurdish intelligence information cited by Mr Zebari. Some people are “being charged $100 for removing a body from the rubble and others $500 to reoccupy their house”, where it is still standing. Iraqi army and militia units have always been notorious for exacting fees and protection money from civilians, with trucks moving goods on the roads being a particularly profitable target when they pass through military checkpoints.
Much of the blame for the calamitous level of destruction in west Mosul has been put on air strikes, but it is evident at ground level that a lot of the damage was caused by artillery shells and rockets. This is confirmed by an Amnesty International report issued last week titled At Any Cost: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul, which points to a greater and more indiscriminate use of its firepower by pro-government forces in the final stages of the attack on east Mosul, starting in January 2017 and continuing over the following six months during the assault on west Mosul. It says that Iraqi government and US-led coalition forces “relied heavily upon explosive weapons with wide area effects such as IRAMs (Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions). With their crude targeting abilities, these weapons wreaked havoc in densely populated west Mosul, where large groups of civilians were trapped in homes or makeshift shelters.” The UN estimated that Mosul had 1.2 million inhabitants at the start of the siege.
In addition, Isis snipers killed great numbers of civilians trying to escape whose departure would have robbed Isis of its “human shields”, though in the event their presence shielded very little. Mr Zebari said that intelligence had even intercepted messages “from Isis fighters to their commanders saying they were tired of killing civilians”.
Mr Zebari says that he is disappointed by the lack of Iraqi government plans to reconstruct Mosul. As Finance Minister in Baghdad until late last year, he had made provision for $500 million in the budget for rebuilding Mosul. He says: “I wanted $500 million upfront to encourage other donors, but now the government has withdrawn from the fund and used the money elsewhere. This was not an encouraging sign.”
Even if there is reconstruction, Mr Zebari, who grew up in Mosul and still has a house in the east of the city (though long confiscated, first by Saddam Hussein and later by Isis), laments that “the soul of Mosul has gone and its iconic buildings are destroyed.” He says he cannot imagine Mosul without the Nabi Yunus mosque (the tomb of Jonah) that Isis blew up as a heretical shrine in 2014 and the al-Nuri mosque, with its 12th century leaning minaret, which Isis destroyed in the last stage of the battle to prevent its capture by government forces. In addition, there is “an unimaginable level of human suffering with more than one million people displaced.”
He agrees that the government has won a big victory by destroying the Islamic State as a state structure controlling extensive territory. But he warns that Isis has shown that it is capable of “adapting themselves to new realities.” He says that the arms and heavy equipment from three Iraqi army divisions that Isis captured when it seized Mosul in June 2014 has never been fully accounted for. He says that there have been reports that much of it was hidden by Isis in tunnels, gorges and valleys in the arid wastelands of western Iraq and eastern Syria. “This is where they came from when they started their attacks,” he says.
Asked if the self-declared Caliph Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi is alive or dead, Mr Zebari said he did not know. But he added that, if Baghdadi was dead, it was strange that no new Caliph or Isis leader had been declared since part of the ideology of such movements is that they do not rely on a single human being. Successors had been quickly announced when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a US air strike in 2006 and Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011. Moreover, he says that there “has been no sign of a change in the Isis command and control structure.”
US Navy F-18E Super Hornets fly over northern Iraq as part of the US-led coalition airstrikes against Takfiri Daesh terrorist group and other targets on September 23, 2014. (Photo by AP)
An Iraqi lawmaker has blamed the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the country and neighboring Syria for killing hundreds of army soldiers and pro-government fighters from the Popular Mobilizations during airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts.
Faleh al-Khazali, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, said in a statement on Sunday that US-led military aircraft have struck Iraqi forces in many areas, and killed hundreds of them, Arabic-language Iraq News Network reported.
Khazali noted that the Western military contingent is “not serious about fighting Daesh militants, and seeks to support them through maintaining safe and accessible supply routes.”
The Iraqi legislator further called on the Joint Operations Command (JOC) to “coordinate, control and provide more accurate information regarding the strikes of the US-led coalition in a bid to reduce the loss of innocent civilians as well as government troops.”
Khazali underlined that the extent of the damage caused by the US-led coalition warplanes could be best surveyed in the troubled western province of Anbar, where the substantial level of destruction has delayed the return of displaced people to their native areas.
Iraqi police arrest female Daesh leader in Mosul
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces have arrested a woman in the Old City of Mosul, who is considered as the female leader of Daesh terror outfit.
Arabic-language Shafaaq news agency reported on Sunday that the woman, identified by the nom de guerre Ahlam Mohsen Ali, was arrested less than a week ago with her brother, a prominent terrorist, as the pair were trying to escape from the western quarter of Mosul and sneak into the eastern side.
The woman grew up in al-Houd village of Qayyarah subdistrict, which lies on the western bank of Tigris River and some 60kilometers (35 miles) south of Mosul. She left her husband months before the fall of Mosul in June 2014, while collecting sensitive intelligence about Iraqi security personnel and their fortifications.
On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the extremists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, had made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the operation on October 17, 2016.
The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.
An estimated 862,000 people have been displaced from Mosul ever since the battle to retake the city began eight months ago. A total of 195,000 civilians have also returned, mainly to the liberated areas of eastern Mosul.
Dozens of captured cars, modified “Mad Max-style” by Islamic State terrorists into either combat vehicles or suicide bombs on wheels, have been put on display by Iraqi security forces in the liberated city of Mosul.
The exhibition show was launched at the Federal Police Headquarters in Hamam al-Qalil neighborhood in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, recently recaptured by government forces backed by the US-led coalition from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Most of the cars appear to be standard SUVs that have been plated with crude metal sheets as means of improvised armor. The passenger compartments of the cars have been ripped off and packed with explosives.
While this system obviously lacks protection or flexibility of a real tank, it appears to be quite well-disguised – at least to survive the US-led coalition airstrikes and get into this trophies exhibit.
Another YouTube video has been censored on the grounds that it violated the platform’s Community Guidelines—but the removal of this video does not protect viewers from nudity or crude language. Instead, it ‘protects’ viewers from the reality of United States foreign policy.
Alternative geopolitical analyst Mimi Al Laham, who goes by the name “Partisan Girl,” revealed on Twitter that one of her YouTube videos was flagged and removed upon review. “It documented US military airdrops falling into ISIS hands,” She wrote. “Truth is graphic content.”
The notice from YouTube claimed the video was removed because it violated the platform’s Community Guidelines. In addition to the video’s removal, Partisan Girl also received a “strike” or penalty on her account—a YouTube user can receive up to three “strikes.”
The title of the video was “US airdrops weapons into #ISIS hands – #Syria Ayn Al Arab,” and the reason YouTube gave for removing it was that it contained “violent or graphic content,” that was posted in “a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner.”
“If a video contains violent or graphic content that appears to be posting in a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner, it’s less likely to be allowed on YouTube. We also don’t allow content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous activities. We review content on a case by case basis and will only make limited exceptions for appropriate educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific contexts, where the purpose of posting is clear.”
The thing is, while a video of the U.S. military dropping weapons right into the hands of ISIS may be shocking to some, it is hardly sensational. In October 2014, the Pentagon admitted that the U.S. airdropped weapons to ISIS that were reportedly intended for Kurdish fighters in Kobani, Syria, and insisted that “the wind” was to blame.
However, this is not the first time the United States—whether intentionally of negligently—has been caught helping the group it claims to be at war with. The most recent case came to light in June when a 2016 audit from the Department of Defense revealed that it could not account for $1 Billion in weapons and equipment.
Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s arms control and human rights researcher, noted that the latest audit is part of a troubling pattern that has been ongoing for years.
“This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed—and potentially dangerous—system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” Wilcken said. “It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”
In fact, the U.S. has given ISIS such a surplus of weapons and equipment, that some of those weapons are now being sold on Facebook by Islamic State militants. A report from 2016 revealed that “Jihadis in Syria are using Facebook as a marketplace to buy, sell and barter a wide variety of American-made weapons and munitions ranging from rocket launchers to machine guns.”
In addition to support from Facebook, ISIS has also received ample support from YouTube. The platform has helped the militants by hosting their recruiting videos, while also helping the group by removing videos that reveal who is funding it, such as the one from Partisan Girl.
However, the subject of ISIS is not the only area where YouTube has questionable judgment. As The Free Thought Project has reported, YouTube also hosts thousands of videos with millions of views that are disguised as child-friendly content, while they actually promote violence, sex and pedophilia.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone