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SYRIA - Discussion Thread
01-29-2017, 08:08 PM
Post: #2641
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote:steve tobin17 hours ago

What an amazing man and what an incredible example of human being you are Tulsi..I'm from the UK and I'm counting on you to get this bill through..one major step to turning this psychopathic mess around...

Quote:Hrky 7511 minutes ago

A Hindu from Hawaii risks her life to bring the truth about suffering of Syrian Christians to US, while a supposed Christian Paul Ryan - a Republican i.e. a "professional Christian" - attacks her from the safety of his Washington office. At least we all know who has the balls in this relationship. Go Tulsi!
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01-29-2017, 08:09 PM
Post: #2642
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread

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01-29-2017, 09:51 PM
Post: #2643
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Trump says US will prioritize Christian refugees


"According to a report by the non-partisan Pew Research Center, however, 99% of the nearly 12,600 Syrians granted refugee status last year were Muslims. Less than 1% were Christian. Syria's population is 87% Muslim and 10% Christian, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

Also on Friday, Trump signed an executive order explicitly freezing refugee applications from Syria. It's unclear how his pledge to help persecuted Christians from that country will accord with the order."

dead soul
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01-30-2017, 12:29 PM
Post: #2644
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Syria: Undeclared US-NATO War of Aggression, Using Al Qaeda Terrorism as An Instrument of Death and Destruction

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

The following eight concepts are intended to clarify the nature of the war on Syria.

It was never “a civil war”. It was an undeclared war of aggression using Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists as the foot-soldiers of US-NATO and their Middle East allies.

From day one, terrorists were involved in the killing of civilians.

It started in Daraa as an insurgency integrated by Salafist mercenaries.

Most of what is presented below is backed up by mainstream and official sources of information.


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02-04-2017, 11:55 PM
Post: #2645
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Video: US-NATO Supported Terrorism in Syria From Day One: Michel Chossudovsky

dead soul
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02-06-2017, 10:15 AM
Post: #2646
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote:Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks Feb 3

It's crazy how the US was the most peace-loving, democratic, non-hegemonic world power for decades and Trump suddenly changed all of that.

[Image: C3wJydzW8AA75oL.jpg]

[Image: C3wJydzWAAAmtUU.jpg]

[Image: C3wJydzWEAAUtR1.jpg]
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02-06-2017, 11:39 AM
Post: #2647
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote: Nina ? Byzantina ‏@NinaByzantina 22h22 hours ago

Using a child as a spokesperson for terrorist organizations and, now, open-border policies, to boot, is nothing less than child abuse.


Irrefutable proof that Bana does not know any English. Not even the simplest possible English. What a scam! #Syria

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02-06-2017, 11:40 AM
Post: #2648
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote:Walid ‏@walid970721 Feb 3

Watch the interview in previous tweet. Listen to Fatemah speak English then go to @FatemahAlabed & compare to her tweets. Not her tweeting.
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02-16-2017, 08:26 AM
Post: #2649
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Pentagon might propose sending ground troops to Syria


Quote:The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS, CNN has learned.

"It's possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time," one defense official told CNN.
But the official emphasized that any decision is ultimately up to President Donald Trump, who has ordered his defense secretary to come up with a proposal to combat ISIS before the end of the month.

The move would significantly alter US military operations in Syria if approved and could put troops on the ground within weeks.
Until now, only small teams made up largely of Special Operations forces have operated in Syria, providing training and assistance to anti-ISIS opposition groups on the ground.

Conventional units operate in larger numbers and would require a more significant footprint of security protection both on the ground and in the air.
US officials are characterizing the concept of deploying ground troops as a point of discussion, stopping short of saying it's a formal proposal.

What their exact mission would be is not yet clear, but one goal of their their presence would be to help reassure Turkey that Kurdish forces are not posing a threat to Ankara's interests. It's possible some troops would deploy first to Kuwait and then move into Syria.

The Obama administration never embraced the idea of ground combat troops because of the inherent risks involved. If the idea is approved, it would signal a fundamental change in the Trump administration's willingness to accept such risk.

For one thing, it would be a sign of an increased willingness by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford to accept more risk for US troops in hope of gaining ground on ISIS.

At his confirmation hearing, Mattis was not asked about putting more troops into Syria, but he did explain how he would seek to change US military efforts in Iraq and Syria from Obama administration.

"I think it's getting there as rapidly as possible, where it would be a more accelerated campaign," Mattis said.
Sending troops to Syria is just one of several ideas that may be presented to the President, the official said.

Discussions are also underway on fundamentally changing how troops are deployed to Iraq.

The Obama administration established limits on how many troops could be in Iraq at any one time. As a result, troops have largely been deployed on an individual basis depending on how many trainers and advisers are needed.

Right now, no more than 5,262 troops are allowed in Iraq, with 5,155 there currently. There are hundreds more temporarily assigned that are not counted under the ceiling.

Trump may be asked to do away with all the limits so complete units can be sent and temporary deployments will also be counted. Commanders say this will give them more flexibility in operations, but it also will increase the number of troops there, something the Iraqi government would have to agree to.
Also under discussion is increased cooperation with the Russians and the arming of Kurdish groups in northern Syria supported by the US -- at the risk of angering Turkey.

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02-17-2017, 11:46 AM
Post: #2650
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread

Undefeated: Inside Syria's Elite Special Forces Unit (VIDEO)
An informative documentary about Syria's famed Tiger Forces

RI Staff Subscribe to RI Staff
Wed, Feb 15, 2017 | 3,025 11

[Image: Syrian-Tiger-Forces487209414.png?itok=Z0_bmiAm]

Suheil al-Hassan, the "Tiger"

When you read about the Syrian Arab Army routing ISIS or a group of CIA-funded "moderate rebels", chances are that the Tiger Forces were involved.

Led by Colonel Suheil al-Hassan, the elite force has been a symbol of Syrian resistance to terrorist groups and western-backed militias.

Even when other parts of the Syrian Arab Army suffered serious setbacks, the Tiger Forces never succumbed to the overwhelming odds against it. In fact, it has yet to suffer a serious defeat on the battlefield.

We highly recommend this informative, 8-minute video made by South Front, which gives an excellent overview of the elite force's history and involvement in the ongoing conflict.

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02-17-2017, 11:57 AM
Post: #2651
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread

Weapon of Genocide: US Confirms It Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

Washington admits it used one of the worst weapons imaginable in Syria, despite earlier promises that it wouldn't

Richard Brandt Subscribe to Richard Brandt
10 hours ago | 1,815 32

[Image: GTY_f-16_jet_file_jt_151205_12x5_1600.jpg?itok=nFEz_R2u]

Sorry, we can't stomach an actual photograph of what depleted uranium does.

You don't want to see what depleted uranium does to human beings.

Depleted Uranium is left over from the enrichment of uranium 235. It is exceptionally hard, and has been employed by militaries both to penetrate armored targets and to reinforce their potential targets like tanks against enemy fire. Though less radioactive than the original uranium, DU is toxic and is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be a “radiation health hazard when inside the body.”

The weapon saw widespread use in the First Gulf War, and its affects on the health of U.S. soldiers was later dubbed "Golf War Syndrome". (At least it was semi-recognized; the severe birth defects and other health issues this weapon has caused among the Iraqi population have simply been ignored or denied).

This disgusting weapon was used again by the Americans during their "liberation" of Fallujah in 2004. Still suffering from the aftermath, the people of Fallujah have seen an unnatural spike in cancer cases and hideous birth defects.

And now, Washington admits that DU was used in Syria — even though it promised otherwise.

As Foreign Policy reports:

Quote: Officials have confirmed that the U.S. military, despite vowing not to use depleted uranium weapons on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, fired thousands of rounds of the munitions during two high-profile raids on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled Syria in late 2015. The air assaults mark the first confirmed use of this armament since the 2003 Iraq invasion, when it was used hundreds of thousands of times, setting off outrage among local communities, which alleged that its toxic material caused cancer and birth defects.

The idea that such a weapon could be used without every major U.S. leader being dragged to the Hague makes our stomach turn.

FP points out the obvious:

Quote:The spent ammunition littering eastern Syria after the attack, along with the wreckage of the trucks, was almost surely not handled appropriately by the occupying authority — that is, the Islamic State. Even if civilians driving the trucks were not initially exposed to the toxic remnants of DU, scavengers and other local residents will likely be placed at risk for years to come.

“What will happen with the destroyed vehicles? Usually they end up in scrapyards, are stripped of valuable parts and components, and dumped,” said Wim Zwijnenburg, senior researcher at the Dutch NGO Pax. “This puts scrap-metal workers, most likely local civilians, at risk of exposure.”

If there are few ideas for what post-Islamic State governance will resemble in eastern Syria, there are none at all about how to safely handle the depleted uranium that the U.S.-led coalition has placed into the environment.
These people are sick.
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02-18-2017, 08:54 AM
Post: #2652
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread

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02-18-2017, 09:32 AM
Post: #2653
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote:Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani Feb 16

New Declassified CIA Memo Presents Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse, by @BradRHoff https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/201...-collapse/ … #Syria


New Declassified CIA Memo Presents Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse
By Brad Hoff -

February 14, 2017
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[Image: assad-father-son-696x464-1.jpg]

Bashar and Hafiz al-Assad; Manfred Schweda/thisfabtrek.com. Image used with permission.

A newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse at a time when Hafez al-Assad’s government was embroiled in a covert “dirty war” with Israel and the West, and in the midst of a diplomatic crisis which marked an unprecedented level of isolation for Syria.

The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria. The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents.

The memo’s cover letter, drafted by the CIA’s Director of Global Issues (the report itself was prepared by the division’s Foreign Subversion and Instability Center), introduces the purpose of presenting “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.”

It further curiously warns that, “Because the analysis out of context is susceptible to misunderstanding, external distribution has been severely restricted.” The report’s narrowed distribution list (sent to specific named national security heads, not entire agencies) indicates that it was considered at the highest levels of the Reagan administration.

The coming sectarian war for Syria

The intelligence report’s contents contain some striking passages which seem remarkably consistent with events as they unfolded decades later at the start of the Syrian war in 2011:

Quote:Although we judge that fear of reprisals and organizational problems make a second Sunni challenge unlikely, an excessive government reaction to minor outbreaks of Sunni dissidence might trigger large-scale unrest. In most instances the regime would have the resources to crush a Sunni opposition movement, but we believe widespread violence among the populace could stimulate large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or munity, setting the stage for civil war. [pg.2]

The “second Sunni challenge” is a reference to the Syrian government’s prior long running war against a Muslim Brotherhood insurgency which culminated in the 1982 Hama Massacre. While downplaying the nationalist and pluralistic composition of the ruling Ba’ath party, the report envisions a renewal and exploitation of sectarian fault lines pitting Syria’s Sunni population against its Alawite leadership:

Quote:Sunnis make up 60 percent of the Syrian officer corps but are concentrated in junior officer ranks; enlisted men are predominantly Sunni conscripts. We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime. [pg.12]

Regime change and the Muslim Brotherhood

The possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood spearheading another future armed insurgency leading to regime change is given extensive focus. While the document’s tone suggests this as a long term future scenario (especially considering the Brotherhood suffered overwhelming defeat and went completely underground in Syria by the mid-1980’s), it is considered one of the top three “most likely” drivers of regime change (the other scenarios include “Succession Power Struggle” and “Military Reverses Spark a Coup”).

The potential for revival of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “militant faction” is introduced in the following:

Quote:Although the Muslim Brotherhood’s suppression drastically reduced armed dissidence, we judge a significant potential still exists for another Sunni opposition movement. In part the Brotherhood’s role was to exploit and orchestrate opposition activity by other organized groups… These groups still exist, and under proper leadership they could coalesce into a large movement… …young professionals who formed the base of support for the militant faction of the Muslim Brotherhood; and remnants of the Brotherhood itself who could become leaders in a new Sunni opposition movement… [pp.13-14]

The Brotherhood’s role is seen as escalating the potential for initially small Sunni protest movements to morph into violent sectarian civil war:

Quote:Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain–keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence… Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups…

Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community leaders as well as on those engaged in protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protestors inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis. [pp.19-20]

The CIA report describes the final phase of an evolving sectarian war which witnesses the influx of fighters and weapons from neighboring countries. Consistent with a 1983 secret report that called for a US covert operation to utilize then US-allied Iraq as a base of attack on Syria, the 1986 analysis says, “Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war”:

Quote:A general campaign of Alawi violence against Sunnis might push even moderate Sunnis to join the opposition. Remnants of the Muslim Brotherhood–some returning from exile in Iraq–could provide a core of leadership for the movement. Although the regime has the resources to crush such a venture, we believe brutal attacks on Sunni civilians might prompt large numbers of Sunni officers and conscripts to desert or stage mutinies in support of dissidents, and Iraq might supply them with sufficient weapons to launch a civil war. [pp.20-21]
A Sunni regime serving Western economic interests

While the document is primarily a theoretical exploration projecting scenarios of Syrian regime weakening and collapse (its purpose is analysis and not necessarily policy), the authors admit of its “purposefully provocative” nature (see PREFACE) and closes with a list desired outcomes. One provocative outcome describes a pliant “Sunni regime” serving US economic interests:

In our view, US interests would be best served by a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates. Business moderates would see a strong need for Western aid and investment to build Syria’s private economy, thus opening the way for stronger ties to Western governments. [pg. 24]

Ironically, the Syrian government would accuse the United States and its allies of covert subversion within Syria after a string of domestic bombings created diplomatic tensions during the mid-1980’s.

Dirty tricks and diplomacy in the 1980’s

According to Patrick Seale’s landmark book, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East, 1986 was a year that marked Syria’s greatest isolation among world powers as multiple diplomatic crises and terror events put Syria more and more out in the cold.

The year included “the Hindawi affair”—a Syrian intelligence sponsored attempt to hijack and bomb an El Al flight to Tel Aviv—and may or may not have involved Nezar Hindawi working as a double agent on behalf of Israel. The foiled plot brought down international condemnation on Syria and lives on as one of the more famous and bizarre terror conspiracies in history. Not only were Syria and Israel once again generally on the brink of war in 1986, but a string of “dirty tricks” tactics were being utilized by Syria and its regional enemies to shape diplomatic outcomes primarily in Lebanon and Jordan.

In March and April of 1986 (months prior to the distribution of the CIA memo), a string of still largely unexplained car bombs rocked Damascus and at least 5 towns throughout Syria, leaving over 200 civilians dead in the most significant wave of attacks since the earlier ’79-’82 war with the Muslim Brotherhood (also see BBC News recount the attacks).

Patrick Seale’s book speculates of the bombings that, “It may not have been unconnected that in late 1985 the NSC’s Colonel Oliver North and Amiram Nir, Peres’s counter-terrorism expert, set up a dirty tricks outfit to strike back at the alleged sponsors of Middle East terrorism.”*

Consistency with future WikiLeaks files

The casual reader of Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change will immediately recognize a strategic thinking on Syria that looks much the same as what is revealed in national security memos produced decades later in the run up to the current war in Syria.

When US cables or intelligence papers talk regime change in Syria they usually strategize in terms of exploiting sectarian fault lines. In a sense, this is the US national security bureaucracy’s fall-back approach to Syria.

One well-known example is contained in a December 2006 State Dept. cable sent from the US embassy in Syria (subsequently released by WikiLeaks). The cable’s stated purpose is to explore Syrian regime vulnerabilities and weaknesses to exploit (in similar fashion to the 1986 CIA memo):

Quote:PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business.

Another section of the 2006 cable explains precisely the same scenario laid out in the 1986 memo in describing the increased “possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction” on the part of the regime.:

Quote:ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING: The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like [former Vice President Abdul Halim] Khaddam and [younger brother of Hafez] Rif’at Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime’s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.

And ironically, Rif’at Asad and Khaddam are both mentioned extensively in the 1986 memo as key players during a speculative future “Succession Power Struggle.” [p.15]

An Islamic State in Damascus?

While the 1986 CIA report makes a case in its concluding paragraph for “a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates” in Syria, the authors acknowledge that the collapse of the Ba’ath state could actually usher in the worst of all possible outcomes for Washington and the region: “religious zealots” might seek to establish “an Islamic Republic”. The words take on a new and special importance now, after the rise of ISIS:

Quote:Although Syria’s secular traditions would make it extremely difficult for religious zealots to establish an Islamic Republic, should they succeed they would likely deepen hostilities with Israel and provide support and sanctuary to terrorists groups. [pg.24]

What continues to unfold in Syria has apparently surpassed even the worst case scenarios of intelligence planners in the 1980’s. Tinkering with regime change has proven itself to be the most dangerous of all games.

*Seale, Patrick. Asad of Syria : the struggle for the Middle East (Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, 1989)p.474.

Brad Hoff
Brad is a native Texan and US Marine veteran who after leaving the military began wandering around the Middle East, eventually making Syria his second home. He's authored multiple stories for his blog Levant Report which gained international attention. Find his writing at Antiwar.com, SOFREP, Foreign Policy Journal, The Canary (UK), and others.
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02-18-2017, 09:54 AM
Post: #2654
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote:@loomisroberto Feb 14

[Turkey's] Euphrates Shield loses Tadef roundabout and large portions of Zamzam district in Al Bab.
As I expected IS led them into a trap
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02-18-2017, 09:56 AM
Post: #2655
RE: SYRIA - Discussion Thread
Quote: Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 4h4 hours ago

IS targets a Turkish tank on Jabal Aqeel, much of ES advances in al-Bab have been reversed & Turks being forced back into the outskirts
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