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The permanent man of the hour, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, opened his speech by saying that he has a throat infection that had come upon him this past Wednesday, and that he was not suffering from Covid, as some concerned supporters had inquired after seeing him cough much during his last Wednesday's speech. And this was... Read More
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That the United States likes to use expressions like “shock and awe” or “maximum pressure” would rather suggest that there is a psychopath working in the White House basement whose full-time job is to come up with pithy one-liners to somehow euphemize government bad behavior. The expressions hardly mean anything in and of themselves apart... Read More
Great dollops of hypocrisy invariably accompany expressions of concern by outside powers for the wellbeing of the Syrian people. But even by these low standards, a new record for self-serving dishonesty is being set by the Caesar Civilian Protection Act, the new US law imposing the harshest sanctions in the world on Syria and bringing... Read More
Thursday, in its first military action, the Biden Pentagon sent two U.S. F-15Es to strike targets of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia just inside the eastern border of Syria. The U.S. strikes were in retaliation for a missile attack on a U.S. base in Irbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which killed a contractor and... Read More
Last Thursday President Biden continued what has sadly become a Washington tradition: bombing Syria. The President ordered a military strike near the Iraqi-Syrian border that killed at least 22 people. The Administration claims it struck an “Iranian-backed” militia in retaliation for recent rocket attacks on US installations in Iraq. As with Presidents Obama and Trump... Read More
On February 25 the election thief ordered a US air attack on Syria that killed 17 Iranians. US and Israeli attacks on Syria have been ongoing for years with no consequences other than Syrian and Russian denunciations of the US and Israeli violations of international law. Clearly, the US/lsraeli agenda takes priority over international law.... Read More
Ten years ago, people across the Middle East and North Africa rose up in protest against their rulers, demanding freedom and democracy. Despotic rulers were toppled or feared that power was being torn from their grasp in countries across the region, as millions of demonstrators surged through the streets, chanting that “the people demand the... Read More
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Biden Doubles Down on Some Bad Policies and Appointments
The prize for the truly awful story of the week goes to the appointment of AIPAC monster to head Pentagon planning for the Middle East. The extension of the nuclear arms agreement between Russia and the United States and the decision to stop directly supporting the war on Yemen may have been the only good... Read More
In a stunning interview to the Beirut-based al Mayadeen network, Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has outlined how Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani – assassinated by an American drone strike at Baghdad airport a litle over a year ago – was instrumental in convincing Russia to help Syria militarily in its war against Salafi-jihadis. Here is the... Read More
More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing. I am a recipient of regular, usual weekly, emails from the Department of the Treasury providing an “Update to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons.” OFAC is the... Read More
When it comes to sowing – and profiting – from division, Erdogan’s Turkey is quite the superstar. Under the delightfully named Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Trump administration duly slapped sanctions on Ankara for daring to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems. The sanctions focused on Turkey’s defence procurement agency, the... Read More
Robert Fisk, 2010.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Mohamed Nanabhay. CC BY 2.0.
Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous... Read More
It was the worst crime of Donald Trump’s years in the White House. In October 2019 he ordered US troops to stand aside, greenlighting Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria that led to the murder, rape and expulsion of its Kurdish inhabitants Eighteen months earlier, Trump did nothing as the Turkish army occupied the Kurdish enclave... Read More
“Many relatives of mine were living in camps near the border with Turkey,” says Huda Husein, a 25-year-old teacher living in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib in northwest Syria. “But last month they returned home [to the cities and villages] because they prefer dying under an airstrike to dying in the camps.” A cousin told... Read More
Desperate refugees crammed into cockle-shell boats landing on the shingle beaches of the south Kent coast are easily portrayed as invaders. Anti-immigrant demonstrators were exploiting such fears last weekend as they blockaded the main highway into Dover Port in order “to protect Britain’s borders”. Meanwhile, the home secretary, Priti Patel, blames the French for not... Read More
“I cannot tell my true name,” says Ramiz Halawani, a 37-year-old teacher in Damascus. “You know how bad and violent our security intelligence are. They have spies everywhere. So, I am using another name.” Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent, Mr Halawani said he contracted Covid-19 earlier this month, as the epidemic swept... Read More
“If I don’t buy masks or medicine, I may die or survive, but if I don’t buy bread for the family, we will all die of starvation,” says a retired 68-year-old teacher in Damascus, explaining why he does not have masks, sterilisers or medicines. “We need two bundles of loaves every day which costs us... Read More
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The ongoing series of protests, riots and unrest following the death of George Floyd culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in Seattle, Washington, after police abandoned a local precinct in the city’s Capitol Hill district. Lasting just three weeks until law enforcement retook the six block territory from occupants on... Read More
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The situation surrounding the censorship of Southfront on Facebook has turned into a display of the stereotypical Big-tech super villain. Facebook has published a report justifying its actions, which is an egregious, textbook example of fake news. The report contains only disjointed accusations under the cover of meaningless words, and without a single example being... Read More
Russian Army Trucks in Italy
The COVID19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is, by any measure, an immense planetary crisis which will probably change the world we live in forever. Still, there are other issues which are maybe not quite as dramatic and important, but which deserve not to be forgotten. Here are some of those The grand betrayal of Tulsi Gabbard It was... Read More
The spread of the coronavirus has meant that much of the other news about developments around the world has disappeared from the normal news cycle. The situation in Syria, which involves not only the government in Damascus but also Turkey, Russia, Iran and a remaining American force in part of the country has been proving... Read More
"Fortress Europe is an illusion." So declares the Financial Times in the closing line of its Saturday editorial: "Europe Cannot Ignore Syrian Migrant Crisis." The FT undertakes to instruct the Old Continent on what its duty is and what its future holds: "The EU will face flows of migrants and asylum seekers across the Mediterranean... Read More
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Oil Prices – Syria – Refugee Invasion
Turbulence rising, we are in for a choppy ride, - that’s what our captain should announce. After some fake turbulence supplied by the overblown coronavirus media hype, real things began to add up. They all add up to a great uncertainty and to a deep recession; to a war substitute, from the financial point of... Read More
At the start of their discussion marathon in Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with arguably the most extraordinary diplomatic gambit of the young 21st century. Putin said: “At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to once again express my sincere condolences over the death of... Read More
New Map of Idlib with Security Corridor
Following 6 hours of grueling negotiations, including direct negotiations between Putin and Erdogan, the parties have finally agreed to the following: A ceasefire will begin at midnight. Russia and Turkey will jointly patrol the M4 highway (M5 now belongs to Damascus). A 6km buffer zone will have to be created and enforced on each side... Read More
The media has done a poor job of explaining what's actually taking place in Idlib Province in Syria. That's unfortunate, but the facts are pretty clear. A year and a half ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a deal in Sochi. No one twisted Erdogan's arm to sign the... Read More
The latest installment of the interminable Syria tragedy could be interpreted as Greece barely blocking a European “invasion” by Syrian refugees. The invasion was threatened by President Erdogan even as he refused the EU’s puny “offer you can refuse” bribe of only one billion euros. Well, it’s more complicated than that. What Erdogan is in... Read More
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The Russians feel fighting Turkey is below their dignity, and prefer to keep the fighting in Idlib as a proxy war. The dignity point is important: traditionally, the Russians go to war only with great powers. Smaller military encounters are a matter for a local commander. Even cruel Winter Campaign 1940 against Finland had been... Read More
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The murder of the Iranian hero-martyr General Soleimani created a situation in which a war between Iran and the Axis of Kindness (USA/Israel/KSA) became a real possibility but, at the very last minute, Uncle Shmuel decided that he had no stomach for a full-scale war against Iran. Wise decision. This, however, does not at all... Read More
The threats to human survival have never been greater than they are today, but the attachment to a crumbling order is blocking the way forward. Unless leaders settle on a new approach that guarantees security for everyone, the crises will continue to intensify bringing the world's two superpowers closer to war. Following the dissolution of... Read More
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It's everyone's fault except the U.S. and Israel
The first week in February was memorable for the failed impeachment of President Donald Trump, the “re-elect me” State of the Union address and the marketing of a new line of underwear by Kim Kardashian. Given all of the excitement, it was easy to miss a special State Department press briefing by Ambassador James Jeffrey... Read More
As resistance to U.S. troop presence in both Iraq and Syria gains steam, a rare scuffle between Syrian civilians and U.S. forces broke out on Wednesday resulting in the death of one Syrian, believed to be a civilian, and the wounding of another. A U.S. soldier was also reportedly injured in the scuffle. The event... Read More
An explosive situation is developing in Idlib province where the Syrian army is conducting a major offensive that has triggered a harsh response from Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to attack Syrian forces anywhere in the country if the Syrian government does not stop all military operations in the so-called Idlib "de-escalation... Read More
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The October decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from northeastern Syria did not only precipitate the Turkish offensive, codenamed ‘Operation Peace Spring’, into Kurdish-held territory which followed. It also sparked an outcry of hysteria from much of the so-called “left” that has been deeply divided during the 8-year long conflict over... Read More
Feature photo | Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
The outsized role of U.S. Israel lobby operatives in abetting the theft of Syrian and Iraqi oil reveals how this powerful lobby also facilitates more covert aspects of U.S.-Israeli cooperation and the implementation of policies that favor Israel. Kirkuk, Iraq — “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re... Read More
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The Turkish army did not invade Syria to attack the Kurds. That's simply not true. The actual target of the Turkish operation (Peace Spring) was a group of separatist militants (The YPG) who have waged a bloody 30 year-long terrorist war on the Turkish state killing upwards of 40,000 people. With the assistance of US... Read More
Mass expulsion or the physical extermination of an entire ethnic or religious community – ethnic cleansing – is usually treated by the media in one of two different ways: either it receives maximum publicity as a horror story about which the world should care and do something about, or it is ignored and never reaches... Read More
There is a certain irony in President Donald Trump’s frequently expressed desire to withdraw from the endless wars that have characterized the so-called “global war on terror” initiated by George W. Bush in 2001. The problem is that Trump has expressed such sentiments both when he was running for office and also as recently as... Read More
Compare US pillaging with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution to normalize Syria
What happened in Geneva this Wednesday, in terms of finally bringing peace to Syria, could not be more significant: the first session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. The Syrian Constitutional Committee sprang out of a resolution passed in January 2018 in Sochi, Russia, by a body called the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. The 150-strong committee... Read More
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Trump cancels the pullout from Syria then flip-flops, threatens war with Turkey and gives money to terrorists
The long nightmare in Syria might finally be coming to an end, but not thanks to the United States and the administration of President Donald Trump. Trump's boast that “this was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else” was as empty as all the other rhetoric coming out of the White... Read More
He died like a dog.” President Trump could not have scripted a better one-liner as he got ready for his Obama bin Laden close-up in front of the whole world. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, fake caliph, ISIS/Daesh leader, the most wanted man on the planet, was “brought to justice” under Trump’s watch. The dead dog caliph... Read More
At the height of the al-Qaeda-led insurgency in Iraq in 2006-07, US commanders, whose troops were suffering serious casualties from roadside bombs, developed a strategy. They sought to identify, kill or capture the leaders of the cells planting the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the belief that this would cripple the bombing campaign. Many such... Read More
President Trump is reversing his foreign policy decisions so quickly these days that it almost seems like he overturns himself before making the decision in the first place. Last week he was very clear that the US was pulling its troops out of Syria. “Bringing soldiers home,” he said. “Let someone else fight over this... Read More
The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis and the self-declared caliph of Islamic State, will be a serious, though not terminal, blow to the ferocious jihadi movement he has headed since 2010. The place where he was finally located – in the Barisha area north of Idlib city in northwest Syria, close... Read More
The sectarian and ethnic civil wars that have ravaged a large part of the Middle East over the past 40 years are coming to an end. Replacing them is a new type of conflict in which protests akin to popular uprisings rock kleptocratic elites that justify their power by claiming to be the defenders of... Read More
"Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand," said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these "endless wars." Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly. Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S.... Read More
Russia-Turkey deal establishes ‘safe zone’ along Turkish border and there will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols
The negotiations in Sochi were long – over six hours – tense and tough. Two leaders in a room with their interpreters and several senior Turkish ministers close by if advice was needed. The stakes were immense: a road map to pacify northeast Syria, finally. The press conference afterwards was somewhat awkward – riffing on... Read More
Assad and His Commanders
In his recent article "The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War Was Won" Pepe Escobar summarized the outcome of the war in Syria in the following way: This otherwise excellent summary overlooks two out of three members of the "Axis of Kindness", including Israel and the KSA. Of course, later in his analysis Pepe... Read More
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There is something profoundly deceitful in the way the Democratic Party and the corporate media are framing Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. One does not need to defend Trump’s actions or ignore the dangers posed to the Kurds, at least in the short term, by the departure of US forces from... Read More
What a mess. The imperial cooks in Washington have turned poor Syria into a poison pit of warring factions, with disastrous results for all. Henry Kissinger once quipped that it is more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy. A good example is how Washington used the Kurds in Syria to fight ISIS and then... Read More