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Syria - Peace Talk Rumors And Parameters

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Since February 2016 Russia had negotiated with the US about a peace deal on Syria. The main agreed upon point was to fight together against the Takfiris, mainly ISIS and al-Qaeda. The US in turn promised to separate the "moderate rebels" it supported from their close al-Qaeda ally. But that promise was never fulfilled. The US delayed and delayed and enabled new attacks by al-Qaeda and US proxy forces on Aleppo and elsewhere. It also instigated Kurdish YPG forces to attack the Syrian government in Hasakah. This was the strategic overreach that doomed the Kurds to a minor role in any upcoming solution.

Russia finally had enough and pulled the plug on further negotiations with the US The Syrian forces and their allies besieged Aleppo and liberated it. At the same time Turkey was allowed to invade Syria in the north eastern Aleppo governate to prevent a connection of Kurdish areas in the north-east and north-west of Syria. The probably US instigated putsch attempt against the Turkish government contributed to this change of alliances. Turkey decided to work with Russia and Iran to end the Syrian crisis (and to get as much out of it as possible.)
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Syria - The US Propaganda Shams Now Openly Fail

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The Obama administration, and especially the CIA and the State Department, seem to be in trouble. They shout everything they can against Russia and allege that the cleansing of east-Aleppo of al-Qaeda terrorist is genocidal. Meanwhile no mention is ever made of the famine of the Houthis in Yemen which the US and Saudi bombing and their blockade directly causes.

But more and more major news accounts support the Russian allegation that the "moderate rebels" the US is coddling in Syria are actually in cahoots with al-Qaeda if not al-Qaeda itself.

Reuters reports (though only at the end of a longer story):
In Aleppo, rebels in the Free Syrian Army are sharing operational planning with Jaish al-Fatah, an alliance of Islamist groups that includes the former Syrian wing of al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with US-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.

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Syria - The Aid Convoy Attack Points To Further Escalation

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The show-down over the damaged aid convoy west of Aleppo is reaching comedy level.

The UN/Syrian Red Crescent convoy came from the government held west-Aleppo. It had reached a Syrian Red Crescent center in Umm al Kubra in the "rebel" held area further west where it started to unload. Something happened and many of the trucks burned or where otherwise damaged. Allegedly some 20 people were killed. The incident happened shortly after the ceasefire had officially expired. US sponsored "White Helmet" propaganda teams where there when or shortly after the incident happened.

Here are various claims that were made about the incident (I am time restricted and will for now not provide links for each of these):

The US and its allies claim that the convoy was bombed in an air attack. The Russians deny that they or the Syrians executed any such attack.

The "rebels" had various versions. Syrian jets AND helicopters did it; "Barrel bombs" were used; a sustained attack over hours ...

US Secretary of State first claimed that the Syrian did it, than that the Russians did it; helicopters had attacked. The Pentagon then came up with two Russian SU-24 fixed wing aircraft as the culprits. But the US then claimed that the attack went on over two hours which is longer than a pair of SU-24 could sustain.


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New Yemeni Government Ready To Accept Al-Saud's Capitulation

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Day by day the situation in Yemen becomes more difficult for the people on the ground. The Saudis have renewed bombing and seemingly hit everything in sight - no matter what. Food is running out. But Yemen now has a new legitimate government. And the Saudis will have to either follow the conditions it will set, or all-out lose the war.

UN supervised negotiations between the former Yemeni president Hadi, supported by the armed forces of various Gulf countries, and a delegation of the Houthi alliance with the former president Saleh have failed. The Saudis demanded total surrender to their demands: A retreat of the Houthi from the capital Sanaa, a complete re-installment of Hadi as president, and a handing over of all serious weapons. The Houthi/Saleh side could never have agreed to such conditions. The fighting on the ground continued throughout the four month negotiations.

When the failure of the negotiations was obviously imminent, Houthi and Yemeni army forces re-invaded Saudi Arabia. For 200 km of the Saudi-Yemeni border from the Red Sea to inland eastwards Yemeni forces initially invaded at 6 locations 5-20km deep. Video showed them in sight of the Saudi city Narjan, with half a million inhabitants, shelling the electricity station and military barracks. Laughably a joint statement from the governments of the UK, USA, Saudi Arabia and UAE demanded that:
the conflict in Yemen should not threaten Yemen’s neighbours.
Laughable. A Saudi war on Yemen is fine with them, to respond to such is not?
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Kerry's And Al-Qaeda's 'Very Different Track' Attack On Aleppo Fails

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Early May US Secretary of State Kerry set a deadline for "voluntary" regime change in Syria:

[He] said “the target date for the transition is 1st of August” in Syria or else the Assad government and its allies “are asking for a very different track.” Hoping that “something happens in these next few months,” he said the political transition would not include President Assad because “as long as Assad is there, the opposition is not going to stop fighting.”

Kerry made those remarks after meeting with the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. They agreed to establish a monitoring ceasefire center in Geneva, Switzerland, ...

By the time of that statement al-Qaeda in Syria and US supported insurgents had already broken the February ceasefire announced by Russia and attacked Syrian government positions in the rural area south of Aleppo city.

Negotiations since May between Russia and the US over Syria have not led to any tangible results. In retrospect the US tactic seems to have been willful delay. The US made some laughable offer to Russia and Syria to effectively accept defeat in exchange for common attacks on al-Qaeda. This was rejected without much comments.


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Syria - As Rebels Break Ceasefire Army Gathers For New Campaign

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The ceasefire in Syria held for some five weeks but is now about to end. During the ceasefire Russia reduced its forces in Syria and the Syrian Arab Army made significant progress against the Islamic State.  But the opposition and their sponsors abused the ceasefire to rearm. They prepared and executed new attacks against the Syrian government and Syrian civilians.

The sponsors of the opposition, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the US delivered new arms and munition to the "moderate" opposition. It is known that up to half of all supplies the "moderates" receive is inevitably delivered to al-Qaeda in Syria. The sponsors also broke a long-standing taboo and introduced portable anti-air missiles (MANPADs) onto the battle field. Several fighters of the US and Turkey supported Al Hamza brigade posted pictures showing off their new toys. The US claims that these fighters are supposed to only fight the Islamic State. But the Islamic State has no aircraft and these weapons are clearly to be used against the Syrian government and its supporters.

Earlier this week, Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafist group near to al-Qaeda, downed (video) a Syrian Su-22 ground-attack plane with a MANPAD near the city of Tal Eis, south of Aleppo city. The pilot, Lt. Col Musad Zayed Hirani, was taken prisoner by al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra). This incident shows that MANPADs immediately proliferate on the battle field and beyond and may soon be used against civilian planes in the Middle East and around the world.
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Selective Leaks Of The 'Panama Papers' Create Huge Blackmail Potential

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A real leak of data from a law firm in Panama would be very interesting. Many rich people and/or politicians hide money in shell companies that such firms in Panama provide. But the current heavily promoted "leak" of such data to several NATO supporting news organization and a US government financed "Non Government Organization" is just a lame attempt to smear some people the U.S. empire dislikes. It also creates a huge blackmail opportunity by NOT publishing certain data in return for this or that desired favor.

Already some 16 month ago Ken Silverstein reported for Vice on a big shady shell company provider, Mossak Fonseca in Panama. (Pierre Omidyar's Intercept, for which Silverstein was then working, refused to publish the piece.) Yves Smith published several big stories about the Mossak Fonseca money laundering business. Silverstein also repeated the well known fact that Rami Makhlouf, a rich cousin of the Syrian president Assad, had some money hidden in Mossak Fonseca shell companies.
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The Islamic State Is Pretext To Again Mug Libya

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There are currently two governments in Libya. A "moderately Islamist" one in the west in Tripoli and one in the east in Tobruk. The eastern one is internationally recognized and "secular" but also supported by some Salafist groups. Both governments have their own parliament and various supporting militia. In the middle of the long east-west coastline the Islamic State led by some cadres from Iraq and Syria has taken a foothold in Sirte. It is recruiting followers from north Africa and moving to capture nearby oilfields to finance its further expansion.

The "west" is alarmed about this development and wants to intervene with military force. But both governments and their parliaments do not wantsuch foreign intervention.

The UN or someone came up with the glorious idea of creating a third government which is supposed to supersede the two existing ones. The task of this third government will be to "invite" foreign forces and to rubber-stamp whatever they will do. That third government is now constituted in Tunisia and has zero power on the ground in Libya...
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US Military Seeks Reasons To Prolong Afghanistan Occupation

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When the US attacked Afghanistan the purpose was to remove the Taliban government which had given guest status to the al-Qaeda leadership. Only a few weeks later, that job was done.


The alleged purpose of the occupation of Afghanistan then changed into hunting down al-Qaeda remnants. But those had already fled to Pakistan and elsewhere.

The US military instead started to hunt and kill former Taliban members even when those were just local farmers or former Taliban leaders who had given up any fighting and were willing to cooperate. This manhunt and the accompanying torture and killing of civilians revived the Taliban movement and a new revolt, now against the US occupation and its puppet government, started. The alleged purpose of the US military in Afghanistan changed again.
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Why Does The World Wage War Against The People Of Yemen?

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Nearly the whole world, seemingly paid off by Saudi money, is waging war against Yemen.


How else can one explain the silence that surrounds the Saudi bombing campaign that will lead to devastating starvation in Yemen and will turn that country into a second, bigger Gaza?

The sycophantic UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon kicked out the UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, because Benomar did not endorse the Saudi bombing campaign. He will be replaced with the Saudi choice Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad from Mauritania:

Previously, in Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad was “an embarrassment,” as multiple UN sources put it to Inner City Press. But, hey, whatever the Saudis want.
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