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Focus: Syria - Apr 7, 2017

 

Putin considers US attack in Syria aggression against sovereign state: Kremlin - Sputnik


Putin to Netanyahu: Unacceptable to make 'groundless accusations' on Syria chemical attack - Haaretz.com


Russian Foreign Ministry statement on US military action in Syria on April 7, 2017 - mid.ru


Russian Defense Ministry: 36 Tomahawk missiles out of 59 did not reach the Ash Sha’irat airbase, total cost of the operation $110.271 million  - southfront.org


Russian Defense Ministry decides on expansion in Syria following Putin's orders - Sputnik


Russia to take measures to Increase Syrian air defense capabilities - southfront.org


Russian warship steams toward US destroyers that launched Syria strikes - Fox News


Russia expects US to provide evidence of chemical weapons use by Syria - TASS


Moscow reminds all chemical weapons were taken out of Syria in 2014 with US help - Sputnik


Syria has 'ridiculously huge' stockpile of sarin gas, Pentagon memo reveals - Washington Times


Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib: Russian MOD - RT News


VIDEO: Weapons manufacturing facility in Khan Sheikhoun captured by Qatari TV, video begins by showing people being washed off after the chemical attack - Al Jazeera


White Helmets & SOHR can't be considered as reliable sources: Russian Foreign Ministry - southfront.org


US probes possible Russia role in Syria chemical attack - CNN.com


China does not assign blame for the Syria chemical attack or mention Syrian leader Bashar Assad, supports investigation - Fox News

 

UN Chief urges ‘very clear' probe into Syria's Idlib chemical attack - Sputnik

 

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Presidency of Syrian Arab Republic: US aggression is reckless and irresponsible act – Syrian Arab News Agency


Eyewitness says Syrian military anticipated U.S. raid - ABC News


Al-Moallem: Syrian Army didn’t and will not use chemical weapons even against terrorists – Syrian Arab News Agency


Syria determined to carry out its obligations towards OPCW, rejects forging facts – Syrian Arab News Agency


Mikdad: We provided OPCW and the UN with reports on toxic substances transported into Syria by terrorist organizations – Syrian Arab News Agency


Did Assad or the Russians use chemical weapons against civilians in Syria or are we dealing with a false flag operation? Is Trump being duped by the neocons? - O Mouggos


What caused the chemical calamity in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria on April 4, 2017? - Rootclaim


Chemical Weapons 2017: What Just Happened In Syria? - activistpost.com


Tahrir AL sham said the warplane that did the airstrikes was Su-22 2/4 - Yusha Yuseef on Twitter


it's known that bombs used by this type of warplanes can't be filled with gas or editable ، Unlike let's say helicopter home made bombs 3/4 - Yusha Yuseef on Twitter


Also SAA command didn't know about existence of chemical supplements inside the targeted base 4/4 - Yusha Yuseef on Twitter


VIDEO: Minutes after the sarin gas attack on Idlib - LiveLeak.com


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Syria strike disappoints Trump backers in media - TheHill


Trump's troll army isn't ready for war in Syria, The alt-right crowd breaks with the president - POLITICO Magazine


Trump’s Syria strike is sign of Bannon’s waning influence - nymag.com


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Trump’s military strikes in Syria are reckless and short-sighted - Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard


VIDEO: Ron Paul: "Zero chance" Assad behind chemical weapons attack In Syria; Likely a false flag - Zero Hedge


Trump supporter Marine veteran warns Trump: ‘You're being duped’ on Syria (VIDEO) - southfront.org


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Top 10 Lies, Damn Lies, and Lies About Syria

1. Chemical weapons are worse than other weapons.

This is not the case. Death and dismemberment are horrific regardless of the weapon. No weapon is being used legally, morally, humanely, or practically in Syria or Iraq. U.S. bombs are no less indiscriminate, no less immoral, and no less illegal than chemical weapons -- or for that matter than the depleted uranium weapons with which the United States has been poisoning the area. The fact that a weapon has not been banned does not create a legal right to go into a country and kill people with it.

2. Chemical weapons use justifies the escalated use of other weapons.

Does shoplifting justify looting? If a Hatfield poisoned a McCoy, would another McCoy be justified in shooting a bunch of Hatfields? What barbarism is this? A crime does not sanction another crime. That's a quick trip to hell.

3. Important people we should trust know who used chemical weapons.

No, they do not. At least they do not know that the Syrian government did it. If they knew this, they would offer evidence. As on every past occasion, they have not done so.

4. The enemy is pure evil and will answer only to force.

The U.S. government and its proxies have sabotaged peace negotiations numerous times over the past several years, maintaining that Assad would have to step down or -- preferably -- be overthrown by violence before anything could be negotiated. This does not make the U.S. government pure inhuman evil, much less does it make the Syrian government that.

5. If you don't want to bomb Syria with one enemy's name on your lips, you hold the firm belief that said enemy is actually a saint.

This piece of stupidity gets people accused of loving and holding blameless the Syrian government, the Russian government, the U.S. government, ISIS, and various other parties. In fact, the reasonable thing to do is to hold all killers responsible for their killing because of the crime, not because of who commits it.

6. U.S. war-making in Syria is defensive.

This is the opposite of reality-based thinking as war-making endangers us rather than protects us. Someone should ask Donald Trump to remember the Maine. You may remember that Spain wanted the matter brought to a neutral arbiter, but the United States wanted war, regardless of any evidence. That's been the typical move over the centuries: careful maneuvering into war, not away from it. Trump, by the way, is already up to his bloody elbows in several wars inherited from Obama -- wars no less immoral and illegal slaughters because of their connection to either of those presidents. The question of who blew up the Maine is, at this point a truly dumb one. The important point is that the U.S. didn't want to know, wanted instead to rush into a war before anyone could find out. Typically, the desire to avoid information, and not some other consideration, is the reason for the urgency in war-making.

7. Peace was tried in 2013, and it failed.

No. What happened was that Obama and his administration tried to pull off the same stunt that Trump is trying now, and the public rose up and refused to allow it. So, instead of a massive bombing campaign, Syria got more weapons, more trainers, more troops, and a medium sized bombing campaign. That's very different from actually shifting direction and offering Syria diplomacy, aid, and disarmament.

8. The U.S. government's goal is peace.

The long openly stated goal of powerful players in the U.S. government is to overthrow Assad.

9. Syria is as boring and unconcerning as numerous other ongoing U.S. wars.

In reality, Syria is a war that risks fighting between the United States and Russia, while each is armed with far more than enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth. Creating a profitable conflict between the U.S. and Russia is a likely actual motivation of some hawks on Syria.

10. Making everything worse with yet more violence is the only option left.

That's not an option at all. But these are: aid, reparations, negotiations, disarmament, the rule of law, truth and reconciliation.

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Believe the Autocrat

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Un-Trump the Budget

Check out below the list of people who have come together on this!

Add your name.

Our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent. We need to transform our economy, our politics, our policies and our priorities to reflect that reality. That means reversing the flow of our tax dollars, away from war and militarism, and towards funding human and environmental needs, and demanding support for that reversal from all our political leaders at the local, state and national levels.

We and the movements we are part of face multiple crises. Military and climate wars are destroying lives and environments, threatening the planet and creating enormous flows of desperate refugees. Violent racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and other hatreds are rising, encouraged by the most powerful voices in Washington DC.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Teflon Wars

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Would-Be Strongmen Worldwide

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

U.S. Out of Korea

My biggest concern is not the embarrassment of a U.S. public afraid of the tiny impoverished nation of North Korea. If that embarrassed me, how would I survive what U.S. culture makes of ISIS, or -- for that matter -- the election of Donald Trump? My biggest concern is that U.S. war profiteers may end up using Korea to get us all killed.

The United States bombed the living hell out of North Korea, and -- in hopes that nothing would survive -- dropped diseased insects on the place, hoping to start plagues. One bit of later collateral damage was the release of Lyme disease in Lyme, but Hollywood came out of it with the concepts of brainwashing and Manchurian candidates, so some might call it a fair trade.

The United States has thus far refused to ever end the war, sign a peace, or allow reconciliation. Southern and Northern efforts toward peace have been thwarted. Northern proposals (echoed by China) to halt nuclear testing if the U.S. will halt the "exercises" in which it practices for the nuclear bombing of the North have been mocked and scorned. North Korea has committed to no first use, as has China. The U.S. has proposed first use and made plans for it, while heavily militarizing South Korea, building a new base on Jeju Island, sending armed drones to the border, and installing THAAD.

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), is part of what the United States calls "missile defense" and much of the world thinks of as missile offense. The U.S. calls it a (highly profitable) tool to protect South Korea from the attack that the North is not threatening. China sees it as part of U.S. efforts to encircle China and to be prepared to strike first and to minimize the Chinese response.

Giving not a rat's rear what China or North Korea or even South Korea has to say, distracted by its efforts to stir up World War III with Russia, and obsessed with prolonging its numerous wars in the Middle East and Africa, the United States simply pushes ahead.

On Wednesday, April 5, a group of South Koreans plans to demonstrate against the current course in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. One of them, Rea-kyung Lee, Chairman of the board of the Tomorrow Association, provided me with a statement that I paraphrase thus:

"The Korean people will be closely watching how U.S. President Trump and the Chinese National Chairman Xi Jin Ping deal with the deployment of THAAD onto the Korean Peninsula when they meet in the United States on April 6 and 7.

"The United States is unilaterally imposing THAAD deployment without any normal and proper agreement with South Korea. The former Korean president who initiated the process has recently been impeached for corruption. A new election is planned for early May. Meanwhile, China is imposing sanctions on South Korea in retaliation.

"The United States must halt THAAD deployment. China must end sanctions.

"The democratic citizens of South Korea have ousted a corrupt president using peaceful, non-violent candlelight demonstrations. The hurdles still faced are long-standing. Following the period of Japanese imperialism, the Korean people desired to establish an independent and unified nation, but were frustrated by the U.S.-Soviet military occupations of the peninsula, and the war between the United States and China.

"The residents of the Korean peninsula have been being forced to undergo the tragic status of national division, while constantly experiencing daily life under the threat of war for more than 70 years. The U.S. and China, in fighting for supremacy over the Korean peninsula, should not repeat such historical crimes."

Two ways to help:

1. Join the demonstration at the White House from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on April 5.

2. Attend the conference and demonstration planned for April 7-9 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Let Trump Golf, Let the Public Draft the Budget

One idea behind a representative government is to approximate what the public as a whole would do if it had the time to sit down and consider each matter itself. Of course the entire U.S. public does not have that time. But when a random sample of the public is asked to take the time on one topic, its results typically line up with opinion polls, not to mention basic human decency, far more closely than does the work of the Congress or the White House.

An example is found in the matter of the fiscal year 2018 federal budget. This can be a tricky topic to poll the public on, principally because most of the public has little idea what the budget looks like, and most discussions of the budget only make matters worse. Passionate pleas not to cut this or that valuable program leave people imagining that such programs make up a significant part of the budget, and that the White House proposal would shrink the government by cutting such programs.

In fact, only one item makes up a significant part of the discretionary budget -- over half of it, in fact -- and President Donald Trump's proposal is for the same size government, but with funding moved out of virtually everywhere else and into this one budget item: the military. Trump's budget proposal would push military spending up to above 60% of discretionary spending (not counting secret budgets, of course).

What would be the point of asking for budget recommendations from people who believe that military spending is 10% and foreign aid 20% of the budget? How responsible would that be? If the public were to decree that we must "increase" military spending to 15% of the budget, how would we implement that policy?

A democratic solution to this conundrum, short of an improved communications system, has been found by the staff of the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland. They simply show people the current 2017 budget, so that they know what it is, and ask them how to improve it. The results would only shock an elected "representative."

"By far the biggest gap," the researchers report, "is for ... military spending. Overall the Trump administration favors a $53.4 billion increase while the public favors a $41 billion cut – a $94.4 billion gap." And, of course, Trump favors cuts to pay for his militarism that the public opposes: on education, public housing, the State Department, medical research, the environment, and mass transit.

I'm with the public on this and every other topic I know of. A sample of informed public opinion should override any veto, filibuster, house resolution, or executive order as far as I'm concerned. We'd all be better off.

Dumping $700 billion into a never-audited department named "defense," against the will of the public, is certainly not defensive of democracy. Neither is it defensive of anything else. Only 20 countries reach $10 billion in annual military spending, nine of them NATO members, 8 more U.S. allies, and 3 potential allies if not treated with such hostility. One of them, Russia, has cut its military in the past 3 years from $70 billion to $48 billion. Somehow that's the government considered so terrifying in Washington, D.C., that all you'd have to do to stop Trump's budget would be to claim 1,000 times on television that a Russian wrote it.

That's going to be my Plan B. First let's try this. I suggest we cut the President some slack. Let him go golfing more often. The public can handle the government just fine.

Tomgram: Rajan Menon, Making America Insecure Again

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Terror attacks like the recent one in London send a shudder through Americans. Since 9/11, they have been the definition of what TomDispatch regular Rajan Menon calls “national (in)security.” They've also been the lifeblood of a media machine that loves to focus 24/7 on immediate and obvious horrors (especially against folks like “us”). In the age of Donald Trump, preventing such attacks has, if anything, become even more the essence of what American security is all about.

Focus: Syria - Mar 29, 2017

 

Clashes rage around Tabqa town after the Islamic State counter-attacks to fend off a US-backed advance near the militants' stronghold of Raqqa - alaraby.co.uk


Clashes renewed in the vicinity of al-Tabqa airbase between the Islamic State and the Syria Democratic Forces - SOHR


Raqqa-Tabqa road under SDF control - NRT English


Engineers repair Syria's Tabqa dam spillways after ISIS shelling - Reuters


VIDEO: ISIS began pounding the Tabqa dam with mortars. engineers evacuated and SDF/YPG reinforcements arrived. - syria.liveuamap.com


Engineer says Tabqa dam not in immediate damage, but needs urgent repairs (VIDEO) - almasdarnews.com


Red Crescent Team checks north side of Al-Tabqa dam in Raqqa province, say that the dam is out of service but it is not at risk (VIDEO) - Reuters


US- led coalition official: No imminent danger to Tabqa Dam, ISIS losing more ground in Raqqa - ARA News


VIDEO: ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq reportedly showing damage to the dam, states it was “completely out of service” and that its floodgates could not be opened - YouTube

 

Raqqa lives in darkness and thirst for the 5th consecutive day and panic in the city due to rumors about “the collapse of the near Euphrates Dam” - SOHR


The fight for a key dam in Syria could lead to 'catastrophe' for hundreds of thousands of people - Yahoo News


Monitoring groups say US behind deadly air strike on Syrian Tabqa dam that killed two local experts trying to repair it - FT


US-led coalition warplanes kill the man in charge of the Euphrates dam management in targeting him with a group of 12 persons including technicians in al-Tabqa – SOHR


Russian general claims US-led coalition hit Tabqa dam in Syria - militarytimes.com


More US troops may be needed for fight against ISIS near Raqqa, general says - Fox News


US-led Coalition to use Tabqa airbase during Raqqa operation - Sputnik


US military delivers equipment to Kurdish forces in northern Raqqa: report - almasdarnews.com


Syria's Raqqa expected to join Kurdish-led federalism: Kurdish leader - Reuters


Syrian Democratic Forces say handed over responsibility for the administration in the Raqqa countryside to the Raqqa Civil Council - Rudaw


US-led coalition has no intention to create federal Kurdish state in Syria: official - ARA News


The Kurds can take Raqqa, but they can’t stay, says top U.S. General. - Foreign Policy on Twitter

 

Syrian Coalition: Liberation of Raqqa should be assigned to the FSA - etilaf.org


Fantastic report based on interviews with the key 4 tribes in Raqqa. - A MUST READ, with important lessons - Charles Lister on Twitter


Lesson 1 - ALL of Raqqa’s key tribes are deeply hostile to U.S-backed YPG & skeptical of the SDF. Today’s strategy ensures further war. - Charles Lister on Twitter


Lesson 2 - A sizeable U.S troop deployment into eastern Syria based on today’s strategy is v. likely to spark a broader hostile insurgency - Charles Lister on Twitter


REPORT: Eyeing Raqqa: A Tale of Four Tribes - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


Turkey ends 'Shield' military operation in Syria, PM says - US News


Turkish observers: 'Ankara, Damascus must unite' to halt US-backed Kurdish state in northern Syria - Sputnik

 

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Four Syrian towns reach evacuation deals between pro-government and rebel forces -DW.COM


More links on the reported Fouaa–Kefraya/Zabadani–Madaya agreement - Aron Lund on Twitter


The National Coalition is not at all fond of the Four Towns agreement - Aron Lund on Twitter:


[Unverified] reports that HTS may have received $30 million for agreeing to recent “4 towns” evacuation deal - Charles Lister on Twitter


Fighters, civilians evacuated from last militant-held district in Homs (VIDEO) - almasdarnews.com


Syrian government troops entered Deir Hafer: Report - southfront.org


Syrian army advance on Jirah military airbase (VIDEO) - southfront.org


ISIS-held Jirah military air base in Aleppo to be encircled by Syrian army (MAP) - southfront.org


Syrian Army overruns jihadi groups in northern Hama - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army regains the lead in northern Hama, recaptures another hilltop (VIDEO) - almasdarnews.com


ISIS offensive in Deir Ezzor ends in complete disaster, 30+ terrorists killed - almasdarnews.com


Syrian, Iraqi intelligence work together to destroy ISIS's largest base in Deir Ezzor - almasdarnews.com


HNC reiterates no role for Assad in transitional period & accuses Iranian-backed militias of war crimes - etilaf.org


U.S. envoy to U.N. Haley: Syria's Assad 'hindrance to moving forward' - Reuters


Russian Deputy FM rules out discussing Assad's future with US - Sputnik


Peace talks will continue until Syria has ‘territorial integrity’: Russian Deputy FM - almasdarnews.com


Russia urges Syrian opposition to not raise tensions - almasdarnews.com


Russia's Lavrov: still possible to renew cooperation with U.S. in Syria - Reuters


Lavrov interview: An “absolutely artificial hysterical situation was created” in U.S.-Russia relations—but not quite yet a Cold War. - The National Interest


Iraq will not sever ties with Iran despite pressure from Arab nations - Rudaw


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Tomgram: John Dower, Body Count for the American Century

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Focus: Yemen - Mar 27, 2017

 

UN urges political dialogue between warring parties to bring an early end to Yemen devastating conflict and avoid famine - AFP


UN rights chief calls for a cease-fire in Yemen - jurist.org


100 civilians killed a month in Yemen war, most by Saudi-led coalition: U.N. - Reuters


UN statement: Over 100 civilians killed in a month, including fishermen, refugees, as Yemen conflict reaches two-year mark - ohchr.org


Children paying the heaviest price as conflict in Yemen enters third year: UN - United Nations News Centre


More than 10,000 attacks on Yemeni women in 2016: UN - dnaindia.com


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis asks the White House to escalate U.S. military support for Persian Gulf states engaged in a protracted civil war in Yemen - The Washington Post


Mattis’ dangerous request to increase support for the war on Yemen - The American Conservative


Saudi Arabia’s brutal and futile war in Yemen turns two - The American Conservative


Two years on, Saudi intervention in Yemen leaves trail of death - DW.COM


Happy anniversary to America’s shameful travesty of a war in Yemen - Foreign Policy


Amnesty condemns US, UK over Yemen arms - France 24


Yemen: Multibillion-dollar arms sales by USA and UK reveal shameful contradiction with aid efforts - Amnesty International


Yemen: Saudi-led coalition attack on refugee boat likely war crime - Human Rights Watch

 

Senators clash over U.S. involvement and Iran's role in Yemen conflict - NIAC


Dick Durbin: "Count me in" for tying Saudi arms to stopping Yemen famine - The Huffington Post


The Arab Gulf states plan to 'win' the war in Yemen – we should be wary about what their victory would look like - The Independent

 

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Yemen war second anniversary: Tens of thousands protest against Saudi intervention in Sanaa - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Drone footage: Over 100,000 Houthi supporters gather at Yemen rally - YouTube


Pro-Houthi court sentences Yemen president Hadi to death for treason - Reuters


Yemen president Hadi: Houthis cannot impose Iranian model on us - Al Arabiya English


Houti-backed president Saleh calls for ‘unconditional’ talks on Yemen - Middle East Monitor


Houthi leader slams Saudi Arabia, hails Egypt’s positions – Middle East Monitor


Saudi naval forces clear Houthi mines from Hodeida coast - Al Arabiya English


Russia warns against Yemen Hodeida port attack by the Saudi coalition - almasdarnews.com


Houthi forces turn the tides in the battle for western Yemen - almasdarnews.com


Houthi forces launch massive offensive in southern Saudi Arabia - almasdarnews.com


Yemeni long-range missile hit Saudi military base near Riyadh - almasdarnews.com


VIDEO: Watch the Yemeni rebels fire a long-range missile at the Saudi capital - almasdarnews.com

 

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Iran steps up support for Houthis in Yemen's war: sources - Reuters


Houthi forces appear to be using Iranian-made kamikaze drones to ram Saudi air defenses in Yemen, report says - The Washington Post


Iran behind Yemeni rebels' explosive boats - Washington Times


Iran's Hybrid warfare In Yemen: The Houthis are not an Iranian proxy at this time, but U.S. action could force the Houthis to deepen ties with Tehran - Critical Threats


If Yemen's Houthis weren't Iranian proxies before, they could be soon - Public Radio International


Iran’s small hand in Yemen: Iranian support for the Houthis has been marginal and does not shape their decisionmaking as much as local alliances and conflict dynamics do - CEIP


Iran’s policy towards the Houthis in Yemen: A limited return on a modest investment - researchgate.net


Hitting Iran where it doesn’t hurt: Why U.S. intervention in Yemen will backfire - Just Security


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Tomgram: Jon Else, Eyes on the Prize 2017

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up With Advances in Science and Technology?

H.G. Wells, one of the most prolific and prominent novelists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, consistently warned his contemporaries that social institutions were not evolving fast enough to cope with rapid changes in science and technology.

Liberalism's Communications Problem

Liberals in the United States are relatively educated, yet extremely inarticulate when it comes to Trump, his budget proposal, or the U.S. military.

In a typical email, Moveon.org sent out the message this week that nobody should confirm a Supreme Court nominee until it's determined that Trump is a "legitimate president." Until then, the U.S. military should go on slaughtering families for him? And once he's "legitimate" then a horrible fascist Supreme Court nominee should be approved? And what would it take for Trump to become "legitimate." According to the email, it would take proving that Trump didn't collaborate with Putin to rig the U.S. election. According to the linked video, it would take that plus seeing Trump's tax returns, plus proving that Trump is not violating the foreign emoluments clause. All three demands are given a xenophobic slant.

Focus: Syria - Mar 23, 2017


U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces expects to attack Tabqa dam and air base soon - Reuters


SDF will dominate Tabqa dam in next 72 hours: SDF commander declares - syria.liveuamap.com


VIDEO: YPG Footage showing the advance of the US backed SDF across Lake Assad/River Euphrates and towards Tabqa Dam - syria.liveuamap.com


US military helping operation to seize strategic Tabqa dam near Syria’s Raqqa - Al Arabiya English


US Coalition statement on the Syrian Democratic Forces assault near Tabqah dam - Operation Inherent Resolve


Reports starting to come in that US troops have been deployed to Tabqa (via helicopter). This account says 100 troops involved - Shiraz Maher on Twitter”


US special forces cut the main route between Aleppo and Raqqa, after making a surprise airdrop near Tabqah, Syria. - syria.liveuamap.com


Kurdish forces cutoff key ISIL supply line in northern Syria, capturing several villages along the strategic Aleppo-Raqqa Highway - almasdarnews.com


SDF soldier announces that more soldiers will be transported to the peninsula west of Tabqa in some hours - Syrian Civil War Map


Syrian Democratic Forces say need up to 15 days to block, start storming Raqqa - Sputnik


SDF's Talal Selou tells al-Watan's Junblat Shkai SDF would be happy to coordinate with the Syrian Army in Raqqa, if US approves - Aron Lund on Twitter

 

ISIS reportedly redeploys forces from Deir Ezzor To Raqqah - southfront.org

 

US General: "The YPG has a political office in Moscow itself, but the groups that we're providing support to on the ground are not being supported directly by Russian military forces” - Washington Examiner


US State Department warning against travel to Syria and urging US citizens in Syria to depart immediately - Haidar Sumeri on Twitter

 

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Turkey Deputy PM on Raqqa: If you are saying ‘We will bring in the PYD while taking Daesh away’, Turkey will never allow it. We will not be involved - Sputnik


Turkey still determined to play role in final Raqqa assault, set up the Army of Al-Jazirah and Euphrates Tribes - al-monitor.com


Turkey training the Free Syrian Police (FSP) to help out with secondary operations in Aleppo province - al-monitor.com


Turkey expects Russia to close Syrian Kurds' office in Moscow: Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


Turkey not convinced with Russian denial for military base in Afrin - hurriyetdailynews.com


Syrian Kurdish YPG says Turkey shells villages in northwest Afrin, wounding 10 civilians - Reuters


Russian armored vehicles w Russia YPG flags, heading to Afrin border towns, were being heavily shelled by Turkish military - Jack Shahine on Twitter

 

Russian troops go to Syrian area shelled by Turkey, Kurdish YPG says - Channel NewsAsia


Turkey summons Russian envoy, says fired into Kurdish-held Syria after soldier killed by sniper - Reuters


Turkish military says 71 Kurdish militants killed in Syria in last week - Jerusalem Post

 

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Syrian Army troops liberated city of Deir Hafer in Eastern countryside of Aleppo: Reports - southfront.org


ISIS withdraws from last east Aleppo stronghold Deir Hafer - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army continues routing ISIS in rural Aleppo after Deir Hafer, liberates new village - almasdarnews.com


Qaeda-led Syrian rebels press major assault near Hama, the offensive also includes Free Syrian Army fighters - Reuters


Al-Qaeda rebels seize two more villages in northern Hama - almasdarnews.com


Syrian army prepares Hama counterattack ahead of renewed peace talks - Reuters


Elite Tiger Forces arrive in northern Hama to drive back Al-Qaeda - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army recaptures two villages in northern Hama counter-offensive - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army storms jihadist-held Al-Qaboun in east Damascus - almasdarnews.com


Syrian army regains control of Maghazel industrial area in Eastern Damascus - Sputnik


Jaish al-Islam (participant of peace talks) joins Hayat Tahrir al-Sham & Co in advance against government forces In Eastern Damascus - southfront.org


Ahrar-AlSham participates in HTS offensive to cut Homs-Salamiyah supply routes Syria - syria.liveuamap.com


Jihadist rebels mobilize in northeast Latakia for new offensive - almasdarnews.com


Three more Russians lost their lives in Syria: Media - southfront.org


UN-mediated Syria talks resume in Geneva - StarTribune.com


Statement by the UN Special Envoy for Syria on the fifth round of intra-Syrian talks, 23 March 2017 - ReliefWeb


Russia wants Syrian Kurds in Geneva talks despite Turkey’s resistance - ARA News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

The Middle East for Dummies

The first point I'd like to touch on is the idea that the Middle East is a culturally violent place that can be made less violent by bombing it. The first problem with this is that bombing places makes them more violent, not less. Nobody is shocked or awed into nonviolence, not 14 years ago and not for the past century. The second problem is that the Middle East's violence cannot be compared with that of other cultures without figuring out how to factor out the influence of the West. A hundred years ago, Britain and France carved up Western Asia, and not to spread democracy.

Trump in No Hurry to Staff ‘Enemy of the People’ Offices

By Dave Lindorff


(published originally by FAIR.org)

Ryancare wreckage: Don the Con's Health Care Pushes Serious Problems Aside

fdsBy Linn Washington, Jr.

 

The desperate scramble of President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress to salvage a cure for their ailing health care proposal to replace Obamacare completely ignores correcting a deadly problem plaguing the very heart of America’s health care system.

Five Localities Pass Resolutions Against Trump Budget: Three of Them Done Well

New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, and Montgomery County, MD, have passed resolutions opposing the Trump budget's moving of money from everything else to the military, urging that money be moved in the opposite direction.

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