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Syria/Russia News - Oct 8, 2015

Russia says it fired cruise missiles from warships in Caspian sea to Syria provinces of Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib - AP

Syrian troops launch ground offensive backed by Russian airstrikes - The Guardian

VIDEO: Russian Defence Ministry publishes a video featuring a massive 'precision weapon strike' in Syria - Russia Ministry of Defence

Russian warplanes in Syria destroy U.S.-trained rebels' weapons depots: commander - Reuters

Moscow ready to establish contacts with FSA, help it unite forces with Assad against ISIS: Putin - RT News

Syrian rebel commander rejects idea of working with Damascus against Islamic State - Reuters

France dismisses Russian suggestions that Syrian government forces and moderate rebels could join in fighting Islamic State - Reuters

NATO says Russian ground troops in Syria, Turkey's airspace violated again - CNN

Foreign Ministry: No volunteers recruited in Russia to fight in Syria - TASS

Spy Planes, Signal Jammers, and Putin’s High-Tech War in Syria - Foreign Policy

Iraq may request Russian airstrikes: Official - NBC News

Saudi opposition clerics make sectarian call to jihad against Syria's government and its Iranian and Russian backers - Reuters



Pentagon chief: US not cooperating with Russia against Islamic State in Syria, as long as Moscow continues to strike other rebel groups - ABC

VIDEO: Pentagon chief: ‘Don’t listen to Russia, US has not agreed to cooperate in Syria' -

US Rules Out Intelligence Sharing With Russia on Fighting ISIL -

U.S. diverts aircraft to avoid Russian fighter -

Russian jets 'intercept' US predator drones over Syria, officials say 'the Russians flew very close, but did not impede the drone flight’ - Fox News

No decision made on no-fly zone in Syria: U.S. State Department - Reuters

VIDEO: State Department Press Briefing on Syria (starts at 12:40 minute) - YouTube

VIDEO: White House Press Briefing on Syria (starts at 50:30 minute) - YouTube

Washington says Kurds waged an effective war against the Islamic State, distinguishes between the PKK and the YPG - Rudaw

Syria's Kurds Are Contemplating an Aleppo Alliance with Assad and Russia - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Kurds say blood tests show Islamic State used mustard gas in Iraq - Reuters

What an ISIS Chemical Strike Did to One Syrian Family - The New York Times

Nuclear Smugglers Tried Selling Radioactive Materials To ISIS - AP

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

Syria/Russia News - Oct 4, 2015

Kremlin claims its strikes destroyed major Islamic State command post and bunker in its ‘capital' Raqqa - LA Times

Air Force decimating terrorist command centers, bunkers, camps, workshops: Russian Defense Ministry - RT


Russia warned U.S. ‘ahead of latest Syria strikes’ - Al Arabiya News

Russia says to step up air strikes in Syria, 'We will not only continue strikes... We will also increase their intensity' - Reuters

Russian Air Group in Syria Fully Deployed, Ready to Strike Targets - Sputnik

Russia Deploying Marines to Syria to Guard Airbase -

Inside the Russian airbase in Syria: RT checks out everyday life at Latakia airfield (VIDEOS, PHOTOS) - RT News

Russian Navy Positions Itself Off the Coast of Latakia -

Russian military assets in Syria -

US Media: Russia Is Using Old, Dumb Bombs, Making Syria Air War Even More Brutal - The Daily Beast

Russia Media: Despite Video Evidence, Pentagon Slams Moscow for Using 'Dumb Bombs’ - Sputnik

People in different areas in Northern Syria tell me: Russian planes are flying in pairs during bombing raids. Never a plane alone - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Russian Warplanes Have Registered No ISIL Air Defense Activity in Syria - Sputnik

Russian jets kill eight members of Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib, including a media person with the group - Hassan Hassan on Twitter


Russians hit town Ihsem controlled by Jaish alFatah (Nusra, AlQaeda) + Ahrar + others who kicked out FSA Jamal Maruf last year - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

PHOTOS: Al Nusrah Front tweets photos of Russian airstrikes - The Long War Journal

Syria FM urges Russia to send troops to protect Assad from ISIS - NY Daily News



Obama says Putin wrong on Syria but no proxy war between the United States and Russia - AP

Allies demand Russia to focus its efforts on fighting ISIL, immediately cease its attacks on the 'Syrian opposition and civilians' - Reuters

Joint Declaration by France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK and US on the Russian Military Actions in Syria -

Pentagon considering protections for U.S.-trained rebels in Syria if they come under fire by the Russians - CTV News

Clinton joins some Republicans in breaking with Obama on Syria no-fly zone - The Washington Post

Bernie Sanders sides with Obama and against Clinton on no-fly zone in Syria - The Washington Post

U.S.-backed Syrian rebels appeal for antiaircraft missiles - The Washington Post

Syrian opposition rejects UN plan on Syria -

U.S. Syrian Kurdish allies welcome Russian airstrikes in Syria - The Sacramento Bee

Iraqi Kurdish leader urges Russia, U.S. to coordinate in anti-IS fight - Reuters

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel's relationship with Russia is good - Jerusalem Post

Egypt says Russia's intervention in Syria will counter terrorism - Yahoo News

Canada notably absent from coalition criticism of Russian Syria action - The Globe and Mail

Opinion: Deal with Saudis? Why does the US care if Russia bombs al-Qaeda and its Allies in Syria? - Informed Comment

WikiLeaks Cables Portray Saudi Arabia As A Cash Machine For Terrorists - The Guardian

Opinion: Syria, the New York Times and the Mystery of the "Moderate Rebels” -

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


In a letter to Secretary Carter, Secretary Kerry and CIA Director Brennan, the bipartisan group of Senators urge U.S. officials to cease unsuccessful program and seek alternative ways forward


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter, U.S. Department of State Secretary John Kerry and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan urging them to end the Syria Train and Equip Program – an unsuccessful effort to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters – which has endangered Americans and further escalated conflict in the region.


The Senators wrote in part: “The Syria Train and Equip Program goes beyond simply being an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. As many of us initially warned, it is now aiding the very forces we aim to defeat. On Friday, USCENTCOM confirmed that some of the fighters that we trained and equipped had turned over ammunition and trucks to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Al Nusra Front. In exchange for safe passage, the fighters, trained by the U.S., gave up approximately 25% of their U.S.-issued equipment.”


Please read the full text of the Senators’ letter below or here.


Dear Secretary Carter, Secretary Kerry, and Director Brennan:


We write to express our deep concern about the Syria Train and Equip Program and to call for an end to this failed initiative. When Congress was considering the program last year, many of us expressed concerns about this program endangering Americans and further escalating the conflict. The evidence further supports our belief. It is time for the Department to find a new path forward.


Authorized at $500 million for Fiscal Year 2015, the program has struggled to graduate “vetted” opposition fighters. When General Lloyd Austin III, the commander of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said that only "four or five" U.S.-trained opposition fighters were on the ground fighting in Syria. It has since been reported that another 75 United States-trained rebels have entered the fight, but this is still a far cry from the 5,000 fighters the program aimed to train each year.


The Syria Train and Equip Program goes beyond simply being an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. As many of us initially warned, it is now aiding the very forces we aim to defeat. On Friday, USCENTCOM confirmed that some of the fighters that we trained and equipped had turned over ammunition and trucks to al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Al Nusra Front. In exchange for safe passage, the fighters, trained by the U.S., gave up approximately 25% of their U.S.-issued equipment.


With over 200,000 persons killed, 4 million refugees, and 7.6 million internally displaced people, the situation in Syria is absolutely tragic, and we must ensure that any U.S. efforts do not cause additional harm. We ask that you cease the Syria Train and Equip Program and look for alternative ways forward.



Hillary Offers Syria a Libyan-Iraqi-Style Paradise

Americans may find Syria a bit confusing. David Petraeus, sainted hero, has proposed arming al Qaeda, organized devil. Vladimir Putin, reincarnated Hitler, is bombing either ISIS or al Qaeda or their friendly democratic allies, but he shouldn't be because he's against overthrowing the Syrian government, also run by Hitler living under the name Assad. Hillary Clinton, liberal socialist, wants to create a no-fly zone, but wouldn't that make it hard to bomb all the scary Muslims? Wait, are we against Assad or the scary Muslims or both? Aaaaaarrrrgghh! How does this make any sense?

Let's start over, shall we?

Some basic facts?

We'll start with the most uncomfortable fact, but one that helps begin to make sense of everything, OK?

The United States military wants to dominate the earth, has "special" forces active in 135 countries, and has troops stationed in some 180 countries. On a map of the world showing nations with no U.S. troops in them, Syria and Iran stand out like sore thumbs, as once-upon-a-time did Iraq and Libya. Syria not only has no U.S. troops; it has Russian troops, and it's friendly toward Iran, which has no U.S. troops. Overthrowing the Syrian government, like Iraq's and Libya's and Iran's, has been on the Pentagon's bucket list for the 21st century. As early as 2006, the U.S. government had people on the ground in Syria working to overthrow the government. With the 2011 Arab Spring, the U.S. thought it saw an opportunity, and helped turn the protests violent.

The Syrian government is awful and murderous. It used to torture people for the U.S. government. It, indeed, attacks "its own citizens" (which is always who governments attack that aren't escapading around the globe attacking other people's citizens, which in fact most governments never do). If every government that attacked its own citizens had to be overthrown, the list would be unending, and could begin with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, and various other governments just in that region that the U.S. -- far from overthrowing -- props up, funds, and arms with the weaponry used to commit the attacks. Overthrowing foreign governments and launching wars are in fact illegal acts, and rightly so, regardless of the nature of the governments.

The criminal acts of overthrowing the horrible governments of Iraq and Libya resulted in millions of people being killed, injured, traumatized, and turned into refugees, and the creation of not only worse governments but deadly chaos in those nations and spilling out into the rest of the region. This cannot be a model for what to do to Syria.

Russia should not be arming Syria or bombing Syria. We're so well trained to think in terms of war, that when we hear that one side of a war is in the wrong, we imagine that must be an argument for backing the other side. "You don't want the United States bombing Syria? Then you must want Russia bombing Syria! You must want Assad using his deadly 'barrel bombs'!" In fact, nobody should be arming or bombing anyone in Syria. The United States and numerous allies that have been bombing Syria need to stop. Russia, which has just started, needs to stop. The U.S. media says Russia is bombing where there's no ISIS, although it said ISIS was there a week ago and seems to have forgotten. Russia shouldn't stop bombing because it's bombing the wrong people. There are no right people to bomb. The majority of people who die from bombs are civilians. The majority of people involved with any of the many opposition groups in Syria are opportunists and misguided desperate souls. Every single person in Syria is a person deserving better than a crude "barrel bomb" from a helicopter they hear coming or a far more deadly missile from a foreign jet or drone.

A no fly zone is not a zone in which nobody can fly. It's a zone in which the United States claims the exclusive right to fly and to shoot out of the sky anyone else who tries it, and to bomb out of existence any weaponry that could threaten U.S. planes, along with any people who happen to be anywhere near any suspected weaponry or near any locations accidentally hit in the process. The history of human catastrophes facilitated by humanitarian "no fly" zones includes Iraq and Libya. Hillary Clinton, motivated by interest in Libya's oil, wanted a no fly zone in Libya, urged that it be used to overthrow the government, laughed gleefully about killing Gadaffi, and would prefer that you now not look at Libya too closely. A no fly zone for Syria is a declaration of war on Syria.

Hillary Clinton, just to be clear, is not an office holder. She is a private citizen who ought to be shunned from all public discourse. As Secretary of State, she waived restrictions on shipping weapons to brutal governments if they made large "donations" to her foundation. For that, she should be in prison. Nothing worse will be found, no matter how many of her emails are read in a mad pursuit of more minor but colorful offenses.

In 2013, the Obama Administration demanded the right to send missiles into Syria. The plan, kept private, was a massive bombing campaign that would have leveled Syria and set it on a more rapid course toward utter chaos. Obama made claims about chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government that have never yet been documented, and alleged proof for which fell apart.

The U.S. public helped prevent that attack in 2013 and was, according to polls, even more strongly against arming and training Syrians. So, the CIA and the Pentagon went right ahead with arming and training Syrians. They have had a very hard time recruiting, and have seen their trained and armed troops desert and join other groups, including al Qaeda and ISIS. The U.S. dismissed out of hand a Russian proposal for peace, including Assad stepping down, in 2012, under the delusion that Assad would be quickly overthrown by violence in a manner less advantageous to Russia. That hasn't happened. U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia keep funding and arming ISIS and allied groups. The U.S. keeps arming supposedly "moderate" murderers who supposedly oppose both ISIS and Assad. The various opposition groups keep fighting Assad and each other. And Assad gets support from Russia, and has begun working with Russia, Iran, and Iraq against its opposition / ISIS.

The United States still dreams of overthrowing Assad on the cheap without a massive U.S. occupation, and without bombing quite the whole country. The U.S. keeps fueling the fires that sooner or later could escalate into the kind of war that could overthrow Assad, generate lots more hatred of the United States, empower ISIS, and kill millions.

Russia hopes to keep Assad or a Russia-friendly government in power without a massive Russian occupation, and without bombing quite the whole country. Russia keeps fueling the fires that sooner or later could escalate into the kind of war that could put an end to major opposition in the short term, generate hatred of Russia, empower ISIS, and kill millions.

The global threat is, of course, that this could escalate into a war between Russia and the United States.

What can be done? From the U.S. side that's not hard to answer, though it may be hard to accept.

1. Apologize to the people of Iraq and Libya, abandon the overthrow of Syria, apologize to the United Nations for promoting war at the General Assembly.

2. Cease all weapons shipments to the Middle East and pull all U.S. troops out of the Middle East.

3. Launch a massive campaign of no-strings-attached aid as restitution to the region, costing of course many times less than the ongoing militarism.

4. Work to negotiate an arms embargo and a weapons-of-mass-destruction free Middle East, including Israel.

5. Work to cut off the funding to armed groups.

6. Ask the United Nations to convene peace talks with all parties, including the Syrian opposition, including Iraq, including Iran, including Russia, including Turkey, including the Syrian government, but not including nations that are not even located in the region, such as the United States.

Syria/Russia News - Oct 2, 2015


Russian air strikes hit CIA-trained Free Syrian Army rebel faction, commander says - Yahoo Maktoob News

What Is The Free Syrian Army? Russia Targets CIA-Trained Rebels Opposed To Assad Regime -

Geolocated Evidence points to Russian airstrikes on TOW-operating FSA affiliate (VIDEO) - Syria Direct

Russia warplanes target in Syria the Army of Conquest, an alliance that includes Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and CIA-trained FSA factions - VOA

A look at the Army of Conquest, a rebel alliance in Syria - New York Times

Russia admits ISIS is not only target in Syria, says it supports the Syrian armed forces in the struggle with extremist groups - Fiscal Times

Russia does not consider Free Syrian Army a terrorist group, Lavrov says - Reuters

VIDEO: Lavrov speaks at a news conference at the United Nations about Russian airstrikes (Full) - Bloomberg Business

Kremlin officials accuse U.S. of 'war of disinformation' on Syria airstrikes - LA Times

Vladimir Putin signs decree drafting 150,000 conscripts into the Russian military - Daily Mail Online

MAPS: Mapping the Battle for Syria: Russian Airstrikes Hit Rebel Areas - The New York Times

Al Qaeda brigade claims attack on Russian forces in Syria - The Long War Journal

Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources - Reuters

Iraq would welcome Russian strikes against Islamic State in Iraq: Iraqi prime minister Abadi - Reuters

VIDEO: Prime Minister Abadi: Iraq welcomes Russia in Islamic State fight - PBS

Syrian Kurdish fighters welcome Russian strikes, demand weapons for anti-IS fight - Middle East Eye

PYD leader: Russia will stop Turkey from intervening in Syria - Al-Monitor


Foreign ministers of Russia and China discuss fight against Islamic State, crisis in Syria - TASS



White House complains to Russians on their airstrikes as 'indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition' - ABC News

U.S. seen unlikely to defend Syrian rebels from Russian strikes - Reuters

Pentagon: US and Russia hold  'cordial and professional’ talks to clear up Syrian airspace, present proposals for minimizing risks - ABC

VIDEO: White House Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria (Starts at 5:15 minute) -

VIDEO: Department Defense Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria -

TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

VIDEO: Russian approach in Syria 'doomed to fail': Pentagon chief - YouTube

U.S. and Russia unlikely to share intelligence on Syria -

Pentagon Worried Iraq Will Share U.S. Intel with Russia -

Lack of targets, not Russians, seen affecting number of US airstrikes in Syria - Stripes

Members of Congress: Leave Syria’s Assad for later in face of Russian offensive, 'The key is to defeat ISIS' - The Washington Post

Republican-led Senate panel opens review of Syria intelligence - Business Insider

Syria conflict: Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists show off weapons allegedly seized from-US trained rebels -

Saudi Arabia demands Russia end Syria raids, criticises Iran -

Erdoğan: Turkey will not allow ’fait accompli situations’ next to its borders, in an apparent reference to Russian air strikes in Syria -


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

Syria/Russia News - Sep 30, 2015

Pentagon readies talks with Russia on Syria military operations - Reuters

Pentagon: Russia 'ready' to launch airstrikes in Syria -

U.S. stops sending new Syria recruits to troubled rebel training program, says it is not suspended but just put on ‘pause’ - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Pentagon Press Briefing on Syria -

TRANSCRIPT: Pentagon Press Briefing on Syria -

Dem senator calls on US to suspend Syrian rebel training program - TheHill

Military official: Untrained commander led U.S backed Syrian rebels that gave up equipment to Nusra Front -

Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria, aiming to aid embattled Syrian President Assad - The Washington Post

Pentagon's top Russia official Evelyn Farkas resigns, she has been known to take a hard line on Russia - POLITICO

Obama's Islamic State War Czar John Allen Stepping Down - Bloomberg View

Congressional report: U.S. has 'failed' to stop flow of foreign fighters to ISIS - CNN

REPORT: Text of the Report by the Congressional Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel -



Obama, Putin spar over Syria, clash over the central question of whether Syrian President Assad should retain power - Reuters

VIDEO: Obama UN General Assembly Full Speech - YouTube

TRANSCRIPT: President Obama Speech to the United Nations General Assembly -

VIDEO (and transcript): Putin full speech at UN General Assembly - President of Russia

VIDEO: Lavrov's interview highlights: ’We cannot allow the state of Syria fail, alternative is ISIS caliphate' - YouTube

Lavrov rules out joint command with U.S. in Syria, however stresses that military operations must be coordinated - La Prensa

Russia is trying to coax the US into sharing intel with Iraq, Iran, and Syria in Baghdad - Business Insider

Russian military experts arrive in Iraq -

Russia May Provide Reconnaissance Aircraft for Baghdad Info Center - Sputnik

Moscow hopes list of participants in the anti-ISIS coordination center in Baghdad to grow - TASS


Iraq defends intelligence sharing with Russia, Syria, Iran - AP

Russia establishes seaborne lifeline for Syrian allies - Reuters

VIDEO: Russian navy pours south through Bosphorus, possibly heading to Syria -

France opens war crimes inquiry against Assad regime: sources - Yahoo News

British PM Cameron: Putin Teaming Up with Assad to Defeat ISIS Is a 'Phony Solution’ (VIDEO) - Breitbart

Saudi Arabia says there is 'no future' for Assad in Syria, whether that exit is through politics or by force - The Guardian

Assad is root of Syria crisis, Qatar tells Putin -

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

Time to stop bombing and make peace in Syria and Yemen

Explosion from Saudi airstrike on Sanaa, Yemen.

Letter to The Guardian signed by Mark Rylance, Charlotte Church, Len McCluskey, Caroline Lucas MP, Brian Eno, Mairead Maguire, Michael Rosen, Tariq Ali, Clive Lewis MP, many more.

We are gravely concerned at the possibility of a parliamentary decision to bomb Syria. David Cameron is planning such a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. He is doing so in the face of much evidence that such an action would exacerbate the situation it is supposed to solve. Already we have seen the killing of civilians and the exacerbation of a refugee crisis which is largely the product of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

The US and its allies have dropped 20,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria in the past year, with little effect. We fear that this latest extension of war will only worsen the threat of terrorism, as have the previous wars involving the British government. Cameron is cynically using the refugee crisis to urge more war. He should not be allowed to.

Mark Rylance
Charlotte Church
John Williams
Mairead Maguire Nobel peace laureate
Brian Eno
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
Christine Shawcroft Labour NEC
Diane Abbott MP
Alice Mahon
Clive Lewis MP
Jenny Tonge
Caroline Lucas MP
Andrew Murray Chair, Stop the War Campaign
Lindsey German Convenor, STWC
Kate Hudson CND
Tariq Ali
John Pilger
Tim Lezard
David Edgar
Alan Gibbons
Andy de la Tour
Michael Rosen
Francesca Martinez
Eugene Skeef
Victoria Brittain
Anders Lustgarten
David Gentleman
David Swanson
Gerry Grehan Peace People Belfast

Syria/Russia News - Sep 28, 2015

Putin says seeking 'coordinated framework' to fight IS - Yahoo News

Putin: Overthrowing Assad will lead to failed state - Al Jazeera English

Putin: No Russian ground operations in Syria 'right now' - Yahoo News

Putin criticizes US support for Syrian rebels as not only illegal but counterproductive - US News

VIDEO (and transcript): 60 Minutes interviews Vladimir Putin - CBS News

Iraq Agrees to Share Intelligence on ISIS With Russia, Syria and Iran - The New York Times

Iran's Rouhani: Fighting radical militants like Islamic State in Syria is the top priority and if they are to be defeated then Assad government in Syria 'can't be weakened’  - Reuters

VIDEO: Iranian President Rouhani: Syria's al-Assad must remain to fight 'terrorists' -

Pro-Hezbollah daily says party in Syria pact with Russia - NOW

Chinese troops to join Russian marines in Syria soon, says report -

Abbas says agreement between Russia and US will help resolve Syria issue - TASS



US, Russia mull joint coordination against IS, Kerry says 'the critical thing is that all of the efforts need to be coordinated' -

Background Briefing on Secretary Kerry's Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -

U.S.-Russia coordination on Syria needed to avoid ‘incidents': NATO - Reuters

Shifting Direction, Kerry Aims to Include Iran in Efforts to End the Conflict in Syria - The New York Times

Germany calls for Syria transitional government, Merkel says Bashar al-Assad must be involved in Syria talks - Yahoo News

Hollande says France ready to discuss Syria with all powers but a solution must center around Syrian President Assad stepping down during a political transition - WSJ

Cameron says Assad should face criminal trial, while keeping open the possibility the Syrian president could temporarily remain in power during a political transition - Bloomberg

Austrian minister says Assad should take part in talks on Syrian settlement - TASS

Australia set to abandon opposition to Assad as part of Syria settlement - The Guardian

Erdoğan denies change in Syria policy, says Assad not part of solution -

Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim warns of ‘disaster’ if Assad government falls - Kurdpress News Aganecy



UN ambassador Samantha Power defends arming Syrian rebels - TheHill

VIDEO: Interview with Samantha Power on Putin and Syria - ABC News

U.S.-trained fighters who defected to an al Qaeda affiliate shows just how confused Washington really is - The Daily Beast

US-backed rebels handed over equipment to al Qaeda in Syria, Pentagon Confirms - The Long War Journal

U.S. Central Command: Reports of New Syrian Force Equipment Being Provided to Al Nusra Front - CENTCOM

Thousands of Foreigners Enter Syria to Join ISIS Despite Global Efforts - The New York Times

France carries out its first air strikes against ISIS in Syria destroying an Islamic State camp - Daily Mail Online

Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain: planners to financiers, cadres to foot soldiers, ideologists to cheerleaders - The Independent

Turkey major conduit for Syrian 'blood antiquities' - Al-Monitor

The Syrian refugee crisis, explained in one map - Vox


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

Syria/Russia News - Sep 22, 2015

Russia Deploys Ground-Attack Aircraft to Syrian Base, 28 Combat Planes and 20 Helicopters - The New York Times

These are the 28 jets Russia now has in Syria - The Washington Post

Russia starts Syria drone surveillance missions: U.S. officials - Reuters

Russia to deploy 2,000 in Syria air base mission’s ‘first phase’ -

Russia to Start Bombing in Syria asap: US official - The Daily Beast

Anticipation of a Russian Strike on ISIS in Syria: Novaya Gazeta -

Russia, Iran Seen Coordinating in Syria - WSJ

Russia ready to consider Syria’s request to send troops if Damascus asks for it: Kremlin - TASS

Israel and Russia to Coordinate Military Action in Syria: Benjamin Netanyahu - NBC News

Russian defense, Pentagon chiefs agree to restore military contacts, discuss Syria - RT

Russian Official: 'Without Cooperation With Moscow, US Is Only a Second Fiddle in Syria’ - Sputnik

Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia: military source - Yahoo News

Syrian army bombards ISIS positions in Palmyra, Raqqa, Idlib - The Guardian

Why Russia is expanding its Syrian naval base: seeks to help the Syrian government but also to increase its presence in the Mediterranean - The Moscow Times

Rebels depict Russia as a new occupier, say Syria could be the next Afghanistan - Business Insider



Activists report 75 U.S.-trained rebels return to Syria - AP

US-backed Syrian rebels arrested and later released by another group, The Times report - Middle East Eye

Was Syrian train-and-equip effort always a ‘mission impossible'? General acknowledges the $500 million program is in tatters -

US-backed leader of Syrian rebel group quits and lists 6 problems with the training program - Business Insider

This is the ISIS intel the U.S. military dumbed down, reports overstated the damage that U.S. strikes had on specific ISIS targets - The Daily Beast

Senseless slaughter, corruption and broken promises of money and glory: Landmark report reveals why growing numbers of foreign fighters are defecting from ISIS - Daily Mail Online


REPORT: Victims, Perpetrators, Assets: The Narratives of Islamic State Defectors - International Center for the Study of Radicalisation

Interview on ISIS defectors with Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation - VOX

Islamic State defectors: Three case studies - BBC News

Syrian rebels say they’ve helped hundreds defect from Islamic State -

IS executes 10 people accused of being gay in Syria - The Times of Israel

US pledges another $419M to Syrian refugees, Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017 - TheHill

Plan to admit more refugees faces stiff opposition in U.S. Congress, many worry that Islamist fighters posing as refugees might sneak into the country - Daily Mail Online

Syrian Kurdish leaders planning to capture last border crossing with Turkey held by ISIS - The Independent

Centcom Spokesman: Syrian Kurd Fighters Disrupt ISIL Movement - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

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

Syria/Russia News - Sep 16, 2015


White House on Russia: Continuing to support Assad is destabilizing and counterproductive  (VIDEO) - Washington Examiner

State Dept.: We are working hard on achieving a political transition away from Assad who is to blame for ISIS - RT

VIDEO: State Dept. spokesman Kirby Press Briefing, Questions on Syria start at minute 1:04 - YouTube

Pentagon has no plans to deconflict airspace with Russia in Syria, despite signs Moscow is establishing a forward air base - TheHill

U.S. defense chief has no plans to talk to Russia counterpart, Pentagon says - Jamestown Sun

Russia’s Assertive Moves Weigh on Pentagon Plans for 2017 Budget - Bloomberg Business

VIDEO: U.S. ambassador Samantha Power: Russia and Iran should be blamed for supporting a regime that is fueling the rise of terrorism - CNN

Analysis: The Russian involvement in Syria could work in favor of U.S. national interests by fighting Islamic terrorists and restoring stability, a prerequisite for a political settlement - Consortiumnews

UN: Peace in Syria only after we combat terror and protect state institutions so as the country doesn’t follow the Libya and Iraqi scenarios -

26 armed rebel factions issue a statement rejecting U.N. special envoy plan to end Syria conflict -

Barrel Bombs and Artillery Take Heavy Toll on Vital Rebel Offensive in Syria's South - VICE News



Putin defends military aid to Syria to fight 'terrorist aggression', says migrant crisis in Europe would be far worse without it - New York Times

ISIS 'has designs on' Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem and is a danger to Europe, Vladimir Putin warns - The Independent

VIDEO (English subtitles): Speach of Vladimir Putin on Syria (it starts at minute 2:40) - YouTube

Kremlin: Talks between US And Russia ‘indispensable’ to solve Syria crisis, Obama and Putin might meet at the UN General Assembly - Sputnik

Russia Is Setting Up A Forward Air Operating Base in Syria, Pentagon Confirms - Defense One

Russia 'Closing Gap' Between US with Newer Air Defenses, General Says -

Russia military reportedly deploying to Hama - NOW

Senior Iranian general said to make second Moscow trip - The Times of Israel

'If you are worried about refugees, stop supporting terrorists’: Assad interview - RT News


Cold War weaponry and modern military hardware: Inside the ISIS arsenal - Fox News

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

What if Americans Had Known in 2013 that U.S. rejected Syria Deal in 2012?

In the United States it is considered fashionable to maintain a steadfast ignorance of rejected peace offers, and to believe that all the wars launched by the U.S. government are matters of "last resort." Our schools still don't teach that Spain wanted the matter of the Maine to go to international arbitration, that Japan wanted peace before Hiroshima, that the Soviet Union proposed peace negotiations before the Korean War, or that the U.S. sabotaged peace proposals for Vietnam from the Vietnamese, the Soviets, and the French. When a Spanish newspaper reported that Saddam Hussein had offered to leave Iraq before the 2003 invasion, U.S. media took little interest. When British media reported that the Taliban was willing to have Osama bin Laden put on trial before the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. journalists yawned. Iran's 2003 offer to negotiate ending its nuclear energy program wasn't mentioned much during this year's debate over an agreement with Iran -- which was itself nearly rejected as an impediment to war.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, who had been involved in negotiations in 2012, said that in 2012 Russia had proposed a process of peace settlement between the Syrian government and its opponents that would have included President Bashar al-Assad stepping down. But, according to Ahtisaari, the United States was so confident that Assad would soon be violently overthrown that it rejected the proposal.

The catastrophic Syrian civil war since 2012 has followed U.S. adherence to actual U.S. policy in which peaceful compromise is usually the last resort. Does the U.S. government believe violence tends to produce better results? The record shows otherwise. More likely it believes that violence will lead to greater U.S.-control, while satisfying the war industry. The record on the first part of that is mixed at best.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000 Wesley Clark claims that in 2001, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld put out a memo proposing to take over seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. The basic outline of this plan was confirmed by none other than former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who in 2010 pinned it on former Vice President Dick Cheney:

"Cheney wanted forcible 'regime change' in all Middle Eastern countries that he considered hostile to U.S. interests, according to Blair. 'He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it — Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.,' Blair wrote. 'In other words, he [Cheney] thought the world had to be made anew, and that after 11 September, it had to be done by force and with urgency. So he was for hard, hard power. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.'"

U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks trace U.S. efforts in Syria to undermine the government back to at least 2006. In 2013, the White House went public with plans to lob some unspecified number of missiles into Syria, which was in the midst of a horrible civil war already fueled in part by U.S. arms and training camps, as well as by wealthy U.S. allies in the region and fighters emerging from other U.S.-created disasters in the region.

The excuse for the missiles was an alleged killing of civilians, including children, with chemical weapons -- a crime that President Barack Obama claimed to have certain proof had been committed by the Syrian government. Watch the videos of the dead children, the President said, and support that horror or support my missile strikes. Those were the only choices, supposedly. It wasn't a soft sell, but it wasn't a powerful or successful one either.

The "proof" of responsibility for that use of chemical weapons fell apart, and public opposition to what we later learned would have been a massive bombing campaign succeeded. Public opposition succeeded without knowing about the rejected proposal for peace of 2012. But it succeeded without follow-through. No new effort was made for peace, and the U.S. went right ahead inching its way into the war with trainers and weapons and drones.

In January 2015, a scholarly study found that the U.S. public believes that whenever the U.S. government proposes a war, it has already exhausted all other possibilities. When a sample group was asked if they supported a particular war, and a second group was asked if they supported that particular war after being told that all alternatives were no good, and a third group was asked if they supported that war even though there were good alternatives, the first two groups registered the same level of support, while support for war dropped off significantly in the third group. This led the researchers to the conclusion that if alternatives are not mentioned, people don't assume they exist — rather, people assume they've already been tried. So, if you mention that there is a serious alternative, the game is up. You'll have to get your war on later.

Based on the record of past wars, engaged in and avoided, as it dribbles out in the years that follow, the general assumption should always be that peace has been carefully avoided at every turn.

Focus: Syria/Russia - Sep 12, 2015

Russia calls on for military-to-military cooperation with the United States on Syria to avert 'unintended incidents' -

VIDEO: FM Lavrov says Russia seeks coordination with US over Syria to avoid 'incidents' - YouTube

Pentagon: Neither U.S. nor coalition forces have contacted Russian forces in Syria to prevent any miscalculation or miscommunication - Stripes

Russia calls on world to back Syrian military, calling it the 'most powerful ground force' in the fight against the Islamic State - Washington Times

Russian build-up in Syria part of secret deal with Iran’s Quds Force leader: intel sources - Fox News

1000 Iranian Marines Join Russian Troops in Jablah Base to Fight Syrian Rebels, Says Report -

Russia intensifies naval exercises off Syrian coast: sources - Reuters

Russia is sending advanced air defenses to Syria - Business Insider

Russia running Damascus International Airport: pro-opposition report - NOW

VIDEO: Russian troops live-fire training in Syria - The Washington Post

Berlin says would welcome Russian role in fight against IS - Reuters

Syria, Egypt agree on restoring ties: report - THE DAILY STAR



Obama: Russia's support for Assad 'a big mistake' - TheHill

VIDEO: Obama Comments On Russian Military In Syria - CBS News

U.S. scrambling for a plan, options are to confront Russia inside Syria or cooperate with it on the fight against the Islamic State - Bloomberg

The Pentagon's Syria debacle, top brass debate how to rescue costly effort to raise rebel army to fight Islamic State - POLITICO

Critics: No way U.S. can meet Syria training goals - Washington Examiner

Syrian rebel training program costs millions and counting - DoD Buzz

Pentagon now training fourth class of Syrian rebels - TheHill

Western states train Kurdish force battling ISIS in Syria - THE DAILY STAR

Lawmakers welcome whistleblowers as DoD probes cooked intel on ISIS and Qaeda, Altered reports allegedly portrayed the terror groups weaker than they are -

Exclusive: 50 spies say ISIS intelligence was cooked - The Daily Beast

US spy chief’s ‘highly unusual’ reported contact with military official raises concerns over rosy portrayals of the war against the Islamic State -

VIDEO: White House spokesman Earnest can't say the U.S. is winning the war against Islamic State - YouTube

President Obama directs administration to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year - The Washington Post

U.S. charities urge Obama to let in more Syrians, ask churches to help - The Washington Post



US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria’ (VIDEO) - BBC News

Islamic State Ordnance Shows Traces of Chemical Agents, U.S. Says - The New York Times

VIDEO: Islamic State using 'chemical weapons' as wounded soldiers reveal painful skin burns in graphic footage - Mirror Online

UN Security Council OKs Syria chemical probe -

Syrian air base falls to rebels, troops exit: state TV - Reuters

Islamic State seizes last Syrian oilfield under government control, monitor says - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation - Reuters

Kurds say Syrian opposition supports Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Former Sex Slave Says Kayla Mueller Was Killed By ISIS, Not An Airstrike -

The women taking on ISIS: on the ground with Iraq's Yazidi female fighters - The Guardian

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


Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines

Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.
Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration flow of people heading into the European Union. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek
village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday,
Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration
flow of people heading into the European Union.
(AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

MINNEAPOLIS — Images of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who washed up dead on Mediterranean shores in his family’s attempt to flee war-torn Syria, have grabbed the attention of people around the world, sparking outrage about the true costs of war.

The heart-wrenching refugee crisis unfolding across the Middle East and at European borders has ignited a much needed conversation on the ongoing strife and instability that’s driving people from their homes in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq. It’s brought international attention to the inhumane treatment these refugees are receiving if — and it is a major “if” — they arrive at Europe’s door.

In Syria, for example, foreign powers have sunk the nation into a nightmare combination of civil war, foreign invasion and terrorism. Syrians are in the impossible position of having to choose between living in a warzone, being targeted by groups like ISIS and the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown, or faring dangerous waters with minimal safety equipment only to be denied food, water and safety by European governments if they reach shore.

An American In Syria

An American in Syria
By John Mesler, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

In 1955 Alcoa was the first big sponsor to drop the Edward R. Murrow Show. Alcoa didn't just make aluminum cans. They made parts for our military fighter jets. Murrow spoke out against the communism fear mongering tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy and eventually more corporations dropped his show. Now those companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, GE, and Honeywell, to name just a few, own the mainstream media TV and papers and decide what "news" we, the American public get to hear. By 1961 we were warned by President Eisenhower about the Military Industrial Complex but not enough of us were paying attention. The truth does eventually get out, however. As I write this piece, recently retired Lt. General Flynn (who also served as chief of the Department Intelligence Agency), admitted that the US has been supporting al-Qaeda with money and weaponry. Isn't that the same group we held responsible for attacking us on 9/11 in the first place?

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 12, 2015

U.S. denies reaching agreement with Turkey on Syria 'safe zone' - Reuters

VIDEO: US denies any Pact with Turkey on Safe Zone in Syria - YouTube

Turkey PM: Syria no-fly zone needed - BBC News

VIDEO: Turkey PM Ahmet Davutoglu pledges Syria 'safe zone' - BBC News

Ankara says Turkish, US forces to hit ISIL, Kurdish militants if entered ’safe zone’ -

State Dept: US will not allow Turkey to attack PYD in Syria - Rudaw

U.S. Shelves Its $500M Syrian Rebel Army - The Daily Beast

Islamic State attacks Syrian rebels near Turkish border in an area where Turkey and the United States aim to create an area free of the jihadist group - Reuters

Al-Qaida affiliate ceases fighting ISIS in parts of Syria, orders fighters to stand down in parts of the country where Turkey intends to create a 'safe zone’ - The Guardian

Ahrar al-Sham announces support for ISIS-free Syria zone - Middle East Online

Ahrar al-Sham’s Political Office has posted an English version of its statement on Turkey’s “safe zone” in N Syria - Charles Lister on Twitter

Turkmen fighters arrive in Syria to launch the first phase of a joint U.S.-Turkish initiative to establish an Islamic State-free zone - IBTimes

Syrian Rebels Are Using Turkish Lira In ISIS-Free Zone -

New Coalition Airstrikes Destroy ISIL Infrastructure in Syria, Iraq -

Source on ground, who listened in to Nusra walkie talkie, tells me Nusra said 50 fighters dead after coalition strikes. 20 injured - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

As Rifts Open Up in Syria’s al-Qaeda Franchise, Secrets Spill Out - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

ISIS Takes Aim at Its Toughest Foes in Southern Syria- The Daily Beast

Two days ceasefire agreed between Syrian army and rebels in three Syrian towns - sources - Reuters


Saudi Arabia rejects Russian calls to work with Assad against IS - Yahoo News

VIDEO (English): Lavrov and Saudi's al-Jubeir disagree about Syria and Assad - YouTube

Proposed UN Statement Would Back Preparatory Talks on Syria - ABC News



Turkey's strikes on Kurds could drag US into new front, Pentagon sources fear - Fox News

Report claims Turkey gave US only 10 minutes warning before strikes on PKK - Middle East Eye

PKK should bury arms, ceasefire not enough: Erdoğan -

VIDEO: Erdoğan: PKK should bury arms, ceasefire not enough, airstrikes will continue until 'not one terrorist is left' - YouTube

PKK claims responsibility for Monday's suicide bombing and a subsequent armed attack on a police station - Anadolu Agency

Swaggering Gunmen on Camera as PKK Targets Turkish Towns - Bloomberg Business

Turkish warplanes strike PKK targets in southeast - US News

Erdoğan seeks damages from HDP leader Demirtaş -

HDP deputy claims Turkey handed over YPG fighters to al-Nusra-allied group -

Diplomatic crisis between Ankara, Tehran as FM's visit delayed - Cihan Politics News


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

SYRIA After the Iran-U.S. Sanctions Agreement: What’s Ahead – Diplomacy or Military Escalation?

Via U-Stream, Conference Call, Youtube and in person

TUES. Aug 11 @ 7:30pm EST Sharp


In Person at: Solidarity Center

Please arrive no later than 7pm at:

147 West 24th St, 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10011

(Between 6th & 7th Ave – Free parking available on street after 7pm, F, M, E  #1 subway or NJ PATH train to 23 St)


Or join us via

Conference Call Audio at 712-432-6100, Access code: 41853116 #


Or watch live U-stream

Questions for Panelists can be sent via the U-stream link


Or watch on Youtube by Tues 11pm at:


Facebook Event Page:


Pease link to this program and help spread the word


Speakers include:

Dr. Ghias Moussa – Syrian American Forum

Ramsey Clark – former U.S. Attorney General & human rights attorney,

Margaret Kimberly – Black Agenda Report

Larry Hamm – Peoples Organization for Progress

Joe Lombardo – United National Antiwar Coalition

Sara Flounders – International Action Center


With discussion and video comments from

Dr. Cynthia McKinney, David Swanson, Caleb Maupin, Eva Bartlett, Kazem Azin … and others


An ALERT on Dangerous U.S. War Moves – U.S. bombing to support “moderate rebels” new inspections for chemical weapons, “Safe Zone” on Turkish border, new U.S. bases in Turkey… 


Organized by International Action Center –

With participants from: Syrian American Forum, Black Agenda Report, CPR Metro Radio, Go Pro Radio, International League of Peoples Struggles, Peoples Organization for Progress, SI Solidarity Iran, Syria Solidarity Movement, United National Antiwar Coalition, World Beyond War,

Turkey News - Aug 10, 2015

Kurdish rebels attack police, military in Turkey, policeman killed - Reuters

Report: 7 hurt in bomb attack at Istanbul police station - The Sun Herald

VIDEO: 5 police, 2 civilians injured in blast at Istanbul police station, protest against PKK ensues - YouTube

Anti-goverment protests in Cizre turn violent after three people killed and seven wounded in clashes between Turkey police and PKK - Aganecy

VIDEO: Pro-Kurdish protesters clash with Turkey police in Cizre (Part 1) - YouTube

VIDEO: Kurds clash with Turkey police in Cizre (Part 2) - YouTube

Nearly 400 Kurdish rebels killed in 2 weeks of Turkey airstrikes: report - Yahoo News

Turkish authorities launch probe into video of handcuffed Kurdish villagers lying face down -

VIDEO (English Subs): Turkish police chief shouts Kurdish villagers handcuffed and lying face down - YouTube

Thousands attend demonstration in Istanbul calling on peace between Turkey and PKK -

VIDEO: Thousands gather in Istanbul to protest against the Turkish government's intensified military offensive on PKK targets (Part 1) - Reuters

VIDEO: Istanbul peace protest calls for end of hostilities with PKK (Part 2) -

Thousands of Kurds in Germany march against Turkish air strikes - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Kurds in France and Germany protest Turkish military actions - YouTube

Brussels rally calls on US, Europe to help stop Turkish attacks - Rudaw

German FM: End of Turkey’s peace process would be fatal -

Europe 'rejects' extradition of nearly 650 PKK and leftish suspects -

Turkey's pursuit of Kurdish rebels threatens to further destabilize the region - The Washington Post

Minister: Turkey will not give Syrian refugees right to work -

Turkey faces credit downgrade risk by year end -



Pro-Kurdish party leader Demirtas urges the PKK to 'remove its finger from the trigger' and the government to launch peace talks - Yahoo News

Demirtaş visits family of slain soldier, calls for peace -

HDP says negotiations for settlement should be with Öcalan-led delegation -

Öcalan demands PKK and Turkey to stop the fighting, return to the table of negotiations - ARA News

Peshmerga chief urges PKK to leave Iraq’s Kurdish region - Anadolu Agency

VIDEO: Rifts among Kurdish parties over KRG call on PKK to leave Iraq's Kurdistan - YouTube

VIDEO: PKK leader: Turkey is protecting IS by attacking Kurds - BBC News

Ambulances ferry ISIL terrorists between Turkey and Syria, CHP report says -

Kurdish Forces Discover Network of Tunnels Connecting Towns on Opposite Sides of the Syrian-Turkish Border - BasNews

Turkey intentionally late in action against ISIL recruiters: Report -

YPG accuses Turkey of handing over six Kurdish fighters to Nusra Front, facing the risk of execution - ARA News

Another Jabhat al-Nusra judicial document for execution of individuals for fornication and homosexuality - Aymenn J Al-Tamimi on Twitter

US deploys six F-16 jets with 300 personnel to Turkey for IS fight - Yahoo News

Russia's Lavrov says U.S. must work with Assad to fight Islamic State - Yahoo News

Islamic State kills 37 rival insurgents in Syria's Aleppo province: monitor - Reuters

ISIS battles Syria rebels for key supply lifeline near Turkey border crossing: activists - THE DAILY STAR

Islamic State is led by more than 100 of Saddam's former officers - AP

Terra Incognita: Are Saddam-era soldiers secretly behind the rise of Islamic State? No. - Jerusalem Post

REPORT: A Snapshot of the Islamic State's Official Media Output - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 8, 2015

Attack on Syrian rebels raises questions about how a small ragtag group of U.S.-trained forces was sent into battle - AP

Pentagon says Syrian training program no longer seen as major way to fight Islamic State, praises Syrian Kurdish forces - Miami Herald

CENTCOM insists it’s in regular contact with US-trained Syrian rebels despite reports that it had lost track of many of the fighters - U.S. Stripes

VIDEO: US-trained Syria troops 'not supported', senior rebel says the US failed to protect Division 30 when it came under attack by Nusra - BBC

US-trained Syrian rebels refuse to fight Nusra Front after kidnappings, also opposes American air strikes carried out against the al-Qaida-linked fighters - The Guardian

Arab media are laughing at the Pentagon, see US-trained anti-Islamist force as only fit to ‘play paintball’ - Jerusalem Post

Nusra militants evacuate headquarters near Aleppo to avoid U.S.-led strikes - ARA News

The Nusra Front’s internal purges, two top leaders arguing for total war against the Islamic State dumped - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

VIDEO: Pushing Back the Islamic State: The Kurdish Battle for Rojava - VICE News

As Iran Rises in the Mideast, Kurds Benefit in Iraq and Syria -

Syria says fight against Islamic State must include Damascus - Daily Mail Online

Assad must leave or forced to: Saudi FM - KUNA



Obama To Turks: Don't Use The War On ISIS To Bomb The Kurds -

US defends itself, claims agreement with Turkey not a betrayal of Kurds -

PKK calls on US to be part of the peace process by bringing Turkish and Kurdish sides around a negotiation table -

Kurdish leader Demirtas seeks EU help in peace talks with Turkey - Al Bawaba

Five killed as PKK continues its attacks in Turkey -

VIDEO: Kurds clash with Turkish police in two southeastern towns - YouTube

'There Will Be a Civil War in Turkey': Welcome to Cizre, the 'Center of Kurdish Resistance' - VICE News

PKK guerrillas: We will stay in Iraq until war is finished - Rudaw

Arab league condemns Turkey’s PKK operations -

Medvedev says legitimacy of Turkey’s air strikes in Iraq ’doubtful’ -

Academics call on government to restore peace in Turkey -



U.S. Central Command: One year in, officials assess anti-ISIL progress -

Pentagon on the year long anti-ISIL campaign: "the true situation shows a waning insurgency, losing ground on nearly every front" -

Dozens of Syrian Christians missing and believed to be captives of the Islamic State after it seizes town - The New York Times

Islamic State executed 2,000 Iraqis in Mosul region since takeover: Iraq defense minister - Yahoo News

Kurdish official says ISIS executed 19 girls for refusing to have sex with fighters - Daily Mail Online

Artificial intelligence decodes Islamic State strategy, Roadside bombs more likely after air campaigns (VIDEO) - BBC News

REPORT: Mining for Causal Relationships: A Data-Driven Study of the Islamic State -

What it takes to join the Islamic State, a prospective jihadist is subjected to information based on books, publications and fatwas, accompanied by military training - Al-Monitor

If You Retweet an ISIS Message, You’re Being Recorded by the F.B.I. -

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

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 5, 2015

Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front hunting down U.S.-trained Syrian rebels, more believed captured: source - Reuters

U.S.-trained Syria rebel believed killed in fighting with Nusra Front: sources - Reuters

U.S backed Division 30 losses: July 30 - 8 captured. July 31 - 5 killed, 18 wounded, 20 captured. August 3 - 5 captured - Charles Lister on Twitter

U.S backed Division 30: Yet another Pentagon's failure in Syria - The News Hub

U.S. drones flying out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey defending Syrian rebels from Nusra Front - NBC News

Pentagon: US not at war with Assad, “The people we are training and equipping are pledged to fight ISIL and only ISIL - PressTV

A US warning that it would use its air power to defend Pentagon-trained rebels should they be attacked by Syrian troops was met with scepticism by officials in Damascus - AFP

US, Turkey agree to keep Syrian Kurds out of proposed border zone - WSJ

US support of Syrian Kurds ruffles Turkey's feathers - Al-Monitor

Syrian Kurds set terms for partnership with Assad, official of YPG group battling ISIL says they are willing to coordinate with anyone who is ready for democracy - Al Jazeera

Russia Seeks Coalition on Islamic State While It Backs Assad - Bloomberg Business

Russia not planning to send troops to fight ISIS in Syria: Putin’s spokesman - RT News

At least 11 IS militants killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on their headquarter in al- Mayadin - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Jihadists in Syria honor Mullah Omar, praise Taliban’s radical state - The Long War Journal

Why haven’t Syrian banks collapsed under sanctions and war? - The Washington Post



Report: Turkish Jets Attack PKK Targets in Southeast Turkey - ABC News

Three soldiers killed by PKK in southeast amid violence outbreak -

VIDEO: Three killed by PKK mine in southeast Turkey: security sources - Reuters

PKK attacks Turkey's halted Shah Deniz gas pipeline - Yahoo News

EU, US call for Turkish restraint against Kurds, urge the PKK to renounce violence and re-engage in peace talks - VOA

CHP, HDP seek to reduce tension, call on PKK to stop violence -

Demirtaş says PKK ready to return to negotiations, quoting a senior PKK figure -

It’s never late to call for peace: Demirtaş -

ISIL revealed to have conducted reconnaissance before Suruç bombing -

ISIS fighters throw man from a building in Iraq for being gay (PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online

Islamic State Circulates Sex Slave Price List - Bloomberg Business

Islamic State Yazidi Slaves: Thousands Remain In ISIS Captivity As Iraqi Kurdistan Marks One Year Since Sinjar Massacre - IBTIMES

Yazidis Demand UN Action Against ISIS on 1st anniversary of attack -

Islamic State launches Android app for news and recruitment - IBTimes

ISIS or Al Qaeda? American Officials Split Over Top Terror Threat - The New York Times

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

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 2, 2015


US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra - THE DAILY STAR

Saga of U.S trained Syria rebels continues. Nusra attacks their HQ. 5 dead, 18 injured & 20 captured out of 60 - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels - The Long War Journal

Nusra statement: About Division 30 and Assistance of the Coalition Airplanes With Bombing Nusra (English) -

VIDEO (Arabic): Nusra publishes video of abducted U.S trained Syrian rebels including an interview with one of them - YouTube

According to the New York Times U.S officials thought Nusra would welcome U.S trained rebels as an ally in its fight against Islamic State - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight Isis, but captured and beaten by Jabhat al-Nusra for 'collaborating with crusaders' - The Independent

More on the relationship between U.S backed rebel group Division 30 and Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front - Juan Cole

According to local sources Turkey opens its border for Al Nusra - ANF

Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria flaunts U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles - Al Arabiya News

Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo, two were accused of adultery and the rest of collaboration with the Syrian government: monitor - Yahoo News



Syrian Kurds Accuse Turkey Of Attacks, Ask U.S. For Explanation -

Ascendant Kurds emerge from Syrian civil war as major power player - The Guardian

US commander Killea hails Kurdish group opposed by Turkey, 'YPG for the coalition against ISIL has been a very reliable partner' -

VIDEO: Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea on the coalition against ISIL -

YPG kills 25 IS militants and drags their bodies at the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

VIDEO: Hasakah : Syrian Army 104th Repulican Guards and Tribal Fighters capture the Central Prison from ISIS -

Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: activists - THE DAILY STAR

25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack - Al Arabiya News



Turkey military presses ahead with strikes against PKK in northern Iraq, as many as 28 F-16 jets raid 65 PKK targets -

Turkish Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Kurdistan Region, Local villagers ask PKK to leave the area - BasNews

Witnesses tell the massacre in Zergêle village in Kandil caused by Turkey bombing (VIDEO) - ANF

PHOTOS: Photos of civilians killed by Turkish airforces in village near mountain Kandil -

VIDEO: Turkish F16 hit kurdish village killing civilians -

Turkey says ’saddened’ over reports of civilian deaths in air strikes, vows probe -

Iraqi Kurdish regional government asks PKK to 'withdraw' to prevent civilian deaths amid Turkish airstrikes targeting the group - AP

KRG condemns PKK attack on Turkey's oil pipeline -

Sources: Turkey Military operations 'kill 260 PKK terrorists’ - Anadolu Agency

HDP leader Demirtas denies his brother injured in air strikes on PKK in northern Iraq -

Turkey has not struck IS targets since 24 July, but strikes against PKK targets have continued every night since then - Alev Scott on Twitter

Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq - Alev Scott on Twitter


Kurds Claim Turkish Airstrikes on PKK Destroyed Health Clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan -

2 Soldiers Dead, 24 Wounded in PKK Suicide Attack in Turkey: Officials - ABC News

PKK military wing HPG: At least 14 soldiers and 2 police officers killed in the past days - ANF

We are ready to sacrifice our sons, Davutoğlu says amidst terror attacks -

Turkish prime minister Davutoglu op-ed : We will stop at nothing to defeat terrorism - The Washington Post

Police break up march in Turkey demanding PKK leader's freedom - Middle East Eye

HDP co-chairs file complaints against Erdogan, Davutoglu for swaying judiciary -


HDP co-leader Yuksekdag faces propaganda investigation - Anadolu Agency

There are ‘preparations’ to close HDP, says co-leader Demirtaş -

Are Turkish courts delaying trials of IS militants? - Al-Monitor

The one who got away: 40 Indian workers in Mosul were abducted and 39 killed by the Islamic State - Fountain Ink Series

US Report: ISIS Still Kidnapping and Selling Women -

al-Ḥayāt Media Center presents a new magazine issue from The Islamic State: “Istok #2″ - JIHADOLOGY

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

Syria/Turkey News - July 31, 2015


U.S.-backed Syrian group says Nusra abducted its leader and members, a blow to U.S. efforts to train fighters to combat ISIS - Al Arabiya

US moves to quash reports on Syria trainees captured by al-Nusra - Middle East Eye

Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately - PJ Tatler

If u want to know more about U.S trained rebel group allegedly captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, read this - Jenan Moussa on Twitter

Kidnapping of Pentagon-Trained Fighters in Syria Is New Hurdle for U.S. Effort - The New York Times

Pentagon price tag for Syrian rebels: $4 million each - POLITICO

Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion - Breitbart

US, Turkey differ over how to fight IS from Incirlik air base, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bilgic: support for the YPG is not one of the elements of the agreement - Asharq Al-Awsat

Syrian Kurds fear their territorial gains are at risk after Turkish action - The National

Syria Kurds’ spending plans reflect ambition as the authorities provide services for a greater population due to the territorial gains - THE DAILY STAR

Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - Yahoo News

Turkey Seeks To Prevent Syria Kurds' Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest -

Turkish military builds 2.5 meter-high, rocket-proof wall on Syria border - Todays Zaman

POLL: Majority of Turks would prefer Kurds over ISIL controlling northern Syria - Todays Zaman

ICJ acknowledges request for inquiry into Syria-bound MİT trucks - Todays Zaman

Assyrian Christians Demand Turkey Stop Bombing YPG - Breitbart

Cairo slams Turkey’s proposed safe zone in Syria, defends territorial unity -

Egypt accuses Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula - Washington Times

Syria ‘doubts Turkey’s intentions in anti-ISIS effort’ - Al Arabiya News


Erdogan taking Turkey to war to avenge Kurdish territorial and political gains: leader of pro-Kurdish opposition Demirtas - Reuters

VIDEO: Kurd leader Demirtas attacks Turkey's 'safe zone' plan for Syria - BBC News

Demirtas: PKK withdrew from its separatist agenda 20 years ago, it is Erdogan’s fault that the PKK did not lay down their arms - Rudaw

Turkey prosecutors open probe into Kurdish leader Demirtas - France 24

Summary of proceedings prepared for Demirtas' immunity to be lifted - Todays Zaman

Erdoğan hits out at the Kurds, says their representatives have links to terrorist groups and the peace process is impossible – POLITICO

VIDEO: Erdogan responds to accusations by the head of a pro-Kurdish party - YouTube

New wave of attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on the PKK with at least 11 police and army members killed since last week - AFP

PM’s office: 1,302 detained in 39 provinces in terror raids across Turkey targeting ISIL, the PKK and illegal extreme leftist groups - Todays Zaman

CPJ calls on Turkey to restore access to banned websites - Todays Zaman

Turkey onslaught on Kurds fuels anger - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Turkey’s Kurds condemn renewed fighting with PKK - France 24

In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey - Yahoo News UK

Turkish Lira Declines as Soldier Deaths Spur Security Risk - Bloomberg Business

German defense minister cautions Turkey about attacks on PKK - Todays Zaman

Germany Wants to Withdraw Patriot Missiles From Turkey due to attacks carried out by the government forces against the Kurds - Sputnik International

Iraqi PM: Turkish Airstrikes on Kurds 'Dangerous Escalation and Violation of Sovereignty' - Breitbart

Turkey urged by Nato to show restraint as Erdogan says Kurdish peace process 'impossible' - Telegraph

UN calls on Turkey and PKK to find peaceful solution - Rudaw

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Turkey News - July 27, 2015

Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Militant Camps Again, Security Sources Say -

Kurdish Separatists End Cease-Fire After Turkish Airstrikes - VOA

Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence - DW.COM

EU’s Mogherini urges Turkey to keep Kurdish peace process alive - BasNews

Here's what the US has to say about Turkey and the PKK - Al Bawaba

NATO: North Atlantic Council to meet at Turkey's request - US News

Iraq’s Kurdistan slams Turkish airstrikes on PKK - Al Arabiya News

In a phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu Barzani urges Turkey to Stop Attacks on PKK - BasNews

Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks -

The Kurdistan Parliament condemns the Turkish air campaign targeting bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory - NRT English

HDP slams operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party: AKP is setting Turkey on fire - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Erdogan’s shift on Islamic State linked to Kurdish gains in Syria, implementing a safe-zone project controlled by Turkey-supported Syrian opposition forces - Al-Monitor

Le Monde publishes indictment claiming MİT involved in Paris murder of 3 PKK women -

Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds -

Report: Seized USB drives reveal Turkey’s links to ISIL -

Report: Turkish President Erdogan's daughter heads ‘covert' medical facility for treating injured Isis fighters, These claims however could not be independently verified - IBTimes

ARCHIVE: Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List -



Turkey policeman killed during clashes with protesters in Istanbul district of Gazi - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Turkey: Clashes erupt as activists protest Turkish airstrikes, dozens arrested - YouTube

Turkey bans 'peace march' on security concerns -

Turkish police break up anti-IS march in Ankara - theSundaily

Protesters, police clash in eastern Turkey - The Journal of Turkish Weekly


Hundreds detained in operations across Turkey and North Kurdistan - ANF

Turkey blocks Kurdish websites as Twitter and Facebook slows down -

People march from Ranya to Kandil to protest Turkish airstrikes - ANF

PHOTOS: Kurds are marching to Qandil to prevent Turkish attacks on PKK - International Brigades of Rojava

VIDEO: Hundreds of French Kurds stage demonstration in Paris against the attack by ISIL that killed 32 people, but also against the government’s bombing of PKK - euronews

Politicians, protesters in Germany condemn Turkey attacks on PKK -

Kurds and others protest against Turkey in Washington -

Jailed prosecutor says complacency towards Salafists made Suruç bombing possible -



ISIS on retreat as Syrian Kurdish forces make more territorial gains in -

Syrian army, Kurds advance against IS in Hasakeh - Yahoo News

Syrian Kurds: Turkish army tanks shelled our positions - International Brigades of Rojava

PYD Leader Muslim: Iraqi Kurdistan is Our Main Provider of Weapons - BasNews

KRG Releases Details of Weapons Sent to YPG in Rojava - BasNews

Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq -

Syrian President Bashar Assad makes rare speech, vows to crush enemies - CBS News

VIDEO (English):  Assad's Damascus speech (Full) - Al Bawaba

Syria's Assad announces amnesty for draft dodgers -Syrian TV - Yahoo News


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Syria News - June 23, 2015

On the offensive Syrian Kurds push deeper into Islamic State territory, seize military base - Yahoo News

Kurds announce their forces gained five more villages from Islamic State militants near the towns of Tel Abyad and Suluk in Raqqa province - nrttv

Kurds find Islamic State tunnel near Turkish border - US News

Kurds find torture center, prison cells of ISIL in Tal Abyad -

Free from ISIS, Kurdish refugees return from Turkey to their villages to rebuild (PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online

VIDEO: Thousands of refugees cross back into Syria from Turkey - Reuters

Kurdish leader Salih Muslim denies YPG committed ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Tel Abyad - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Is there 'systematic ethnic cleansing' by Kurds in north-east Syria? - Kobani Kurd

Analysis: Tel Abyad gives the Syrian Kurds control of  250-mile border with Turkey cutting off ISIS supply routes as well as uniting two of their three cantons - ROAR Magazine

After Tell Abyad, what's next for PYD? - Al-Monitor

YPG would not attack IS’s capital Raqqa: spokesman - Kurdpress News Aganecy

Syrian Kurds' morale high but arms needed, YPJ commander -

Kurds seek Canadian military, financial support in fight against ISIL: ‘Time to see something concrete’ - National Post

Syrian Kurdish Leader Salih Muslim Allegedly Holds Secret Meeting With Iraqi PM Abadi -

VIDEO: 'Revolution within revolution’: How and why Kurdish women are fighting ISIS (DOCUMENTARY) — RT News

Suicide attack hit Kurdish security center in Syria's Qamishli - ARA News

ISIS scrambles to bolster Raqqa defense -

Islamic State covers A-Raqqa city with surveillance cameras - Syria Direct

Syria: ISIS Beheads Leader of Al Qaeda Offshoot Nusra Front in Raqqa - IBTimes

VIDEO: ISIS behead in public al-Nusra Fighter -

ISIS fighters show off their hearty meal while those in Raqqa queue for food (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online

Syrian army advances west of ISIS-controlled Palmyra - THE DAILY STAR

ISIS militants plant mines and bombs in Palmyra: activists - THE DAILY STAR

VIDEO: ISIS militants lay explosives in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra - YouTube



Tel Abyad battle could give blueprint for success against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, coordination between the coalition and Kurdish command - CNN

Coalition General Praises Kurdish Forces in Iraq and Syria -

Pentagon: Military airstrikes hit ISIL in Syria and Iraq, Near Tal Abyad five airstrikes struck one large and four small ISIL units -

Turkey Warns US About Kurdish Advances in Syria - VOA

Main points of the document on Syrian Kurds, prepared by Turkey Foreign Ministry and obtained by daily Hürriyet - Hürriyet

US says Turkey main transit route for Syria-bound foreign fighters -

Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - Al-Monitor


VIDEO (English subtitles): Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - YouTube

After Tal Abyad was recaptured by Kurdish forces former Islamic State recruits ask for amnesty in homelands - Rudaw

Pentagon pays Syrian rebels $400 per month to fight ISIS -

Syrian Opposition Fighters Withdraw from US 'Train and Equip' Program -

Here’s how badly the Pentagon effort to train Syrian rebels is lagging - The Washington Post

Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and Nusra Front form new coalition - Worldbulletin News

Syrian rebels split over coalition al-Qaeda links - Middle East Eye

Over 100 jihadist training camps identified in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal

Syria fuel shortages due to rebel infighting threaten lives: MSF - THE DAILY STAR

Syrian military and Druze allies join forces to fend off 'terrorists' - LA Times

Golan Druze attack Israeli army ambulance carrying wounded Syrian rebels - Yahoo News

ARCHIVE: Nusra Front Militants Kill Druze Villagers In Syria - Reuters

ISIL recruit allegedly planned U.S. assassinations - USA TODAY

European police team to take on ISIS social media propaganda - THE DAILY STAR

Twitter, YouTube analysis pinpoints ISIS strategy - THE DAILY STAR


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Turkey/Syria News - June 6, 2015

Parliamentary elections high stakes for Turkey...and Erdogan - Yahoo News

POLL: AKP expected to win 41% of the votes, CHP 27.8%, MHP 14.8% and HDP 12.6% -

Pro-Kurdish HDP party may tip balance in Turkey polls - Yahoo News

Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party -

VIDEO: Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party -

Gay, Christian, minority election candidates show Turkey's changing face, the most diverse list comes from the Kurdish party - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Kurds, women, gays put faith in upstart Turkish party - BBC News

Meet The Transgender Woman Who Wants To Represent Turkey's LGBT Community This Election -

Turkish elections: Turkey's Kurd-hating Grey Wolves spreading neo-nazi poison across Europe —

Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world - DW.DE

Analysis: Is Turkey’s election campaigning fair and balanced? -

Erdogan: "There is a trash called The New York Times in the US" - The Counter Jihad Report

VIDEO (Turkish): Erdogan slams New York Times -- again -

New York Times responds to Erdoğan with Twitter riddle: "Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?" -

Turkey lavish presidential palace nicknamed ‘illegal’ because built on a recreational farming area, Worker tells of lengthy security checks -

Nervous Turkish markets await knife-edge election outcome - Yahoo Maktoob News

Why Investors Are Calling This the Most Important Turkish Election in Forever - Bloomberg Business

Erdogan Setback Seen Benefiting Turkish Companies Like Koza Gold - Bloomberg Business



Report: Turkey’s MIT spy agency transported ISIL fighters to Syria, facilitating the jihadist group's defeat of the FSA -

Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists -

VIDEO: Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists -

VIDEO: Video showing weapons carried by MIT intel operatives to Syria jihadists - YouTube

CHP Hatay official: Transfer of arms to Syrian jihadists continues, weapons loaded here and sent to the other side of the border -

Syrian Turkmens challenge claims that MIT weapons were destined for their community, say received no aid from Ankara -

HSYK allows prosecution of prosecutors, military commanders who stopped MIT trucks carrying weapons to Syria -

Erdoğan seeks aggravated life sentence for Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief for publishing video of MIT arms transferred to Syria -

VIDEO (English Subs): Erdoğan vows to punish journalist behind Syria trucks video: He will pay a heavy price -

Cumhuriyet journalists challenge Erdoğan's threats - Cihan News

400 intellectuals show support for daily Cumhuriyet, journalist -

Journalist Baransu faces 52 years in jail for coverage of MGK report -

Journalist Mumcu faces 5 years in jail for insulting Erdoğan -

US spokesperson expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey, Along with journalists, Armenians and gays Erdoğan has also singled out the New York Times, CNN and the BBC -

VIDEO: US spokesperson Marie Harf expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey - YouTube

Committee to Protect Journalists: “We call on [Erdogan] to stop bullying journalists and news outlets just because he doesn't like what they report" - Committee to Protect Journalists

Amnesty International official: Human rights situation in Turkey could not be worse -

Human rights Watch and International Press Institute react against the series of attacks by Erdoğan and his supporters against media critical of the government -

Ankara denies 'Saudi-backed Turkish spies in Yemen' allegations - Anadolu Agency

The Turkey-Qatar Military Cooperation Agreement, What are Turkish troops going to do in Qatar? - Al-Monitor

Towards-a-Turkish-Saudi-alliance - Al-Ahram Weekly


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Can We Try Some Honesty on Memorial Day?

How to Honor Memorial Day

Editor Note: Of all the world’s holidays commemorating wars, Memorial Day should be one of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, surely not a moment to glorify warfare or lust for more wars. But many pols and pundits can’t resist the opportunity, as discussed below.

By Ray McGovern

How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars and then to “surge” tens of thousands of more troops into those fools’ errands.

On the U.S. Killing of Two Children in Syria

The U.S. military admitted on Thursday to killing two girls in Syria.

If a target of U.S. aggression can be alleged to have killed children, especially with the wrong kind of weapon, that is used as grounds for war. War is supposed to be the cure for that.

This was the case in 2013 with the White House's false claims to knowledge that the Syrian government had killed children with chemical weapons. President Obama told us to watch videos of dead children and either support a bombing campaign against Syria or support killing children.

But that's a Catch-22, because it's telling you to either support killing children or support killing children.

In recent days I've been watching videos of children killed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia with U.S. missiles and support. Missiles are in fact not any more precise in their actual use than chemical weapons, not any less deadly, not any less guilty of killing children, including the hundreds of children the U.S. has killed with missiles from drones in just a few countries it doesn't even admit to being at war with.

The Pentagon doesn't admit to any of this; it sometimes admits to isolated incidents that have been widely reported.

But imagine if missiles were considered the wrong kind of weapon, and imagine if the Syrian government and its friends were considered "the international community" -- one could imagine the international community demanding the humanitarian bombing of Washington, D.C., as revenge for the brutal murder of two little girls by U.S. missile in Syria.

We in the United States view the domestic bombing of 4 little black girls in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 as barbaric, and we view racism as something we've overcome, but imagine if the little girls whom President Obama murdered in Syria in November had been white, Christian, English-speaking Americans. One cannot in that situation suppose the response would have been the same.

It is not possible to avoid civilian casualties in war. They are the majority of the casualties -- of the dead, of the injured, of those rendered homeless, and of the traumatized -- in virtually every war of the past half century. Often they are an enormous majority. The idea that war can be a tool to remedy something worse than war, or that genocide is truly distinct from war is not supported by facts.

The Pentagon admitting to killing civilians is rare but not unprecedented. In fact it is a small nod in the direction of a policy that President Obama created and then quickly abandoned under which he claimed that all such casualties would be reported.

Does it matter? Will people care?

For that, I think there has to be video, it has to be widely shown and the killings morally condemned, and people have to find their way to the media outlets willing to show it and condemn it.

That is, if we're talking about people in the United States.

Of course the people of Western Asia will protest the United States all the more fervently whether the general public in the United States knows what its government is doing or not.

Syria News - May 5, 2015

Nusra-led militants pound Hezbollah, Syria army posts near Lebanon border - THE DAILY STAR

Hezbollah and Syrian army determined to cut off access of ISIS and Nusra Front to any towns near the border - THE DAILY STAR

Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun - Naharnet

Lebanon Speaker Berri backs Qalamoun fight to oust jihadists - THE DAILY STAR

Sources: al-Nusra evacuates its positions in Qalamoun hills that are difficult to defend to avoid paying a high price - Al-Monitor

Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle - Islam Times

PHOTO: Jabhat al-Nusra is giving training in the use of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the Qalamoun - Charles Lister on Twitter

'We’ll Die Before They Make Us Leave': Lebanese Christians Are Ready to Face the Islamic State on Syria's Border - VICE News

Specter of assassinations by jihadist groups revived in Lebanon - THE DAILY STAR

Relatives visit Lebanese captive on Arsal outskirts, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August - THE DAILY STAR

Qatar about to seal deal with Nusra to release Lebanese security officers in exchange for prisoners in Roumieh - An-Nahar

ISIS returns bodies of Lebanon soldier, civilian - THE DAILY STAR

Lebanese General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir - THE DAILY STAR

How Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Jabhat al Nusra Is Trying To Take Northern Lebanon -

Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion Latakia - Middle East Online

Pro-Assad forces strive for control of Southern Syria - ARA News

Assad army tightens siege of rebel bastion Goutha near Damascus - ZAMAN ALWSL

Syria: Assad regime accused of chlorine gas attack in Idib -

Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimes responsibility for a suicide attack in Damascus - Yahoo News

Inside Aleppo: Syrian activists reveal kidnap and torture at hands of al-Nusra extremists - The Independent

VIDEO: Activists Reveal Torture At The Hands of Al-Nusra -

Syria moves to stabilize its ailing currency - The Salt Lake Tribune



De Mistura to kick off separate talks with rival Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR

Iran will take part in new Syria consultations, UN says - Fox News

US not opposed to Iranian participation in Syria talks, supports a political solution -

EU's Mogherini sees 'major role' for Iran in Syria talks - Yahoo News

Syrian Opposition Coalition: Participation in the Geneva Talks to Consider How To Get Rid of Assad -

Report: Iran Spends $35 Billion a Year to Prop Up Assad - Arutz Sheva

Syria's defense minister in Iran to step up fight against 'terrorists' - THE DAILY STAR

Iran to launch maritime shipping line with Syria - ARA News

CIA-Backed Rebels Fight Alongside al-Qaeda Wing in Northern Syria - Reuters

VIDEO: ICP Asks Syrian Coalition's Khoja of FSA Working With Nusra, He Says “Tactical Alliance" - YouTube

Army of Conquest backed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Coalition comprises mostly Islamist groups, the most prominent being Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham - AFP

VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Hit Syrian Army Vehicle With TOW ATGM In Idlib - YouTube

The U.S. $500-million program to train anti-Islamic State fighters appears stalled - LA Times

VIDEO: Activists: 52 killed civilians in U.S.-led airstrike in Syria - YouTube

Pentagon: US Military Says Coalition Airstrikes Killed ISIS Fighters, Not Syrian Civilians -

Syrian Archbishop: Obama Must Stop ISIS' Slaughter of Christians (VIDEO) - Newsmax

Syria accuses Turkey of providing supporting fire and logistical help enabling "terrorist groups" to capture the Syrian city of Idlib - Reuters

Turkey May Have Found Syrian Horse To Back In Ahrar al Sham, But US Disagrees -

Turkistan Islamic Party had significant role in recent Idlib offensive - The Long War Journal

Turkey Opposition Puts $16B Price Tag on Neighborhood Wars - VOA

Turkish military puts brakes on a Syrian intervention - Al-Monitor

Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey -

Syria crisis: Spooked by rebel gains, Jordan doubles down vs. Islamic State -

Palestinian Delegation to Meet With Syrian Government in Damascus -

The Defenders of Yarmouk, Pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy


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The Neocons and the Kremlin

Neocon 'Chaos Promotion' in the Mideast

Editor Notoe:  After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, America’s neocons thought no country could stand up to the high-tech U.S. military, and they realized the Soviet Union was no longer around to limit U.S. actions. So, the “regime change” strategy was born – and many have died, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia “won’t stop us.”

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