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Focus: Aleppo - Dec 8, 2016

 

Obama and other Western leaders condemn Russia’s role in Aleppo’s ‘humanitarian disaster’, appeal for an immediate ceasefire - windsorstar.com


'No progress' as Kerry, Lavrov meet on Syria: US - AFP


VIDEO: US envoy to UN Samantha Power says Russia 'has walked away from diplomacy' on Syria - France 24


U.N.'s Egeland says U.S. and Russia 'poles apart' on Aleppo - Reuters


VIDEO: Statement of Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to Special Envoy for Syria - UN Web TV


Lavrov: Russia, US military experts, diplomats to meet in Geneva on Dec. 10 to discuss withdrawal of all militants from Aleppo - TASS


Lavrov regrets Obama administration continues unfriendly steps against Russia - TASS


Lavrov says US voiced regret over shelling of Russian hospital in Aleppo but somewhat hazily - TASS


Russian naval task force enters port of Tartus. What does this mean? - southfront.org


Agreement on Russian permanent naval base in Syria's Tartus is on final stage - southfront.org


Russian Special Forces actively participate in military operations in Syria, contributing to elimination of leaders of militants: Reports - southfront.org


Russia deploys military police to Syria - southfront.org


VIDEO: Russia deploys military police to Syria - YouTube


A rising star in the Russian military killed in Aleppo - The Daily Beast


Turkey sending 300 troops to reinforce Syria operation: state media - Reuters


Turkish border guards kill three Syrian Kurdish civilians - kurdistan24.net

 

Turkey launches humanitarian campaign for besieged Aleppo - hurriyetdailynews.com


Iranian-made drone involved in attack on Turkish soldiers in Syria on Nov 24 - hurriyetdailynews.com


50 Iranian students killed over the last three months in Syria, they volunteered to protect Shia shrines – Middle East Monitor


Up to 1,750 ISIS jihadists have returned to Europe, some with 'specific missions’ to carry out attacks, EU report warns - Daily Mail Online


Obama admits he underestimated Islamic State, says 'not on my intelligence radar screen' - Washington Examiner

 

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Syrian army's Aleppo advance slows but victory in sight - Reuters


Syrian Army fully control 50 neighborhoods in the eastern part of Aleppo that account for 70 percent of the territory - southfront.org


Ignoring last distress call from east Aleppo Assad vows to press on, says Aleppo victory will not end the country’s war - CBS


Lebanon cannot disassociate itself from the Syrian conflict, Al Assad warns - GulfNews.com


Full interview with President Assad: Failure of Western states and Turkey in the battle of Aleppo means transformation of the course of the war in Syria - SANA


Lavrov: Combat operations by the Syrian army have been suspended in eastern Aleppo because there is a large operation underway to evacuate civilians - Sky News


Govt forces liberate key district in Aleppo city, Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) requests safe passage - southfront.org


Kurdish forces liberate six districts of Aleppo from al-Nusra Front terrorists - Sputnik


Turkey says Syrian Kurdish YPG working with Assad's forces north of Aleppo - Reuters


Assad supporters see domino effect in Aleppo government win - Fox News


Rebels seek ceasefire with Syrian army closer to retaking Aleppo - Reuters


Syrian rebels pin hopes on Trump, hope that his hostility to Iran will offset his desire to improve relations with Russia - WSJ

 

Islamic State makes advances towards Palmyra killing atleast 34 Syrian soldiers: monitor - Reuters


MAP: Military situation in area of Palmyra on December 8, 2016 - southfront.org


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


Focus: Aleppo - Dec 4, 2016


Syrian army nears Aleppo's Old City, rebels tell U.S. they won't leave - Reuters


Syrian army regains control of access to Aleppo airport - SBS News


MAP: Syrian Army captures 60% of rebel-held Aleppo in the space of a week - almasdarnews.com


Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die - Fox News


Russia seeks full withdrawal of Aleppo rebels - Reuters


Syrian rebel commander recently appointed head of new military alliance 'Aleppo Army' seriously wounded, rebels say - Reuters


Over 2,500 Syrian militants granted amnesty over past week: Russia Reconciliation Center - RT News


Reconciliation agreements signed with 6 Syrian settlements, including two in Hama, two in Latakia, one in Damascus and one in Homs: Russian Defense Ministry - TASS


Syrian Army General Command calls on residents of Aleppo’s secured northeastern neighborhoods to return to their homes - Syrian TV


First buses home for Aleppo residents, traveled directly from the government-held west to recently recaptured neighborhoods in the east - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Buses take residents back to their abandoned east Aleppo homes - YouTube


Russia delivers over 150 tonnes of aid to Aleppo residents - Sputnik


Syrian Army squeezes rebels in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, as Russia prepares massive aerial campaign - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army 5th Corps is new Shiite foreign legion: Israeli intelligence source - debka.com

 

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Kerry: Assad is part of the transition. Ultimately, there is an election and the people of Syria make a decision about the future leadership - Sputnik


VIDEO: Kerry (at 2:20 min): Assad is part of the transition - socialfeed.info


EU offers cash to Assad regime for Syria peace deal, said to have accepted that previous western demands that Assad step down are unrealistic - The Times


Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles - al-monitor.com


Syria provisions in the FY2017 Defense Bill: House Bill, Senate Bill, Final Bill - al-monitor.com


Rep. Gabbard votes against Defense Bill: It contains the same deeply concerning and dangerous Syria train and equip measures including the transfer of Manpads - Hawaii 24/7


Media silent as House quietly passes possible no-fly zone over Syria - Freedom Outpost


Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016: Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no-fly zone in Syria - Congress.gov


US and UK explore possibility of aid airdrops to besieged rebel-held eastern Aleppo - The Guardian


Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives - The Washington Post


All the rebel forces active in Aleppo have merged into a newly-formed military alliance 'Army of Aleppo' - almasdarnews.com


Lavrov: Creation of 'Army of Aleppo' could just be rebranding of al-Nusra Front - Tasnim News Agency


Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) bomb Kurdish district amid mounting violence in Syria's Aleppo - ARA News


Aleppo: Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) raids Islam Army's bastion in Kalaseh neighborhood, Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL


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Focus: Aleppo - Nov 28, 2016


Syrian government drives rebels from northeast Aleppo, part of the area taken over by U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG - Reuters


Syrian forces capture major Aleppo neighborhood in blow to rebels, also reclaim a vital water pumping station - LA Times


Syrian Army & Kurdish YPG wave flags in Aleppo, government forces and Kurds have joint-control in Bustan al-Basha, al-Halek and Ayn al-Tell (PHOTO) - south front.org


MAP: 40% of rebel-held area captured by the Syrian army in Aleppo - Twitter


Fuel reserve in Syria's rebel-held east Aleppo exhausted: civil defense - Reuters


VIDEO: Thousands flee east Aleppo for Kurdish-controlled district on north edge of city - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Syrian rebels fire at civilians fleeing Aleppo's Al-Sakhour district - YouTube


PHOTO: Over 4000 civilians from Eastern Aleppo have arrived to the housing units prepared for them by the Syrian government in Western Aleppo today - Twitter


Russian carrier’s jets move to land base in Syria as Aleppo begins to fall - The Drive


Putin discusses with Russian Security Council Syrian Army’s advance in Aleppo eastern neighborhoods – Al-Manar TV Lebanon


Large build-up of Hezbollah, Iraqi forces in southern Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Senior pro-Assad Palestinian paramilitary commander killed by rebel forces in Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Truth and lies: the Twitter battle for Aleppo - Al Bawaba


Assad’s also winning in Damascus, taking several villages and suburbs in the last week alone - The Daily Beast

 

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White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach’ - freebeacon.com


VIDEO: White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach' - YouTube


Inside Kerry’s race to stop the siege of Aleppo, to strike a deal with Russia in exchange for separating Syrian rebels from Nusra Front - Washington Post


Kerry making ‘unbelievable effort’ to save Syrian rebels from Trump, Russia confirms - RT News


Donald Trump presidency: A Russia reset? Maybe not yet, Officials in Congress and the Pentagon are ready to block any attempt to appease Putin - POLITICO


Qatar says will arm Syrian rebels even if Trump ends U.S. role, hits out at Egypt for siding with Assad - Reuters


Syria denounces Qatar for saying it will continue to back rebels: 'the Qatari regime is one of the sources of extremism, terrorism and takfiri thought' - Reuters


Saudi Arabia tells Egypt to dismiss its foreign minister after he claimed that Saudi Wahhabism is the source of terrorism – Middle East Monitor


Iran may seek naval bases in Yemen or Syria: chief of staff - Reuters


Putin and Rouhani agree to coordinate steps on oil market and interaction for Syria - TASS


France FM deeply concerned about Aleppo, urges 'Friends of Syria' meeting - Mo4ch News


Germany wary of French presidential candidate Fillon's cosy attitude to Russia - digitaljournal.com


4 ISIS fighters killed in first ever direct clashes with Israeli Defense Forces - ibtimes.co.in


Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel won't allow ISIS to open 'a front of terror' on the Golan - Jerusalem Post


ISIS files seized in Syria reveal terror plots against Europe - The Times

 

Daesh uses ‘chemical gas’ against Syrian rebels: Turkish media - Reuters


Russia looks into possible chains supplying toxic chemical substances to Syrian rebels from third countries - TASS


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


Focus: Turkey, Egypt and Syria - Nov 25, 2016

 

Turkey's push for Syrian town al-Bab complicates anti-IS fight, causing frictions with other players in the country's war - AP


Turkish-Kurdish tensions threaten anti-IS campaign in Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey-led forces advance against Kurdish YPG, seize 2 villages near al-Bab - southfront.org


Syrian army & Kurdish YPG launch joint advance to build a buffer zone west of al-Bab preventing the Turkish military's expansion - southfront.org


Turkey's military engages in armed clashes with the Syrian army in Lattakia province and near the strategic town of Al-Bab - theduran.com


Syrian army less than two miles away from al-Bab city seized by Daesh: Al-Mayadeen TV channel - Sputnik


Syria regime set “red line” around Al-Bab: pro-Assad daily - NOW


Turkey plans military base in Syria's north, Kurdish-led forces say - ekurd


US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces destroy three Turkish military vehicles in northern Syria - ARA News


Five Turkish soldiers killed in Syria in 24 hours, bringing to 17 the total number - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey blames Syrian government for deadly attack which killed three Turkish soldiers - Middle East Eye


Turkish top general visits troops injured in northern Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey will not march to Aleppo: Turkish PM - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab - Reuters

 

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Egypt President Sisi turns its back on Saudi: 'There should be international support for the Libyan, Iraqi and Syrian national armies to ensure security in their countries’ - Morning Star


VIDEO (English Subs): President Sisi says Egypt’s priority is to support Syrian Army against terrorists - YouTube


Al-Sisi sent Egyptian troops, including 18 pilots, to fight in Syria in support of Assad regime: Al-Safir newspaper - Middle East Observer


Egypt, Jordan conclude Aqaba 2016 anti-terrorism military exercises which began early this month in southern Jordan - Ahram Online


Egypt's support to Haftar's army in Libya is a national priority: President al-Sisi - The North Africa Post


Egypt to expand Russian industrial zone in Suez - RT Business


Sisi expresses support for Trump's proposed Muslim registry - alaraby.co.uk


Washington Post editorial: A bad bet on Egypt’s strongman Sisi - The Washington Post


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


Focus: Turkey - Nov 22, 2016


15,000 more public workers are fired in Turkey crackdown - The New York Times


Turkish court starts umbrella trial of U.S.-based cleric Gulen, followers - Reuters


Followers of cleric Gulen still active in Turkish police, armed forces, Erdogan says - Reuters


Turkey seeks detention of 103 university academics in Gulen-related probe - Reuters


Controversy on campus as Erdogan handpicks Turkey rectors - Yahoo7


Turkish students in Britain have scholarships revoked in post-coup crackdown - RT UK


Turkey detains another 2 pro-Kurdish mayors - Fox News


Turkey: Erdoğan rule could extend until 2029 under proposal - The Guardian


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Loud calls in European Parliament for ending membership talks with Turkey - POLITICO


Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on EU-Turkey relations at the plenary session of the European Parliament - EEAS


Turkey blocks European lawmakers from visiting imprisoned MP Kurdish leader Demirtas - EurActiv.com


Erdogan suggests to join Russian/China-led bloc SCO if the EU continues to drag its feet regarding Turkey's membership negotiations - CSMonitor.com


'Russia, China would Like to see Turkey in SCO if it freezes links with NATO' - Sputnik


NATO chief recalls Turkey’s commitment to Article 5 amid calls to join SCO - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan seeks NATO’s support against ‘terrorist' organizations such as the Gulen movement, the PKK and PYD - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan warns NATO against giving asylum to ‘terrorist soldiers’ after dozens of Turkish NATO officers sought asylum in Europe - Mo4ch News

 

NATO silent on Turkey arrests of journalists and parliament members - Al Bawaba


Turkish President Erdogan: 'I can't say if Israel or Hitler is more barbarous' - The Independent


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Turkey issues arrest warrant for Kurdish leader of key US-backed force fighting ISIL in northern Syria - Al Jazeera


US, Turkey at cross-purposes in Syria as fighting between Turkish-backed rebels and the US-backed Kurdish-dominated SDF is escalating dramatically - VOA


Turkish-backed rebels and Kurds battle over Syria’s Al-Bab – Middle East Monitor

 

Coalition not backing Turkish move on al-Bab, says US - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey, FSA rebels to launch op to retake Syria's Manbij from Kurds: Erdogan - Sputnik


N. Syria: YPG-led forces clash with Turkey-backed rebels around Manbij - kurdistan24.net


YPG threatens Turkey after Turkish jets hit targets in Manbij - Daily Sabah

 

Syrian Kurdish-led forces receive modern U.S. arms: official - ekurd


Turkey calls on US, allies to reconsider Syria no-fly zone - Fox News


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

A Nonviolent Strategy to Liberate Syria

In early 2011, as the Arab Spring was moving across North Africa and the Middle East, small groups of nonviolent activists in Syria, which has been under martial law since 1963, started protesting against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and demanding democratic reforms, the release of political prisoners, an increase in freedoms, abolition of the emergency law and an end to corruption.

Focus: Syria - Nov 10, 2016


Obama directs Pentagon to target Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria, one of the most formidable forces fighting Assad - The Washington Post


US Treasury designates Saudi jihadist cleric, three others in Syria for 'acting for or on behalf of Al Nusrah Front' - The Long War Journal


Lavrov: Double standards created impression West shielded al-Nusra Front - Sputnik


Obama asks for $11.6 billion more in supplemental defense budget to fight Islamic State and sustain high overseas troop levels - oann.com


U.S. says it has killed 119 civilians in Iraq and Syria since 2014 - The New York Times


Trump team warns Obama not to make major moves on foreign policy - POLITICO


Putin applauds Trump win and hails new era of positive ties with US - The Guardian


Euphoric Russian leaders literally cheer Trump's victory by drinking sparkling wine with other party members in Moscow - WUNC


Donald Trump presidency may improve US-Russia ties: Mikheil Gorbachev - The Asian Age


President Assad top adviser: Syria is ready to co-operate with Donald Trump - The Independent


Assad supporters hopes Trump will cut U.S. support to Syrian rebels - NPR


Here's why Trump also won on the streets of Damascus - The Canary


Syrian opposition reaches out to Trump - AFP


Statement: Syrian opposition welcomes Trump election, discuss civilian protection with German FM - etilaf.org


Syrian Kurds hope for recognition of federalism from new US president - ARA News


Opinion: Can Trump’s presidency overturn Hillary’s bloody legacy in Syria? - americanthinker.com


Israel won't let Iran have military bases in Syria, Netanyahu tells Russian PM - The Times of Israel


Israel IDF hits Syria after rocket fire on Golan - JEWSNEWS


Syrian army to Israel: Don't attack us again - israelnationalnews.com


Turkey FM Cavusoglu says Manbij strategically important for Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English


Turkish jets not participating in airstrikes in Syria, Security sources say that after the killing of PKK/PYD ‘terrorists' Syrian aircraft started to lock on Turkish jets - Daily Sabah

 

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UN: Eastern Aleppo faces mass starvation this winter - VOA


Transcript of press stakeout by Mr. Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria - ReliefWeb


Russia says extra ‘humanitarian pause' in Aleppo helps militants, but promises that such halts will continue - ABC News


U.S. slams Moscow plan to strike Aleppo: Russians flying armed sorties from navy carrier Admiral Kutnetsov, massive strikes likely soon - usni.org


VIDEO: Russia begins flights over Syria from Admiral Kuznetsov - breitbart.com


INFOGRAPHIC: Missile capabilities of Russian naval task force for Syria - southfront.org


Russia says its warships drove away Dutch sub shadowing them - VOA


Russian Air Force paralyzes jihadist supply lines to Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Up to 6,000 militants attempting to enter east Aleppo: Russian FM - almasdarnews.com


Syrian regime makes advances in western Aleppo - THE DAILY STAR


Aleppo: Regime forces take control of 1070 apartments district - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English


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

 

The choice this year is easy: Why No Leftist, Progressive or Liberal Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

By Dave Lindorff

 

            With one week to go in this year’s presidential election -- an astonishing and depressing contest in which the two least-liked and least-trusted candidates in history are the two choices put up by our two main political parties -- it’s time to look at why left and liberal people should not vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

White Helmets More Gray

"People always think something's all true." —Holden Caulfield

When a wonderful program like Democracy Now does a story on the White Helmets in Syria, the problem is not that the White Helmets don't exist, or that they're not rescuing anyone, or that they're actually filmed in Los Angeles -- all of which is ridiculously untrue.

Or perhaps it's not ridiculous. Syria has been the subject of a tidal wave of faked videos, many of them filmed elsewhere. But those things are untrue.

The problem is that the guest who's on Democracy Now to promote the rescuers repeatedly claims that the war in Syria consists of people being slaughtered by Syria and Russia -- and nothing else. And nobody corrects that. There is no mention of people killed by U.S. bombs or by U.S. weapons given to fighters on the ground.

The problem is that the White Helmets' partners, media allies, and funders promote a one-sided story and, far from working for peace, promote an escalation of the war, demanding a "No Fly Zone" from which to work for the overthrow of the government. In fact, the U.S. government gave the White Helmets $23 million with which to work on "transition" to a different government.

It's good media practice to reveal funders. We protest when retired generals go on CNN to push for war without revealing their financial ties to weapons makers. We should protest when promoters of the White Helmets go on TV without revealing that they're funded by Western governments, including the U.S. government which has been pushing for the overthrow of Syria for years.

Now, when the U.S. government funds something good, we ought to celebrate that. A color revolution in someplace like Serbia that develops creative new techniques and nonviolently overthrows a dictator to create a more democratic country is not wholly evil because the U.S. government supported it. But neither should we blind ourselves to that support or its motivations.

And when those motivations, at the highest levels of the U.S. government, appear disreputable, that of course does not tell us the motivations of all the staff people and volunteers involved. The U.S. government's dishonest demonization of someone like Milosevic doesn't make him a beloved and law-abiding leader. The U.S. facilitation of a coup in Ukraine doesn't mean there weren't Ukrainians with good grievances. The world is just not a simple place.

When it comes to Syria we need to recognize that many people in Syria had and have legitimate grievances against their government, and that the United States and allies have been working for many years now to overthrow the Syrian government, and that U.S. actions in Iraq and Libya and Syria have played a huge role in creating the current disaster, and that Russia and Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Qatar and Iran and ISIS and al Nusra and other "extremist" mass murderers and "moderate" mass murderers and the United States and Syria have Syrian blood up to their shoulders.

We also need to recognize that there are a lot of people trying to help, trying to make things better. And their good work should not be used, with or without their consent, as propaganda for further escalation of the killing and destruction. The way to peace does not lie through greater war. And greater war is the goal of the organized demonization of one side, of the manufacturing of selective outrage. On the contrary, the way to peace lies through taking a different approach entirely, an approach that faces all of the facts and treats as the enemy, not this side of the war or that side of the war, but the institution of war.

ISIS uses U.S. weapons which the U.S. continues supplying to fighters in Syria who are trying to overthrow the government. Meanwhile Russia is backing the government against those fighters. In that context, the U.S. and Russia are proposing to work together while threatening each other. These are nuclear nations. What we need is not slick demonization of one side through appeals to our humanitarian concerns, but disarmament, cease-fire, and actual aid on a much greater scale.

The spokespeople for the White Helmets say they don't work in government controlled areas because the government will not let them. That may be true. And it may be true because of suspicions that are easy to understand. But it is also probably true that if the White Helmets were making movies of themselves rescuing people on that side of the war, much of their funding would dry up.

Remember that the U.S. government tried to make a case for bombing Syria in 2013 by claiming that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons. President Obama claimed to have solid evidence of that, which three years later we still haven't seen. The public prevented that escalation. But a year later, following the release of ISIS videos, the U.S. public put up little resistance to the U.S. entering the war on multiple sides, including the opposite side from what it had advertised for in 2013.

But the U.S. government was stuck with a problem. How to direct the war against Syria when the U.S. public seemed not to be upset about Syria at all but seemed willing to be scared entirely out of its mind about ISIS? For the past two years we've witnessed campaigns aimed at demonizing Assad and Putin. That the White Helmets are saving lives doesn't change the fact that they are part of those campaigns. We need to observe them with open eyes.

There is, after all, a potential for support of the White Helmets to backfire against war mongers. If the general public caught on that nonviolent aid is the decent, effective, noble, and heroic path, perhaps the U.S. government would shift more than a tiny fraction of a percent of its Syria budget to that approach. If actual humanitarian aid and unarmed civilian peacework (and videography) were scaled up and done in an actually neutral manner, war would end -- and the White Helmets would have shown the way.

About Safe Zones in Syria

 

1) Safe zones should be established with the full cooperation of Russia which will consent to the location, extension and administration of the area; 2) They should shelter only refugees. No armed groups (both opposition and pro-government) allowed. The safe zone must not be used as as a base to launch attacks against the enemy. 3) A multinational UN peacekeeping force will administer the safe zones until free and fair (UN supervised) elections are held under a new Syrian constitution. 4) Islamic State or Qaeda attacks in the safe zones will be dealt with by US-Russia military operations under the Joint Implementation Center in conjunction with the UN peacekeeping force.

Syria News - Oct 6 , 2016


Moscow says U.S. strikes on Syrian troops jeopardize Russian servicemen, its air defense weapons stand ready to fend off any attack - Fox News


VIDEO (English Subs): Russian Defense Ministry warns US against strikes on Syrian troops creating a threat to the Russian military - YouTube


Lavrov hopes warmongers eager to attack Syria won’t gain upper hand in US - TASS


Lavrov: Russia 'ready' to cooperate with US on Syria ceasefire in multilateral formats - euronews


In Syria crisis, Russia expands alliance with Iran, increases missile presence - WSJ


3rd Russian Black Sea fleet ship leaves for Mediterranean to join anti-ISIS op - RT News 


Russia suspends nuclear agreement, ends uranium research pact with United States - Huffington Post


White House press secretary: Military action against Assad regime not in US interest but it cannot be ruled out - Sputnik


Department of State spokesperson: US discussions on military option in Syria continue despite Russia’s warning - Sputnik


Pentagon says it has the right to defend against Russian anti-air systems in Syria - Military.com

 

War hawks are sensing an opening in Syria - The Nation


White House may consider imposing sanctions on Russia over Syria outside UN - Sputnik


Germany considering a push for EU sanctions on Russia over Syria - WSJ

 

Marine Le Pen blasts EU leaders: 'You’ve done everything to bring down the government of Syria throwing the country into a terrible civil war!' (VIDEO) - theduran.com

 

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Syrian regime forces gain control of key Aleppo area - WPMT FOX43


VIDEO: The Syrian Army continues the large-scale advance inside the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo capturing Bustan al-Basha - YouTube

 

Assad warns rebels that unless they agree to a deal with the government, would have no option but to expel them from Aleppo - Middle East Eye


Assad accuses Western media of hushing up data on civilian casualties in Aleppo - TASS


VIDEO (English): Assad interview to Denmark’s TV 2  - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Assad interview to Denmark’s TV 2 – Syrian Arab News Agency


U.N. envoy De Mistura offers to personally escort al-Qaeda fighters out of Aleppo - CBS News


VIDEO: De Mistura holds press conference on humanitarian situation in Syria - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Press conference by UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura - ReliefWeb


Syrian Coalition to discuss De Mistura’s proposal with Aleppo rebel groups - etilaf.org


REPORT: The strategy of Jabhat Al-Nusra / Jabhat Fath Al-Sham in regarding the truces in Syria - Noria Research


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

Syria News - Oct 4 , 2016


Kerry says Russia 'irresponsible' to back Assad, America's strategy includes grounding Syrian and Russian aircraft in specific areas - Reuters


VIDEO: Kerry: Russia and Syria seem to have rejected diplomacy in the pursuit of a military victory - YouTube


VIDEO: White House spokesman Earnest: 'Everybody's patience with Russia has run out' - YouTube


Washington suspends coordination with Moscow, studies 6 options in Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


US considering strikes on Assad again, but there’s little prospect President Obama will ultimately approve them - The Washington Post


U.S., UK, France, Italy, Germany to meet on Wednesday on Syria: Germany - Reuters


US military builds a new air base in Northern Syria - Sputnik


NATO to deploy E-3 AWACS to Middle East as early as October - defensenews.com


Inside the shadowy PR firm that’s lobbying for regime change in Syria - Alternet


Alert memorandum: Obama warned to defuse tensions with Russia by a group of ex-U.S. intelligence officials – Consortiumnews


Opinion: The Obama Administration’s suspension of Syria talks with Russia is the most dangerous development in a new cold war - The Nation

 

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Russia-US dialogue on Syria failed as Washington has no unified stance: Russian FM spox to RT - RT News


Lavrov: Russian-US deal on Syria ruined by advocates of military solution - Sputnik


Most groups US supports in Syria integral part of al-Nusra Front: Russian Defense Ministry - Sputnik


Russia: If not for our campaign in Syria, jihadist ‘black flags’ could be flying over Damascus - CNS


Russia slams UN Security Council resolution on Syria, says it singles out aviation where terrorists on the ground would be allowed to do whatever they want - DW.COM


Russia deploys advanced anti-missile system S-300 to Syria for first time, US officials say - Fox News


Russia Defense Ministry: S-300 missile system designed to ensure the safety of the naval base in [Syrian city of] Tartus and ships located in the coastal area - RT News


Russia sends more warplanes to a base in northern Syria to back the Assad air forces in the battle for Aleppo - Military.com


Duma to ratify unlimited Syria airbase agreement this week: MP - RT Russian politics


Damascus agreed & Russia is ready to send several thousands of special forces & other various units officers this month to Syria - Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter


Moscow counts on BRICS support for Russia's approach in Syria, summit will take place in Goa October 15-16 - Sputnik


Vladimir Putin exits nuclear security pact, citing ‘hostile actions’ by U.S. - The New York Times


40 million Russians involved in annual 4-day defense drills - RT News

 

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Syrian pro-government forces press attack on city of Aleppo - AP


Syria: Government tanks roll into rebel-held Aleppo - Al Jazeera


Syrian army, Kurdish forces liberate Syria’s Shkeif area in northwest Aleppo - Sputnik


Dialogue with armed opposition possible if bloodshed in Syria stops: Assad - Sputnik


‘Same people shedding crocodile tears over Syria, support terrorists in country’: Syrian amb. to UN - RT Op-Edge


Jane’s Defence Weekly: US and its allies (including Turkey and Saudi Arabia) use illicit arms trafficking to channel enormous shipments of light weapons to Syrian rebels - globalresearch.ca


Syria rebels draw closer to al Qaeda-linked group - WSJ


Turkey-backed rebel group in Syria joins jihadist alliance which includes al-Nusra, The group also received aid from the CIA until 2005 - ARA News


Russian expert says Syrian opposition wrecks talks in hope of aid from new US president in the person of Hillary Clinton - TASS


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We got 8 years of change, but not much hope: President Barack Obama’s Crappy Legacy

By Dave Lindorff

 

Barack Obama came into the White House on a wave of passionate new voters, many of them black or young and white, becoming the nation's first black president and promising a new era of "hope and change."

Syria News - Sept 29, 2016


John Kerry: U.S. is 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Moscow on Syria - US News


VIDEO: Interview with Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria, Iran, and diplomacy - YouTube


U.S. weighs tougher response to Russia over Syria crisis: officials - Reuters


VIDEO: United States Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken can't tell Congress what Plan B in Syria is - YouTube


Syrian rebels get new Grad rockets from foreign states: commander - Reuters


'Aleppo must not fall': US reportedly to allow its Gulf allies to flood the city with shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles, according to a rebel source - Middle East Eye


Ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke: How the US armed-up Syrian jihadists - Consortiumnews


Special Ops pushing Pentagon to define Islamic roots of terrorism, The 2015 version of the National Military Strategy does not mention Islamic ideology - washingtontimes.com


U.S. and EU sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work, U.N. report reveals - theintercept.com


Saudi Crown prince’s Turkey visit to cement ties between regional heavyweights, Syria will likely be top issue on the agenda - Arab News


Politics and economy on the agenda of Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Turkey - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

 

------------------------------------------------

Kremlin says continuing Russia's 'anti-terrorist' air operation in Syria - Business Insider


Kremlin: US failed to fulfil promise of separating Syria opposition, terrorists in 1 Week - Sputnik


Lavrov draws Kerry's attention to reports Jebhat al-Nusra receives weapons from US - TASS


Russia says it would support 48-hour truce in Aleppo, not a 7-day pause because it would give militant groups time to regroup - Fox


Russian Su-34 front-line fighter jets reappear in Syrian sky due to aggravation of the situation (VIDEO) - southfront.org


Terrorists mull ‘chemical attack’ in Aleppo to frame Syrian govt: Russia’s Defense Ministry - RT News


Pro-Syrian government forces control Aleppo's Handarat camp: rebel - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian army takes control of Kindi Hospital in northern Aleppo - Sputnik


Syrian troops and an estimated 5,000 foreign Shia fighters plan imminent advance to capture east Aleppo - The Guardian


Pro-government Palestinian militia fights in Aleppo - The Long War Journal


Syria's UN envoy says: 'We don't bomb civilians’ - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: US failed to fulfill any of their promises & commitments in Syria: Assad adviser - YouTube


Russian campaign saved Syria from ‘becoming part of new Ottoman empire': Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim - Sputnik


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

US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing

By Dave Lindorff

 

If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren't so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh,

Syria News - Sept 27, 2016


Syrian troops advance in central Aleppo near old quarter - AP


VIDEO: Syrian flag flies on the Citadel of Aleppo - YouTube


Nusra & armed groups in E Aleppo are threatening residents who decide to leave for western part will have their houses burnt - EHSANI2, Twitter


Russian Foreign Ministry: Aleppo to be liberated with assistance of Russian aerospace forces - Sputnik


Bunker-buster bomb reports may mark new stage in Russia's Syrian assault - The Guardian


Moscow slams the United States and Britain for accusing Russia of 'barbarism', says their statements on Syria at UN ‘unacceptable’ - almasdarnews.com


Russia aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is expected to arrive to Eastern Mediterranean Sea in Mid-October - Already Happened on Twitter


Moscow makes public full text of Russia-US Deal on Syria - Sputnik


Assad's aide: Russia seeks Damascus approval of all Syrian settlement deals - Sputnik


U.S. officials: 3,000 Iran-backed fighters converge on Aleppo amid deadly Syria airstrikes - Fox News


400 Iraqi fighters joined Iran-backed militia in Aleppo: source - ZAMAN ALWSL


Iran admits conducting drone strikes in Syria - NOW


Commander: IRGC supplies intelligence to Russia for airstrikes in Syria - The Long War Journal


Iraqi Shiite militia commander close to Qassem Soleimani killed in Aleppo - The Long War Journal

 

------------------------------------------------

House Dems back Obama on Syria despite bloodshed, calling on him to "persevere in this diplomatic path" - POLITICO


Letter of nearly 60 House Democrats to Obama on Syria - POLITICO


White House spokesman: Obama ‘reviewing all of the available options' on Syria - cnsnews.com


Gulf countries may arm rebels with shoulder-fired missiles against Syrian and Russian warplanes now Syria truce is dead: U.S. officials - Reuters


Russia claims that Nusra in Aleppo receives military hardware from its backers, 'with the US, presumably, turning a blind eye' - South Front


US not willing to attack Nusra: Russian FM - almasdarnews.com


In interview Nusra commander says US arming jihadists indirectly via 3rd countries: 'They support the countries [Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar] that support us’...‘Americans are on our side’ - RT News


VIDEO (English Subs): Interview with Nusra commander about foreign support in Syria - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Nusra commander about foreign support in Syria - M of A


"Experts" fail to debunk the Nusra commander interview as a hoax - M of A


US denies providing anti-tank missiles to Nusra - Sputnik


Damascus says it has audio of Daesh talks with US military before strike on Syrian Army - Sputnik


Pentagon dismisses Syria's ‘ludicrous' allegations of coordination with Daesh - Sputnik


Turkey's presidential spokesman urges Syria safe zones - aa.com


Turkey’s de facto safe zone in northern Syria, Ankara is planning to send troops 45 kilometers into the country - NOW


Turkey faces decision over boots on the ground in Syria - al-monitor.com


Turkey says Kurdish militia role in Raqqa offensive would endanger Syria - Reuters


Ankara needs Damascus' consent to conduct military op in Syria: Russian Envoy - Sputnik


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

Syria News - Sept 22, 2016

 

U.S., Russia fail to reach Syria deal at the meeting of the International Syria Support Group - rferl.org


John Kerry says negotiations for Syrian ceasefire at an impasse - AP


Kerry demands Russia, Syria ground warplanes to save truce - Reuters


VIDEO: At the UN Security Council Kerry calls for no-fly zone over parts of Syria - YouTube


Syria crisis: Read John Kerry's comments to the UN Security Council in full - The Independent


Russia rejects Kerry's idea of grounding Russian, Syrian planes as unworkable - Reuters


VIDEO: Lavrov: No more unilateral pauses in Syria used by militants, including Jabhat al-Nusra, to regroup and get reinforcements - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Lavrov speech at UN Security Council on situation in Middle East and North Africa - YouTube


Russia does not rule out strikes against Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar Al-Sham - TASS

 

Russia to deploy its flagship aircraft carrier off the Syrian coast - russia-insider.com


Russian Election Commission inadvertently reveals Russian troop numbers in Syria, more than 4,000 soldiers are stationed in the country - themoscowtimes.com


China, Russia and Iran come together in a tripartite alliance supporting the Syrian government, fighting Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (former Nusra) - irishtimes.com


EXCLUSIVE: Text of Syria cease-fire deal reached by the United States and Russia on Sept. 9, 2016 - AP

 

------------------------------------------------

Syrian army announces new Aleppo offensive as truce talks fail - Al Jazeera


VIDEO: Syria and Russia mount heavy air strikes against rebel-held districts of Aleppo, defying U.S. calls for a halt to flights - Reuters


Syria's Assad says US 'lacks will' to work with Russia to defeat terrorists (VIDEO) - euronews.com


Assad denies striking Aleppo aid convoy, says U.S. intentionally killed Syria's soldiers - Chicago Tribune


Full transcript of AP interview with Syrian President Assad - Fox News


Sec. Carter: Russians responsible for airstrikes on Aleppo aid convoy, 'whether they conducted it or not because they associated themselves with the Syrian regime' - NBC News


Top US general: ‘No doubt' Russia to blame in Syria convoy attack, Syrian planes were also in the area so he couldn't definitely say who dropped the bombs - AFP


Top U.S. general: Unwise to share intelligence with Russia on Syria - KFGO-790


VIDEO: Russia's Defence Ministry denies involvement in attack on aid convoy - YouTube


A wiki analysis of the attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra (Aleppo) - A Closer Look On Syria


Pentagon: U.S., Russian defense officials continue dialogue on Syrian airspace ' to mitigate incidents' - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 


U.S. forces will be in the Middle East long after ISIS, Carter says - Military Times


POLL: After 15 years of war, America's active-duty troops has about had it with 'nation building' - Military Times


Clinton’s new hard line on Moscow: As president, she is prepared to take a much tougher stance on Russia than Trump — or even Obama. Syria’s civil war will be the first test. - Foreign Policy

 

---------------------------------------------

Obama considers arming Syrian Kurds against ISIS, plans assault on Raqqa before he leaves office - The New York Times


Count us out if PKK’s Syrian wing joins Raqqa offensive, Turkey warns US - Daily Sabah


Turkey bombs Kurdish positions near Syria's Tel Abyad - ARA News


Turkey aims to establish safe zone in northern Syria - aa.com

 

Top whistleblower exposes how Turkey is arming and funding ISIS, 'I am the police chief who was asked to guard ISIS terrorists' - Medium


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

Talk Nation Radio: Reese Erlich and Coleen Rowley on Syria, War, and Peace

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-reese-erlich-and-coleen-rowley-on-syria-war-and-peace

Reese Erlich is a foreign correspondent and book author. The paperback edition of Erlich's book Inside Syria: The Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect, has just been published this week. See https://reeseerlich.com

Coleen Rowley is an FBI whistleblower, peace activist, retired FBI agent, former legal counsel who taught law enforcement ethics, and member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. See http://coleenrowley.com

Coleen Rowley will be participating in No War 2016. See http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://TalkNationRadio.org

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Syria News - Sept 17, 2016


US says it may have struck Syrian troops by mistake while targeting IS, at least 62 soldiers were killed and more than 100 wounded - AP


U.S. Central Command statement: Coalition halts airstrike in progress against possible Syrian military position - Laura Rozen on Twitter


US conveys 'regret' for anti-ISIS strike that by mistake killed Syrian troops, official says - Fox News


US official says condolence payments to Syrian families of troops killed in airstrike will be considered based on claims presented - Starr on Twitter


US Ambassador Samantha Power says UN meeting a ‘stunt,' accuses Russia of bombing civilians and blames Assad for the rise of ISIS - Sputnik


Russia: If the strikes were a targeting error, they are evidence of Washington's stubborn refusal to coordinate its military action in Syria with Russia - almasdarnews.com


Vladimir Putin questions US commitment to Syria ceasefire deal - The Guardian


Putin: Terrorists use Syria ceasefire to regroup - RT News


US & US-controlled forces haven't fulfilled any Syria ceasefire deal obligations: Russian Army - RT News


Aid Convoys for Syria's Aleppo delayed amid rising violence - ABC News


US to Russia: Assad must allow aid into Aleppo, No joint Syrian operations if aid can't get through - TheHill


Obama says concerned Syrian gov't blocking humanitarian aid: White House - Reuters


Clinton says cease fire in Syria is largely up to Russians - WTVA.com


Syria says it is doing all required to allow aid access - Reuters


Report: Cost of US post 9/11 wars approaching $5 Trillion - World Truth.TV


REPORT: US budgetary costs of wars through 2016: $4.79 trillion and counting - brown.edu


IMF: Mideast conflict has ‘massive' economic impact - VOA


REPORT: IMF Working Paper: Syria’s Conflict Economy - imf.org

 

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

The Almost-War on Syria Three Years Ago

 

 


When Putin Bailed Out Obama

 

 

 

Editor Note: As pressure again builds on President Obama to attack Syria and press a new Cold War with Russia, the extraordinary events of three years ago after a sarin attack near Damascus are worth revisiting.

By Ray McGovern

Three years ago, when a reluctant President Barack Obama was about to launch an attack on Syria, supposedly in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad crossing a “red line” against using chemical weapons, Obama smelled a rat – or rather he sensed a mousetrap.

Focus: Turkey Military Intervention in Syria - Aug 29, 2016


Dozens of civilians killed in Syria as Turkey bombs Kurds - Independent.ie


Turkey warns of more strikes if Syrian Kurds don’t withdraw east of the Euphrates River 'immediately' - AP


Turkey says aims to prevent Kurdish militia corridor in Syria - almasdarnews.com


SDF forces won’t withdraw from western Euphrates: official - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Turkey-backed Syrian rebels gain control of 21 villages - Latin American Herald Tribune


ISIS launch offensive against SDF south of Manbij capturing al-Kadro and Tell Hawthan - Map of Syrian Civil war


ISIS targets YPG with suicide bomb near Manbij, Syria - almasdarnews.com


PHOTO: ISIS commander has joined Turkish backed Jihadis/FSA to attack on SDF in Jarablus - curdistani on Twitter


SDF retreated from all this locations: Red - EupheratesShield vs SDF, Black - ISIS vs SDF - Aleppo24 on Twitter

 

50 Turkish tanks in Syrian city of Jarablus: Head of Kurdish group - AhlulBayt News Agency


Turkish-backed 'Syrian Interim Government' moving to Jarabulus: Reports - southfront.org


Turkey-backed Syrian rebels aim for Manbij city, commander says - Reuters


Syrian Kurdish spokesman says Manbij reinforced, but not by YPG - Reuters


VIDEO: FSA abusing and beating YPG fighters, including child soldiers - Rudaw

 

-----------------------------------------------

US urges halt to Turkish, Kurdish clashes in northern Syria - The New York Times


Turkish push complicates front against Islamic State: White House - Reuters


France, Germany warn Turkey against attacks on Syrian Kurds - NRT English


Turkish leader Erdogan vows to pursue Syria offensive, ignoring US rebuke - Sky News


No one has right to tell us who we can fight: Turkey’s minister for European Union affairs - Reuters


US should force PYD to step back in Syria: Turkey gov’t - hurriyetdailynews.com


Erdogan calls Putin as Russia seethes at Turkey’s Syrian incursion - The Vineyard of the Saker


Damascus armed PYD to prevent foreign incursion, claims Syrian MP - Rudaw


Turkish intervention in Syria may complicate Raqqa operation: US analysts - KurdishQuestion.com

 

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

 

ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders

ABC Television's 20/20 will air a program on Friday called "The Girl Left Behind," the main thrust of which is already apparent on ABC's website.

The horribly tragic story is that of Kayla Mueller, an American held hostage and reportedly raped and tortured by ISIS before dying -- it's unclear how, possibly at the hands of ISIS, possibly killed by bombs dropped by U.S. ally Jordan.

Another hostage who was freed reported that ISIS blamed Kayla Mueller for U.S. actions in the Middle East. Among those actions, we learned this week, was imprisoning future ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at Abu Ghraib, not just at Camp Bucca as previously reported.

Mueller, like fellow ISIS victim James Foley, meant well and was in Syria to try to help people nonviolently. But U.S. policy has made it unsafe for Americans to travel to many places.

ABC will seek to pin blame for what happened to Mueller on Doctors Without Borders. She was kidnapped out of a Doctors Without Borders car, and that organization negotiated the freedom of its employees while refusing to help Mueller or even to trust her family enough to share with them information intended for them from ISIS.

But Doctors Without Borders was in Syria to help people and appears to have meant well. Blaming the doctors is easy to overdo here, and not just because the United States has been bombing its hospitals -- acts that may not involve rape or torture, but do involve murder and maiming. The U.S. government could have helped Mueller by never having destroyed Iraq in the first place, never having sought to overthrow Syria, never having overthrown Libya, or never having flooded the region with weapons. Or the U.S. government could have negotiated with ISIS or allowed victims' families to do so -- something it now allows, too late for Kayla Mueller. Or the U.S. government could have announced new policies that ISIS would likely have accepted as ransom.

ISIS asked, in exchange for Mueller's freedom, for the freedom of Aafia Siddiqui or $5 million Euros. If the U.S. government had, instead, offered an apology to the victims of its wars and prison camps, and massive reparations to the region, ISIS might very well have responded in kind. Instead, the U.S. government proceeded to bomb people, including many civilians, for a cost many times greater than $5 million Euros.

The telling of Mueller's story is, in itself, worthwhile. But the focus on an American victim of a war that is victimizing all kinds of people fuels dangerous attitudes. Focusing on the crimes of ISIS, but not of Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or, for that matter, the United States, looks like propaganda for more war. When a New Yorker like Jeffrey Epstein rapes, nobody proposes to bomb New York, but when Baghdadi allegedly rapes, the appropriate response is widely understood to be bombing people.

I don't think the suffering of Kayla Mueller or James Foley should be used to justify the infliction of more suffering. As 9/11 victims have been used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9/11, some of the victims' relatives have pushed back. James Foley is pushing back from the grave. Posted online is a video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping the late Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about a protest of NATO. I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO. And I met Wexler who tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie.

In the video you can watch Foley discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

When Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

Focus: Turkey Military Intervention in Syria - Aug 24, 2016


Turkish forces cross into Syria to wrestle control of Jarablus from Islamic State and thereby prevent Kurdish forces from taking the city - DW.COM


With U.S. backing, Turkey pushes into Syria to hold the line against Kurds - FT.com


PM says Turkish operation in Syria to go on until YPG moves east of Euphrates - Reuters


Turkey will not accept new Kurdish entity in Syria: Prime Minister - Reuters


YPG: We will not withdraw from west of the Euphrates - Rudaw


Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of 'blatant aggression' in Syria and and warn that Ankara is entering a 'quagmire' - Reuters


'Or we'll force them out': Kurdish PYD demands Turkey's withdrawal from Syria - Sputnik


Jarablus Military Council is claiming that Turkey is "deliberately" targeting Kurdish neighbourhoods in Jarablus - liveuamap.com


Clashes between Turkey-FSA and SDF Manbij Military Council in the south of Jarablus - KurdishQuestion.com


Kurds accuse Turkish intelligence of assassinating military leader in Syria's Jarabulus, say two MIT agents captured and interrogated - ARA News


Turkey-FSA take Jarablus from IS without fight - KurdishQuestion.com


Surprise! Washington Post: "rebels had reached the center of Jarabulus after encountering almost no resistance from IS fighters” - Peto Lucem on Twitter


Int community, Peshmerga &Iraqi army near Mosul should ask Turkish army/FSA 2hand over manual "how-to-defeat-IS-in-hours-without-casualties" - Harald Doornbos on Twitter

 

IS members online say the quick loss of Jarablus was because IS had pulled out its fighters from the city a week ago & regrouped elsewhere - Hassan Hassan on Twitter

 

Jihadists left Azaz and Aleppo province to assist Turkish Army in capture of Jarabulus - Joshua Landis on Twitter


Zenki brigades, which have been so active in Aleppo, spearhead push with Turks to take Jarablus - Joshua Landis on Twitter 


ARCHIVE: Zenki Brigades, Syria Islamist group accused of war crimes - Wikipedia


Ahrar al-Sham is also involved (confirmed by source) in the Jarablus offensive, though more quietly than other FSA/vetted groups - Charles Lister on Twitter


Key Syria [rebel] units involved [in Jarablus]: Faylaq al-Sham Jabhat al-Shamiya Nour al-Din al-Zinki Sultan Murad 13th Division Suqor al-Jebel (1/2) - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

Key Syria [rebel] units involved [in Jarablus]: Jaish al-Tahrir Hamza Division Jaish al-Nasr Mutassim Brigade Ahrar Tel Rifaat Liwa al-Fateh (2/2) - Charles Lister on Twitter

 

---------------------------------------------

U.S. backs Turkey call for Kurds to retreat East of Euphrates, says aid for the YPG would be stopped if it doesn’t comply - Bloomberg Politics


Turkish op in Syria indicate progress in closing border to Daesh: White House - Sputnik


Russia says 'deeply concerned' at Turkish operation in Syria, warning of rising tension over Ankara's targeting of Kurdish militia fighters - AFP

 

‘Blatant violation of sovereignty’: Damascus condemns Turkish operation in Jarablus - RT News


Syrian opposition group welcomes Turkish military operation near Jarablus - Sputnik


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


A Lawless Plan for More Carnage and Wider War in Syria

 

 


A Lawless Plan to Widen War in Syria

 

 

 

Editor's Note: Official Washington’s disdain for international law – when its doing the lawbreaking – was underscored by ex-CIA acting director Morell reiterating plans for murdering Iranians and Syrians in Syria, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says.

By Ray McGovern

On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a “mulligan” for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too.

Which Side Are You On?

Last week 'In These Times' published an article hostile to the stances taken by the US Peace Council Delegation to Syria and to a number of other well known antiwar and anti-imperialist activists and some of the best and most independent reporters of our time.   The US Peace Council is sharing the following response.
 
 
Pentagon and State Department, or the People of Syria?
The U.S. Peace Movement Has to Decide Which Side It Is On — And Soon
 
An “Anti-Regime-Change” Position on Syria is NOT the same as a “Pro-Assad” Position!
That is for the Syrian People to Decide Free of Foreign Intervention!
 
U.S. Peace Council
August 18, 2016
 
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state....”
— Article 2 of the United Nations Charter
 
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations....”
    Article 52 of the United Nations Charter
 
And one does not need to be only an “anti-imperialist” to stand for the principles of the United Nations Charter.
*  *  *
 
It is a sad irony that a significant segment of the U.S. peace and anti-war movement has now fallen prey to the distortions and misrepresentations promoted by the U.S. State Department, blindly repeating, and even insisting on, the distortions and falsehoods fed to the public by the war-mongers and their corporate media.
 
A vivid example of this fact was the vicious attacks that started soon after the return the U.S. Peace Council’s fact-finding delegation to Syria on July 30th. Immediately after the delegation’s Press Conference at the United Nations on August 9th, an article subtitled “Syria Serves up the Kool-Aid for Sympathizers,” appeared on the so-called “Talk Media News” web site, which, instead of dealing with the substantive issues raised by the delegation members, blasted a barrage of baseless accusations and slanders against not just the delegation members but the U.S. Peace Council itself, calling it, in a McCarthyite style, a “formerly Soviet-backed council,” in the hope that reviving Cold-War fears in the minds of possible listeners would keep them from hearing the hard facts provided by our delegation.
 
But being the target of such attacks by “news” outfits like “Talk Media News” is one thing, hearing similar accusations from our friends in the peace movement, like the writers and contributors to In These Times, is quite another.
 
The August 15th issue of In These Times contained an article titled “U.S. Peace Activists Should Start Listening to Progressive Syrian Voices,” by Terry Burke, described in the footnote as “a long-time peace activist.” It was our hope that her “long-time” activism and experience would have brought her to see the true nature of what is going on not only in Syria, but in all other countries that have been, and still are being, victimized by the United States’ wars of aggression. It was very disappointing to see the opposite.
 
Implicitly claiming that she knows Syria much better than the rest of the peace movement, Terry Burke starts by saying that “many peace activists know little about Syria’s peaceful uprising,” and as a result, “major organizations in the peace movement,” are now supporting “a dictator accused of monstrous war crimes.” She then goes on to lump together a whole number of diverse organizations with different views and political orientations in her newly invented “pro-dictator” camp. What is the evidence? In her own words: “The March 13 ... UNAC anti-war protest” (clearly not “pro-Assad protest”) in which many “left-wing” organizations, including the “pro-Assad Syrian-American Forum,” participated. And what is the charge? Some “people” were “carrying the flag of brutal Assad regime” and “some even wearing T-shirts with Assad’s image....”!
 
First, it is ironic that people like Terry Burke, who are claiming to be “fighting for democracy” in Syria, have no stomach for it in the United States. Do some Syrians (who are by the way the majority) have the right to support their government and have their President’s image on their T-shirts? Or, from her point of view, they should not exist at all? Isn’t that what ISIS is trying to do?
 
Second, is the falsification (or lack of knowledge) of the facts despite the author’s claim to knowing Syria better than others in the peace movement: Ms. Burke, Syrian flag is not “the flag of brutal Assad regime.” This flag was adopted as the flag of Syria when Syria became a part of United Arab Republics in 1958, 13 years before Hafiz Al-Assad first became the President of Syria. It does not stand for the “brutal Assad regime,” but officially represents “Syria’s commitment to Arab unity”! Why are you trampling on Syria’s national honor just to score an invalid point?
 
Third, and more important, is the lumping together of all organizations that participated in the March 13 anti-war protest and using “guilt by association” as a means of accusing “major peace organizations” of the “crime” of being “pro-Assad.” In doing so, Terry Burke is shifting the debate from one about whether people are for or against the war of aggression on Syria to one about whether they are pro- or anti-Assad. And this is exactly what the State Department and the corporate media are trying to do: “you are either with us or with Assad.” And within the peace movement: “You are not a genuine peace organization if you don’t join the anti-Assad camp”!
 
But this pro- or anti-Assad dualism is a false one that only serves the State Department and its war and regime change policy. It is meant to split, confuse and disarm the peace movement: if you oppose the regime change policy, you must be pro-Assad, and that’s it! And it seems it has been a successful strategy so far in both confusing and splitting the peace movement. With this dualism at work, the only choice left for the peace movement is to either join the State Department or the Assad government—nothing else.
 
It is in the context of this false dualism that Terry Burke talks about the “progressive Syrian voices” and sets them up against those in the peace movement she mockingly calls “anti-imperialists.” However, she herself falls victim of the same dualism she has created and inevitably ends up on the side of the State Department. Let’s take a look:
 
First, throughout the whole article, all you constantly read about is the “crimes” of the “Assad regime” and not a single word about the savage crimes of mercenaries and terrorists like ISIS, or about the innocent civilians that have been killed by US bombs and Saudi weapons. This is only a natural outcome of her argument: with regard to Syria, you can only be on one side or the other. And for her, the safe side is the side of the State Department. Thus the absolute silence on crimes that the US government and its allies are committing in Syria.
 
Another fact that reveals her true position is the terminology she uses and the “progressive Syrian opposition” she identifies with. First, she (probably inadvertently) refers to the ISIS-occupied territory of Syria as “liberated areas”! Interesting. Now ISIS has become a “liberating” force for Syrians. Then she goes on to talk about the “remarkable ongoing successes and organizing efforts of grassroots groups” in these “liberated areas.” Well, the scenario becomes complete: ISIS has “liberated” parts of the Syrian territory and has empowered the “progressive Syrians” to “organize” in these “liberated areas.” Didn’t George Bush claim that he “liberated” women of Afghanistan and the freedom-loving people Iraq? Didn’t Obama “liberate” the Libyan people from the “criminal dictator” Qaddafi? Are we looking for the same kind of “liberation” in Syria with the help of ISIS and the “progressive Syrians” it is harboring in the “liberated areas”? Could these “progressive Syrians” survive the wrath of ISIS if they demanded anything other than the toppling of Assad government? Have we not witnessed the beheadings that are going on in those “liberated areas”? Only “barrel bombs” are killing the Syrian people?
 
Anticipating objections from the peace movement that the same fate is awaiting all of the Syrian people, she simply claims that the case of Syria is different: “The analysis that the United States was promoting regime change was correct in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1960-2015), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003). But Syria is not Iraq. It is not Afghanistan. Syria is Syria. It has its own unique history and culture—and its own Arab Spring of a genuine popular uprising against nearly five decades of the brutal Assad family dictatorship. This revolution is real, and beyond U.S. control.”
 
Indeed, a “real revolution” with the help of U.S. arms, Saudi and Qatari funds, Turkish logistical support and Israeli intelligence is under way. But it is certainly not the Syrian people’s revolution. In fact, such revolutions were planned by the Bush Administration for 7 countries including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran, as testified by Gen. Wesley Clark, former supreme commander of NATO. And one by one they are being implemented.
 
We certainly oppose this kind of “revolution” and “liberation.” For us, the choice is much more than what Terry Burke has put before us. The Syrian situation is more complicated than that. We are dealing with two levels of reality that should not be collapsed into one. One level is the war imposed by the U.S. Government and its allies against the independent state of Syria. In this war, we are on the side of the Syrian Government and the U.N. Charter. The second level is the relationship between the Syrian Government and the Syrian people. On this level, we are always on the side of the Syrian people. The Syrian people have the right to change their government if they want to. But it is solely their decision. And the only way they can express their will is when they are free of any foreign intervention.
 
Terry Burke goes so far as accusing all independent journalists and others in the peace movement — all those whom she repeatedly mocks as “anti-imperialists” — as racists who are  behaving like imperialists,” by not listening to the “progressive Syrian voices” and “imposing their point of view on poorer countries voices.” But she is putting herself in the same “imperialist” boat by taking an anti-Assad position as an American — no American has any right to decide Syria’s future — and ignoring the voice of the majority of Syrian people. The true progressive opposition forces are inside Syria, not in the ISIS-“liberated areas,” and our delegation has met with many of them. They have many disagreements with the Assad government, but strongly believe that they should join with their government against foreign attack and invasion, like any patriot would. The “progressive Syrian voices” that Terry Burke is identifying with do not have the monopoly on truth. She would be well served if she listened to the other opposition forces within Syria as well.
 
It is one thing for the Syrian people to oppose their government if they choose to. It is another thing for the foreigners to take the position of “Assad must go!” The latter is a clear imperialist demand that violates the international law. Our support in this case, as in any other case, is for the international law, the U.N. Charter, and the people’s right to self-determination — and not for or against any particular government or leader.
 
We hope that this has become clear once and for all.
 
----------------------
 
U.S. Peace Council
P.O. Box 3105
New Haven, CT 06515-0205, USA

www.uspeacecouncil.org

How to Get Yourself Named "Pro-Assad"

It's not hard to do. You can probably accomplish it at home quite easily. In These Times just published an article, for example, that calls Veterans For Peace, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Seymour Hersh, Gareth Porter, Kathy Kelly, Counterpunch, Consortiumnews, Antiwar.com, and many more, including me supporters of Bashar al Assad.

How did I win this honor? I spent years denouncing war making by all parties in Syria. I wrote article and books questioning the hypocrisy that held Assad to have been a good torturer when he was working for the United States but a bad torturer now. I severely criticized my fellow peace activists when some of them cheered for Russian bombings in Syria. I even went after Russia for its warmaking in Syria repeatedly on Russian television. I wrote not one article or blog post and gave not one speech defending Assad's atrocities in any way, shape, or form. That record ought to have been enough, I suppose, to get me accused of supporting Assad and Putin. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.

But I also made the truly fateful mistake of trying to accommodate the "You're an Assad lover" crowd. Someone named Andy Berman sent me nasty messages with that false accusation. I proposed that he write down exactly what he thought I had been so nefariously censoring. He did. And I published it with my own response afterwards but with not a word or a comma edited. Here was an attempt at civil discourse over an issue that has divided peace activists, and what did it get me?

Andy Berman's wife, Terry Burke, is listed as the author of the attack piece for In These Times accusing me of all the same tired old lies. She didn't contact me. No editor, if In These Times has those, contacted me. There's no quote or paraphrase of anything I supposedly said. Instead, there's a denunciation of having been a speaker at a rally. But, as I would have pointed out if asked, I wasn't at the rally at all or within 500 miles of it. It was, however, a rally that I had helped promote before it happened. Burke might have looked at those promotions, rather than at what someone showed up at the rally waving, in order to figure out what I was for or against.

Clearly that would have been too much to ask. Others became Assad lovers on even less basis. Some were denounced for having gone to Syria and met with Assad. I interviewed someone who went on that trip and asked her whether they had confronted Assad with his crimes. You can listen to the response on my website. Clearly Burke didn't bother to even contact the people she libeled. But most of those condemned as Assadites by In These Times are so condemned on no stated basis whatsoever.

Now this is getting very tiresome after all of these years of it, and a couple of dangers loom ahead for activists who can't seem to graduate from preschool mentalities. The fact is, of course, as many of us are sick to death of having to explain, that denouncing the war making by all parties in Syria does not put you in the camp of cheering for whichever party somebody else has chosen as the Bad Guy.

If the United States and Russia escalate a joint bombing campaign in Syria, things will go from very bad to even worse for those not killed in the process. Will those who have thus far believed that bombing by only one of those parties or the other is evil come to grips with the evil in bombing conducted by the pair of them?

And if Hillary Clinton launches a greatly escalated effort to overthrow the Syrian government by bombing campaign, will those who oppose that criminal catastrophe have to listen to more chants of "Assad lover!" "Assad lover!" Does criticizing Hillary Clinton about anything win one the accusation of "privilege" anyway? As if living in one of the countries she doesn't want to bomb isn't a huge privilege for all of us!

This was my response to Berman's article:

Thank you to Andy Berman for giving me and Code Pink a bit of credit in this article. I think more credit is do more groups and individuals. In particular, I think the public pressure in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere that stopped a massive U.S. bombing campaign of Syria in 2013 deserves a great deal of credit and far from being an example of a peace movement that has completely failed constitutes the most noteworthy success for peace of recent years. Of course it was incomplete. Of course the U.S. went ahead with arming and training and bombing on a much smaller scale. Of course Russia joined in, killing even more Syrians with its bombs than the United States was doing, and it was indeed deeply disturbing to see U.S. peace activists cheer for that. Of course the Syrian government went on with its bombings and other crimes, and of course it’s disturbing that some refuse to criticize those horrors, just as it’s disturbing that others refuse to criticize the U.S. or Russian horrors or both, or refuse to criticize Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Iran or Israel.

All of this selectivity in moral outrage breeds suspicion and cynicism, so that when I criticize U.S. bombing I’m immediately accused of cheering for Syrian bombing. And when I read an article like this one that makes no mention of the 2013 bombing plan, no mention of Hillary Clinton’s desired “no fly zone,” no mention of her position that failure to massively bomb in 2013 was a mistake, etc., I have to struggle not to wonder why. Then when it comes to what we ought to do about this war, I’d love to have seen some acknowledgment that the party that has repeatedly blocked exactly what is proposed in point #5 (a negotiated settlement) has been the United States, including rejecting a Russian proposal in 2012 that included Assad stepping down — rejected because the U.S. preferred a violent overthrow and believed it was imminent.

I would also like to have seen greater recognition that people usually have the most influence over their own governments, as opposed to over the governments of others. I think one also has to have a view of U.S. imperialism to explain U.S. actions in Syria, including its failure to condemn Russian cluster bombs and incendiary bombs while U.S. cluster bombs are falling in Yemen, and while Fallujah is newly under siege. One has to have an understanding of Iraq and Libya to know where ISIS and its weapons and much of the weaponry of other fighters in Syria come from, as well as to understand the conflicted U.S. policy that can’t choose between attacking the Syrian government or its enemies and that has resulted in CIA and DOD trained troops fighting each other. I also think a negotiated settlement has to include an arms embargo and that the greatest resistance to that comes from the greatest arms dealer. But I think the broader point here, that we should oppose and be aware of and work to end war, regardless of who is doing it, is the right one. And I think part of making that work will be both including a comprehensive list of criticisms of all parties in any mention we make of a conflict, and giving each other the benefit of the doubt rather than making accusing each other our top priority.

Coleen Rowley added this comment to my response:

"A good place for Berman to look to regain some of his own dignity would be to stop pushing for U.S. “regime change” in Syria and elsewhere. When he parroted the official pre-condition for any peace negotiations that “Assad must go,” and when he constantly promoted speakers and writers, even neocon groups, engaged in the bloody effort to topple the Syrian government, they essentially doomed Syria to continuing and worsening war and the destabilizing vacuum that allowed ISIS to grow. From the start, Berman sided with speakers who advised not to worry about the al Qaeda presence among the “rebels” but to focus only on toppling the Syrian government. In any event, here is an article that Margaret Safrajoy and I co-wrote in December 2014 when this sick hypocrisy had become so painfully clear: https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/25/selling-peace-groups-on-us-led-wars/

"Another sign of Berman’s constant pushing for more US military intervention on the side of the “rebels” (which includes jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda) can be seen in his social media posts encouraging people to contact members of Congress to support HR 5732, the “Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act.” The bill would be great if it actually would serve to protect civilians but in actuality, it increases sanctions against Syria and requires the U.S. President to present proposals regarding the establishment of safe zones and a no-fly zone as U.S. policy options in Syria. (“No fly zone” being a code used by “humanitarian war hawks” for bombing a country to smithereens if you recall what happened to Libya.)

"(Naturally) MN Rep Ellison who supported the previously announced plan to bomb Syria in 2013 (and I think even supported the earlier US-NATO bombing of Libya) is one of 17 co-sponsors of H.R 5237, which bill was introduced by Israel’s best friend, Eliot Engel, with uber-hawk Ros-Lehtinen another co-sponsor."

Talk Nation Radio: Judy Bello on Syria, Gar Alperovitz on Ending War

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-judy-bello-on-syria-gar-alperovitz-on-ending-war

Judy Bello (pictured) is on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and is a founding member of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.   In the previous decade she has traveled with Peace Delegations to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. She has just returned from a fact finding mission in Syria with a delegation from the U.S. Peace Council.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He's been a Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University and Harvard’s Institute of Politics. He is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. Alperovitz has served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of the Next System Project. And he will be speaking at No War 2016, a conference we are organizing in September in Washington DC through World Beyond War. See worldbeyondwar.org.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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Mike Morell: Travels With Charlie (Rose)

 

 


Mike Morell’s Kill-Russians Advice

 

 

 

Editor's Note: Washington’s foreign policy hot shots are flexing their rhetorical, warmongering muscles to impress Hillary Clinton, including ex-CIA acting director Morell who calls for killing Russians and Iranians.

By Ray McGovern

Perhaps former CIA acting director Michael Morell’s shamefully provocative rhetoric toward Russia and Iran will prove too unhinged even for Hillary Clinton. It appears equally likely that it will succeed in earning him a senior job in a possible Clinton administration, so it behooves us to have a closer look at Morell’s record.

Focus: Aleppo - Aug 8, 2016


Government forces and rebel factions send hundreds of reinforcements to Aleppo as both sides brace for a crucial battle - AFP


SouthFront: Syrian Army deploys 100 tanks, 400 BMP's to Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Rebels face onslaught by regime forces after breaking siege of Aleppo, intense air strikes continue unabated - Irish Times


Aleppo: Narrow corridor bombed heavily by Russian jets, blocking rebels from opening a path to go through and bring supplies - Farsnews


VIDEO: Russian airstrikes on rebel positions in southern Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO: Syrian Army’s warplanes conduct a series of sorties targeting jihadi fighters inside the Artillery School in south Aleppo - LiveLeak.com


Syrian Arab Air Force destroys a rebel convoy heading from Idlib province to southwestern Aleppo - southfront.org


Media: dismissed the commander of the Syrian troops in Aleppo - News Israel today


Syrian government delivers supplies to Aleppo via alternative route: monitors - Reuters


Syrian Army makes advances in Latakia, Jaish Al-Fateh jihadist conglomeration on southwest Aleppo has weakened the rebel defense lines on other fronts (VIDEO, MAP) - almasdarnews.com


Iraqi, Lebanese militias deploy to Syria's Aleppo to shore up Syrian President Assad's forces - The New York Times


Eight Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria's Aleppo - THE DAILY STAR


Iran says ready to assist Russian humanitarian operation in Syria's Aleppo - Sputnik

 

------------------------------------------------

Russia, US tensions grow over Aleppo - news.com.au


UN envoy Samantha Power says no swift victory in Aleppo, despite overwhelming force of Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah - Daily Mail


Foreign help behind rebel advances in Aleppo, opposition replenished with new weapons and cash across Turkey’s border - FT.com


Aleppo offensive is being heavily backed by Turkey whose role seemingly minimally affected by failed coup - Charles Lister on Twitter


Russia (in Aleppo) believes (I quote) "Jihadists received MANPADs with the knowledge of the USA, through countries of the region” - Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter


Iranian source: US warships in Mediterranean sending intelligence to terrorists in Aleppo - Farsnews


Heroes? Jihadists with Al Qaeda links break Assad siege of Aleppo, seize the initiative in northern Syria - The Daily Beast


English translation of the Army of Conquest's (Jaysh al-Fateh's) announcement on plans to take control of the whole of Aleppo City - syria.liveuamap.com


Hard 2 believe Jaish alFateh [Army of Conquest] wont commit crimes when operation named after officer who killed Alawis based on sect - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


VIDEO (Arabic): New statement by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [former Nusra] declaring intent to separate Sunnis fr Nusairis (Alawis) & kill them - YouTube


VIDEO: US-backed rebels who beheaded a Palestinian child show up in Aleppo battlefield - YouTube


There are no good terrorists in Syria, Iraq: Russia’s Putin - en.alalam


Russia: US-backed Syrian rebels used poison gas on civilians - Veterans Today


Obama questions Russian commitment to peace in Syria - armytimes.com


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

Top 10 Reasons Why It's Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children

Is it really necessary for me to explain to you why it's acceptable, necessary, and admirable for the United States and its minor allies to be blowing up houses, families, men, women, and children in Syria?

This latest story of blowing up 85 civilians in their homes has some people confused and concerned. Let me help you out.

1. Somebody mistook them for ISIS fighters, determined that each of them was a continuing and imminent threat to the United States, verified a near zero possibility of any civilians being hurt in the process, and determined that some more bombing was just the way to advance a cease-fire in Syria. So this was not only an accident, but a series of unfortunate events, mistakes, and miscalculations of such proportions that they're unlikely ever to all align again for at least a few days to come.

2. This isn't actually news. That the United States is blowing up civilians by the hundreds in Syria has been endlessly reported and is really of no news value, which is why you don't hear anybody at presidential conventions or on TV talking about it, and why you shouldn't talk aboiut it either if you know what's good for you.

3. Quite a lot of families actually got away without being blown up and are now refugees, which is truly the ideal thing to be in Syria, which is the most totally prepared place for more refugees in the history of the earth, or would be if liberal internationalist do-gooders would provide some aid and stop whining about all the bombs falling.

4. Who gets labeled a "civilian" is pretty arbitrary. The United States has killed thousands of people who clearly were not civilians, and who likely had no loved ones or anyone who would become enraged by their deaths. So why lump particular groups of families into the category of "civilian," and why just assume that every 3-year-old is a civilian, and then turn around and complain with a straight face when the government labels every 18-year-old male a combatant?

5. Houses do not actually have feelings. Why be so bothered that people are blown up in their houses? I'll let you in on a little secret: The word "battlefield" hasn't meant anything that looks like a field for decades. They don't even have fields in some of these countries that don't know any better than to get themselves bombed over and over again. These wars are always in houses. Do you want the houses bombed or do you want the doors kicked in? Because when the Marines start kicking in doors and hauling people off to torture camps you whine about that too.

6. People who live in an ISIS territory are responsible for ISIS. Even those who didn't vote in the most recent ISIS election have a responsibility to get themselves burned alive, and if not then they are responsible for the evil of ISIS and ought to be burned alive by Raytheon missiles which at least make somebody some money in the process for godsake. And if ISIS won't let people flee its territory, but won't burn them alive, then it's time for the international community to step in with efficient burning-alive systems that meet international standards.

7. Donald Trump has sworn he would start killing families. If the U.S. government does not continue its centuries-old practice of killing families, Trump might gain support and endanger us all by creating the new policy of killing families.

8. When airplanes take off from Turkey to commit mass murder in Syria, it helps to bring Turkey back into the community of the rule of law and international respect for human rights, following the recent coup attempt. Keeping U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey serves a similar purpose.

9. Sometimes when you blow people up in their houses, their heads can remain on their bodies. When U.S.-armed moderates behead children, they're doing it for the goal of moderating the moderation of moderate allies and allied moderates. But when the United States kills directly, it is important that there be a chance of some heads remaining on bodies.

10. Unlike every other country on earth, the United States is not a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, so, in the words of the great Thomas Friedman, suck on this.

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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