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January 18, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
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Tag: Syria


What Is Donald Trump Aide Mike Flynn’s Relationship With Russia?

The headlines about Trump and his team and the Russian Federation are coming fast and furious, and the stories seem more than merely isolated data points.

Posted on Jan 14, 2017 READ MORE


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To Their Knees









Posted on Jan 6, 2017 ENLARGE



Inquiry Points Toward a Pentagon Plot to Subvert Obama’s Syria Policy

An official investigation offers evidence that the U.S. military engineered a lethal attack on Syrian troops, sabotaging the president’s effort to cooperate with Russia against Islamic State.

Posted on Jan 5, 2017 READ MORE



The Year of the Commando

In one conflict zone after another across the northern tier of Africa and the Greater Middle East, U.S. special operations forces waged their particular brand of low-profile warfare during 2016.

Posted on Jan 5, 2017 READ MORE



America’s Major Challenges in Middle East Policy in 2017

The incoming Trump administration is riven by a profound division between those determined to avoid deep entanglements in the Middle East—such as the president-elect himself—and many he is putting in key positions, who want to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Posted on Jan 2, 2017 READ MORE



Russia Reaches Syria Cease-Fire Pact With Turkey—and the U.S. Had Nothing to Do With It

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that after negotiations in Moscow between his administration and its Turkish and Iranian counterparts, an accord regarding the war in Syria has been reached, establishing a fragile truce that’s being hailed as “a potential turning point” in the bloody civil war that has raged for six years.

Posted on Dec 29, 2016 READ MORE



With Fall of Aleppo, Will a Russo-Iranian Middle East Challenge Donald Trump?

Though the president-elect has indicated a willingness to live with such a scenario, it could greatly upset his incoming Cabinet.

Posted on Dec 23, 2016 READ MORE



Russian Ambassador’s Assassination May Strengthen the Erdogan-Putin Relationship

The shooting of Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, will slow but not interrupt the process of Russo-Turkish rapprochement, after a period last winter and spring when the two countries were boycotting each other.

Posted on Dec 20, 2016 READ MORE



Russian Ambassador to Turkey Killed by Gunman

“We die in Aleppo, you die here,” the shooter of Ambassador Andrei Karlov reportedly said.

Posted on Dec 19, 2016 READ MORE



Aleppo Rebels Were Defeated Because They Alienated Syrians

As the opposition fighters moved to the Sunni religious right, and as the most effective fighters were drawn from that sector, the rebels lost the goodwill and support of most Syrians.

Posted on Dec 17, 2016 READ MORE



It’s 2016: Do You Know Where Your Bombs Are Falling?

In how many countries is U.S. ordnance taking its toll in the nearly 15-year-old, apparently never-ending worldwide war Donald Trump will inherit?

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 READ MORE



What’s Happening in Aleppo Isn’t as Black and White as ‘Our Political Masters’ Make It Out to Be

Robert Fisk, The Independent’s award-winning correspondent, writes that while the bloody clash in the Syrian city is horrific, many questions remain about American and British involvement and Western media’s portrayal of the conflict.

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 READ MORE



The Resilience of Colonial Borders in Syria

Whenever a country falls into civil war, there are always observers who suggest that the problem could be resolved by a partition of that country.

Posted on Dec 8, 2016 READ MORE



Why Russia and the Assad Regime Want All of Aleppo Before Donald Trump Is Sworn In

Russia and Bashar al-Assad are not willing to risk Donald Trump changing his mind, what with all the hawks milling around him and on his new cabinet.

Posted on Nov 30, 2016 READ MORE



In Donald Trump’s Shadow, Will East Aleppo Fall to the Assad Regime and Its Russian Backer?

Since Trump’s election, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin have thrown caution to the wind.

Posted on Nov 29, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad Calls Donald Trump ‘a Natural Ally’

In the past, Trump has asserted that ISIS is a far bigger danger to the U.S. than the al-Assad regime.

Posted on Nov 18, 2016 READ MORE



A Genuine U.S. Reset With Russia Is Long Overdue

President-elect Trump’s willingness to rewrite the foreign and national security establishment’s playbook, and seek to normalize relations with Russia, is a welcome development.

Posted on Nov 15, 2016 READ MORE



Vladimir Putin Targets East Aleppo Rebels—Did Donald Trump’s Election Victory Doom Them?

With Obama a lame duck and Trump a buddy of Putin, Russia and Syria may feel they have a free hand to defeat the rebels completely in east Aleppo.

Posted on Nov 11, 2016 READ MORE



Hezbollah’s Candidate Becomes Lebanese President After Sunni Compromise

Lebanon finally has a president, Michel Aoun.

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 READ MORE



Donald Trump Says Hillary Clinton Will Start WWIII With Russia, but Moscow Disagrees (Video)

Despite the “Chicken Little” hysteria of the Republican presidential candidate about world war and nuclear exchanges, many in the Kremlin see him as less pragmatic than his Democratic counterpart and are expecting to work with her.

Posted on Oct 26, 2016 READ MORE



Former Military Pilots Worry That ‘No-Fly Zone’ Over Syria Could Provoke War With Russia

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also told The Guardian, “I wouldn’t put it past them to shoot down an American aircraft.”

Posted on Oct 26, 2016 READ MORE



Why Donald Trump Is Wrong to Bet Against the U.S. Military-Backed Mosul Campaign

The Republican presidential candidate’s pronouncement that the campaign is bound to fail is an affront to the Iraqi and U.S. troops risking their lives against Islamic State.

Posted on Oct 25, 2016 READ MORE



As Election Day Nears, Military Hawks Circle to Promote New Wave of War

A slew of bipartisan reports are hoping to push the former secretary of state to increased military action in the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Posted on Oct 23, 2016 READ MORE


Photo of the Week: Will Islamic State Pour Into Syria After Suffering Defeat in Iraq?

Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers celebrated in the town of Bartella, which Iraqi forces recently retook. Not pictured are U.S. officials, who may be cheering the prospect of Islamic State fighters, driven from Iraq, causing problems for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran.

Posted on Oct 22, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN



To Understand Today’s World—Syria, Brexit, Even Trump—Watch This Adam Curtis Film (Video)

In “Hypernormalisation,” the British documentary filmmaker delves into the intricacies of a “strange time” in which “extraordinary events keep happening that undermine the stability of our world” while “those in control seem unable to deal ... and no one has any vision of a different or a better kind of future.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 READ MORE


The Hitchhiker









Posted on Oct 18, 2016 ENLARGE



As Islamic State Loses Territory, Will Weak States Gain Strength? (Video)

Political scientist Khalid Rif says that the organization’s forced withdrawal from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria has a religious symbolism that could be fatal to its esprit de corps.

Posted on Oct 18, 2016 READ MORE



After Profiting From Weapons Sales and Then Bombing Yemen, U.S. Calls for a Cease-Fire

The United States and United Kingdom call for an unconditional cease-fire in the conflict “within hours.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2016 READ MORE


Syria Peace









Posted on Oct 12, 2016 ENLARGE



Russia and Turkey Make Up: What Are the Implications for Syria and the Kurds? (Video)

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Turkey on Monday for direct talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in a bid to further normalize relations between the two countries.

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 READ MORE



Cast Your Vote: How Should the United States Respond to Escalating Tensions in Syria?

Politicians were plagued with questions on foreign policy last week as the relationship between the U.S. and Russia continued to deteriorate.

Posted on Oct 10, 2016 READ MORE



U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Asks Rebel Group Linked to al-Qaida to Leave East Aleppo

The United Nations’ Staffan de Mistura (pictured) has addressed the Levant Conquest Front, whose leader has pledged allegiance to an al-Qaida leader. For reasons that remain extremely mysterious, the CIA ignores this group, with which some of its own favorites have sometimes formed battlefield alliances.

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 READ MORE


Absurd Reality (Video)









Posted on Oct 6, 2016 ENLARGE


Barrel Bomb









Posted on Oct 5, 2016 ENLARGE



The ‘White Helmets’ and the Inherent Contradiction of America’s Syria Policy

By embracing the anti-Assad message and imagery of the White Helmets, that organization’s supporters are furthering the messaging used by Al Nusra Front, its affiliate organizations and Islamic State to recruit followers around the world.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE



The VP Debate Served to Remind Americans Just How Extreme the Rest of the Republican Party Is

These days, with Donald Trump having dominated the news for more than a year, it’s easy to overlook the Republicans in Congress. But Mike Pence’s stances were a potent reminder of what a Republican Congress and White House would do.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE



Mike Pence Is a Trump in Politician’s Clothing—as Dishonest and Erratic, Just Much Smoother

Trump running mate Mike Pence continued the unreality of this election season in Tuesday’s debate by denying many things that are true and asserting many things that are not true.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 READ MORE


Barrel Bombs









Posted on Oct 4, 2016 ENLARGE



How the ‘White Helmets’ Became Global Heroes While Pushing for U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

Backed by Washington and marketed by a top public relations firm, the Syrian civil defense organization is saving civilians—and lobbying for airstrikes and regime change.

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 READ MORE



The U.S. Breaks Off Military Cooperation With Russia in Syria (Video)

On Monday, the United States government suspended talks with the Russian Federation on how to end the Syrian conflict but said the step didn’t imply all joint activity would end.

Posted on Oct 4, 2016 READ MORE



Russia Warns of Mideast Apocalypse if U.S. Attacks Bashar Assad’s Military in Syria

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that a U.S. attack on the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Quagmire: Has Russia Accomplished Anything in a Year of Bombing?

Russian military advisers have been withdrawn, the Syrian Army HQ has no Russian advisory staff and there is little coordination on the battlefield.

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 READ MORE



Syria and Russia Push to Take Area in Aleppo as Airstrikes Kill 66 and Wound 200 (Video)

Only a week after seeming to agree to a cease-fire, Russia and the Syrian regime in Damascus appear to have decided to wipe out the pocket of rebel resistance in East Aleppo.

Posted on Sep 26, 2016 READ MORE



The Number of U.S. Troops in Iraq Is Approaching 6,000 (Video)

Five hundred more troops will be sent to help with the massive Mosul campaign. They will not engage in fighting at the front but will help call in airstrikes on Islamic State targets and provide tactical advice and training.

Posted on Sep 25, 2016 READ MORE



Xenophobia and Hate Exacerbate the Plight of Refugees Around the World

According to Oxfam, the six wealthiest countries—the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom—“host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees.”

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE



Russia and Syria Deny Striking U.N. Aid Convoy in Aleppo

At least 20 people died in the bombing of vehicles carrying humanitarian relief to thousands of Syrians.

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 READ MORE


Chris Hedges and Loretta Napoleoni Analyze Spread of Jihadism, Kidnapping and Refugee Trafficking

On a new episode of “On Contact,” the two writers discuss what is creating the billion-dollar trafficking industry and how the U.S. presence in the Middle East is facilitating the growth of “criminal” jihadism.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN



Fifty Million Children Have Been Uprooted Worldwide: What Will the West Do About It?

The most powerful (and richest) countries are the least likely to accept refugees.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 READ MORE



‘Pigs! Crusaders!’: U.S.-Backed Fundamentalists Chase American Commandos Out of Syria

Turning the Americans back across the Turkish border, the Free Syrian Army members cursed them and asserted that the U.S. is attempting a military occupation of Syria.

Posted on Sep 19, 2016 READ MORE



In a Massive Intelligence Error, the U.S. Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helping Islamic State to Advance

The United States Air Force hit a Syrian military installation in Deir al-Zor that it thought was held by Islamic State. But it turned out to be the Syrian Arab Army position at the Deir al-Zor military airport.

Posted on Sep 18, 2016 READ MORE


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