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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Syria in the Last 24 Hours: Army Controls Over 400 sq km in Aleppo Countryside


Syrian army units and allied forces took control of many villages and towns located northeast of the road extending from Khanazir to Tal al-Amra to the Mount of Forty. The distance separating the forces from the Khansir axis from the advancing forces from the north-east of Sinjar is 2 km, ie, there is control and fire closure of the gap. In the event of a meeting, the armed groups were surrounded in an enclave extending from south-west of Khanazir south of Aleppo to the axis of the Chakosia north-east of Hama.


Syrian forces and their allies launched a quick operation from their positions in the vicinity of Mount 40 in the southern suburbs of Aleppo, and took control of the villages: Barda, Tal Hatabat, Petrana, Jafar Mansour, Rajila, legs, Guerifra, The army advanced from Tel Ahmar south-west of the capital, and took control of several villages, onwards to   the town of Tel-guarantee, after clashes with  Nusra Front  and allied factions. The army are combing the villages and areas northeast of the villages on the outskirts of Khanazir-Tal al-Amna-Jabal al-Arbaeen road. It is worth mentioning that the road of Khanazir passing through the security guarantee to the mountain of forty is about 45 km long, which highlights  the importance of the road as it secures the area of ​​the south-eastern Aleppo countryside, which includes dozens of villages.

Army establishes control over 400 square kilometers in Aleppo countryside
Army establishes control over all villages and town northeast of Khanasser-Tal al-Daman road in Aleppo countryside
14 January، 2018
Aleppo, SANA
The Syrian Arab Army, in cooperation with supporting forces, achieved new victories during their continuous operations to uproot Jabhat al-Nasra terrorist organization and its affiliated terrorist groups in Aleppo southern countryside, establishing full control over every village and town northeast of Khanasser-Tal al-Daman road all the way to al-Arba’een Mountain.
SANA’s correspondent said that over the past few hours, army units and their allies established control over the village and farms of Burj Sabna, Swaiha, al-Ismailiya, Marbaet al-Salloum,Jub Ghleis, Jub al-Khafi, Rasm Abdo Bisha, Bisha, Muraba’a Kabira, Rabi’a, al-Bakat, al-Zaidiya, al-Satablat, Rasm al-Bassas, Jub al-Tina, Rasm al-Karkour, Madaen Kabir, Mshairfet Arjul, Talil al-Sayyah, al-Zana, Rasm Fattah, al-Samiriya, Mughairat al-Shebli, Bassila, al-Hajeb, Rasm Shoukan, Soyan, Kafro Hoot, al-Tiba, Burj Ghazawi, Jadida, Sarj Fare’a, Hajj Mansour, Khirbet al-Muaijer, al-Qunaitrat, Sarja Gharbiya, Talil al-Sayyah, Rajm Omairat, al-Marhamiya, and Mushreft al-Hilalat.
Earlier today, the correspondent said that the army established control over Jabal al-Madwar, Wadi al-Sanou’, the villages of Nu’maniyah, Bouaida saghira, Mushrefat al-Bouadatin, , Bouaida Kabira and al-Wajed in the northeast of the road between al-Damman and al-Arba’een Mountain in the southern countryside.
The correspondent added that the engineering units finished combing the liberated villages. The remaining terrorists who fled from the villages were targeted by the army’s intensive artillery and air strikes.
On Saturday evening, the army units and allied forces, carried out swift operations in the vicinity of al-Arba’een Mountain in the southern countryside of Aleppo, taking control over the villages of Barda, Tel Hatabat, Batrana, Ja’far Mansour,Rjaila, Arjal, Gharirfa and Munbateh reaching to town of Tal al-Damman, west of Khanzer. Other army units advanced from Tal Ahmar, southwest of Khanaser, and established control over several villages in the vicinity of Tal al-Damman town.
Establishing control over the 45-km-long road between Khanaser, Tal al-Damman and al-Arba’een Mountain completely secures the southern countryside of Aleppo which includes dozens of villages and areas.
Ghossoun / Hazem Sabbagh

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 15, 2018: SYRIAN ARMY LIBERATES DOZENS VILLAGES IN SOUTHWESTERN ALEPPO

Russian forces eliminated a group of militants, which conducted the mortar attack on Hmeimim airbase on December 31, 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on January 12. Russian forces used the 2K25 Krasnopol 152 mm laser-guided artillery munition to eliminate the group, according to the ministry.
The ministry added that the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) uncovered a fixed-wing drone assembly and storage workshop in Idlib province. The workshop is likely linked to the armed drone attack on Hmeimim airbase, and Tartus naval facility base on January 6. The workshop was also eliminated with the Krasnopol.
In the period from January 12 to January 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwa al-Quds, Liwa Fatemiyoun and other pro-government factions increased pressure on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra), Ahrar al-Sham and their allied militant groups in southern Idlib and southern Aleppo.
Government forces advanced west and northwest of Khansir and established control over al-Hass Mount and a large number of the nearby villages. The distance between government positions southeast of the Abu al-Duhur airbase and west of Khanasir is now about 2 km.
In southern Idlib, the Tiger Forces and their allies engaged militants in the villages of Atshan, Tell Maraq, Umm Khalakhil, Zifr Saqer, Zif Kabir, Suruj, Istablat and Rasm al-Qard that had been a target of counter-attack launched by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham(HTS)—led forces.
Separately, the SAA and the NDF advanced in northeastern Hama and captured the villages of Tafahah and Tal Mutilat as well as attacked the villages of Abu Khaf, Aniq Bajrah and Sukari.
In the coming days, government forces will secure the remaining pocket in southern Aleppo and make a fresh push in order to create another militant pocket southwest of Khansir.
Meanwhile, the Turkish military deployed more troops and military equipment including tanks, artillery pieces and armored vehicles around the city of Afrin controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The deployment followed a series of artillery strikes conducted by Turkish forces on YPG positions in the area.
Earlier, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish forces may soon carry out an attack on the city of Afrin in order to “clear” the southern border of his country from groups described by Ankara as “terrorists”. The YPG is a core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara says that the YPG is a branch of the Kurdish separatist armed group PKK that mainly operates in southern Turkey and northern Iraq.
Government troops have recaptured Tell Farzat from Jaish al-Islam in the southern part of Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta, a SAA officer told SouthFront on January 14. According to the source, the advance is a part of the effort aimed at preventing Jaish al-Islam from supporting Ahrar al-Sham’s attack on the Armoured Vehicles Base. Clashes between Jaish al-Islam and the SAA were also reported in Hazrama and Hush al-Duahra.
On January 14, ISIS captured several positions, including the headquarters of the Palestine Charity Organization and Abd al-Qader al-Hussine school, in the eastern part of the Yarmouk refugee camp, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported. 5 HTS members were reportedly killed there. According to pro-opposition sources, about 70% of the camp is now in the hands of ISIS. The expansion of the terrorist group there poses a direct threat to the government-held areas, especially if the terrorist group reaches districts near the Damascus Airport highway.

Related News

Russia heeds ‘the Inner Voice of Conscience’–Patriarch Kirill

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Several days ago I posted a video of an interview with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church conducted over Russian TV. The interview aired live on January 7–Russian Orthodox Christmas Day. What I posted was only a four and a half minute segment that had been translated into English–this of an interview which ran on for more than half and hour–but in that segment Kirill expressed the view that “evil is not viable,” and that “systems where the evil is dominant cannot survive.”
“If evil drives away good from human society, then the end will come,” he added.
The video I am posting above is an additional segment from the same interview and that has now also been translated into English. In it Kirill talks about how Russia “is a country which pays heed to the inner voice of conscience.”

Monday, January 15, 2018

مارد على قمة جبل الزيتون وقاسيون مئة عام على ولادة جمال عبد الناصر


Image result for ‫جمال عبد الناصر‬‎

صابرين دياب – فلسطين

هي المئوية الأولى للقائد العربي القدوة جمال عبد الناصر، تؤسّس لمئويات عديدة قادمة، يبقى فيها من صنّاع التاريخ، فهو التاريخ والمستقبل وسيبقى بيننا وأمامنا، ملهماً للأجيال.

مئة عام على حضور فاعل قيادي مبدع مناضل، وثابت على الثوابت، نصفها كان ارتحاله وليس رحيله، بعد أن انجز في القليل من الزمن، ما عجزت عنه آخرون في قرون.

بقيادته تمّ صدّ الاستهداف الرأسمالي الغربي ضدّ الأمة، بعد ثلاثة قرون من بدئه، فسنوات أبي خالد وقفت بوجه هذا الاستهداف، الذي يقوده الغرب وأدواته المتمثلة بالقوى الرجعية العربية.

كان الصدُّ ببناء المشروع الذي تمثل في بالنضال من أجل تحقيق وحدة العرب من المحيط إلى الخليج حباً وطواعية، وأعاد أفريقيا إلى الحاضنة العربية، ولجم آل سعود، وكان يصفهم في كلّ مؤامرة غادرة ينسجونها، وفي كلّ موقف خائن يتخذونه، بقوله: «هؤلاء عدوّ مطلق للعروبة»، ووضَع العرب في قيادة كتلة عدم الانحياز في باندونغ، مع قادة العالم الثالث الثائر حينها، شو إن لاي، تيتو، سوكارنو، جواهر لال نهرو، سيكوتوري، تشي جيفارا… هذه الكتلة التي بيَّنت انقسام العالم إلى تكتلات ثلاثة.

مشروع عبد الناصر القومي، حقق أوّل وحدة بين مصر وسورية، وقد شهدت سنوات الوحدة الثلاث 1958-1961، أدنى نسبة تدفق للمستوطنين إلى الكيان الصهيوني… وفي مؤتمر هرتسليا الصهيوني وفي مرات عدة حدّد الصهانية: «عدوّنا الأول هو القومية العربية».

الهجوم من قبل الأعداء على تاريخ عبد الناصر وإرثه لم يتوقف حتى اليوم، فهم أرادوا تشويه صورته، فهم يطيقون عملاقاً يحمل مشروعاً في العقل وفي القلب وفي الميدان، ويفني من أجل تجسيده الجسد…!

كان لا بدّ للقدس في هذه الظروف تحديداً ان تحيي ذكراه المئوية العطرة فوق أرضها وتحت سمائها، بيد ان إجراءات المحتلّ التعسّفية حالت دون ان نحييها بتوقيتها اليوم، فهذا المحتلّ الذي احترف البطش والوحشية والتنغيص، لا يزال يهاب اسم جمال عبد الناصر حتى بعد مرور 48 عاماً على غيابه، غير أنّ القدس عازمة على إحياء مئوية عبد الناصر في الأيام القليلة المقبلة حكماً وحتماً، انه أبو خالد وهي قدس الأقداس ومهجة الأرواح.

بعد مئة عام على حضوره وارتحاله، يتجدّد حضوره، وتتجدّد الضرورة للمشروع تماماً ومطلقاً في لحظة اشتداد الهجمة التي تستهدف دمشق وتستهدف البلاد العربية وتصفية القضية الفلسطينية.

يا أبا خالد… اليوم كما الأمس، أعداء في الخارج، أعداء في الداخل، أعداء تحت الجلد. وكيف لا نتذكر قول أبي فراس الحمداني:

سيذكرني قومي متى جدّ جدّهمُ

وفي الليلة الظلماء يُفتقدُ البدرُ

وهل ثمة ظلمةٍ أشدّ حِلْكة من هذه اللحظة!

ولكن، لسنا اليوم في موقف أو وقفة بكاء بعد الحريق، ها هي الغابة تُنبت الزهور والصنوبر، هي المقاومة، وتحديداً في لبنان،

وفي سورية التي أسميتها بحق «قلب العروبة النابض»، تصدّ الغزاة وأدواتهم الإرهابيين المتطرفين، بل الخونة من خاصرتي وطننا الخائنتين الطابورين – القشرتين السياسية والثقافية…

وفي السباق الأشدّ حدَّةً وقساوة بين معسكر المقاومة ومعسكر الأعداء، نتفوّق يا أبا خالد، فنَم قرير العين يا حبيب القدس وبلاد العرب الكبيرة.

إننا أبناء القدس وكلّ فلسطين، فاعليات وشخصيات وطنية مقدسية ومن عموم أرض فلسطين، جرحى وذوو شهداء، نقسمُ بالأمة والوطن، اننا نراك واقفاً على قمة جبل قاسيون في دمشقنا الثابتة الصامدة، تصيح بالجند أن تقدّموا جنوباً إلى القدس، وشمالاً إلى إنطاكية، وشرقاً جنوبياً إلى الجزيرة العربية، تُلوِّح بيدك إلى هذا الاتجاه فتطوله، وإلى ذاك بسيفك الدمشقي فتطوله.

الأميركيون حاربوا مصر بالطائرة والدبابة والصاروخ والغواصة وبرغيف الخبز، وما حنت الرأس ولا تراجعت عن مبادئها، ولا عن مسيرتها، وكان البيت الأبيض والبنتاغون وقصر الاليزيه ومكتب مستر ايدين، يرغون ويزبدون ويغضبون ويحقدون ويعضّون راحاتهم وشفاههم السفلى، حينما يسمعون اسم مصر واسم جمال عبد الناصر،

وها هم أبناء القدس وكلّ فلسطين، يسطّرون أعظم ملاحم التاريخ والجغرافيا بصمودهم وتجذرهم في قدس أقداسهم، وفي سائر أرجاء فلسطين المحتلة، يتحدون المستعمر الصهيوني ويتصدّون لمشاريع الخيانة التي لم تتوقف منذ مئة عام مضى، يتحدّون برباطة جأش ووعي وطني عظيم يتعاظم مع كلّ جيل فلسطيني جديد. نعدك يا أبا خالد الحبيب ألا نسقط راية الكفاح المشرّع، وأن نفوّت فرص تصفية قضيتنا الوطنية العادلة من قبل العدو وأوغاد العرب، هكذا علّمتنا، ونحن أحفادك البررة، نصون الأمانة ولا نتعب ولن نكلّ. واننا رغم نار الألم وبطش المحتلّ ووحشيته، صامدون ثابتون مقاومون حتى النصر.

أنت لم ولن ترحل يا ناصرنا، والمشروع لن يموت، ونحن على دربك ودرب قدسنا والعروبة الحقة سائرون…

Zionist Statements Reflect Confusion after Failed Attempt to Assassinate Hamas Commander in Southern Lebanon

1
After the Lebanese security agencies launched intensive investigations into the blast which targeted the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas’ commander Mohammad Hamdan in southern Lebanon, several pieces of evidence indicated that the Zionist enemy is behind the operation.
The Zionist officials denied the reports about the enemy’s involvement in the blast, reflecting a case of confusion amid hints at the Israeli role in the blatant aggression.
In this context, The Zionist war minister Avigdor Lieberman and intelligence minister Yisrael Katz said that “Israel does not carry out a failed operation.”
However, Zionist analysts said that in case ‘Israel’ was behind the operation, it has aimed at striking Hamas Lebanon’s wing which is administering the intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories in coordination with Hezbollah.

Because Mr Trump… Your Country Caused These ‘Shitholes’



Because Mr Trump… Your Country Caused These ‘Shitholes’

Because Mr Trump… Your Country Caused These ‘Shitholes’


US President Trump’s outrageous remarks on various poor nations – calling them “shitholes” – not only reveal a heartless racist. Donald Trump also shows himself to be appallingly ignorant.
What does it say about our world when the leader of supposedly the most powerful military nation is a complete ignoramus about the most basic facts of history? Surely, this is an horrific danger to all of humanity from having someone so reckless and stupid with access to nuclear weapons.
The global indignation over Trump’s foul denigration continues to mount days after he uttered it. The African Union representing 55 nations has demanded an apology from the president. He is now trying to walk back his incendiary comments in a blatant attempt to lie, which is only fueling more anger.
What’s even more abhorrent is that the vast majority of the countries that Trump was referring to can trace their intractable problems of poverty and violence directly to US involvement in those countries. Yet, he crassly wonders why America has any obligation to shelter people fleeing from them.
During a meeting last Thursday with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the White House to discuss US immigration policy, Trump reportedly became frustrated when the list of countries receiving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was read out to him.
Currently there are ten countries afforded TPS by official US immigration controls. Such status permits the entry of a certain quota of citizens.
They are: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.
Trump reportedly blurted out: “What do we want Haitians here for? Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why are we having all these people from shithole countries coming here?”
He then capped his racist, exploitative view of the world by adding: “We should have more people from places like Norway.”
So, in Trump’s shallow, utilitarian worldview, as long as you are blond, blue-eyed, educated and from a wealthy state then you are welcome in the US to be utilized for its economic growth.
Trump’s disgust with the listed immigrant countries shows his astounding cluelessness, or maybe callousness.
For the fact is that nine of the ten countries afforded TPS – 90 per cent – can attribute their immigration tendency to the legacy of destructive US policies bearing down on those countries.
Only one of them, Nepal, has a humanitarian crisis unrelated directly to American foreign policy, resulting from a natural cause – the earthquake that hit the Himalayan South Asian nation in April 2015.
Let’s quickly review the 90 per cent.
El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have all been left with a legacy of US-backed wars over several decades. During the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, the US flooded the Central American region with weapons and American-trained death squads to hunt down leftwing guerrillas, politicians, labour activists, peasants, land rights activists, and priests – anyone who was deemed to threaten the traditional US-backed power structure of Caudillo regimes subordinate to American corporations and capital.
It is estimated that US-backed wars killed as many as 200,000 people across Central America, leaving populations traumatized, impoverished and tormented subsequently with armed criminal gangs.
Nicaragua is a poignant case in point. Its leftwing revolutionary Sandinista government – which ousted the decades-old US-backed Somoza dictatorship in 1979 – was destroyed by American proxy war using Contra death squads operating out of Honduras.
Currently, there are some 250,000 Salvadorans living as migrants in the US. Trump wants to send them all back to their country. A recurring fear among the migrants is the rampant violence from armed gangs in El Salvador – a direct legacy of past US military intervention.
It is true that Nicaragua and El Salvador were also hit by earthquakes which have exacerbated humanitarian problems of poverty and social degradation. But arguably the violence and political turmoil fomented in those countries by the US over decades is the major destructive factor in those societies.
The same can be said for Haiti. The Caribbean island country was devastated by an earthquake in 2009, and is reportedly still reeling from the impact. Nevertheless, the intractable poverty and social discord is a legacy of US governments backing decades of dictatorships under Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier. Repeated US military invasions over the past century to repress socially progressive politics ensured that Haiti retained its function as an impoverished offshore location for American corporations to ruthlessly exploit for sweatshop labor.
Regarding African countries on the TPS list, US policy was instrumental in the break-up of Sudan into Northern and Southern states in 2011-2012. That, in turn, has wrecked the economies of both states and fomented conflicts, leading to massive displacement of communities.
Somalia on the Horn of Africa was invaded by US forces in the early 1990s and for the past three decades has been destabilized by relentless American military aggression from naval, air and drone strikes in a so-called “war on terror”.
More generally, Africa’s mass emigrations can also be traced directly to US and NATO European members waging illegal wars in several countries, including Libya, Mali, Niger, Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic. US-backed proxy wars in Angola, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique have too left a baleful legacy.
More generally, it can never be underestimated the extent of underdevelopment that Africa has been historically hobbled with from American and European colonial and neocolonial economic exploitation.
As for the two other “shithole” countries on Trump’s list – Syria and Yemen – they may most acutely represent just how degenerate this president is.
For continuing under his watch in the White House, American criminal military interventions in those countries have caused millions of people to be killed, maimed, starved and displaced. Syria, in particular, has been reduced from a fairly developed society to a pile of rubble by a six-year war instigated and perpetuated covertly by the US and its NATO and regional client regimes.
Yemen has been turned into an apocalyptic hell-hole from nearly three years of American-backed Saudi aggression against that country, including maintaining a sea, air and land blockade on the whole nation – a massive war crime – resulting in millions of children starving or dying from cholera and other preventable diseases. How could any country suffering a veritable genocide not be turned into anything but a “shithole”?
Mr Trump, are you listening or has your brain been turned into a pile of mush from the fast-food diet you gorge every day?
Considering the carnage that US foreign policy and conduct has inflicted around the world in pursuit of American imperialist interests, the Temporary Protected Status list should not comprise ten nations. It should be extended to dozens of – maybe 100 – countries that have borne the vandalism of American power.
Trump’s deprecation of “shithole” countries is a nauseating display of American ignorance and callousness. No wonder the US continues with its wrecking-ball behavior in the world.
As former Mexican President Vicente Fox alluded to in his outrage over Trump’s latest remarks, the biggest, foulest shit-hole in the world is in Washington. Because there they really do have shit for brains and morals.

The US-Assisted Evacuation of IS Militants from Syria – a Rerun of Operation ODESSA



The US-Assisted Evacuation of IS Militants from Syria – a Rerun of Operation ODESSA
DMITRY MININ | 15.01.2018 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

The US-Assisted Evacuation of IS Militants from Syria – a Rerun of Operation ODESSA


Surprisingly, the fate of the most zealous members of some crippled Islamic State (IS) units (an organization that is banned in Russia) is reminiscent of what happened at the end of World War II. Back then it was Nazi fugitives whom someone was helping to hide so they could be put to use sometime in the future, and today it’s IS loyalists.
No one can say where the IS bigwigs and central staffers have gone. The most experienced officers within this terrorist organization, at times entire detachments, are suddenly disappearing from Syria and Iraq, as if they’re just melting into the desert sand. Then, as if by magic, they reemerge in Libya, Egypt, Sudan, or Afghanistan, near the borders of Central Asia or Russia, or in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Obviously, smoothly operating channels exist that allow them to move them from place to place, which is something that could only be set up by a powerful state. Given the fact that IS terrorists who are being shifted to various parts of the world are mostly coming out of the regions in eastern Syria under American control, presumably that state must be the US. And this would not be unprecedented in the history of the United States.
Operation ODESSA (Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, or Organization of Former SS Members), which was designed to transport SS officers out of war-torn Germany into the Middle East, as well as South and North America, used to be quite a hot topic, back in its day. The famous Frederick Forsyth novel The Odessa File, and the 1974 film of the same name, really stirred the public’s imagination about this historical event. The Allies called those evacuation channels “ratlines,” but the SS officers themselves had a more romantic way of referring to their escape routes, for example, Übersee Süd (“Sailing Toward the Southern Seas”).
Many of the former SS officers were subsequently put to good use on the front lines of the Cold War. We’re seeing something similar happening with IS combatants.
Interestingly enough, the efforts to bring in German Nazis and settle them in the US began without the knowledge of President FDR. Those were put in motion by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (chairman – Omar Bradley), which launched Operation Paperclip with a hand from the intelligence agencies. The establishment of the Gehlen Organization, which recruited Nazi spies into what would later become the Federal Intelligence Agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, was yet another scheme. Soldiers are, as a rule, far more pragmatic than ideological. They do not see pitting one enemy against another as an immoral act, but rather as an example of great strategic acumen. It has been calculated that a total of approximately 30,000 people passed through the “ratlines,” many of whom ended up in the US.
West German intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen. He enjoyed a long, happy life
Back in 2006, the US Justice Department drafted an in-depth 600-page report on this matter. Although not publicly released, in 2010 it was obtained by the New York Times, which posted it on its website. After reviewing the report, the newspaper concluded that after WWII, US intelligence chiefs created a “safe haven” in the United States for many Nazi war criminals and their cohorts.
The IS spy chief, Abu Omar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili). Was he killed or did he get out through a “ratline”?
Adolf Eichmann – the most famous “Odessan.” He was captured and executed in Israel.
Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi – the leader of IS. Where is he?
The Russian Ministry of Defense has repeatedly issued statements about the many oddities in the way the American advisers and their allies from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been battling IS on the eastern shore of the Euphrates. For example: the use of helicopters to pull IS commanders out of besieged areas, the unexpected release of major IS detachments from cities, and the redirection of surrendered combatants into the New Syrian Army. And here’s the big question – for the majority of the IS loyalists who have poured into this new army from the battle zones, it’s right here that their trail goes cold.
The former spokesman and third-in-command of the SDF before fleeing to Turkey in late 2017, Talal Silo, presents some remarkable evidence of the dealings between representatives of the Pentagon and IS commanders.
Talal Silo
In an interview with the Turkish Anadolu news service, he specifically pointed to some cases in which IS terrorists were relocated at the direction of agents representing US military commanders, whom he named as General Raymond Thomas, the commander of US Special Operations Command; General Joseph Votel, commander of USCENTCOM; and General Stephen Townsend, the head of Operation Inherent Resolve. And there on the scene, the biggest generator of ideas is Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk.
Brett McGurk, center, inspecting the “allies”
Talal Silo cites, for example, episodes in which – at the Americans’ insistence – 2,000 IS fighters were permitted safe passage out of Manbij, and 500 – out of Tabqa. And the most remarkable event was the clever bit of theater performed in Raqqa, quite in the spirit of the US Army’s field manual on special operations. Talal Silo claims that the Americans were calculating that Assad’s forces would reach Deir ez-Zor in six weeks. But when it turned out that the government troops were moving more quickly, US officials demanded that the SDF release terrorists from Raqqa and send them toward Abu Kamal in order to intercept the government forces. A deal was negotiated allowing an imposing group of 3,500 militants to leave the city with all they needed, including weapons. The public statement that was released claimed that only civilians were let out of the city, and that 275 IS loyalists supposedly “turned themselves in.” To prove the existence of these 275 individuals, a group of people were brought in from the Ain Issa camp to play the part of militants. Yet journalists were forbidden to travel to Raqqa, citing the risk of skirmishes with IS terrorists. But in fact not a single bullet was ever fired. Later it was revealed that some of those terrorists headed for some very different destinations. Many entered the areas liberated under Operation Euphrates Shield. In other words, with US assistance, they moved into the Turkish zone, and from there they were free to go anywhere.
Similar theatrics might also be performed during subsequent redeployments of terrorists. The question is, to what extent is the White House in the loop regarding the Pentagon’s maneuvers with IS militants? It can’t be ruled out that, just like long ago in 1945, the military is not acting with the president’s approval. If the US administration was briefed on this operation and gave it a green light, then this is yet another example of strategic myopia. Any treaty with the “black devil” is always dangerous for the one who pursues it.

«Israel» Fears War with Palestinians amid Escalating Tensions

15-01-2018 | 10:48

The “Israeli” Occupation Force [IOF] Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot warned of the danger of deterioration – perhaps even to the point of war – which has grown significantly. The intelligence branch and the chief of staff, who is beginning his fourth and final year at the helm of the “Israeli” army, are concerned about two possible scenarios.
IOF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Col. Gilad Amit, commander of the “Israeli” “Samaria Brigade”
The first would be the result of a reaction by one of the entity’s enemies to an “Israeli” show of force. The second would stem from a flare-up on the Palestinian front.
The first scenario, which the army terms “the campaign between the wars,” might happen when the “Israeli” entity tries to prevent rivals from obtaining advance weaponry they might want to use during a future war, according to Eisenkot.
Most of these “Israeli” attacks occur under the radar, far from the entity’s borders. The previous “Israel” Air Force commander, Gen. Amir Eshel, stated last August that there were nearly 100 such attacks under his five-year command, mostly on Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys on the northern front of the “Israeli” entity.
Foreign media reported that the more the “Israeli” entity carries out such attacks, the higher the chances of confrontation with other countries and organizations get, increasing the danger of a significant retaliation.
A similar thing is happening on the Gaza border. Work on the barrier against cross-border operation tunnels is advancing, while the “Israeli” entity is simultaneously developing and implementing more sophisticated methods to locate these tunnels.
A few days beforehand, there was a report about an “Israeli” aerial attack – apparently on a cross-border operation tunnel – next to the Gaza border. Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, the demonstrations to protest US President Donald Trump’s recent recognition of al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the so-called “Israeli” capital were dying down, out of a seeming lack of public interest.
Then, on Tuesday evening, Rabbi Raziel Shevach, from the illegal settlement of “Havat Gilad”, was killed in a drive-by shooting operation near Nablus. The “Israeli” army responded by surrounding villages and erecting roadblocks around Nablus, for the first time in two years. The IOF moves were acts of collective punishment the chief of staff would normally rather avoid, but they were approved on a limited basis due to the murder of an “Israeli” settler.
“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that the “Shin Bet” security service is close to solving the murder, but at the time of writing it was still unclear who did it. Hamas and Islamic Jihad released statements praising the operation, while, in a rare move, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades took responsibility for the operation.
Source: Haaretz, Edited by website team

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