From Fort Russ
March 26, 2015
Video: Anatoly Shariy
From Fort Russ
March 26, 2015
Video: Anatoly Shariy
Organizations mentioned in this article:
International Action Center
Fight Imperialism, Stand Together
Syrian Solidarity Movement http://www.syriasolidaritymovement.org/
Posted on Global Research, March 28, 2015
By Sara Flounders and Lamont Lilly
U.S. efforts to overturn the government of Syria have now extended into a fifth year. It is increasingly clear that thousands of predictions reported in the corporate media by Western politicians, think tanks, diplomats and generals of a quick overturn and easy destruction of Syrian sovereignty have been overly optimistic, imperialist dreams. But four years of sabotage, bombings, assassinations and a mercenary invasion of more than 20,000 fighters recruited from over 60 countries have spread great ruin and loss of life.
The U.S. State Department has once again made its arrogant demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down. This demand confirms U.S. imperialism’s determination to overthrow the elected Syrian government. Washington intends to impose the chaos of feuding mercenaries and fanatical militias as seen today in Libya and Iraq.
A delegation from the International Action Center headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark traveled to Syria in late February to present a different message.
Visits to hospitals, centers for displaced families and meetings with religious leaders, community organizations and government officials conveyed the IAC’s determination to resist the orchestrated efforts of U.S. imperialism acting through its proxies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Israel.
The IAC’s opportunity to again visit Syria came following its participation in a packed and well-organized meeting of the International Forum for Justice in Palestine, held in Beirut on Feb. 22 and 23. The conference was initiated by Ma’an Bashour and the Arab International Centre for Communication and Solidarity and again confirmed the centrality of the burning, unresolved issue of Palestine in the region.
The solidarity delegation to Syria included Cynthia McKinney, former six-term member of the U.S Congress; Lamont Lilly, of the youth organization FIST – Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; Eva Bartlett, from the Syrian Solidarity Movement; and Sara Flounders, IAC co-director.
The delegation traveled the rutted, mountainous, blacktop road from Beirut to Damascus to the Lebanon-Syria border. On the Syrian side, this road was a modern, 6-lane highway, a reminder of Syria’s high level of infrastructure development. Even after four years of war, this is still a well-maintained highway. Due to sanctions against Syria, hundreds of trucks attempting deliveries stretched for miles on both sides of the border.
Compared to two years ago, when the IAC visited Damascus, this year we didn’t hear the constant thud of incoming rockets from mercenary forces shelling the city. These military forces have been pushed back from their encirclement of the capital. Syrian military units, checkpoints, sandbags, blast walls and concrete blocks were now less pervasive. Markets were full of people and held more produce.
A visit to Damascus’ largest hospital showed the cumulative impact of four years of devastation. At the University Hospital, where children with amputated limbs receive treatments in the ICU, many children had been brought in maimed from explosives and with shrapnel wounds from mortars and rockets fired on Damascus by terrorist forces.
At a visit to a center for displaced families at a former school, we met with university students, who provide sports, crafts, tutoring and mentoring programs. Medical care, free food and education programs are provided by the centers. But conditions are desperately overcrowded. Each homeless family, often of 6 to 10 people, is allocated a single classroom as housing. Almost half the population has been displaced by the terror tactics of mercenary forces.
A Mosaic of cultures
A theme in almost every discussion was Syria’s heritage as a diverse, rich mosaic of religious and cultural traditions. Sectarian divisions and intolerance are consciously opposed. One can see the determination to oppose the rule of foreign-funded forces.
A visit with Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun and Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Luca al-Khoury reflected the centuries of religious harmony that previously existed in Syria.
Mufti Hassoun stressed the need for reconciliation. He described to the visitors the assassination three years ago of his 22-year-old son, Saria, who “had never carried a weapon in his life.” Saria was gunned down after leaving his university. At the funeral, Mufti Hassoun declared he forgave the gunmen and called on them to lay down their weapons and rejoin Syria. He described his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Bishop Luca al-Khoury, as his cousin and brother.
Bishop Khoury described the ease with which he received a visa to the U.S., while Mufti Hassoun was denied a visa, although both are religious leaders. “Why do they differentiate between us?” said Khoury. “It’s part of the project to separate Christians and Muslims here. It’s over gas pipelines which are supposed to run through Syrian territory. This will only happen if there is a weak Syrian state.
“If the Syrian government would agree to give a monopoly to France to extract gas from Syria, then you would find [President François] Hollande visiting Syria the next day. If the Syrian government would give the monopoly to [the United States of] America, [President Barack] Obama would declare President al-Assad as the legitimate ruler of the Syrian people.”
“Turkey is warring on us,” Khoury continued, “with financial support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and political support from America, Europe and Britain. Drones cross our borders daily, providing coordinates for the terrorists as to where to strike.”
Both religious leaders declared, as did many others in Syria, that the only solution is an international effort to stop the flow of arms: “If the American government would like to find a solution for the Syrian crisis, they could go to the Security Council and issue a resolution under Chapter 7 for a total ban of weapons from Turkey to terrorists in Syria. In one week this would be over.”
Political and media adviser to President al-Assad, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, described the problem of stopping the weapons and mercenaries flooding into the country: “With external support and financing, and an over 800-kilometer border with Turkey, it’s very difficult to stop the flow of terrorists.
“Syria was formerly one of the fastest developing countries in the world,” Shaaban continued, “and one of the safest. We have free education and health care. We did not know poverty; we grew our food and produced our own clothing. At universities, 55 percent of the students were women. In whose interest is it to destroy this heritage? Who is the beneficiary of this?”
Shaaban described her time as a Fulbright scholar at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and later as professor at Eastern Michigan University: “I always wanted to be a bridge between Syria and Western cultures. At the beginning of the crisis, they tried to buy me. They urged me to ‘come to a civilized place,’” she said. “We have baths which are over 1,000 years old and still functioning. I studied Shelley: They didn’t have baths 800 years ago in England. We did. We were having baths and coffee.”
Meeting with PFLP Leaders
The delegation headed by Ramsey Clark also had an important opportunity to meet with Abu Ahmad Fuad, deputy general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Abu Sami Marwan, of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, and hear of the ongoing developments in Palestine and the region.
According to a Feb. 25 statement released by the PFLP after the meeting, “The PFLP leaders discussed the nature of the U.S./Zionist aggression against the people of the region, their intervention in Syria and the attempts of colonial powers to impose their hegemony by force and military aggression, through division of the land and people, and by pushing the region into sectarian or religious conflict.
“This U.S. policy is nothing new.” The Front noted that the colonial powers have waged an ongoing war against the Arab people to prevent any real progress for the region on the road to liberation, self-determination and an end to Zionist occupation.
“The U.S. delegation discussed the urgent need for building ongoing solidarity with Palestine in the United States and internationally,” continued the release, “in particular to confront the deep involvement of the United States — militarily, politically and financially — in the crimes of the occupier, and to end its attacks on Syria, Iraq and the people of the entire region.
“The solidarity delegates noted that there is a colonial scheme to divide and repartition the region according to the interests of major corporations and imperial powers, targeting the resources of the people, sometimes through blatant political interference in the affairs of the region and other times through wars and military attacks on states and peoples.
“The two sides emphasized the importance of communication between the Palestinian Arab left and progressive and democratic forces in the United States to confront Zionism and imperialism in the U.S. and in Palestine alike.”
Ramsey Clark described the aim of the visit: “To find more opportunities for dialogue and coordination among the Syrian and American people. We saw culture and credibility in Syria and we appreciate the struggle of this people. We will disallow them to shift Syria into Iraq or Libya.”
Cynthia McKinney, former member at the U.S. Congress, said that she appreciated “Syria’s heroic stance, as people and leadership, in its war against the U.S. imperialism. The Syrian people are exceptional in their capability of resistance as the acts during four years have failed to achieve their goals.”
Lviv is a hotbed of Ukrainian ultra-nationalism.
By Greg Butterfield
March 16, 2015
International Action Center
As activists, students and workers gather in Washington, D.C., for the “Spring Rising” anti-war mobilization March 18-21, many are probably unaware that 300 U.S. troops arrived in Ukraine this month, with another 300 expected to join them shortly.
The U.S. soldiers are stationed at the Yavoriv Training Area in Lviv, near the Polish border in western Ukraine. Their mission, according to the Pentagon, is to train divisions of the Ukrainian National Guard.
But their presence also establishes a provocative U.S. military “footprint” in this key agricultural and industrial country on the Russian Federation’s western border.
The first open and public U.S. military presence on Ukrainian soil comes amid a civil war raging in former southeastern Ukraine, now the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, also called Novorossiya. It’s accompanied by unprecedented NATO war games and military buildup threatening Russia.
All this despite a ceasefire agreement, negotiated by Russia, Germany and France, which went into effect Feb. 15. As happened during previous ceasefires, the U.S.-backed government in Kiev routinely violates the terms and is using the “breathing spell” to rebuild its military forces to assault the embattled Donbass mining region.
“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion minus … to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,” the U.S.’s 173rd Airborne Brigade commander, Michael Foster, told a meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington on March 3. (Global Research, March 3)
U.S. forces are scheduled to stay six months. But discussions are underway about “how to increase the duration and the scope of the training mission,” Foster said, echoing remarks made in January by former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Derek Chollet.
Meanwhile, in London, Prime Minister David Cameron told a House of Commons committee on Feb. 24 that up to 75 British soldiers would be sent to Ukraine to develop “an infantry training program with Ukraine to improve the durability of their forces,” the BBC reported.
“Today’s announcement builds upon the work that we have already undertaken through NATO and bilaterally,” added British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. (Sputnik, Feb. 24)
Poland, too, plans to send military instructors to train Ukrainian soldiers, Boguslaw Pacek, advisor to the country’s defense minister, told Reuters on Feb. 26.
What is the Ukrainian National Guard?
When most people in the U.S. hear the term “National Guard,” they think of the recruiting commercials touting “one weekend a month, two weeks a year” of training to “serve your country.” The Pentagon is playing on this association to make their mission sound benign.
Of course, the National Guard in the U.S. has a long history of being employed to put down rebellions and strikes in the U.S., often with the most brutal methods. And in the last 15 years, since the start of Washington’s “war on terror,” many National Guard soldiers have been required to serve long stretches in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the Ukrainian National Guard is something else altogether. The brainchild of far-right Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, it came into being one year ago, shortly after the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected president.
The National Guard is based on neo-Nazi street-gangs and fascist political organizations that formed the power base of the Euromaidan protest movement which carried out the February 2014 coup in Kiev. It answers to Avakov, not the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which the coup makers considered unreliable, and which has continued to disintegrate during the war in the southeast.
The National Guard, in fact, has been the backbone of Kiev’s brutal “Anti-Terrorist Operation” against Novorossiya. This operation has targeted civilians throughout the Donbass mining region since April 2014. It is nearly as ruthless as the “volunteer” fascist battalions affiliated with the openly fascist Right Sector.
While the Ukrainian Armed Forces today are a meat grinder for workers, unemployed people and youth forcibly drafted, and who frequently desert at the first opportunity, the National Guard comprise the forces most loyal to the junta of oligarchs, neoliberal politicians and fascists in Kiev.
This is the force the U.S. wants to train and strengthen.
But there’s much more to the story.
Throughout Europe, the Baltic and Central Asian states bordering Russia, and even on U.S. soil, an unprecedented volume of provocative war games are underway, all clearly threatening Moscow.
Why? Because the real aim of the U.S. power play in Ukraine is to establish NATO military power on Russia’s border, with the aim of fomenting regime change aimed at breaking up the Russian Federation into pliable, profitable pieces that can be easily dominated by Wall Street and its European junior partners.
That’s why since day one of the Ukrainian crisis, Democrats, Republicans and the corporate media have united to turn reality on its head by portraying Russia as the aggressor — a Big Lie to cover up their own role.
Here’s a sampling of the provocative moves in the past month, culled from U.S. military sources, Ukrainian and Russian media, as well as anti-war sites like StopNATO.org and Global Research:
Washington’s unreal ‘debate’ over arming Ukraine
“Watch what they do, not what they say” — the old adage is always good advice when dealing with U.S. imperialism. And nowhere is that more apparent than in Washington’s current “debate” over arming Ukraine.
The media depict a dispute over whether the U.S. should provide “lethal weapons,” heavy weapons and offensive weapons to Ukraine for its war against “pro-Russian separatists,” as the anti-fascist resistance in Donbass is usually labeled.
For example, on March 6, leading congressional Republicans and Democrats, headed by John Boehner, urged President Obama to provide “lethal defensive weapons” to Kiev due to Russia’s “grotesque violation of international law.”
The White House states that it is still “considering” whether to provide so-called lethal aid. However, top administration officials, from Secretary of State John Kerry on down, have voiced their support.
All of this amounts to smokescreen and posturing for political gain. In fact, the Obama administration and Congress have colluded all along to arm the fascist junta, which they collaborated with in bringing to power. In December, Congress overwhelmingly approved and Obama signed the “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act,” in fact authorizing “lethal aid.”
Airfields in eastern Ukraine immediately shut down as U.S. military cargo planes flew in massive amounts of old and new NATO weaponry. Much of this war materiel was captured and put on public display by the Novorossiyan people’s militias following the defeat of Ukraine’s January 2015 military offensive.
In February, Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko inked an arms agreement with the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. client state that frequently serves as a hub to funnel advanced weaponry to right-wing regimes and counterrevolutionary movements supported by Washington.
On March 11, Obama approved $75 million in additional “nonlethal” military aid to Ukraine, including secure communications equipment, drones, counter-mortar radars, night-vision goggles and military ambulances, to be delivered in the next six to nine months. He also approved the provision of 30 armored and 200 unarmored Humvees, Sputnik reported.
The same day, the U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund approved a new $17.5 billion financial aid package for Ukraine in exchange for additional painful austerity measures. (RT.com, March 11) This is meant to ensure that Kiev will remain solvent enough to continue its proxy war in the coming months, despite its collapsing economy.
Whether or not the U.S. openly arms Ukraine with offensive weapons, or continues to do so covertly and through third countries, is far less significant that the blatant war moves of U.S. and NATO forces in the region.
Every day, it grows more urgent for the anti-war forces in the U.S. to stand up and demand: Stop the weapons, stop sanctions, stop provocations against Russia! Stand with the people of Donetsk and Lugansk resisting austerity and genocide!
By Eric Zuesse
Global Research, March 29, 2015
The Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung reported Thursday the 26th, that the Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, whom Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko recently removed from control over Ukraine’s monopoly oil-transport firm and from being governor of a Ukrainian province, had been using his private army, augmented by forces from Dmitriy Yarosh’s Right Sector party, to rob other oligarchs, especially Ukraine’s richest one, Rinat Akhmetov.
Akhmetov’s companies are mainly in eastern Ukraine, and so Akhmetov had been trying to avoid siding with either the post-coup Ukrainian government or the anti-coup residents of the far-eastern, and pro-Russian, Donbass region of Ukraine, who reject it. (That’s the dark-purple area shown on this voting map of the last Presidential election before the coup, where 90%+ of the residents had voted for Viktor Yanukovych — the man who was overthrown in the coup.) Akhmetov was thus vulnerable after the coup.
This news report, by FAZ’s Warsaw correspondent Konrad Schuller, says that Kolomoysky’s thugs had been using ”psychological pressure,” “intimidation,” “physical force,” and “kidnappings,” in order to “extend their influence.” They were “going to build in eastern Ukraine’s combat zone a network of extortion and violence that would subject everyone there to kidnapping and robbery by Kolomoysky with the help of some of his leading battalion commanders.”
This article reports that, “In the center of it all there stood a man named K., a prominent and close associate of Kolomoysky.” Earlier, the article says, “Kolomoysky’s deputy as governor, Hennadij Korban, was preparing to organize demonstrations in his stronghold Dnipropetrovsk,” which is the region to which, after the coup, Kolomoysky had been appointed governor by Oleksandr Turchynov, who had been appointed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had been appointed by Geoffrey Pyatt, at the instruction of Victoria Nuland, who had been appointed by Barack Obama.
Kolomoysky, furthermore, himself appointed Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden to the board of Kolomoysky’s own gas-exploration company.
However, apparently, Kolomoysky, who had long been known for taking over companies by raiding them with his private army, has now become too much for Obama to take, and so Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko recently removed Kolomoysky from his posts.
Back in June, Kolomoysky said publicly that he would not take instruction from President Poroshenko. But now that Obama has turned against Kolomoysky, Kolomoysky no longer has any effective political power-base in Ukraine, despite his billions and his private army and his backing from Yarosh’s Right Sector, which includes an even larger private army, very nazi. (In Ukraine, the nazis, or racist fascists, are haters of Russians, not necessarily also of Jews; Kolomoysky himself is Jewish, yet he’s also a leading Ukrainian nazi.) Yarosh’s Right Sector troops, as well as Kolomoysky’s own mercenaries, have been the most effective of all of Ukraine’s forces at killing the residents of the rebelling region, Donbass.
FAZ‘s reporter Schuller says that the Security Bureau of Ukraine (SBU) had found that Kolomoysky was planning to become Ukraine’s “final number one among the oligarchs of the country,” by stealing from Akhmetov and others.
Apparently, Obama has decided to let Poroshenko take over. The nazis, whose guns and muscle overthrew the previous president, Viktor Yanukovych, now know that Obama will no longer be beholden to them — he has had enough of them, and he expects everyone to line up now behind President Poroshenko.
There has been a contest in Ukraine as to whether the ethnic cleansing of Donbass, to get rid of its residents, would be taken over by the nazi forces or would remain under Poroshenko’s command. Evidently, it will remain under Poroshenko’s command.
On March 24th, U.S. Abrams tanks were photographed in Linz Austria on rail cars heading toward Ukraine. If that’s where they are going, then the Ukrainian government might have better weapons this time than they did in either of their previous two invasions of Donbass.
U.S. President Obama accuses Russia of arming the residents in Donbass. In his National Security Strategy 2015, he uses the word “aggression” 18 times, 17 of them referring to Russia.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.
By Cem Ertür
Global Research, March 30, 2015
Huge demonstrations in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were held across Syria two weeks after the launch of the NATO-led covert war on Syria on March 16, 2011.
It is worth bearing in mind that back then the overall population of Syria was around 22,5 million in March 2011. Apart few exceptions, the al-Manar report below was totally ignored by the western mainstream and “alternative” media alike.
2 million Syrians marched in Damascus in support of President Bashar al-Assad on March 29th, 2011
excerpt from: ‘Million-Man March’ in Support for Assad
by Batoul Wehbe, al-Manar, 29 March 2011
Millions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad supporters poured into the country’s streets in a show of support for their leader calling their protests “loyalty to the homeland”.
Sources told Al-Manar TV that there are about two million protesters in Damascus, another two in Aleppo, a million in Hamah, a million in Homos and hundred of thousands in other cities.
All roads leading to Sabeh Bahrat (“Seven Seas”) square in Damascus were cut off by police, as men, women and children raised Syrian flags and pictures of [President Bashar al] Assad and his father, late president Hafez al-Assad.
Syrian state TV reported on Tuesday that Al-Assad accepted the resignation of the Syrian government.
Protesters across the country were chanting slogans in support of the President, who pledged to make reforms in the country and is expected to deliver a speech tonight addressing the nation and especially Daraa people who suffered much lately.
Victoria Nuland was charged with conspiring in this attempted coup. Here is an earlier post: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/16/nuland-attempts-kiev-version-2-skopje.html
On this website at https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/02/24/victoria-nuland-attempts-another-coup-kiev-version-2-0-in-macedonia/
From Independent Macedonia
Additional details from the investigation over Zoran Verusevski, the former head of Macedonia UBK State Security agency, reveal that he was discussing the possibility of a Ukrainian style protests that would bring down the Government in Macedonia and bring the opposition SDSM party in power.
Verusevski, who held high positions in the security services appointed by SDSM, is charged, together with SDSM leader and several others, of trying to blackmail the Government to bring SDSM into the ruling coalition, and also of cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies.
Former Head of UBK State Security Agency Zoran Verusevski. Photo: Dnevnik
Police confiscated Verusevski’s computers and other electronic devices when he was arrested in midJanuary, and since, several leaks from the investigation revealed details about his correspondence with Zaev and with Gjorgji Lazarevski, another former high ranking UBK official who is also charged. Zaev confirmed some of the leaks as authentic. Several media outlets reported on Saturday about a cache of Skype messages exchanged between Verusevski and Lazarevski, in which the two former security officials are mentioning Ukraine, as a political disturbance scenario that they could develop in Macedonia. In one message Lazarevski says that SDSM leader Zaev should move his “old behind” and be more like Vitaly Klichko, the Ukrainian boxer who energized the Maidan protests.
Verusevski responds that Zaev does not have the credibility, because “an amnestied politician is like a released pedophile”. Zaev was amnestied in 2008 by then President and leading SDSM politician Branko Crvenkovski over the charges that as mayor of the city of Strumica he allowed a corrupt real estate deal that benefited him and his business associates. In another batch of Skype messages, Verusevski says “Ukraine has collapsed”, with Lazarevski replying that “we are not far behind”, only to add that “SDSM doesn’t have the capacity for a coup”. An earlier leak from their correspondence showed Verusevski and Lazarevski discussing that what they are preparing could lead to a civil war in Macedonia.
The two are charged with recruiting an UBK surveillance system technician Zvonko Kostovski to wiretap phones from leading Government and opposition officials, and of preparing English language reports they then gave to a foreign intelligence service, which paid them substantially. Verusevski is charged with joining forces with Zaev, and planning to use the cache of information his rogue spy ring has gathered in an attempt to pressure VMRO-DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski into bringing SDSM to the Government. Gruevski responded by asking the Public Prosecutor’s office to investigate the case, and currently Zaev and Verusevski are charged, while Zaev is holding press conferences at which he is presenting audio files he claims prove corruption and election irregularities perpetrated by VMRO-DPMNE officials. VMRO-DPMNE insists that the material is taken out of context and fabricated.
Verusevski had a day long hearing at the Prosecutor’s office on Friday, with the entirety of the evidence gathered against him presented, likely for the first time. Zvonko Kostovski was already sentenced to three years in prison, in exchange for his confession, the details of which were likely presented before Verusevski on Friday as well.
The fear that political and inter-ethnic tensions could appear as result of the political situation was often discussed by commentators on both sides. Macedonia experienced an armed insurgency by ethnic Albanian rebels in 2001, which ended with international mediation and a political agreement. That insurgency was preceded by a 2000 wiretapping scandal in which then opposition leader Branko Crvenkovski blamed then VMRO’-DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski of mass wiretapping, and presented transcripts of conversations he allegedly got from insiders in the UBK service. Crvenkovski’s source was never revealed, as the country became engulfed in the 2001 insurgency, with commentators close to VMRODPMNE saying that, both in 2000 and in 2015, Verusevski was the main source of the wiretapping charges.
Copyright the Independent, Macedonia 2015
From Fars News Agency
March 29, 2015
“The Iraqi army and popular forces have taken back 80 percent of Tikrit from ISIL control and the presence of the US and coalition forces in Tikrit operations is meant to confiscate this victory,” Brigadier General Jabar Ali al-Mashkouri told FNA on Sunday.
He said the US has been pushing the Baghdad government to take part in the Tikrit operations in a bid to help the ISIL terrorists escape the scene.
“The US warplanes have bombarded the positions of Iraq’s popular forces in the frontline in Southern Tikrit, killing at least five popular forces and injuring dozens more,” and this shows the real intention of the US meddling in Tikrit operations, he said.
Earlier today, the US fighter jets once again struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.
The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.
This is not the first time that the US has struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.
Iraqi military forces, backed by Shiite and Sunni volunteer fighters, have won control over 90 percent of Tikrit after inflicting hefty losses on the ISIL.
Some 30,000 Iraqi troops and thousands of allied Shiite and Sunni militias have been involved in a month-long operation to recapture Tikrit and other key towns and villages in the Northern part of Salahuddin province from the ISIL militants.