Blood bath at north front of Donbass — details; Ukrainian Army continually attacking, intending to relaunch larger war

January 31, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Christelle NEANT in DØNiPRESS, translated by Tom Winter –

Following yesterday’s continuous firing on the northern periphery of Donetsk and Makeyevka, which resulted in several deaths and injuries among civilians and soldiers of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), negotiations took place last night in an attempt to re-establish the ceasefire.

After confirmation from the DPR side that it had ceased firing, the Ukrainian army traitorously bombarded the territory of the republic.

At 2000 hours, after an artillery preparation, the enemy sent two platoons attacking the positions of the DPR located between Yasinovataya and Avdeyevka, with covering fire from mortar and tanks. The attackers fell in the middle of a minefield, and had three dead and five wounded. Continuing their attack despite these losses, they lost a total of at least 15 dead and 30 wounded.

As the positions of the DPR army held up well despite these losses, the enemy attempted to make a diversion by starting to massively bomb the periphery of Donetsk and Makeyevka, with among other things, weapons prohibited by the Minsk accords, i.e. artillery of 122 mm and 152 mm and mortars of 82 mm and 120 mm.

According to the intelligence services of the DPR, in view of the demoralization of the Ukrainian soldiers following the heavy losses in the Ukrainian army in the last two days, the Ukrainian command has decided to use Right-Sektor units as cannon fodder. The soldiers of the RPD recorded a strange behavior on the part of these soldiers, most certainly under the influence of drugs or intoxicated.

Following this new failure, the Ukrainian army began firing farther north in front of Debaltsevo, where fighting is also taking place.

Following this disaster, and after receiving the report of the losses in the Ukrainian army during the last 48 hours, Poroshenko returned urgently from Germany.

The DPR’s intelligence services had access to the report of the Ukrainian Chief of Staff Muzhenko, which was forwarded to the so-called Ukrainian President, concerning the actual losses of the Ukrainian army for the days of January 29 and 30.

According to information obtained there are currently in Ukrainian military morgues and hospitals:
– Selydove Morgue – 29 corpses of Ukrainian soldiers;
– Krasnoarmeysk Morgue – 41 corpses Ukrainian soldiers;
– Chasov Yar Mobile Military Hospital No. 65 – 62 wounded soldiers;
– Mobile Mobile Hospital No. 66 mobile of Novyi Trud – 8 dead and 14 wounded soldiers
Total: 78 dead and 76 wounded

To this must be added the losses of Right Sektor last night in Adveyevka, ie more than 15 dead and 30 injured … A total current (which is still likely to be revised upwards), 93 deaths and 106 Injured on the Ukrainian side.

Despite this bloodbath, today from 4 am, after an artillery preparation, the enemy continued its attacks in the industrial zone of Avdeevka. With three platoons they tried to circumvent the positions of the army of the DPR by the flank. The DPR army returned fire to contain the enemy.

Following the bombing of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya and Makeyevka, six houses were damaged, as at 242 Kouibycheva Street, where the roof of a 9-storey building was hit by a 122 mm shell, and a gas pipeline was damaged in Yakolevka. There are two wounded among the civilians. Rails have also been damaged near the station, and several localities or districts of Donetsk are without electricity.

The actual losses of the Ukrainian army are kept hidden from the public in order to avoid causing panic among the Ukrainian armed forces and the population. To justify such losses, Poltorak said they had advanced 10 meters when in reality they lost.

On the side of the army of the DPR we had 4 dead and 7 wounded during the attacks on the positions located between Yasinovataya and Avdeyevka.

In order to allow the repair work, the DPR proposed to establish a ceasefire, which it already respects, to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. But this morning, new shots hit Donetsk, cutting off electricity from the Zasyadko mine and blocking 203 miners underground. The miners are being evacuated.

At the same time, the reconnaissance units of the DPR;; army saw right Sector units firing multiple Grad rocket launchers at positions of the regular Ukrainian army, causing panic in their ranks. The goal is of course to accuse the army of the RPD of being responsible for these shots.

And at 1120 hours the Ukrainian army fired 120 Grad rockets at Yasinovataya and its periphery, in addition to 120 mm mortars, and 152 mm artillery. And an hour earlier, the Ukrainian armed forces tried to break through the lines of the DPR in the South near Kominternovo. The units of the 36th Marine Brigade and Right Sector had 14 dead and dozens of wounded, and retired in disaster.

As we can see in spite of the hecatomb, the Ukrainian authorities are determined to carry out to the end their suicidal logic with war to excuse their real problems. The specter of large-scale war, as the inhabitants of Donbass faced it in 2014, is back …

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/01/blood-bath-at-north-front-of-donbass.html

Ceasefire breach: Intense firefights rage around Donetsk (VIDEO)

October 29, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
In the northern suburbs of Donetsk, the airport district, the Yasinovataya checkpoint, and Spartak village, powerful firefights have broken out. 
The UAF is firing at the positions of the DPR’s armed forces.
Starting at 20:00 on October 28th, nearly the whole city heard sounds of heavy artillery fire, mortar fire, and armored vehicles. 
In the Marinka and Trudovsky districts, since 22:00 mortars, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns have thundered. 
The Yasinovataya blockpost of the DPR and surrounding residential areas have also been under heavy artillery fire since 22:00 from UAF positions in Avdeevka.
At 23:50, fighting in the direction of Avdeevka and the Yasinovataya block post was ongoing and heavy artillery fire was intense.
Firefights are also underway in the Elenovka (south of Donetsk) and Staromikhailovka (west) districts.  

Syrian-Russian offensive against terrorists in Aleppo. US supplies advanced weapons to Al Qaeda

Global Research, September 29, 2016
Moon of Alabama 28 September 2016

Just a few links …

The White House and State Department are miffed that Syria and Russia are cleaning up their Jihadis in Aleppo city.

There is a false claims evolving in western “news” that the current Aleppo operation led to the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement. Two points on this:

1. The ceasefire did not “break down”. It expired after a previously agreed period. Both sides did not agree to a prolongation.

2. The most important ceasefire point was the physical separation of al-Qaida and other U.S. proxy rebels. The U.S. was unable (or unwilling) to fulfill that point.

See: Moscow Makes Public Full Text of Russia-US Deal on Syria

The main priority in Syria, according to the document, is the demarcation of territory controlled by Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups and territories controlled by Syrian rebels.

After the end of the ceasefire the U.S. and its subaltern allies are flooding Syria with new weapons:

Both rockets and MANPADs are part of a “Plan-B” the CIA had already developed in May 2015 but which was held back until now. There are likely additional military elements to this plan. On the diplomatic side the U.S. (and its stooges) -obviously unable to act rationally- now imitate defiant children. “If we can’t get exactly what we want we will never again talk to you.”

A very major issue for Syria (and one reason why many Syrians flee the country) are U.S. and EU sanctions. Their consequences were so far hardly ever reported. Here is the first major piece in U.S. media about them: U.S. and EU Sanctions Are Punishing Ordinary Syrians and Crippling Aid Work, U.N. Report Reveals

In a 40-page internal assessment commissioned to analyze the humanitarian impact of the sanctions, the U.N. describes the U.S. and EU measures as “some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed.” Detailing a complex system of “unpredictable and time-consuming” financial restrictions and licensing requirements, the report finds that U.S. sanctions are exceptionally harsh “regarding provision of humanitarian aid.”

An internal U.N. email obtained by The Intercept also faults U.S. and EU sanctions for contributing to food shortages and deteriorations in health care.

The email went on to cite sanctions as a “principal factor” in the erosion of Syria’s health care system.

The piece also explains that the Syrian and Russian behavior towards insurgent occupied cities is in no way more severe than the usual U.S. procedures:

Meanwhile, in cities controlled by ISIS, the U.S. has employed some of the same tactics it condemns. For example, U.S.-backed ground forces laid siege to Manbij, a city in northern Syria not far from Aleppo that is home to tens of thousands of civilians. U.S. airstrikes pounded the city over the summer, killing up to 125 civilians in a single attack. The U.S. replicated this strategy to drive ISIS out of Kobane, Ramadi, and Fallujah, leaving behind flattened neighborhoods. In Fallujah, residents resorted to eating soup made from grass and 140 people reportedly died from lack of food and medicine during the siege.

To help with the sanctions and other issues China had recently agreed with Syria to provide medical support. But just like Russia, China is now considered a U.S. enemy and the CIA and Pentagon are eager to fight it.

Risky business: Is US supporting anti-Chinese militants in Syria? 

With war hawks in US/Turkey/Qatar/Saudi arming and funding anti-Chinese militants in Syria that are planning more attacks on Chinese embassies and interests abroad, coupled with US gunboat diplomacy in the South China Sea, this dangerous “deterring the dragon” combination risks turning into a “provoking the dragon” scenario, and may escalate into a military conflict between two nuclear powers.

(The piece also includes this vignette about the anti-Chinese TIP Uighurs in Syria:

Later videos emerged of US/UK-funded White Helmet members with two captured young Syrian soldiers in Kahn Touman, and taunting “Assad, Russia, Iran and China, are they stronger than god?” The two soldiers were later executed by TIP militants.)

U.S. official: THAAD to be deployed to deter North Korea threats

THAAD is a long range missile defense system. Putting it into South Korea makes no sense if one wants to counter shorter ranged North Korean missiles. The target here is obviously China. This will have consequences.

A lot of hype is made today about two hospitals in east-Aleppo that were allegedly bombed:

The second piece, in the Washington Post, originally included this sentence:

Neither hospital was seriously damaged and both are expected soon to function again, …

I pointed that out several times today to “bombing” hypers including to Washington Post writers. Soon after that the piece was “updated” and the sentence changed to:

Both hospitals are expected to be repaired, but they are badly damaged.

Still, according to the piece, only two people were killed in the relevant strikes and three injured. Had the attacks actually targeted the crowded hospitals both would have been destroyed and many more people would be dead. Instead the hospitals seem to have received only collateral damage from strikes on nearby military targets. But pointing that out does not fit the U.S. propaganda line.

Meanwhile the U.S. and its allies continue their daily business of killing people in Syria and elsewhere.

I somewhat agree with this election take by Peter Hitchens:

The world’s fixated on Trump. But Hillary could drag us ALL into a catastrophic war

After Monday’s TV show with Clinton and Trump CNN had published a poll claiming that Clinton was the winner of the debate by a wide margin. CNN later released (pdf) the poll data. It turns out (page 9) that only white people and only those above 50 years of age responded to the question. The poll was also heavily skewed towards democratic voters. In other words: it was completely fictional and useless besides giving Clinton additional (false) media momentum.

Scott Adams’ take: Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish – being less scary – and he did it.

Zuesse: Russia accuses Obama of supporting al Qaeda in Syria

Global Research, May 06, 2016
U.S.-Russia-Syria-570x332

On May 4th, Russia’s Sputnik news agency headlined:

“Lavrov: US Tried to Include Al-Nusra Front Positions in ’Silent’ Period”, and reported that Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, speaking in Moscow about the lengthy negotiations between himself and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to agree on conditions for a Syrian ceasefire and peace talks to take place between Syria’s government and Syria’s rebels, said, “During the negotiations, our US partners actually tried to draw the borders of this ‘zone of silence’ to include a significant number of positions occupied by al-Nusra [Front]. We managed to exclude this as it is absolutely unacceptable.”

Al Qaeda in Syria calls itself “Al Nusra.”

The “zone of silence” or “silent period” (and there are other phrases for it) refers to the areas in Syria that would be excluded from the ceasefire.

In other words: Lavrov was saying that whereas Russia’s President Putin refuses to stop military action in Syria to kill Syria’s Al Qaeda, America’s President Obama has been continuing, ever since the U.S.-Russian negotiations for a ceasefire in Syria started in January of this year, to insist that Russia must stop bombing those jihadists. Russia’s Foreign Minister was saying that Obama has been trying to protect Al Nusra.

Here is a chronological presentation of the reporting in the Western press, about U.S. President Obama’s efforts on behalf of Syria’s Al Qaeda (Al Nusra):

On 7 January 2016, Seymour Hersh reported in the London Review of Books,

Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. Their criticism has focused on what they see as the administration’s fixation on Assad’s primary ally, Vladimir Putin. In their view, Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China. …

The military’s resistance dates back to the summer of 2013, when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya. …

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. …

On 20 January 2016, the AP headlined “Kerry, Lavrov try to settle differences over Syrian talks”, and reported,

Differences over which Syrian opposition groups should be labeled terrorists and barred from the negotiations and the ceasefire have led to concerns that the talks may have to be postponed. Russia and Iran, which back Assad, have immense differences with Saudi Arabia, other Arab states, the United States and Europe over which opposition groups should be considered terrorists and therefore excluded.

On 12 February 2016, the New York Times bannered, “In Syria, Skepticism That Cease-Fire Will Stop Fighting”, and reported that,

With the proviso that the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, can still be bombed, Russia puts the United States in a difficult position; the insurgent groups it [i.e., the U.S.] supports cooperate in some places with the well-armed, well-financed Nusra in what they [i.e., the U.S. government] say is a tactical alliance of necessity [with Nusra] against [Syrian] government forces. So Russia can argue that many of them [by which the NYT journalist refers to anti-Assad fighters] are, in effect, Nusra affiliates.

On 16 February 2016, independent journalist Gareth Porter headlined “Obama’s ‘Moderate’ Syrian Deception”, and reported that,

Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces is engaged in a military structure controlled by Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it.

That reporter, unlike some others, assumes that Obama’s support of Syria’s Al Qaeda is due to Obama’s weakness in adhering to the desires of haters of Russia, both in the U.S. and among America’s allies abroad:

President Obama is under pressure from these domestic critics as well as from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other GCC allies to oppose any gains by the Russians and the Assad regime as a loss for the United States.

Mr. Porter presents no evidence backing up his assumption that President Obama is reluctant to adhere to this obsession against Russia. Seymour Hersh had reported, in his 7 January 2016 LRB report, facts that contradict Mr. Porter’s assumption:

General Dempsey and his colleagues on the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept their dissent out of bureaucratic channels, and survived in office. General Michael Flynn did not. ‘Flynn incurred the wrath of the White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria,’ said Patrick Lang, a retired army colonel who served for nearly a decade as the chief Middle East civilian intelligence officer for the DIA. ‘He thought truth was the best thing and they shoved him out.’

In other words: Despite the opposition by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Obama was determined to help Nusra replace the Assad government. Despite what Mr. Porter assumed, Barack Obama was not a weak President, but instead a very determined President, a President who fired people in his Administration who advised him against continuing his attempt to replace al-Assad by al-Nusra. Russia insisted on bombing them, and reluctantly — and in fits and starts — U.S. President Obama accepted Russia’s condition.

On 19 February 2016, the Washington Post bannered “U.S., Russia hold Syria cease-fire talks as deadline passes without action”, and reported that,

Russia was said to have rejected a U.S. proposal to leave Jabhat al-Nusra off-limits to bombing as part of a cease-fire.”

That report even included an indication that President Obama’s current Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, who started his job on 17 February 2015, after the war against Syria was already well under way and Obama had replaced the people on his team who were opposed to it, is, if anything, even more obsessive against Russia than Obama himself is:

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter was said to have opposed the high-level contact with the Russians, at least initially.

In other words: when Obama replaced Chuck Hagel by Ashton Carter, he was replacing someone whom he held to be insufficiently anti-Russian, by a person, Carter, who is so extremely hostile toward Russians, as to have since been restrained by Obama from pursuing this hostility as forcefully as he wishes to. The only Cabinet member mentioned there as having persuaded Obama not to follow Carter’s more aggressive stance against Russia was Obama’s second-term Secretary of State, John Kerry.

On 20 February 2016, Reuters headlined “Syrian opposition says temporary truce possible, but deal seems far off”, and, under the sub-head “Nusra Front in Spotlight,” reported that,

A source close to peace talks earlier told Reuters Syria’s opposition had agreed to the idea of a two- to three-week truce.

The truce would be renewable and supported by all parties except Islamic State, the source said.

It would be conditional on the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front no longer being attacked by Syrian government forces and their allies.

Of course, “Syria’s opposition” there included the United States; and so the U.S. President was, at that time, still insisting upon rejecting the Russian President’s demand that Nusra be included in the “zone of silence,” the locations where the war would continue uninterrupted during the otherwise-ceasefire.

That report went on:

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said on Saturday: “Russia is sticking to its consistent policy of rendering assistance and aid to the armed forces of Syria in their offensive actions against terrorists and against terrorist organisations.”

The source close to peace talks described the opposition’s insistence on the Nusra Front no longer being targeted as “the elephant in the room”.

Obama, like King Saud, Emir Thani, Tayyip Erdogan, and the other enemies of Russia, still stood firm that Nusra not be destroyed.

Therefore, the issue of whether Putin would be allowed to continue bombing Nusra was a heavy topic of disagreement between Obama’s pro-al-Qaeda-in-Syria alliance, versus Putin’s anti-al-Qaeda-in-Syria alliance.

Seymour Hersh’s 7 January 2016 LRB article concluded:

Obama now has a more compliant Pentagon. There will be no more indirect challenges from the military leadership to his policy of disdain for Assad and support for Erdoğan. Dempsey and his associates remain mystified by Obama’s continued public defence of Erdoğan, given the American intelligence community’s strong case against him – and the evidence that Obama, in private, accepts that case.

Even though Obama accepts the case that Turkey’s leader, Erdoğan, is a dangerous man to be allied with, Obama moves forward with what is perhaps the most rabidly hostile toward Russia U.S. Administration ever. And this is after the USSR, and its NATO-mirror organization, the Warsaw Pact, were terminated by Russia in 1991, and after Al Qaeda perpetrated not only 9/11 but many other terrorist attacks, not only in the U.S., but in many of America’s allied countries — not to mention in Russia itself.

Furthermore, Seymour Hersh, in his 4 April 2014 article in LRB, “The Red Line and the Rat Line”, said that,

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway [of weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles in Libya] into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.

And, even prior to that, on 7 October 2013, Christof Lehmann at his site nsnbc.me, headlined “Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria”, and opened by summarizing:

Evidence leads directly to the White House, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, CIA Director John Brennan, Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar, and Saudi Arabia´s Interior Ministry.

He said that, regarding the 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack, which Obama claims crossed his “red line” to launch an invasion of Syria to overthrow Assad, and which Hersh and others report to have been based actually on Obama’s and his allies’ “Rat Line” of weapons from Libya into Syria, the initial decision was made by the Saudi agent in Syria, Zahran Alloush:

The final decision, made by Zahran Alloush may in fact have been predetermined together with his U.S. – Saudi liaison officers.

Launching a chemical weapons attack would allow the USA, UK and France, to call for military strikes against Syria and to turn the tide.

Zahran Alloush was killed by a Russian missile on Christmas Day 2015, and his nephew and close associate Mohammed Alloush was chosen by King Salman al-Saud (actually by his son Prince Salman al-Saud) to lead the Syrian opposition in the peace talks on the Syrian war. Zahran Alloush, like the Saud family, favored extermination of Shiites (including Assad), and so does Mohammed Alloush, which (besides the Alloushes’ support of foreign jihad generally) is perhaps the main reason why the Sauds had selected him to lead the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-Turkish side in these peace negotiations against Syria. However, the Alloushes also greatly admire Osama bin Laden, who founded Al Qaeda; and, so, in total, there can be little if any doubt that what Lavrov was reported on May 4th to have said about Obama’s support for Syria’s Al Qaeda makes sense, even though Obama himself had arranged for bin Laden to be killed.

It seems that, at least after Obama’s success at killing off many of Al Qaeda’s leaders, he is determined to support Al Qaeda’s original jihad, which had been against the Soviet Union, and which continues now against Russia and its ally Assad. Obama therefore protects, and helps to arm, Al Qaeda in Syria, so as to eliminate, if possible, yet another ally of Russia (after Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Viktor Yanukovych): this time Bashar al-Assad.

Whereas the U.S. and its allies will not likely affirm what Lavrov said, the facts do — even some that have been reported in the Western press — not only in non-Western media.

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.


http://www.globalresearch.ca/russia-accuses-obama-of-supporting-al-qaeda-in-syria/5523870

Sergey Lavrov: US tried to include al-Nusra/al-Qaeda territory in Aleppo ceasefire

From 21st Century Wire

21st Century Wire says…

Is this confirmation of what we’ve already known for a very long time?

Watch a video of this report here:

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has alleged that the US attempted to include territories under the control of al-Nusra, AKA al-Qaeda in Syria, in the ceasefire that has just come into effect in Aleppo.

Lavrov said:

“During the negotiations, our US partners actually tried to draw the borders of this ‘zone of silence’ to include a significant number of positions occupied by the al-Nusra Front. We managed to exclude this as it is absolutely unacceptable,”

“This indicates that someone wants to use the Americans. I do not believe that it is in their interest to shield the al-Nusra Front. But someone wants to use the Americans to shield the al-Nusra Front from strikes.”

It is little wonder Russia found this ‘absolutely unacceptable’, as they have just spent the last 6-7 months conducting a full scale air campaign against all such terrorist forces throughout Syria.

In regards to the second half of Lavrov’s bombshell statement, it can be seen as very naïve to think that anyone could actually ‘use the Americans’. The US is, without question, the global hegemon and is used to using others to accomplish its own goals.

Yet, Lavrov is far from naïve. It is possible that he is referring to a number of political actors instead.

The first, and most likely candidate, is the CIA. It was reported earlier in the year that the agency’s weapon smuggling program to terrorists in Syria was completely destroyed by Russian airstrikes, and they may have been an interfering with American diplomats’ plans to save what little is left of their covert ‘rebel’ force.

It is certainly possible that the CIA convinced diplomats to include areas in the deal under false pretences. For example, the CIA could frame the need for including a certain area in the deal in many different ways to suggest its necessity for ‘strategic importance’, without outrightly saying it was to shield a covert army of terrorists.

The CIA’s expertise in slight of hand and human manipulation were revealed earlier this year, when it emerged that only the top elites in the organisation ever know the full truth about any given situation.

We know, unquestionably so, that the US had the central role in creating and supporting the army of ‘moderate rebels’, better known as foreign terrorists, to try and overthrow the Assad government.

The other actors that might be seen as trying to ‘use the Americans’ are Turkey and Israel. Both nations have been accused of working with terrorist groups in Syria, like al-Nusra, to accomplish their own regional goals.

Whatever the true source of this attempt to shield terrorists, it is truly scary to know that they were able to get this outlandish goal to an international negotiating table. Moreover, it calls into question the entire foreign policy history of the US from the past 15 years.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/05/04/russia-us-tried-to-include-al-qaeda-territory-in-aleppo-ceasefire/

Donetsk SitRep: DPR under heavy artillery fire – 24.2

DONi Press

February 24, 2016

‘The situation on the contact line remains tense’, said Vice-Commander of Donetsk Army Eduard Basurin on Wednesday. ‘In the shellings the enemy used heavy 122mm and 152mm artillery’, Basurin said.

The Ukrainian military violated the ceasefire thirty-three times and shelled the territory of the Republic a hundred and forty-eight times. In the shellings the enemy used 122mm and 152mm artillery three times, 120mm mortars twenty times, 82mm mortars a hundred and four times, as well as infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers and small arms.

The Ukrainian punitors fired from the localities of Pesky, Nevelskoye, Zhovanka and Opytnoye at the localities of Zaytsevo, Zhabichevo, Staromikhaylovka, the area of the airport, the Volvo Centre, the Kuybyshevsky and Petrovsky districts of the city of Donetsk. The shellings were carried out from the positions of the 14th and 93rd separate mechanised brigades under command of Zhakun and Klochkov.

The intelligence of the DPR Armed Forces keeps registering the concentration of the enemy’s weapons and military equipment near the contact line:

– In Krasnogorovka (3 km away from the contact line) there was registered the arrival of four 120mm motorised artillery systems “Nona-C”;
– In Dzerzhinsk (2 km away from the contact line) the was registered the transportation of four tanks;
– In Vesyolaya Dolina (12 km away from the contact line) there was registered the arrival of eleven infantry fighting vehicles.

Besides, according to the OSCE mission’s report, in the sites of the Ukrainian weapons and equipment storage the observers documented the absence of ten tanks.

The Ukrainian military and political authorities continue to carry out activities on the preparation for the offensive, which is indicated by the facts of transporting artillery and equipment to the contact line. Zhakun and Klochkov continue to compete on who will become a bloody hero of Ukraine, shelling civilians and residential areas. We can state as a fact that in the Kuibyshev district of Donetsk two civilians were wounded in the shellings. That’s how the “defenders of the Motherland” betray their moral foundations, maiming civilians.

Vice-Commander Eduard Basurin, official translation by DONi News Agency

DONi News Bulletin

https://dnipress.com/en/posts/donetsk-sitrep-dpr-under-heavy-artillery-fire-24.2/

Putin’s progress in Syria sends Kerry scampering to the UN… Washington’s unspoken agenda is to protect ISIS

From Global Research

Global Research, December 24, 2015
Counterpunch 23 December 2015
kerryputin-510x286“It is remarkable that western leaders only remember the term ceasefire when their rebels on the ground are losing. Why didn’t they see the need for peace in Syria before the Russian operation started?” — Iyad Khuder, Damascus-based political analyst

Imagine if the American people elected a president who was much worse than George W. Bush or Barack Obama. A real tyrant. Would that be sufficient justification for someone like Vladimir Putin to arm and train Mexican and Canadian mercenaries to invade America, kill US civilians, destroy cities and critical infrastructure, seize vital oil refineries and pipeline corridors, behead government officials and prisoners they’d captured, declare their own independent state, and do everything in their power to overthrow the elected-government in Washington?

Of course not. The question is ridiculous. It wouldn’t matter if the US president was a tyrant or not, that doesn’t justify an invasion by armed proxies from another country.  And yet, this is precisely the policy that US Secretary of State John Kerry defended at the United Nations on Friday.  Behind all the political blabber about a “roadmap to peace”, Kerry was tacitly defending a policy which has led to the deaths of 250,000 Syrians and the destruction of the country.

And, keep in mind, Kerry didn’t drag his case before the UN Security Council because he’s serious about a negotiated settlement or peace. That’s baloney. What Kerry wants is a resolution that will protect the groups of US-backed jihadis on the ground from the Russian-led offensive. That’s what’s really going on. The Obama administration sees the handwriting on the wall. They know that Russia is going to win the war, so they’ve settled on a plan for protecting their agents in the field. That’s why the emphasis is on a ceasefire; it’s because Kerry wants a  “Timeout” so his Sunni militants can either regroup or retreat.  Just take a look at this short excerpt from the UN’s summary of last Friday’s confab and you’ll see Kerry’s really up-to:

“In its first resolution to focus on the politics of ending Syria’s five-year-long war, the Security Council today gave the United Nations an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, with a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections, all under UN auspices….

(The Security Council) acknowledged the close linkage between a ceasefire and a parallel political process, with the former to come into effect as soon as the sides have begun initial steps towards a political transition under UN auspices….

The resolution asked Mr. Ban through the offices of his Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to determine the modalities of a ceasefire and plan to support its implementation, while urging Member States, in particular members of the ISSG, to accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire, including through pressing all relevant parties to adhere to one.

Emphasizing the need for a ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism, the Council asked Mr. Ban to report back to it on options with a month, and called on Member States to provide “expertise and in-kind contributions” to support such a mechanism…”

(“In first political resolution on war-torn Syria, Security Council gives UN major role in seeking peace”, UN News Centre)

See what I mean: Ceasefire, ceasefire, ceasefire. It’s all about a ceasefire. Kerry wants a ceasefire. Obama wants a ceasefire. A big part of the ruling US establishment want a ceasefire. No, not the neocons, not the liberal interventionists, and not the diehard hawks like Ash Carter at the Pentagon, but a good portion of the ruling elites who’ve been following events on the ground and who know how this thing is going to end. The smart money has already moved on to Plan B, which is why they’re now focused on cutting their losses and saving as many of “their guys” as possible.  Naturally, the people who funded, armed, trained and deployed these various Sunni fighters feel responsible for their safety, so they’re going to do whatever they can to get them out. That’s where Kerry comes in. Kerry’s job was to fly to Moscow, tell Putin that Obama had changed his mind about regime change, and get the Kremlin to back Kerry’s UN resolution. The primary objective of this farce is to garner international support for designating terrorist groups as “moderates” and to move in the direction of UN-mandated ceasefire that will stop the Russian-led offensive in its tracks.

But isn’t that what everyone wants, an end to the hostilities?

Not exactly. A war against terrorists is different than a war between nation-states or a civil war. A group like Jabhat al-Nusra, for example, can’t be treated the same way as armed members of the political opposition. These are religious fanatics determined to use any means possible to achieve their goal of a fascist Islamic Caliphate. Reasoned discourse doesn’t work with people like this,  they have to be killed or captured. And this is exactly what the Russian-led coalition is doing, they’re progressively mopping up the terrorist threat in Syria at great risk to themselves and their fellow-collation members Iran, Hezbollah, and the Syrian Arab Army.  Kerry’s job is to throw a wrench in the anti-terror campaign to impede the coalition’s progress. And he’s willing to lie to do it.  Case in point: Here’s a quote from Kerry in Moscow just last Tuesday:

“As I emphasized today, the United States and our partners are not seeking so-called “regime change,” as it is known in Syria.

Later in the day, Kerry underscored the administration’s dramatic about-face saying: “We are not trying to do a regime change. We are not engaged in a color revolution.  We’re not engaged in trying to interfere in another country … We’re trying to make peace.”

Okay, so the US has given up on regime change?

Not at all. Kerry was just lying through his teeth as usual.  Here’s what he said less than 24 hours later:

“Russia can’t stop the war with Assad there because Assad attracts the foreign fighters. Assad is a magnet for terrorists, because they’re coming to fight Assad.  So if you want to stop the war in Syria, and we do, if you want to fight Daesh and stop the growth of terrorism, you have to deal with the problem of Assad. Now, that doesn’t mean we want to change every aspect of the government; we don’t.”

(‘US not after regime change in Syria, but Assad must go’ – Kerry to Russian TV”, RT)

Got that? So the US doesn’t support regime change, but Assad’s still got to go.

How’s that for hypocrisy? The truth is the Obama administration is just as committed to toppling Assad as ever. Kerry was just misleading Putin to get his approval for his ridiculous resolution at the UN.  As a result, Assad’s name was never mentioned in the resolution which,  Kerry seems to think, is a big victory for the US. But it’s not a victory, in fact, all of Russia’s demands were met in full through the passing of UN Resolution  2254 (three resolutions were passed on Friday) which reiterates all Putin’s demands dating back to the Geneva Communique’ of 2012.  Assad was never mentioned in 2254 either, because naming the president wasn’t necessary to establish the conditions for 1–a transitional government, 2–outlining the terms for a new constitution and  a non-Islamist Syrian state, and 3—free and fair elections to ensure the Syrian people control their own future. In 2012, the US rejected these three provisions saying that the would not agree unless Assad was excluded from participating in the transitional government. Now the US has reversed its position on Assad which means that 100 percent of Moscow’s demands have been met.  UN Resolution  2254 is complete capitulation on the part of the US. It is a humiliating diplomatic defeat which no one in the media is even willing to acknowledge.

So what did Kerry gain by all his globe-trekking and backroom maneuvering?

Nothing. In fact, he gave away the farm by making a number of concessions to gain Russia’s support.

What “concessions” are we talking about?

Here’s a short list:  Kerry met with Putin in Moscow on December 15. On December 16, the IMF ruled in favor of Russia in its $3 billion claim against Ukraine. Here’s the story:

“The executive board of the International Monetary Fund has recognized Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia as official and sovereign – a status Kiev has been attempting to contest.

“In the case of the Eurobond, the Russian authorities have represented that this claim is official. The information available regarding the history of the claim supports this representation,” the IMF said in a statement.” (“IMF recognizes Ukraine’s contested $3bn debt to Russia as sovereign “, RT)

How many strings do you think Washington had to pull to seal that deal?

Also on December 16,  the US announced that it would remove its F-15 fighters stationed in Turkey immediately. Here’s the story:

Twelve U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters sent to Incirlik airbase only last month to guard Turkish airspace and hit ISIS targets in Syria were suddenly flown back Wednesday to their home base in Britain, U.S. European Command announced….

The redeployment of the fighters came amid a flurry of diplomatic and military-to-military activity in the region and with Russia …

A day before the planes left, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of United Nations Security Council meetings in New York Friday on Syria and U.S. efforts to ease out President Bashar al-Assad.

(“US Air Force Begins Withdrawing F-15 Fighter Jets From Turkey“, Military.com)

Another coincidence?

Not likely.

Then there’s this:  On December 17, Obama allowed a Russian-backed resolution to pass the UNSC unanimously that that will help uncover secret  financing for ISIS and “strengthen legal measures against those doing business with terrorist groups.” According to RT:

“The resolution is the result of a joint effort by Russia and the US, which are both leading anti-IS campaigns in Syria….The key objective of the new resolution is the “enforcement of a framework to reveal and disrupt illegal financing of IS and groups related to it by means of trade in oil, artifacts, and other illegal sources.”…

The document, which is based on UN Charter Article VII and takes effect immediately, calls for members to “move vigorously and decisively to cut the flow of funds” to IS.”

UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution targeting ISIS finances

Is that what Obama really wants, to expose the revenue streams for these extremist organizations that are clearly getting support from Washington’s main allies in the Gulf?

Probably not, but Kerry caved-in anyway hoping that his support would help him to nab the elusive ceasefire.

Finally,  on December 18, Obama told Turkish President Erdogan that he wanted him to  remove his troops and tanks from Iraq. Here’s the story:

“US President Barack Obama has called on his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to withdraw his country’s troops out of Iraq and respect its integrity. In a telephone call on Friday, Obama “urged President Erdogan to take additional steps to deescalate tensions with Iraq, including by continuing to withdraw Turkish military forces.”

He also “reinforced the need for Turkey to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq,” the White House said.

A 300-strong contingent of Turkish forces backed by 20 to 25 tanks was stationed on the outskirts of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province, on December 4.” (“Obama to Erdogan: Withdraw Turkish troops from Iraq“, Press TV)

(Turkey has since promised to remove more troops following Obama’s call.)

In other words, the Turkish occupation began on December 4, but Obama never responded until two days after Kerry talked with Putin in Moscow. Another coincidence?

Maybe or maybe not. In any event the US had to do some serious horse-trading to persuade Putin to take Kerry’s issue to the Security Council. (By the way, Obama knew beforehand that Turkey planned to invade Iraq, in fact, “an important Turkish official  confirmed this claim by saying “all relevant countries” were informed about the deployment of the troops. See here for details.

Like we said earlier: Kerry gave away the farm to slam a deal that isn’t going to have the slightest impact on the outcome of the war.  And that’s what’s so tragic about all this diplomatic tap-dancing, is that it doesn’t really change anything. Syria’s future is going to be decided on the battlefield not at the United Nations and not at the bargaining table. Washington decided that long ago when it elected to use force of arms to try to achieve its geopolitical ambitions.  Now an organized opposition has emerged that is openly challenging US-backed proxies leaving Washington with just two options, fight or retreat.

It had to come to this, didn’t it?   After all, if you push people hard enough, eventually they push back.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.