U.S. State Department ‘deeply troubled’ over Syrian operations in…Syria! Against ISIS and Al Qaeda!

Global Research, June 22, 2018

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement today warning the Syrian government to cease and desist from its final military push against ISIS and al-Qaeda groups in southwest Syria. The United States is “deeply troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria” because such operations are within the “de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November,” the statement says.What a strange warning. The United States, which illegally occupies territory of a country nearly 6,000 miles away, is warning Syria, the country it partly occupies, not to conduct military operations against terrorist organizations within its own borders! Continue reading

At UN, Syrian official points out US assistance and support for ISIS, illegal Turkish and American occupation and attacks in Syria, “but no one cares.”

From Fort Russ

February 15, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
NEW YORK CITY, The United States of America – Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari voiced severe criticism of the US and its coalition partners, addressing the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York City on Wednesday.
“The attack on 8th of February in northern-eastern Deir Ezzor, that the alliance illegally undertook against the Syrian national forces that were standing against ISIS terrorists, I emphasize this, the region where the Syrian national forces attacked ISIS was under the US protection, north-east of Deir Elzor. It’s a strip with 30 km in width and 65 km in length. IS, which we fought and destroyed, left this Deir Ez-Zor and Abu Kamal, with the US protection and positioned itself at Iraq-Syrian borders. When IS [ISIS] was attacked by Syrian popular forces, the Syrian forces were attacked by the American Air Force, which proves again and without doubt, the real mission of this coalition and the role that Washington plays in supporting ISIS,” Jaafari said.
“Like it did earlier by targeting Syrian national forces in air force attacks at northern Jabal Al-tharda near Deir Elzor, on the 17/09/2016, allowing IS to occupy these regions. Not to mention the deliberate destruction of 90 percent of the city of Raqqa. This coalition has not felt to uphold its commitment to neutralize tens of thousands of mines left behind by Daesh  [ISIS] after they left the region to continue their terroristic services under two banners: American in east of Euphrates and Turkish in northern Afrin,” he explained.
“These [coalition] countries have abused the principles of the [UN] charter and they have defied its rules when they assisted terrorist groups and facilitated their acquiring of poisonous chemical weapons, to be used against innocent civilians, after which, manipulating the places and dates of the incidents, and setting up false and misleading testimonies to an investigative mechanism whose integrity and objectivity are a subject of doubt, with the aim of framing the Syrian government. Here, this is a large collection, Mr. President, containing 136 messages that had been sent by the Syrian government to you. 136 messages with very important information about the importing and use of chemical weapons by the terrorists, from outside of Syria into Syria. And they [chemical weapons] were used. 136 messages addressing nothing but the chemical [weapons] issue were distributed as official documents. And they are all in your procession. But no one cares,” he stressed.
“I was very sad to hear the statement by the Special Envoy, which I have listened to carefully, has not remotely touched upon the fact that there exists a US occupation in parts of my country, or the fact that there is a Turkish occupation in parts of my country. The Special Envoy said that there is a cross-border conflict in Afrin, not an unlawful Turkish occupation in my country, and the attack on a Syrian city called Afrin,” he concluded.

U.S. forces attack and kill up to 100 Syrians investigating ISIS cell

From RT

True US goal in Syria is control over resources, not fighting ISIS – Russian MoD

February 8, 2018

The US-led coalition’s attack on pro-government forces in Syria has again proven that Washington’s true goal is to capture “economic assets” instead of fighting terrorism, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The MoD was referring to an incident which took place on Tuesday in Deir Ez-Zor province, as a Syrian militia unit was moving against a “sleeper cell” of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). The operation was prompted by a surge in shelling of the positions of Syrian government forces in the area over the past few days, attributed to the covert activities of IS terrorists, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

A unit of the pro-government militia was conducting a reconnaissance search mission on February 7 near the former oil processing plant of Al-Isba. While there, “the militiamen came under a surprise mortar and MRLS shelling, and were attacked by helicopters of the US-led ‘international coalition.’”

As a result, 25 members of the pro-government unit were injured. Initial media reports, citing unnamed US officials, suggested that some 100 Syrian soldiers had died in the assault by the coalition forces.

The US Central Command earlier called the attack on Syrian militiamen “self-defense,” claiming that the troops allegedly launched an “unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] headquarters.”

The US version of events, however, raises “lots of questions,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

Following the incident, the Russian military talked to the coalition through the established communication channels, with the latter stating that Al-Isba was under the control of SDF and US troops. The immediate cause of the incident, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, was the fact that the militia unit acted on its own, without consulting Russian advisers first.

The case exposes a greater problem, however, as according to the MoD the attack by the coalition “once again proved that the true goal of the continuous illegal presence of US forces in Syria is already not the fight against ISIS international terrorist group, but the capture and control of the economic assets belonging solely to the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Damascus has decried the attack as a “war crime”and a “crime against humanity,” SANA reports, citing a letter to the UN issued by the Foreign Ministry. The US-led coalition is illegal and should be disbanded altogether, the ministry stressed.

“We demand [the international community] condemn this massacre and hold the coalition responsible for it,” the ministry said, adding that this is not the first time the US-led coalition has targeted Syrian government forces.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US-led coalition’s presence on its soil, calling it an act of blatant aggression and violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Damascus has also urged the UN to press the US to leave, especially following the successful defeat of the main IS forces. The US, however, has stated that it may remain in Syria indefinitely to counter what it describes as Iranian influence and to secure “post-Assad leadership” for the country.

Recent developments indicate that the US might be effectively shifting towards partitioning Syria altogether, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier on Wednesday.

“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,” Lavrov stated.

“Now, they are saying that they will keep their presence until they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change.”

https://www.rt.com/news/418227-syria-us-resources-grab/

U.S. claims aerial attack on Syrian ‘pro-regime’ forces

From Fort Russ

February 8th, 2018 – Fort Russ News –
– By Joaquin Flores for FRN –

WASHINGTON DC, USA – In a major development, the US’s Central Command (Centcom) has just released an official statement, claiming that it has conducted an aerial attack on what it terms ‘Syrian pro-regime’ forces, about eight miles east of the Euphrates river.

The attack was strategically important for the US as control by the legal and duly elected Syrian government would allow it to link Syria and Lebanon via Iraq to Iran.

The Centcom statement included: “”Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters Feb. 7.”

The statement continued: ” In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh mission.”

It should be noted that the language used by Centcom greatly obfuscates the legal framework of this conflict. The US is operating illegally, with an overt invasion force, and also continues to fund and direct a side in what it frames as a civil war .

 While many international legal experts, as well as the Syrian government have concluded that the war in Syria is a US and ‘Coalition’ backed invasion, it is nevertheless also illegal to fund or control a side in a civil war, which is what the US claims it is doing. The US also claims this alongside its phantom war against its own ISIS creation.
Thus, any attack by the SAA and it’s allied fighting groups upon an illegal, internationally backed, terrorist or otherwise ‘militia’ group existing on the territory of Syria, can not rationally be described in any existing framework as either ‘aggression’ or ‘unprovoked’.

Centcom claims that US bombers struck ‘pro-regime forces’. This is the area where there have been successful Syrian military advances because the US created ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) moved out. The SDF is a rebranding of some of the US backed Kurdish forces which are operating in areas which include sizable Arab populations.

As we reported previously, Kurdish-led and US backed forces have deployed elsewhere to fight Turkish backed forces.

It is unclear at the time of publishing whether these ‘pro-regime forces’ were auxiliary militias, or the Syrian Arab Army itself. FRN still awaits confirmation on more reliable details from the officials of the SAA. Centcom official statements are historically inaccurate and rife with factual ambiguities and legal untruths.

Diplomatically, and legally, this difference – whether the SAA or allied militias were attacked – may result in a different response from the Syrian government, and its allies in the conflict: Iran and Russia.

In either event, this represents another major escalation in the US’s growing and direct role in the conflict which it has supported through various proxies since the start of this decade.

This story at the time of publishing, is still developing.

Billions of dollars’ worth of weapons brought into Syria, “arms traffic organized by CIA and Pentagon”

Global Research, July 20, 2017
Voltairenet.org 18 July 2017

Over the last seven years, several billion dollars’ worth of armament has been illegally introduced into Syria – a fact which in itself is enough to disprove the myth according to which this war is a democratic revolution. Numerous documents attest to the fact that the traffic was organised by General David Petraeus, first of all in public, via the CIA, of which he was the director, then privately, via the financial company KKR with the aid of certain senior civil servants. Thus the conflict, which was initially an imperialist operation by the United States and the United Kingdom, became a private capitalist operation, while in Washington, the authority of the White House was challenged by the deep state. New elements now show the secret rôle of Azerbaïdjan in the evolution of the war.

During the liberation of Aleppo and the capture of the Saudi military staff who were on site, Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva noted the presence of weapons from her country in nine warehouses abandoned by the jihadists. She carefully noted the information on the boxes, and once she returned home, she investigated the way in which the weapons had been delivered to Syria.

Since 2009 – with the short exception of the period between March 2013 to November 2014 – Bulgaria has been governed by Boïko Borissov, a highly colourful character allegedly with links to one of Europe’s main criminal organisations, the SIC. Let’s remember that Bulgaria is a member of both NATO and the European Union, and that neither of these two organisations offered the slightest criticism concerning the accession to power of a Mafia lord who had been identified as such a long time previously by the international police services.

It is therefore clearly at the risk of their lives that Dilyana Gaytandzhieva uncovered the organisation, and the editors of the Sofia daily, Trud, published her article [1]. While Bulgaria was one of the main arms exporters to Syria, it received help from Azerbaïdjan.

The gigantic CIA arms traffic against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and India

Since the beginning of the Arab Springs, a gigantic arms traffic was organised by the CIA and the Pentagon in violation of a number of resolutions by the UNO Security Council. All the operations that we will be mentioning here are illegal under international law, including those organised publicly by the Pentagon.

As far as arms traffic is concerned, even when individuals or private companies are used as shields, it is impossible to export sensitive equipment without the authorisation of the governments concerned.

All the weapons we will be mentioning, apart from the electronic intelligence systems, are ’Soviet-type’. By definition, even if we pretend that the armies supplied with NATO-type weapons are indeed the final recipients, this is an impossibility. These armies serve only to cover the traffic.

We already knew that the CIA had contacted the SIC, and that Boïko Borissov had been called upon to manufacture an emergency quantity of Captagon destined for the jihadists, first in Libya, then in Syria. Since Maria Petkova’s investigation, which was published in the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), we knew that between 2011 and 2014, the CIA and the SOCOM (Pentagon Special Operations Command) had bought 500 million dollars’ worth of weapons from Bulgaria on behalf of the jihadists. Then, later, we learned that other weapons were paid for by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and transported by Saudi Arabian Cargo and Etihad Cargo [2].

According to Krešimir Žabec, of the Zagreb daily Jutarnji list, at the end of 2012, Croatia delivered 230 tonnes of weapons to the Syrian jihadists for a value of 6.5 million dollars. The transfer to Turkey was handled by three Ilyushins from Jordan International Air Cargo, and the weapons were then parachuted by the Qatai Army [3]. According to Eric Schmitt of the New York Times, the whole system had been created by General David Petraeus, director of the CIA [4].

Continue reading

How America armed terrorists in Syria

From Consortium News

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” to curb weapons going to Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in Syria, has attracted only 14 co-sponsors pointing to hypocrisy in the “war on terror,” as Gareth Porter explained at The American Conservative.

By Gareth Porter
June 23, 2017

Three-term Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, has proposed legislation that would prohibit any U.S. assistance to terrorist organizations in Syria as well as to any organization working directly with them. Equally important, it would prohibit U.S. military sales and other forms of military cooperation with other countries that provide arms or financing to those terrorists and their collaborators.

President Barack Obama walks along the Colonnade at the White House with then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Dec. 7, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be “relatively moderate” anti-Assad groups — meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism.

That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad.

The supporters of this arms-supply policy believe it is necessary as pushback against Iranian influence in Syria. But that argument skirts the real issue raised by the policy’s history.  The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the “Global War on Terrorism” — the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.

The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies — Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama administration official involved in Middle East issues.

Obama refused to provide arms to the opposition, but he agreed to provide covert U.S. logistical help in carrying out a campaign of military assistance to arm opposition groups. CIA involvement in the arming of anti-Assad forces began with arranging for the shipment of weapons from the stocks of the Gaddafi regime that had been stored in Benghazi.

Shipments from Benghazi

CIA-controlled firms shipped the weapons from the military port of Benghazi to two small ports in Syria using former U.S. military personnel to manage the logistics, as investigative reporter Sy Hersh detailed in 2014. The funding for the program came mainly from the Saudis.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

A declassified October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo.

Continue reading

Breaking: Russia halts cooperation with U.S. in Syria over Syrian jet downing, will track coalition aircraft as targets; Pentagon says it will retaliate if “threatened”

From RT:

Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19 – Moscow

June 19, 2017

The Russian Defense Ministry announced it is halting cooperation with its US counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria following the coalition’s downing of a Syrian warplane.

The ministry has demanded a thorough investigation by the US military command into the incident with the Syrian government military jet, with the results to be shared with the Russian side.

“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.

The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.

The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.

“The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”

The ministry considers the move “a conscious failure to comply with the obligations under the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria,” and is thus halting cooperation with the US within the memorandum framework as of June 19, the statement concluded.

READ MORE: US-led coalition downs Syrian army plane in southern Raqqa

Earlier Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the attack, branding it an act of aggression which actually helped the terrorists the US is fighting against.

The US-led coalition downed the Syrian government warplane on Sunday. At the moment of the attack the jet was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) some 40km from Raqqa, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The pilot ejected from the plane above IS-controlled territory and is still missing.

https://www.rt.com/news/393028-syria-russia-us-plane/

———————————-

From the Washington Examiner

June 19, 2017

US pilots will defend themselves as Russia threatens aircraft over Syria, Pentagon says

by Jamie McIntyre | Jun 19, 2017

U.S. pilots over Syria will defend themselves if attacked by Russians, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, following a report that Russia will treat U.S. or coalition aircraft as targets if they fly over areas in western Syria controlled by Russia.

The Russian Defense Ministry made the threat Monday after a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 after that plane bombed U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces that are working with the U.S. to defeat the Islamic State on Sunday.

“Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets,” the Defense Ministry said.

“We are aware of the Russian statements,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday morning. “We do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS, but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened,” Davis said.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said the Russian statement has had no effect on the operations in support of U.S.-backed Syrian fighters moving against ISIS in Raqqa in western Syria.

“Coalition aircraft continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, targeting ISIS forces and providing air support for coalition partner forces on the ground,” said Col. Ryan Dillon, chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.

He also appeared to indicate the U.S. is avoiding the parts of Syria where Russia said U.S. planes would be tracked as potential targets or providing additional airpower to counter threats.

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian regime and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to reposition aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrews given known threats in the battlespace,” Dillon said.

The statement was meant as a warning, said Viktor Ozerov, a member of the Russian parliament, described the Defense Ministry’s statement as a warning.

“I’m sure that because of this neither the U.S. nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft,” he said, according to state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. “That’s why there’s no threat of direct confrontation between Russia and American aircraft.”…

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/us-pilots-will-defend-themselves-as-russia-threatens-aircraft-over-syria-pentagon-says/article/2626381

Israel worried over Russian reconnaissance plane in Syria [Video]

May 8th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –
Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed that Israel recently managed to obtain some footage from one of its spying satellites that was monitoring Russian military activities in Syria.
The images are reportedly showing a sophisticated Russian reconnaissance plane. Information has also been provided on the alleged “sophisticated boost” of Damascus’ air force capabilities by Russia. It is now estimated that Damascus and Moscow have a rather extended control over the whole region.
Some sources claim, latest discovery might affect the relations between Russia and Israel.
The sophisticated Russian reconnaissance plane is being dubbed as “A-50” and is capable to control and provide details of at least 10 other planes in the vicinity, in addition to being able to hit the ground targets in the distance of 300 kilometers or set the goals of hitting them in the distance of 650 kilometers. The plane can last a flight of about 1000 kilometers distance.
According to the researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the base in Lattakia is located about 700 kilometers north of the Israeli Air Force Hatzor Airbase, meaning the aforementioned Russian plane can identity any Israeli plane that takes off from Hatzor.
At least 26 A-50 reconnaissance planes are said to be operated by the Russian Air Force.

Iranian Foreign Minister responds to the amassing of U.S. and British troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border

May 9th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the news about amassing of the British, American and Jordanian troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border, noting that any military act of aggression against Syria, will result in an absolute failure.
“Any of such actions, now or in the future, are doomed to fail”, Zarif was heard saying.
Yesterday, reports came about the huge gathering of the British, American and Jordanian troops at the Syrian-Jordanian border, suggesting the approaching zero hour of confrontation.
According to the reports, hundreds of American, British and Jordanian troops are being gathered in the area at the Syrian-Jordania border and parallel with Khirbet Awad, located in the southern Syrian province of As Suwayda, Tell Shihab in Syria’s Daraa province and the Ramtha border crossing. Dozens of troops, British tanks of the Challenger brand and a number of Cobra and Black Hawk helicopters were spotted, in addition to about 2300 jihadists whom the US and UK forces trained in Jordan. 
About 4000 more jihadists are reportedly being trained in Al Tanf area at the Syrian-Jordanian border.
It is also being rumoured that the British and US forces are allegedly trying to take control over the southern Syrian-Iraqi border so that the two countries would no longer be able to coordinate each other directly in their fight against terrorism.

Is North Korea a diversion for a US-Jordan invasion of Syria?

Interesting idea.
However, it is difficult to believe that U.S. Pacific Command (or any of the other Pentagon world regional commands) would allow one command to see action and receive the “glory”, especially with all the preparation, war exercises, and rhetoric against North Korea, The competition for funds, programs, and accolades must be intense, which requires self-justification and proven benefit. And now President Trump is allowing Pentagon commanders to make more of their own decisions. 
Education, outreach, and real peace-making projects are urgently needed.
Global Research, May 04, 2017
Counter Punch 3 May 2017
“Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States….’Jordan is not an independent country. Whatever the United States wants, it will happen,’ said Assad.” — Middle East Monitor

“In the event of a de-facto partition of Syria, the US and its allies will get a strategically important region. It is through Deir Ezzor that the proposed gas pipeline from Qatar is supposed to run….The Deir Ezzor province is also home to Syria’s largest oil deposit, the Al-Omar. …the city and the province are of particular value since the deposits there contain the highly valuable light sweet crude usable in the production of gasoline and diesel fuel.” — South Front, “The Stronghold of Deir Ezzor; What You Need to Know”

The United States is not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. The risks far outweigh the rewards and, besides, the US has no intention of getting bogged down in a conflict that doesn’t advance its geopolitical objectives. The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the US and Jordan are massing troops and equipment for an invasion of Syria. That’s what’s really going on. The Korean fiasco is a smokescreen.

True, the Trump administration is milking the situation for all its worth, but that doesn’t mean that they want a war with the North. That’s not it at all.  Washington wants to deploy its controversial THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea, but it needs a pretext to do so. Hence, the ominous threat of an “unstable, nuclear-armed North Korea”, that’s all the justification Washington needed to get its new weapons system deployed. Mission Accomplished.

But the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) isn’t aimed at North Korea, it’s aimed at China, and China knows it which is why it has protested its deployment repeatedly. The US wants to surround China and Russia with military bases and missile systems that are integrated into its broader nuclear weapons system. These lethal systems are a crucial part of Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia and rule the world into the next century. Here’s the rundown from Tass:

“Anti-missile elements that are being deployed around the world are part of a very dangerous global project aimed at securing US’ overall overwhelming superiority to the prejudice of security interests of other states….The US missile defense architecture is tilting the strategic balance of forces in the area of offensive weapons and creates more and more serious risks of global instability.” (“US anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe violate INF Treaty”)

And here’s how Russian President Vladimir Putin summed it up:

“The US is developing an anti-missile defense system which”….when it is operational… “there will be a moment in time when our entire nuclear capability will be neutralized, which means that the entire global balance of power will be overturned.. This means one of the powers will have absolute security and be able to do whatever it likes in regional conflicts. We’re talking about unrivaled power in global conflicts. ..This system forces us to create weapons that can nullify the system asymmetrically.” (Tass)

Is missile defense something the American people should want?

Heck no. Just think of the number of people that Uncle Sam has slaughtered in the last 16 years. Now try to imagine if all the constraints on Washington’s rampaging were removed allowing the US to conduct its bloody war on the world with complete impunity?

No one in their right mind would ever give the Washington crazies that kind of power. It’s a prescription for global annihilation. Besides, absolute security for one country means no security for everyone else.

But deploying the THAAD anti-missile system is just one part of Washington’s North Korea swindle. The fear-mongering is also being used to grease the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Here’s the scoop from The Hill:

Sen. John McCain

Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) push for a $7.5 billion fund to bulk up the U.S. military’s capabilities in the Asia-Pacific is gaining momentum as tensions with North Korea mount. The commander of U.S. forces in the region threw his support behind the idea this week, “This kind of money can help us bring together our allies and partners,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. …The … proposal has gained more visibility amid the intensifying concerns over North Korea and its nuclear program.” (“McCain plan gains momentum amid North Korea threats”, The Hill)

So the MIC lackeys in Congress had already been pushing this latest boondoggle, but they needed a trumped up crisis in North Korea to put them over the finish line. Typically, the process is called “creative advertising”, which means scaring the shit out of the public so you can rip them off. Here’s more from the same article:

“I’d like to thank Chairman McCain and this committee for proposing and supporting the Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative,” Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said at Thursday’s hearing. “This effort will reassure our regional partners and send a strong signal to potential adversaries of our persistent commitment to the region.”

The weapons manufacturers love sugar-daddy McCain who’s always on-hand with gobs of moolah.

Here’s more:

“We can thank North Korea for one thing in this,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest”. “They’re amplifying the imbalance in the Asia-Pacific.” (The Hill)

Good idea, let’s thank North Korea for this latest windfall for the weapons makers. Why not? Let’s send Kim a nice big valentine from the American taxpayer with John McCain’s name writ large at the bottom.

In any event, Washington’s policy towards North Korea hasn’t changed. All the chest thumping and fireworks are just part of a circus sideshow designed to justify additional defense splurging and missile deployment. At the same time, the media is trying to divert attention from critical developments in the Middle East, particularly the Syria-Jordan border where Washington has rallied its proxy-fighters into a makeshift army that will (likely) invade southern Syria, charge northward to Deir Ezzor,  establish a no-fly zone over the occupied territory, and partition the area east of the Euphrates preventing loyalist forces from reestablishing Syria’s sovereign borders. That appears to be the basic game-plan. Check this out from the Middle East Monitor:

“The Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States…

“We have this information, not only from mass media, but from different sources”…
Speaking to The Washington Post, King Abdullah of Jordan reiterated that a planned joint operation could take place against terrorists. “It is a challenge, but we are ready to face it in cooperation with the US and Britain.” (“Assad accuses Jordan of planning Syria invasion”,  Middle East Monitor)

The pretext for the invasion will be to fight ISIS, but the real goal is to seize the eastern part of the country consistent with a plan that was concocted by the Brookings Institute two years ago. After 6 years of covert support for CIA-backed militants on the ground, the Trump administration appears to be leaning towards a more traditional military approach. Here’s more from the LA Times:

“Reports have also emerged of Jordanian and U.S. troops on the section of the Jordanian border opposite southwest Syria, a possible prelude to a campaign in which rebels, supported by Jordanian and coalition forces on the ground, would overrun Islamic State’s pocket in the Yarmouk basin, near southwestern Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan.” (“How long can Jordan keep walking the Middle East tightrope?”, LA Times)

Naturally, Moscow is concerned about the developments on the Jordanian border. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a statement saying,

“We will pay special attention to the issues most important for us which concern the situation on the Jordan-Syria border.”

Also worrisome, is the fact that US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has been traveling across the Middle East rallying Washington’s allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Mattis sees the fighting in Syria as a proxy-war between the US and Iran for influence in the region. This same erroneous view is shared by all of the main powerbrokers in the Trump administration.

“Everywhere there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Mr. Mattis said on a stop in Riyadh, adding that nations in the region are working to “checkmate Iran and the amount of disruption, the amount of instability they cause.”

These latest developments take place just days before the resumption of negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan (May 3 and 4). Russia, Turkey, Iran and a number of the leaders from the rebel groups will gather to see if they can agree on the terms of a ceasefire and an eventual settlement to the 6 year-long war. The Trump administration’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase in early April has boosted the morale of many of the jihadists militias and is keeping them away from the bargaining table. In other words,  Trump’s unexpected escalation has sabotaged Putin’s efforts to resolve the crisis and end the hostilities. The last thing Washington wants in Syria is peace.

A number of reports have confirmed that Trump has handed control of his foreign policy to his Generals, Mattis and McMaster. And while Mattis has shown little interest in getting more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, McMaster sees Russia as a “hostile revisionist power” that “intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.”

McMaster is a hard-boiled militarist with a driving animus towards Russia.  In a speech he delivered at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, McMaster offered this remedy for so called ‘Russian aggression’. He said:

“what is required to deter a strong nation that is waging limited war for limited objectives… is forward deterrence,  …(is) convincing your enemy that (he) is unable to accomplish his objectives at a reasonable cost.”

McMaster can be expected to use his  “forward deterrence” theory in Syria by trying to lure Putin into a confrontation with US forces east of the Euphrates. But there’s no reason to think that Putin will fall into the trap, in fact, it seems highly unlikely given the potential for a catastrophic face-off between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. Instead, Putin will probably take the high-road, present his case to the UN Security Council, and denounce  the US intervention as another example of Washington’s destabilizing and expansionistic foreign policy.

Putin’s worst mistake would be to base his strategy entirely on the situation on the battlefield. He doesn’t need to liberate every inch of Syrian soil to win the war. Let the US and its proxies seize the territory, establish their military bases and no-fly zones, throw up a DMZ along the Euphrates, and wade deeper into the Syrian morass. Putin has other fish to fry. He needs to focus on winning hearts and minds, strengthening alliances and building a broader coalition. He needs to look like the only adult in the room, the rational leader whose sole ambition is to end the dispute and restore security. He needs to establish a contrast between his behavior and that of his recklessly-violent and mentally-unstable rival, Washington, whose flagrant  disregard for international law and civilian lives has plunged the Middle East and Central Asia into chaos and carnage.

If Putin’s ultimate goal is to rebuild the system of global security based on the bedrock principles of national sovereignty and greater representation for all the countries in the world, he must lead by example. Restraint and maturity in Syria will move him closer to that goal.

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.