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91
For Your Information / Deliberate destruction of economic facilities in Syria
« Last post by nestopwar on December 18, 2015, 01:05:42 AM »

Foreign Ministry: Syria reserves its right in demanding US-led coalition to pay compensations for deliberate destruction of economic facilities
 SANA 
16 December? 2015

 Damascus, SANA-Syria affirmed that the US-led coalition's warplanes have launched tens of raids on the Syrian economic facilities instead of raiding the Islamic State (ISIS) organization and its tanks that transport the stolen Syrian oil into Turkey.

"The US-led coalition's shelling of the economic facilities and infrastructure, and the unilateral coercive measures adopted by some countries on the Syrian people are the reason behind the mounting difficult conditions Syria is passing through," Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in two identical letters sent Wednesday to the UN Secretary General and President of Security Council.

It added that in light of this deliberate destruction of the oil and economic establishments, the Syrian Arab Republic reserves its right in demanding the US-led coalition's countries to pay compensations to Syria in return for this destruction as it is a right guaranteed by the international law.

On December 8th and 13th, the international coalition shelled a number of oil and gas stations in Deir Ezzor under the pretext of hunting the ISIS, causing losses estimated at hundreds of millions USD.

"The US-led coalition has launched scores of raids on the Syrian economic installations instead of bombarding the ISIS tanks which transport the stolen Syrian petroleum and it didn't present any information about the shelling to the UN according to the UN charter," the two letters reiterated.

The letters added "In this regard, the armed terrorist organizations don't loot the Syrian oil directly from the stations, but they steal the oil from places neighboring the oil wells which spread in the Syrian oil fields, then they sell the petroleum through Turkish channels.


 
92
The Anti-Assad Wahhabi Confab: The Saudi-Hosted "Opposition Talks" Fiasco
 By Mike Whitney, counterpunch.org 
Dec 11

 A Saudi-led plan to draw "moderate" Syrian opposition groups into a unified political front collapsed on Wednesday when a powerful Islamic militia refused to participate in the meetings after their demands were rejected. Ahrar al-Sham, a hardcore amalgam of Wahhabi extremists and fanatical jihadis, withdrew from the anti-Assad confab because, according to the Washington Post: "some of its comments and recommendations have been disregarded at the meeting."

Not surprisingly, the Post failed to explain exactly what those "comments and recommendations" were. The reason for this is easy to understand. The media doesn't want the American people to know that the so called "moderate" militias their government is backing are actually homicidal maniacs who are determined to topple a secular government and replace it with an Islamic Caliphate. Here are a few of the group's demands which have not appeared in any of the western media:

 1 All Iranian and Russian military personnel must leave Syria.

 2 The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) should be disbanded, along with their paramilitary units.

 3 Syria will become an Islamic state.

 4 No negotiations with the Syrian Government.

 5 Fighting ISIS is secondary because rebels have lost family members because of the war with the Syrian Army.

 6 A secular Syria will only empower ISIS

 ("Largest Rebel Group Calls for an Islamic State in Syria", Almasdarnews)

Ahrar al-Sham is anything but moderate. According to the Telegraph, "the group was established by Islamists and originally included internationally known jihadists with long-standing ties to al-Qaeda." The group receives significant financial support from Saudi Arabia which is a country that is vehemently opposed to democratic government, which has a long history of support for terrorist organizations, and where citizens convicted of sorcery can face beheading. The whole idea of holding these phony negotiations in the terrorist capital of the planet is laughable.

According to the New York Times: "All parties signed a final statement that called for maintaining the unity of Syria and building a civil, representative government that would take charge after a transitional period, at the start of which Mr. Assad and his associates would step down." ("Syrian rebels form bloc for new round of peace talks", New York Times)

That sounds impressive, but what the Times fails to mention is that all of these conditions were inserted into previous agreements (Geneva) and insisted upon by Russia and Iran. If democracy prevails in Syria, it will be because the Russian's and Iranians refused to accept anything less.

Here's more from the New York Times:

 In two days of meetings hosted by the Saudi government that ended Thursday, more than 100 opposition leaders created a new high commission to oversee negotiations with the government .The high commission contains 33 members, about one-third representing armed factions. It will select a negotiating team of 15 people to face the Assad government at talks that could begin in January .

 Mohammed Baerakdar, a representative of the Islam Army, one of the armed brigades, said that foreign military support had not been enough to ensure victory so the group had to pursue a political solution.

 "We did not take up arms to spill blood," he said. "We took up arms to spare blood." (New York Times)

The " high commission" is not going to have any impact on future negotiations because its leaders don't represent the most powerful groups of fighters on the ground. The most powerful groups are the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Jahbat al Nusra (and other al Qaida-linked militias), ISIS and the Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG. None of these groups participated in the Saudi talks even though their delegates will eventually play a big role in determining the country's future.

As for Baerakdar's claim that, "We did not take up arms to spill blood. We took up arms to spare blood." That is transparently false. In fact, most of the fighters active in Syria today, are foreigners that are funded, armed, and trained by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US. Their job is to tear the country to shreds in order to topple Assad, replace him with a compliant stooge, and divide the state in a way that best serves the commercial and strategic interests of the three main perpetrators.

The idea that prominent western media like the New York Times and the Washington Post would take these Saudi-led meetings seriously is simply mindboggling. Does anyone need to be reminded that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia, or that Saudi royals have been arming and funding terrorist organizations for the last 30 years or that Riyadh is presently backing many of the Sunni militants now prosecuting the proxy war in Syria today?

The Saudis are up to their eyeballs in terror, in fact, it seems to be the national pastime much like soccer in Brazil or baseball in the US. The problem is that– this time around– their terror tactics aren't working, in fact, their jihadi militias are getting beaten quite badly the by the Russian-led coalition, which is why they've moved on to Plan B, a political strategy for uniting the anti-Assad opposition to improve their chances for success in the next round of negotiations in Vienna.

But how do the Saudis measure success?

Here's a clip from the Washington Post which spells it out in black and white:

 Speaking at a news conference earlier on Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Assad has two choices, "either to leave through negotiations" or be forcibly removed from power.

 ("Syria opposition groups set framework for proposed talks", Washington Post)

So nothing has changed, right? This whole fiasco about convening "talks" between opposition leaders is just a smokescreen to conceal the real objective which is regime change.

But does anyone really think the Russians and Iranians are going to be fooled by this "opposition conference" charade?

Not on your life. They're not going to let any of these foreign-born whackos from Chechnya, Libya or Saudi Arabia decide Syria's future. That has to be decided by the Syrian people themselves, which is what the Geneva Communique was all about: Self determination, sovereignty and free elections. Those are the foundation blocks that are needed to rebuild the Syrian state, but they can't be put in place until the foreign meddling stops and there's an honest dialogue between the various stakeholders about the way forward.

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.
93
UN Security Council Rejects Russia-Proposed Statement on Homs Terror Attack
 Sputnik 
Dec 13

 UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — According to the source, some of the members of the Security Council disagreed with certain provisions in the document.

"Russia has prepared a draft statement for the UN Security Council in connection with the attack in Homs. The proposal was rejected," the source said.

On Saturday, a group of terrorists detonated a car bomb near a hospital in the center of the Syrian Homs. At least 22 people have been killed and more than 70 injured, hospital staff told RIA Novosti.

Later on Saturday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, saying that the international community's silence over the terror attack in Homs played into the hands of terrorists.
94
British strikes in Syria illegal, play into terrorists' hands, Assad

London's air operation against Islamic State in Syria is illegal and therefore will not be successful, like the bombing of the US-led coalition in the country over the last year, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper.

The support of the British parliament for the air operation in Syria advocated by Prime Minister David Cameron cannot change the fact that the presence of the Royal Air Force in Syrian airspace is unlawful since neither Damascus, nor the United Nations have given London the green light to bomb Syrian territory, Assad said.

“It will be harmful and illegal and it will support terrorism, as happened after the coalition started its operation a year or so [ago] because this is like a cancer,” Assad said, accusing British PM David Cameron of a farcical description of the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition” that is supposed to push Islamic State (former ISIS/ISIL) out from the territories it occupies in Syria.

“This is a new episode in a long series of 2David Cameron’s classical farce… Where are they? Where are the 70,000 moderates he is talking about?”

“Let me be frank and blunt about this,” Assad said. “There is no 70,000. There is no 7,000.”

Britain’s airstrikes cannot harm ISIS and only help to spread the cancer of terrorism further, because the West refused to combine its air power with Syrian forces to defeat ISIS, President Assad told the Sunday Times. “We know that they are not going to do so,” he said.

“It has to be from the air, from the ground, to have cooperation with troops on the ground — the national troops — for the intervention to be legal. So I would say they don’t have the will and don’t have the vision to defeat terrorism,” Assad said.

“You cannot cut out part of the cancer. You have to extract it. This kind of operation is like cutting out part of the cancer. That will make it spread in the body faster,” the Syrian leader said.

“How many extremist cells now exist in Europe? How many extremists did you export from Europe to Syria? This is where the danger lies. The danger is in the incubator,” he said.Hundreds of Russian citizens are fighting on the terrorists' side in Syria as well. Their installations specifically are among the multitude of targets for the Air Force bombing campaign Moscow launched in Syria.

Moscow has repeatedly stated it won’t let its homegrown extremists return home to instigate violence.

“The Russians can see this clearly. They want to protect Syria, Iraq, the region — and even Europe. I am not exaggerating by saying they are protecting Europe today,” Assad said.

The Syrian president stressed that the Russians entered the Syrian conflict “the legal way.”

“I made the request. I sent a letter to President Putin,” Assad said, adding that the Russian military presence “has had a significant impact on both the military and political arena in Syria.”

Only the intervention of the Russian airstrikes curbed the expansion of the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, that has been feeling at home in Syria despite over a year of airstrikes by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, Assad said.

As for the presence of the Russian ground troops in Syria, “We have not discussed that yet and I don’t think we need it now because things are moving in the right direction. The Russians may consider it with time or in different circumstances.”

Assad welcomed any counterterrorist cooperation with the West if it is “genuine,” adding that “it would take a matter of months” to accomplish the mission of defeating terrorism since various countries in the Middle East region “and the West in general” support these terrorist groups.

“As a government, our only countermeasure against terrorists is to fight them. We will not let them kill innocent civilians to satisfy the headline that we do not use force,” Assad said.

Speaking about the British airstrikes, Assad said that the UK “cannot defeat them [ISIS] through airstrikes alone.”

“You cannot defeat them without cooperation with forces on the ground. You cannot defeat them if you do not have buy-in from the general public and the government. They are going to fail again," Assad said.
 
95
At least three Syrian Arab Army personnel were killed in the airstrikes, according to reports.
December 7 Reuters News

U.S.-led coalition airstrikes struck a Syrian Arab Army military compound in the province of Dier al Zor on Monday morning, killing a reported four soldiers and injuring 16 others, Reuters reports.

The news was originally announced by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who reported that the airstrike hit the Saeqa military camp near the western town of Ayyash.

Syria’s foreign ministry later confirmed that Western coalition forces fired nine missiles at the camp.

"Syria strongly condemns the act of aggression by the US-led coalition that contradicts the UN Charter on goals and principles. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent letters to the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council,” the foreign ministry told SANA.

RELATED: Bashar Assad Mocks David Cameron, Says UK’s ‘Illegal’ Strikes in Syria Will Fail   

It is the first time U.S-led coalition airstrikes have struck Syrian military targets since the conflict erupted in Mar. 2011, potentially opening up a new phase in the nearly five year conflict.

The attack comes as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad slammed Britain’s intervention into the Syrian conflict, branding the move “harmful” and “illegal” on Sunday.

Britain’s parliament voted to approve the bombing of Islamic State group targets on Wednesday, two years after Prime Minister David Cameron failed to win parliamentary support for intervention back in 2013.

Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the U.S., the U.K., France and their regional allies have sided with opposition groups against the government in Damascus, providing support to rebel groups including extremist ones.
96
Cameron Wants Bombing and War – Not a Solution to the Terrorism He Helped Create
Leaflet distributed in South Shields on Saturday November 29 2015
David Cameron bombed Libya in 2011 for regime change and destroyed this sovereign country which had a modern infrastructure and caused  thousands of deaths so that now Libya has descended into mayhem and anarchy. His war on Libya is now destabilising Tunisia, Mali and the whole of north Africa.  Cameron is now planning to come back to Parliament next week with a motion to authorise British bombing in Syria.  Having failed to get Parliament to back him in 2013 Cameron is using the terrible atrocity in Paris as justification for yet more bombing.   Cameron claims: “We’ll solve this problem if we have a political strategy, a diplomatic strategy, a humanitarian strategy.” But they haven’t.

Yet again his aim is for regime change in Syria demanding the overthrow of Assad and supporting the “rebels” despite Daesh (ISIS) being his claimed target.  Cameron’s bombing of Iraq has made no difference to ISIS in Iraq and even they say it has become stronger as a result.  Already a NATO country, Turkey,  has shot down a Russian plane as NATO contends for power over Syria. Do you trust Cameron?  Everyone should take a stand in opposition to Britain's military intervention, as one with the anti-war movement which Corbyn represents in Parliament. Oppose the ruling elite’s destructive, violent, interventionist programme abroad which is the cause of terrorism. It is the cause of the massive refugee crisis, the cause of Islamophobia and the scape-goating of Muslims.     

Take a stand against Cameron and the ruling elite’s abuse of the victims of Paris by taking Britain into more disastrous wars.  Lobby your MP now. Send a message to your MP on the Stop The War website:
http://act.stopwar.org.uk/lobby/stopbombingsyria
97
For Your Information / Is the UK's Syria Intervention a Win for Big Oil?
« Last post by nestopwar on December 04, 2015, 12:34:55 PM »
Is the UK's Syria Intervention a Win for Big Oil?
 telesurtv.net 
Dec 2

 International oil firms including the Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell could be among the biggest winners from Western airstrikes in Syria.

As the U.K. voted to go to war for the fourth time in a Muslim nation in 14 years, new revelations suggest that Western energy firms could benefit the most from the military intervention in the long-term.

In a piece for Insurge Intelligence, investigative journalist Dr. Nafeez Ahmed unveiled an oil industry study that suggested Western oil firms including Royal Dutch Shell are keen to exploit Syrian offshore gas reserves in the Mediterranean, but have so far been impeded by Syria's internal conflict.

The revelations were found in a 2011 study printed by GeoArabia, an influential petroleum journal with no open subscription system. The journal is generally only circulated among industry insiders, and according to Ahmed it is "exclusively distributed to transnational energy corporations, corporate sponsors and related organizations, as well as some universities."

Ahmed's piece also highlights a 2014 report from the U.S. Army's Strategic Studies Institute that suggested the U.K. and other nations "see the Mediterranean as an opportunity to wean Europe off dependence on Russian gas, and boost Israel's energy independence."

"As part of this process, the report revealed, military action is viewed as potentially necessary to secure Syria's untapped offshore gas resources, which overlap with the territorial waters of other Mediterranean powers, including Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey," Ahmed wrote.

Speaking to teleSUR, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed said oil interests are an unsung motivation for international intervention in the war-torn nation, with countries like the U.K. and the United States angling for a piece of the pie in post-war Syria.

"While I think it would be a mistake to reduce Western involvement in Syria to a case of 'it's all about the oil,' it is frankly appalling that the role of oil has been ignored, despite the disturbing precedent set by previous interventions in Iraq and Libya for instance," Ahmed said.

He explained, "there can be no doubt that Russia, the U.S., Britain and France see military action as essential to guarantee a stand in post-conflict energy opportunities in Syria, which have been estimated to be in the trillions of cubic feet by a French firm, CGGVeritas, which had been contracted to (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad as late as 2011."

OPINION: After the Paris Massacre: The Evil Axis of US Allies

However, he stressed the Syrian conflict is about more than just oil.

"I think it's important to preface any recognition that energy interests are playing a role in the Syria crisis with the fact that this is, of course, a multifaceted and complicated conflict, being driven by many factors," he said.

Ahmed added, "Equally, the involvement of external powers in the conflict is linked to a range of interests and concerns—energy is one of these, but the geopolitical context of those energy interests is very important."

Ahmed's research into causes of terrorism contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner's Inquest.

The U.K. Vote

The investigative journalist spoke to teleSUR as the U.K.'s parliament voted in favor of joining international airstrikes in Syria.

Three hundred and ninety seven legislators voted in favor of the airstrikes proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron, while 223 voted against.

Many of these votes for war came from legislators from the opposition Labour party, which has been fiercely divided on the issue of airstrikes over the past week.

While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn argued against airstrikes, his own shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn claimed recent attacks in Paris illustrated the Islamic State group poses a security risk to the Western world.

"We have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria," Benn said.

OPINION: Corbyn's Syria Capitulation: A Sobering Moment?

Corbyn, whose Labour party holds the second-most seats in the U.K.'s lower house of Parliament, rejected claims from pro-war voices including Benn that airstrikes would make the U.K. safer.

He stressed that "the question of whether the government's proposal for military action in Syria strengthens—or undermines—our own national security must be at the center of our deliberations."

The decision to take military action in a fourth Muslim country in just 14 years is not only opposed by anti-war activists, but also the majority of British voters.

Yougov reported Wednesday that public support for the airstrikes in Syria has sharply fallen over the last month from 59 percent to 48 percent, with a corresponding leap in those who disapprove from 20 percent to 31 percent between Nov. 17 and Dec. 1.

 
98
“A simulation of essentially what happened that night in Paris”

https://www.intellihub.com/video-more-proof-simulated-terror-exercise-day-paris-attacks-exposed/

alexBy Alex Thomas | Email Author
Follow on Facebook | Follow on Twitter

(INTELLIHUB) — Much has been made over the fact that officials in Paris were conducting a simulated mass shooting training exercise on the exact same day as the horrific terror attacks that rocked the city.

Many independent minded researchers have theorized that because there was a major training exercise going on, just like on 7/7 and 9/11, the attacks themselves may have been part of a larger false flag operation.

The fact that there was even a training exercise going on was originally revealed when a first responder who just so happened to be a major character in the previous Charlie Hebdo attacks revealed the exercise during a now infamous news broadcast. This was followed shortly after by a confirmation from Bloomberg News.

“A new report from Bloomberg, along with a previously reported audio statement by a first responder, (and interesting side character in both the new Paris attacks and last years Charlie Hebdo attack) has confirmed that there was a multi-site training exercise going on just hours before the attacks that “coincidentally” simulated a mass shooting scenario,” I reported last week.
 

“According to the report, during the exercise trauma specialists used a centralized dispatch system to set key priorities and to send simulated victims to the hospital best equipped to treat them. Hospitals and ambulance services were also prepared to be quickly called into action.”

Now, even more footage of officials in France confirming the extent of the training exercise has been released and it paints a clear picture of a city at least partially ready for a terror attack. Take note of the looks on the faces of officials as they are questioned about the training.


In the first clip the chief of emergency services in Paris is heard telling a local news station about the training simulation.

“The evening of the attacks really begin that morning… we were repeating the exact scenario that happened later that night.”

The next clip in the above video details yet another exchange between the Paris mainstream media and the chief of emergency services. After being questioned about the training exercise the official is quoted as saying:

“This is something that, when we mention it now, seems unreal.”

Another news anchor then asks if that means that there had been a warning received before the actual attack while the first anchor literally glares at the government official in an obvious look of disgust.

All in all it seems clear at this point that authorities in Paris were preparing for the attack which has many believing that this was yet another Gladio style false flag.

What do you think?

Is the Paris chief of emergency services telling the truth or did he just reveal a key fact in a false flag operation?

Note: The following video clip contains the first confirmation of some sort of training exercise and is shockingly similar to past training drills that somehow occurred on the exact day of a terror attack.
99
For Your Information / Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down
« Last post by nestopwar on November 27, 2015, 08:30:06 PM »
Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down
 F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook 
Nov 25
 

This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was "caught with IS pants down." By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS–or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference–terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence he apparently said a lot regarding the role of Netanyahu's IDF in supporting IS.

In late October an Iranian news agency, quoting a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, reported the capture of an Israeli army colonel, named Yusi Oulen Shahak, reportedly related to the ISIS Golani Battalion operating in Iraq in the Salahuddin front. In a statement to Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency a Commander of the Iraqi Army stated, "The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel." He added that the IDF colonel "had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group's terrorist operations." He said the colonel was arrested together with a number of ISIL or IS terrorists, giving the details: "The Israeli colonel's name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434."

Why Israel?

Ever since the beginning of Russia's very effective IS bombing of select targets in Syria on September 30, details of the very dirty role of not only Washington, but also NATO member Turkey under President Erdogan, Qatar and other states has come into the sunlight for the first time.

It's becoming increasingly clear that at least a faction in the Obama Administration has played a very dirty behind-the-scenes role in supporting IS in order to advance the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and pave the way for what inevitably would be a Libya-style chaos and destruction which would make the present Syrian refugee crisis in Europe a mere warmup by comparison.

The "pro-IS faction" in Washington includes the so-called neo-conservatives centered around disgraced former CIA head and executioner of the Iraqi "surge" General David Petraeus. It also includes US General John R. Allen, who since September 2014 had served as President Obama's Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and, until she resigned in February 2013, it included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Significantly, General John Allen, an unceasing advocate of a US-led "No Fly Zone" inside Syria along the border to Turkey, something President Obama refused, was relieved of his post on 23 October, 2015. That was shortly after launch of the highly-effective Russian strikes on Syrian IS and Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front terrorist sites changed the entire situation in the geopolitical picture of Syria and the entire Middle East.

UN Reports cites Israel

That Netanyahu's Likud and the Israeli military work closely with Washington's neo-conservative war-hawks is well-established, as is the vehement opposition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Israel regards the Iranian-backed Shi'a Islamist militant group, Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, as arch foe. Hezbollah has been actively fighting alongside the Syrian Army against ISIS in Syria. General Allen's strategy of "bombings of ISIS" since he was placed in charge of the operation in September 2014, as Russia's Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov have repeatedly pointed out, far from destroying ISIS in Syria, had vastly expanded their territorial control of the country. Now it becomes clear that that was precisely the intent of Allen and the Washington war faction.

Since at least 2013 Israeli military have also openly bombed what they claim were Hezbollah targets inside Syria. Investigation revealed that in fact Israel was hitting Syrian military and Hezbollah targets who are valiantly fighting against ISIS and other terrorists. De facto thereby Israel was actually helping ISIS, like General John Allen's year-long "anti-ISIS" bombings.

That a faction in the Pentagon has secretly worked behind-the-scenes to train, arm and finance what today is called ISIS or IS in Syria is now a matter of open record. In August 2012, a Pentagon document classified "Secret," later declassified under pressure of the US NGO Judicial Watch, detailed precisely the emergence of what became the Islamic State or ISIS emerging from the Islamic State in Iraq, then an Al Qaeda affiliate.

The Pentagon document stated, " there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition [to Assad-w.e.] want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." The supporting powers to the opposition in 2012 then included Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the USA and behind-the-scenes, Netanyahu's Israel.

Precisely this creation of a "Salafist Principality in eastern Syria," today's territory of ISIL or IS, was the agenda of Petraeus, General Allen and others in Washington to destroy Assad. It's what put the Obama Administration at loggerhead with Russia, China and Iran over the bizarre US demand Assad must first go before ISIS can be destroyed. Now the game is in the open for the world to see Washington's duplicity in backing what the Russian's accurately call "moderate terrorists" against a duly-elected Assad. That Israel is also in the midst of this rats' nest of opposition terrorist forces in Syria was confirmed in a recent UN report.

What the report did not mention was why Israeli IDF military would have such a passionate interest in Syria, especially Syria's Golan Heights.

Why Israel wants Assad Out

In December, 2014 the Jerusalem Post in Israel reported the findings of a largely ignored, and politically explosive report detailing UN sightings of Israeli military together with ISIS terrorist combatants. The UN peacekeeping force, UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), stationed since 1974 along the Golan Heights border between Syria and Israel, revealed that Israel had been working closely with Syrian opposition terrorists, including Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front and IS in the Golan Heights, and "kept close contact over the past 18 months." The report was submitted to the UN Security Council. Mainstream media in the US and West buried the explosive findings.

The UN documents showed that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were maintaining regular contact with members of the so-called Islamic State since May of 2013. The IDF stated that this was only for medical care for civilians, but the deception was broken when the UNDOF observers identified direct contact between IDF forces and ISIS soldiers, including giving medical care to ISIS fighters. Observations even included the transfer of two crates from the IDF to ISIS forces, the contents of which have not been confirmed. Further the UN report identified what the Syrians label a "crossing point of forces between Israel and ISIS," a point of concern UNDOF brought before the UN Security Council.

The UNDOF was created by a May, 1974 UN Security Council Resolution No. 350 in the wake of tensions from the October 1973 Yom Kippur War between Syria and Israel. It established a buffer zone between Israel and Syria's Golan Heights according to the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, to be governed and policed by the Syrian authorities. No military forces other than UNDOF are permitted within it. Today it has 1,200 observers.

Since 2013 and the escalation of Israeli attacks on Syria along the Golan Heights, claiming pursuit of "Hezbollah terrorists," the UNDOF itself has been subject to massive attacks by ISIS or Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front terrorists in the Golan Heights for the first time since 1974, of kidnappings, of killings, of theft of UN weapons and ammunition, vehicles and other assets, and the looting and destruction of facilities. Someone obviously does not want UNDOF to remain policing the Golan Heights.

Israel and Golan Heights Oil

In his November 9 White House meeting with US President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Washington to reconsider the fact that since the 1967 Six-Days' War between Israel and the Arab countries, Israel has illegally occupied a significant part of the Golan Heights. In their meeting, Netanyahu, apparently without success, called on Obama to back formal Israeli annexation of the illegally-occupied Golan Heights, claiming that the absence of a functioning Syrian government "allows for different thinking" concerning the future status of the strategically important area.

Of course Netanyahu did not address in any honest way how Israeli IDF and other forces had been responsible for the absence of a functioning Syrian government by their support for ISIS and Al Nusra Front of Al Qaeda.

In 2013, when UNDOF began to document increasing contact between Israeli military and IS and Al Qaeda along the Golan Heights, a little-known Newark, New Jersey oil company, Genie Energy, with an Israeli daughter company, Afek Oil & Gas, began also moving into Golan Heights with permission of the Netanyahu government to explore for oil. That same year Israeli military engineers overhauled the forty-five mile border fence with Syria, replacing it with a steel barricade that included barbed wire, touch sensors, motion detectors, infrared cameras, and ground radar, putting it on par with the Wall Israel has constructed in the West Bank.

Interestingly enough, on October 8, Yuval Bartov, chief geologist from Genie Energy's Israeli subsidiary, Afek Oil & Gas, told Israel's Channel 2 TV that his company had found a major oil reservoir on the Golan Heights: "We've found an oil stratum 350 meters thick in the southern Golan Heights. On average worldwide, strata are 20 to 30 meters thick, and this is 10 times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities." As I noted in an earlier article, the International Advisory Board of Genie Energy includes such notorious names as Dick Cheney, former CIA head and infamous neo-con James Woolsey, Jacob Lord Rothschild and others.

Of course no reasonable person in their right mind would suggest there might be a link between Israeli military dealings with the ISIS and other anti-Assad terrorists in Syria, especially in the Golan Heights, and the oil find of Genie Energy in the same place, and with Netanyahu's latest Golan Heights "rethink" appeal to Obama. That would smell too much like "conspiracy theory" and all reasonable people know conspiracies don't exist, only coincidences. Or? In fact, to paraphrase the immortal words of Brad Pitt in the role of West Virginia First Lieutenant Aldo Raine in the final scene of Tarantino's brilliant film, Inglorious Basterds, it seems that ‘Ol Netanyahu and his pecker-suckin pals in the IDF and Mossad just got caught with their hands in a very dirty cookie jar in Syria.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".
100
News Items / Emirates Secretly Sends Colombian Mercenaries to Yemen Fight
« Last post by nestopwar on November 27, 2015, 08:26:31 PM »
Emirates Secretly Sends Colombian Mercenaries to Yemen Fight
 Emily B. Hager and Mark Mazzetti, nytimes.com 
WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country's raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran.

 It is the first combat deployment for a foreign army that the Emirates has quietly built in the desert over the past five years, according to several people currently or formerly involved with the project. The program was once managed by a private company connected to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide, but the people involved in the effort said that his role ended several years ago and that it has since been run by the Emirati military.

The arrival in Yemen of 450 Latin American troops — among them are also Panamanian, Salvadoran and Chilean soldiers — adds to the chaotic stew of government armies, armed tribes, terrorist networks and Yemeni militias currently at war in the country. Earlier this year, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia, including the United States, began a military campaign in Yemen against Houthi rebels who have pushed the Yemeni government out of the capital, Sana. The Many Sides of Yemen's Conflict

Supporting Yemen's deposed government

Saudi Arabia

Leading a coalition of Sunni nations that includes Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt. The country has also recruited Sudanese fighters for the campaign.

United Arab Emirates

In addition to sending its own special operations troops, the U.A.E. has sent more than 400 Colombian troops to Yemen who had been training in the Emirati desert.

United States

Has provided intelligence to help targeting for airstrikes, as well as refueling aircraft and other logistical support.

Against Yemen's government

Houthi rebels

The Shiite group that pushed the Yemeni government out of Sana, the capital.

Iran

Although Iran has not officially acknowledged its role in the conflict, it has provided military and financial support to the Houthis over the years.

It is also a glimpse into the future of war. Wealthy Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates, have in recent years embraced a more aggressive military strategy throughout the Middle East, trying to rein in the chaos unleashed by the Arab revolutions that began in late 2010. But these countries wade into the new conflicts — whether in Yemen, Syria or Libya — with militaries that are unused to sustained warfare and populations with generally little interest in military service.

"Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries who wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight," said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of "The Modern Mercenary."

"The private military industry is global now," said Mr. McFate, adding that the United States essentially "legitimized" the industry with its heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan over more than a decade of war. "Latin American mercenaries are a sign of what's to come," he said.

The Colombian troops now in Yemen, handpicked from a brigade of some 1,800 Latin American soldiers training at an Emirati military base, were woken up in the middle of the night for their deployment to Yemen last month. They were ushered out of their barracks as their bunkmates continued sleeping, and were later issued dog tags and ranks in the Emirati military. Those left behind are now being trained to use grenade launchers and armored vehicles that Emirati troops are currently using in Yemen.

Emirati officials have made a point of recruiting Colombian troops over other Latin American soldiers because they consider the Colombians more battle tested in guerrilla warfare, having spent decades battling gunmen of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the jungles of Colombia.

The exact mission of the Colombians in Yemen is unclear, and one person involved in the project said it could be weeks before they saw regular combat. They join hundreds of Sudanese soldiers whom Saudi Arabia has recruited to fight there as part of the coalition.

In addition, a recent United Nations report cited claims that some 400 Eritrean troops might be embedded with the Emirati soldiers in Yemen — something that, if true, could violate a United Nations resolution restricting Eritrean military activities.

The United States has also been participating in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, providing logistical support, including airborne refueling, to the nations conducting the airstrikes. The Pentagon has sent a team to Saudi Arabia to provide targeting intelligence to the coalition militaries that is regularly used for the airstrikes.

The Obama administration has also in recent years approved the sale of billions of dollars' worth of military hardware from American contractors to the Saudi and Emirati militaries, equipment that is being used in the Yemen conflict. This month, the administration authorized a $1.29 billion Saudi request for thousands of bombs to replenish stocks that had been depleted by the campaign in Yemen, although American officials say that the bombs would take months to arrive and were not directly tied to the war in Yemen.

The Saudi air campaign has received widespread criticism from human rights groups as being poorly planned and as having launched strikes that indiscriminately kill Yemeni civilians and aid workers in the country. Last month, Saudi jets struck a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Saada Province in northern Yemen, and in late September the United Nations reported that 2,355 civilians had been killed since the campaign began in March.

On the other side in Yemen is Iran, which over the years has provided financial and military support to the Houthis, the Shiite rebel group fighting the coalition of Saudi-led Sunni nations. The divisions have created the veneer of a sectarian conflict, although Emirati troops in southern Yemen have also been battling members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Sunni terrorist group's affiliate in Yemen.

Dozens of Emirati special operations troops have died since they arrived in southern Yemen in August. A single rocket attack in early September killed 45, along with several Saudi and Bahrani soldiers.

The presence of the Latin American troops is an official secret in the Emirates, and the government has made no public mention of their deployment to Yemen. Yousef Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador to Washington, declined to comment. A spokesman for United States Central Command, the military headquarters overseeing America's involvement in the Yemen conflict, also declined to comment.

The Latin American force in the Emirates was originally conceived to carry out mostly domestic missions — guarding pipelines and other sensitive infrastructure and possibly putting down riots in the sprawling camps housing foreign workers in the Emirates — according to corporate documents, American officials and several people involved in the project.

A 2011 intelligence briefing for senior leaders involved in the project listed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Somali pirates and domestic riots as some of the biggest threats to Emirati stability.

The troops were told that they might one day be called for foreign combat missions, but until the deployment to Yemen the only external missions they were given were to provide security on commercial cargo vessels.

Those missions were rare, and soldiers involved in the project describe years of monotony at the desert camp, housed within a sprawling Emirati military base called Zayed Military City. They rise every day at 5 a.m. for exercise and military training — including shooting practice, navigation and riot control. A number of Westerners, including several Americans, live at the camp and serve as trainers for the Latin American troops.

But by late morning the sun burns so hot at the windswept complex that the troops move into air-conditioned classrooms for military instruction.

The troops live in typically austere military barracks, hanging their laundry out the windows to dry in the hot air. There is a common computer room where they can check their email and Facebook pages, but they are not allowed to post photographs on social media sites. Meals are basic.

"It's the same food all the time, every day," one member of the project said several weeks ago. "Chicken every single day."

The Emiratis have spent the equivalent of millions of dollars equipping the unit, from firearms and armored vehicles to communications systems and night vision technology. But Emirati leaders rarely visit the camp. When they do, the troops put on tactical demonstrations, including rappelling from helicopters and driving armored dune buggies.

And yet they stay largely because of the money, receiving salaries ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 a month, compared with approximately $400 a month they would make in Colombia. Those troops who deploy to Yemen will receive an additional $1,000 per week, according to a person involved in the project and a former senior Colombian military officer.

Hundreds of Colombian troops have been trained in the Emirates since the project began in 2010 — so many that the Colombian government once tried to broker an agreement with Emirati officials to stanch the flow headed to the Persian Gulf. Representatives from the two governments met, but an agreement was never signed.

Most of the recruiting of former troops in Colombia is done by Global Enterprises, a Colombian company run by a former special operations commander named Oscar Garcia Batte. Mr. Batte is also co-commander of the brigade of Colombian troops in the Emirates, and is part of the force now deployed in Yemen.

Mr. McFate said that the steady migration of Latin American troops to the Persian Gulf had created a "gun drain" at a time when Latin American countries need soldiers in the battle against drug cartels.

But experts in Colombia said that the promise of making more money fighting for the Emirates — money that the troops send much of home to their families in Colombia — makes it hard to keep soldiers at home.

"These great offers, with good salaries and insurance, got the attention of our best soldiers," said Jaime Ruiz, the president of Colombia's Association of Retired Armed Forces Officials.

"Many of them retired from the army and left." Correction: November 25, 2015

An earlier version of the reporting credit with this article misspelled the name of the Colombian city from which Susan Abad contributed reporting. It is Bogotá, not Bogata.
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