[ Editor’s Note: Once again, VT has to break a story that all the well-heeled media cannot seem to get, or refuses to publish for some reason. Of course, you must have good sources on the ground, and their trust that you can get the story out and not be bought off or shut down.
Some might say we are working for the Syrian regime, but that is a cheap shot. The people who say that would in the next breath agree that the public has a need to know about what its government is really doing, to take action when learning they are lying. Our democracy becomes a bad joke when it lacks the tools to catch and expose them doing this at least some of the time.
As Gordon describes below, there is a lot of smoke-and-mirrors action going on here. American forces are in the region for one stated reason, but are doing things in addition to what the public is told. VT readers have followed the evolution of the large-scale terrorist units launched to try to bring down Assad via attacks on all fronts, and dismembering the country piece by piece until the military would stage a coup to save something for themselves.
But the ruthlessness and cruelty of the contract mercenaries and social misfits recruited from the dregs of Arab and Muslim society all over the world cast Assad in the role of savior, versus the head chopping gangsters.
When I was at the Syrian election in June 2014, as a monitor, you could clearly see that Assad and the Army were viewed as one; and that voting against Assad was like voting against their sons and brothers in the Army, who had saved them and at great cost… now estimated to be the equivalent of America’s Vietnam casualties.
So this story will be out now, and we will see what the various parties involved do with it. Corporate media has yet to really challenge us on any of our breaking stories, as that would give us a wider audience, and we can certainly hold our own in any debate forum.
And last, the crash in oil prices is having a huge impact even on the Barzani government. Much of its oil is “sour”, high sulfur, and is unsaleable with the current low prices. It can only be trucked to small local refineries for local consumption. ISIL, the Kurds and the Iraqi government are in a crunch to pay their bills, while running a war. They don’t have a Federal Reserve to create money via a computer entry.
As we head into the first meeting with Assad’s government and the opposition, we still have not heard a word about cracking down on ISIL’s long time supporters. That is because most of them are US coalition members — the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey and the US, with France and Britain with their toes in.
Iraq has publicly complained about US airdrops made to cut-off ISIL forces. It says it does not want more US troops in country. But then we have Ash Carter telling us yesterday to expect a “big increase” there in US troops and those of the coalition. So as I have editorialized before, these are open signals to put a coalition ground force, a large one, in control of Western Iraq, “protecting it”.
I think we would see US troops out of South Korea and Germany before they ever left Anbar province, once they got it. I suspect they want to negotiate a final Syrian settlement with several divisions on the border, with the Saudi air and ground support bases in reserve. This thing could still get worse, before it gets better… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … January 21, 2016 –
A few days ago, we received the video above from Syrian television. It is of an air drop, believed to be by an American C 130 aircraft. The drop was at night using a black parachute as seen, the drop was exclusively arms, RPG rockets, hand grenades, small arms ammunition but one thing was more important.
The drop was made specifically to ISIS units, not Kurds who are minimally 60 miles away or to FSA forces, usually fighting alongside al Qaeda. This was a drop to ISIS.
Israel and “Kagan” Counted
Additionally, The Hill carried a very telling article warning of al Nusra’s “Emirate” inside Syria, a warning a bit late as al Nusra is rapidly losing ground, withdrawing forces or retreating into Turkey. The article, as noted also fails to recognize that the FSA, backed by America’s right and Senator John McCain, is now a de facto al Qaeda affiliate, having been “muscled” into al Nusra since early 2014, something the US is in denial about.
From The Hill:
“ISIS is attempting to spark a global movement, JAN is trying to grow one,” she said. She added that JAN is trying to build a foundation of local legitimacy and a base from which to launch attacks.
The group had tried not to identify itself as al Qaeda in order to not be targeted by the West, she said, but like ISIS, it has its own foreign fighter flow.
The U.S. strategy in Syria that focuses on a negotiated settlement is likely to radicalize the opposition and drive them into the “no-talks” camp — including Nusra, Cafarella added.
Another claim from the report is that ISIS is an existential threat to the U.S., despite contrary statements by the administration.
The authors of the report argue that while Salafi-jihadist groups cannot militarily destroy the U.S., they can destroy the idea of the United States and the values it stands for.
ISIS attacks in the U.S. can lead to “exaggerated xenophobia and anti-Muslim calls for closing our borders” and “calls to restrict civil liberties,” said the report’s lead author, Frederick K. Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute.
“The threat comes from our reaction to our actions,” he said. “We must not act in that way. … We must not allow ISIS attacks to turn into a wave of anti-Muslim hysteria.”
What is telling about this is the Kagan name. John and Frederick Kagan are founders of the neoconservative movement and suspected high level Israeli deep penetration operatives at the highest levels of American government. John Kagan is the husband of Victoria Nuland (Noodleman), author of America’s intervention in Ukraine.
The Institute of the Study of War (ISW), is a front run by “off the books” Pentagon black propagandists while the American Enterprise Institute is a politically extremist group funded by the Koch Brothers, tasked with opposing Obama policies through spreading conspiracy theories.
The timing of this piece is critical and that it was received at VT from friends at the Pentagon, where it is being distributed like a “handbill.”
America Resupplying ISIS?
It is our informed belief that the US or perhaps the CIA, working with Turkish intelligence and organized crime operations in drug and human trafficking, another “very informed belief,” have been resupplying hard pressed ISIS units safe from Russian air defenses. In order to do this, these flights would be cleared with Russia as resupply to authorized US-backed “rebels” or as Russia calls them, “moderate terrorists.”
However, there is nothing the least bit moderate about those this drop was purposefully intended for which fell into the hands of a popular forces unit attached to the Syrian Arab Army.
Bracketing the Illegal American Base
Simultaneously, an earlier report out of Damascus, of a US air base inside Syria, one that was not so easy to locate, has come to fruition. Russia Today put people on the ground in Hasaka, but were not allowed to visit the base which we are told is being built Southeast of Maylan Tatani in Hasaka, Province, within short driving distance of Duhoc or the combined Kurdish/Turkish stolen oil transit facility of Zakho.
In fact, as is not hard to notice, the base is on the main highway between the US backed YPG Kurdish military region and the new ISIS rear area of Mosul, in Anbar, Iraq. The base appears to be for rotor wing units and support, the kind of units with both attack and transport helicopters, that would be able to support an advance on Mosul and directly threaten oil smuggling operations.
How Dirty are the Kurds?
However, no one believes the US will ever threaten Barzani’s oil deal with ISIS and Erdogan, not under current pricing collapse conditions. From Rudlaw:
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his deputy met with three provincial governors Wednesday morning to discuss the current economic situation in the region and steps the government is taking to overcome the crisis.
The PM said that all countries reliant on oil revenues have felt the impact of falling oil prices, but the decline has done the Kurdistan Region the biggest harm. Barzani said that a series of crises such as the budget freeze by Baghdad, the war with the Islamic State (ISIS) and the influx of more than 1.8 refugees have put the region in the worst crisis in a quarter century.
He told the governors from Erbil, Duhok and Halabja that, worst of all, were the falling oil prices, and that government expenses exceed income.The government understands the situation and its impact on people’s lives and therefore would try to run its affairs with what income it has available.
Barzani said, adding that wrong messages in the media have caused confusion and further misunderstanding of the situation.
Russia Chimes in On Secret American Base
An RT video outlining their take on the illegal US air bases below, with the relevant footage beginning at 1:10:
With major reverses being suffered by anti-Assad forces in Syria and advances up the Euphrates River by the Iraqi Army and their powerful Iranian trained Shiite militia allies, it is expected that Raqqah will fall soon to whomever wants to take it, leaving Deir Ezzor/Tadmor/Palmyra as remaining ISIS strongholds in Eastern Syria. From Rudlaw:
Four months of Russian air strikes against his enemies has consolidated the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford said on Wednesday.
“It hasn’t changed the game for us,” said Dunford according to the New York Times, adding that “the regime is in a better place now,” than it was before the Russian intervention late last September.
While the territory Assad has regained since then has been limited he has consolidated his control over his territory and even managed to regain “some small amounts of ground.”
Dunford’s “small amounts of ground” are, in fact strategic centers that are, particularly in Western Syria, both North and South, pushing the ISIS, al Nusra/FSA terrorist factions into Turkey and Jordan or forcing negotiated withdrawals to the East, Raqqah and beyond.
Turkey Invades Again
To counter this, Turkey has brought another 2000 fighters, many Turkish military and mercenaries hired and trained by UK and US military contractors, into Aleppo. Syrian Arab Army advances in Northern Latakia, seizing one strategic height after another, are slowly sweeping to the Turkish border, cutting off one supply route after another.
Turkey will inevitably end up going head to head with Russian aerospace units who, we estimate, will be force to bring in heavier ordnance against what are, in reality, Turkish Army units. From Russia Today:
Unfortunately, in recent days, it’s especially noticeable that ahead of the planned start of the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva the activities of terrorist groups have intensified. Obviously, they’re trying to turn the tide in their favor on the battlefield,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow.
According to Zakharova, Attempts to launch counter-attacks against the government forces were performed by Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham groups, which “got serious reinforcements from Turkey.”
The increased activity of the terrorists was witnessed in several suburbs of Damascus, Homs and Idlib provinces of Syria, she added.
Russia will continue providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Syria, Zakharova stressed.
She reiterated that Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has performed 30 flights “not only to Syria, but also to Lebanon and Jordan” in January, delivering 600 tons of food and essentials for those affected by the conflict.
Besides humanitarian assistance, “Russia has also been involved in evacuation of citizens who want to leave dangerous areas,” she added.
Located and Identified
The American base, a former agricultural air strip, now being paved, lengthened and secured, flanked on the East by the illegal Turkish base in Iraq and Pergmersha forces and on the South and Southwest by ISIS.
America has two airbases in the region, other than those in Turkey and American aircraft carriers on station in the Persian Gulf or Mediterranean as the illustrations below demonstrate:
An Iraq Base to Flank Mosul?
One of Saddam’s largest air facilities was north of Ramadi. In 2003, the US took over al Asad Air Base, turning it into an American facility.
Photo from 2014, when Iranian backed militias reinforced Al Asad as the ISIS juggernaut moved in, entering the base where 400 US Marines were stationed at the time.
Here is what we know:
- Turkey has moved into Iraq with full approval of Barzani’s regime in Erbil and is claiming to be fighting ISIS. Nobody believes them.
- Erdogan claims, after the recent bombing attack in Istanbul, that he is now bombing ISIS and has killed over 200 of their jihadists. There is no proof that this happened and, to the contrary, Erdogan continues his ethnic cleansing of Kurds in Eastern Turkey.
- Turkish Army units have crossed into Syria and are actively bolstering al Qaeda’s flagging military efforts in Aleppo. Select Turkish Army units are being retrained to appear as mercenary jihadists to hold vital regions of Syria needed to keep the illegal oil trade going, despite the collapse of world oil markets.
- The US base inside Syria is a reality but is likely a legitimate effort to provide air support for a YPG move on Mosul, should that ever happen.
- However, the US base in Iraq is deeply suspect, with its long history of playing sides, Sunni v. Shiite and running black ops.
- There is mounting evidence that Israeli military along with British and US mercenary firms, who are also employed to assist al Qaeda and the Saudi effort in Yemen, are operating in both Syria and Iraq.
We also know this; during the waning months of the Obama administration, the back of ISIS in Syria and Iraq can only be broken if the US pushes NATO to stop dancing to Erdogan’s blackmail over refugees and Obama moves aside to allow the Saudi regime to fail.
Israel is already poised to step aside.