Syria Daily: Will Russia Separate Itself from Assad?

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Countries agree firm line for Russia to withdraw support from Bashar al-Assad, but can US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson succeed in the task?


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Podcast: Assessing the Moscow Meeting Over Syria


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UPDATE 1940 GMT: Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding that the Assad regime permit an independent investigation of last Tuesday’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province.

The vote was 10-2, with three abstentions.

The draft by the US, France, and UK mandated the regime to cooperate with inspectors chosen by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, give prompt and unrestricted access to “any and all sites”, provide flight plans and logs they request, and give the names of military officers “in command of any aircraft” to be investigated. The regime must also “arrange meetings requested, including with generals or other officers, within no more than five days of the date on which such meeting is requested”.


UPDATE 1830 GMT: Russian President Vladimir Putin has met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Before Tillerson’s arrival, the Kremlin said the meeting had been cancelled, but Russian media outlets said it would still take place. No details were given about the 110-minute conversation.

Tillerson said, after a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, that relations are “at a low point, there is a low level of trust between our two countries”. But he said the discussion with Putin was “productive” over improving channels of communications and “possible ways forward” over Syria.

The Secretary of State emphasized common ground such as belief in a “unified and unified Syria” and “denying a safe haven for terrorists”. He said both sides had agreed on consulting allies to find “a way forward” in the conflict.

Lavrov, who had earlier criticized the US missile strikes in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack last week, said the talks were “substantial”.

However, in contrast to Tillerson’s emphasis on cooperation, Lavrov challenged the Americans in a renewed attempt to distance the Assad regime from the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun. Ignoring the collection of evidence so far, he called for an international inquiry:

I would like to stress that we are 100 percent sure that, if our colleagues in the UN or in The Hague will steer away from this investigation, it will basically mean that they do not want to find out the truth.

The Foreign Secretary said any UN Security Council resolution that focused on “solely blaming Damascus” and not on an investigation would be counter-productive. He asserted that Moscow considers the US summary of the chemical attack (see original entry) “unfounded” and “lacking evidence”.


UPDATE 1530 GMT: President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have set out a tough line at the outset of talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Putin defied any attempt to separate Russia from President Assad, reiterating support and denying that the regime carried out last week’s chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria.

“One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved but has rather deteriorated,” Putin said in an interview broadcast on Russian television.

Lavrov tried to put the onus on the Americans rather than Damascus: “I won’t hide the fact that we have a lot of questions, taking into account the extremely ambiguous and sometimes contradictory ideas which have been expressed in Washington across the whole spectrum of bilateral and multilateral affairs.”

The Foreign Minister cited last Friday’s US missile strikes in response to the regime use of chemical weapons: “And of course, that’s not to mention that apart from the statements, we observed very recently the extremely worrying actions, when an illegal attack against Syria was undertaken.”


UPDATE 1015 GMT: Just before Rex Tillerson’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has lashed out at the US:

As a whole, the administration’s stance with regard to Syria remains a mystery. Inconsistency is what comes to mind first of all.

In general, primitiveness and loutishness are very characteristic of the current rhetoric coming out of Washington. We’ll hope that this doesn’t become the substance of American policy.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet high-level officials in Moscow on Wednesday, pressing Russia to separate itself from Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Tillerson is carrying the message of the G7 countries, who agreed on Tuesday that Assad has to leave power for any political resolution of Syria’s six-year crisis. He will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Kremlin has said there will be no official session with President Vladimir Putin, although some Russian outlets are saying that a meeting will take place.

The G7 divided over action following the Assad regime’s chemical attack on a town in northwest Syria last week. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson proposed the levying of further sanctions on regime and Russian officials; however, the majority said the step should await the outcome of Tillerson’s trip and an independent investigation to confirm the use of chemicals — believed to be a hybrid of nerve agent and sarin — that killed more than 100 people in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province.

Still, the call for a firm line that Russia should give up on Assad, while retaining a Syrian state posing no threat to Russian interests, is a marked shift. Only a few days before the chemical attack, the White House — including Tillerson — was saying that Assad’s departure is no longer a priority.

But the assault on Khan Sheikhoun opened up space for the Pentagon and National Security Council to call for a clear signal that no more chemical use would be tolerated. Last Friday the US fired 59 Tomahawk missiles on Shayrat airbase, from which the Su-22 jet fighter with the chemicals took off, damaging or destroying hangars, support buildings, and up to 20 warplanes.

But the US appears to have ruled out for now any further action to deter the Assad regime and Russia’s conventional bombing, including of civilian areas in opposition territory and with incendiary and cluster munitions. Despite the loss of the warplanes at Shayrat, the regime and Moscow stepped up the attacks across northwest Syria and near Damascus over the weekend, killed dozens of people and starting large fires with the incendiary bombing.

The White House followed up on Tuesday with a four-page summary on the Khan Sheikhoun attack, outlining its intelligence and rebuffing Russian attempts to divert blame from Assad. The document, presented by Defense Secretary James Mattis and CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel, cited signals and geospatial intelligence, including radar tracking of the Su-22 jet fighter that dropped the chemical munitions and satllite imagery of the attacked site; physiological samples from multiple victim; and “a body of credible open source reporting”.

The US analysis is that the regime launched the chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in neighboring northern Hama Province, launched last month, that “threatened key infrastructure”. Without naming President Assad, it says “senior regime leaders were probably involved in planning the attack”.

The summary concluded that “most Russian allegations have lacked specific or credible information” and that they “have been timed to distract the international community from Syria’s ongoing use of chemical weapons”.


Russia Tries to Set Up “Rebel False Flag” Scenario

In its latest attempt to shift blame from the Assad regime, Putin and other Russian officials tried to establish the mirage of rebel “false flag” chemical attacks on opposition territory.

Moscow had attempted the line that a regime warplane hit a rebel warehouse filled with chemical stocks near Khan Sheikhoun, but had not produced any evidence of such a warehouse or of any chemicals held by rebels. In addition, specialists noted that a nerve agent and chlorine — which require mixing to be effective — would have been destroyed and thus could not have caused the deaths in the town.

So Putin declared on Tuesday that rebels are likely to carry out chemical attacks near Damascus and blame them on the regime — the same line that Moscow used to cover up the Syrian army’s sarin attacks in August 2013 that killed more than 1,400 people near the
capital.

The Defense Ministry bolstered the effort on Twitter:

TOP PHOTO: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow on Tuesday Maxim Shemetov/Reuters


Kafranbel Protesters Return With Their Posters

After a lengthy break, the protesters of Kafranbel in Idlib Province in northwest Syria have returned with their iconic posters.

KAFRANBEL 12-04-17

The protesters also expressed support for Friday’s US missile strikes on the Assad regime base from which a deadly chemical attack was launched on Khan Sheikhoun:

KAFRANBEL 12-04-17 2


Removals from “Four Towns” Expected Today

Removals of people from two besieged opposition towns in Damascus Province and two regime enclaves in northwest Syria are expected today.

Rebels and civilians are being displaced from Madaya and Zabadani, northwest of Damascus, cut off by regime forces and Hezbollah since July 2015. In Idlib Province, people will be moved from al-Fu’ah and Kafraya, surrounded by rebels for two years.

“It has been decided that tomorrow the agreement will be carried out,” said a foreign pro-Assad commander.

Hezbollah’s media outlet said 19 hostages were transferred from al-Fu’ah and Kafraya on Tuesday under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. In return, rebels released several prisoners and seven bodies.

Buses in Madaya:

MADAYA BUSES

Qatar mediated the agreement, with Hezbollah and the leading rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham instrumental in reaching a deal. Other rebel factions have criticized the arrangement as a forced displacement of civilians from Madaya and Zabadani, following similar pro-Assad efforts to clear people from suburbs of Damascus, from eastern Aleppo city, and from the al-Wa’er district in Homs.

The agreement also includes aid deliveries and the release of 1,500 detainees in Assad regime prisons.

A protest in southern Damascus against the deal:

SOUTH DAMASCUS PROTEST 12-04-17

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49 COMMENTS

  1. The US analysis is that the regime launched the chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in neighboring northern Hama Province, launched last month, that “threatened key infrastructure”.

    Absolutely nonsensical. This highlights how Washington it grasping at straws to come up with a plausible explanation for why Assad would commit geostrategic and geopolitical suicide

    Why would the regime wait one month to respond to an unsuccessful attack? What “key infrastructure” was threatened?

    There is nothing specific or credible about these allegations. A lot of of hot air.

    The “body of credible open source reporting” obviously refers to the hack Elliot Higgins and his usual BS analysis. There is no way of telling from radar imaging that any munitions dropped by the SU22 were CW or conventional explosives.

    So far, 2 former CIA officers, Ray McGovern and Philip Giraldi have reported that intelligence do not believe the Assad regime was responsible for the attack.

    • LOL, a notorious anti-semitic nutjob and an alt-right conspiracy theorist who has never seen a ridiculous conspiracy theory he didn’t like.

      What they “know” from their “sources” (ie the conversation they had with themselves in the bathroom mirror). Real convincing stuff when set beside the massive amounts of actual evidence.

      • a notorious anti-semitic nutjob and an alt-right conspiracy theorist who has never seen a ridiculous conspiracy theory he didn’t like.

        Who might that be?

        Real convincing stuff when set beside the massive amounts of actual evidence.

        There isn’t any ACTUAL evidence FYI. Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, has analyzed the “evidence” the White House presented and destroyed the dossier.

    • You accusing others of grasping at straws is so rich it’s almost unbelievable. Nobody, and I mean nobody, buys your BS. You’d be better off posting at a place like RT with the other kremlinbots.

      • Looking more and more like Salientus (or how he is called) the kurd bot. Unfortunately Andre has the gift of replying.

      • You accusing others of grasping at straws is so rich it’s almost unbelievable. Nobody, and I mean nobody, buys your BS.

        Apart from Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, a former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and missile expert, who’s trajectory analysis destroyed the original claim of the Ghoutta attack. He has has analyzed the “evidence” the White House presented and done the same to the pathetic White House dossier.

  2. As I suspect, no one has a clue why Assad would have carried out an attack, so the establishment came up with a BS story as part of the White House brief.

    “Trump is hardly the only one wondering about Assad’s motive. “It’s a good question,” said Paul Salem, a Syria expert at the Middle East Institute. “Nobody really knows.”
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/donald-trump-bashar-assad-syria-chemical-weapons-237083

    Some are even coming up with far fetched theories that it was groups linked to Iran who were “trying to sabotage the possibility of a U.S.-Russia-Assad alliance that could isolate Tehran.”

    • A large number of things:

      1) we don’t know how the regime makes decisions. It is very possible that military and political strategies are following separate tracks, and one isn’t paying attention to the other.

      2) It shouldn’t be obvious to Assad that he’d pay a price for a deadlier chemical attack, because it wasn’t obvious to anyone else, and he’s gotten away with it so far.

      3) Even if Assad is coordinating the whole thing, and it were obvious that CW would provoke a response:

      Why would Assad assassinate the Lebanese Prime Minister? It was a major strategic blunder, proving he’s no geo-political genius.

      For any strategic blunder one can invent many scenarios, but these things are seldom that mysterious. And they are not rare either: why would Japan attack Pearl Harbor to start a war they couldn’t win? Why would Nasser goad Israel into the 1967 war and then lose his air force on the ground? Why would the Austro-Hungary wait a month after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to start the war that would destroy their empire? Why would the Khmer Rouge, with their utopian state in chaos, start a war with Vietnam?

      One could go on, but my favorite mystery is as to why Kim Jong-il would seek a peace initiative, and then try to assassinate the South Korean president in Burma in 1983 (ruining NK’s good relations with Burma)?

      There were all sorts of wild theories trying to reconcile his behavior, but the most plausible assessment was: he talked to the Foreign Ministry guys on Tuesday and the Defense Ministry guys on Friday and failed to connect the two discussions.

      • Well said, Woody. The idea that political actors always behave in a rational way is easily disproven by even a cursory knowledge of history. Sadly, knowledge of history is not a strong suit for the half-wits who support Assad.

        The notion that because an action produces consequences which are undesirable to the actor, the act must have been a false flag or a provocation, is the bedrock of conspiracy theorists thinking.

        By the same logic, since Islamic State’s terrorist atrocities brought a strong interernational response, it must have been the CIA shooting up the nightclub in Paris or driving trucks down pedestrian streets.

        Like Assad, IS speaks the language of terror, and they would always consider terrorising their enemies to be an end in and of itself.

      • 1) we don’t know how the regime makes decisions. It is very possible that military and political strategies are following separate tracks, and one isn’t paying attention to the other.

        There is a lot we don’t know, but on one hand, there is a theory that Assad launched a chemical attack because he felt he had impunity and simply wanted to terrorize the locals of a village that had little importance in the conflict. Then we were told that he was desperate for some unknown reason and had to resort to CWs – even though he had just routed the Al Qaeda offensive in Hama and killed 2,000 jihadis. Now we are told that this attack was a reprisal for a failed attack on unspecified “critical infrastructure” a month ago.

        The Hama offensive had failed two weeks ago. Since then the Syrian army has regained all areas the al-Qaeda “opposition” had captured during the first few days. Key infrastructure had never been seriously threatened by it.

        Now if the Russians had come up with so many contradictory explanations, the US and the usual suspects on this blog would be accusing them of a cover up or diversion.

        2) It shouldn’t be obvious to Assad that he’d pay a price for a deadlier chemical attack, because it wasn’t obvious to anyone else, and he’s gotten away with it so far.

        It was obvious that everything was pretty much going his way, he was winning the war and that regime change was being taken off the table. It should therefore be obvious to anyone that he would have to have a death wish to jeopardise all of that to use CWs in =Khan Shaykhun which is far from the front line.

        Why would Assad assassinate the Lebanese Prime Minister?

        He didn’t. Even the STL admit that and had to release the Syrian generals they had arrested on the false accusations. You need to keep up.

        why would Japan attack Pearl Harbor to start a war they couldn’t win?

        Japan was in a desperate situation. Assad was not.

        Why would Nasser goad Israel into the 1967 war and then lose his air force on the ground?

        He didn’t. it is a widely known fact tried to reduce the tensions through back channels. The head of Mossad and McNamara agreed just days before the Israeli attack that Nasser was not going to attack.

        As Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

        Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government admitted that:
        “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

        You are a text book example of how you can fool some of the people all of the time.

      • And no one has explained why on earth would the SAA want to attack this sleepy and forgotten village in the middle of nowhere

        There has been and the explanations have all been contradictions. Some theories suggest Assad felt he could do so with impunity after the White House said his removal was no longer a priory. Others have said he was desperate despite the fact he was winning and kicking Al Qaeda’s butt. And now the Whiet House has come up with this moonbat theory that he did so as a reprisal for a failed attack on unspecified “critical infrastructure” that took place a month ago.

        It seems the US government makes vague references to “infrastructure” when they are talking BS.

    • I love this “he had no motive” bullshit from the Assadists+kremlinbots trying desperately to cover up yet another atrocity. Of course he had motives. He’s been trying depopulate certain regions throughout the entire war and chemical weapons are great for scaring away populations from certain areas. Once the people are gone it basically becomes more territory for the warcrim tyrant. Anybody who doesn’t live under a rock can see he has used that strategy again and again. I mean really it shouldn’t require much explanation for anybody who isn’t a delusional sociopath.

      • “he had no motive”

        Remeber the previous CW attacks carried on by the regime (plus the UN convoy bombing). The “he had no motive” mantra was also put into use on those instances. Anti-imperialists will resort to any kind of conspiracy to internally abvoid the cognitive dissonance induced by the heinous crimes comitted by their ruthless leaders.

        Because ordinary anti-imperialists consider themselves morally superior people, any kind of evil MUST be ascribed to THE EMPIRE, the ruthless leaders and their intelligentsia know very well the psychology of their flock so they feed them with the daily bread of conspirative food. After some time the barrier between reality and fantasy is dissolved, the damage done to the mind is irreversible (save rare cases e.g Max Eastman a must read).

        • Yes I do remember the previous CW attacks. They used chlorine and many were carried out by the rebels Do you remember Carla Del Ponte pointing out that all evidence pointed to the rebels being responsible?

          The UN convoy bombing took place in rebel controlled areas.

          Do you I need to remind you of the claims that Saddam carried out 911 and the anthrax attacks, or that he was buying uranium from Africa, or that an Iraqi intel official met with Mohammed Attach in Prague?

          Do you remember the BS about babied being pulled out of incubators and left on the floor to die?

          Do you remember the BBC footage that interviewed a doctor and replaced referred to napalm in the audio to referenced to chemical weapons?

          Do you remember claims that Gadhafi gave viagara to his military so that they would rape more women?

          Do you remember the claim that this war started with peaceful demonstrartions in 2011, when in fact Ronald Dumas , former French Foreign Minister, revealed that long before any demonstratrions, British officials admitted to him that they
          were organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria for the purpose of regime change?’

          Do you remember how 2002 British Prime Minister Tony Blair actually nominated Assad for knighthood? Is that not cognitive dissonance?

          Imperialists will resort to any kind of conspiracy, outright lies and propaganda to internally avoid the cognitive dissonance induced by the heinous crimes committed by their ruthless leaders.

          Imperialists consider themselves arbiters of the truth, any kind of evil MUST be ascribed to the latest “Hitler”, a ruthless leader who is completely irrational and suicidal.

      • Of course he had motives.

        If it’s so obvious can’t the foreign policy establishment come up with one coherent explanation rather than a basked of contradictory ones? If he was trying to depopulate certain regions throughout the entire war then why has he not used chemical weapons on a much larger scale?

        You simply have no clue do you Kevin. Your own arguments are are like one of those messages from Get Smart that self destruct.

  3. The hypocrisy the hutzpa the nerve and the conspiracy against Russia.
    Amrica and western allies killed at least 3000 Iraqis in the last few months, while fighting the same war as SAA and Russia: trying to prevent the creation of an Islamist State in Sham.

    • This is actually quite correct, although probably not in the way you intended.
      .
      America is indeed fighting the same war in Iraq and Syria, and Russia is indeed on the same side as the Americans, despite the chutzpah and trolling on both sides designed to create a cloud of smoke over what’s really going on. And Russia (unwittingly it seems) is playing a role similar to a role Israel once did.
      .
      It’s not hypocrisy, it’s part of the plan that was very carefully crafted during the Obama time and Trump hopes to see through to completion. A plan that is beyond the wit and power of Russia to understand, as it was beyond Israel’s wit and power to bring about what happened there. More of that in a bit.
      .
      As I’ve said here before, the US plans to step up it’s physical presence in Syria and a pre-condition for that is that Russia’s role is much reduced. The gassing of Khan Sheikhoun provides a pretext for Russia to start withdrawing; the result of Tillersons visit will probably be that Russia agrees to an investigation or starts hinting that Assad was responsible and starts disengaging.
      .
      As a side note to the Russian trolls, notice how despite you being ordered to push the narrative of the big bad evil west, Tillerson is in Moscow having caviar and ‘entertainment’ at Russian state expense. There is no caviar or ‘escorts’ for you, at least not on Russian state funds. Until you get ordered otherwise, you have to keep pushing whatever bs you’re told to. That line will change somewhat pretty soon, by the way. The Russians respect US government officials, who know where Russian officials hide their stolen money, they don’t have any respect for you, you’re just trolls.
      .
      How it really works in practice is this: Tillerson goes to Moscow and says “Do this” and Lavrov says “yes sir, thank you sir.”
      .
      Another plank of the plank is Ahrar al Sham. The article mentions Ahrar was one of the parties involved in the Fuah/ Kafrayah truce but the Reuters article in the link mentions Haya’t Tahrir ash Sham, can we get some clarification as to which it is ?
      .
      This distinction is very very important. It was reported that Ahrar sent a delegation to Lebanon to meet with Hizb Shaitan face-to-face, ostensibly to negotiate terms about the exchange of civilians, but other opposition factions were against this meeting between Ahrar and Hizb Shaitan. The exchange itself is a bad move for the rebels and they are setting the seeds for being burned later on, but that’s another issue. The main issue here is the role of Ahrar.
      .
      History is full of rebel factions and revolutionary movements that turned and became part of the establishment. The biggest example of this is the PLO, which went from vowing Israel’s destruction to partnership in managing the status quo. This turning of the PLO is something that the West has a lot of experience with, to the point where you can bet that in Washington somewhere there are power point presentations and flow charts on how to get revolutionary movements who vow to fight you to the death to eventually do everything you ask them. A very good book on the history of MI6 in Britain describes the roadmap of how the IRA was turned from a hard left revolutionary militant group to a full part of the establishment that it was created to destroy.
      .
      Ahrar has been put on this roadmap and is well under way, and the next year or two should show it being more pro-regime and anti-rebel. Turkey is the main channel for leading Ahrar on the roadmap and funneling whatever incentives it takes to “turn” Ahrar’s leadership. This is one of the more critical planks of US strategy.

    • That’s a pretty good theory until you realize it’s based on the lie that Russia is in Syria to fight “terrorists” as opposed to propping up a mass murdering war criminal client regime in order to keep their bases.

          • That would be kind of funny if it didn’t come from an Israeli. LOL.

            That sounds like whattaboutism to me. :)

            Please enlighten us with the list of bases Israel has in the region that are not within Israel’s borders Kevin.

            • Well, you would know being the king of mindless whataboutism and pathetic attempts at diversions. Frankly, I think you’re disgusting and don’t really wish to engage much further with someone who is clearly inferior intellectually to just about anybody. Scott should’ve got rid of your constant nonsense a long time ago. You continually post random bullshit/opinions as if they were somehow ironclad or indisputable facts. Must be nice living in your own dream world and making stuff up as you go along in a manner that fits your preferred narratives. It’s boring and incredibly predictable. We get it. There is no evidence that will EVER convince you of the atrocities committed by Russia or any of their allies. Instead you will respond with cheap deflections, false narratives, claims of a lack of evidence despite an actual abundance of evidence, diversions, distortion of legit information, and whataboutism. Tactics you picked up from reading far too much Russian propaganda and other like minded individuals.

      • That’s a pretty good theory until you realize it’s based on the lie that Russia is in Syria to fight “terrorists” as opposed to propping up a mass murdering war criminal client regime in order to keep their bases.

        The two positions are not mutually exclusive. As Ronald Dumas, former French Foreign Minister, revealed:

        “I was in England 2 years before the violence in Syria…I met to British officials, who confessed to me they were preparing something in Syria….Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria

        The Hama offensive had failed two weeks ago. Since then the Syrian army has regained all areas the al-Qaeda “opposition” had captured during the first few days. Key infrastructure had never been seriously threatened by it. Over 2,000 al-Qaeda fighters were killed in the endeavor.

        Maybe Kevin can put down the Playstation controller for long enough to explain how those 2,000 al-Qaeda fighters were killed if Russia/Assad and Hezbollah didn’t do it.

        • Well gee whiz. That’s just so definitive. LOLOL. Some random former official claims he was in Britian two years ago and heard from some nameless individuals that they were planning “something”. That just sounds so official to me. Good lord, just stop. Desperation is a stinky cologne. Stop with the dumb ass conspiracy theories.

  4. I have heard so many people state that the Syrian regime could of not possibly carried out the chemical weapons attack last week because it had no motive to do so and the reprecussions would have been massive.

    In my opinion there is ample evidence that the regime carried out this attack, which I dont see the point in going over again.

    As to the motive…well here’s a theory..

    Chemical weapons like Sarin have the potential to kill tens of thousands of people over a short space of time..They are incredibly lethal and even the fear of knowing they will be used against you is sufficient to depopulate an area and Assad and his allies are now actively involved in ethnically cleansing opposition areas and re populating them with his supporters.

    Assad received multiple re assurances prior to the attack from the US and the UK that his removal is no longer a priority. He wanted to test this theory and test Trump. He used a very smale scale (this is not in any way belittleing the tragic loss of life that occured) chemical weapons attack to see what the response would be. If the world just condemmned it or turned a blind eye to it..then he may have thought that he has the green light to up the game and use such weapons on a far larger scale, thereby wiping out thousands over a short space of time. He miscalculated .

    The attack made a mockery of the treaty signed as a result of the Sarin attack in 2013 and makes it look like the Russians cannot be trusted to guarantee any future agreement.

    The question is , whether this was truly a suicidal move. Despite all the huffing and puffing and ludicrous talk of World war 3..there is no clear cut sign that the US is now taking active moves to remove Assad. The strike they did was just to warn him against of any future use of Sarin.

    • I think this is a very astute analysis, I would just add that from my perspective, the motivation for this terror attack is not such a mystery. The Assad family mafia has ruled Syria through strategic use of terror.

      The use of torture is a prime example. They torture people to terrorise their relatives and friends; torture enough people (and nobody can seriously dispute that this regime has tortured its perceived opponents on an industrial scale), and you terrorise the entire population.

      People never spoke up in Assad’s Syria before the revolution because the consequences for dissent were well understood, so the policy is undoubtedly effective, although speaking in historical terms, it often eventually ends very badly for the ruling terror regime, and unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the ‘liberators’ will not turn out to be as bad or worse.

      The use of chemical weapons is entirely in keeping with the Assad policy of treating the population in areas under opposition control as legitimate targets. The Russians similarly do not recognise the basic principles of the rules of warfare, for example by flagrantly targeting hospitals.

      It is highly likely that the Russians knew about the most recent chemical attack in advance, since they control the airspace over Syria and direct the military campaign along with Iran. They have also shown no compunction about using internationally banned munitions on populating areas and napalming civilian neighbourhoods.

      • The Assad family mafia has ruled Syria through strategic use of terror.

        There was nothing strategic about using CWs against an insignificant and obscure town like Khan Shaykhun which was far from the front line.

        People never spoke up in Assad’s Syria before the revolution because the consequences for dissent were well understood

        Oh please, the same argument applies for the entire Middle East, including US allies. The fact is that prior to the demonstrations in Syria, Syria was actually one of the the safest counties in the Mediterranean. it was the most diverse ad most tolerant.

        Even the early demonstrations were not calling for regime change.

        The use of chemical weapons is entirely in keeping with the Assad policy of treating the population in areas under opposition control as legitimate targets.

        Really. How is it any different to US policy which seems to kill great chunks of populations in opposition held areas? Do we need to remind you about what the US did in Fallujah in 2005 when they imposed a siege and only allowed women and children to leave, and sent turned back any male deemed to be of fighting age into the city prior to bombing the place to rubble?

        What basic basic principles of the rules of warfare were the US following at the time? How is the assault on Mosul ay different to the assault on East Aleppo?

        How did the Russians and SAA manage to “target” 26 last hospitals in East Aleppo when there were only six there to begin with?

    • Assad received multiple re assurances prior to the attack from the US and the UK that his removal is no longer a priority. He wanted to test this theory and test Trump.

      This is probably the most stupid theory I have heard. It makes as much sense as purchasing a motorcycle helmet and them ramming your head against a brick wall at 30 miles per hour to test if the claims by the manufacturer can be trusted. Why would anyone want to TEST Trump who is recognized for his instability and unpredictability?

      Seriously Harry, why would anyone, after a 6 year war that has devastated the country and it’s military, killed half a million people, not to mention draining the coffers and devastated the economy, not to mention pushing the resolve of it’s allies to breaking point, want to jeopardize the recent gains it has been making and the weakening of the opposition just to see how far they can push the US president?

      He used a very smale scale (this is not in any way belittleing the tragic loss of life that occured) chemical weapons attack to see what the response would be.

      And what would Assad possibly gain from this exercise? Do you spend your days intentionally speeding, parking illegally, shoplifting and committing sexual assault to see what the response of police will be? As if you don’t have anything better to do with your day?

      Assad’s aim is to hold on to power and if possible, regain some semblance of international legitimacy. Any condemnation is something Assad would want to avoid. Using chemical weapons on any scale would be entirely futile and self defeating. Even if it led to battlefield success, it would destroy any likelihood of international support and relations. Even Iran has condemned the attack and at some point, the Russians would have to throw him under the bus if he was such a loose cannon.

      What you are suggesting is not miscalculation, it is complete and utter lunacy.

      The question is , whether this was truly a suicidal move. Despite all the huffing and puffing and ludicrous talk of World war 3..there is no clear cut sign that the US is now taking active moves to remove Assad.

      The reason for that is support from Russia and the fact that the US still has no idea what it will do with Syria in the event ISIS or Al Nusra were to take over the place.

      • Except that Russia and Iran have rallied to him, not condemned him. By vetoing an international investigation, the Russians are showing how desperate they are to protect him.

        He needs to terrorize the local populations that are against him, and he doesn’t have many resources to do it. The use of chemical weapons make sense, especially because there was no reason to expect any more international consequences than he had experienced after the last attacks (very little to none).

        • Except that Russia and Iran have rallied to him, not condemned him.

          Why would they if they believe he was not responsible for the attack?

          And no they did not veto an international investigation, they vetoed a resolution condemning Syria for the attack. What is the sense in submitting a resolution condemning the Assad regime for the attacks while simultaneously calling for the attacks to be investigated?

          Why does he need to terrorize the local populations that are against him when he has the support of the majority and is winning the war?

          So no, the use of chemical weapons makes no sense whatsoever which is why the foreign policy establishment are floundering in coming up with a cogent, coherent and consistent explanation

          • He doesn’t have support of the majority of the population, and little support in the areas he is bombing. And no, he is not winning the war, anymore than he was winning it last time he used chemical weapons and his apologists used the same logic (prior to Iran and Russia having to rescue him).

            His army is exhausted, he’s broke, and he has no capacity to bring the conflict to a definitive end.

            • He doesn’t have support of the majority of the population, and little support in the areas he is bombing.

              Wrong. The majority population are in government controlled areas where he enjoys majority support. And yes, he is winning the war. Al Qaeda are getting smashed, ISIS is in disarray and the moderate head choppers and nowhere to be seen.

              anymore than he was winning it last time he used chemical weapons and his apologists used the same logic (prior to Iran and Russia having to rescue him).

              Umm the Russians didn’t enter the fray until more than 2 years after that attack.

              Of course his army is exhausted. All sides are. The US military was at braking point in Iraq after 6 years. The opposition is is far worse shape.

              • Good to know you’ve apparently been to Syria to poll every person. Otherwise you’re speaking out of your ass again and the evidence doesn’t support you. If he’s so loved why does he need foreign powers to intervene and prop up his war criminal regime? You’ve made this completely unfounded time and time again. You need to stop.

  5. Never imagined I’d see Kafranbelites celebrating Trump. Trump’s attack turned my whole Twitter feed upside down: media fawning, alt-right raging, Syrian opposition activists putting Trump as their avatars, and anti-interventionist leftists mocking “liberals”.

    • I agree Tundra, but Things were being turned upside down during the run up to the elections.

      During Panetta’s speech at the DNC, the antiwar crowd began chanting “no more war” and Hillary bots tried to drown them out with “USA, USA”. The Hillary bots even used signs to cover up antiwar signs from the cameras.

      It was so reminiscent of the GOP convention in New York in 2004 and elsewhere when those demonstrating against the Bush Administration were forced to remain in “free speech zones” (the implication being that free speech was not allowed outside the boundaries) and Bushbots would use signs to hide demonstrators.

      It seems the Democrats have come full circle and become the war party.

  6. Dugin´s heart is broken.

    ——————

    THIRD WORLD WAR: THE BEGINNING? | ALEXANDER DUGIN

    “On April 7th, 2017, for the first time in the years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the US Air Force launched a massive Tomahawk missile attack at a Syrian airbase, i.e., at us. Why did we not use a missile defense complex? According to one theory, we we lack a sufficient number of them to repulse a full-fledged attack by US troops, as they are designed primarily against the missile attacks of other potential enemies. The second theory is that Moscow did not dare give the order since such would mean the irreversible beginning of war with the US. Washington dared to, and knew what it was doing. We didn’t.”

    https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/third-world-war-the-beginning-alexander-dugin/

  7. #Observation: For those military history geeks who are into this type of thing here’s an english translation of Soviet army’s operations and tactics manual –
    .
    https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm100-2-1.pdf
    .
    Why do I mention it? The Syrian military, it’s officers and units were trained according to Soviet principles. The Russian military is still influenced by those principles. Some of the methods outlined in the above link mentions how certain equipment (e.g. BMPs, artillery, tanks etc) is to be used for instance Soviet BMPs, unlike say a US Stryker vehicle, is only supposed to transport troops and then provide a supporting role to those troops as they attack enemy positions.

    • Yeah, didn’t Lavrov make some big noise about something like if other countries didn’t push for a UN investigation, he’d suspect a conspiracy?

      Sometimes you wonder if these guys actually even believe any of the things they #don’t# say …

      • Yeah, didn’t Lavrov make some big noise about something like if other countries didn’t push for a UN investigation, he’d suspect a conspiracy?

        The conspiracy is obvious. By combining the calls for an investigation with a condemnation of Assad for the attacks, the US and it’s allies knew Russia would be forced to veto the resolution. That would in turn allow Washington and it’s band of useful idiots to claim Russia is opposing an investigation and therefore complicit in a cover up.

    • Nice quote by lavrov about pursuing an investigation and then they veto the vote.

      So much for your inability to question the logic behind a resolution calling for an investigation (presumably to determine who was responsible) which simultaneously predetermining who was responsible by condemning Assad for the attacks. Anyone with common sense would conclude that such a condemnation renders an investigation irrelevant.

      • Sounds like your glorious leaders are afraid of an actual investigation. Investigatons tend to be incompatible with cover ups. It makes sense for Russia to reject an investigation since it is engaging in a cover up

        • No it doesn’t sound like that at all. In fact, it sounds like your glorious empire is the side afraid of an investigation. Investigators tend to be incompatible with predetermined outcomes.

          It makes sense for the US to want to conflate an investigation with a condemnation prior to the conclusion of that investigation.

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