News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not all Syrian militias are bound by 'ceasefire.' US has problem persuading 'coalition' jihadists to separate from their longtime Al Qaeda groups and be slightly less jihadist. Deeply embedded Washington neocon Establishment is so dedicated to endless foreign wars that it's actually fighting on both 'sides' in Syria. CIA backed 'side' shoots at Pentagon backed 'side'-AFP, LA Times. (Trump is the only chance for US taxpayers to say 'not in our name' and stop the DC endless war industry)

9/17/16, "'Coalition raid' hits Syria army as truce wavers," AFP, Maya Gebeily with Maria Antonova in Moscow, Beirut

"The US-led coalition admitted it may have hit a Syrian army position as Russia called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the air strikes it said killed at least 62 soldiers.

The strikes came with diplomatic tensions escalating between Moscow and Washington less than a week into a fragile ceasefire aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria's five-year civil war.
American officials said the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group may have hit Syrian military positions.

"Coalition forces believed they were striking a Daesh (ISIS) fighting position," a Pentagon statement said, using an Arabic acronym for the IS (Islamic State) group.

"The coalition air strike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military."

Washington said it was investigating the incident but dismissed Moscow's call for an urgent Security Council meeting as a "stunt".

"If we determine that we did indeed strike Syrian military personnel, that was not our intention. And we of course regret the loss of life," US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told journalists as the closed-door meeting got underway Saturday night.

Power described Russia's request for the meeting as a "stunt, replete with moralism and grandstanding," saying Moscow should instead demand a meeting with the Syrian regime to press for peace."...

[Ed. note: More humiliating for US taxpayers is that we're being forced to pay for both "sides" in the Syrian war. The CIA backed "side" is forced to shoot at the Pentagon backed "side." Most humiliating of all is that the entire US political class is fine with this.]

(continuing): "Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin returned by accusing the United States of violating agreements that it would not target Syrian positions.

- 'Direct consequence' -

The Russian military earlier said the situation was deteriorating, adding that the United States would be responsible if the fragile ceasefire in force since Monday collapses.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group gave a toll of 83 soldiers killed, as it confirmed the strikes were US-led coalition raids."...

(continuing): ""Warplanes from the international anti-jihadist coalition carried out four air strikes today against Syrian forces surrounded by IS in the Deir Ezzor air base," a Russian army statement said.

"Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and a hundred others were injured in these strikes."

The Russian military said two F-16 and two A-10 jets that flew into Syrian airspace from neighbouring Iraq carried out the 1400 GMT attack.

"Straight after the coalition's strikes, IS militants launched an offensive," said the statement, adding that "fierce fighting against the terrorists" ensued nearby.

"If these strikes were due to an error in the target coordinates, that would be a direct consequence of the US' refusal to coordinate with Russia its fight against the terrorist groups in Syria," it said.

The IS-linked Amaq news agency said coalition strikes hit IS positions, but that the jihadist group (ISIS) was able to "seize full control of Jabal Therdeh, which overlooks the Deir Ezzor airport".

The Observatory also reported that "20 members of IS were killed and dozens more wounded in heavy Russian strikes on Jabal Therdeh".

Syria's army has been fighting off a fierce IS offensive on the Deir Ezzor military airbase since last year.

A Syrian military source inside the Deir Ezzor airport told AFP US-led coalition strikes hit two hilltops near the airport.

- 'Situation worsening' -

"The situation in Syria is worsening," Russian General Vladimir Savchenko said in a televised briefing earlier.

"In the past 24 hours, the number of attacks have risen sharply," with 55 attacks on government positions and civilians, killing 12 civilians, he said.

In a statement, the Russian defence ministry accused what it termed "moderate rebels" of causing the ceasefire to fail.. Under the US-Russia deal, if the truce lasts seven days and humanitarian access is granted, Moscow and Washington are to work together to target jihadists including IS.

"If the American side does not take the necessary measures to carry out its obligations... a breakdown of the ceasefire will be on the United States," army general Viktor Poznikhir said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said earlier Saturday he remained "positive" about the truce but accused rebels of "attempts to regroup".
Putin said Washington apparently "has the desire to keep the capabilities to fight the lawful government of President Assad", calling it a "very dangerous path".

A key plank of the truce deal was the delivery of aid to areas including Aleppo, where an estimated 250,000 people in rebel-held areas of the city are living under government siege.


Added: Obama "has empowered the anti-American UN to replace the US as the arbiter of US foreign policy." America's best foreign policy is neither neocon nor isolationist but Jacksonian:

8/18/2011, "The Jacksonian Foreign Policy Option," Real Clear Politics, Caroline Glick 

"In truth, the dominant foreign policy in the Republican Party, and to a degree, in American society as a whole is neither neoconservativism nor isolationism. For lack of a better name, it is what historian Walter Russell Mead has referred to as Jacksonianism, after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the US. As Mead noted in a 1999 article in the National Interest entitled, "The Jacksonian Tradition," the most popular and enduring US model for foreign policy is far more flexible than either the isolationist or the neoconservative model.  

According to Mead, the Jacksonian foreign policy model involves a few basic ideas. The US is different from the rest of the world and therefore the US should not try to remake the world in its own image by claiming that everyone is basically the same. The US must ensure its honor abroad by abiding by its commitments and standing with its allies. The US must take action to defend its interests. The US must fight to win or not fight at all. The US should only respect those foes that fight by the same rules as the US does....

If a Jacksonian president were in charge of US foreign policy, he or she would understand that supporting elections that are likely to bring a terror group like Hamas or Hezbollah into power is not an American interest.

He or she would understand that toppling a pro-American dictator like Mubarak
in favor of a mob is not sound policy if the move is likely to bring an anti-American authoritarian successor regime to power. 

A Jacksonian president would understand that using US power to overthrow a largely neutered US foe like Gaddafi in favor of a suspect opposition movement is not a judicious use of US power. Indeed, a Jacksonian president would recognize that it would be far better to expend the US's power to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad -- an open and active foe of the US and so influence the identity of a post-Assad government....

In stark contrast, Obama's foreign policy is based on a fundamental anti-American view of the US and a desire to end the US's role as the leading world power. And the impact of Obama's foreign policy on US and global security has been devastating.

From Europe to Asia to Russia to Latin America to the Middle East and Africa, Obama has weakened the US and turned on its allies. He has
purposely strengthened US adversaries worldwide as part of an overall strategy of divesting an unworthy America from its role as world leader. He has empowered the anti-American UN to replace the US as the arbiter of US foreign policy. And so, absent the American sheriff, US adversaries from the Taliban to Vladimir Putin to Hugo Chavez to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are empowered to attack America and its allies.
In the coming months, Republican primary voters will choose their party's candidate to challenge Obama in next year's (2012) presidential elections. With all the failings of the neoconservative foreign policy model, it is clear that Obama's foreign policy has been far more devastating for US and global security.

Still, it would be a real tragedy if at the end of the primary season, due to neoconservative intellectual bullying the Republican presidential nominee was forced to choose between neoconservativism and isolationism. A rich, successful and popular American foreign policy tradition of Jacksonianism awaits the right candidate."

"CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other."

3/27/16, "In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA," LA Times, , W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett

"Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war.

The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.

In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east....

The attacks by one U.S.-backed group against another come amid continued heavy fighting in Syria and illustrate the difficulty facing U.S. efforts to coordinate among dozens of armed groups that are trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad, fight the Islamic State militant group and battle one another all at the same time.

“It is an enormous challenge,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who described the clashes between U.S.-supported groups as “a fairly new phenomenon.”

“It is part of the three-dimensional chess that is the Syrian battlefield,” he said....

President Obama this month authorized a new Pentagon plan to train and arm Syrian rebel fighters, relaunching a program that was suspended in the fall after a string of embarrassing setbacks which included recruits being ambushed and handing over much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to an Al Qaeda affiliate....

The CIA, meanwhile, has its own operations center inside Turkey from which it has been directing aid to rebel groups in Syria, providing them with TOW antitank missiles from Saudi Arabian weapons stockpiles.

While the Pentagon's actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against Islamic State, the CIA's backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government in hopes of prodding the Syrian leader to the negotiating table....

“Fighting over territory in Aleppo demonstrates how difficult it is for the U.S. to manage these really localized and in some cases entrenched conflicts,” said Nicholas A. Heras, an expert on the Syrian civil war at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank in Washington. “Preventing clashes is one of the constant topics in the joint operations room with Turkey.”...

The clashes brought the U.S. and Turkish officials to “loggerheads,” he added. After diplomatic pressure from the U.S., the militia withdrew to the outskirts of the town as a sign of good faith, he said.

But continued fighting among different U.S.-backed groups may be inevitable, experts on the region said.

“Once they cross the border into Syria, you lose a substantial amount of control or ability to control their actions,” Jeffrey White, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, said in a telephone interview. You certainly have the potential for it becoming a larger problem as people fight for territory and control of the northern border area in Aleppo.”" map, LA Times Graphics



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