Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ghouta: Assad Visits/ Terrorists Negotiate with UN/Deadline for Terrorist Exit has Passed

Today was really a Tale of Two Cities in Syria.

Covered Afrin earlier today-   Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics

Now to Ghouta:

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian state TV said the Syrian army had given rebels in the Harasta pocket of opposition-held eastern Ghouta till 3pm local time on Sunday to withdraw, citing its own correspondent.

In a month-long assault, pro-Syrian government forces have marched into much of eastern Ghouta, the last major insurgent bastion around Damascus. They have splintered it into three besieged zones, the smallest of which is the Harasta pocket
In a month-long offensive on Eastern Ghouta, pro-government forces are seeking to liberate the last major terrorist stronghold, squeezing insurgents and opening humanitarian corridors in order to guarantee the safety of civilians.

Bashar Assad Visited Troops in Ghouta as Terrorists Negotiated Their Exit with the UN
Syrian President Bashar Assad visited troops Sunday on the front line in the newly captured areas of eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, hailing their recent advances as a part of a larger battle against global terrorism.

Standing in a neighbourhood street, Assad congratulated his troops during the visit broadcast on state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV. “We are proud of you,” he said.

He told the soldiers that they are not only fighting for the region but also to rid the world of terrorism.

“With every bullet you fire at a terrorist, you change the balance in the world,” Assad said. 
Assad stood near a tank and was surrounded by soldiers on a street in eastern Ghouta, the region near Damascus where a government offensive has been underway over the past month. The soldiers cheered and pumped fists in the air. Assad, who wore a suit with no tie, flashed smiles and stopped for chats with soldiers. Some Soldiers posed with him, taking selfies. It was not clear where in eastern Ghouta Assad was.
Assad visiting Troops in Ghouta
Assad then climbed on top of a tank and looked around, before stepping down, also surrounded by soldiers. He told them the residents of the capital, who have come under repeated fire and shelling from the rebel-held areas, appreciate the soldiers’ advances.
UN Negotiating With Terrorists to Allow Medical Aid and Evacuation

Figures close to the two main rebel groups – Failaq al-Rahman in the south and Jaish al-Islam in the north – said discussions were under way for the transfer of Failaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam fighters to opposition held areas in northern and southern Syria respectively.
Earliest reports seem to be suggesting that heavy fighting is ongoing in Ghouta presently. However the reports are only coming from SOHR and need to be validated.

From earlier

Update: Putin Leading Presidential Election, Wins According to Polls

And yesterday:

10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

Update: Putin Leading Presidential Election, Wins According to Polls


 Russian nationals are electing the country's head of state among eight contenders: Sergei Baburin from the All-People's Union party; Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin; incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin; Civil Initiative party candidate Ksenia Sobchak; Communists of Russia party chairman Maxim Suraykin; Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov; co-founder of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky, and head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Voter turnout is currently 59.93%
From earlier today:

Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics


10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

Afrin: Freshly Evicted YPG/PKK Will Now Switch to Guerilla Warfare Tactics

  The initial news reports this morning stated that Turkish military and their proxies had taken Afrin city center and the PKK/YPG had fled the vicinity. I awaited verification. It has come in the form of a signal to switch to guerilla warfare against Turkish forces. 
We now know with certainty that the USrael backed terrorists of PKK/YPG have been forced out of Afrin- Be mindful that this aspect of the Syrian conflict is not yet over.

Kurds signal move to new phase of guerrilla war on Turkish forces in Afrin

The Kurdish administration of Syria’s Afrin region indicated on Sunday that Kurdish-dominated forces fighting Turkey-backed groups in the area will shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics.
“Our forces are present all over Afrin’s geography. These forces will strike the positions of the Turkish enemy and its mercenaries at every opportunity,” Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chair of the Afrin executive council, said in a televised statement.
“Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them.”
Read the next bit of unbelievable spin from the fearless Kurdish fighters...

Issa said Kurdish fighters had shown “unparalleled steadfastness and resistance” in the fight, but that Kurdish authorities had decided to evacuate civilians from Afrin “to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe”.
 Kurdish authorities decided to evacuate civilians to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe? Unadulterated rubbish! 

 What more sensibly occurred was the 'brave' Kurdish fighters took some human shields along with them to reduce the likelihood of them being killed as they fled in a cowardly fashion from Afrin.

Earlier reports:
Turkish-led forces have captured the northern Syrian town of Afrin from Kurdish fighters, Turkey’s president said Sunday, in a potential turning point for his two-month-old campaign to expel U.S.-backed Kurdish forces from the border area.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech the flags of Turkey and its Free Syrian Army allies had been raised in the center of Afrin as the “terrorists have fled”. "As of 0830 this morning, the Free Syrian Army, with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces, have gained total control over Afrin town center,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
My hope is that the Syrian flag will, once again, fly over the area. But for the time being there is no possibility of that occurring. For the simple, obvious reason that SAA cannot keep the US backed Kurdish proxies away from the Turkish border.
The capture of Afrin could propel Erdogan to expand the offensive to push the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the border and quash aspirations of Kurdish self-rule. Turkish authorities see the YPG as an extension of PKK militants who have been battling for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades. Turkish commandos have also been fighting PKK militants in northern Iraq since last week, state-run TRT television reported Sunday.
There was no immediate comment from the YPG or the Syrian government.
No Handover
Turkey has already said it had no intention of handing over Afrin to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the area would be ruled by locals.
I'm still looking for a complete quotation of the statement made regarding Afrin by Turkish authorities. Out of context doesn't count. Nor do eye catching headlines.
Ali Serdar Erdurmaz, an analyst with Hasan Kalyoncu University based in Gaziantep province near the Syrian border, said the victory would embolden Erdogan, who has urged the U.S. to ensure the YPG also withdraws from the town of Manbij, further east.
If that happens, Turkey would control a large chunk of northern Syria from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast, in effect blocking the formation of a Kurdish statelet in the area, Erdurmaz said. The capture of Afrin ensures that Turkey will have a say in its future,” he said.
Turkish authorities have stated clearly, concisely and repeatedly this route to the Mediterranean was their red line. I'm pretty sure Iran is ok with this too.
Turkish troops are now sweeping Afrin for booby-traps and explosives, believed to have been planted by fleeing Kurdish fighters, CNN-Turk television said Sunday. Civilians welcomed the Free Syrian Army as they entered Afrin. Television footage showed residents showering them with rice from balconies while some rebels kissed the ground and fired into the air in celebration.
Daily Sabah

 Daily Sabah- link under image
Turkish forces took complete control of Afrin town center early Sunday morning as part of Operation Olive Branch.
Civilians waved to the Turkish and FSA troops and chanted slogans in their support.
Many drove their cars to the town center where they gathered and honked to celebrate the victory.

Anadolu Agency correspondents in the region saw several buildings and vehicles which had been set ablaze by terrorists.

Security forces are searching houses to capture any terrorists who are hiding among civilians.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

10 Years After- An Anniversary. A Milestone

It was ten years ago this very date I published the first post on this here weblog.
Whew, what a whole lot of learning along the way! I'm not kidding. There are 4,410 published posts.
I'm unsure of how many news articles, interviews, book reviews, enlightening shows  etc., have been gathered in this one place? Or just how much information has been consumed over this past decade that has enlightened me personally as well as you all over this time period?
When I think back, it's certain that is has been quite a lot! 
Take a gander at the first post - Looking back I realize both myself, personally, and this blog have come a very long way. 
I've definitely honed my logic, writing and investigative skills along the way.
I truly feel more aware of the real world. No longer accepting the unreasonable facsimile that has been long presented as reality.
Thanks to my hubby for helping me along the way.
Thanks to my fellow bloggers who have been such great support
Thanks to all the readers and commenters who've shared the journey. Quiet and otherwise. 
It just wouldn't have been the same without you all!

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you
Will there be another ten? Who can really say. Certainly I'll be here for as long as I am able.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Food For Thought? Here's A Feast For You All !

I really need to clear some of my  many bookmarked news articles- All topical. All related to events that are regularly covered here at the blog. And you know what? There's still more to post, but for now, plenty below.

Inside Porton Down: Britain's controversial top secret defence lab where VX nerve agent was developed and human 'guinea pigs' were tested.

It is one of Britain's most secretive sites, remaining shrouded in mystery for more than 100 years.
But this week Porton Down found itself at the centre of one of the biggest diplomatic crises the UK has faced in recent years.

 Skripal the guinea pig? The sacrificial lamb to burn Russia? Entirely possible.

Scientists from Porton were among the first to create biological weapons as well as one of the world's most lethal chemical weapons.

Porton Down opened in 1916 as the War Department Experimental Station for testing chemical weapons during WW1.
Scientists at the lab researched and developed weapons agents used by the British military during the war such as chlorine, mustard gas and phosgene.
 My, oh my how interesting phosgene..
After the war the government decided that work should continue at the site and by 1930 it had grown and developed into the Chemical Defence Experimental Station.
During WW2 research concentrated on chemical weapons like nitrogen mustard and nerve agents such as sarin.
It then led to the development of CS - or tear gas- and VX nerve agent in 1952, one of the most lethal substances ever created which results in a painful death.
Interesting? Britain is quite the chemical weapons king. Or queen? Whichever? 
The base was later named the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment.
Chemical weapons were tested on site. Scientists built cannisters full of poison gas that could be released by a timer and they also filled shells with it and released them at targets.

Since 1916 more than 20,000 people have taken part in studies at the base.
Porton Down's experiments on humans have been widely criticised as it is alleged some human 'guinea pigs' were duped into taking part in tests.
Tests were carried out on servicemen to try and determine the effects of nerve agents on humans - with one recorded death due to a nerve gas experiment.
Leading Aircraftman Ronald Maddison died aged 20 in 1953 after taking part in sarin nerve agent toxicity tests.
Only 20,000? Or only the 20,000 that defence industry was forced to admit to? 
How many tests were done on the populace without their knowledge? 
From 1945 to 1989 the base exposed more than 3,400 people to nerve gas - testing more human subjects with the chemical than anywhere else in the world.


Initial samples of the Ebola virus were sent to the Porton Down lab in 1976.
Read more at the link above- Certainly provides one with plenty of food for thought. 

 "The chemical structures of the main weaponised novichok agents were made public in 2008 by Vil Mirzayanov"
Made public ten years ago---

Turkey:Why NATO's Intervention in Syria Wouldn't Play Into Turkey's Hands
Turkish troops take control of Bursayah hill

For his part, Cahit Armagan Dilek, director of the Ankara-based 21st Century Turkey Institute, expressed concerns over NATO's potential involvement in Syrian affairs.
"In my opinion, NATO's intervention in Syria will only facilitate the implementation of US plans," Dilek said. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan probably wants NATO to oppose the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Kurdish self-defense units (YPG). However, NATO does not consider the PKK as a threat, and therefore does not intend to take action against it. Therefore, it is futile to expect that NATO will oppose the PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which virtually no country in the world recognizes as a terrorist organization."
The Turkish scholar emphasized that if NATO intervenes in Syria it would most likely occupy the territories previously cleared of terrorists by the Turks during the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch operations. As a result, the alliance would seek to implement Washington's plans in the region, not those of Turkey, he stressed.
"Turkey cooperates with Russia in the area west of the Euphrates. America wants to invade this area by hook or by crook. In fact, America is seeking to extend its control to the entire territory of northern Syria," the Turkish scholar suggested.
 Syria: US-Turkey meeting 'postponed' after Tillerson fired

 - The meeting on Syria scheduled next Monday in Washington between the diplomatic chiefs of Turkey and the US could be postponed in order for Mike Pompeo to take office as the new US Secretary of State, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The summit had been very much anticipated in Ankara, which hoped to define an agreement on the Washington-backed Kurdish YPG to be driven away from Manbij.

Rex Tillerson's firing however reportedly froze negotiations.

 Tillerson’s Firing Had Been Expected, but It Still Stunned Observers
Some critics raised the prospects of what they called a more hawkish and rightward turn in United States foreign policy.
Despite the way the announcement was handled, many conservatives viewed Mr. Pompeo’s ascendance as an enormous opportunity.
“Tillerson firing may open the floodgates for more conservatives to enter the admin,” Jordan Schachtel, national security correspondent for The Conservative Review, wrote on Twitter. “Peace Through Strength is making its grand return.”
And then there's Gina Haspel- Evil Woman
Gina Haspel, had been named to replace him, given her role in coercive interrogations of terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gina Haspel, who helped destroy evidence of agency waterboarding, to become the first-ever woman tapped for the senior post.

Trump has no problem with women in positions of power. The choice of Haspel makes that abundantly clear- So all you pussy hat protestors were played for fools!  

Time of Israel
Haspel, who has extensive overseas experience, briefly ran a secret CIA prison where accused terrorists Abu Zubayadah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002.


Senior Kurdish official, key to US policy in Syria, killed


This June 28, 2017, photo provided by Omar Alloush, show Alloush, a senior Kurdish official, attending the funeral of a fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces

A senior Kurdish official who played a key role with the United States in implementing its post-Islamic State group policy in northern Syria has been found dead in his apartment, Kurdish officials said Thursday.
Omar Alloush's death is a blow to the post-IS efforts in the region, as he played a key role in mediating between Arabs and Kurds and in shaping the U.S. policy in the area.

The main Kurdish party in Syria said Thursday the death of Alloush is under investigation, and officials suspect foul play.

Alloush was found dead in his apartment in Tal Abyad, a majority Arab town in northern Syria where he helped set up a joint Arab-Kurd administrative council after it was liberated from IS in 2015.

Alloush moved on to play a key role in forming the U.S-backed civil council for Raqqa, also a majority Arab town which was also the de-facto capital of IS. Raqqa was cleared of the militants last year after months of fighting.

Alloush and other Arab tribal leaders were instrumental in negotiating a deal with the remnants of IS to evacuate the city after they were squeezed into a small sliver of land.
It certainly would have been easy enough for US backed Kurdish official Alloush to 'negotiate' with ISIS
The October evacuation deal allowed a number of IS fighters to leave Raqqa in a convoy of vehicles, sparking criticism that the militants were let off the hook. The U.S.-led coalition said it was not involved in the negotiations, which aimed to save lives.

Another Arab mediator who played a key role in an evacuation deal of IS militants from Tabqa, a town near Raqqa, was also found killed last month in Syria.

Top Kurdish official Fawza Yousef said Alloush's killing is a blow to joint Arab-Kurdish action and social peace following the defeat of IS.

"Omar Alloush had a key role in forming the Raqqa city council and in developing the concept of coexistence in Tal Abyad, Raqqa and Tabqa," she said, naming also another major town west of Raqqa that was recaptured from IS.

Those who killed him "want to incite sedition between ethnic groups and ignite internal infighting," she said.
If I was to believe her statement, I'd first have to believe there had been/ is no internal ethnic fighting ongoing.  Another possibility is that those who killed him have had enough of the internal ethnic fighting, displacement and balkanization plotting

Yousef accused Turkey of being behind the assassination of Alloush, saying he received threats before. Turkey views the dominant Kurdish militia, which is the U.S. partner in the fight against IS in Syria, as a terrorist group.
Maybe Turkey? Maybe not. It's a PKK standard to blame Turkey for everything.
Ankara had sent troops into Syria to push the Kurdish militia away from its borders and prevent it from linking up areas it controls in west and east Syria. The U.S. support for the Kurdish-led forces was a reason for souring relations with Ankara.

Nadim Houry, director of the counter-terrorism program for Human Rights Watch, called Alloush's death "terrible news," describing him as a "cornerstone" of Kurdish-Arab relations in the area.

"Whoever killed him wants to destabilize the area," Houry wrote on his Twitter account.
Isn't the area already destabilized and wasn't that the plan all along?
U.S. officials had no immediate comment on Alloush's death.

Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Security Fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, said Alloush's suspected killing was a "terrible blow" to the U.S. efforts to stabilize Raqqa and therefore U.S. strategy in Syria. The Kurdish-led forces have "a big bulls eye on its back and the road ahead will not be easy."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Militant Provocation? US Strikes/Very Serious Consequences Warns Lavrov

Saved this yesterday, with the intent to post at that time, but real life comes first.
Plans for a false flag and a serious warning regarding consequences of those possible actions

The Warning:
MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The consequences of a new US strike on Syria, the possibility of which was stated in the UN Security Council by United States Permanent Representative Nikki Haley, will be very serious, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"If a new strike of this kind takes place, the consequences will be very serious," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.

"Mrs. Haley should understand that it is one thing to irresponsibly exploit the microphone in the UN Security Council and it is another thing when both the Russian and American militaries have communication channels and it is clearly stated via these channels what can be done and what must not be done," Lavrov said.

"When, against the backdrop of an obvious failure to implement resolution 2401, in as much as it concerns militants and their sponsoring West, new resolutions are put forward under the pretext that it is Russia, Iran and the Syrian government that have failed to provide for the requirements of the previous resolution while Mrs. Haley makes a statement that the US is, of course, a peaceful nation but it may at any time deliver a strike against the forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, as they did a year ago by striking the Shayrat airbase, I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this," Lavrov pointed out.
This is where my idea of tying the use of 'chemical weapons' in UK ties into Syria. I see two others understood and had shared similar thoughts

Flashback : Theresa May Delivers an Ultimatum to Moscow- 24 Hours to Respond
From my list of possible confrontation actions -A strike on Syria- because ya know... Russia "bears responsibility" for alleged chemical weapons use

PS. They chose a CW narrative purposefully. To bolster the image of their illegal presence and intervention in Syria as well as casting further doubt on Russia's role. At a time when Russia and the regime are further peddling them back particularly with the current strategic East Ghouta gains.

I thought along the same lines. Gas attacks, Syria, Russia behind both, red lines, something must be done.

"Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not." Donald Rumsfeld


MOSOCW, March 13. /TASS/. Militants are preparing a provocation with the use of chemical agents in Syria to justify a massive US strike against Damascus’ government neighborhoods, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.

According to Gerasimov, Russia has hard facts about preparations for staging the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the government forces.

After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons. He added that the United States plans to "furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ of the alleged mass civilian deaths through the fault of the Syrian government and the Russian leadership supporting it."
As has been done so conveniently in the UK?
"As a countermeasure, Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts," Gerasimov said.

He stressed that there are Russian military officials in Damascus in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities, and "in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles."

The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to take retaliatory measures against US’ possible strike over Damascus if there is any danger to the Russian military, head of the Russian General Staff added.

"At the same time, Russian military advisors, members of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides and military policemen are staying in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities in Damascus. In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them," he said.

According to Gerasimov, "events to further normalize the situation in Syria’s capital are going on."

According to earlier reports, illegal armed groups are shelling with mortars both positions of the Syrian government forces and the residential quarters of Damascus and its suburbs.