Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

Reblogged from COUNTERPUNCH

September 12, 2013
In Historic First, American Empire is Blocked at the Starting Line
by DAVE LINDORFF

Let’s be clear here. The people of the US and the world have won a huge victory over a war-obsessed US government and an administration that was hell-bent on yet again launching a criminal war of aggression against a country that poses no threat to the US or its neighbors. Overwhelming public opposition in the US and the nations of Europe, as well as most of the rest of the world to a US strike on Syria have forced the US to falter and to accept the idea of a compromise deal offered by Russia.

The Obama administration by all accounts was facing an unprecedented defeat in Congress of its proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to launch a new Middle East war, this time on the nation of Syria. It is now desperately trying to spin the bad news, with the mindless support of the US corporate media, so as to claim that it has won some kind of victory. The White House, absurdly, is arguing that the Syrian government’s apparent agreement to a surprise Russian plan to place all Syria’s chemical weapons stocks under international control and then to destroy them is somehow the administration’s doing.

The reality: it was a quick move by Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, to grab hold of what Kerry’s State Department staff quickly labeled a “rhetorical slip” by the serial-lying, war-promoting US Secretary of State John Kerry, and run with it, that has produced this backdown by the US administration.

Kerry, in brief impromptu session with reporters following a meeting with Britain’s foreign secretary, was asked an unscreened question by a reporter, who wanted to know “what Syria could do” to avoid a looming US bombing blitz of the country. Kerry, like Obama used to scripted press conferences and puff-ball questions from the US press corp, offered a stumbling, off-the-cuff answer saying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week …. But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, hearing this bumbling answer, took Kerry at his word and immediately announced that Russia would seek Assad’s agreement to such a plan, and would help to ensure its implementation.

Prior to this surprise development, the US was offering Syria no deals. Indeed, the Obama administration was in the midst of a “flood-the-zone” lobbying campaign in Congress and the media, promoting its plan for an aerial blitz of Syria, with Obama scheduled to make a televised pitch at 9 pm ET today to pump Americans up for war.

In order to win support from normally war-crazed Republicans, the White House was expanding the stated goals of the bombing campaign from just a short “shot over the bow” attack to a longer and wider bombing campaign designed to “degrade” Assad’s military and to shift the balance in favor of rebel forces seeking to overthrow the government. There was no talk of any compromise or of any peace feelers; only talk of “red lines” crossed by Syria, and the need to maintain America’s and the president’s “credibility” by striking Assad without mercy. Ships, aircraft, troops and bombs were in place around Syria, in preparation for an attack, which at one point last week seemed just days away.

But as the days have gone on, urgent constituent messages to Congress have poured in, reportedly running 540:1 against a US attack. Britain’s parliament last week voted solidly against allowing that usually supine US ally from joining in an attack, and even in France, where President François Hollande had enthusiastically volunteered to have his country join in the US blitz, public opposition has been enormous and growing, forcing him to back off in his support for war.

It’s not over yet, but it appears that the Obama administration, sensing that it was facing a humiliating defeat in Congress, with perhaps both houses rejecting a war authorization to attack Syria, has decided to grab at the Russian escape offer.

President Obama has grudgingly termed the Russian proposal “potentially positive,” while warning that “we have to be skeptical.” In a bid to derail criticism from pro-war Republicans, he quoted former President Ronald Reagan’s line about his agreement with the former Soviet Union to reduce both country’s nuclear stockpiles: “Trust but verify.”

It is important that the administration and the corporate media not be allowed to “revise” the history of this crisis to claim that the Obama administration won a victory against Syria and its military and diplomatic backer, Russia.

The opposite is true: For the first time in over a century and perhaps in US history, it appears that a US president has been forced by public and international pressure, both at home and abroad, to back down on a plan to attack another nation. This is a huge change in fortune for the imperial war-mongers who, only a decade ago, were talking about the US being the world’s “only superpower,” and about establishing “full-spectrum dominance” over the entire world and preventing other nations from ever achieving the power to challenge the US.

Ten years, two losing wars and at least five pseudo-wars later, China and Russia, separately and working together, have shown that they cannot be so easily bullied, and that they can stymie US power. A resurgent Russia had already announced that if Syria were attacked by the US, it would come to the aid of its ally, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had put teeth in that warning by sending the latest anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Syria, and by ordering Russian warships directly into the Eastern Mediterranean where the US had been building up an armada of Tomahawk-missile-equipped destroyers, aircraft carriers and Marine-filled landing ships in anticipation of an attack on Syria. These measures, taken together, had to be viewed with alarm by US military strategists.

If Russia’s peace initiative succeeds, with Syria turning over the chemical weapons stocks (that, as the NY Times reported, it initially developed over the years with the knowing support of British, French, German and US corporate suppliers), it will be a huge blow to the US imperial enterprise.

The US government has finally blinked. More importantly, the American people appear to have begun to finally awake from their 9/11-induced trance. Attempts by Obama and Kerry and by fatuous shills like Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona to claim that somehow Syria’s chemical weapons posed a threat to this country were never taken seriously by the public this time around, even despite shrill scare stories in the US media. Photos and videos of dead gassed children, while eliciting horror among citizens, did not lead to the usual pro-war stampede, as we have lost our blind trust in what our leaders tell us. There was a willingness among the public, for a change, to listen to those pointing out that the administration has no solid evidence to prove that the poison gas attack on Aug. 21 was the Syrian government’s doing.

The coming months will be critical. The war-mongers have been seriously weakened this week, but may feel the need to re-assert themselves by orchestrating some other “existential threat” to America that the public will buy into. All those who want to live in a peaceful world, who want the US to cease being the world’s leading terrorist state, and who want this country to become a law-abiding part of the international community, need to remain vigilant.

To keep the pressure on Congress and the President not to go to war in Syria, go to this site for things you can do.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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Here’s proof that Syrian Rebels have crossed Obama’s “Red Line,” murdering hundreds of their own tiny children in a savage bid to pull the US into Syria’s conflict. We demand that Obama uphold his “Red Line” and dump Rebels in the trash where they belong!

http://youtu.be/rFFh3FsKCyQ

U.S Sponsored Al Nusra Rebels Defeated by Syrian Armed Forces
Global Research, May 12, 2013

Recent reports from the ground suggest that America and its allies are losing their covert war in support of the Al Nusra front. In recent weeks, the US sponsored Al Qaeda affiliated rebels have been decimated by the Syrian Armed Forces.

A nationwide offensive has been launched with the support of Russia and Iran. The weapons supply routes of the rebels have been disrupted:

“the [Syrian] army has concentrated on starving, and cutting off “rebel” supply routes and arms corridors, which predominantly run through Northern Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan” (See Buying Time in Syria by Phil Greaves, Global Research, May 11, 2013)

Al Nusra is largely made up of mercenaries recruited in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Covert (Western) special forces and military advisers have also integrated their ranks.

The Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists directly funded by Washington constitute the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance.

Confirmed by CNN, the Al Nusra terrorists have also been trained in the use of chemical weapons by special forces on contract to the Pentagon:

The training [in chemical weapons], which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American. (CNN, December 09, 2012, emphasis added

And once these Al Qaeda rebels had been supplied and trained in the use of WMDs by military contractors hired by the Pentagon, the Syrian government would then be held responsible for using the WMD against the Syrian people.

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http://youtu.be/U-TtYneqjnE

The Sidney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/world/syria-chemical-warfare-claims-a-lie-20130428-2imir.html

http://www.smh.com.au/world/syria-chemical-warfare-claims-a-lie-20130428-2imir.html#ixzz2RiDDOcJQ

The developments come when at least 10 people have been killed in shelling on the town of Douma, north-east of the capital Damascus, and renewed fighting in other areas on Saturday.

”I want to confirm that statements by the US Secretary of State and British government are inconsistent with reality and a barefaced lie,” Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said in an interview with the Kremlin-funded Russia Today TV network.

”I want to stress one more time that Syria would never use chemical weapons – not only because of its adherence to the international law and rules of leading war, but because of humanitarian and moral issues.”

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has called on Syria to approve a UN mission of inspectors to probe the alleged use of deadly chemicals in the spiraling conflict that erupted in March 2011. <strong <span But Mr Zohbi told RT that Damascus could not trust UN inspectors from Britain and the United States. ”We … do not trust their qualifications,” he said. ”Their aim is to juggle with facts.” But he said Syria would accept Russian inspectors.

[After what happened in Baghdad, who can blame them. The United Nations is completely untrustworthy…  Editorial comment by Susan Lindauer]

Along with China, Russia has blocked several UN Security Council draft resolutions threatening sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

US President Barack Obama warned Syria on Friday that using chemical weapons would be a ”game changer,” after the US, Israel and Britain cited signs that Dr Assad’s regime attacked with the deadly agent sarin.

[Facts on the ground reveal the target was a Syrian military outpost filled with President Assad’s own soldiers. The bombs contained weaponized chlorine– NOT SARIN. The dead were 26 Syrian Soldiers.– Added by Susan Lindauer]

But President Obama said Washington must act prudently, and establish if, how and when such arms might have been used, promising a ”vigorous” US and international probe into the reports.
Russia warned against using the reports for a military intervention.

”We must check the information immediately and in conformity with international criteria, and not use it to achieve other objectives,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Saturday.

The Syrian opposition [responsible for the weaponized chlorine attack that killed 26 soldiers working for Assad] has stepped up pressure by urging the UN Security Council to take immediate steps, possibly even by imposing a no-fly zone on Syria   .   .   .   .

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/26/us-syria-crisis-chemical-weapons-idUSBRE93P0UG20130426

Evidence” of Syria chemical weapons not up to U.N. standard

By Anthony Deutsch
AMSTERDAM | Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:55pm EDT

(Reuters) – Assertions of chemical weapon use in Syria by Western and Israeli officials citing photos, sporadic shelling and traces of toxins do not meet the standard of proof needed for a U.N. team of experts waiting to gather their own field evidence.

Weapons inspectors will only determine whether banned chemical agents were used in the two-year-old conflict if they are able to access sites and take soil, blood, urine or tissue samples and examine them in certified.

That type of evidence has not been presented by governments and intelligence agencies accusing Syria of using chemical weapons against insurgents.

“This is the only basis on which the OPCW would provide a formal assessment of whether chemical weapons have been used,” said Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the Hague-based OPCW.

With Syria blocking the U.N. mission, it is unlikely they will gain that type of access any time soon.

The head of the U.N. inspection mission, Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, will meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Monday.

The United Nations wrote to the Syrian government again on Thursday to push for unconditional and unfettered access for the U.N. investigators, Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters on Friday.

“The Secretary-General urges the Syrian government to respond swiftly and favorably so that this mission can carry out its work in Syria,” Nesirky said. “You need to be able to go into Syria to be able to do that investigation properly.”

“In the meantime the members of that team have been collating and analyzing the evidence and information that is available to date from outside,” he said, adding that there was a concern “about the degradation of evidence” within Syria.

The White House on Thursday said the U.S. intelligence community has assessed with varying degrees of confidence that the chemical agent sarin was used by forces allied with President Bashar al-Assad. But it noted that “the chain of custody is not clear.”

QUESTIONS AROUND ‘PHYSIOLOGICAL’ SAMPLES
The Israeli military this week suggested Syrian forces used sarin and showed reporters pictures of a body with symptoms indicating the nerve gas was the cause of death.

[See video on this blog of Syrian Rebels testing Chemical weapons on rabbits.]

Ralf Trapp, an independent consultant on chemical and biological weapons control, said, “There is a limit to what you can extract from photograph evidence alone. What you really need is to get information from on the ground, to gather physical evidence and to talk to witnesses as well as medical staff who treated victims.”

Sarin is a fast-acting nerve agent that was originally developed in 1938 in <a title=”Full coverage of Germany” <href=”http://www.reuters.com/places/germany&#8221; target=”_blank” Germany as a pesticide. It is a clear, colorless, tasteless and odorless liquid that can evaporate quickly into a gas and spread into the environment, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because it evaporates so quickly, sarin presents an immediate but short-lived threat.

Sean Kaufman of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research at Emory University, a former biodefense expert for the CDC, said people who have been exposed to sarin most typically die or recover fully. Testing for sarin, he said, requires access to the environment where the nerve agent was used or the clothing of someone who was exposed.

The White House, which has called the use of chemicals weapons in Syria a “red line” for possible military intervention, said its assessment was partly based on “physiological” samples. But a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity declined to detail the evidence. It is unclear who supplied it.

Even if samples were made available to the OPCW by those making the assertions, the organisation could not use them.

“The OPCW would never get involved in testing samples that our own inspectors don’t gather in the field because we need to maintain chain of custody of samples from the field to the lab to ensure their integrity,” said Luhan.

Established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use of toxic agents in warfare, the OPCW has exhaustive rules on how inspectors collect and handle evidence, starting with the sealing of a site like a crime scene.

Multiple samples must be taken and there need to be “blank” samples from unexposed matter and tissue, to set a baseline against which levels of contamination could be determined.

The samples would be split, sealed and flown in dark, cooled air transports to up to three certified laboratories, including one at the OPCW’s headquarters in The Hague.

A team of 15 experts, put together in response to a request from the U.N. Secretary General to investigate the claims, has been on standby in Cyprus for nearly three weeks.

Headed by Sellstrom, it includes analytical chemists and World Health Organisation experts on the medical effects of exposure to toxins.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Giles Elgood, Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/27/us-usa-syria-whitehouse-idUSBRE93P17D20130427

Obama shows no rush to act on Syria chemical arms evidence

Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Syria on Friday that its use of chemical weapons would be a “game changer” for the United States, but made clear he was in no rush to intervene in the civil war there on the basis of evidence he said was still preliminary.

Speaking a day after the disclosure of U.S. intelligence that <span <a Syria had likely used chemical weapons against its own people, Obama talked tough while calling for patience as he sought to fend off pressure for a swift response against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria’s military controlled by President Assad are not the ones who have used chemical weapons— FACTS ON THE GROUND demonstrate Syrian Rebels are collecting and testing chemical weapons. [See video below]

What’s more, Syrian Rebels were responsible for the one, single use of chemically weaponized chlorine in this War. Rebels hurled chlorinized cannister bombs at a Syrian Guard Sentry post killing 26 Syrian Government soldiers.

Get it? President Assad’s forces were the VICTIMS of the attack. Seizing on the West’s hypocrisy, Assad’s government promptly demanded a UN investigation into the REBELS’ use of chemical weapons—Washington and France immediately declared that chlorinized bombs are not prohibited by International Conventions prohibiting the use of chemical weapons.  

Other than that ONE TIME– when Syrian Rebels struck government soldiers– there has been NO OTHER USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS>

Use your brains: This is pure propaganda to push the US into another catastrophic War in the Middle East.

The Telegraph–London
6:18PM GMT 23 Mar 2013
 

A Syrian Army source gives the first account of what is believed to have been a chemical attack – and it could mean that one of the West’s biggest fears is about to come true. Channel 4’s Alex Thomson reports.

Whatever happened last week in the town of Khan al-Assal, west of Aleppo, it achieved something extraordinary in the Syrian civil war: unity among Washington, Moscow and Damascus

Black smoke rise from buildings due to government forces shelling, in Aleppo Photo: AP/AMC

By Alex Thomson, Chief Correspondent, Channel 4 News

6:18PM GMT 23 Mar 2013

Whatever happened last week in the town of Khan al-Assal, west of Aleppo, it achieved something extraordinary in the Syrian civil war: unity among Washington, Moscow and Damascus.

All welcomed the rapid decision by Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, to investigate an alleged chemical attack that reportedly killed 26, including Syrian soldiers.

Unusually, the request for that investigation came from the Syrian regime, which claimed that Islamic jihadist rebels launched a chemical weapons attack. Since then, precious little evidence in any way has come from the area despite an awful lot of diplomatic noise around the world.

However a senior source close to the Syrian Army has given Channel 4 News the first clear account of what he claims is believed to have occurred on Tuesday. He is a trusted and hitherto reliable source who does not wish to be identified.

The Syrian military is said to believe that a home-made locally-manufactured rocket was fired, containing a form of chlorine known as CL17, easily available as a swimming pool cleaner. They claim that the warhead contained a quantity of the gas, dissolved in saline solution.

The source said that the town of Khan al-Assal has been in government control since March 13 but – like so much of the area – has been much fought over and parts of the area change hands with relative frequency. Rebel Sunni groups with al-Qaeda sympathies have been attacking the town, where the population is predominantly Shia.

The military’s version of events is that the home-made rocket was fired at a military checkpoint situated at the entrance to the town. The immediate effects were to induce vomiting, fainting , suffocation and seizures among those in the immediate area.

A second source – a medic at the local civilian hospital – said that he personally witnessed Syrian army helping those wounded and dealing with fatalities at the scene. That Syrian soldiers were among the reported 26 deaths has not been disputed by either side.

The military source who spoke to Channel 4 News confirmed that artillery reports from the Syrian Army suggest a small rocket was fired from the vicinity of Al-Bab, a district close to Aleppo that is controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra – a jihadist group said to be linked with al-Qaeda and deemed a “terrorist organisation” by the US.

(more…)

Posted: 2012/12/11
From: Mathaba
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News from Syria is grim. Libya 2.0 looms. Fabricating a chemical weapons threat looks like pretext for full-scale war.
by Stephen Lendman

On December 8, the Toronto Sun said Foreign Affairs officials urged Canadian citizens to leave Syria. Maybe they know something they’re not explaining.

On December 9, Israel National News said the London Sunday Times said IDF special forces now operate inside Syria. Allegedly they’re trying to locate “non-conventional weapons” and “sabotage” them.

The Sunday Times said if evidence suggests Assad used chemical weapons, Washington and Israel “might coordinate to carry out a ground invasion.”

An unnamed military source told the Times that US forces could be ready “rapidly within days” if chemical weapons are used. “The muscle is already there to be flexed.”

Days earlier, a You Tube video showed Syrian insurgents testing chemical weapons on lab rabbits. Threats to use them against Assad loyalists followed.

Lab equipment and chemical containers were shown. Some containers bore the Turkish chemical company Tekkim name.

An Arabic text wall poster read, “The Almighty Wind Brigade (Kateebat A Reeh Al Sarsar).”

A man shown begins mixing chemicals in a beaker. It emits gas. Rabbits in a glass box have convulsions, collapse and die. The audio states:

“You saw what happened. This will be your fate, you infidel Alawites. I swear by Allah to make you die like these rabbits, one minute after you inhale the gas.”

Earlier reports said insurgents were given gas masks. They suggested a possible chemical attack was coming that would be blamed on Assad.
Saudi Arabia allegedly fitted ambulances and other vehicles with anti-gas/anti-chemical filtering systems in preparation for chemical attacks by the Free Syrian Army blamed on Assad.

Perhaps a major false flag incident looms
. Daily headlines suggest Assad’s days are numbered.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague claims “some evidence” he saw indicates Assad is readying chemical weapons for use on opposition fighters.  At the same time, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said “we see no sign that this weaponry is being pointed at us.”

Over the weekend, US and Russian diplomats met in Geneva. Foreign Minister Lavrov said doing so doesn’t mean Moscow thinks Assad’s fall is inevitable.

“We are not (discussing) Assad’s fate,” he said. “And all attempts to present the situation in any other way are unscrupulous, even for diplomats from those countries which are well-known for their intention to distort facts in their favor.”

Lavrov accused US officials of spreading false rumors about Russia softening its position on Syria.

“US representatives started to make statements hinting that Russia is changing its position,” he said. “This is not true. We have not changed our position, and only on these conditions we agreed to hold the Geneva meeting.”

“We said we would be ready under one condition: that the basis of such brainstorming sessions will be formed by the Geneva document, without any additions, without any ultimatums, without any preconditions like President Assad’s resignation.”

Lavrov referred to the June Geneva meeting joint statement. It said any future Syrian transition government “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”

Washington twisted the language to mean a future Syrian government must exclude Assad. Doing so, of course, disregards the will of most Syrians.

The present government has strong popular support. The longer conflict rages, the more it grows.

On December 9, RIA Novosti headlined “Russia Rules Out Libyan Scenario in Syria.” On Sunday, Lavrov said:

“We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria. Unfortunately our Western partners have departed from the Geneva accords and are seeking the departure of….Assad.”

He added that Syrians alone should choose their government.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Syrian leaders assured Moscow that chemical weapons are secure and won’t be used.

“The Syrian government is assuring us that it will not allow their spread,” said Patrushev. “We hope that this will be so.”

He and Lavrov expressed more concern about foreign elements using them. They seized a chemical facility near Aleppo. Substances it produces can be used for chemical weapons.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) posts regular inflammatory reports. They allege Assad may use chemical weapons. On December 10, it claimed he may have “passed some” to Hezbollah.

Unnamed “Syrian army” defectors alleged “containers were last week removed from Syrian bases at Jabal Kalamon and loaded on vehicles camouflaged as commercial trucks.”

Contents are “thought to have been split up and hidden at different Hizbollah bases to make them harder to attack.”

Israeli US ambassador Michael Oren said he has no information on this. At the same time, he called supplying Hezbollah with chemical weapons a “game changer/red line” for Israel.

“We have a very clear red line about those chemical weapons passing into the wrong hands,” he said. Can you imagine if Hezbollah and its 70,000 rockets would get its hands on chemical weapons? That could kill thousands of people.”

He said nothing about Israel’s powerful nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal. If threatened, it’s willing to use it. Israel menaces the entire region and beyond. Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and Hamas threaten no one.

DF again alleged a Syrian sarin nerve gas threat. Baseless claims don’t wash but get repeated. It claims chemical weapons are deployed near “at least five air force bases, with evidence of preparations to use them.”

Placing them near warplanes “indicates an intention….to drop poison gas from the air.”

According to unnamed “Western and Israeli intelligence officials,” Assad “directed his troops fighting in and around Damascus to use chemical weapons if” foreign fighters appear able to “seiz(e) any part of Damascus international airport.”

These and similar claims are baseless. For days, they’ve been circulating. Repetition makes people believe them.

Heightened tensions suggests full-scale intervention looms. Ravaging Syria may follow. A potential bloodbath looks possible. It  may exceed the worst of Libya.

On December 10, Voice of Russia (VoR) said Islamist rebels claim they seized a key north Syria army base at Sheikh Suleiman.

German Federal Intelligence Service head Gerhard Schindler believes Assad’s government is close to falling. “Armed rebels are coordinating better, which is making their fight….more effective,” he claims.

On Friday, a new unified command was established. Extremist elements are involved. Estimates suggest two-thirds of its representatives are Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist allies.

Washington wants Islamist fascist regimes throughout the region. It goes all-out to prevent democracies.

“Evidence is mounting that the regime in Damascus is now in its final phase,” said Schindler.

On December 10, the Syrian Free Press presented a different view on the ground. “The Armed Forces Continue Targeting Terrorists and Their Hideouts,” it headlined.

Many foreign fighters were killed. The Aleppo al-Bakkarh area was “completely cleared.” Large stocks of weapons and munitions were seized or destroyed.

Fighting continues in other areas. Army units inflicted “heavy losses” on terrorists in Daraya and around Aleppo.

VoR said the Al-Watan news service reported that about 1,000 insurgents were killed in a battle east of Aleppo. Middle East expert Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky said foreign military intervention perhaps is imminent.

It “could be staged in a way to look like the opposition’s offensive with foreign mercenaries taking part in the operation.”

Turkey and other countries bordering Syria may get involved. He stressed that “constructive negotiations are the only way to settle the crisis.”

Washington won’t tolerate them. Conflict was planned long ago to oust Assad. Signs suggest full-scale Western-led intervention looms.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. #