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American Resistance To Empire

US Claims That Pentagon Would Welcome Effective Syrian Effort To Defeat ISIS

US would welcome effective Syrian effort

to defeat IS

 

 

By robert burns, ap national security writer

 

The U.S. military coalition fighting the Islamic State would welcome a concerted effort by the Syrian government or its Iranian-backed partner forces to defeat IS in its remaining strongholds in eastern Syria, a U.S. spokesman said Friday.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, told reporters at the Pentagon that the U.S. goal is to defeat IS wherever it exists. If others, including the Syrian government and its Iranian and Russian allies, want to fight the extremists as well, then “we absolutely have no problem with that,” he said, speaking from Baghdad.

“If it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS-held areas, and if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign,” Dillon said, referring to forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “We are here to fight ISIS as a coalition, but if others want to fight ISIS and defeat them, then we absolutely have no problem with that.”

Washington severed diplomatic relations with Syria during the Obama administration, which insisted that Assad “must go.” More recently, Assad has strengthened his position, regaining key territory from weakened opposition forces.

The battlespace in Syria is getting more crowded and complex as IS-held territory shrinks, raising questions about how the various parties will interact or avoid one another. Syrian government troops, for example, have reached the Iraqi border in an area where IS leaders have been gathering. The area is far from the main battle lines of Syria’s civil war.

The U.S. so far has shunned any cooperation with Assad and has partnered instead with local Arab and Kurdish forces in fighting IS. Those local forces, which the U.S. calls the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, are currently fighting to recapture the extremists’ self-declared capital of Raqqa.

Last weekend, for the first time, the U.S. shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had dropped bombs near the SDF. Two other times this month the U.S. has shot down Iranian-made drones in southern Syria that were deemed to pose a threat to U.S. and partner forces.

Key remaining IS territory includes the cities of Deir el-Zour and Abu Kamal, along the Euphrates River Valley.

Dillon said that as Syrian government forces move toward Abu Kamal, “if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then that would be welcomed. We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We are in the killing-ISIS business. That is what we want to do, and if the Syrian regime wants to do that and they’re going to put forth a concerted effort and show that they are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir el-Zour or elsewhere, that means that we don’t have to do that in those places.”

Saudis Prevent Suicide-Bomber Attack Upon Mecca’s Grand Mosque

Saudis ‘foil suicide attack’ on Mecca’s

Grand Mosque

 

Rubble of collapsed building in Mecca. Photo: 23 June 2017
Reuters  The building collapsed after a suicide bomber blew himself up, the Saudi interior ministry said

Saudi Arabia says it has foiled a “terrorist action” against the Grand Mosque in Mecca – Islam’s holiest site.

A suicide bomber blew himself up when security forces surrounded the building he was in, the interior ministry says.

The building collapsed, injuring 11 people, including police officers. Five other suspected militants have been taken into custody, officials say.

Millions of Muslims from around the world have gathered in Mecca for the end of Ramadan.

Saudi officials released no further details about the foiled attack.

TTP Terrorist Remnants Murder 40 In Parachinar and Quetta, Pakistan

 

By Gul Yusufzai and Javed Hussain | QUETTA/PARACHINAR, Pakistan

Bombs killed at least 40 people in Pakistan on Friday, with a suicide car bomber killing 13 in the southwestern city of Quetta, and two blasts later claiming at least 27 lives in the northwestern town of Parachinar, officials said.

A separate gun attack on police in the southern megacity of Karachi killed four officers on Friday evening, a security official said.

Seven police officers were among those killed in the first attack, in Quetta, which happened when police stopped the car to search it at a checkpoint.

Abdul Razzaq Cheema, director general of police in Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is capital, told Reuters the bomber had detonated a car packed with explosives.

At least 13 bodies were taken to hospital, along with 19 wounded people, said Wasim Baig, a spokesman for the Civil Hospital in Quetta. Nine security officials were among the wounded, said Fareed Sumalan, a doctor at the hospital.

Jamaat ur Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to Reuters by its spokesman, Asad Mansur.

“Our attacks will continue until a true sharia system is enforced in Pakistan,” the spokesman said, referring to Islamic law.

Islamic State (IS) also claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to journalists. Jamaat ur Ahrar and IS have jointly claimed responsibility for past attacks in Pakistan.

In the evening, several hundred kilometers to the northeast, two explosions in the town of Parachinar killed at least 27 people and wounded 120, a government official told Reuters.

The blasts were in a market and within three minutes of each other, senior government official Wazir Khan Wazir said. Parachinar is near the border with Afghanistan.

Many people were at the market buying food for iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims break the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan ends this weekend.

No group claimed responsibility for the Parachinar blasts.

POLICE THE TARGET?

In Baluchistan, provincial government spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar said the Quetta car bomb went off near the office of the inspector general (IG) of police.

“It’s possible the IG office was the target, or the assailants were trying to enter the cantonment which is close by,” he said, referring to an army housing area.

An official from Baluchistan’s bomb disposal unit said the car had contained up to 95 kg of explosives.

Television footage showed emergency workers rushing to the debris-strewn scene as security officials cordoned it off.

Quetta is about 100 km (60 miles) east of the border with Afghanistan.

Resource-rich Baluchistan province has been plagued by violence for years. Separatist rebels are battling government forces while Taliban and other militant Islamist groups also operate there.

Baluchistan is also a main center of Chinese-backed “Belt and Road” infrastructure and energy projects involving some $57 billion worth of investment across Pakistan.

Militants loyal to the Islamic State group abducted and killed two Chinese nationals in Quetta last month.

That attack prompted Pakistan to boost security for Chinese nationals and other foreigners in the province, which is already one of the most militarized regions in the country.

Late on Friday, in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and financial capital, four police were shot dead as they were observing the iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast, local TV and a security official said.

(Additional reporting by Saad Sayeed in Islamabad, Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Jibran Ahmed in Peshawar; Editing by Robert Birsel and Andrew Roche)

 

Syrian Minister Says US War on ISIS “Fake”

Syrian Minister Says US War on ISIS

“Fake”

 

 

Syrian Minister Says US War on ISIS Is Fake

The Syrian information minister says the US has waged a mock battle against ISIS in Syria and its military tactics only serve the interests of the terrorists fighting against Syrian government forces.

Mohammad Ramez Tourjman dismissed as baseless the US claims about targeting ISIS positions in Syria and said unlike the crushing missile strikes of the Islamic Republic on the terrorists’ positions in Syria, the US has not yet taken any practical steps in its alleged war on terror.

“It’s widely known that the US is involved in the Syrian war just to save its face,” he said in an interview with Tasnim, adding Washington is indirectly supporting the militants by shooting down the Syrian government’s jet in southern Syria.

Tourjman also said, “Our investigations into the military measures of the US-led coalition over the past few years reveal that the coalition has not yet managed to hamper ISIS advance. This comes as the Axis of Resistance inflicted a heavy blow on the terrorists in general and ISIS in particular over a short span of time. The blow has forced ISIS into retreat in Iraq and Syria. This shows, unlike the US-led coalition, the Axis of Resistance is completely serious in its war on terror.”

The Syrian information minister stressed that the US and its regional ally, Israel, plan to divide the whole region particularly Syria into smaller parts, but the Axis of Resistance and Russia are against the plot by putting their focus on preserving the integrity of the whole region.

“The shoot-down of the Syrian jet by the US-led coalition was not unprecedented. Several weeks ago the US-led coalition targeted Syrian army which was advancing on its war against ISIS in southern Syria. The attack sparked Russia’s protest, but the protest couldn’t stop the US from targeting the Syrian jet,” he added.

He called for stronger warnings to the US and its allies to make them understand the fact that their wrong measures would not go unpunished.

“The US-led coalition’s repeated gestures of defiance against Russia are putting Russia’s credibility to the test. The Syrian jets target ISIS which is widely regarded as a terrorist group across the world. The United Nation Security Council has listed ISIS as a terrorist group. So the US move to hamper Syrian army and its allies’ operations against ISIS has no legal bases. It shows that the US is just seeking to accomplish its own project to divide the region,” he added.

The Syrian minister also said Russia should continue to slam the US-led coalition for its repeated attacks on the Syrian army’s positions and added, after the US targeted Deir ez-Zor airport, Moscow and Washington signed an agreement to prevent similar attacks in the future, but the US broke the deal by launching further attacks on Syrian army.

“Russia’s strong reaction can send this clear message to the US that it must take war on ISIS seriously. Meanwhile, the US must understand that its repeated attacks on Syrian army’s positions would have serious consequences. So, I think the attacks on the Syrian army could be stopped only if the US faces the iron will of Syrian nation and Axis of Resistance or is forced to sign a binding agreement with Russia,” he concluded.

Defeating the unipolar empire

Defeating the unipolar empire

 

Russia’s patience with the illegal actions of the US and the coalition it leads in Syria is wearing thin.

The statement released by the Russian Ministry of Defence after the US downed a Syrian jet in Syrian airspace announced that “it has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria”.
That’s just the beginning of the statement.

What follows is more relevant to the present discussion.

Russia had made a similar announcement back in April when the US fired Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase but this is different.

The announcement this time goes further.

It is followed by strong words which stand in stark contrast with the diplomatic language Russia had been using to engage the US-led coalition ever since it entered the Syrian war-theatre in September 2015.

These strong words were much-needed.

As reported by Tass, the statement went on to say: “The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria’s airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

The US’ repeated combat operations under the guise of ‘combating terrorism’ against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic”.

It didn’t say that the US was actually facilitating the terrorists under the “guise of combating terrorism”, though that would have been more apt.

But the statement did go on to say something which is far more serious than that: “Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defence and air defence aircraft as air targets”.
Wow!

Despite being aware of the two-faced terrorist-friendly regime-change game the US is playing in Syria, Russia had been somewhat tolerant of the illegal operations carried out by the US-led coalition in Syria, though they were as much a violation of Syrian sovereignty then as they are now.

Has Russia been encouraged to take a tougher stance because its alliance with Iran and the Syrian government forces has the upper hand in Syria now?

Reports from Syria indicate that the proxy terrorist groups are on the run and the Syrian government and its allies are marching on, bringing chunks of Syrian territory under their control.
Iraq is cooperating with Syria to secure their common border.

Peace deals with opposition groups in de-confliction zones agreed upon by Russia-Turkey-Iran with the Syrian government have further strengthened the capacity of Syrian allies to confront the mother of all monsters on Syrian soil.

This is something that Russia did everything in its power to avoid.

But the futility of efforts to bring the US around to a peaceful resolution of the conflict through negotiations is becoming clearer by the day.

Trump’s election promise of cooperating with Russia in Syria was obviously a hoax as his administration has done no such thing.

On the contrary, it has upped the ante against the Syrian government and its armed forces.
It is obvious that calling the US a partner hasn’t helped matters and that ISIS is certainly not a ‘common enemy’.

Time and time again, under the guise of combating terrorism, US intervention has targeted the Syrian government forces and facilitated the terrorist groups.

This is nothing new for the global badmash but a tried and tested regime-change strategy.
I’m sure the leadership of Russia knew it all along but kept chanting the ‘American partners’ mantra to cajole the US to the negotiating table.

Besides, taking on all the enemies at once would have created bigger problems.

Now that the tables in Syria have decidedly turned in favour of the Syrian government, and it has become abundantly clear that the US is in no mood to back off from using terrorist proxies as a tool against the Assad regime and facilitating them in very possible way, Russia is expected to give teeth to its principled position.

In Beijing to attend the BRICS Foreign Ministers Summit earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “All countries should respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and coordinate any actions ‘on the ground’ with Damascus”.

Hopefully, as the Syrian government and its allies liberate more territory from the clutches of proxy terrorists, we would see Russia join its Iranian and Syrian allies in calling out the two-faced US intervention in the country for what it is.

The non-confrontational approach it has followed so far has only emboldened the global badmash to continue its sordid game in Syria and so many other places, and even start new ones as in the case of Philippines.

It is time the multipolar leaders called a spade a spade.

In my opinion, the value-free non-confrontational approach, that seems to have captured the imagination of multipolar leaders, needs to take a backseat for the moment.

It had a positive impact and it will again be useful in the coming days to bring more states to the multipolar fold.

But given the increasingly aggressive posture of the US and its determination to escalate conflicts around the globe, a new approach is needed to defend and build world peace.

Determined actions to frustrate the imperial machinations of the US on the ground should be matched with strong words.

The China-Russia nexus must not only articulate their vision for a new international order but also expose the hurdles that stand in its way without mincing any words.
After all, how can we create a better world without clearly identifying the biggest problem that plagues it?

The shared values and core principles of the multipolar world should provide the foundation for a more concerted consolidation of relations within the bloc and the basis of relations with new entrants and potential partners.

As world powers, both China and Russia must engage with each and every country in the world but it is time that their all-encompassing engagement became more focused to isolate the menace that is Uncle Sam.

Reports from Syria indicate that the proxy terrorist groups are on the run and the Syrian government and its allies are marching on, bringing chunks of Syrian territory under their control.

US Promises To Reclaim Weapons From Kurds After ISIS Is Removed From Syria

Turkey’s defense minister warned on Friday that Ankara would retaliate against any threatening moves by the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria and welcomed a U.S. pledge to take back weapons from the group after the defeat of Islamic State.

Washington sees the YPG as an essential ally in the campaign to defeat Islamic State in its Raqqa stronghold. Ankara considers it a terrorist group tied to militants who have fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the mid-1980s.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik told broadcaster NTV a letter sent to him by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis regarding the weapons given to the YPG was a “positive step” but “implementation is essential”.

Turkey has said supplies to the YPG have in the past ended up in PKK hands, describing any weapon given to them as a threat to its security. Isik warned of retaliation for any action by the Syrian militia.

“Any move by the YPG toward Turkey will be answered immediately,” the minister said.

“Threats that might emerge after the Raqqa operation are already being evaluated. We will implement steps that will completely secure the border,” he added. “It is Turkey’s right to eliminate terror threats across its borders”.

The fight for Raqqa began two weeks ago, putting pressure on Islamic State, which also faces defeat in its Iraqi stronghold, Mosul.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday Turkey had sent reinforcements, including troops, vehicles and equipment into Syria, toward areas south of Azaz town, which is held by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels. The YPG controls areas south of Azaz.

A rebel from a Turkish-backed group has also said Turkey sent in more forces but there has been no confirmation from officials in Ankara.

Turkey opened an offensive in northern Syria in August last year, sending tanks and warplanes across the border to support Syrian rebels fighting both Islamic State and the YPG.

It helped them carve out a big portion of northern Syria, helping ensure the YPG and its allies could not link the 400-km (250-mile) stretch of territory they hold in the north and northeast with the pocket they hold west of Azaz.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans, Larry King)

Taliban’s ‘safe havens’ inside, not outside Afghanistan, Pakistan tells UNSC

[SEE: Proving Pakistan Right…Afghanistan Is Harboring Hostile TTP Terrorists ]

Taliban’s ‘safe havens’ inside, not outside

Afghanistan; Pakistan tells UNSC

 

 

Taliban’s ‘safe havens’ inside, not outside Afghanistan; Pakistan tells UNSC

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has told the UN Security Council that the Afghan Taliban’s “safe havens” are inside, not outside, Afghanistan, given the large areas they control in that war-torn country.

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN said during a debate on Afghanistan that the resilience of the insurgency led by the Taliban cannot be explained away by convenient references to external ‘safe havens’ or ‘support centers’.

Pakistan, she asserted, was committed not to allow its territory to be used for terrorism against other countries. Pakistan’s Zarb-e-Azb and the subsequent Raddul Fassad military operations had succeeded in eliminating all terrorist and militant groups from its tribal territory bordering Afghanistan.

She told the 15-member Council that Pakistan is “implementing border controls, including the fencing and monitoring of vulnerable sections of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.”

In response to some provocative remarks made by her Afghan counterpart during the debate, she said that “As a country that continues to host over two million Afghan refugees, Pakistan expects the gratitude and not hostility from the Afghan government.”

She said “today there is every reason for the Afghan parties, and their friends, to pursue the path of a negotiated peace. All of them face a common threat from Daesh and the terrorist groups affiliated with it.”

“Among them, the TTP and the Jamat-ul-Ahrar target Pakistan from their bases in Afghanistan.”

“There is no other country, which will gain more from peace in Afghanistan,” Ambassador Lodhi said.

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