Russia Begins Operations in Syria: End Game for the US Empire?


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The Pentagon allegedly bought obsolete weapons worth $71 million in the Czech Republic, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine and sent them to Syria to train and arm various groups fighting against the Syrian Army, including Daesh.

Pentagon Reportedly Sent Arms to Syrian Anti-Government Militants, Daesh

The Pentagon provided anti-government forces in Syria with weapons purchased in the Czech Republic and several other Eastern European countries allegedly for the US Defense Department's own needs, the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism reported.

According to the center's data, gathered from open sources, the Pentagon purchased obsolete weapons worth $71 million (among which were AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and mortars) in the Czech Republic, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

Pentagon representatives claimed the munitions were being bought for their own needs, but the weapons were instead sent to Syria to train and arm various groups fighting against the Syrian Amry, including the Daesh terrorist group (banned in numerous countries), the center reported Tuesday.

One of the documents needed for obtaining an export license for weapons is called an end-user certificate, which must guarantee that weapons will not fall into the wrong hands. According to the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism, the US Department of Defense provided false information for the certificate, claiming that the user would be the US Army.

Earlier investigations, in which the center was also involved, showed that over the last four years, Eastern European countries, including the Czech Republic, approved a sale of weapons worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to a number of Middle Eastern countries, which then allegedly transported the arms to Syria. These sales were not widely publicized.

A total of 15 US Marines were injured Wednesday during a training exercise that involved an amphibious landing vehicle at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, according to the Marine Corps.
Training Accident Leaves 15 US Marines Injured at Camp Pendleton 13.09.2017

Though the vehicle was engulfed in flames, all of the Marines involved were able to escape, the marines said in a statement.

The landing-accident took place at approximately 9:33 a.m. local time when troops were in the middle of a scheduled battalion training.

The Marines are currently being treated for injuries. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines and their families as they receive medical care," the statement added.

This is the latest in a string of accidents for the US military. Back in July the US Marine Corps canceled all flights for the KC-130T Hercules Transport planes after a crash killed one sailor and 15 Marines in Mississippi.

The US Air Force has refused to disclose what type of aircraft Lt. Col. Erin Schultz was flying last Tuesday when the pilot crashed and died.
US Air Force Won’t Disclose Nature of Secretive Fatal Nevada Crash

Schultz held a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Caltech, an MBA from Pennsylvania State University, flew on 50 close air support missions in Afghanistan, and was one of the first 30 pilots to ever fly on the beleaguered F-35 joint strike fighter, Popular Mechanics reports.

Further, the lieutenant colonel had also served as a test engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center. So how exactly did such an experience and brilliant pilot die during a training run over one of the US Air Force’s most commonly used test ranges?

Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said over the weekend "I can definitely say it was not an F-35,” however the official USAF statement sent to states “information about the type of aircraft involved is classified and not releasable.”

The incident occurred last Tuesday evening during a training mission roughly 100 miles north of Nellis Air Force Base Nevada, according to a USAF spokesperson. The aircraft was assigned to Air Force Materiel Command.

A military source tells Aviation week Schultz was involved in a squadron that regularly “tests and evaluates” foreign jets.

The service seems to be focusing its sights on one air force in particular: the Russian Air Force. “It could be an Su-27 or possibly even the newer Su-30 multirole fighter,” Popular Mechanics reported, noting that US allies like Vietnam and Indonesia have purchased several of the twin-engine Su-30s. The US Air Force might be interested in testing these planes since air-to-air encounters between Russian and US planes in places like Syria “have become more common,” the news outlet reported.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
angelburst29 said:
Pentagon Reportedly Sent Arms to Syrian Anti-Government Militants, Daesh
The Pentagon is on a spending spree as it scrabbles to amass vast quantities of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition. But it’s running into problems sourcing them, and is using misleading legal documents to disguise their final destination: Syria.

The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria 12 Sep 2017 (Photos - graphs)

The defeat of Islamic State in Syria is reliant on a questionable supply-line, funneling unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe to some 30,000 anti-ISIS rebel fighters.

Armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades fresh from state-owned production lines and stockpiles of the Balkans, Central Europe and increasingly the former Soviet Union, these US-backed troops are spearheading the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate, and liberate other areas of Syria held by ISIS.

But the flow of weapons to these Pentagon-backed militia depends on misleading official paperwork, an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has uncovered.

The operation has been criticized by arms transfer experts and even worried officials in Berlin, who have seen large quantities of weapons passing through US military bases in Germany on the way to Syria.

Reporters have pinpointed more than $700 million of spending on weapons and ammunition likely destined for Syrian rebels since September 2015, when the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS train and equip programme shifted strategy.

The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022.

The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.

The weapons and ammunition that the Pentagon is supplying to Syria are dispatched through a sprawling logistical network, including an army of arms dealers, shipping companies, cargo airlines, German military bases and Balkan airports and ports.

The purchases are routed through two channels. One is run by the US military’s Special Operations Command, SOCOM, and the other is operated by Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known New Jersey weapons depot.

The Pentagon’s anti-ISIS programme became Washington’s sole military campaign in Syria in July 2017 after President Trump closed the CIA-funded Operation Syacamore, aimed at arming Syrian rebels fighting President Assad.

Trump has pledged to “wipe out” ISIS and has allocated increased funding for the Pentagon campaign, which now has many former anti-regime groups on its pay-roll.

With vast quantities of weapons continuing to pour into Syria, concerns abound about a wider conflict emerging once the common enemy of ISIS is defeated.

Asked about the unprecedented purchase of Soviet-style arms for Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said that it had carefully vetted the recipients and was releasing equipment incrementally.

Train and equip: A Major Shift in Strategy - As ISIS swept across Syria in 2014, the Pentagon hastily launched a $500 million train and equip programme that December to build up a new force of Syrian rebels, armed with modern US weapons, in an attempt to counter the threat.

But nine months later, the programme had collapsed, with only a handful of recruits having made it onto the battlefield.

Amid a flurry of negative headlines, the Pentagon needed a new plan: Starting in September 2015, and largely unnoticed by the media, it quietly shifted focus to arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with the Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition they were already using, according to a previously unreported Pentagon document from February 2016.

This Soviet-type equipment, both newly produced and sourced from stockpiles, is available from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter two large suppliers are out of bounds, as their military equipment falls under US sanctions.

The first Pentagon delivery, which included 50 tonnes of ammunition, arrived in October 2015, just a month after the shift in policy. The munitions were airdropped to Arab units within the then recently formed Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, a Kurdish-led coalition currently spearheading the fight to reclaim Raqqa, and the Pentagon’s main ally in Syria.

The shipment was far from a one-time event and the SDF was not the only group to receive support – a changing coalition of rebel fighters in Syria’s south east is also being armed by the Pentagon.

Socom supply-line - Special Operations Command, SOCOM, has not previously acknowledged its role in the Syria train and equip programme, but
in a written statement to BIRN and OCCRP, the Pentagon confirmed that it had been charged with procuring weapons and ammunition for Syrian rebels.

From the swift in strategy to May 2017, it has purchased weapons and ammunition worth $240 million from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland and Romania, according to an analysis of thousands of procurement records by BIRN and OCCRP. Prior to the start of the programme, its spending on Eastern Bloc weaponry had been negligible.

While SOCOM is known to covertly supply US partners in other conflicts, documentary evidence, expert analysis, and the testimony of a contractor involved in the supply-line confirmed that Syria is the main destination for these purchases.

Between December 2015 and September 2016, SOCOM also chartered four cargo ships from Romanian and Bulgarian Black Sea ports, laden with 6,300 tonnes of the purchased munitions to be delivered to military bases in Turkey and Jordan, the main logistics bases for supplying Syrian rebels, according to procurement documents, packing lists and ship tracking data.

It also commissioned commercial cargo flights with the Azerbaijan airline Silk Way to air bases in Turkey and Kuwait, other key hubs in the anti-ISIS mission. The Pentagon has requested an additional $322.5 million for the financial year ending October 2017 and has asked for $261.9 million for the following 12 months to buy munitions for the Syria train and equip programme.

This will include tens of thousands of AK-47s and Rocket Propelled Grenades, RPGs, and hundreds of millions of pieces of ammunition, according to the funding requests made by the Pentagon and the Trump administration.

SOCOM had already made a dent in the budget by February, after it issued a $90 million shopping list specifically for Syria, seen by reporters, which includes 10,000 AK-47s, 6,000 rocket launchers, 6,000 heavy and light machine guns and 36 million pieces of ammunition.

Picatinny: A New Supply-Line Revealed - SOCOM is not, however, the only Pentagon unit that is buying munitions for the Syria train and equip programme.

The Picatinny Arsenal, a military base in New Jersey, with the help of its sister facility in Rock Island New Jersey, is also a critical part of the supply-chain.

It has bought up to $480 million worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition for Syrian rebels since the switch in strategy, this investigation can reveal, from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, BIH, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland and Serbia.

Picatinny boasts of its record supplying large quantities of Eastern Bloc equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has been far more circumspect about its role in the Syrian conflict, which is politically divisive internationally and involves supplying militia groups rather than state armies.

This means that while purchases of non-standard munitions – the US’s euphemism for Soviet-style equipment – were clearly marked for Iraq or Afghanistan, it appears to be Pentagon policy not to label procurement goods destined for Syria.

BIRN and OCCRP discovered seven contracts worth $71 million that were signed in September 2016 and cited Syria either by name or the Department of Defense’s internal code – V7 – for the Syria train and equip programme. But these references were quickly deleted from the public record after BIRN and OCCRP asked the Department of Defense and supplier countries about these deliveries in March of this year.

Reporters made copies of all documents before they were deleted. The Pentagon has declined to explain the alterations. On top of the $71 million marked for Syria, a further $408 million of Eastern Bloc equipment was made since the strategy switch with no destination mentioned.

Deliveries to Syrian rebels are set to increase in coming years as Picatinny has already earmarked as much as $950 million to be spent on Soviet-style ammunition by 2022 – it spent $1.3billion in the preceding decade – placing further pressure on the supply-line.

Picatinny’s CIA Pipeline

The CIA used a little-known Pentagon arsenal to purchase weapons for anti-Assad rebels, a contractor has claimed.

The SOCOM contractor, who asked not to be named, identified the Pentagon’s Picatinny Arsenal as a source for the CIA-run programme to arm Syrian rebels fighting President Assad as well as the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS campaign.

The CIA’s covert Operation Timber Sycamore, which was started in 2013 under President Obama, was stopped in July 2017 by President Trump.

Procurement records show that the Picatinny Arsenal previously bought Soviet-style ammunition for Camp Stanley in Texas, which, according to a 2015 report by a former CIA analyst, is the likely home of a secretive CIA depot that armed rebel groups from Nicaragua to Afghanistan.

A June 2016 Picatinny contract for “non-standard weapons” also points to CIA involvement. It says that unspecified quantities of weapons such as AK-47s and RPGs will be purchased on behalf of “Other Government Agency (OGA),” a euphemism for the CIA.
Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel - The newly revealed $2.2 billion pipeline financed by the US, as well as an earlier 1.2 billion euro pipeline financed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates that was previously revealed by BIRN, have meant boom times for arms producers in Central and Eastern Europe.

Factories such as the Krusik missile manufacturer in Serbia and the VMZ military plant in Bulgaria have drastically increased production in response. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic promised on July 1 to turn “meadows and forests” into arms factories and almost double Serbia’s arms exports to $750 million by 2020 as he toured Belom, a recently opened bullet factory.

While the pipeline has yet to dry up, Pentagon contractors have been forced to scour the world for new sources and have requested permission to provide aging stockpiled material rather than newly produced material, according to documents obtained by reporters.

The US had traditionally turned to Romania and Bulgaria for non-standard armaments, but the surge in demand has forced contractors to look to the Czech Republic, BiH, Serbia, and now Russia’s neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, and even Afghanistan, according to US procurement records.

As demand continues to grow, the competition between contractors to secure weapons, is becoming increasingly fierce, forcing them to look even further afield, including Pakistan and Vietnam, a source said.

The Pentagon contractor, who asked to remain anonymous, said that this had created an “environment where greed is the motivating factor among most … contractors involved”.

Scarce supplies have pushed the Pentagon to lower its standards for weapons and ammunition. Previously it had required suppliers to provide equipment of less than five years old but in February it dropped this requirement for some equipment, according to official documents obtained by BIRN and OCCRP.

Munitions stored in poor conditions degrade, sometimes becoming unusable or even dangerous. A Pentagon contractor due to train Syrian rebels died in June 2015 when the 30-year-old RPG he was handling exploded at a firing range in Bulgaria.

Undermining the Arms Control System - The smooth functioning of the weapons supply-line to Syria depends not only on keeping the final destination of the arms secret but also – say experts who have reviewed the evidence obtained by BIRN and the OCCRP – on supplier countries in Eastern Europe not asking too many questions about why the US is seeking so much Eastern Bloc weaponry.

These experts believe that as a result, both sides are likely in breach of their international obligations.

A valid end-user certificate guaranteeing the final destination of arms and ammunition is a standard international legal requirement to secure an arms export license, but an end user certificate issued by SOCOM under the Syria programme and seen by BIRN and OCCRP does not mention the Middle East country.

Instead, it lists SOCOM as the final user, despite the fact the US army does not use Eastern Bloc weaponry itself. The document states that “the material will be used for defense purposes in direct use by US government, transferred by means of grants as military education or training program or security assistance.”

The document is similar in wording to four SOCOM end user certificates leaked online earlier this month, which detail how the weapons or ammunition will be for the “exclusive use of the US Special Operations Command, its NATO allies and partners in support of United States training, security assistance and stability operations”.

In a detailed written response, the Pentagon did not dispute designating the US Army as the end user, adding it viewed the transfer of weapons to Syrian rebels as part of its “security assistance” programme, a term it uses in the legal document.

But Patrick Wilcken, an arms researcher at Amnesty International, described these end-user certificate as “very misleading” adding: “An end user certificate that did not contain this information [final destination] would be self-defeating and highly unusual.”

Washington has not yet ratified the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, an international agreement attempting to regulate the transfer of weapons by preventing the diversion of weapons to war zones and improving transparency, and is therefore not legally bound by it. But as a signatory, the US is expected not to undermine the deal, something Wilcken argues that Washington is doing.

As a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, Washington has, however, signed a series of measures to prevent weapons trafficking -- including a binding decision that end-user certificates include the final destination country.

European exporter states have ratified the ATT and are also bound by the OSCE’s decisions and the EU’s even stricter rules, known as the Common Position on Arms Exports. The EU rules apply to most prospective members.

Under the ATT and EU Common Position, exporters must weigh up the risks that arms and ammunition will be diverted and used to commit war crimes or “undermine peace and security” before issuing a license.

Without knowing the final destination, such an assessment is impossible meaning that exporting states are acting “negligently”, Wilcken said.

Roy Isbister of Saferworld, a non-governmental organization that works to strengthen controls on the international arms trade , said: “If the US is manipulating the process and providing cover for others to claim ignorance of the end users of the weapons in question, the whole control system is at risk.”

Authorities in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia were presented with US procurement documents showing that weapons they had exported were destined to Syria. Romania, the Czech Republic and Serbia told BIRN and OCCRP that they had granted export licences with the US, not Syria, listed as the final destination. Prague’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it supported the US’s fight against ISIS, but refused to confirm it was aware of the arms’ final destination.

Georgia’s Ministry of Defense said an export deal was under negotiation but it had not received an end-user certificate from the Pentagon and no contract had been signed. Ukraine and Bulgaria did not respond to requests for comment.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, which have all agreed to exports to SOCOM or Picatinny for an unspecified destination since September 2015, were also asked whether they were aware if these weapons had ended up in Syria.

BiH confirmed that it had issued export licenses to SOCOM but not Syria, while Poland and Croatia said it obeyed by all international rules. Kazakhstan and Afghanistan did not respond.

German authorities appear to have been less comfortable with how the weapons pipeline was operating. A leaked Pentagon email obtained by BIRN and OCCRP reveals how Berlin had become “very sensitive” to the huge quantities of Eastern Bloc weapons passing through its territory to US bases, apparently forcing a reroute of the supply-line to Syria.

Weapons continue to pour into Syria to fight ISIS, and fears are growing about what will happen to the arms and fighters when the jihadists are defeated.

Wilcken said that he feared for the future of the Middle East.

“Given the very complex, fluid situation in Syria … and the existence of many armed groups accused of serious abuses,” he said. “It is difficult to see how the US could ensure arms sent to the region would not be misused.”


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Tillerson calls Lavrov to discuss Russia-US cooperation on Syria:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Facebook on Friday.
"The foreign policy leaders discussed prospects for further cooperation in resolving the Syrian conflict with an emphasis on the sustainable functioning of de-escalation zones," the statement said.

The initiative for the call came from the US side.

The spectacular victory this week for Syrian state forces and allies liberating Deir ez-Zor portends an end to the war. But celebrations should be tempered by the realization that the enemies of Syria will shift their agenda for conflict elsewhere.
If we segregate the many protagonists in Syria’s conflict, the two main rivals to emerge from the melee are the United States and Russia. Russia may have gained the upper hand in Syria. But, ironically, winning the peace in Syria may unleash wars elsewhere.

Reports that US military forces have been airlifting insurgents out of harm’s way in Syria suggest that Washington is saving its terrorist assets to fight another day, perhaps in some other unfortunate country targeted for regime change.

The six-year war in Syria was never really about Syria alone. It was but a battlefield in a global war for dominance by the US and its allies. Syria was only one of many countries where the US has sought to establish its suzerainty through war for regime change.
When Russia stepped in to defend its Syrian ally at the end of 2015, that was the game-changer. Up till that point, the government of President Bashar Assad looked decidedly precarious, as mercenary proxies backed by the US and its allies homed in on the goal of regime change.

The liberation of Aleppo last December and this week of the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor by the Syrian Army backed by Russian air power have heralded the final defeat of the foreign-sponsored war against Syria. However, that is not the end of the affair.

For months now, the US and its NATO and regional partners have realized that the game was up in Syria. Syrian President Assad recently disclosed that foreign funding for the anti-government militants had dried up. A key marker was the closing down two months ago of CIA support operations for militants in Syria by President Trump.

With the fall of the US-led war for regime change in Syria, the various foreign co-conspirators are scrambling to realign their interests.

Russia is emerging as the kingpin in the Syrian situation. Turkey is reportedly giving full support to the Russian-brokered peace talks to resume in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Moscow this week, where he announced in a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Paris was no longer demanding President Assad to stand down. Quite a change from predecessor Laurent Fabius’ view, expressed repeatedly, that “there was no place on Earth for Assad.”

France, like Turkey, realizes that their best bet now is to dive into peace talks in the hope they can influence the final settlement with some dividend.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is supplicating Moscow to exercise its newfound authority in Syria in such a way as to curb Iran’s influence. Iran, along with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, was also key to Syria’s military success against the foreign-backed jihadist proxies. The Saudi rulers know the writing is on the wall for the US-led war against Assad. Last month, the Saudis reportedly told the various terrorist groups in Syria that the bankrolling was over.

What the Saudis are focused on now is the bigger picture of confronting Iran, which they see as their nemesis in the region.

Israel, too, backed the wrong horse in Syria, and like the other sponsors of the regime-change agenda, it is keen to shore up its losses. The surprise visit by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow at the end of last month was motivated by his alarm over Iran’s robust position gained in neighboring Syria.

The Israeli air strike this week in Syria (allegedly from Lebanese airspace to avoid Russian S-400 missiles) can be best understood as a knee-jerk act of revenge for the Syrian Army’s breakthrough victory at Deir ez-Zor.

Syrian political commentator Afraa Dagher wrote that the US, Israel, and the other regime-change conspirators had hoped to split the central authority of Assad by making Deir ez-Zor “a Berlin” – a symbolic splintering of the country.

Although the Syrian government is substantially regaining control over all its territory – with reports over the weekend of the army pushing on to liberate more territory – one cannot discount that the foreign enemies have given up their nefarious agenda entirely.

The intensified US aerial bombing of the northeast city of Raqqa and its support for Kurdish militia harks to the same objective of carving up Syria’s territorial integrity, with a view to undermining the authority of the Assad government in Damascus.

While the foreign enemies of Syria do seem to have resigned to accepting defeat in their objective to overthrow Assad, the country will still be subject to troublesome external interference. The Turks and French will no doubt try to stick their oars into the political process to sway the outcome. The Saudis and Israelis will shift their animosity toward Iran in some other way which will likely involve further violation of Syrian sovereignty.

As for the United States, and its trusty British bulldog, the agenda in Syria was always about the macro picture of exerting global dominance with regard to perceived rivals of Russia, China, and Iran. The US has incurred a serious setback in Syria. No doubt about it. Russia can be said to have won, and for a while is the kingpin, as the war-torn Arab country begins to reconstruct.

But we can expect new battlefields to emerge in the US struggle for hegemonic control.

The flared-up crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program seems more than a coincidence with the stifling of American ambitions in Syria. Washington’s gung-ho approach to North Korea has served to destabilize the region and given the US a perfect cover for expanding its strategic forces on the far-east borders of China and Russia.

In Ukraine, the US is recklessly destabilizing that conflict further by moving to supply the Kiev regime with lethal weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of escalating violence and the scuppering of any hope for a peaceful settlement if the US proceeds with its plans to arm the Kiev regime.

Winning the six-year war in Syria is a seminal strategic victory for the Syrian people and their allies, primarily Russia, thanks to Putin’s courageous decision to intervene nearly two years ago.

The US and its partners-in-crime against Syria are licking their wounds.

Nevertheless, the US agenda of global hegemony and “full spectrum dominance” will not stop there. We have to understand the Syrian war as being just one front in a range of global fronts for the US to violently assert its power ambitions. That incorrigible dynamic stems from the inherent nature of US capitalism and its imperialist form.

Russia is helping to win the peace in Syria despite a six-year criminal onslaught led by the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others.

But this is perhaps the precise time when war will erupt somewhere else. All the more so because Russia has spectacularly defied the American global bully in Syria.


FOTCM Member
American Fighting for Daesh Captured in Syria - Reports

US Military reports say a US citizen fighting for Daesh was captured by Kurdish soldiers in Syria and then handed over to American forces.
According to CNN, a US military official told the outlet that the American citizen surrendered to the Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The Syrian army servicemen, broke the t© PHOThree-year siege of Deir ez-Zor, in the area of the 137th mechanized brigade in Syria

"We have seen those same reports and the SDF as our partner has taken an oath to make sure that any fighter that they capture that they maintain them and bring them to the proper authorities," Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon during a video conference. "In this case the proper authorities would be the equivalent of the department of state in the country."

The current location of the US citizen has not been released.

This is not the first American caught fighting for Daesh, Mohamad Jamal Khweis, a US citizen from the suburbs of Washington DC, was indicted in November on two counts of material support for terrorism. Khweis had surrendered to Kurdish authorities in March 2016 after realizing the group did not "represent the religion."

"I made a bad decision to go with [a] girl and go to Mosul," Khweis told the Kurdistan 24 station. "Daesh, ISIS, ISIL, they don't represent the religion."


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
angelburst29 said:
The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria 12 Sep 2017 (Photos - graphs)

The defeat of Islamic State in Syria is reliant on a questionable supply-line, funneling unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe to some 30,000 anti-ISIS rebel fighters.
Germany Launches Probe After Pentagon's Syrian Arms Smuggling Story Goes Viral

The German government has opened a probe into an illegal Pentagon arms trafficking operation after a bombshell investigative report on the secret program went viral this week.

On Wednesday we reported on the continuing Pentagon arms pipeline to Syria which runs through Europe, the Balkans, and Caucuses, and which is based on a shady network of private contractors and altered US government paperwork. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) produced conclusive evidence and internal memos proving that not only is the Pentagon currently involved in shipping up to $2.2 billion worth of (mostly old Soviet) weapons from private dealers to US-backed Syrian militants, but is actually manipulating paperwork such as end-user certificates in order to conceal the ultimate destinations of the weaponry (in this case Syria).

The new investigation also confirms Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva's prior findings, which exposed the role of Azerbaijan-operated Silk Way Airlines in the weapons airlifts. Though independent journalists and regional monitoring groups have been digging into the Pentagon arms shipments throughout the summer, mainstream European and American press were reluctant to cover the story, even as a steady flow of incontrovertible proof emerged online in the form of documents, photos, and videos of mysterious cargo planes being loaded with weapons. Over the past two weeks WikiLeaks has also highlighted the emerging details of a developing story which saw at least one journalist come under scrutiny by European security officials.

After a week of the story picking up momentum, it appears we may finally be seeing the beginnings of public and governmental investigations forming as European governments perhaps reluctantly take stock of Pentagon arms pipelines in their territories now coming under public attention and outrage.
As Stripes reports, Germany announced a new legal inquiry early Friday:

The German prosecutor’s office in Kaiserslautern said Friday it is looking into a report that the Pentagon used Ramstein Air Base to transport weapons covertly to rebel fighters in Syria — an allegation, that if true, might have broken German law. ...The weapons transfer through Ramstein would have required permission from the German government, the report stated.

Officials with Germany’s Economic Affairs Ministry told Stars and Stripes that the ministry did not give the U.S. military permission to transport weapons to Syria through the country. They denied having any knowledge of such activities.
Part of the OCCRP and BIRN investigation spotlighted Ramstein as one of the many key transport hubs used in the Syria weapons trafficking program. The arms monitoring groups jointly published a side report on the Pentagon's questionable activities at the German US installation as part of its broader findings on Tuesday.

That report included a newly unearthed internal email authored by the Pentagon’s US Special Operations Command Mission (SOCOM) instructing its partnering contractors to, as BIRN summarizes, "stop trucking Soviet-style weapons from the Balkans through Germany" because "officials in Berlin became concerned about the deliveries."

The closing line of the SOCOM email explicitly acknowledges that, "Germany has become very sensitive to these requests."

SOCOM email published by BIRN's Balkan Insight on Tuesday: "Germany has become very sensitive to these requests."

BIRN questioned the German government over the findings this week and immediately caught German officials lying about their knowledge of the Pentagon weapons transfers. According to the BIRN/OCCRP summary of the exchange:

The German government earlier declined to comment on the nature of its “sensitivities”, and at a press conference on Thursday, continued to insist it has no knowledge of the movement of weapons to Syria.

German laws, however, dictate that licenses to transport weapons must be accompanied by end user certificates which states the final destination of the shipment and who will be using the equipment.

According to the German government, no such licence has been issued for deliveries to Syria or neighbouring countries since 2010.

This claims jars with a report in the Serbian press in December 2015, revealing that a number of US air force C-17 cargo planes had delivered Serbian weapons to the Ramstein airbase.

The report was backed up by one of SOCOM’s most important contractors on its Syrian contract, Global Ordnance, which shared the story on Facebook adding: “Glad Global Ordnance could contribute to support our military!”

Both leaked and public documents confirm Serbia to be another key logistical hub in the Syria weapons transport program. Multiple weapons end-user certificates were proven to be falsified or altered by the Pentagon, which is likely exactly what the newly announced German probe will look into. One of the weapons trafficking investigators told Foreign Policy this week that, “The Pentagon is removing any evidence in their procurement records that weapons are actually going to the Syrian opposition.”

Yet it appears that some of the very contracting companies and individuals involved in the shadowy scheme have over the years taken to Facebook and other social media platforms to brag about their role in the program and huge profits that resulted. BIRN's Balkan Insight has just today published a trove of photographs and postings it culled from social media which connect various arms dealers - some of them with known links to organized crime - to the Pentagon weapons program.

Arms dealer and Pentagon contractor for the Syria covert program, Marc Morales, uploaded photos on January 29, 2015 from the Zastava factory, Kragujevac, Serbia. He openly bragged about the contracts he procured: 'Another day in the office,' he wrote.

As the latest BIRN report notes, what is depicted in the Hollywood film War Dogs is sadly not at all a thing of the past or mere of recent history, but is current and ongoing. And unlike in the movies, real people - specifically Syrians and Iraqis - are dying as a result. But with the new German government probe just announced which was surely the result the story going viral this week, there is perhaps some hope that public outrage could continue to shine a light on such disgusting US government criminality.

When the Islamic State siege on Deir Ezzor was broken by the Syrian Arab Army we asked:

Will the SAA cross the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to retake the valuable oilfields east of it? Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north? To cross the river is clearly desirable but also potentially contentious.
Syria Summary - A New Clash Looms in Syria's East (Photos)

Since then several convoys of military bridging equipment have been seen on the road to Deir Ezzor. It is now obvious that the SAA will bridge the river (all regular bridges have been destroyed by U.S. bombing during earlier fighting) and send significant forces across. New questions now are: When, where and with what aim?

As soon as the government intent became clear the U.S. pushed its local proxy forces to immediately snatch the ISIS held oilfields. In less than two days they deployed over 30 kilometers deep into the ISIS held areas north of the Euphrates. It is obvious that such progress could not have been made if ISIS had defended itself. I find it likely that a deal has been made between those two sides.

The U.S. diplomat tasked with the job, Brett McGurk, recently met with local tribal dignitaries of the area. Pictures of the meeting were published. Several people pointed out that the very same dignitaries were earlier pictured swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.

Just like during the "Anbar Awaking" in its war on Iraq the U.S. is bribing the local radicals to temporarily change over to its side. This will help the U.S. to claim that it defeated ISIS. But as soon as the payments stop the very same forces will revert back to their old game.

Originally the U.S. had planned to let ISIS take Deir Ezzor. It had twice attacked Syrian government forces in the area killing more than a hundred of them. This had allowed ISIS to capture large chunks of the government enclave and to disable the airport which was needed for resupplies:

After Russian support for the SAA changed the balance of power, and after the election of Donald Trump, those plans had to change. Syria and its allies created facts on the ground and it is now again in control of the area it had lost to ISIS. It will also liberate the rest of the city. Here is current map of the east-Syrian Euphrates area.

The SAA (red) has liberated parts of the city and the airport. The road from Damascus to Deir Ezzor is completely under SAA control. The population, which had nearly starved under the ISIS siege, is receiving fresh food, other necessary goods and medical attention.

The hatched areas of the map show possible next aims for the U.S. proxy campaign (yellow) and the Syrian government forces (red) in their fight against ISIS (grey) and against each other.

Critical oil fields are north and east of Mayadin. The Omar oil field in the east is the biggest one in all Syria. The U.S. wants these under its control to finance its Kurdish and Arab proxies in north-east Syria. The Syrian government needs the oil to rebuild the country. Should the U.S. supported forces try to annex the area we will likely see a direct conflict between them and the Syrian government forces. Would the U.S. and Russia join that fight?

Areas in the north-west and south-west of Syria have been relatively quiet. In recent weeks no relevant change of positions took place. In the south-east around the Syria, Jordan, Iraq border triangle the Syrian government retook several border points. The move comes after an agreement between Russia, the U.S. and Jordan conceded the area back to Syrian government control. The "rebels" in the area were CIA financed but are now out of income. They were ordered by their masters to move to Jordan but several groups refused to do that. The Syrian army and air force will take care of them.

The Syrian government again pointed out that U.S. (and Turkish) forces on its ground are uninvited and that their presence is illegal. The Russian foreign minster made the same point in a press conference today. Yesterday the Turkish president said "we mustn’t allow foreign powers intervene in Syria to serve their own interests." (His palace seems to lack mirrors.) These are clear signals to the U.S. that its presence and that of a U.S. proxy forces in Syria will not be condoned.

President Trump had clearly said that his only interest in Syria is to get rid of ISIS: "As far as Syria is concerned, we have very little to do with Syria other than killing ISIS,"

But Trump is now under the influence (or control?) of the U.S. military. The Pentagon and those forces influencing it might have their own plans. The war is mostly decided. The Syrian government will prevail. But the war is not yet over. Undesirable surprises may still come from the U.S. or other interested sides.

Adding: Several recent rumors about incidents in Syria were and are obvious fakes. Please be careful distributing wild claims when these have not been verified by a multitude of sources. The truth is: NO deconfliction line exists east of Deir Ezzor. The SAA did NOT shoot down an Israeli jet over Lebanon. NO U.S. General said that the Syrian army would be bombed if it tried to cross the Euphrates. NO attack on a SAA convoy by the U.S. airforce happened today.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Getting the Kurds out of the way? I feel bad for the Kurds being used but I can see why the Syrians and Russians have to do something too. Or did the Israelis have something to do with it to blame the Syria and Russia?

By Andrew Illingworth - 16/09/2017

Kurdish forces attacked by Russian, Syrian airpower in east Deir Ezzor: reports

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:12 A.M.) – Either Russian or Syrian airpower has attacked Kurdish-led forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river near the Deir Ezzor city area according to reports from both opposition and Kurdish sources.

The reports say that US-backed troops of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were attacked by unidentified warplanes – either belonging to the Russian Aerospace Forces or Syrian Arab Air Force – near the al-Sinaa area along the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

The attack is said to have taken place at about 3 A.M. this morning.

No information has yet been released on the aftermath of the reported attack against Kurdish-led forces.

Updates to follow.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
goyacobol said:
Getting the Kurds out of the way? I feel bad for the Kurds being used but I can see why the Syrians and Russians have to do something too. Or did the Israelis have something to do with it to blame the Syria and Russia?

Kurdish forces attacked by Russian, Syrian airpower in east Deir Ezzor: reports
Following the reports of six SDF fighters injured in an air strike in Syria Pentagon blames Russian air forces.

US-Led Coalition Accuses Russia of Striking US-Backed Forces Near Deir ez-Zor

The US-led coalition fighting against Daesh terrorist group in Syria has accused Russia on Saturday of attacking the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

Pentagon claimed that when Russia bombed a target near Deir ez-Zor it knew that the SDF units and coalition advisers were there.

"At approximately 12:30 a.m. GMT Sept. 16, Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Dayr Az Zawr, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces. Russian munitions impacted a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisors. Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike. Multinational Coalition troops advising and assisting the SDF were present but not wounded as a result of the Russian strike," the statement read.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied on Sunday the Pentagon's allegations that Russian jets had attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.
Russian MoD Denies Pentagon Allegations It Hit US-Backed Rebels in Syria

Russian aircraft in Syria target only the positions of the terrorist group Daesh, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, commenting on the claims that Russia bombed a target near Deir ez-Zor knowing that the SDF units and US-coalition advisers were there.

Konashenkov noted that Russia has been conducting the operation along with Syrian forces in the Deir ez-Zor area for a week, adding that the US was notified of it in advance.

"To avoid unnecessary escalation, the command of the Russian forces in Syria gave the US partners an advance notice, through an existing communications channel, on the [territorial] borders within which the military operation in Deir Ez-Zor would be conducted," Konashenkov said.

The spokesman reiterated that Russia carries out its operations based on reconnaissance information that is usually verified through several channels. "The priority targets for destruction are the terrorists' firing positions from which they are leading large-scale attacks on the Syrian forces," the spokesman said.

Konashenkov pointed out that the Russian intelligence services had discovered no clashes between Daesh fighters and any armed representatives of "third parties" on the eastern bank of the Euphrates in the last few days. He added that "only representatives of the international coalition themselves" could say how opposition members or coalition allies could make their way into the midst of Daesh troops without any fighting.

The Syrian Army forwarded a large number of fresh soldiers to the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur on Sunday to join the pro-government forces' anti-terrorism operation in the province.
Syrian Army Sends More Reinforcements to Deir Ezzur

The Syrian soldiers, deployed in the Southern province of Dara'a, have recently been transferred to Deir Ezzur as part of a new reinforcement package to further support the ongoing pro-government operations against ISIL in the province.

According to military sources, the troops were moved from Dara'a after a standing ceasefire between pro-government forces and militant groups in the region.

Damascus has dispatched several groups of fresh forces to Deir Ezzur from different regions to intensify operations against ISIL in the province.

A well-informed local source said on Saturday that a number of ISIL terrorists laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian Army troops in the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur after the devastating advances of the pro-government forces in the region.

"A number of ISIL terrorists have surrendered to the government forces," the source said, without specifying why the surrender took place.

The source added that the terrorists that were holding parts of the city were significantly weakened and were unable to continue resistance against the army offensive.

The Syrian Army troops continued to hit ISIL's positions in the Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzur city on Sunday and managed to reinvigorate security of the military airport.
Terrorist Front in Deir Ezzur Nearing Collapse Following Rapid Advances of Syrian Army

The army soldiers drove ISIL out of Tal (hill) al-Kariyah in the village of al-Jafrah after seizing control over the village of al-Mari'eiyeh, Huweija al-Mari'eiyeh region and their surrounding villages North of Deir Ezzur airbase.

A number of ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzur have fled their positions towards Huweija Sakar after the government forces scored more victories in the battlefields in the Eastern city.

In relevant developments in the province on Saturday the army troops intensified attacks on ISIL's defense lines in areas near Deir Ezzur Airbase and imposed control over more key positions.

The army men pushed ISIL back from the village of al-Mari'eiyeh in North-East of the Deir Ezzur airbase.

The al-Mari'eiyeh village and Huweija al-Mari'eiyeh region have covered a large swathe of land stretched from North-East of the Deir Ezzur's airbase to its South-East, where Deir Ezzur's road runs to the town of al-Mayadeen in the South-East.

According to a Syrian army operations staffer, government forces have cut off the main supply route to the Daesh-held areas of Deir ez-Zor in the east of the country.
Syrian Forces Cut Main Daesh Supply Route Into Deir ez-Zor

Syrian government forces have cut off the main supply route to areas of Deir ez-Zor in the east of the country held by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists by securing control over a strategic town close to the formerly besieged city, an army operations staff source told Sputnik on Sunday.

Syrian forces have been on the offensive in the area around the city over recent days in the wake of the successful operation to break through Daesh forces encircling Deir ez-Zor. Most militants have been pushed back several miles east, and across the Euphrates.

The army and its allies have pushed Daesh terrorists out of the Jafra area, thus cutting the main supply route to Daesh-held areas of Deir ez-Zor," the source said.

Daesh militants then started fleeing for Mayadin and further toward the northern outskirts of Deir ez-Zor, according to the source.

Last week, Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces lifted the blockade around Deir ez-Zor that had been maintained by Daesh for several years. Fighting continues in the east and southeast of the city.

The Turkish Army has dispatched a large number of fresh soldiers and a large volume of military equipment to the country's border with Syria's Idlib province, an Arab media outlet reported Sunday.
Turkish Army Sending More Soldiers, More Equipment to Border with Syria

The Arabic-language Al-Ahd news website reported that the Turkish army has sent fresh forces and military hardware to two border regions across the regions of Bab Saqa and Ra'as al-Hasaan in Northern Idlib.

The army had forwarded its forces and equipment deployed in Hatay province to the borders with Syria yesterday.

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted a Turkish paper on Saturday as reporting that the Turkish Army was to dispatch more soldiers and military hardware to its border with Syria in Hatay province to help the Ankara-backed militants and also monitor ceasefire in Idlib de-escalation zone.

In the meantime, another Turkish daily reported that Ankara and the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army intended to send 25,000 fighters to Idlib to guarantee security in the de-escalation zone.

Syrian government forces continue to press forward with Russian air cover in the offensive against Daesh jihadists: two districts in the southeast of Deir ez-Zor have been liberated from terrorists.
Syrian Army Defeats Daesh in Southeast Deir Ez-Zor Districts, Reaches Euphrates

The Syrian government troops and their allies liberated two southeastern districts of the city of Deir ez-Zor from Daesh terror group and reached the Euphrates river, a source in the operation headquarters told Sputnik on Sunday.

The army reached the Euphrates, having liberated [two] districts… On the east side, the militants were forced to retreat from the airbase at a distance of more than five kilometers [over three miles]," the source said.

According to the source, the terrorists retreated to the city of Al Mayadin while some of them crossed the Euphrates and sheltered in the northern part of Deir ez-Zor.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ‘the Generals’ to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

The Politics of Military Ascendancy

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ‘the Generals’ have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military’s ascendancy over Trump’s civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama’s Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency.
Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

1. The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama’s Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority.

2. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness.

3. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions.

4. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias.

5. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ‘pivot to Asia’ defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

The Obama ‘legacy’ consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama’s ‘glorious legacy’ initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars, neo-colonial ‘nation’ building and free trade. A furious Obama ‘informed’ (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

Trump’s bid to shift from Obama’s sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet’s nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump’s economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama’s global order.

Trump Under Obama’s International Order

After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama’s ‘international order’.

Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting ‘nation-building’ (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

Trump’s military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama’s globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama’s international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ‘Mad Dog’) as Defense Secretary.

The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the ‘psychological-warfare’ embedded in Trump’s emotional ejaculations on ‘Twitter’.

The ‘Mattis Doctrine’ combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

The junta’s policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media’s already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals’ Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv’s main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin’s words) ‘would rather eat grass than disarm’. The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an ‘existential’ threat to the US mainland.

Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis would ever take Putin’s advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama’s policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US’s Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ‘negotiated settlements’.

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump’s resort to ‘his Generals’ is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump’s appointment of ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any ‘finding’ of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump’s maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ‘their international order’ – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump’s foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump’s proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party’s leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta’s threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang’s commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US ‘regime change’ invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ‘Mad Dog’ managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Haley and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called ‘military option’ without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow’s conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called ‘partners’ in the Trump regime. The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THAAD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis’ short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog’s military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.


The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump’s nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media’s passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour ‘pep-talks’ and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family’s next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yet another new low for Hollywood as Morgen Freeman sells out to the Zion-connection.

"We Are At War" - Morgan Freeman Is The Face Of The New "Committee To Investigate Russia"
by Tyler Durden Sep 20, 2017 9:45 AM
Imagine this movie-script: a former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge... narrates the ominous sounding voice of Morgan Freeman.

The hysteria continues, and this time Hollywood has been enlisted. No this is not The Onion, but yet another serious committee for serious people. Meet the "Committee to Investigate Russia" which launched on Tuesday and immediately garnered broad coverage in pop-culture and entertainment news sites for its release of a short Morgan Freeman narrated video which aims to "tell us the truth" about Russian meddling in the US election. “We have been attacked,” Freeman says in his familiarly reassuring voice while gazing into the camera. “We are at war.”

Not only did the video burn up social media on Tuesday, but the founders of the lobbying group behind the production, barely one day old, were given substantial air time on cable news from CNN to MSNBC. Of course, it helps that actor, director, and lifelong Democrat Rob Reiner is behind it - he's teamed up with neocons David Frum, Max Boot, and national security insiders like James Clapper.
America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars
Tue, Sep 19, 2017
"And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it."
Editor's Note: Kudos to Giraldi for stating what everybody knows but nobody is willing to say in print, and to Ron Unz the publisher of the Unz Review.

Unz is Jewish, so perhaps that is why he is able to publish something like this. Most Gentile publishers outside the Alt-Right are too scared to, and Jewish publishers simply won't. We need more of this fair, balanced discussion.

We ran an important piece by Giraldi yesterday where he details his personal experience of being censored on the internet.

His reputation as a career CIA officer and publicist is impeccable. (Wikipedia) He is one of the few highly respected mainstream writers outside the Alt-Right willing to touch this important subject.

Maybe that is why the big tech companies censor him.

- Charles Bausman, Editor
Maybe "they" whittled him down with Chaos.

Morgan Freeman in car accident
Published on Jan 18, 2013

Morgan Freeman's Step Granddaughter Killed In 'Exorcism' | MSNBC
Aug 17, 2015

Morgan Freeman Narrowly Escapes Death in Plane Accident
Dec 7, 2015

Feb 3, 2017


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Russian Defense Ministry called on the US to not hamper the operations of the Syrian Arab Army in its war against terrorists.

Russia Military Calls on “International Coalition” Not to Hamper Syria Operations against Terrorism

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that “The closer the end of the ISIL in Syria, the clearer it is who is really fighting with the ISIL and who has been imitating this fight for three years. So, if the US-led international coalition does not want to fight against terrorism in Syria, let it just be out of the way of those who are doing it continuously and effectively”, SANA reported.

He noted that water discharges from the Euphrates dams by the groups supported by the US hamper the advance of Syrian Arab Army units in their operations against terrorism in the surroundings of Deir Ezzur province.

“Thus, the water situation on the Euphrates has deteriorated dramatically in the past 24 hours. As soon as the Syrian government troops began to cross the river, water level in the Euphrates rose within hours and the current velocity nearly doubled to two meters per second,” he said.

“Since there have been no rains, the only source of such changes in the water situation is man-induced water discharge at dams upstream the Euphrates. These facilities are held by groups controlled by the US-led coalition,” he stressed.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov slammed the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for flushing out the reservoir of the water dams they control in Northeastern Syria in a bid to rise the water levels in the Euphrates to block the Syrian army from crossing the river in Deir Ezzur.
Russian Gen. Blasts SDF for Flushing Dam Reservoir to Stop Syrian Army's River Crossing

The army units continued to liberate the Euphrates valley East of Deir Ezzur city with the help of the Russian Air Force, the statement from the ministry said, adding that the government forces had retaken more than 60 square kilometers on the left (Eastern) bank of the Euphrates from the ISIL.

The army also faced difficulties as it cut across the Euphrates River, where the water level surprisingly rose within several hours. Such water-level changes could only be the result of a deliberate flush at the dams that are also currently controlled by the militant groups backed by the US-led coalition, the major general said.

The Syrian army crossed the Euphrates to deploy on the Eastern bank of the river last week.

The first units of the army deployed on the Eastern bank of the river last week, spreading towards the regions where a number of SDF troops claimed to have deployed a day earlier. The Syrian soldiers moved their armored units across the river few days later.

The ISIL terrorist group has resorted to use female suicide attackers to hit the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa city, SDF media relations representative Mustafa Balli said Wednesday.
ISIL Using Female Suicide Attackers to Slow Down SDF's Advances in Northeastern Syria

"Being pushed back by our fighters, the ISIL started using female suicide bombers to stage attacks in the city. This tactic won’t help them though; ISIL is gradually being encircled and their days are numbered," Balli told the Turkish-language website of the Russia's state news agency, Sputnik.

Balli also added that the SDF forces have reclaimed 15 city neighborhoods already, and recently managed to recapture the Civilian Affairs Department building.

"The Raqqa operation started over 3 months ago. The fighting still rages in the city center, in the area where the government buildings are located, and around the Saat and Delle squares where ISIL publicly executes civilians… . At this time the terrorists still control 30 percent of Raqqa," Balli said, adding that the fighting continues in six districts of the city.

The official spokesman for the Euphrates Rage Operation Room said earlier this month that the SDF pushed back ISIL from 65 percent of Raqqa city's neighborhoods.

Jeihan Sheikh Ahmad said that the Kurdish forces seized control over the neighborhoods of old Raqqa and al-Dar'eiyeh that were the most important strongholds of ISIL in the city.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), along with the anti-Daesh coalition have liberated 80 percent of the city and continue to clear mines and the remaining militants from the city’s squares where fighting persists.
Syrian Democratic Forces, Coalition Forces Liberate 80% of Raqqa

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by the US-led coalition, announced on Wednesday that some 80 percent of the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Daesh terrorist group (banned in numerous countries).

"It can be said that 80 percent of Raqqa city has been liberated. Our units continue clearance of mine and remaining militants in the city’s squares where fighting continues," the SDF said in a statement.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement that the Syrian Army troops have come under heavy shelling by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their operation against ISIL terrorists on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzur province.
Deir Ezzur: US-Backed SDF Shelling Syrian Army Positions East of Euphrates River

“According to the reports of the Syrian Army commanders, the most vicious counterattacks and massive shelling are launched from the North that is controlled by the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) and the US special forces that were deployed to the area to allegedly ‘lend medical assistance’ to these militants instead of liberating Raqqa,” the statement said.

The Israeli warplanes attacked several positions in the occupied Galan Heights in the Southern province of Quneitra, a Lebanon-based media outlet reported on Wednesday.
Israeli Air Force Launches Airstrike on Positions in Syria's Occupied Golan

The English-language Daily Star reported that the Israeli fighter jets targeted a number of areas in Quneitra province near the border with Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories.

The attack came after an Israeli Patriot missile allegedly intercepted and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle purportedly operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement in the region.

Earlier, the Israeli media outlets claimed that Israel's military forces had struck a reconnaissance drone as soon as it had entered the skies over the occupied Golan Heights.

Israeli Military Spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis claimed that the Hezbollah-operated drone took off from Damascus International Airport.

In relevant developments in June the Israeli air force targeted the Syrian troops' artillery unit in Eastern Samadaniyeh in the outskirts of Quneitra city. Reports said that the artillery fire played a major role in pushing the terrorists back from the region.

A prominent Syrian military and strategic expert described Israel as an accomplice of the terrorists in Syria, warning that Tel Aviv intends to create a buffer zone in the Arab country.

Yahya Soleiman said that by attacking the Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights, Israel sent this message that it would never leave the terrorist groups and would defend them to the end. "There are decisive ties between Israel and terrorists to set up a buffer zone in the Golan like Antoine Lahad region in Southern Lebanon - whose creation plot failed - and this time the situation would be repeated in Syria," he added. "Whatever happens in Syria is in line with meeting Israel's interests, destroying Syria and weakening the powers standing beside Damascus," Soleiman said.

Noting that Tel Aviv was well aware of the positions of the terrorists' missile launch pads and knows that none of them was due to hit Israel, he said the regime was seeking to find a pretext to provoke the militants to target the Syrian army forces and this happened several times. "The Israeli side has violated the ceasefire plan and kicked out the UN forces to move freely beside the terrorists. We witness how the Israeli convoys move along the borders and transfer the terrorists from Syria to the occupied territories," Soleiman said.

Stressing that Russia knew the realities in Syria, he said Moscow tried to force the American side to participate in the peace process in Syria but the US led all efforts to failure.

The Turkish Army continue to dispatch more troops to the border with Syria as news reports informed of a military operation against the Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) and establishment of a de-escalation zone in Idlib province, militant-affiliated websites reported on Tuesday.
Turkish Army Continues to Strengthen Military Presence at Border with Syria

The websites said that a long convoy of the Turkish armored vehicles and trucks left the Turkish town of Kilis for the borderline with Syria'a Idlib province for the sixth day in a row.

Field sources reported earlier today that the Al-Nusra Front has started fortifying its Positions near Idlib border with Turkey after the Turkish army dispatched more forces and military equipment to the common borderline.

The sources reported that the Al-Nusra Front has been reinvigorating and fortifying its positions in Northern and Western Idlib in recent days, adding that Al-Nusra has deployed hundreds of fighters and military vehicles in Atma'ah, Bab Saqa, Harem and Salqin region and has boosted its defense lines along the border with Turkey. The sources went on to say that Al-Nusra Front's commanders, deployed in border regions with Turkey, have left the region for an unknown destination along with their family members.

The militants, backed up by the US and Jordan, have agreed to hand over their positions at border with Jordan to the Syrian Army troops, a Russian media outlet reported on Wednesday.
US-Backed Terrorists to Hand over Positions at Border with Jordan to Syrian Army

The Arabic-language website of the Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, reported that the militants that are supported by Washington and Amman have agreed to deliver a part of Syria's Southern border, including al-Nasib border-crossing, to the Syrian army. The decision came after the US-backed militants held talks with the Russian military in Syria.

Also, a military source said that the terrorists have started to evacuate their military hardware from the border region. The source further said that after the establishment of de-escalation zones in Southern Syria, Damascus and the Russia's Peace Center for Syria intensified negotiations with the militant groups to reopen a road to connect al-Qazal to al-Nasib to enable the army to re-impose control over the border-crossing.

The source went on to say that Abu Mohammad Ordoni had participated in the negotiations as the representative of the militants and called for the release of over 100 captives, adding that the Russian Peace Center informed Damascus of their demand; "so, the reopening of al-Nasib border-crossing must now be decided by the Syrian government".

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to approve legislation making the ruble the main currency of exchange at all Russian seaports by next year, according to the Kremlin website.
Putin Orders to End Trade in US Dollars at Russian Seaports

To protect the interests of stevedoring companies with foreign currency obligations, the government was instructed to set a transition period before switching to ruble settlements, RT reported.

According to the head of Russian antitrust watchdog FAS Igor Artemyev, many services in Russian seaports are still priced in US dollars, even though such ports are state-owned.

The proposal to switch port tariffs to rubles was first proposed by the president a year and a half ago. The idea was not embraced by large transport companies, which would like to keep revenues in dollars and other foreign currencies because of fluctuations in the ruble.

Artemyev said the decision will force foreigners to buy Russian currency, which is good for the ruble.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Russia warns US it will strike back if militia attacks in Syria don’t end:

Moscow has warned the US that if militias it supports in northeast Syria again attack positions of pro-government forces backed by Russia, the Russian military will use all its force to retaliate.
The troops of the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), a predominantly Kurdish militia that receives support from the US military, have twice attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir ez-Zor governorate with mortar and rocket fire, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

“Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed,” Konashenkov said, adding that the attacks put at risk Russian military advisers embedded with Syrian government troops.

“Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary,” he stressed.

Konashenkov said Moscow suspected the SDF of colluding with the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) in Deir ez-Zor rather than fighting it, as it claims to be. He said Russia had detected the transfer of SDF fighters from the IS stronghold of Raqqa, to join forces with the jihadists.

“SDF militants work to the same objectives as IS terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between IS and the ‘third force,’ the SDF,” the Russian general said.

The statement said that the siege of Raqqa by the SDF has been halted, apparently in response to the latest advances by Syrian government forces in Deir ez-Zor, which is located to the east from Raqqa along the Euphrates River.

“The central parts of the former ISIL capital, which account for roughly 25 percent of the city, remain under full control of the terrorists,” Konashenkov remarked.

According to the statement, in the last 24 hours Syrian government troops “continued their offensive operation” to destroy the last “IS bridgehead” near the city of Deir ez-Zor, the provincial capital. Troops led by Syrian Army General Suheil al-Hassan liberated around 16 sq km of territory and two settlements on the western bank of the Euphrates River.

“More than 85 percent of Deir ez-Zor's territory is under the full control of Syrian troops. Over the next week the city will be liberated completely,” Konashenkov said.

The city of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria was besieged by Islamic State in 2014. Syrian government forces lifted the blockade of the city in early September.

However, the liberation of Deir ez-Zor also triggered a confrontation between Syrian government forces and the US-backed SDF militants, the point of contention being control of Deir ez-Zor’s oil fields.

Following Damascus’s strategic victory, food, medicine and other essentials started to reach the city by convoy, where previously the inhabitants had to rely on air-drops.

The escalation of tension in eastern Syria is mirrored in the western Idlib governorate, where militant forces this week attacked Syrian positions in a designated de-escalation zone. The offensive threatened a unit of Russian military police, who were stationed in the area to monitor the ceasefire. Russia mounted an emergency rescue operation on Wednesday, in which three Russian special operations troops were injured. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the militants’ offensive had been instigated by US special services.
Published: 21 Sep, 2017


FOTCM Member
Ant22 said:
Russia warns US it will strike back if militia attacks in Syria don’t end:
The escalation of tension in eastern Syria is mirrored in the western Idlib governorate, where militant forces this week attacked Syrian positions in a designated de-escalation zone. The offensive threatened a unit of Russian military police, who were stationed in the area to monitor the ceasefire. Russia mounted an emergency rescue operation on Wednesday, in which three Russian special operations troops were injured. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the militants’ offensive had been instigated by US special services.
Russia Insider reports more on the rescue operation. Apparently the US and their proxies attempted to kidnap 29 Russian soldiers but were out-witted and out-gunned by General-Colonel Surovkin and Russian Special Forces. This one reads like an action thriller!

Yesterday, according to General Rudskoi, an army of “moderate” decapitators, directed by their 'US Secret Service’ handlers, double-crossing the Russians by violating a ceasefire agreement, launched an attack with tanks and artillery on the Syrian Government north of Hama in the de-escalation zone, in an attempt to halt the Syrian Army’s successful advance.

A key part of the plan was to capture 29 Russian soldiers, which would have been a major embarrassment for Russia.

Here’s where the story gets gripping.

The 29 Russians were trapped for several hours by the militants, engaged in a heavy fire-fight for their very survival.

Finally, a Spetsnaz (Russian Special Operations) unit, partially composed of 'military natives of the North Caucusus' (these are probably Chechens, the fiercest soliders Russia has), broke through the terrorist line.

Then, like lightning over the skies of Syria, Russian Sukhoi jets conducted pinpoint strikes against the opposition force, which was subsequently bombarded with an artillery salvo, providing cover for the Russian rescue squad.

They successfully reached their comrades, and though three operators were injured, Russia suffered no casualties.

AL-Qaeda and the US ‘Secret Services’ however, had a very, very, bad day.

“187 objects, about 850 TERRORISTS, 11 TANKS, four armoured vehicles, 46 PICKUPS, five mortars, 20 TRUCKS and 38 WEAPONS WAREHOUSES were destroyed in a 24-hours period by the Russian counterattack.”
The video interview, where the General ends with this classic line, "The operation to destroy the terrorists will be continued.” :rockon: The full transcript is available in the original article.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It was a real dumb move by US intelligence. They forget that Russia "is in control" of operations in the playing field and back-up their positions.

"US intelligence behind the East Turkestan/Al Nusra attack in Hama" - Russia

The Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Tuesday’s attack launched by Al Nusra Front/East Turkestan Islamic Party terrorists in the midst of a de-escalation zone in the northern countryside of the Syrian province of Hama, was provoked by the US intelligence in order to stop the advancements of the Syrian Army in the east of Deir Ez Zour.

Peskov’s remarks came during a press conference, held in Moscow on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Russian General Staff issued a statement, saying that the attack of Al Nusra Front/East Turkestan Islamic Party terrorists on Syrian Army positions in the north of Hama province, violated the de-escalation zone agreement and was initiated by the US secret service with an attempt to stop the advances of the government troops in the east of Deir Ez Zour province.

The attack of Al Nusra Front/East Turkestan Islamic Party terrorists was later repelled by the Army.

On Friday the Russian Black Sea fleet's submarine, 'Veliky Novgorod' launched Kalibr cruise missiles against terrorist targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russian Submarine Attacks al-Nusra Front With Kalibr Missiles in Syria's Idlib

The attack from a submerged position came in the wake of an al-Nusra Front terrorist offensive in the Idlib Province where a Russian military police unit was surrounded.

"The missile strike destroyed important command centers, training bases and armored vehicles of the terrorists who tried to capture 29 Russian military policemen in the north of the Hama Province," the ministry's statement said. "The targets included strongholds, militants and armored vehicles, as well as ammunition depots belonging to al-Nusra Front in the Idlib Province. The distance of the strike was nearly 300 kilometers."

Reconnaissance confirmed the successful destruction of all targets.

Al-Masdar News has obtained footage showing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) halting a US convoy in downtown Qamishli, then forcing the American armored vehicles to turn back into Kurdish-held suburbs.
Syrian Army comes face-to-face with US Army, forces Humvees to drive off (Video)

The video was recorded by an off-duty Syrian soldier on Tuesday and depicts the US Army trying to bypass a SAA checkpoint, only to be turned back by government troops. The rare incident was described as an accident as no military confrontation nor clashes took place:

On Tuesday, a large batch of Humvees, bulldozers and technicals were delivered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as a gift from the Pentagon which looks to speed up the ongoing ‘Al-Jazirah Storm’ offensive against ISIS. The video is related to the same event.

Qamishli – a diverse border city in northeastern Syria that is home to over 200,000 people – has been under split control between Kurdish forces and the SAA since 2012.

Local sources reported on Friday that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have moved towards the Northern countryside of Deir Ezzur city, intensifying the possibility of direct confrontation with the Syrian Army troops deployed in the region.
Direct Confrontation Growing More Likely between Syrian Troops, US-Backed SDF in Deir Ezzur

The sources said that the SDF and the US-led coalition forces have moved towards North of Deir Ezzur, intending to seize control over the energy fields in the region, including Koniko gas field, to further approach the Syrian Army positions.

The sources further said that the army units have advanced against ISIL towards Koniko gas field and al-Azbeh oilfield near the town of Khusham, adding that other units of the army men have advanced towards al-Salehiyeh region that is a gate to the Northern neighborhoods of Deir Ezzur to block the way of the SDF fighters that have advanced 7km in Northern countryside of the city via al-Ma'amel road.

They went on to say that the army's advances in the region force the SDF to set up two more flanks to advance towards the town of Mahimideh West of Deir Ezzur and towards the town of Khusham in Eastern Deir Ezzur to lay siege on the Syrian soldiers in the newly-seized regions.

If the SDF's plan is materialized, possibility of direct confrontation between the SDF and the Syrian army men will increase because their distance from each other will narrow down to less than 3km in the Northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzur city.

Moscow on Thursday warned the US that if US-backed groups in Northeast Syria again attack positions of Syrian pro-government forces backed by Russia, the Russian military would use all its force to retaliate.

The troops of the SDF, a group that receives support from the US military, twice attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir Ezzur province with mortar and rocket fire, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Deir Ezzur.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied units recaptured the al-Taym oil field and nearby areas as pro-government forces continued to make advances against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the Deir ez-Zor region, footage released on Thursday shows.
Exclusive: Oil spills from pipeline after SAA retake Al-Taym field from IS (Video)

Footage shows oil bursting out of broken pipes and spraying across the ground creating a significant environmental hazard.

Forces from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) battled members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) in the Hwijt Saker neighbourhood of Deir ez-Zor, Thursday.
Exclusive footage from the battle for Saqr Island in Deir Ezzor (Video)

SAA troops crossed a distributary of the Euphrates river connecting Deir ez-Zor’s city centre and the neighbourhood of Hwikt Saker.

Amongst the fighters was Major General of the Syrian Republican Guard Issam Zahreddine. Heavy fighting then commenced between SAA soldiers and IS militants. Deir ez-Zor, which is situated southeast of IS’ former stronghold of Raqqa, was besieged by Islamic State in 2014.

An Israeli attack drone fired two missiles at the Damascus International Airport last night, causing a loud explosion that could be heard throughout the Syrian capital, a Lebanese media outlet reported Friday.
Israeli Air Force Targets Non-Military Airport in Syria

The English-language Beirut-based AMN reported that the two Israeli missiles did not cause much damage to the airport or its surroundings.

The report also indicated that the attack did not kill or wound any civilians or military personnel present at the airport last night.

Not long after the missile strike, the Syrian Air Defense reportedly downed an Israeli drone near the town of Beit Jinn along the Damascus-Quneitra provincial border.

In August, the Syrian air defense system shot down an Israeli warplane violating the country's air space. The Israeli fighter jet was targeted over the city of Al-Quneitra at the time. Israel regularly violates the Syrian airspace and it launches missile attacks against the country.

Israeli warplanes attack civilian airport in Damascus

An Israeli attack drone fired two missiles at the Damascus International Airport last night, causing a loud explosion that could be heard throughout the Syrian capital.

According to a report from the Syrian military, the two Israeli missiles did not cause much damage to the airport or its surroundings.

The construction of a concrete barrier along hundreds of kilometers of Turkey’s border with Syria is expected to be completed by the end of September, a Turkish official said on Friday.
Turkey to Complete Border Wall with Syria by End-September

A total of 731 kilometers (454 miles) of the border wall has already been finished, the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. The remaining 97km (60 miles) of wall will be completed by the end of this month, the official added.

Turkey shares a 911km (566-mile) border with Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011. The border wall project incorporates physical, electronic and advanced technology layers. The physical layer includes modular concrete walls, patrol routes, manned and unmanned towers and passenger tracks.

Modular walls are being erected along the Turkish-Syrian borderline with seven-ton mobile blocks, two meters wide and three meters high. The blocks have also been topped with one-meter-high razor wire. An electronic layer consists of close-up surveillance systems, thermal cameras, land surveillance radar, remote-controlled weapons systems, command-and-control centers, line-length imaging systems and seismic and acoustic sensors. The advanced technology layer of the project includes wide area surveillance, laser destructive fiber-optic detection, surveillance radar for drone detection, jammers and sensor-triggered short distance lighting systems.

Unidentified assailants shot dead three senior commanders of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in Idlib and the city's outskirts.
3 Senior Al-Nusra Front Terrorist Commanders Killed by Unknown Assailants in Idlib

Several websites close to the terrorist groups reported that Abu Yahya Tunisi and Abu Soleiman Maghrebi, both of them notorious commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at terrorist group, have been killed by unknown gunmen in al-Kornish street in the center of Idlib city. The websites also reported that another senior commander of Al-Nusra Front, Abu Dajaneh Faransavi, was also shot down by unknown assailants in the outskirts of Idlib city.

Tahrir al-Sham ultimately pushed Ahrar al-Sham back from Idlib city late July after weeks of bloody clashes in Northwestern Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network quoted informed sources affiliated to the terrorist groups as saying that Tahrir al-Sham has gained full control over Idlib city and has driven the entire members of Ahrar al-Sham out of the city.

The network added that regardless of the ceasefire, fierce clashes between Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham are underway to take control of passageways and command centers.


The Living Force
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A RIA Novosti correspondent has come under shelling in the Syrian city of Deir Ez-Zor when one of the shells exploded near the journalist’s car, the correspondent did not receive injuries.

Russia's Ria Novosti Correspondent Comes Under Shelling in Syria's Deir ez-Zor

The correspondent’s car was damaged by shelling, while the car’s window was also broken. When the shelling occurred, the journalist was standing near the car in the city’s district of Bhelie alongside the officers of the Syrian army.

The districts of Deir Ez-Zor are shelled on a daily basis by the Daesh terrorists, outlawed in Russia. Last week, the terrorist attack led to death of four people, while 10 others were hospitalized. DETAILS TO FOLLOW

The Russian Defense Ministry released aerial footage of the Daesh positions north of Syria's city of Deir ez-Zor that showed the US equipment deployed in the area.
Russia Reveals Footage of US Forces Near Daesh Positions North of Deir-ez-Zor

The photos posted on Russia's Defense Ministry's Facebook page on Sunday show equipment that is being used by the US special forces.

"The aerial photographs, taken on September 8-12, 2017 in the areas of Daesh troops' deployment, detected a big number of US Hummer armored vehicles, used by the US Army's special forces," the ministry wrote on Facebook.

The Defense ministry added that the footage clearly showed that the units of US Army's special forces were deployed in the footholds previously set up by Daesh militants. However, no signs of ongoing clashes with terrorists, as well as shell craters left after the coalition's airstrikes were seen.

"Despite the strongholds of the US armed forces being located where Daesh militants are currently deployed, there are not even signs of the organization of a battle outpost. This shows that all the US servicemen who are currently there, feel completely safe in the areas under the terrorists control," the ministry outlined.

The Russian Ministry of Defense just released several satellite images of the U.S. military and their allies from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freely traveling in the Islamic State (ISIS) held areas of the Deir Ezzor Governorate.
Breaking: Satellite images reveal US forces operating freely in ISIS areas (8 Photo images)

“Without resistance from ISIS militants the SDF troops are moving along the left bank of the Euphrates river towards the town of Deir Ezzor,” the statement from the Ministry of Defense read.

“There are not even signs of organization of a battle outpost,” the Russian Ministry of Defense added.

The images below show U.S. armored vehicles and equipment in this ISIS-held part of Deir Ezzor between the dates of September 8-12.

The Syrian and Russian military commands have accused the US and their allies of land grabbing in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, while not actually fighting the Islamic State forces.

Most recently, the SDF took control of the Taybeh Gas Plant along the eastern bank of the Euphrates; however, recent photos reveal that the site was fully intact, unlike most structures the Islamic State abandons.

The U.S. Coalition has not commented on these accusations by the Russian military.

As the Syrian forces readies mass crossing of the Euphrates River, the Russian military has sent new self-propelled ferries to the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor.
VIDEO: Russia deploys new ferries to Syria’s Deir Ezzor

Footage filmed a couple of days ago shows PMM-2M ferries unloading at the coastal Khmeimim airbase in Syria and eventually transported to the country’s east.

PMM-2M is a self-propelled ferry vehicle used for transporting wheeled and tracked non-amphibious vehicles with a loaded weight up to 42.5 tons across wide water obstacles.

The deployment of the newly-arrived ferries is meant to assist the Syrian Army conduct a massive crossing to the eastern bank of the Euphrates with the aim to re-claim territories held by the Islamic State.

This will also most likely put the Syrian forces on a potential standoff with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Tensions in the oil-rich province have escalated with the Kurdish militia taking over the country’s largest gas field in the northeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized the Conoco Gas Plant in the Deir Ezzor countryside this week, following a short battle with the so-called Islamic State (ISIL).
US-backed forces take strategic gas plant in Deir Ezzor (Photos)

Units from the SDF were able to take control of the Conoco Gas Plant, Tuesday, after an airborne operation by the US Coalition scared off much of the Islamic State terrorists from maintaining any presence in the area.

Photos published by the pro-militant “Deir Ezzor 24 News” released photos of the Conoco Gas Factory on Saturday; these pictures show the facility’s infrastructure still intact, with little-to-no damage done to it.

The Islamic State is not known for leaving facilities like this fully intact, so it is quite odd that they fled the area without destroying the site.

In its ongoing bombardment campaign against militant forces in northern Hama and southern Idlib Governorates, The Russian Aerospace Forces have targeted a command base belonging to Turkish-backed rebels, killing and wounding nearly 100 fighters as a result.
Russian airstrike against Turkey-backed militants kills, wounds nearly 100 fighters

Today, Russian airpower engaged a Faylaq al-Sham headquarters base in the area of Tal Mardiqh in southern Idlib with a number of precision strikes.

In addition to completely destroying the command base, the airstrike also killed fourteen fighters belonging to the militant group and wounded another 50.

With the knowledge that the Russian Aersopace Forces are now also attacking non-Al-Qaeda affiliated militant groups throughout northern Hama and southern Idlib, it can be said that Russian airpower is expanding the parameters of its bombing campaign to completely suppress the offensive capabilities of all rebel factions in northwest Syria.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) kicked off a new operation i the Golan Heights region of Al-Quneitra, Friday, targeting the jihadist controlled Beit Jinn pocket that borders the Rif Dimashq Governorate.
Syrian Army begins new offensive in the Golan Heights

Led by the 9th Division , the Syrian Arab Army stormed the Beit Jinn pocket on Friday evening, seizing several points in the process.

The Syrian Army was able to score an important advance from both the northern and southern flanks, forcing the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham to retreat towards the town of Beit Jinn.

In the past, the Syrian military command has demanded the jihadist rebels surrender the Beit Jinn pocket; however, the HTS and Free Syrian Army
(FSA) militants continue to reject any deal that would see their forces transported from this region to northern Syria.

The Turkish parliament on Saturday approved a motion to extend a mandate, authorizing military operations in Syria and Iraq for one year, in the light of a scheduled referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, which Ankara strongly opposes, according to the voting results.
Turkish troops will remain in Syria, Iraq for another year

The parliament held an extraordinary session to decide on the mandate, which was valid until October 30.

The Iraqi Kurdistan authorities have called the vote for September 25, drawing international criticism. The UN Security Council warned Thursday the referendum might destabilize the region still threatened by radical Islamist militancy.

The mandate was supported by the ruling Justice and Development Party, far-right Nationalist Movement Party, center-left Republican People’s Party, while the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party voted against the bill.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag demanded the referendum’s cancellation. The official said that Kurds still had time to change their mind, citing lack of support for the vote among the region’s ethnic Turkmen and Arab residents.

The French regime admitted this weekend that their forces suffered their first casualty in the Iraqi-Syrian theater, despite claiming they have no official units on the ground.
First French soldier killed in Syria

In a statement issued by Élysée Palace on Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that that an “adjutant of the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment” was killed while “accomplishing his mission to defend our country, protect our fellow citizens and win the struggle against barbarism.”

Speaking of the circumstances of the serviceman’s death, Colonel Patrick Steiger, spokesman for the French Armed Forces General Staff, said that the lieutenant was an adviser of a “local force” fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) which came under heavy fire by jihadists who rained down “weapons of all caliber: machine guns, mortars and missiles” on the group early Saturday.

Although the Frenchman was not directly involved in repelling the offensive, he was “fatally wounded” and died on the scene.

The officer’s death marks the first time during “Operation Chammal” that the French military has lost any personnel.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said that “unlimited Israeli support to terrorists in Syria did not come as a surprise,” during his UN General Assembly address in New York City, Saturday.
Unlimited Israeli support to terrorists in Syria did not come as surprise – Syrian FM

“Israel has provided all forms of support to terrorist gangs, including funds, weapons, material and communication equipment,” he said, adding “after all, the two share the same interests and goals,” without elaborating.

During his speech, the Foreign Minister also declared that Syria will reject any external future “interference in political decisions,” adding that “only Syrians have the right to make such decisions, whether now or in the future.”


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Western media sources reported that Russia is about to establish a new military base in Deir Ezzur that will be the Russian forces' largest base in the war-hit country after Humeimim airbase in Lattakia.

Russia to Set up New Military Base in Eastern Syria

The Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted western media sources as reporting that Russia is to set up a new large military base in Deir Ezzur due to its reginal and international strategic importance.

Al-Ahd added that the long distance between the Russia-run Humeimim airbase and Eastern or Central Syria and the superior capabilities and features of Deir Ezzur airbase are two other reasons for Moscow's decision.

In the meantime, proximity of Deir Ezzur to the US bases in Iraq and Syria's main oilfields, on which Russia is keen to invest, have been mentioned among other reasons, al-Ahd pointed out.

The website went on to say that Moscow's decision to set up a military airbase in Deir Ezzur is also mainly aimed at preventing the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces from crossing the Euphrates River to rush towards South that is home to the richest oilfields in Syria.

Moscow warned the US on Thursday that if US-backed groups in Northeast Syria again attack the positions of the Syrian pro-government forces backed by Russia, the Russian military would use all its force to retaliate.

The troops of the SDF, a group that receives support from the US military, twice attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir Ezzur province with mortar and rocket fire, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

Konashenkov said, “Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed."

He further added that the attacks put at risk Russian military advisers embedded with Syrian government troops.

“Fire from positions in regions controlled by the SDF will be suppressed by all means necessary,” he stressed.

Konashenkov said Moscow suspected the SDF of colluding with the terrorist group ISIL in Deir Ezzur rather than fighting it, as it claims to be. He said Russia had detected the transfer of SDF militants from the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa, to join forces with the terrorists.

“SDF militants work to the same objectives as ISIL terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between ISIL and the ‘third force,’ the SDF,” the Russian general said.

The statement said that the siege of Raqqa by the SDF was halted, apparently in response to the latest advances by Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzur, which was located to the East from Raqqa along the Euphrates River.

“The Central parts of the former ISIL capital, which account for roughly 25 percent of the city, remain under full control of the terrorists,” Konashenkov remarked.

According to the statement, the Syrian government troops “continued their offensive operation” to destroy the last “ISIL bridgehead” near the city of Deir Ezzur, the provincial capital. Troops led by Syrian Army General Suheil al-Hassan liberated around 16 sq/km of territory and two settlements on the Western bank of the Euphrates River.

“More than 85 percent of Deir Ezzur territory is under the full control of Syrian troops. Over the next week the city will be liberated completely,” Konashenkov said.

The Syrian Army had received a large consignment of modern Russian-made tanks and military vehicles last month and utilized them in the recent anti-ISIL operation to cross the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzur province, a Russian media outlet reported on Sunday.
Syrian Army Receives More Advanced Tanks, Military Vehicles

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, reported that a large consignment, including Russian-made T-62 tanks and BRM-1K military vehicles was delivered to the Syrian army via the Tartus port in August, adding that the newly-arrived tanks and military vehicles assisted the Syrian soldiers to have an easier and fasters move while crossing the Euphrates River to hit ISIL's defense lines on the Eastern bank of the river.

The BRM-1K military vehicle in designed to carry out reconnaissance operation in the battlefield and the T-62 tanks are equipped with 115mm cannons.

The Arabic Sputnik reported earlier this month that the army had been using modernized models of T-72P and T-72P1 tanks in war on terrorists in the war-hit country.

Also, the military experts said that although the T-72P and T-72P1 tanks were among the advanced military vehicles but they were updated and handed over to the Syrian army, adding these tanks were superior than T-72P3 and T-90 tanks in some cases.

An advanced model of a Russia-made medium-range surface-to-air missile system was stationed in Hama province earlier this month to reinvigorate the air-defense capability of the Syrian government forces in the region, a Russian news website reported on Sunday.
Advanced Russia-Made Air-Defense System Deployed in Central Syria

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted Russkaya Vesna website as reporting that the Russia-made mid-range guided missile system S-350 Vityaz was transferred to the town of Masyaf in Hama province via the Tartus port earlier this month to reinvigorate Syrian air-defense units' capability to guard the country's airspace.

The Arabic sputnik said that the S-300 anti-aircraft system has been replaced with S-350 Vityaz system.

S-350 Vityaz enjoys 12 tracing missiles instead of 4 missile in previous system, sputnik said, adding that the S-350 Vityaz's management and control system automation is superior to its older counterpart.

A Russian media outlet reported earlier this month that a series of Su-25SM3 fighter jets, a modern Russia-made warplane known as Supper Grach, would soon join the Russian air fleet in Syria to intensify war on terrorists.

The Arabic Sputnik reported that the Russian Air Force in Syria would receive Su-25SM3 fighter jets before the end of 2017, adding the Su-25SM3 was the modern model of Su-25 known as Grach.

The Arabic Sputnik underlined the specific capabilities of Su-25SM3 and added that the modern fighter jets enjoy Sulet-25 electronic optical system that could track and target objects independent from pilot navigation.

It added that the Sulet-25 enabled the Su-25SM3 fighter jets to attack any objects in any weather condition and any time.

The Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) is getting ready to kick off a large-scale attack on Ankara- backed militants following the Turkish Army's reinvigoration of forces along the border with Syria, a Syrian media outlet reported Sunday.
Al-Nusra Preparing to Attack Turkey-Backed Militants West of Aleppo Province

The Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that Al-Nusra has deployed a large number of terrorists and military vehicles in areas surrounding the town of al-Artab in Western Aleppo.

The Al-Nusra's move came after the Turkish Army sent several convoys of military equipment and forces to the border with Syria, the paper said.

It added that the Al-Nusra is about to attack the al-Artab that is under the Ankara-backed militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) to foil a plan by the Turkish army and the FSA to carry out an offensive on Al-Nusra Front positions in Idlib.

Al-Watan further said that the FSA has put its forces in al-Artab on alert.

An Arab media outlet reported last week that the Turkish Army dispatched a large number of fresh soldiers and a large volume of military equipment to the country's border with Syria's Idlib province.

The Arabic-language Al-Ahd news website reported that the Turkish army sent fresh forces and military hardware to two border regions across the regions of Bab Saqa and Ra'as al-Hasaan in Northern Idlib.

The army had forwarded its forces and equipment deployed in Hatay province to the borders with Syria yesterday.

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted a Turkish paper as reporting that the Turkish Army was to dispatch more soldiers and military hardware to its border with Syria in Hatay province to help the Ankara-backed militants and also monitor ceasefire in Idlib de-escalation zone.

In the meantime, another Turkish daily reported that Ankara and the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army intended to send 25,000 fighters to Idlib to guarantee security in the de-escalation zone.

The Russian Defense Ministry released on Sunday several aerial images which they say show the US Army Special Forces' equipment North of Deir Ezzur city in Eastern Syria, where ISIL terrorists are deployed.
US Special Operation Equipment Seen on Aerial Images of ISIL Positions North of Deir Ezzur

All of the images were taken from September 8 to 12, the ministry said in a statement, RT reported.

It added that the photos show several Cougar infantry mobility vehicles and Hummer armored vehicles of the US Army special forces.

The US Army special units provide free passage for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) through the battle formations of the ISIL, the statement said.

“Without resistance from ISIL militants the SDF troops are moving along the left bank of the Euphrates river towards the town of Deir Ezzur,” the statement read.

“Despite the strongholds of the US armed forces being located where ISIL militants are currently deployed, there are not even signs of the organization of a battle outpost,” the ministry pointed out.

This could mean that the US military staff “feel absolutely safe” in the area which is held by the ISIL, the defense ministry stated.

The ISIL terrorist group has appointed a former commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as the new Emir of its fighters in Deir Ezzur after the terrorist group sustained heavy defeats in recent battles against the Syrian Army in the region, local sources reported earlier today.
Syria: ISIL Appoints Former FSA Commander as New Emir of Terrorist Group in Deir Ezzur

The sources said that Ahmad al-Daham, a former field commander of the FSA, has been appointed by the ISIL as the terrorist group's emir in Deir Ezzur. Al-Daham was one of the commanders of the FSA in Deir Ezzur before the ISIL took control over the Eastern city.

A local source reported earlier today that the Syrian Army troops have managed to drive ISIL out of 44 regions in Western Deir Ezzur, Southern part of Raqqa province and Eastern Hama in the last 13 days, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The source said that the army men captured 44 towns, villages, farms and installations in Western Deir Ezzur, Southern territories of Raqqa province and in Eastern Hama in their anti-ISIL operations in last 13 days.

The source added that al-Janineh, al-Baqaliyeh, Ayyash, Mesran, Albu Yatiyeh, al-Jawasmeh, Ma'adan, al-Suweidiyeh, al-Khamisiyeh, al-Atshaneh, Maqlat Kabireh and al-Qasibeh were among the regions that the army liberated.

The source went on to say that the army men killed or wounded hundreds of terrorists, destroyed 19 command centers, 17 bomb-laden vehicles, 20 military vehicles, 269 cars and several arms and ammunition depots in their operation.

Militant-affiliated websites in Syria disclosed on Sunday that Top Commander of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) Abu Mohammad Joulani has been significantly involved in the assassination of several commanders of the terrorist group in recent years.
Militant Reports: Joulani Involved in Assassination of Al-Nusra Commanders

The websites reported that Abu Mohammad Joulani was behind the assassination of Jeish al-Fatah military commander Abu Hajar Homsi nom de guerre Abu Omar Saraqeb, adding that Abu Omar Saraqeb had revealed his intension for cutting relations with Joulani to join Ahrar al-Sham.

The websites added that Yunis Sha'eib now de guerre Abu al-Hassan Taftnaz was killed in an assassination after he foiled some of the plans of Joulani in the Al-Nusra Front.

They went on to say that Joulani had orchestrated assassination of several commanders of ISIL, including Abu al-Faraj al-Mesri and Abu al-Faras Souri, that had defected ISIL and joined Al-Nusra and had criticized Joulani harshly several times.

The websites said that Joulani had also planned to kill Abdullah al-Muhaysini, the Saudi Mufti of the terrorists, in an attack, but al-Muhaysini found out and cut relations with him.

News website affiliated to the terrorist groups reported last week that fresh waves of tension covered the Northwestern province of Idlib after a main terrorist group and several field commanders cut ties with Al-Nusra Front.

The websites reported that Al-Nusra dispatched several military columns towards Jeish al-Ahrar terrorist group's bases in the towns of Banesh and Taftnaz in Northeastern Idlib after the latter announced that it has defected the Al-Nusra.

In the meantime, Al-Nusra started capturing previous members of the Free Syrian Army and Ahrar al-Sham in the regions and towns in the North and North-West of the province near the border with Turkey. The Al-Nusra put its forces on alert after rising tensions and defections in the province.
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