Monday, 19 December 2016

Buses attacked on way to militant-held Shiite villages after evacuation deal

US backed rebels destroyed buses that were meant to evacuate civilians, killing the drivers. All the bleeding hearts, can no longer deny now that rebels are the reason #Aleppo isn't being evacuated.
---Syrian Girl
“Moderate rebels” torch buses in Aleppo evacuating civilians

Alexander Mercouris

18 December, 2016

Demonstrating again their relentless sectarian agenda Al-Qaeda led Jihadis attack and burn buses tasked with evacuating Shiite fighters and civilians from besieged Shiite villages despite this putting the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians in Aleppo in jeopardy.
Reports from Syria confirm that buses which were due to evacuate civilians and wounded Shiite militia fighters from two Shia provinces in Syria’s Idlib province have been attacked and burnt by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis who are besieging these villages.

At Iran’s insistence the evacuation of civilians and wounded Shiite fighters from these villages was linked to the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo.

The refusal of Al-Qaeda led Jihadis to allow the agreed evacuation from the two Shiite villages is as a result holding up the withdrawal of Jihadi fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo.

This incident reveals a number of important truths about the Syrian conflict.
The first is that the Western media is actually reporting it.  The probable reason for that is that with the end of the fighting in Aleppo Western journalists are at last able to go there and to report on the spot.  Though most of them doubtless remain intensely hostile to the Syrian government, the mere fact that they are now engaged in some actual on the spot reporting means that the coverage has suddenly become fractionally more balanced and nuanced.

More importantly, this episode shows who is really responsible for the suffering of civilians in Aleppo, and who is intent on pursuing a murderous and fanatical sectarian agenda in Syria.

Though the Western media failed to report the fact, the Russians and the Syrian government have offered since the summer to allow the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis and the civilians in eastern Aleppo who want to leave to withdraw peacefully from eastern Aleppo.  The negotiations between the Russians and the US which were underway from June to early December were focused on that goal.  In early September the Kerry-Lavrov agreement appeared to provide for it.

Even after the Kerry-Lavrov agreement broke down the Russians unilaterally imposed on themselves a ‘humanitarian pause’ lasting several weeks in order to give the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis in eastern Aleppo and the civilians there the opportunity to leave.  ‘Humanitarian corridors’ were established monitored by the Russian military to enable them to do so.

These offers were unavailing, with the Western media reporting that the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo and the civilians were too frightened of reprisals by the Syrian authorities to leave.   The Russians and the Syrians by contrast reported that the civilians were being prevented from leaving by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadi fighters, who insisted on keeping them in eastern Aleppo so that they could act as human shields.

The events of the last 2 weeks have demonstrated conclusively that it was the Russians and the Syrians who were telling the truth.

As soon as Al-Qaeda’s control over eastern Aleppo weakened following the Syrian army’s offensive against the Jihadi pocket started at the end of November, tens of thousands of civilians fled eastern Aleppo to areas of the city under Syrian government control.

A fact that is not being widely reported is that far more civilians – around 100,000 – fled eastern Aleppo to the government controlled areas than are still in eastern Aleppo with the Jihadis.  The UN estimates their number to be 30-40,000, a fact which incidentally shows that the figure of 250,000 commonly reported during the siege for the civilian population of eastern Aleppo was indeed exaggerated, and that the true number was 140,000.

Once civilians did indeed begin to leave eastern Aleppo following the start of the government offensive, the more credible reports show that they were humanely treated, with the Russians and the Syrian authorities providing them with shelter and hot food, and with the Russians sending mobile hospitals to the city to treat them (one of these hospital was shelled by the Jihadis in an episode which the Western media and Western government disgracefully have never condemned).
After Jihadi fighters and civilians began to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo as a result of the Putin-Erdogan agreement, all the credible reports from the city once again confirm that when they are being evacuated they are being evacuated safely.

As for the atrocity stories that were receiving saturation coverage a week ago, it is striking how over the last few days they have almost entirely dried up – again almost certainly as a consequence of the belated presence of Western reporters and observers in the city.

By contrast the attack on the buses by the Al-Qaeda led Jihadi fighters trying to prevent the evacuation of civilians and wounded fighters from the two Shiite villages, highlights the utter ruthlessness and extreme sectarian attitudes of these fighters.  Quite simply, they are unwilling to let these Shiites go, even if by preventing them from leaving they are putting the safety of their Sunni co-religionists and their Jihadi comrades in Aleppo at risk.

The reality about the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ is that it should have been ended in September.  At that point the Jihadi offensive launched in August to break the siege of the Al-Qaeda controlled eastern districts had been defeated.  The Jihadis in eastern Aleppo were trapped, and with the Russian military engaged there was no realistic possibility of the siege being broken or of their escape.

In the light of this, all the fighting – and all the death and suffering – which has happened in Aleppo since September is the product of the refusal of the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis in eastern Aleppo and of their Western backers – which must include most of the Western media – to accept this reality.

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the need to preserve the propaganda narrative and the illusory objective of regime change in Syria in the end overrode concern for the people of Aleppo.

From the Guardian
Vehicles set on fire going to Kefraya and Fua, where villagers were to be allowed to leave in exchange for Aleppo evacuation 

Sabotage Of East-Aleppo evacuation is part of a plan

The removal of defeated al-Qaeda fighters and their families from east-Aleppo has been on and off for several days now.

18 December, 2016

The agreement between Turkey and Russia on which the evacuation is based stipulates the parallel evacuation of wounded people from the al-Qaeda besieged Shiite village Fu'a and Kafraya in Idleb province. Note that neither the U.S. nor the (partisan) UN were involved in these negotiations.

The process was interrupted on Friday after al-Qaeda fighters in east-Aleppo opened fire on evacuating civilians. In parallel buses moving into Fu'a and Kafraya to evacuate the wounded were held up by al-Qaeda aligned groups in the area. Opposition claims that Hizbullah fighters was killing people that were evacuating from east-Aleppo were, according to a BBC producer,lies.

The agreement and evacuations were put on again and proceeded this morning after some new negotiations with unknown additional terms. The movements were to take place in strict parallel. Any move out of east-Aleppo on the government provided public buses would only happen at the very same moment that the wounded would move out of Fu'a and Kafraya on similar buses.
Today's evacuations were again sabotaged by al-Qaeda forces:
Several buses en route to evacuate the sick and injured from two government-held villages in Syria's Idlib province have been burned by rebels.
The convoy was travelling to Foah and Kefraya, besieged by rebel fighters.
Pro-government forces are demanding people be allowed to leave the mainly Shia villages in order for the evacuation of east Aleppo to restart.
Thousands of people are waiting to leave in desperate conditions, reports say.
Al-Qaeda gangs themselves provided video of the bus burning. The bus drivers were likely murdered which pretty much guarantees that no further buses will come or go.

I doubt that this is a solely al-Qaeda induced incident. It seems to me that the certain U.S. forces (aka the CIA) are trying to prolong the removal of al-Qaeda from east-Aleppo for their own purpose.

Just yesterday even the Washington Post (againreported on the years long collusion between the CIA and al-Qaeda in Syria:
The CIA meanwhile continued to push a program that targeted Russia and its Syrian and Iranian allies — and helped shield Jabhat al-Nusra.
There are several "western" groups that want to keep the evacuation stalled to continue their anti-Syrian, anti-Russian and anti-Iran agenda.

The U.S. administration is miffed that it was kept out of the recent negotiations. It wants to demonstrate that any negotiations without its participation will not have any positive result.

The hundreds of "last video from Aleppo" of "Bana" and other propaganda creatures claiming to be there look like a highly coordinated Information Warfare campaign. The "Stand with Aleppo" campaign in the U.S. was started and is propelled by a Democratic party operative who is also CEO of a public relations company and "strategic affairs consultant" in Chicago, Becky Carroll. Its aim is to escalated the situation in Syria.

Meanwhile members of the Syrian opposition, or rather their "western" controllers in the CIA, are now emphasizing Iran, not Russia, as alleged spoiler in Syria. They claim, without any evidence, that Iran or its operatives held up the evacuations. This is part of a plan to preempt announced Trump policies of negotiating an end of the Syria conflict.

The French president Hollande, despised by his people and with an approval rating between 4 and 6%, is calling for another UN Security Council vote over east-Aleppo. Such a vote, demanding UN observers for the evacuation, is intended to hold it up. Observers would need days to be in place and would lack any reasonable protection. Hollande also wants to provide food to the non-existing "civilians" in east-Aleppo while Reuters provides video showing that al-Qaeda and allies in east-Aleppo have horded enough food for years. The idea behind the UNSC resolution is to let it fail and to then go to the UN General Assembly which, under the right pressure, might allow a war by any nation against Syria.

Earlier Hollande ordered the lights at the Eiffel tower to be turned off to mourn the liberation of Aleppo from Takfiris and to make it look like the flag of his defeated al-Qaeda friends. His sponsors in Qatar and Saudi Arabia will reward his principled stand.

With the burning of the buses the evacuation agreement is dead and unlikely to be revived.

The Syrian army should tell al-Qaeda in Aleppo that there will be no longer be any ceasefire. It must make clear that they will now either be interned or killed. The final fighting should be over in a day or two. Meanwhile as much air support as possible should be provided to the defenders at Fu'a and Kafraya.

The Russian military learned the hard way in Grozny that any ceasefire or pause you give to a mostly defeated enemy only helps the enemy and will, in the end, cost more lives on both sides.

Putin and Lavrov have fallen for various negotiation scams with the U.S. that were designed to only hold back attacks on al-Qaeda and allies so that those forces could reorganize and resupply for renewed attacks on government held areas. 

Kerry's promises to separate "moderates" from al-Qaeda in Syria was repeated over months until he finally claimed that the groups were too "marbled" to be taken apart. U.S. military attacks on Syrian government forces were launched to sabotage any agreement. Similar deceiving delaying tactics are now evident with the negotiated evacuation of east-Aleppo.

Meanwhile the next al-Qaeda stronghold to be attacked by government forces in the governate and city of Idleb can be prepared for defense. With the Syrian army and its allies still busy in Aleppo new arms supplies can arrive in Idleb and new formations can be organized. The British government even sends more troops to train "moderate" al-Qaeda allies.

It is time to end such sorry play. Clean up Aleppo already. Hollande, Samantha Power and other stooges will howl anyway - no matter how the final scene is done.

UNSC agrees ‘good text’ for resolution on Aleppo, voting to be held Monday - Churkin

The UN Security Council has agreed a “good text” of a resolution on Aleppo evacuation monitoring, Russia’s UN envoy told journalists. That comes after Russia’s promise to veto the French resolution and its putting forward a rival draft.
The voting on the new version of the document is scheduled for Monday, Vitaly Churkin said.
The US ambassador to the UN believes the resolution will be passed unanimously.
"We expect to vote unanimously for this text tomorrow at 9am (1400 GMT),” Samantha Power told reporters after a three-hour closed door meeting, according to Reuters.
The French-drafted resolution for placing the Aleppo evacuation under the supervision of the UN is “dangerous and impossible to implement," Russia's ambassador to the UN said earlier, promising to veto the initiative and put some new proposals on the table instead.
We cannot allow it to pass because this is a disaster,” Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, told journalists commenting on the French-initiated resoluti

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