Monday 22 August 2016

ALERT: US declares itself occupation force in Syria

BREAKING: US Occupation of Syria
August 21, 2015 - Fort Russ News -
- FR Editorial Team -

21 August, 2016

"This is a historic and dangerous development which only increases the chances of total war."

Over the last 24 hours, the United States has made clear its status as a hostile occupational force in Syria. Yesterday, the US issued a communique to the legitimate Syrian government and the Russian anti-terrorist coalition assisting the Syrians. The United States has indicated that it has carved out a swath of Syria with boots on the ground fulfilling the roles of active duty personnel, such as special ops forces, advisors, trainers, mechanics, and supporting units. The US has declared a no fly zone and threatened to target and shoot down Syrian and Russian planes within Syrian airspace. 

As RT reports, US Commander of American forces in Iraq and Syria Lt. General Stephen Townshend stated: "“We’ve informed the Russians where we’re at ... (they) tell us they’ve informed the Syrians, and I’d just say that we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened." Since, as Reuters reports, clashes between Kurdish and Syrian forces have intensified.

A number of analysts previously forecasted that the US would take this route given the success of the Syrian and allied Russian campaign in general and in particular in light of souring US-Turkish relations, the possibility of the US losing access to the Turkish Incirlik base, and the dire situation of Takfiri forces holed up in Aleppo. Different international news agencies have already run a version of the story which presents the US forces' communique as a "warning for Russia and Syria" (CNN) or a"defensive threat" (IBT), but they have failed to distinguish the de facto meaning of this development. Nor have they included that the US military's official statement is in stark violation of international law, constituting an illegal occupation of a sovereign state. 

It has long been assessed that the reason that the US had simultaneously backed ISIS and Kurdish forces was for the purpose of using ISIS as a "place holder" to be defeated, either virtually or in actuality, only to then carve out a US occupation zone under the pretext of forming an independent Kurdish state. Previously last year, representatives of the Kurdish autonomous region made an unconstitutional and unilateral announcement of federalization. This turn was used to create a seemingly legal ambiguity, or 'gray area', to confuse public discourse at the media level. However, the anti-terrorist coalition's foreign ministers as well as international legal experts are under no illusions that the unilateral declaration of federalization is just as much a violation of Syrian sovereignty as would be a breakaway republic made possible only thanks to a war of US occupation. Under the international legal norms of the Geneva convention as well as subsequent parallel agreements, a foreign occupying country does not have the right to divide, separate, occupy, or carve out a section of a country regardless of what the occupying army terms such as. 

Moreover, the most recent communique from the US Lt. General Townshend in Northern Syria laid out plans to increase the area of what the US considers "Kurdistan." Under the present Syrian Constitution, Kurds are represented both in the government in Damascus and have a semi-autonomous status within the central Syrian state. 

A major collision course

The brazen and illegal warnings issued by the US commander pose the real possibility of creating a direct confrontation between Syrian, Iranian, Russian, and other independent forces on the one hand, and the US military and their Kurdish puppet outfits on the other. This dramatic increase in hostilities would deal a major blow to hopes for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. 

In 2011, the US, alongside its Israeli, Turkish, Qatari, and Saudi allies and with assistance from Jordan,  organized, sponsored, and financed the launch of an illegal invasion by non-uniformed regular soldiers, mercenaries, child soldiers, and armed religious fanatics (many of whom themselves were shipped into the region from Europe where they have legal residence). A 2011 protest movement which had blossomed out of the efforts of the US National Endowment for Democracy and UN-sanctioned NGO's financed by the House of Saud and Qatari monarchy took advantage of Syria's liberal and open society, infiltrating civic organizations and manipulating Syria's secular pluralism against itself. This created the possibility for a media simulacrum in which international observers and media, both intentionally and unintentionally, conflated a protest movement comprised mainly of Syrians with a military operation which very quickly became nothing more than a foreign invasion.

Russian involvement upon the invitation of the legitimate government of Syria was the source of a serious setback to US aims in the region. Now what remains to be seen is what the US is actually prepared to do. Syrian and Russian military planners no doubt long ago gamed out multiple scenarios and developed some kind of responsive contingency plans. It is only natural that, while such responsive plans exist, they would not be a matter of public disclosure. At issue is the capacity of the US, a once global hegemon which geostrategic analysts around the world have assessed to now be in a waning phase, to maintain an occupational foothold in the Kurdish region of Syria. Both Syria and Turkey may find that they have a common interest in opposing a US puppet Kurdish state. 

Prior to the outbreak of the present conflict, Syria and Turkey maintained a treaty which allowed Turkish security forces to pursue Kurdish separatist terrorists who would at times flee to Syria from operations in Turkey. After the conflict began, both Syria, and Turkey and the United States (to the extent to which the latter two can be considered to have divergent interests) all engaged in the game of playing the Kurdish card. Each side in the conflict hoped to be able to use the support of armed Kurdish groups to their own ends. While there is much information that suggests that Turkey is in the process of reorienting itself away from Euro-Atlanticism and NATO, especially in light of Turkey's moves during and after the failed coup attempt, there is always the possibility that recent Turkish moves are actually part of a long term plan to cast a specter of uncertainty over Turkey's future plans in concert with the US. Such would not at all be unprecedented in the history of geopolitical alliances. 

In conclusion, the US' announcement marks a turning point in this conflict. If before there had been any ambiguity about the US' intentions in Syria - a plan to divide Syria which had been publicly elaborated in numerous pro-Atlanticist think tank publications such as those of the Brookings Institute or Council on Foreign Relations - then now the US has revealed its hand. This is a historic and dangerous development which only increases the chances of total war. 

Here is the background from RT

Counter measures will be taken by US troops in case they “feel threatened” by Syrian or Russian air forces, according to a senior US military official. The warning comes in the wake of a recent incident with Syrian warplanes attacking areas close to US Special Forces.

We’ve informed the Russians where we’re at ... (they) tell us they’ve informed the Syrians, and I’d just say that we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened,” recently appointed US commander of American forces in Iraq and Syria Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a telephone interview with CNN on Saturday.

The US-led coalition had to order up its planes stationed near the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah after two Syrian Su-24 jets dropped bombs “dangerously near” the US forces positions on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters shortly after the incident.

The US-led coalition on the ground tried reaching the Syrian warplanes on a common radio frequency, but there was no response. They had to contact the Russian command that confirmed that their plane wasn’t involved.

By the time the US planes arrived, the Syrian jets had already left. The bombing caused no casualties, Pentagon reported. The US Special Forces were ordered to change location as a precaution while US jet patrols over the region were beefed up.

The US would “take whatever action is necessary” to defend their troops, Davis also said.

Earlier in July, the chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov reported that Russia and the US are exchanging information on “most sensitive issues.” He admitted “despite the problems that exist,” the secret services “are in a constant contact.”

With regard to anti-terror issues, both we and they [Americans] understand the need for concrete cooperation, information exchange, and working together,” Bortnikov said.

Next week Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry are to meet in Geneva to discuss the Syrian settlement and, among other issues, the Russia-US cooperation and more active exchange of intelligence, media reports suggest, citing unnamed US officials.

Ankara-backed Islamist units have reportedly mobilized on the Turkish side of the Syrian border to launch an assault on Jarablus, aiming to prevent the US-backed Kurdish-dominant SDF from capturing the town from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists.

The factions are gathering in an area near the border (inside Turkey),” one of the Free Syrian Army fighters told Reuters. Another rebel source confirmed a buildup of forces, loosely organized under the FSA umbrella, inside Turkey at a military camp near the town of Qarqamish just across the border with Jarablus.

Every day there are groups of fighters entering from inside Syria across a secret crossing to a Turkish base where they are gathering in preparation of the assault on Jarablus,” the source told the news agency.

RT’s Arabic crew is reporting that some 600 to 700 fighters are ready to launch an assault on Jarablus. Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen channel reports that dozens of military vehicles already have crossed from Turkey into Syria.

According to Reuters the forces are made up of Failaq al Sham, Sultan Murad, Ahrar al-Sham and Jabha al Shamiya units. The assault is expected to begin in the next few days before Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) can retake the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) -held town.

A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters are also making a push towards the border town after taking full control of Manbij by driving IS militants from the strategically important town, used by terrorists to smuggle weapons and goods. The SDF already controls the eastern bank of the Euphrates opposite Jarablus.

Ankara has long been worried about the autonomy of Kurds in Syria as Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party of Syria (PYD) with the help of American-led airstrikes, continue to capture vast amount of territory in Northern Syria, which borders Kurdish-dominant southeastern Turkey, where Ankara has engaged the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a brutal military campaign for over a year.

Turkey has repeatedly said that it would not tolerate Kurds staying west of the Euphrates River, with YPG-PYD advances in northern Syria remaining the key security issue for Ankara. The two groups are designated terrorist organizations by Turkey but not the US. Turkey fears that Kurds are trying to link up Afrin canton with its cantons in the east, Kobane and Cizre.

On Saturday the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowed that Ankara will play a “more active” role in Syria in the next six months.

We say the bloodshed needs to stop. Babies, children, innocent people should not die. That’s why Turkey will be more active in trying to stop the danger getting worse in the next six months, compared with before,” Yildirim told reporters in Istanbul.

A source from the radical jihadist Ahrar al-Sham brigade told Reuters that Turkish artillery has already engaged in shelling IS positions at the border next to Jarablus since Friday in preparation for the assault on the town.

The main goal of the Turkey-backed forces prior to capturing Jarablus is to regain control of Tal Rifaat and Marea towns in northern Aleppo province, now controlled by YPG militia.

المعارضة السورية تستعد لشنّ عملية لتحرير مدينة "جرابلس" المتاخمة للحدود التركية بريف حلب الشمالي، من داعش الإرهابي.
IS has meanwhile started pulling its followers from Jarablus, and another city nearby, al-Bab, to the terrorist stronghold of Raqqa

There will certainly be resistance. They will have mined it heavily,” the source said. “The operation of entering Jarablus will not be easy.”

Arabic news outlets report that IS plans to use its long-standing strategy of using human shields in the fight for Jarablus.

Near-silence from western.corporate media.
From Britain’s the independent

American special forces have been training Kurdish groups regarded as 'terrorists' by the regime

American fighter jets have been scrambled to stop Bashar al-Assad's air force bombing US special forces and anti-Isis allies on the ground as the Syrian conflict intensifies.

Defence officials said the Syrian planes were leaving as the coalition aircraft arrived, meaning they did not engage in combat, but that the US would not hesitate to defend its forces...[ }

After months of preparation and 10 weeks of fierce fighting, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), took full control of Manbij on Friday after driving Islamic State (IS) militants from the strategic town.

An opinion from Mimi Laham, Syrian Girl from 2 months ago

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