Monday, 10 April 2017

Syria's allies will respond with force: fake news story?

I cannot take these articles at face value. I take Adam Garrie's point about the existance of the source for this story, "Ilam al Harbi media" but RI's point that the story is false because the Kremlin hasn't confrmed it is ludicrous.

We are in a war situation and there is something called the 'fog of war'. I can think of situations where it has been in the interests of both the Americans and Russians to keep stories quiet. The Kremlin did not announce publicly ahead of time that they were intervening in Syria last year (and neither should they have).

The Duran and the people that contribute are generally very reliable and trustworthy in their coverage but their strength is geopolitics not the back story about energy pipelines etc. and they don't always get it right.

One glaring example is the following article by Alexander Mercouris which gave the reasons why Donald Trump wouldn't take action in Syria – a day or so before Trump sent his cruise missiles into Syria. You couldn't get it more wrong!

Here is another article by Adam Garrie which more or less places people who think that Russia/Iran might respond are just false news media and/or Facebook trolls.

3 groups of people disappointed that Russia hasn’t retialiated against US forces

I personally think there is much more reason for doubt and we have to gradually filter out what the truth is from differing (and often conflicting versions).

I think the Duran got it wrong before and so there is no reason they can't again.


Here’s why Donald Trump is unlikely to attack Syria

US threats to attack Syria look less strong than parts of the media have made them appear and the US military is certain to be opposed.

The debate about the Syrian chemical attack yesterday and President Trump’s comments during a news conference with the King of Jordan have led to speculation that the US might be readying an attack on Syria.

The speculation stems from the fact that Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said that if the UN Security Council fails to take action over the chemical attack the US might consider taking “unilateral action”, whilst President Trump himself made comments during the news conference that appeared to have the military option open.

Whilst in any international issue the possibility of unilateral military action by the US can never unfortunately be completely ruled out, on balance neither Nikki Haley’s comment nor President Trump’s comment seem to presage military action.....

Fake news story in mainstream AND alt-media slanders Russia and Iran

The story says that Russia and Iran threatened to attack the US if a 'red line' was crossed. This is an outright lie

9 April, 2017

A fake news story has been circulating on both mainstream media and alt-media saying that Russia and Iran have issued a joint threat to ‘use force’ in the event of the US targeting Syrian forces again. It was also reported that the issue was quoted as being a ‘red line’, a term generally used by the United States.
This blatantly false story was picked up by the following media outlets

The Sunday Express and Zero Hedge both site something called  Ilam al Harbi media as the source of information for the story.

A quick English language Google search for ‘Ilam al Harbi’ comes up with several articles from Yemen Press, none of which lead to a story about the Putin/Rouhani phone call or anything else concerning Russia/Iranian responses to the US attack on Syria.

Additionally there is a Saudi based telecom company called al-Harbi whose website can be found here. It is not a news website in any way shape or form.
A report from the usually reliable Al-Masdar news has produced an Arabic language document purportedly from a joint military command centre used by Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Although, Iran, Russia and Syria do share intelligence and cooperate in the Syrian war against terrorism, the existence of the specific ‘joint command centre’ in question, seems to be misleading and inaccurate if not entirely fabricated in this context.

No such body as the ‘joint operations room’ in this context appears to exist nor has it ever existed according to any source, dating from the beginning of Russian involvement in the civil war in September of 2015 up until today.  The reports mentioning the document in question do not for example site the formal joint intelligence ventures of the so called 4+1 Coalition of Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah.

In all likelihood, the document is a forgery produced by those who seek to spread false stories about the strategy of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The second most likely scenario is that the document was produced by middle or low ranking military personnel who do not speak for any of the aforementioned parties. Such individuals would likely be enthusiastic patriotic members  of the Syria/Russia/Iran/Hezbollah coalition who want to send an unsanctioned and ultimately counterproductive message to the US.

Because the document is in Arabic, it is unlikely to have originated in either Russia or Iran.

The actual content of the well documented phone call between the Russian and Iranian Presidents entirely contradicts the dubious document and is totally in line with official and de-facto Russian and Iranian policy.

Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani pledged to continue support for the Syrian government in its war against terrorism. The two leaders additionally pledged to cooperate further on issues of regional stability.

They also called for an investigation into the chemical attack which America used as the proximate cause of the missile strike on Syria.

Further information on the phone conversation can be found in the original report from The Duran.

It is also unlikely that an inauthentic or totally unsanctioned document was leaked by official sources in order to intimidate the US. With many fearing that the US will indeed push things to the brink of world-war, it is not in the interests of Russia, Syria or Iran to allow such a statement to slip through the crack, no matter who authored it.

Russia, Iran and Syria want to end the conflict, not monumentally expand it as some in the US certainly do.

The geo-political goal of Iran, Russia and Syria are is show a united front and an ability to robustly defend Syria against aggression, but their goal is not to invite a US invasion through the very kind of provocation that America’s trigger-happy deep state would jump at rather than back down from. Instead, Russia, Iran and Syria’s goals are clearly and transparently expressed though official channels.

In this sense the document is of no probative value to the case Syria, Russia and Iran are making before the UN and other official channels: namely that tensions should calm, the US should cease all further aggression and that an international investigation should be conducted to clarify western confusion over the chemical attack in Idlib Governorate.

Whoever has spread this fake news clearly wants to paint Russia and Iran as violent, unhinged and destabilising as the United States.

The reality is in fact almost the complete opposite of what is being reported.
Fake news is being used to try to increase tensions.  This is not only irresponsible but it is dangerous, as dangerous as the lies upon which the US attack was based.

Reuters, Others, Report Fake Iran/Russia Statement on Syria — 'Russia Insider' Blindly Follows

Moral of this story: Never listen to Reuters

9 April, 2017

UPDATE: It looks like we goofed. Yes, the Independent, Reuters, and lots of other terrible (and not terrible) outlets reported on this. We had our doubts from the very beginning, but naively thought that the mainstream media couldn't be that bad. We were wrong! It's been five hours and we've seen zero confirmation from the Kremlin, so we're calling BS. 
We apologize to our readers, and will do our best to be less trusting in the future. 

A joint command center used by Russia, Iran and allied forces has issued a statement saying that red lines have been crossed in Syria and that there will be retaliation if they are crossed again. While multiple sources report this, we think 
it's unlikely the Russians formally signed off on this statement
Russia and Iran have warned the US they will "respond with force" if their own "red lines" are crossed in Syria.
"What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well," the group's joint command centre said.

A joint command center made up of the forces of Russian, Iran and allied militia alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad said the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base crossed "red lines" and it would now respond to any new aggression and increase their level of support to their ally.
"What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well," said the statement published by the group on media outlet Ilam al Harbi.

"What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well," said the statement published by the group on media outlet Ilam al Harbi.
U.S. military presence in northern Syria is "illegal" and their aim to control area makes them "occupation" forces, the statement added.
In a separate statement, Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani noted in phone call that "aggressive" U.S. actions against Syria are not permissible.
The two leaders also called for an objective investigation into an incident involving chemical weapons in Syria's Idlib and said they were ready to deepen cooperation to fight terrorism, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.
The two presidents said that they are ready to deepen cooperation on fighting terrorism to ensure stability in Middle East.

The military operation rooms of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and other allies have just released a new joint statement. This joint statement was spurred on by US aggression that saw the country strike the Shayrat Airbase in rural Homs with Tomahawk missiles.
The statement released in Arabic states that the allied operations room recognizes that the US is supporting the separation of northern Syria and Iraq from their respective states.
Point seven of the statement details how all US military are legitimate targets as they have crossed every red line possible and operate illegally in Syria. It then emphasizes that the joint military operations room will respond strongly to any aggression and any violation made by the US in Syria.

Questions from us: Which joint command center? Who was the signatory for Russia? Reuters and the Independent are reporting this, but we're looking for confirmation from the Kremlin.

: - allliance command center states US attack on crossed "red lines": will respond to any future such aggression

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