Jihadists Break Aleppo Siege/ Damascus in peril: rebels eye the Syrian capital and CIA pays each terrorist $1000/ “Moderates” Fighting Under “Re-Branded” Nusra Means They’re Al Qaeda Too/ Photos Emerge of UK Ground Forces in Syria/ US Think Tank Admits US Carving Out “Safe Havens” in Syria
On August 6, the Jaish al-Fatah operation room seized the Ramouseh Artillery Base and the Ramouseh Neighborhood from the pro-government forces, de-facto, breaking the Aleppo siege and setting up a siege on the government-controlled areas of western Aleppo. However, the govt. forces are still able to supply the area via the Castello Highway. The first aid convoy arrived western Aleppo last night.
Thus far, the jihadists are in control of a major part of the Ramouseh Neighborhood. However, the Syrian army is still holding the Cement Plan there. The Jaish al-Fatah is also in full control of the Ramouseh Artillery Base after the Syrian army and Hezbollah have withdrawn from the base’s Airforce Technical College. Jaish al-Fatah is also in control of about 80% of the 1070 Apartment Project. On August 8, Jaish al-Fatah announced further operations in Aleppo in order to seize the whole city.
Recently, Liwa al-Quds units that had been deployed in the area between the Castello Highway and Handarat camp have arrived to southwestern Aleppo in order to assist the pro-government forces there. Reports say that the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces led by Col. Suheil al-Hassan are still in northern Aleppo. Maj. Gen. Zaid Saleh who led the Rep. Guard during Layramoun battle has reportedly replaced Maj. Gen. Adib Mohamad as head of Aleppo Security Committee. Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (HHN) has announced that it had sent some 2,000 fighters in order to assist the Syrian army in the battle for Aleppo. The HSN is an Iraqi Shia paramilitary that receives training, arms and assistance in military planning from Iran. Pro-militant sources disseminate reports that the Syrian army has deployed up to 100 battle tanks and 400 BMP vehicles for operations in Aleppo city. Jaish al-Fatah’s manpower is estimated as 10,000 including 2,500 fighters of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (former Jabhat Al Nusra).
There are reports that the jihadists have reopened the Alramousa road and set a supply line to eastern Aleppo and some photos of alleged food delivers to the area have appeared. However, the modern tactical situation does not allow them to deliver significant supplies there because the Syrian army is holding a fire control of the road. The siege has been lifted, partially. The Jaish al-Fatah will need to push the pro-government forces from the 3000 Apartment Project and even further in order to deliver supplies to eastern Aleppo.
Local sources report that the joint jihadi forces have concentrated a high number of experienced infantry in southwestern Aleppo. Furthermore, the urban fighting does not allow Syria and Russia to use their advantage in the air power. These facts indicate that the pro-government forces will not be able to take upper hand in the ongoing clashes, easily. The result of the battle will mostly depend on developments on the ground.
(Damascus, Syria) – Russian Presidential press secretary Alexei Gromov, in a press conference in Moscow revealed that majority of defecting Syrian army officers who escaped to the neighboring Jordan, have been trained by CIA agents to be later infiltrate Syria again, through southern province of Suweida, hoping to reach Damascus countryside, opening the way to capture Capital Damascus, the golden apple.
Washington and London, added Mr. Gromov, which boast day and night that they fight with ISIS terrorists, have worked out plan B to overthrow democratically-elected Syrian government by paying each Child Soldier $1000 per month.
This armed rebel group has been blessed by Abu Marzouk, the notorious Turkey- based prominent opposition leader. According to Russian intelligence sources, CIA seeks to lure Syrian youth —via social media, e.g. FacaBook and Twitter— into joining this American-supervised militia by the promise of monthly $1000 salary.
Ironically, CIA tried to fulfill this plan in February 2015, but in series of fierce clashes with al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch); Obama’s militia was totally eradicated and most of its members had been taken captive and much to Obama’s chagrin, this CIA-trained battalion was suffered a crushing defeat in skirmishes with ISIS in the Syrian city of Al-Bukamal (a city on the Euphrates river in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate).
“The American administration is anxiously observing Syrian army’s fresh victories against al-Qaeda terrorists in the northern city of Aleppo, thus it tries haplessly to distract Syrian army by opening a new front in south,” said Mr. Gromov, the first deputy chief of staff of the Russian presidential administration.
The current ongoing offensive in southwest Aleppo is admittedly being headed by designated terrorist organisation and Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al Nusra under which a milieu of militant groups are fighting. Just before the offensive was launched, and apparently specifically for the occasion, Nusra would announce that it was severing ties with Al Qaeda (with Al Qaeda’s blessing) so as to unite all the armed factions fighting in Syria under one banner.
Despite the attempted re-branding, both the United States and Russia continue to recognise Nusra as a terrorist organisation. The Washington Post would report in its article, “Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaeda and changes its name,” that:
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. described the split from al-Qaeda as “a PR move.” Al-Nusra “would like to create the image of being more moderate,” Clapper said in an appearance at a security conference in Aspen, Colo. “I think they are concerned at being singled out as a target,” particularly by Russian strikes, he said.
Russia was even less ambiguous about the announcement. Russian news agency TASS would report in their article, “Russian Foreign Ministry calls Jabhat al-Nusra’s attempts to change image vain,” that:
Attempts of Jabhat al-Nusra to paint itself differently by changing its name are vain, the group remains an illegal terrorist organization, fight against it will continue until it is fully destroyed, a Russian Foreign Ministry commentary said on Friday.
Then clearly, regardless of whatever name Al Nusra is now attempting to call itself, it is still a terrorist organisation, making it illegal to provide it with any form of material support, let alone fight alongside it on the battlefield. Anyone doing so thus makes themselves a legitimate target of anti-terror operations including full-scale combat. It also makes anyone still aiding and abetting subsidiaries of this newly-unified terrorist front a state-sponsor of terror.
Thus, when Syria’s various armed factions, referred to by the US and its allies who provide them weapons, cash, training and sanctuary as “moderates,” organised themselves under Nusra’s banner, they immediately became Al Qaeda affiliates themselves.
What the ongoing Nusra-led assault on Aleppo then represents is the West’s final capitulation in betraying its own narrative regarding “moderate rebels” they are arming and backing amid the ongoing Syrian conflict.
Aleppo Cannot Be Liberated by Those Who First Invaded It
Beyond the very nature of the admittedly terroristic elements assaulting Aleppo, the notion that this assault is an attempt to “liberate” the city is equally problematic to those attempting to promote it.
Aleppo, the largest city in Syria before the war broke out in 2011, had been spared the worst of the fighting until in 2012 large groups of militants began crossing the border between Turkey and Syria and quite literally invaded the city. Amid the see-sawing battles over the next four years, sections of the city would change hands between government defenders and militant invaders.
That was until several weeks ago the Syrian military encircled militants who had deeply entrenched themselves within the city and began preparing for operations to finally clear their presence from the city.
The current offensive then, represents a replay of the initial invasion that plunged the city into the current state of war, death, human misery and destruction it now suffers under in the first place.
While the Western media attempts to portray militant-held sections of the city as being “liberated,” the current breakthrough in southwest Aleppo has put much larger segments of the city’s population living within government-held areas of the city at increased risk of running out of essential supplies and suffering from violence incurred amid the ongoing fighting.
What the West is basically reduced to is openly cheering on the forces of Al Qaeda it had been attempting to covertly arm and support throughout the conflict under the misnomer of supporting “moderate rebels” all along. It is also reduced to attempting to portray the re-invasion of Aleppo by a designated terrorist organisation as a “liberation.”
As Syrian and Russian airpower work over the emerging militant corridor being established in southwest Aleppo, and as Syrian forces reorganise themselves along the peripheries of the breakthrough, the prospect of foiling this offensive by delivering a severe blow to the now highly concentrated militant forces partaking in the operation may lead to a general collapse of the militants’ fighting capacity across the rest of Idlib province.
But that is only if Turkey has finally begun to cut supply routes across their border with Syria, which is likely an essential ingredient to any genuine restoration of ties between Ankara and Moscow.
UK special forces were shown for the first time operating on the ground in war-torn Syria, a broadcaster reported.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Photographs obtained by the BBC on Monday and dated from June reveal UK soldiers on patrol vehicles equipped with sniper rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles.
According to the broadcaster, the troops appear to be in a defensive role following an attack by the Daesh jihadist group on the so-called moderate New Syrian Army opposition on the Syria-Iraq border.
The opposition group’s spokesman admitted to the BBC that the New Syrian Army had been receiving special forces training from the United Kingdom.
The US-led coalition of more than 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against Daesh outlawed in Russia and many other countries since the summer of 2014. However, there are currently no international ground troops officially deployed to Syria.
Since the onset of the war in Syria, corporate-financier funded think tanks engineering American and European foreign policy made it clear that establishing no-fly zones and “safe havens” in Syria would be an incremental step toward achieving regime change and rendering the nation divided and destroyed as US policymakers had done to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya beforehand.
In particular, The Brookings Institution has – for years now – published paper after paper regarding the establishment of such “safe havens” in Syria under a variety of geopolitical, strategic, and tactical ploys.
As early as 2012, in a Brookings paper titled, “Assessing Options for Regime Change,” its policymakers would state (emphasis added):
An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.
Brookings had hoped that the corridors and safe havens would provide a foothold from which additional covert and overt Western military power could be wielded to ultimately overthrow the government in Damascus and render Syria a perpetually divided and destroyed nation, incapable of impeding Western regional ambitions well into the foreseeable future.
From 2012 onward, the notion of safe havens would emanate out from corporate-financier funded think tanks, across the Western media, and attempt to work its way into US foreign policy both in the halls of Congress and the White House, as well as on the ground in Syria itself.
Clearly, however, despite great efforts over the last 5 years to establish such safe havens, none have admittedly materialized. This comes from the Brooking Institutions’ own latest appraisal of its failed policy – or one should more accurately say – foiled policy.
Revisiting No-Fly Zones
Upon Brookings’ “Order From Chaos” blog, is a paper titled, “What to do when containing the Syrian crisis has failed.” The paper mentions revisiting both no-fly zones, as well as “safe havens.” Regarding no-fly zones, it states (emphasis added):
We must also be clever about employing various options for no-fly zones: We cannot shoot down an airplane without knowing if it’s Russian or Syrian, but we can identify those aircraft after the fact and destroy Syrian planes on the ground if they were found to have barrel-bombed a neighborhood, for example. These kinds of operations are complicated, no doubt, and especially with Russian aircraft in the area—but I think we have made a mistake in tying ourselves in knots over the issue, since there are options we can pursue.
It should be noted, that while Brookings appears not to be (openly) interested in shooting down Russian planes, others among America’s political and policy establishment have. This includes US Senator John McCain who openly called to arm terrorists with anti-aircraft missiles to down Russian warplanes.
McCain would say in a 2015 interview on Fox News that:
I might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago, to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes. That equipment is available.
When asked to clarify his statement as to who would be shooting down the planes, McCain would answer:
The Free Syrian Army, just like the Afghans shot down the Russian…
Terrorists, including the self-proclaimed “Islamic State,” have in fact used US manufactured anti-tank missiles to down Russian helicopters. The Japan Times would report in an article titled, “U.S. missile brought down Russian helicopter in Syria: report,” that:
Two Russian airmen killed in Syria on Friday were shot down with American weaponry, the Interfax news agency said Sunday, quoting a Russian military source.
It said insurgents from the Islamic State group hit the airmen’s Mi-25 assault helicopter with a U.S.-made TOW heavy anti-tank missile, a weapon that uses guidance from a ground station.
Either by extraordinary coincidence, or by a more than expected act of treachery, no-fly zones are being incrementally established in certain parts of Syria – at least in regards to rotary aircraft – and all due to US weapons ending up “accidentally” in the hands of designated terrorist groups. Senator McCain’s dream of “guys” – from the Islamic State – shooting down Russian aircraft just like they – Al Qaeda – did in Afghanistan has become a partial reality. Brookings apparently wants to expand on that reality.
The Safe Haven Plan, V.2
In regards to carving out safe havens, Brookings would claim in its recent paper that (emphasis added):
…we should push the debate about what creating safe havens really means. I don’t think we should start declaring safe havens, but rather try to help them emerge. The Kurds are making gains in Syria’s northeast, for instance, as are some forces on the southern front—so, if the United States, in cooperation with its allies, accelerates and intensifies its involvement on the ground in those areas, safe havens can essentially emerge. An important advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t require putting American credibility on the line, but does help local allies build up and reinforces successes on the ground.
It should be noted that for several years now, the US has incrementally revealed the scope US troops have been playing on the ground in Syria. Brookings itself alludes to the fact that US troops are already present on the ground, and simply suggests ‘intensifying and accelerating’ their activities so desired safe havens can simply “emerge.”
Of course, this was what analysts and governments opposed to Western intervention in Syria have warned about for years – with the West’s own policymakers finally revealing the full truth behind the presence of US troops in Syria. It was warned for years that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” served merely a pretext for direct US intervention – US intervention that would only feign its fight against “terrorism,” and instead carve up Syrian territory ahead of efforts to topple the government and destroy the nation as was done in Libya.
Brookings and other centers churning out US policy may have succeeded in their plans, had it not been for Russia’s decision to directly aid the embattled government of Syria. The presence of Russian aircraft in the skies over Syria, the presence of Russian troops on the ground, and the expansion of Russian activities across the country mean little room is left for the US to carve out its “safe havens.”
As tragic as Russia’s losses have been in the face of US-armed terrorists utilizing anti-tank missiles to down helicopters, the vector sum of Russia’s operations in Syria still spell defeat for US aspirations of regime change as well as the goal of creating a failed state such regime change implies.