Syria: New Ceasefire Attempt. Russia Continues to Strike Terrorist Forces, Israeli Air Strikes in Support of Al Qaeda/ Henry Kissinger: Balkanized and Broken-Up Syria “Best Possible Outcome”/ Russian Troops take up Positions in Aleppo, Jihadis given Ultimatum/ Syrian ceasefire II – Why any cessation of hostilities in Syria is doomed to fail and what it would mean for the Syrian Army and its allies/ Syrian Army Advancing in Latakia against Al Qaeda, Russian Air Support /Damascus, A Creative City, Remains Strong and Glorious in Preserving its Cultural Heritage
[Editor’s note: Possibly one of the most important updates recently. For three reasons.
Israel in a desperate attempt as it sees the destruction of Syria failing before its eyes and the very real possibility that they will have to comply with resolution 242 in the future and return the Golan Heights to Syria, is now embarking on direct attacks in Syria on the Syrian army.
War criminal Henry Kissenger is still advocating the breakup of Syria into regions as was done in Yugoslavia under the Clinton’s even though the Syrian people, their history and their country remains steadfast as a nation and will not succumb to this upstarts machinations.
Russia has finally achieved what it set out to do in February. Obtain an international legally binding agreement between them and the US on the Syrian ceasefire which will hold up in a court of law as the Americans have agreed to it. Should the terrorists not lay down their arms and take the opportunity to leave through the safe corridor, the Russians will create a cauldron and finally wipe them all out of eastern Aleppo. In this instance should they not lay down their weapons and leave, the Russians and the Syrian army will take no prisoners.
It has been a long and terrible war going on five years now. The suffering, destruction and trauma of the Syrian people by proxy terrorists supported, funded, trained and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, the US and the UK will hopefully come to an end and Syrians can reclaim their country, whole and complete in one piece and join the Silk Road project. Along with Iran they can look forward to a very prosperous, politically stable and peaceful future without interference from the supporters of these barbaric, medieval, primitive bought and paid for terrorists. ]
The nationwide ceasefire in Syria concluded by Russia and the United States began at 16:00 GMT on September 12. Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said that the Russian Aerospace Forces will continue to strike terrorist targets despite the ceasefire and Moscow and Washington are going to set up a joint coordination center for further coordination.
The Syrian government supported the ceasefire and a silence were reported at the most of Syrian frontlines.
Heavy firefights and artillery duels were reported in and at Aleppo City on September 13 as Syria entered the 2nd day of nationwide ceasefire. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah shelled and engaged Jaish al-Fatah militants in Qarassi, Zeitan, Khan Touman and Khalsah while Jaish al-Fatah units targeted the pro-government forces’ positions in the Malah Farms and at the Ramouseh Artillery Base.
Jaish al-Fatah is a major militant operation room that includes the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al Nusra) terrorist group and opposes the SAA and its allies across the country.
On September 12, a significant part of Jaish al-Fatah (including one of the biggest militant groups in Syria, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham) claimed that it did not support the ceasefire agreement. According to Jaish al-Fatah members, the agreement should not exclude Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham because this organization is a common example of Syrian opposition.
The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces said on September 13 that the Syrian Defense Forces have shot downed two aircraft belonged to the Israeli Air Force in eastern Syria. According to the Syrian state-run SANA news agency, an Israeli warplane was downed southwest of Quneitra and an Israeli drone west of Sa’sa’.
The Syrian Armed Forces’ move was an answer to airstrikes on the Syrian Arab Army conducted by Israeli aircraft around 1:00 am (local time) on September 13. SANA emphasized that Israeli air strikes were made in support of the offensive of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and others on the government positions in the provicne of Quneitra. Israel denied the loses in Syria. No photos or videos from the scene have been provided.
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Note: We bring to the attention of our readers this article originally published in June 2013
In a very recent presentation at the Ford School, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger commented on the current Syrian situation, expressing his preference for a broken-up and balkanized Syria to emerge out of the current Assad-controlled unity (from 19 minutes and 30 seconds onward):
There are three possible outcomes. An Assad victory. A Sunni victory. Or an outcome in which the various nationalities agree to co-exist together but in more or less autonomous regions, so that they can’t oppress each other. That’s the outcome I would prefer to see. But that’s not the popular view.”
After being introduced by the chair as “the honorable Dr. Kissinger”, the 90-year old power-broker began an interesting history lesson. Kissinger detailed how the current state of Syria was designed by European powers, as is the case with the neighboring state of Iraq:
“First of all, Syria is not a historic state. It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape in order to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after UN mandate. The neighboring country Iraq was also given an odd shape, that was to facilitate control by England. And the shape of both of the countries was designed to make it hard for either of them to dominate the region.”
As a result of Syria’s a-historical origins, Kissinger explained, the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups. As the recent “revolution” is further spiraling into chaos, Kissinger comments on the nature of the current situation:
“In the American press it’s described as a conflict between democracy and a dictator- and the dictator is killing his own people, and we’ve got to punish him. But that’s not what’s going on. It may have been started by a few democrats. But on the whole it’s an ethnic and sectarian conflict.”
“It is now a civil war between sectarian groups”, Kissinger went on to state. “And I have to say we have misunderstood it from the beginning. If you read our media they say: we’ve got to get rid of Assad. And if we get rid of Assad, then we form a coalition government. Inconceivable. I’m all in favour of getting rid of Assad, but the dispute between us and the Russians on that issue, was that the Russians say: you start with getting rid of not just Assad, that’s not the issue, but you break up the state administration and you’ll wind up like in Iraq- that there is nothing to hold it together. And then you’ll have an even worse civil war. This is how that mess has taken the present form.”
Kissinger has commented previously on the desirability of breaking up dissenting nations into smaller fragments, after which the emerging chaos may facilitate their introduction into a global order. This, in essence, is the rule of divide and conquer. These recent comments by Kissinger are in step with previous statements in which he promulgates the idea that social upheaval and mass civil unrest are to be used as a means of merging nations (including, by the way, the United States) into an “international system”.
“The United States has to be part of an international system that we create domestically”, Kissinger told The Harvard Crimson in 2012. When asked what the most important problems are facing American society today, Kissinger then answered:
“Internationally, the problem is that there are upheavals going on in every part of the world, but these upheavals don’t follow the same basic causes, and so the United States has to be part of an international system that we create domestically.”
The concept of seizing crises and upheavals, the causes of which may differ from nation to nation, in order to bring about an international order- is neatly following the elite’s golden rule, namely that a global order is best brought about by chaos. Furthermore, Kissinger provides us with a glimpse of the underlying intent he and his fellow-bilderbergers have in mind, stating in so many words that civil unrest- be it economically, politically or socially motivated- must be seized upon in order to merge nations into the desired “international system” .
In a December 2008 Prisonplanet.com article it was reported that Kissinger, in an interview with Bilderberg-darling Charlie Rose, “cited the chaos being wrought across the globe by the financial crisis and the spread of terrorism as an opportunity to bolster a new global order.”, Steve Watson wrote.
“I think that when the new administration assesses the position in which it finds itself it will see a huge crisis and terrible problems, but I can see that it could see a glimmer in which it could construct an international system out of it”, Kissinger told Rose some years ago.
This talk of crises and upheavals as just another country-specific means to a centralized global end could specifically point to an underlying transnational plan- a sinister concept that follows the course of classic Hegelian dialectic, namely the problem (whether real or feigned) provokes the reaction which in turn allows the elite to provide the solution on a silver platter. It occurred to me that Kissinger’s words are ominously reminiscent of those written down by University of Chicago’s Alexander Wendt, who in 2003 in his treatise titled Why a World State is Inevitable: teleology and the logic of anarchy stated:
“Nationalist struggles for recognition are by no means over, and more new states- “more anarchy”- may yet be created. But while further fragmentation is in one sense a step back, it is also a precondition for moving forward, since it is only when difference is recognized that a larger identity can be stable. (…) Far from suppressing nationalism, a world state will only be possible if it embraces it.”
These words may shed some light on the words uttered by Kissinger and his fellow supranationalists, in essence revealing they are very much aware of the fact that the mere proposition of a world state will not make it so- may even backfire on them when proposed too directly- and that the same goal may be better achieved via the fragmentation and balcanization of nation-states, whether in the East or West, in order to then merge those fragments into a global construct, usually described as the new world order.
Russia’s official news agency TASS has confirmed that Russian troops are taking positions along the Aleppo road – the main road leading into Aleppo from the north, which was captured by the Syrian army in July.
“…..this arrangement (the US-Russian agreement – AM) also requires forces from both sides to pull back from Castello Road – and we have agreed on that pullback. Castello Road is a major artery into Aleppo, and what this pullback will do is create a demilitarised zone around it, permitting as quickly as possible the resumption of humanitarian and civilian traffic along that road. And that will be achieved over a period of time by some monitoring, which is essential to the compliance.”
Since the terms of the agreement are not being published, the precise nature of what was agreed was not clear from Kerry’s remarks. It is now becoming clearer.
It appears from the TASS report that whilst Syrian troops are being withdrawn from the immediate area of the Castello road, their place is being taken by Russian troops – apparently naval infantry troops sent there from the Russian base at Khmeimim.
The TASS report also makes it clear that the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo are supposed to hand over their weapons and to evacuate eastern Aleppo by way of the Castello road. Here is how TASS reports Sergey Kapitsyn, the senior Russian official on the spot, explained it
“This road is now the corridor for the exit of gunmen from the eastern part of Aleppo who decided to stop fighting and surrender their weapons. As part of the September 9 agreements between Russia and the US on reinstating the ceasefire a special focus will be on the Castello road. It will become a key route for delivering humanitarian cargos in Aleppo. Now works are underway here to equip the checkpoint of the Syrian Red Crescent Society through which the humanitarian cargos will travel to the eastern and western parts of the city,”
(bold italics added)
This explains why, as reported previously, the Syrian air force dropped leaflets over Aleppo a few days ago giving the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo two days to lay down their arms or evacuate. The Syrians were pre-empting the announcement of the US-Russian agreement, which it is now becoming clear requires the Jihadi fighters to evacuate eastern Aleppo, and which came into force on Monday i.e. two days after the leaflets were dropped.
In passing, the incident with the leaflets confirms that the Russians were keeping the Syrians informed of the progress of the negotiations with Kerry, just as they say.
Earlier reports which circulated a few weeks ago claimed that the Russians told Kerry that they wanted all Jihadi fighters out of eastern Aleppo by mid September. It is increasingly looking as if the US-Russian agreement does indeed contain such a provision, though possibly with a more relaxed deadline.
The original US ceasefire proposal which the Russians rejected at the G20 summit in Hangzhou required the Syrian military to pull back from the Castello road at a time when the Jihadis led by Jabhat Al-Nusra were in control of the Ramousseh district and had therefore closed the Ramousseh road into Aleppo from the south.
Though there are obviously more than 2 roads into Aleppo, the Castello road from the north and the Ramousseh road from the south are the two main roads into the city.
Had the US ceasefire plan as originally conceived come into effect the Syrian army would have given up control of both of the two main roads into Aleppo: the Castello road from the north and the Ramousseh road from the south. That would have made the government’s position in Aleppo extremely precarious and vulnerable to any collapse of the ceasefire.
The recent government victories in south west Aleppo have radically changed the picture. With the Syrian army back in control of the Ramousseh district its communications from the south are secure.
If there ever was a plan by the hardliners in Washington to impose a ceasefire in Aleppo that would have made the city vulnerable to takeover by the Jihadis, then it has failed. Instead it appears that the existing plan is for the Jihadi fighters to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo instead, securing the government’s control over the city.
Words of caution are in order. The mere fact that the Russians are taking control of the Castello road in place of the Syrian army and that the US – Russian agreement apparently requires the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo to evacuate the city does not mean that the latter will happen.
Already there are reports that various Jihadi groups are rejecting the agreement Kerry and Lavrov agreed in Geneva on Sunday. It seems far more likely and far more in character that the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo will dig in rather than evacuate.
The US – Russian agreement does not therefore mean that the battle of Aleppo is over. What it means is that a faction in Washington – which however does not mean the entire bureaucracy in Washington – has now rather grudgingly coming round to accepting the fact that the battle is lost.
In order to save something from the wreckage it is therefore trying to save the lives of the Jihadi fighters in eastern Aleppo and to preserve them as a coherent force by agreeing face-saving terms for their withdrawal. The fact the Jihadi fighters will not appreciate the effort and will almost certainly refuse to do what the US has agreed for them is another matter.
By Aram Mirzaei
On 12 September a new nationwide ceasefire agreement was implemented in Syria, one brokered by the US and Russian Foreign Ministers after weeks of crunch talks. There had been several attempts to reach a deal in the previous weeks, but finally last Friday when foreign ministers Kerry and Lavrov announced their agreement, the world was lit with hope for some reason. Perhaps this time people believed the US would be genuine and able to control their multiple proxies operating in the country.
Part of this ceasefire agreement would include the fabled moderate rebels withdrawing from the jihadist camps; if they do not, the US says it will withdraw its support for these groups. Interestingly, this is the first time that the US openly threatens to withdraw its support for its proxies, something that Russian analyst Dmitry Kosyrev believes is because Washington does not have a chance to achieve its goals in this conflict, hence why they agreed to this painful deal. Kosyrev however also added that the most likely scenario will be that jihadists will most likely try to capitalize on this cessation of hostilities because “someone on the ground will refuse to adhere to the agreement”. 
I am inclined to agree with Kosyrev’s analysis and would also go as far to say that the Russian demand for “moderate rebels” to disassociate themselves from jihadist camps won’t be met. I say this for two reasons; firstly because there are no moderate rebels, there are only radical jihadists who want to overthrow the Syrian government, one of the last truly secular governments left in the region, and turn Syria into a Levantine Emirate. Secondly, in the unlikely event that there are any moderate rebels among the jihadist coalitions such as Jaysh Al-Fateh and Fatah Halab, any such group leaving these jihadist coalitions would commit both political and military suicide as they would lose any leverage they have over the Syrian government, as the jihadists know they are stronger if they remain united, furthermore any such group leaving the jihadist coalitions would most likely be turned into targets by the other jihadist groups who would deem them to be traitors. We are all too familiar with what terrorist groups such as ISIL and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra) do to those that they deem to be traitors.
Supporting this theory is the fact that rebel (jihadist) groups announced that they would not abide by the ceasefire even before it was implemented on Monday at sunset. Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Syria’s largest jihadist faction officially announced, through their deputy leader in a televised statement “Abu Ammar Al-Umar” that they reject the nationwide ceasefire proposal. He cited that they would reject any ceasefire that excludes “certain groups” in Syria, referring to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, a close partner of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham. This once again confirms the suspicion that the plethora of “rebel” groups in Syria all work as one with a common goal in mind, and that they will not leave the side of internationally designated terrorist groups, with close links to Al-Qaeda.
On Tuesday morning, jihadist militants once again reaffirmed this position when over 20 jihadist groups declared that they have rejected the ceasefire proposal, an announcement made by groups such as the US-backed Free Syrian Army, Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki, Jabhat Al-Shamia, Jaysh Al-Nasr and Ajnad Al-Sham. They all cited that the major reason for their rejection was the exclusion of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and that this would leave the Syrian Army in a more beneficial position than they would.
Contrary to the jihadist statements, Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah all welcomed the ceasefire proposal. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi, said on Sunday that “The Islamic republic of Iran always welcomes a ceasefire in Syria and the facilitation of the access of all the country’s people to humanitarian aid.” Meanwhile Hezbollah’s media wing “Military media” said that “the allies of Syria will support any decision that the Damascus government makes”. 
Ghassemi also blamed armed groups for breaking previous ceasefires, saying, “Just as the Syrian government has a number of times emphasized, the lack of necessary guarantees on the adherence of terrorist-takfiri groups to the ceasefire have been an obstacle to the success of previous ceasefires.” Ghassemi added that for this ceasefire to be successful, there needs to be “comprehensive monitoring and control of the borders to block the dispatch of terrorism and arms.”
Ali Akbar Velayati, the foreign policy adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, however was more cautious about the ceasefire. “A ceasefire and a suspension of the war is the desire of everyone; however, if the cost of it is that the enemies of the government and people of Syria misuse it, not only will this ceasefire not be successful, but it will be harmful,” Velayati said. He added that previous ceasefires had been to the benefit of groups like Jabhat Al-Nusra.
Velayati was referring to the previous ceasefire deal that failed and resulted in the jihadists capitalizing on the ceasefire to launch attacks in Southern Aleppo and recapturing areas previously lost to the Syrian Army and its allies, an incident that angered the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Hezbollah. In a previous article I quoted the Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan who expressed his dissatisfaction with the ceasefires that almost always resulted in the jihadists rearming and resupplying their forces in order to launch new attacks on the Syrian Army and its allies, Dehqan, referring to a May 7 attack on the town of Khan Touman said that “We agree to a guaranteed cease-fire that does not lead to terrorists building up their powers.”
The conservative newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz appeared to welcome the news of a ceasefire in an article titled “Obama’s Force Could Not Reach Assad.” It contends that the differences between the United States and Russia will force President Barack Obama to leave office with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still in office.
It would seem that this time, there is a closer coordination between Moscow and Tehran on the conditions for the cessation of hostilities, with Iran and Hezbollah assuming an overall more positive stance towards the agreement.  This could be explained by the fact that the Syrian Army and its Iranian and Lebanese allies are seemingly no longer left paralyzed with their hands tied behind their backs, this time they are able to respond to any aggression with force, and due to the exclusion of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and their collaborators such as Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki who have already rejected the ceasefire, the Syrian Army does not have to stop its campaigns in areas such as Southern Aleppo and Northern Latakia.
It should have come as no surprise to anyone that the jihadists broke the ceasefire only an hour after it took into effect last night by firing rockets at the Syrian Army positions in the volatile Northern Hama front. Later that same night, jihadists launched a new assault, targeting the small town of Khattab in Northern Hama. 
By all logic, this violation coupled with the jihadists rejecting the ceasefire should make them legitimate targets for the Russian Air Force, the Syrian government forces and its allies on the ground. This seems to be the case in areas such as Northern Latakia, Southern Aleppo, Quneitra and Northern Hama as the Syrian Army has geared up to continue its campaigns against the jihadists who have plagued these areas. As a matter of fact, the Syrian Army has already flooded the Aleppo province with reinforcements from the Republican Guard, IRGC and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) in preparations for an upcoming offensive, possibly led by the prominent Iranian General Qassem Soleimani who was seen last week in Southern Aleppo, inspecting the troops stationed there. 
It remains to be seen how Washington will respond to their proxies’ rejection of the ceasefire agreement, and the continued Syrian Army advance in the aforementioned areas. We can safely assume that Washington has not had a change of heart when it comes to the idea of regime change in Syria. This ceasefire deal is doomed to collapse because the jihadists cannot and will not accept a cessation of hostilities, and while the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it “hope[s] the American side walks its part of the road and exerts due influence on those it considers Syria’s ‘moderate’ opposition to have them completely obey by the regime of cessation of hostilities and implement the Russian-U.S. agreements,” the question remains; will Washington stay true to its words and end its support for these jihadists? 
The Russian Foreign ministry also added that “it is worth reminding that despite our consistent calls the United States has given no consent to put Ahrar al-Sham on the United Nations terrorist list.” Washington has kept a consistent policy of protecting terrorist factions in Syria from being designated as terrorists, why would it change its policy now, and label one of its major proxy forces as a terrorist organization, thus legitimizing Russian-Syrian-Iranian efforts against them?
- https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/20-militant-groups-reject-syrian-ceasefire-agreement/ ↑
- https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/iran-hezbollah-welcome-aleppo-truce/ ↑
- http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/09/11/484184/Iran-Syria-Bahram-Qassemi ↑
- https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/ceasefire-allows-syrian-army-prepare-upcoming-aleppo-offensive/ ↑
- http://tass.com/politics/899385 ↑
On September 9, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Desert Hawks Brigade, the Syrian Marines and and Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) started a full-scale advance on Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al Nusra) and Jaish al-Fatah terrorists in the province of Latakia. The advance was massively supported by airstrikes of Russian and Syrian warplanes and followed reports that 1,000 cadets completed a 6 month training cycle for the Syrian Marines by Russian military advisers and had been deployed at the frontline in northern Latakia.
By September 12, the loyalists captured a group of villages in northeastern and northwestern parts of the province and finished the day with pushing the terrorist alliance from the strategic Al-Ra’i Mountains. The control of Al-Ra’i Mountains allows the pro-government forces to overlook the countryside of Idlib province and the strategic village of Kabani.
The pro-government forces have also stormed Kabbani and the nearby mountaintops of Jabal Hassan Al-Ra’i, Tal Haddadeh, and Jabal Tufahiyah. As result of this move, the Syrian army and its allies captured Jabal Hassan Al-Ra’i and Jabal Al-Tufahiyah. However, they were unable to push terrorists from Kabani. Further attempts to do this are expected in the nearest future.
Meanwhile, reports appeared that Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham have agreed to surrender the last terrorist-controlled district of Homs, Al-Wa’er, to the Syrian government. The agreement includes transporting 300 militants and their families to the northern countryside of the Homs province.
Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, one of the largest Syrian militant groups, rejected the proposed ceasefire deal that would end all hostilities between non-terrorist factions inside the country, Al-Arabiya News reported on Sunday. Ahrar Al-Sham’s spokesperson “Abu Yousif Al-Muhajar” stated on Sunday that this ceasefire is “unacceptable” because it allegedly strengthens the pro-government forces. If true, this will likely undermine the shaky stability needed to implement the proposed agreement on the ground.
ending the will to celebrate life and beauty in a city like Damascus is something that six years of war was not able to achieve; not even 600 years of war would do it.
It is no secret to anyone that the amount of damage done to archeological and cultural heritage of Syrian cities has exceeded anything recorded in human history so far. Yet, Damascus with all its greatness and will to remain strong and glorious, and despite its wounds, has decided to enter the race and document its amazing heritage in different fields of creativity.
Damascene artifacts are known worldwide for their high quality and their charming beauty; those artifacts have been passed from one generation to the next for centuries, from great grandparents to sons and grandchildren. Folktales, music, architecture, music, literature, design and many other domains have made Damascus over the ages a pilgrimage site for lovers of all forms of art and folklore.
The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 116 Members from 54 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts. Damascus now is compiling its nomination file for becoming a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
Please Support and share publications of this page (Damascus A Creative City) and help maintain the remains of our Syrian precious culture.
Also support the hashtag #DamscusCreativeCity #دمشق_مدينة_مبدعة