The Rise of the “Islamic State” (ISIL)
Was “A Willful Decision” of the Obama White House:
Former DIA Chief Defends Accuracy of 2012 Memo
In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.”
The myth of Assad, ISIL and extremism
Who is to blame for the proliferation of extremist groups in Syria? The West often points a finger at Assad and his allies, but two secret US documents tell a different story.
Desperate Bid to Save Failed Syrian Campaign
Israel has conducted airstrikes in Syria based on "suspicions" of chemical weapon transfers, in a flagrant violation of the UN Charter, international law, and in direct violation of Syria's sovereignty.
Putin: Syria's chemical arms are response to Israel's alleged nukes
Responding to a question about Assad's arsenal, the Russian president says it was built up because of Israel's alleged nuclear stockpile.
Vijay Prashad on How Islamic State
Grew Out of U.S Invasion of Iraq, Destruction of Nation
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As Syria Conflict Enters 4th Year, Deadly Stalemate Favors Assad Regime
The conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels seeking his ouster has just entered its fourth year. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 146,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began on March 15, 2011, roughly half of them civilians. The conflict has displaced more than nine million people, with 2.5 million refugees living outside Syria and 6.5 million displaced within the country. We are joined by Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, who has just returned from several weeks of reporting from Syria.
Syria talks: mission impossible?
What’s new in the Syrian war in the run-up for negotiations in Geneva
- Chemical arms deal reinstating Assad as an interlocutor of the west acknowledging that he will not be toppled any soon by military means.
- US-Iran rapprochement.
- Military advances by the Assad side.
- Weakening of the popular support base of the insurgency as it falls under Jihadi control.
- Marginalisation of pro-western military forces.
- Radical opposition of Saudis to a settlement with Iran expressed in continued support for Jihadism.
- Assad’s reinforced refusal of any democratic reform or any power sharing compromise with Russian backing.
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.
Syria: Executions, Hostage Taking by Rebels
Planned Attacks on Civilians Constitute Crimes Against Humanity
Armed opposition groups in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and seized over 200 as hostages during a military offensive that began in rural Latakia governorate on August 4, 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. At least 67 of the victims were executed or unlawfully killed in the operation around pro-government Alawite villages.
Gas missiles 'were not sold to Syria'
Export papers seem to back Assad's denial over sarin attack
– but Russians won't go into detail
While the Assad regime in Damascus has denied responsibility for the sarin gas missiles that killed around 1,400 Syrians in the suburb of Ghouta on 21 August, information is now circulating in the city that Russia's new "evidence" about the attack includes the dates of export of the specific rockets used and – more importantly – the countries to which they were originally sold. They were apparently manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1967 and sold by Moscow to three Arab countries, Yemen, Egypt and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Libya. These details cannot be verified in documents, and Vladimir Putin has not revealed the reasons why he told Barack Obama that he knows Assad's army did not fire the sarin missiles; but if the information is correct – and it is believed to have come from Moscow – Russia did not sell this particular batch of chemical munitions to Syria.
Stopping a War Before it Starts
Who’s up for stopping a war?
This is the time, as the next war strains to be born, amid the same old lies as last time, amid the same urgency and pseudo-debate and pretensions of seriousness.
Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt)
Revolutionary Left Current (Syria)
Union of Communists (Iraq)
Socialist Forum (Lebanon)
We Stand Behind the Syrian People's Revolution
No to Foreign Intervention
Over 150 thousand were killed, hundreds of thousands injured and disabled, millions of people displaced inside and outside Syria. Cities, villages, and neighborhoods were destroyed fully or partially, using all sorts of weapons, including warplanes, scud missiles, bombs, and tanks, all paid for by the sweat and blood of the Syrian people. This was under the pretext of defending the homeland and achieving military balance with Israel (whose occupation of Syrian land is, in fact, being protected by the Syrian regime, which failed to reply to any of its continuing aggressions).
Yet, despite the enormous losses mentioned above, befalling all Syrians, and the calamity inflicted on them, no international organization or major country – or a lesser one – felt the need to provide practical solidarity or support the Syrians in their struggle for their most basic rights, human dignity, and social justice.
Beware the Anti-Anti-War Left
Why Humanitarian Interventionism is a Dead End
Ever since the 1990s, and especially since the Kosovo war in 1999, anyone who opposes armed interventions by Western powers and NATO has to confront what may be called an anti-anti-war left (including its far left segment). In Europe, and notably in France, this anti-anti-war left is made up of the mainstream of social democracy, the Green parties and most of the radical left. The anti-anti-war left does not come out openly in favor of Western military interventions and even criticizes them at times (but usually only for their tactics or alleged motivations – the West is supporting a just cause, but clumsily and for oil or for geo-strategic reasons). But most of its energy is spent issuing “warnings” against the supposed dangerous drift of that part of the left that remains firmly opposed to such interventions. It calls upon us to show solidarity with the “victims” against “dictators who kill their own people”, and not to give in to knee-jerk anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, or anti-Zionism, and above all not to end up on the same side as the far right. After the Kosovo Albanians in 1999, we have been told that “we” must protect Afghan women, Iraqi Kurds and more recently the people of Libya and of Syria.