The Barrel Bomb Conundrum 364

Virtually every mainstream media article or broadcast on the United States aerial massacre of Syrian government troops, manages to work in a reference to barrel bombs as though this in some way justifies or mitigates the US action.

It is a fascinating example of a propaganda meme. Barrel bombs are being used by Syrian government forces, though on a pretty small scale. They are an improvised weapon made by packing conventional explosive into a beer barrel. They are simply an amateur version of a conventional weapon, and they are far less “effective” – meaning devastating – than the professionally made munitions the UK and US are dropping on Syria, or supplying to the Saudis to kill tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen, or to Israel to drop on children in Gaza.

If a bomb were to drop near me, I would much prefer it to be a barrel bomb as it would be less likely to kill me than the UK and US manufactured professional variety. If however my guts were to be eviscerated by flying hunks of white hot metal, I would not particularly care what kind of bomb it was. The blanket media use of “barrel bomb” as though it represents something uniquely inhumane is a fascinating example of propaganda, especially set beside the repeated ludicrous claims that British bombs do not kill civilians.

It is of course only part of the media distortion around the Syria debacle. Western intervention is aimed at supporting various Saudi backed jihadist militias to take over the country, irrespective of the fact that they commit appalling atrocities. These the media label “democratic forces”. At the same time, we are attacking other Saudi controlled jihadists on the grounds that they are controlled by the wrong kind of Saudi. You see, chopping off the heads of dissidents and gays is OK if you are one of the Saudis who directly controls the Saudi oil resources. It is not OK if you do it freelance and are one of the Saudis who is merely acting at the covert behest of the other Saudis who control the Saudi oil resources.

I do hope that is clear.

364 thoughts on “The Barrel Bomb Conundrum

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  • michael norton

    Syria military declares ceasefire over

    Syria’s military command has declared the US-Russian brokered ceasefire over, blaming the country’s rebel groups for undermining the agreement. In a statement Monday, the Syrian military said that “armed terrorist groups” repeatedly violated the ceasefire which came into effect last week. It said the armed groups also took advantage of the truce to mobilize and arm themselves while attacking government-held areas. The statement said the rebels wasted a “real chance” to stop the bloodshed. Activists and rebel groups also accuse the government of violating the ceasefire. The UN said the Syrian government has obstructed the delivery of aid, a key component of the deal. (AP)

  • Sami

    Crystal clear. The mainstream media talk about barel bombs and chemical weapons as if on cue, every time the legitimate govt of Syria makes progress in its war against ISIS and other terrorists!

    • Flora

      Odd description of the government of Syria – Assad’s dad was a dictator and killed thousands in Hama, he is a dictator. Just because you have elections where you get voted back in doesn’t mean the elections aren’t a sham.
      His government also detains and tortures people in their thousands. I really think the word legitimate isn’t quite the correct term here.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Flora ‘…His government also detains and tortures people in their thousands….’
        Even if that were true, does not the US do the same thing? Apart from Gitmo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Diego Garcia and ‘Black’ sites around the world, the US ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ program kidnaps and takes people to other evil torturing countries for them to tortured; also, of course, the US civil penal system’s prisons often amount to torture.
        And legitimate governments? Are you not aware that BOTH G. ‘Dubya’ Bush’s elections were stolen?

      • wj2

        Why do you ignore the pre-1982 assassinations and massacres perpetrated by the same people that were crushed in Hama by Bashar’s dad?

  • Concerned Yank

    Here is where the Iraqi WMD went..

    And with Syria just across the border..there are probably tunnels linking the countries.

    Reason it was “hushed up”.. keep sheep unwary.

    Years later you have dirty tactics and chemical warfare Syria of all places. Connect the dots.
    U.N. inspectors were probably afraid to search and by the time they did it was moved.

    Love the Satan comments.. just remember where you bring your “extremism”.

    • Clark

      Concerned Yank, rethink the nature of power. If Iraq had weapons of mass destruction it wouldn’t have been attacked because of the damage it could do. Our host, Craig, was a member of the UK team monitoring and preventing Iraq from getting or developing such weapons. It was well known that Iraq had little offensive capability.

      Look at Libya as an example. With promises of security Blair persuaded Gaddafi to dismantle the Libyan WMD programme. When the programme had gone and the UK government changed, the UK allied with France and smashed Libya.

    • Paul Barbara

      So what if Saddam transferred some of his CW to Syria? Point is, when the War Criminal Coalition invaded, they couldn’t find any.
      And perhaps you can explain to me, how some states are ‘allowed’ Chemical, Biolgical and Nuclear weapons, and others aren’t?
      Syria’s large stock of Chemical and perhaps Biological weapons were a ‘Strategic Deterrent’, and an understandable one, given a bellicose hostile neighbour country’s vast stock of both them AND nukes.
      So due to a ‘False Flag’ strategem of getting the ‘Rebels’ to use them, then blaming Assad, Syria was forced to give his deterrent up.
      But he now has S300’s, at least, and a VERY powerful ally……

  • Flora

    111 civilians killed by barrel bombs in August is not insignificant ( neither the places they destroy nor the non mortal injuries that they inflict.
    Alongside this other types bomb and napalm and chemical weopans used by the Syrian and Russian governments. I don’t really understand why you’re trying to downplay this?
    Not to mention the truly democratic forces – such as those in Daraya who ran a democratic elected local authority – also seems an odd oversight, isn’t your description which divides the country into government and ‘Saudi backed militias’ supporting the ‘they’re all the same’ argument which you must know from your humanitarian outlook is untrue.
    Surely a no bombing zone is needed from all kinds of bombardment by the Syrian and Russian Governments. As it is civilians – from rescue workers to little children, are being injured, burned and killed. Please think again.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Flora Your hypocrisy is mind-blowing. Firstly, WHERE is the evidence ‘Barrel Bombs’ (hardly necessary for State armed forces to use, when they can get the real, more lethal, bombs a-plenty); Chemical Weapons (you just appear to ignore all the comments giving links as to why the Syrian government forces would not have used them, especially the Obomba ‘Red Line’ business – which itself was designed to facilitate just the sort of thing that occurred – and the rebels would and did have CW and DID use them); Napalm? I haven’t seen any reports of it’s use, though I’m sure the ‘Rebel PR folks could come up with reports a-plenty, to be swalloed whole by the MSM and the likes of you.
      ‘…Surely a no bombing zone is needed from all kinds of bombardment by the Syrian and Russian Governments. As it is civilians – from rescue workers to little children, are being injured, burned and killed….’ They don’t get killed by ‘Coalition’ bombing, then?

      All of the atrocities you speak of have been committed by Western countries around the world: Vietnam (would you have called for a ‘No Fly Zone’ there? I’m sure the Vietcong would have! Gaza? Oooh, mustn’t venture their, Felluga? Afghanistan? Libya – yes, we saw what your ‘No Fly Zone’ accomplished there – the destruction of the State with the highest standard of living in Africa, where education, and medical care were free, where newlyweds were GIVEN a flat, where the Government was actively assisting neighbouring countries to get out of debt to the IMF, where a gold-based currency had been introduced (that REALLY got up Uncle Sam’s Federal Reserve nose). And, why don’t you clamour for a ‘No Fly Zone’ in Yemen? There we have clearly documented War Crimes against civilians, with no possibility of blame-shifting, yet the West stays silent, selling more and more arms to the Saudis and their murderous non-Democratic Gulf henchmen, and egging them on, and assisting in targeting etc.

      This is not the type of blog where you can expect folk to be unaware of these things, and to totally believe all the MSM and government BS.

      And you seem pointedly to ignore the revelations of Wesley Clark and Roland Dumas, about the origins of the bloodshed since 2011.

    • Alberto

      The coalition surgical “perfectly guided smart bomb” airstrikes only killed 200 civvies in Manbij.

  • michael norton

    One day the Americans bomb the Syrian government forces whilst there is a ceasefire in place, next this ( apparently)
    A convoy of aid trucks has been hit by an air strike near the Syrian city of Aleppo, reports say, hours after the military declared the current cessation of violence was over.

    One unconfirmed report said 12 people were killed in the attack near the town of Urm al-Kubra.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ michael norton ‘….France says Syrian government principally behind truce violations….’

      And Hitler said the Poles attacked at Gleiwitz….(Operation Himmler).

      Plus ca change……

      • michael norton

        Go back a decade and Syria was doing O.K.
        It had mostly managed to stay out of the troubles, its neighbouring states were experiencing, Syria has been implicated in manipulating political events in Lebanon.
        However many fleeing peoples from other countries entered Syria, and camped there.
        So these refugees must have thought Syria was better than Palestine / Iraq, at that time.
        Syria had a good economy, it was very much a functioning state, not perfect for all, of course.
        So why eight years ago, would Assad, start dismantling his own homeland, why reduce it to almost nothing.
        It just does not make sense.

        The only option that makes sense, is outside interference.
        Then you have to ask, who would think they would gain?

    • michael norton

      With only eight months left before FRANCE picks a new president, Le Pen hopes to reach the second round of the elections. She enjoys as much as 30 percent support among voters, according to the most recent opinion polls. By comparison,
      President François Hollande would only claim around 10 percent of ballots, and former president Nicolas Sarkozy around 25 percent.

      The only way Francois can continue to be the President of the People’s Socialist Republic of France, is to keep the State of Emergency in place,
      for that he has to up the anti on TERROR both at home and overseas.
      Hollande is the most vociferous
      European leader for intervention in SYRIA.

      Remember Syria used to be part of the French Empire, so they hold some lingering responsibilities.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ michael norton
        ‘Responsibilities?’ They aren’t worried about ‘responsibilities’, they are hankering for a piece of the oil and pipe-line action!
        To think I used to be a Francophile (I still am, for some of the people!).
        Like all countries’ ‘Empires’. their sole purpose was enriching themselves and to a lesser extent, their homelands.

  • nevermind

    British drones took part in the targeting of the Syrian eastern base at Deir, mn, after first making sure with a reconnaissance flight, it was a planned attack by the USUKFR, and the Austarlians opted out, true to the understanding that no Syrian troops are to be hit during this induced conflict.
    This was followed by a, if you believe the MSM and BBC, by a single helicopter, dropping ‘barrel bombs’, more than one barrel bomb.
    How many barrel bombs can a helicopter carry in one flight?

    slightly OT, but a relevant comparison during conference time. If its OK to have another vote in Parliament on fox hunting, without any further evidence that supports such blood thirst, then it surely must be OK for us to have another referendum on the results of the Brexit negotiations, the concise program this Government wants to negotiate eventually, after all that would mean new circumstances, we must surely be allowed to see these two very different issues on their merits.

    And lastly, solely for mn, there has been another terror attack on a British taxpayer of Polish origins in Telford Shrophsire, attacked by three yobs in their 20’s and stabbed repeatedly. The police treat the incident as another hate crime, which could lead us to believe that these scrots shouted their mouth off whilst doing it and have been overheard by a witness.

  • Caudillo

    Well said Craig. These countries need a firm and authoritative hand on the tiller, if they are to defeat the jihadists. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

    Ditto: Karimov’s fight against the jihadists in Uzbekistan.

  • michael norton

    The Syrian Government agreed to the Ceasefire, yet they have been *winning* recently, with the help of the Russians.
    Turkey has supposed to have recently *secured* the Border between Turkey and Syria.
    So the Turkish Government will have complete knowledge of the movements of *aid* trucks from Turkey into Syria?

    So who has bombed the aid trucks and why.
    Very recently it was said all aid trucks were *trapped* in Turkey.

    So let us try and understand the timing.

    Has Turkey only given the green light for the aid trucks to transit from Turkey into Syria
    have declared the ceasefire at and end,
    after the Americans bombed Syrian troops.

    If this is not FALSE FLAG

    then false flag has never happened.

  • michael norton
    Nice attack: FRENCH police arrest men linked to lorry driver

    French authorities have made eight new arrests in connection with the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that left 86 people dead and over 300 injured, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.

    The authorities said the suspects detained Monday were French and Tunisian and had links to the attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej B., who plowed a 19-tonne truck into a large crowd enjoying a July 14 fireworks display on Nice’s famed seafront Promenade des Anglais.

    All eight were arrested in the Alpes-Maritimes region in the southeastern corner of France that includes Nice.

    It was not immediately clear what role the latest suspects played in the massacre.

    At least five people already face preliminary terrorism charges in the attack, and are accused of helping the attacker obtain a pistol and providing other support.

    The so-called Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the July 14 attack.

  • michael norton

    US sanctions jihadist Syrian rebel group Jund al-Aqsa

    The US State Department has designated a jihadist rebel group in northern Syria, Jund al-Aqsa, a terrorist organization in a move to block any assets it may have in the US and prevent Americans from engaging with the organization. In a statement released on Tuesday, the department said the group had once been part of the Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate also deemed a “terrorist organization” by the US, but has “since split and now carries out operations independently.” However, despite the split “it is still openly aligned with ANF (Nusra Front),” the State Department said, citing two suicide bombings Jund al-Aqsa launched in March 2015 and a February 2014 village massacre that killed 40 civilians. “Today’s action notifies the US public and the international community that Jund al-Aqsa is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said. The official terrorism designation is one way US officials aim to deny sanctioned groups and individuals access to the US financial system. (Reuters)

      • michael norton

        The US officials said there was no doubt the convoy was destroyed in an airstrike and that western coalition forces had no role in it.

        But they did kill Syrian Government Troops by airstrike in Syria recently, during a ceasefire
        let’s not forget that salient point

          • michael norton

            From the pictures available, it looks more like they were set light to, White Helmets on the scene.
            After the Americans had bombed the Syrian troops, then the Syrian government claimed the ceasefire was at an end,
            the Turks let the “aid” through. I expect most of the “aid” was removed by the “moderates” before the “moderates” set fire to the wagons.

          • michael norton

            The Russian Defense Ministry says that a US coalition drone was in the vicinity of a humanitarian convoy when it was attacked outside Aleppo. According to the Russian military, the unmanned aircraft was a Predator drone.

            “On the evening of September 19, in that specific region, a drone belonging to the international condition, which had taken off from the Incirlik air base in Turkey, was flying at a height of 3,600 meters and traveling at around 200 kilometers per hour,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

            “The object was in the area around the town of Urm Al-Kubra, where the convoy was a few minutes before it caught fire,” Konashenkov added. “It left after about 30 minutes.”

            The Defense Ministry spokesman said he wanted to point out that, as was the case with the tragedy on September 17 which saw US-led coalition airstrike kill and injure 200 people, the Russians would not be making any unfounded allegations.

            “Only the owners know what exactly the drone was doing at this particular area at that exact time,” he added.

            Moscow says it has provided all the data it possesses regarding the attack on the convoy, which was carrying aid to rebel-held areas in Aleppo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

            “There was another unacceptable provocation on September 19 – the shelling of a humanitarian convoy near Aleppo,” he said. “I am confident that such coincidences require serious analysis and an investigation.”

            On September 19, a humanitarian convoy consisting of 31 trucks was attacked while heading to Aleppo. According to the Red Cross, 20 civilians and one aid worker died as a result. Initial reports claimed the convoy had been targeted by an airstrike. Later the UN said all it could confirm was that the convoy was attacked.

            On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry reiterated that neither it nor the Syrian military had launched airstrikes on the convoy.

            “Russian and Syrian warplanes did not carry out any airstrikes on a UN humanitarian aid convoy in the southwest of Aleppo,” Konashenkov said in a statement. He added that the military had studied video footage of the convoy, which appeared to rule out that an airstrike took place.

            “We have closely studied the video footage from where the incident took place and we did not find any signs of any ammunition having hit the convoy. There are no craters, while the vehicles have their chassis intact and they have not been severely damaged, which would have been the case from an airstrike,” Konashenkov said.

            “All of the video footage demonstrates that the convoy caught fire, which strangely happened almost at exactly at the same time as militants started a large-scale offensive on Aleppo.”

            The US-led coalition air forces did not carry out any missions over the Aleppo area where the UN aid convoy was hit, Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, told RIA Novosti.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ michael norton ‘September 20, 2016 at 19:52
          Note White Helmets on site.

          Ban Ki-moon condemns ‘apparently deliberate’ Syria aid convoy attack’.

          From the Guardian article linked above: ‘The UN later retreated from the claim that the convoy had been targeted in an airstrike. “We are not in a position to determine whether these were in fact airstrikes. We are in a position to say that the convoy was attacked,” its humanitarian spokesman, Jens Laerke, said.’…. tucked away near the end of the article.

      • michael norton

        For now, I am sticking with my guess.
        The Syrian Government agree to the ceasefire brokered by the U.S.A. and Russia.
        The Americans killed many Syrian government troops during this ceasefire.
        The Syrian government then said, the ceasefire was at and end.
        Only then did Turkey ( which now has complete control of their Syrian border)
        let the “aid” convoy through.
        The “moderates” looted the convoy, killed the U.N. staff and set light to the convoy.

  • Laguerre

    I was fascinated to hear on Radio 4 this morning a plummy voice belonging to a former British diplomat, commenting on Syria. He belonged to an organisation called ‘Independent Diplomats’ who are described as advising the rebels. I didn’t know you could run diplomacy as an unofficial operation. It’s obvious that the British government is running and paying for the rebels diplomacy, at one remove. Plummy voices don’t come cheap, and the website is a very suave, tasteful, product. The rebels don’t have that sort of money. Amazing what the British government will do to keep a brutal civil war going, and to put jihadis in power, isn’t it?

  • Paul Barbara

    ’30 Israeli, Foreign Intelligence Officers Killed in Russia’s Caliber Missile Attack in Aleppo’:

    ‘”The Russian warships fired three Caliber missiles at the foreign officers’ coordination operations room in Dar Ezza region in the Western part of Aleppo near Sam’an mountain, killing 30 Israeli and western officers,” the Arabic-language service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted battlefield source in Aleppo as saying on Wednesday.

    The operations room was located in the Western part of Aleppo province in the middle of sky-high Sam’an mountain and old caves. The region is deep into a chain of mountains.

    Several US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and British officers were also killed along with the Israeli officers. The foreign officers who were killed in the Aleppo operations room were directing the terrorists’ attacks in Aleppo and Idlib.

    Earlier in September, the Syrian army units launched a preemptive strike on the terrorists of the so-called Aleppo Operations Room in their gathering centers near Castello road in the Northern areas of Aleppo and Mallah farms, foiling their plots to attack the region’s supply route, a source said.

    The source said that the army’s artillery units attacked the terrorists’ gathering centers near Castello and Mallah farms in Zahra Abdo Rabbah, Kafar Hamra and Hurayatyn which killed and wounded dozens of militants.

    Also, the Syrian air force attacked the terrorists’ supply route in Northern Aleppo towards Hayyan and Adnan as well as the supply roads in Western Aleppo towards the North and smashed the terrorists’ convoys in al-Aratab, Urom Kobra and Ma’ara al-Artiq which thwarted the terrorists’ plots and forced many of them flee towards the Turkish borders.

    Informed media sources disclosed earlier that the Syrian army has continued its advances in the Southern part of Aleppo, and regained control over several strategic areas in the town of Khan Touman.

    “A number of key warehouses of Khan Touman are now under the Syrian army’s control,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed informed source as saying.

    The source noted that the Syrian air force and army’s artillery units also targeted the gathering centers and fortifications of the terrorists in Khan Touman.’

      • michael norton

        Syria conflict: Warplanes set rebel-held Aleppo ablaze
        An AFP news agency journalist reported that his entire street in the Bustan al-Qasr district was left burning after warplanes dropped incendiary bombs.

        After the Americans bombed the Syrian Government troops, during the ceasefire, the Syrian Government declared the ceasefire to be at an end.
        It looks like the Syrian government are correct, the ceasefire is over.
        John Kerry still thinks it is ongoing but he is deluded.

      • Laguerre

        There was quite a good reason for the use of Kalibr cruise missiles, and not barrel bombs. The site is quite near the World Heritage site of Qal’at Sam’an, the remains of the church of St Simeon Stylites, you know the saint who spent his life sitting on top of a column in the 5th century. The Russians, being orthodox, would be particularly sensitive to the danger of getting it wrong.

          • Laguerre

            They would have used some kind of less expensive and possibly less accurate weapon, was my point. “barrel bomb” is only used as a way of finding fault with Asad; there are lots of other types, obviously.

  • michael norton

    Warplanes mounted the heaviest air strikes in months against rebel-held districts of the city of Aleppo overnight, as Russia and the Syrian government spurned a U.S. plea to halt flights, burying any hope for the revival of a doomed ceasefire.

    Rebel officials and rescue workers said incendiary bombs were among the weapons that rained from the sky on the city. Hamza al-Khatib, the director of a hospital in the rebel-held east, told Reuters the death toll was 45.

    “It’s as if the planes are trying to compensate for all the days they didn’t drop bombs” during the ceasefire, Ammar al-Selmo, the head of the civil defence rescue service in opposition-held eastern Aleppo told Reuters.

    “It was like there was coordination between the planes and the artillery shelling, because the shells were hitting the same locations that the planes hit,” he said.

    The assault, by aircraft from the Syrian government, its Russian allies or both, made clear that Moscow and Damascus had rejected a plea by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to halt flights so that aid could be delivered and a ceasefire salvaged.

    In a tense televised exchange with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the United Nations on Wednesday, Kerry said stopping the bombardment was the last chance to find a way “out of the carnage”.

    President Bashar al-Assad meanwhile indicated he saw no quick end to the war, telling AP News it would “drag on” as long as it is part of a global conflict in which terrorists were backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the United States.

    I think that gives John Kerry a conclusive answer,
    over to U.S.A. for next round.

  • michael norton

    ‘US priority in Syria: Stop Aleppo from falling to pro-Assad forces’ Russia Today

    I expect as Aleppo was the main commerical city in Syria, is quite close to the Med and is also quite close to TURKEY.
    It will become part of Turkey, soon.

  • fwl

    I don’t wish to appear alarmist, but are we back in a situation as dangerous as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis? Hopefully, there is still plenty of back channel chat between US and Russia because otherwise signs are worrying:

    1) Russia and Syria say US has intentionally targeted Syrian troops over a sustained period of one hour i.e. an presumably an act of war. Russian ambassador to UN appears to stop short of saying this is war, but says US can only lawfully carry out military operations in Syria without Syrian permission if they are careful as to who they target. US it was an accident and I don’t know whether there is yet an official response to Assad’s one hour over a wide range.

    2) US says Russia targets convoy – a war crime if true. Assad says it took place in the rebel held area.

    3) Yahoo hack from 2014 is disclosed now and Russia is accused. If Russia then isn’t this a serious warning of how war might pan out into cyber warfare.

    There is confusion about the rebels / terrorists (and as to who is who), but on a positive side the fog of war has perhaps not completely descended. We have AP interviewing Assad, it is possible to watch the interview and the Times and BBC report some of his key points, which I take as a positive. So fingers crossed.

      • michael norton

        This is incredibly important to both America and Russia
        but it was more important to America, first.
        America wanted to destabilize Syria, sometime ago, Russia wanted Syria stable.
        So you have a sovereign country Syria, which is economically sound, then America wants it destabilized.
        We need to think through

    • Manda

      I think we are at a very dangerous time indeed. US et al wish to retain their hegemony and extend it to a Global hegemony. The western financial system is collapsing and being propped up by major free digits, negative interest rates and major Ponzi schemes. Capitalism is in a major crisis and in 20C two world wars were the result. War is very profitable and enables realignment of power and looting of sovereign countries.
      I stumbled across this from Gerald Celente. The fact that ‘OccupyPeace’ US has had zero support from so called peace promoting people and organisations shows to me the extent of the co opting of left/peace movements and a major closing of ranks to protect the system.

      21Cwire article on the aid convoy probable hoax/false flag whatever term is appropriate. All food for worrying thought but I know what makes sense to me and I remember the extent of past lies in support of wars and blatant even childish propaganda to evade any responsibility for western/allied actions.

      • michael norton

        Of course, if SYRIA is reduced to rubble/the new stone age, there will be VAST chances to get rich rebuilding and lending them money?

          • michael norton

            Syrian Army under heavy attack by ISIS at Deir Ezzor Airport
            By Leith Fadel –
            DEIR EZZOR, SYRIA (3:00 A.M.) – The loss of Jabal Thardeh in western Deir Ezzor has proved to be a major thorn in the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) side, as they find themselves under heavy attack at the strategic military airport.

            The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has taken advantage of the Syrian Arab Army’s plight in Deir Ezzor by storming the military airport, applying pressure from two different flanks.

            On Friday morning, the Islamic State stormed the western and southern flanks of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport; this resulted in a day-long battle that ended with the terrorist forces failing to advance at either axes.
            Despite their failed advance on Friday, the Islamic State possesses the high ground near the Deir Ezzor Military Airport, which spells bad news for the Syrian Arab Army, if they are unable to quickly retake Jabal Thardeh.

            So Americans bomb Syrian Government troops and Islamic State moves in?

            So what are the Americans really after, is it to prevent the joining of Syria with Russia as an economic/ military block?

          • michael norton

            If the Americans bomb Syrian Government Troops in Deir Ezzor military airport.
            allowing IS to move in, then the Americans can move in to remove IS but the Americans might be forced to occupy
            the Deir Ezzor military airport.

  • michael norton

    Damascus and its allies including Shi’ite militia from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon have encircled rebel-held areas of Aleppo gradually this year, achieving their long-held objective of fully besieging the area this summer with Russian air support.

    A pro-government Iraqi militia commander in the Aleppo area told Reuters the aim was to capture all of Aleppo within a week.

    A Western diplomat said on Friday the only way for the government to take the area quickly would be to totally destroy it in “such a monstrous atrocity that it would resonate for generations”.
    from Reuters

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Ahrar Al-Sham plans to launch chemical attack on civilians, blame it on Syria govt – Syrian UN envoy’:

    ‘ Militants from Ahrar Al-Sham, a hardline Islamist group, are planning to use white phosphorus in an attack on civilians to later blame it on Syrian armed forces, UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari told a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Sunday.

    “I have information that Ahrar Al-Sham terrorists intend to mount attacks on civilian population using white phosphorus for the sake of fabricating accusations against the Syrian state and its army,” the diplomat said at the meeting as cited by TASS.

    To falsify the evidence and make their claims sound more credible, the militants plan to pose as Syrian army troops as they deploy the banned substance, Ja’afari said, adding that imposters are going to put on Syrian army uniforms and film the whole incident on camera. He did not elaborate on the source of the intelligence.

    White phosphorus is an extremely poisonous toxic agent able to inflict severe burn injuries and is banned from use in civilian areas, according to international law. It is only legitimate to deploy the chemical to create a smokescreen, make signals, or markings for friendly troops. The US has repeatedly used this loophole to use white phosphorus during Middle Eastern campaigns while claiming the indiscriminate weapon is only used as a smokescreen for advancing troops. Most recently, US military deployed white phosphorus shells in Iraq, saying they were used to “obscure” Kurdish fighters’ offensive against Islamists.

    Speaking of the alleged upcoming provocation, Ja’afari mentioned the suspicious activity by American experts, who, he claimed, had visited one of the chemical munitions depots in the rebel-held town of Saraqib in the northwestern Idlib province. Upon examining the site, the experts departed Syria for Turkey, he claimed…..’

  • michael norton

    ISIS loses control of last oil wells in Iraq – oil ministry

    Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants no longer control any oil wells in Iraq after being ousted by government forces last week from an area near Kirkuk, the oil ministry said Wednesday. The ultra-hard-line Sunni Muslim group were driven out of Shirqat Thursday by US-backed Iraqi forces. Last month it lost the Qayyara oilfield, south of Mosul, to government forces thrusting northwards in an offensive to retake the largest city under IS control. Deprived of oil income, IS will have to find other financing means such as increasing taxation and fines in areas still under its control, said Muthana Jbara, a provincial security official. Iraqi forces have yet to recapture the Najma oilfield, near Qayyara, but its producing wells are no longer accessible to IS because of the ongoing government offensive and airstrikes. (Reuters)

    • michael norton

      This will put Turkey in an awkward position
      IS have been supplying Turkey with cheap stolen oil.

  • michael norton

    FRANCE’s foreign minister said on Wednesday he was working to put forward a U.N. Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo, and that any country that opposed it would be deemed complicit in war crimes.

    Speaking to lawmakers, Jean-Marc Ayrault accused Syria, backed by Russia and Iran, of carrying out an “all-out war” on its people, something that Paris could not sit by idly watching.

  • Mark C.

    And next week from Mr. Brown…….Russian thermobaric bombs, cluster bombs, phosphorus bombs, napalm bombs…..they ain’t so bad either…..

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘What’s it all about, Alfie’? (there is also the extremely important ‘Yinon Plan’, but the pipeline business brought on the Syrian destabilisation when it did:

    ‘Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria’ By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard12:00PM BST 27 Aug 2013:

    ‘Saudi Arabia Admits to False Flag Terror’:

    ‘…..Saudis Admit they Control Chechen Terrorists

    The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported last week:

    As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.

    Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”

    (And see this.)

    This is not entirely surprising.

    The Guardian reported in 2002:

    Russian security officials suspect that the Chechens who seized a Moscow theatre in October had wealthy Arab sponsors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and have sought Washington’s support in finding the financiers.

    Senior officials say they have traced a series of telephone calls from the gunmen to their “sponsors” in the Gulf.

    During one call made to an unspecified Gulf state a financier asked for a video of scenes inside the theatre, and was told it could be made for a $1m fee.

    “Several long telephone conversations were intercepted to Saudi Arabia, to the Emirates, and to Qatar.

    “We can say for sure that the hostage-taking was financed from abroad, and the terrorists maintained permanent contact with their sponsors.”

    He added that the leader of the hostage-takers, Mosvar Barayev, and several of his fellow Chechens had planned to flee to the Gulf once the crisis was over….’

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