Although the porous Iraqi-Syrian border stretches for over 600 kilometers, about half of it – in practice – is not subject to the authority of either state. Over the years, this lack of comprehensive border control has given rise to a number of security threats to both nations, not least the persistent presence of ISIS elements in border regions. From the Iraqi side, there has been a pro-active approach in countering this low-level terrorism with the establishment of two defensive lines by the Joint Operations Command, in addition to concrete barriers and watchtowers. Smuggling from Syria into Iraqi border towns is another salient feature of current border activities, and one which presents both a threat and an opportunity for the US-led international coalition whose forces operate on both sides of the border.
Before it mired the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in an international cover-up scandal, the April 2018 probe of an alleged gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma achieved a milestone. After numerous claims of chemical weapons use in Syria, Douma marked the first time that an OPCW fact-finding mission (FFM) deployed on-site to conduct its own investigation. Douma was not the OPCW’s first try. Four years earlier, in May 2014, the chemical watchdog sent a team to the town of Kafr Zita. As in Douma, the organization was mandated to scrutinize insurgent-generated claims of a toxic bombing by the Syrian army.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), US forces established a third military base in Syria on 3 September. The new US military base was set up in Naqara village, just three kilometers from Qamishli in the northeastern province of Hasakah. The US has two more bases, one of them located in Himo village and another one in the Tel Fares area near the Qamishli airport. Armed groups have recently stepped up against US occupational forces and their regional allies due to the illegal exploitation of fossil fuels. The Syrian government has accused the United States of stealing the country’s natural resources, a staggering $107 billion since the war began in 2011.
The US armed forces carried out air raids in Syria’s Deir ez Zor province on Tuesday, August 23, allegedly targeting forces allied with Iran and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, as per a statement issued by the US Central Command. The exact location of the airstrikes and number of casualties, if any, are yet not confirmed. The statement claimed that “precision strikes” inside Syria were carried to “defend and protect U.S. forces from attacks like the ones on August 15.” It said that the strike targeted “Iran backed groups” and were carried out under the direction of US President Joe Biden. On August 15, at least three drones targeting the US’ al-Tanf base in Syria’s Homs province were intercepted and destroyed, as per claims by the US forces.
The Syrian Oil Ministry released a statement on 9 August accusing US forces occupying Syria of being responsible for the theft of most of the country’s oil. “The amount of oil production during the first half of 2022 amounted to some 14.5 million barrels, with an average daily production of 80.3 thousand barrels, of which 14.2 thousand are delivered daily to refineries,” the oil ministry’s statement said. The statement went on to say that “US occupation forces and their mercenaries,” referring to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “steal up to 66,000 barrels every single day from the fields occupied in the eastern region,” amounting to around 83 percent of Syria’s daily oil production. According to the ministry’s data, the Syrian oil sector has incurred losses nearing “about 105 billion dollars since the beginning of the war until the middle of this year” as a result of the US oil theft campaign.
On June 10th, The Guardian's Mark Townsend published an article headlined "Russia-backed network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified." ("Russia-backed" has since been removed). The article is based on what Townsend calls a "new analysis" that "reveals" a "network more than two dozen conspiracy theorists, frequently backed by a coordinated Russian campaign." This network, Townsend claims, is "focused on the denial or distortion of facts about the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons and on attacking the findings of the world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog," the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). According to Townsend, I am named "as the most prolific spreader of disinformation" among the nefarious bunch.
Very few people in the United States trust the mainstream corporate media. This is confirmed by a July survey from the major polling firm Gallup, which found that just 11% of North Americans trust television news, and a mere 16% have confidence in newspapers. It’s quite easy to understand why. The US media apparatus has repeatedly shown itself over decades to be completely unreliable and highly politicized. The corporate media’s treachery has been especially clear in the demonstrably false stories it disseminated to try to justify the US wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. This disgraceful legacy continues today, in the proxy war that Washington is waging on Russia via Ukraine. Fake news echoed by the press has served as a powerful form of US information warfare.
I have been asked to join my fellow panelists in speaking about U.S. interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. For some reason, our government has never been able to articulate these interests, but, judging by the fiscal priority Americans have assigned to these three countries in this century, they must be immense – almost transcendent. Since we invaded Afghanistan in 2001, we have spent more than $5 trillion and incurred liabilities for veterans’ disabilities and medical expenses of at least another trillion dollars, for a total of something over $6 trillion for military efforts alone. This is money we didn’t spend on sustaining, still less improving, our own human and physical infrastructure or current and future well-being. We borrowed almost all of it. Estimates of the costs of servicing the resulting debt run to an additional $8 trillion over the next few decades.
In the early hours of Friday morning, Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian capital of Damascus resulted in the deaths of three Syrian soldiers, only a month after Damascus International Airport was bombed under similar circumstances, with Tel Aviv alleging that it was being used by Iran to transport weapons into the Arab Republic, where Tehran is operating in an anti-terrorist capacity under official invite from the Syrian government. This air campaign, which began in 2013 following the Iranian intervention in the proxy war on Syria which had begun two years previously, has stepped up markedly in recent years, with Israel recently threatening to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an airstrike should the Islamic Republic continue to co-operate with its Arab counterpart.
Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad, who was visiting Iran, said on Wednesday, July 20 that his country welcomed the joint statement issued at the end of Astana peace summit a day earlier which talked against all kinds of external aggression in his country. During his meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Amir Abdollahian Mekdad noted that “we are against any interference of Turkey in Syrian lands and establishment of any settlements and attempts of Turkification of Syria.” On Tuesday, during the first day of his two-day visit to Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the summit of the Astana format or peace process in Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi. After the summit meeting, the three leaders issued a joint statement declaring that there is no military solution in Syria and warned against any such attempts.
This article shows how media uses computer modeling and “virtual crime scenes” to assign blame for some extremely important international events. In these examples from Nicaragua, Ukraine and Syria, many people died in complex circumstances. The deaths at the “Mother’s March” in Managua, Nicaragua precipitated an attempted coup. The Maidan Massacre in Kyiv led to an actual coup. The claims of a chemical attack in Douma led to the US, France and the UK bombing Syria. The three incidents are in different continents but share some key characteristics: each is to some degree emblematic of the conflict of which it is part, cited as an important indicator of who is right and who is wrong. All three violent incidents are controversial, with both “sides” claiming to be right.
Under cover of media focus on the NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the Zionist assassination of Al Jazeera senior correspondent Shireen AbuAkleh, Washington is making moves to annex Syrian territory. On May 11th during the meeting of the “global coalition against Islamic State” in Marrakech, Morocco the U.S acting assistant Secretary of State, , made an extraordinary move that has largely gone under the radar of even independent media. Everyone is distracted by events in Ukraine and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Nuland who famously exclaimed “Fuck the EU” during recorded conversations that exposed the US State Department involvement in the 2014 coup in Ukraine and the subsequent massacre in Odessa by the Washington’s Nazi Contras is now turning her attention to Syria’s north-eastern territory.
US occupation forces continue to loot Syrian oil from the northern Al-Jazeera region of Syria’s Hasakah governorate, as a US military convoy of around 70 oil tankers reportedly made their way towards Iraq through the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing on 14 May. According to local sources in the Al-Yarubiyah countryside, the convoy was accompanied by an additional 15 trucks carrying military equipment as well as six armored vehicles. A day earlier, 46 US vehicles were reportedly transferred out of Syria through the same border crossing. US troops and their proxy in northern Syria – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – are in control of most of the oil fields in Hasakah and Deir Ezzor and have been regularly smuggling Syrian oil out of the country to sell it abroad.
Hours after the Feb. 3 U.S. military raid in northern Syria that left the leader of ISIS and multiple family members dead, President Biden delivered a triumphant White House address. The late-night Special Forces operation in Syria's Idlib province, Biden proclaimed, was a "testament to America’s reach and capability to take out terrorist threats no matter where they hide around the world." Unmentioned by the president, and virtually all media accounts of the assassination, was the critical role that top members of his administration played during the Obama years in creating the Al Qaeda-controlled hideout where ISIS head Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi, as well as his slain predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, found their final refuge.
The U.S. and its proxies in Europe are moving an enormous amount of weapons into Ukraine. But no one has an idea where those weapons will end up. It is likely that many of those will proliferate outside of the Ukraine and some of those weapons will inevitably hit those who now deliver them. In a review of the U.S. war on Syria Aaron Maté details how the Obama/Biden team empowered terrorist networks in Syria: Based on declassified documents, news reports, and scattered admissions of U.S. officials, this overlooked history of how the Obama-Biden team's effort to oust the Assad regime – in concert with allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey – details the series of discrete decisions that ultimately led the U.S. to empower terror networks bent on its destruction The U.S. pushed an enormous amount of weapons into Syria.