Monthly Archives: May 2013

US terror drone kills two in Yemen

Two people have been killed and three others injured in a US assassination drone strike in eastern Yemen.

The attack was carried out early on Monday when the drone targeted a home in Al-Hawa area of Marib Province.

There has been no immediate comment from the Yemeni authorities on the attack.

On Wednesday, at least five people were killed in two separate strikes carried out by US terror drones near the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

Four of the victims were killed in the first strike as they were riding a vehicle in the desert area of Oussab al-Ali, about 140 kilometers (90 miles) south of Sana’a, said a Yemeni official.

The fifth victim, who was identified as Hamed Radman, was killed after a drone bombed his house.

The United States has launched numerous drone attacks in Yemen. The airstrikes have killed many civilians over the past few years. Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants, but civilians have often been the victims.

The US administration has come under fire for its increased use of terror drones in Yemen.

Yemenis have held many demonstrations to condemn the United States’ violations of their national sovereignty.

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Ankara seeks further dominance in Middle East: Eric Draitser

Press TV has conducted an interview with Eric Draitser, the founder of stopimperialism.com from New York City. Draitser is joined by Sharif Nashashibi, the chairman of the Arab Media Watch from London. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Draitser, Ankara has accused Damascus of being behind the bombings and Damascus has denied the charges. What would Syria gain by bombing its neighbor and possibly opening up another front in this fight?

Draitser: Absolutely nothing, which is the primary reason why we should be incredibly skeptical of the assertions that Damascus was involved in these bombings in Turkey. The Assad government gains nothing from this. If anything, it forces them onto their defenses; it forces them to distance themselves from this and to attempt to absolve themselves of whatever has happened.

But, again the story here, I think is not even just so much the fact that the Turkish government is accusing Damascus, it is that the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating this situation in the first place.

The previous speaker [Mr. Nashashibi] mentioned the refugees being hosted on the Turkish side of the border with Syria and that is true, but we should not forget, we should not leave out of the narrative the fact that Turkey also hosted many-many of the terrorists, which have streamed into Syria.

Let’s not forget the Reuters report from almost a year ago about the terrorist training camp near Adana (a southern Turkish city), which is right adjacent to the NATO military base at Incirlik (eight kilometers east of Adana).

So, there is a direct connection between the role that [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and [Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu have played in fomenting the conflict in Syria and these latest bombings. So, the assertion that Damascus was responsible is I think ludicrous.

Press TV: What about that Mr. Draitser? Do you see that that could be a possible motive, is it a possibility that the Syrian government has actually benefitted from this bombing?

Draitser: This is an illogical position in my estimation because if Damascus wanted to foment conflict in Turkey, they would unleash their Kurdish population to rouse up the Kurdish very sizeable minority inside of Turkey and rip that country apart.

Syria could unleash many more horrors upon Turkey if it wanted to; other than isolated bombings.

So, what we are seeing is instead of, I think, following the facts and trying to determine a conclusion based on those facts, rather we are seeing people from all sides of this conflict attempting to essentially make the narrative fit the facts. And that is, I think, a real distortion. Again, you should remember that Turkey is involved in this strategy against Syria in its own self interests.

Remember that Davutoglu is a champion of the smart power theory of foreign relations that is to say engaging in destabilization efforts in the region in order to further perpetuate Turkish dominance.

In many ways the Davutoglu and Erdogan faction sees Turkey as a potential imperial power. If you look at the [mode] of which they use, talking about the Turkic communities all throughout – stretching the way to China, the Turks have a very real belief, or at least there is a segment of the ruling class in Turkey, that has the very real belief that Turkey needs to be the new Ottoman empire, that it needs to reassert its authority in the region.

This is certainly not the Turkey of 30, 40, 50 years ago and that is the fundamental reason why people are calling for Erdogan and Davutoglu’s resignations because they are bringing Turkey back decades from the progress that they had made.

Press TV: Well what about that Mr. Draitser? How do you see it in general? Why, in your perspective, Ankara has chosen to get involved in the way it has in the Syrian situation?

Draitser: Well Erdogan sees himself as being very closely allied to the United States. Erdogan has made note on multiple occasions of his warm and cozy relationship with [US President] Barack Obama and the Obama administration. And in many ways I think that Erdogan and Davutoglu have been kind of pushed in this direction or prodded with… Who knows what sorts of promises have been made?

As the previous speaker [Mr. Nashashibi] mentioned, we should try to shy away from speculation as much as possible. But, I think that it is reasonable to assert that Turkey sees self interests in all of this. That Turkey believes that it can further its own political and geopolitical agenda by getting involved in this and I have to say that the notion that Turkey only became involved in the Syrian conflict because of its own defense reasons is totally absurd.

Turkey played a fundamental central role in the importation of foreign Jihadists into Syria, not only did they host them inside of the country they provided them safe passage in and out of the country. They have also worked with Qatar, with Saudi Arabia, with others in the region to make sure that weapons got into the hands of these brutal terrorists.

Remember that, for instance, that the al-Nusra Front is merely the Syrian incarnation of al-Qaeda in Iraq. That is an example of how the infiltration has happened and how that infiltration has impacted with what happened on the ground in Syria.

Now, al-Nusra comes from Iraq, but there are many other factions which come through Turkey. Not the least of which is the Free Syrian Army, which we have seen implicated in many-many war crimes.

Remember there have been at least three or four or five documented war crimes that have happened in Syria in the last, say, month; all of those crimes committed by Israel or by Turkey or by terrorists who are proxies of those entities. So, to say that somehow Turkey is only involved for defensive reasons, I think again, it is a distortion of reality.

Press TV: What about that Mr. Draitser? Our guest, Mr. Nashashibi has said that crimes have taken place on both sides and of course I am sure that they have, but have we seen anything like the type of crimes that we are seeing coming out of these extremists elements that we have very-very barbaric type of situations that it is almost as if the world has not seen before.

So, how likely is that type of element to actually backfire on secular Turkey?

Draitser: Well let me get to that in a second, but I am obligated to respond to what the gentleman has just mentioned.

This is the standard tactic of those who aren’t quite sure how to be apologists for the terrorist elements in the country.

Please remember that what you are essentially doing is equating the two sides in this conflict. You are saying that the Assad government on the one hand and the rebels on the other hand – both of them have committed atrocities.

Okay fine, please point to me where you have shown the evidence of the Assad government using chemical weapons because I can certainly show you the UN report of the rebels using chemical weapons.

Please show me a report of where the Iranian arms, that are supposedly being funneled into Syria, come anywhere near to the extent of the Qatari, Saudi Arabian, US, Israeli, Turkish arms flooding into that country.

To equate the two sides of this conflict, I am sorry this is 100 percent unadulterated propaganda and the fact that you are trying to do that, I think, really weakens your own position because you are correct to point out that there have been atrocities committed on all sides of this conflict, which is why I would advocate the position of peace the whole way.

That is everybody get their hands off of Syria, not just one side or the other side; allow the Syrians to determine the course of their own destiny and stop meddling in their affairs.

Please remember that to meddle in the affairs of a sovereign state, such as Syria, is a gross violation of international law, it is a violation of the UN charter and it is outrageous that anybody could try to legitimize this type of action.

Now, in response to the question, yes absolutely, the Turks are inviting their own destruction. If you see a failed state in Syria, it will not be long before that conflict is completely engulfed in Turkey. The Kurdish minority in that country will be riled up, the faction that has been opposed to the Davutoglu-Erdogan alliance will be emboldened and that country will be torn apart and whatever secular nature has been developed in that country will bode the way of the historical dustbin.

Press TV: Go ahead Mr. Draitser [in response to Mr. Nashashibi’s comments].

Draitser: That is false. What you are doing is you are not only attacking me with falsehoods, but you are distorting the issue here.

I am not defending the Assad regime. I am defending the right of Syrian people to determine their own future.

Nashashibi: Really?!

Draitser: Absolutely. What you are suggesting is that the ‘so called’ revolution in Syria is entirely peaceful; that this was not fomented from the outside beginning in 2011.

More to the point, if you want a ‘so called’ revolution in Syria to topple the Assad regime, then allow it to happen in the way that it is happening in Bahrain, the way that it happened in Yemen, the way that it is happening in other countries.

Rather, the imperialist powers have decided that Syria is a strategic and fundamental part of their geopolitical strategy and it is a prelude to an imperialist war against Iran.

And if you are going to deny that and if you are going to deny the facts on the ground, and that is your prerogative, but that makes you a propagandist for imperialism, not an objective observer.

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Time to End Western Support for Terrorists in Syria: “Opposition” is Entirely Run by Al Qaeda

In an astounding admission, the New York Times confirms that the so-called “Syrian opposition” is entirely run by Al Qaeda 

and literally states: 

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.

From the beginning, it was clear to geopolitical analysts that the conflict in Syria was not “pro-democracy” protesters rising up, but rather the fruition of a well-documented conspiracy between the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to arm and direct sectarian extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda against the Syrian government.

This was documented as early as 2007 – a full 4 years before the 2011 “Arab Spring” would begin – by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article titled, “

The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which stated specifically (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

For the past two years the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey have sent billions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into Syria alongside known-terrorists from Libya, Chechnya, neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. In the Telegraph’s article titled, “US and Europe in `major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb`,” it is reported:

It claimed 3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November

The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.

The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organized through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbors. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.

British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.

Additionally, The New York Times in its article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” admits that:

 With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

And more recently the US State Department had announced hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, equipment and even armored vehicles to militants operating in Syria, along with demands of its allies to “match” the funding to reach a goal of over a billion dollars. The NYT would report in their article, “Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria,” that:

 With the pledge of fresh aid, the total amount of nonlethal assistance from the United States to the coalition and civic groups inside the country is $250 million. During the meeting here, Mr. Kerry urged other nations to step up their assistance, with the objective of providing $1 billion in international aid.

And as this astronomical torrent of cash, weapons, and equipment was overtly sent by the West into Syria, the US State Department since the very beginning of the violence has known that the most prominent fighting group operating inside Syria was Al Qaeda, more specifically, the al Nusra front. The US State Department’s official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusra Front as an Alias for al-Qa`ida in Iraq,” stated explicitly that:

 Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

The State Department admits that from the very beginning, Al Qaeda has been carrying out hundreds of attacks in every major city in Syria. Clearly for those who read the 2007 Hersh piece in the New Yorker, and then witnessed the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria, the explanation is quite simple – the West intentionally and systematically funded and armed Al Qaeda to gain a foothold in Syria, then overthrow the Syrian government in an unprecedented sectarian bloodbath and subsequent humanitarian catastrophe, just as was planned years ago.

 However, now, according to Western leaders, the public is expected to believe that despite the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey flooding Syria with billion in cash, and thousands of tons of weapons, all sent exclusively to “secular moderates,” somehow, Al Qaeda has still managed to gain preeminence amongst the “opposition.”

 How can this be? If a 7-nation axis is arraying the summation of its resources in the region behind “secular moderates,” who then is arraying even more resources behind Al Qaeda? The answer is simple. There never were any “secular moderates,” a fact the New York Times has now fully admitted.

In its article titled, “Islamists Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy,” the New York Times admits:

 Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.

However, in an explanation that defies reason, the article states:

 The Islamist character of the opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion, which has been led since its start by Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, mostly in conservative, marginalized areas. The descent into brutal civil war has hardened sectarian differences, and the failure of more mainstream rebel groups to secure regular arms supplies has allowed Islamists to fill the void and win supporters.

To “secure regular arms supplies” from whom? According to the West, they have been supplying “mainstream rebel groups” with billions in cash, and thousands of tons of weaponry – and now according to the BBC, training as well.Where if not intentionally and directly into the hands of al-Nusra, did all of this cash, these weapons, and training go?

 The NYT also admits (emphasis added):

 Of most concern to the United States is the Nusra Front, whose leader recently confirmed that the group cooperated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and pledged fealty to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s longtime deputy. Nusra has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings and is the group of choice for the foreign jihadis pouring into Syria. 

 Not only is the Syrian government fighting now openly admitted Al Qaeda terrorists, but terrorists that are not even of Syrian origin.

 More outrageous still, is that the New York Times fully admits that the very oil fields the European Union has lifted sanctions on and is now buying oil from in Syria (see BBC’s “EU eases Syria oil embargo to help opposition”), are completely controlled by Al Qaeda – meaning the European Union is now intentionally exchanging cash with known international terrorists guilty of horrific atrocities, in exchange for oil.  The NYT reports:

 Elsewhere, they [al-Nusra] have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.

And:

 In the oil-rich provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasaka, Nusra fighters have seized government oil fields, putting some under the control of tribal militias and running others themselves.

The Times continues by admitting (emphasis added):

 Nusra’s hand is felt most strongly in Aleppo

, where the group has set up camp in a former children’s hospital and has worked with other rebel groups to establish a Shariah Commission in the eye hospital next door to govern the city’s rebel-held neighborhoods. The commission runs a police force and an Islamic court that hands down sentences that have included lashings, though not amputations or executions as some Shariah courts in other countries have done.Nusra fighters also control the power plant and distribute flour to keep the city’s bakeries running.

 This last point, “and distribute flour to keep the city’s bakeries running,” is of extreme importance, because that “flour” they are “distributing” comes admittedly, directly from the United State of America.

 In the Washington Post’s article, “U.S. feeds Syrians, but secretly,” it is claimed that:

 In the heart of rebel-held territory in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, a small group of intrepid Westerners is undertaking a mission of great stealth. Living anonymously in a small rural community, they travel daily in unmarked cars, braving airstrikes, shelling and the threat of kidnapping to deliver food and other aid to needy Syrians — all of it paid for by the U.S. government.

The Washington Post then claims that most Syrians credit Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra with providing the aid:

 America has done nothing for us. Nothing at all,” said Mohammed FouadWaisi, 50, spitting out the words for emphasis in his small Aleppo grocery store, which adjoins a bakery where he buys bread every day. The bakery is fully supplied with flour paid for by the United States. But Waisi credited Jabhat al-Nusra — a rebel group the United States has designated a terrorist organization because of its ties to al-Qaeda — with providing flour to the region, though he admitted he wasn’t sure where it comes from.

 Clearly, the puzzle is now complete. Indeed Mr. Mohammed FouadWaisi was correct, Jabhat al-Nusra, a listed terrorist organization by the US State Department, is supplying the people with flour, flour it receives by the ton directly and intentionally from the United States in direct contradiction to its own anti-terror laws, international laws, and the US State Department’s own frequent denials that it is bolstering terrorists inside of Syria.

 Clearly the US and its allies are propping up terrorism, and more alarming is that the “aid” they have been providing the Syrian people, appears to have been used as a political weapon by Al Qaeda, allowing them to take, hold, and permanently subjugate territory inside Syria. It should be noted again, that the New York Times itself admits that the ranks of al-Nusra are filled with foreign, not Syrian, fighters.

 Revealed is a conspiracy so insidious, so outrageous, and a web of lies so tangled, that Western governments perhaps count on their populations to disbelieve their tax money is being used to intentionally fund and arm savage terrorism while purposefully fueling a sectarian bloodbath whose death toll is sounded daily by the very people driving it up to astronomical heights. The cards are down – the US has been exposed as openly funding, arming, and supplying Al Qaeda in Syria for two years and in turn, is directly responsible for the death, atrocities, and humanitarian disasters within and along Syria’s borders that have resulted.

 While the US attempts to sell military intervention on behalf of Al Qaeda in Syria, using the flimsy, yet familiar pretext of “chemical weapons,” it appears that before even one American boot officially touches Syrian soil, an already horrific crime against humanity of historic proportions has been committed by the US and its allies against the Syrian people.

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