Assad: US Syria strike ever present

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says an attack by the US is likely despite ongoing peace initiatives by Russia, China and others.

“The possibility of a military offensive will always be present, maybe at one time on the pretext of chemical weapons, and at other times on different pretexts,” he told Caracas-based television network teleSUR late on Wednesday, which broadcasts across Latin America.

“If we take a look at previous (US) wars, at least from the early ’50s, we see that (US) policy is to go from one aggression to the next,” he said, referring to US involvement in conflicts in Korea,Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Not to mention its actions in South America, where it instigated coups and the deaths of millions of people,” he said.

The US has been sidestepping the UN Security Council for decades, violating the UN’s Security Charter, other nations’ sovereignty, and all human and moral values, he said.

He said the US was a “great power,” and that “good relations are possible on condition of mutual respect.” But he questioned whether this could be achieved given the US dissemination of “terrorism, destruction and fear.”

Al-Assad also drew parallels between his country’s position in international politics and those of Latin American socialist nations Venezuela and Cuba.

“The trajectory of Latin America is the same as the one that Arab countries should follow,” he said.

Late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez represented “a path to independence and freedom,” he said. Chavez and Cuba’s former revolutionary and president Fidel Castro “follow the same line, see things from the same perspective, and take the same path.”

Chavez’s successor, current President Nicolas Maduro, also “possesses the tenacity, the energy of our region,” he said.

Chavez, Maduro and Castro have all made their own repeated verbal attacks on the US. Anti-US positions have also been expressed by fellow left-leaning Latin American countries Nicaragua and Bolivia.

Asked about the political consequences in Syria of a US attack, he said such a move would impact the whole of the Middle East.

“The world is a small village, what happens in Syria will affect surrounding countries and the most distant parts of the planet.”
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Obama denies giving proof on Syria chemical: AP

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The US government insists it has the intelligence to prove Syrian government launched teh chemical attack, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by US intelligence .

The US administration has denied a request by the Associated Press to provide at least one concrete evidence for the public showing the alleged chemical attack in Syria on August 21 was linked to the Syrian government.

The Associated Press ran a skeptical piece Sunday about the Obama administration’s public case for military intervention in Syria in response to a reported Aug. 21 chemical attack.

The AP’s Zeina Karam and Kimberly Dozier wrote that “the US government insists it has the intelligence to prove it, but the public has yet to see a single piece of concrete evidence produced by US intelligence — no satellite imagery, no transcripts of Syrian military communications — connecting the government of President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack last month that killed hundreds of people.”

The Obama administration has released videos to make its case, but the AP noted that its requests for additional evidence the government claims to possess have been denied.

The Obama administration, searching for support from a divided Congress and skeptical world leaders, says its own assessment is based mainly on satellite and signals intelligence, but multiple requests to view that satellite imagery have been denied, AP wrote in an article.

Though the administration produced copious amounts of satellite imagery earlier in the war to show the results of the Syrian regime’s military operations but it has rejected to provide such imagery on the alleged chemical attack.

“The AP has been especially skeptical of the Obama administration’s claims, a reflection of how the media’s failure in the run-up to the Iraq War still lingers,” the article said.

Last week, AP investigative editor Ted Bridis urged reporters and editors to “dive deep into questions about quantifying and understanding the US government’s justification for military intervention in Syria,” according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

A dozen former US military and intelligence officials told Obama that they are picking up information that proves Syrian government was not responsible for the August 21 attack.

They warned US president that the CIA was providing false data on the matter and said according to their sources, the anti-Syria miltiants carried out the attack.

Obama remains trying to gather international support for its controversial plans to bomb Syria, and his rush to dispatch warships toward the Arab country was forced to stop due worldwide calls not to attack the already war-torn country.

Syria has been gripped with a deadly insurgency since 2011 when pro-reform protests turned to an all-out war by infiltration of militants and terrorist groups from across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
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US intelligence officials to Obama: It wasn’t Assad

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A dozen former US military and intelligence officials have told US President Barack Obama that they are picking up information that proves Syrian government was not responsible for the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21.

“We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this,” they wrote to Obama.

Writers of the letter who are from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) said they chose to assume that Obama has not been fully informed because his advisers decided to afford him the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”

“Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue,” the letter read.

They added that according to their confidential sources, “CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you (Obama)”.

“There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.

According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.

We are unaware of any reliable evidence that a Syrian military rocket capable of carrying a chemical agent was fired into the area. In fact, we are aware of no reliable physical evidence to support the claim that this was a result of a strike by a Syrian military unit with expertise in chemical weapons.

In addition, we have learned that on August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major, irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and Qatari, Turkish and US intelligence officials took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, now used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors.”

The letter goes on to say that:

“Senior opposition commanders who came from Istanbul pre-briefed the regional commanders on an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development,” which, in turn, would lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.

At operations coordinating meetings at Antakya, attended by senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials as well as senior commanders of the Syrian opposition, the Syrians were told that the bombing would start in a few days. Opposition leaders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the U.S. bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Bashar al-Assad government.

The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive. And they were. A weapons distribution operation unprecedented in scope began in all opposition camps on August 21-23. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish intelligence under the tight supervision of US intelligence officers.”

The Obama administration is trying to get international support for attacking Syria, but it has failed to even convince its Arab allies to accompany the US military.

According to US Secretary of States John Kerry, US Middle Eastern allies have agreed to give financial support to a military strike, but they will not take part in it.

Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church warned against military actions against Syria and urged world leaders to pull humanity out of a “spiral of sorrow and death.”
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Footage of chemical attack in Syria is fraud

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An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by the Arbeen unified press office on August 21, 2013 shows a man comforting a Syrian girl in shock as she screams in Arabic “I am alive” following an attack in which Syrian opposition claim the regime used chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus (AFP Photo)

There is proof the footage of the alleged chemical attack in Syria was fabricated, Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria, told RT. She says she is about to submit her findings to the UN.

Mother Agnes, a catholic nun, who has been living in Syria for 20 years and has been reporting actively on what has been going on in the war-ravaged country, says she carefully studied the video featuring allegedly victims of the chemical weapons attack in the Syrian village of Guta in August and now questions its authenticity. 

In her interview with RT, Mother Agnes doubts so much footage could have been taken in so little time, and asks where parents of the supposedly dead children are. She promises to send her report to the UN. 

The nun is indignant with the world media for apparently turning a blind eye to the Latakia massacre by rebel extremists, which left 500 civilians including women and children dead.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to pay attention to revelations made by Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib. 

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Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib

Mother Agnes: I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator. 

The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.

The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don’t see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children? 

I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.

RT: Recently you’ve visited Latakia and the adjacent areas, you’ve talked to the eyewitnesses to the massacre of civilians carried out in Latakia by Jabhat al-Nusra. What can you tell us about it?  

MA: What I want to ask first of all is how the international community can ignore the brutal killing spree in Latakia on Laylat al-Qadr early in the morning of August 5, an attack that affected more than 500 people, including children, women and the elderly. They were all slaughtered. The atrocities committed exceed any scale. But there was close to nothing about it in the international mass media. There was only one small article in “The Independent”, I believe. 

We sent our delegation to these villages, and our people had a look at the situation on-site, talked to the locals, and most importantly – talked to the survivors of the massacre. 

I don’t understand why the Western media apply double standards in this case – they talk about mass murder that the use of chemical weapons resulted in non-stop, but they keep quiet about the Latakia massacre.

RT: Do you know anything about the fate of hostages captured in Latakia?

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A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 20, 2013 shows soldiers loyal to the regime forces wrapping a decomposed body that was allegedly discovered in a mass grave in northern Latakia, a province on the Mediterranean coast (AFP Photo)

MA: In the village of Estreba they massacred all the residents and burnt down their houses. In the village of al-Khratta almost all the 37 locals were killed. Only ten people were able to escape. 

A total of twelve Alawite villages were subjected to this horrendous attack. That was a true slaughterhouse. People were mutilated and beheaded. There is even a video that shows a girl being dismembered alive – alive! – by a frame saw. The final death toll exceeded 400, with 150 to 200 people taken hostage. Later some of the hostages were killed, their deaths filmed. 

At the moment we are looking for the hostages and negotiating their release with the militants, but so far we haven’t managed to achieve that.

RT: We often hear reports of Christians being persecuted by the militants. Just the day before yesterday there was an attack in the village of Maaloula, where the majority of population is Christian. Are Christians in Syria facing grave danger?

MA: Everyone in Syria is facing grave danger. There was a case of Muslim religious leaders being kidnapped and beheaded. They were humiliated and tortured. Ismailis, the druze, Christians – people from all parts of Syrian society – are being mass murdered. I would like to say that if these butchers didn’t have international support, no one would have dared to cross the line. But today, unfortunately, the violation of human rights and genocide in Syria is covered up on the international level. I demand the international community stops assessing the situation in Syria in accordance with the interests of a certain group of great powers. The Syrian people are being killed. They fall victim to contractors, who are provided with weapons and sent to Syria to kill as many people as possible. The truth is, everywhere in Syria people are being kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed. These crimes remain unpunished, because the key powers chose international terrorism as a way to destroy sovereign states. They’ve done it to other countries. And they will just keep doing it if the international community doesn’t say “Enough!”

RT: You’ve managed to get hold of some sensitive information. Does this make you fear for your life as someone who keeps documents that may compromise the militants? Has anyone threatened you?
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The top 9 real reasons to go to war in Syria

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In no particular order:

One: Give the appearance of unifying the country behind the President, who “did his job the right way,” by going to Congress for approval. This elevates Obama’s ratings and, by inference, suggests that his other programs should be accorded more merit. A wartime president always gains more support.

Two: Give the people an adrenaline rush. The effect should never be underestimated. Cleanses the pores, cleans the slate, and relieves frustration by proxy, temporarily…if you have very little access to your cerebral functions.

Three: In this case, winning Congressional approval reinstates the illusion, for a few moments, that we are a Constitutional Republic, with a government dedicated to justice.

Four: Help fulfill the long-planned US-Israeli agenda of destabilizing Syria and causing it to partition into warring and chaotic ethnic factions.

Five: Stop the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Syria, which would boost Iran’s economy by sending Iranian gas to Europe. Iran’s economy must be torpedoed.

Six: Send a message throughout the Middle East that the US is all-powerful and the dollar must remain the reserve currency in all oil transactions.

Seven: Feed the US military-industrial complex, which demands wars.

Eight: Aid the long-term goal of Globalism/Free Trade, which involves putting the entire Middle East into unresolvable debt and suffering…and then coming in with outside elite bankster financing, to rebuild the entire region and own it, lock, stock, and barrel.

Nine: Distract Americans from a number of scandals, including: Benghazi, Fast&Furious, IRS non-profit division crimes, NSA spying, the continuing failed war in Afghanistan, and a tanking domestic economy with more and more people living below the poverty line.

None of these reasons has anything to do with “punishing Assad for using chemical weapons.” In any case, that whole scenario has been thrown into extreme doubt.

Your government at work.

Jon Rappoport
Infowars.com
September 3, 2013

Putin warns against military action against Syria, bypassing UNSC

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Russia needs convincing proof, not rumors, from UN experts that chemical weapons were used in Syria, said the Russian president in an interview with First Channel and AP. It is up to the UN Security Council to decide on the next course of action, he said.

Speaking to journalists from Russia’s state Channel 1 television and Associated Press, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a number of decisive statements regarding the supposed use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, which evoked a threat of a US-led strike on Syria. 

“We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria,” Putin said, adding that so far there is no information about what chemical agent exactly was used in the attack in Damascus’ suburbs and who did it. 

“I’ve already said I find it absolutely ridiculous that [Syrian] government’s armed forces, which today are actually on an offense mission and in some regions have already encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that the Syrian army has used prohibited chemical weapons,” Putin said.

“They know all too well that this could become a cause for sanctions and even for a military operation against them. That’s stupid and illogical.”

“We proceed from the assumption that if anyone has information that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regular army, then such proof must be presented to the UN Security Council and the UN inspectors,” Putin said, stressing that the proof must be “convincing” and not based on “rumors” or any sort of “eavesdropped intelligence data,” conversations etc.

“Even in the US there are experts who question the reliability of the facts presented by the administration. These experts do not exclude the possibility that the Syrian opposition has conducted a pre-planned provocation in order to give their sponsors a reason for military intervention,” he acknowledged.

Putin says he “does not exclude” that Russia may agree with a military operation if it is proved that the Syrian government is behind the attack, however he emphasized that in accordance with international law a decision of the UN Security Council is needed for that.

“All other reasons and means that excuse using military force against an independent sovereign state are unacceptable and cannot be classified otherwise but as an aggression,” Putin noted. 

“We would be convinced by a detailed investigation and direct evidence of who exactly used chemical weapons and what substances were used. Then we’ll be ready to take decisive and serious action,” said the president.

Answering a question about video records of dead children that allegedly died in the chemical attack in Damascus, Vladimir Putin called the material with dead children “horrible”.

“The questions are what exactly was done and who is to blame. This video does not answer these questions,” Putin said, sharing an opinion that this video is a compilation made by the militants who – even the US acknowledges – have links with Al-Qaeda and are notorious for extreme atrocities.

Putin recommended to pay attention to the fact that in the video with dead children there are no parents, children’s relatives or even medical personnel, while people who do appear in the video remain unidentified. However terrible the picture could be, it cannot be proof of anybody’s guilt, Putin said, and called for investigation of the incident.

Russia is fulfilling arms contracts with Syria “because we believe that we are working with the legitimate government and we are violating neither international law, nor our obligations,” assured Putin, stressing that the UN had imposed no sanctions on the export of weapons to Syria.

He confirmed that Moscow has a signed contract with Damascus to deliver S-300 air defense missile complexes to Syria. The S-300 system is kind of outdated, said Putin, “though they might be a little better than Patriot missiles.”
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UK dispatches 200 Special Forces in-around Syria

UK Special Forces Sniper

The British Army has dispatched nearly 200 elite members from the Special Air Service and the Special Boat Service in and around.

A senior military expert, who asked to remain anonymous, said the elite SAS and SBS troops are in Syria to both gather information about and confiscate those ‘chemical weapons’.

The elite special troops are working alongside those that are dispatched by the British foreign spying apparatus- MI6, to the country in an attempt to gather intelligence about the movement of the Syrian army forces, experts said. Continue reading

US prodding Israel to attack Syria: Analyst

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, March 5, 2012.

A political analyst says Washington is currently too bedeviled to directly engage in a military confrontation in Syria, so it has undertaken to goad “other sinister forces” such as Israel into attacking the Arab country.

“Although Washington seems to have decided to monitor from afar the developments in Syria without any military intervention by avoiding a Libya-style scenario, they are resorting by any means to expedite the collapse of [the Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime,” Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on Press TV website.

The Iranian author said Washington, which has long “run out of novel ideas and well-wrought out plans” to further its objectives in the Middle East, has now clung to the “farcically banal excuse” of the Syrian regime’s alleged stockpile of chemical weapons. Continue reading