By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report – The decades-long U.S. policy of deploying Islamic jihadists as foot soldiers in U.S. imperial wars — the world’s most unholy alliance — has led to a catastrophic split at the highest civilian and military levels of the U.S. State. Last weekend’s American air attack on Syrian Army positions at Deir al-Zor that killed more than 60 Syrian soldiers and resulted in a temporary victory for ISIS forces was a blatant bid by the Pentagon and the CIA to sabotage any prospect of cooperation between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria.
By Syria Solidarity Movement for Dissident Voice. The Syria Solidarity Movement unequivocally condemns and denounces the vicious US bombing attack on the Syrian army defending Deir ez-Zour. We find the US explanation of “unintended” targets, and especially the belligerent performance of Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations Security Council, to be false, disingenuous and counterproductive. The only credible explanation is that the US attack on Deir ez-Zour was intentional. The US has never seriously tried to fight ISIS other than to defend Kurdish fighters, with rare and largely ineffectual attacks against ISIS fighters in their strongholds, and none during the ISIS campaign against Palmyra, when they were very vulnerable by air. We believe that the US intention is to dismember the sovereign Syrian state, and that the Syrian army base at Deir ez-Zour constitutes an obstacle to this plan, and is therefore a US target. We are doubtful that the US intends to honor its agreement with Russia, and implicitly with Syria. US strategists are seeking to weaken and threaten Russia and not to form cooperative and mutually beneficial agreements.
By Mike Whitney for Counter Punch – The conflict in Syria is not a war in the conventional sense of the word. It is a regime change operation, just like Libya and Iraq were regime change operations. The main driver of the conflict is the country that’s toppled more than 50 sovereign governments since the end of World War 2. (See: Bill Blum here.) We’re talking about the United States of course. Washington is the hands-down regime change champion, no one else even comes close.
By Staff of Al Jazeera – The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria’s peace process back on track, including a nationwide ceasefire. The deal, agreed upon by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, aims at halting fighting in Syria and moving towards a political transition after over five years of combat between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and opposition rebels.
By Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire. At the end of July 2016 the US Peace Council delegation entered Syria to meet with members of the elected Syrian government and opposition party members living inside Syria as opposed to those who have lived outside Syria since the beginning of the US allied war against Syria that was being fomented long before 2011. Upon their return the delegates reported on what they had seen and heard with powerful honesty and integrity. They emphasized the need to lift the economic sanctions being imposed upon the “Syrian Government” by the US and EU NATO member states. These sanctions were seen to be collectively punishing the Syrian people first and foremost across all sectors including the crucial health and education sectors. They also focused on the cessation of the illegal US military intervention both direct and by proxy terrorist forces that are marauding across Syria and massacring the Syrian people in their tens of thousands at the behest of the US, NATO members, the Gulf States and of course Israel.
By Gareth Porter for MEE – The main criticism of US policy in Syria has long been that President Barack Obama should have used US military force or more aggressive arms aid to strengthen the armed opposition to Assad. The easy answer is that the whole idea that there was a viable non-extremist force to be strengthened is a myth – albeit one that certain political figures in London and Washington refuse to give up. But the question that should have been debated is why the Obama administration acquiesced to its allies funding and supplying a group of unsavoury sectarian armed groups to overthrow the Assad regime.
By Rick Sterling for Global Research – In early August Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in the NY Times about “The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad”. Dennis Ross is a favorite Clintonite. In her book “Hard Choices”, Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to “work on Iran and regional issues”. NY Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need “safe zones” as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright. That is risky but “the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater”.
By Ray McGovern for Consortium News – On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a “mulligan” for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too. Morell did so despite Rose’s efforts to tee up the questions as favorably as possible, trying to help Morell explain what he meant about “killing” Russians and Iranians in Syria and bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into submission.
By Bill Van Auken for WSWS – Photographs and video of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh have rapidly become ubiquitous in the media in the US and Western Europe after being distributed by a group aligned with the CIA-backed Islamist “rebels” in Syria. The toddler is shown sitting somewhat dazed in the orange seat of a new and well-equipped ambulance, his face covered in dust and tinged with what appears to be dried blood from what was reportedly a cut to his scalp.
By Gareth Porter for Truthout – In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict. The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.
By Lizzie Dearden for Independent – Members of the US-led coalition have been accused of deploying a “scorched earth policy” in Syria by activists who claim to have documented scores of civilian deaths. One group of anti-Isis activists, called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, has said air strikes supporting a key offensive in Manbij are killing innocent families. “The international coalition is using a scorched earth policy in the city and supporting the Syrian Democratic forces that have been surrounding the city for two months,” the group said.
By Darius Shahtahmasebi for Information Clearing House – Despite Obama’s claims Assad is illegitimate and must step down, the fact remains that since the conflict erupted in 2011, Assad has held the majority support of his people. The elections in 2014 – which Assad won by a landslide with international observers claiming no violations – is a testament to the fact that although Assad has been accused of serious human rights violations, he continues to remain reasonably popular with the Syrian people. Obama, on the other hand, won elections in 2012 with a voter turnout of a mere 53.6 percent of the American public; only 129.1 million total were votes cast.
By Lauren McCauley and Jon Queally for Common Dreams. Citing the disastrous bombing campaign in 2011 that pushed the nation into political chaos and bloody violence, anti-war groups are calling for an immediate end to a new wave of airstrikes on Libya approved by U.S. President Barack Obama. “The world needs a peace movement now more than ever, as Obama continues to drop bombs all over the Middle East and we prepare for the next US president.” —CodePinkIn an online petition sent out Tuesday, the U.S.-based peace group CODEPINK declared: In the last seven years, Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama has bombed seven countries. Tell President Obama it’s time to stop endless bombing across the Middle East! We, the undersigned, call on President Obama to end the bombing campaign in Libya and across the Middle East. We agree with Congresswoman Barbara Lee when she said that “there is no military solution to this crisis” with [the Islamic State or ISIS]. We ask that the administration instead take steps to form a comprehensive regional approach that addresses political, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic challenges that allow [ISIS] to commit violence.
By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams – The U.S.-led coalition has been accused of killing as many as 28 civilians, including a woman and seven children, near the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Thursday—the same area where U.S.-led airstrikes last week may have killed scores of civilians. “The Manbij area,” as the Associated Press describes, “has seen extensive battles between IS [Islamic State or ISIS] extremists and U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters.” It is also where UNICEF estimated last week that there are 35,000 children trapped “with nowhere safe to go.”