While condemning loss of civilian life in Syrias war, western and arab anti-Assad media has almost never cared to mention and criticize the collectively harmful and often deadly actions taken by the Syrian rebels such as blowing up gas pipelines, disrupting or destroying power plants, blocking water supply or attacking state owned factories and killing their staff as happened with a factory that produces army uniforms.
Samantha Power – US ambassador to the UN – says Assad is the major problem in Syria, because, had it not been for his (barrel) bombing, Jihadists would not come to Syria to fight for ISIS:
This is dishonest nonsense: If the US is concerned about Jihadists operating in Syria it should have put pressure on Turkey to not allow them to use that country as a hub to enter Syria. The same bearded islamist fighters that the US has been killing with drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been openly and freely gathering on the Turkish side of the border and moving into Syria without being stopped by Turkish border guards:
Qatar and Saudi Arabia purchased and sent thousands of tonnes of weapons to Syrian rebels as late as 2012:
„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.“
In the same year France violated a UN weapons ban and delivered weapons including heavy weapons (rocket launchers) to the rebels:
Jihadists would have not been enabled and encouraged to fight without such constant flow of weapons:
„…what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida…funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.“
It was not Assad as „terror magnet“ that brought tens of thousands of international Jihadists to Syria, but Saudi and Qatari money, American, british and French weapons supplies and Turkish/Jordanian facilitations as border countries along with Israels not so covert sabotaging of Syrias military that allowed Jihadists to arm themselves, enter Syria and strengthen due to the weakening of the Syrian army.
The idea that the United States and Israel care for Sunni Arab lives and wellbeing is more than hypocritical, it is bizarre. Israel carries out operations that kill thousands of Palestinian civilians in the course of few weeks and destroy infrastructure worth billions of USD:
„Looking only at the major military operations of the Israeli army in the last 7 years it turns out that some 2700 Palestinian civilians were killed, while only 8 (eight) Israeli civilians were killed.“
The US supports Israel, justifies and legitimizes its actions, delivers the weapons and resupplies the ammunition. Israel has used phosphorus and cluster ammunition against Palestinians. The Palestinian victims of Israels are not labeled „activists“, nor „freedom fighters“. They are not even called resistance fighters or rebels, they are TERRORISTS.
But while Israel treats Palestinian children and minors as „terrorists„, the Israeli government suddenly is full of sympathy with bearded islamist Syrians who are portrayed as righteous men fighting against a dictatorship and for freedom and democracy:
The rise of sectarian radical islamists in Syria, both syrian and international Jihadists is neither a coincidence nor an „accidental“. It is according to a systematic long term plan to destroy pro-Russian and/or pro-Iranian governments opposed to Israel. The Syrian government brings all the ingredients to draw the wrath of the Americans, the Israelis and the Sunni Gulf states. The Americans and the Israelis – along with their European ever „yes saying“ allies – pretend to be moved by human rights violations, while everyone familiar with the fate of Palestinians since 1948 and that of the Iraqi since 1991 knows that both, the US and Israel, do not care at all for Muslim Arab lives.
The Gulf Arabs hate Assad and the Syrian government because of it´s pro-Iranian character. All allegations of torture and repression raised against Assad are unconvincing, given that the Gulf states as well as Turkey had relations with Syria until 2011 and were regularly meeting Assad. Had Assad agreed to allow the Qatari gas pipeline to go through Syria, the Qataris had not unleashed the Muslim Brotherhood against the Syrian government:
„In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey“
It is almost inconceivable to call or even imagine Nato member and EU membership candidate Turkey as „terror supporter“.
On the other hand it is a „fact“ for western media to consider Iran as such. But is this justified and if yes on what grounds?
The last time Iranian nationals killed anyone must have been in 1991/92 when former Iranian president Bakhtiar and artist Farrokhzad were murdered in Paris and Vienna. Since then there have been no acts of international terrorism with direct Iranian involvement, notwithstanding that both mentioned victims were Iranians themselves and no „foreigners“.
Western media and politicians, however, accuse Iran of terrorism because of that country´s support of Palestinian resistance groups (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) as well as Lebanese Hezbollah, but this is a very biased perception of things.
Starting with the latter, Hezbollah entered a truce with Israel in 2000. The truce was only interrupted for a month in 2006 and then continued. In the last 9 years since then Hezbollah did not attack any Israeli civilians at all and only on very few occasions attacked the Israeli army, each time in response to Israeli aggressions.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have indeed attacked Israeli civilians but following circumstances have to be considered:
a) Neither of these organizations is Iranian or even Shia Muslim
b) None of them was founded or hosted by Iran. None of them „imports“ fighters from Iran
c) Iran has no boundary with them (Palestine) and has no land-, sea- or airbased supply line to reach them
d) Both of them are local resistance movements with legitimate motivation. They are fighting against an alien occupation force (Israel) that has put a siege on their territory (Gaza), builds illegal settlements on their land (West Bank) and heavily bombards their territory (Gaza) with airforce and artillery.
Looking only at the major military operations of the Israeli army in the last 7 years it turns out that some 2700 Palestinian civilians were killed, while only 8 (eight) Israeli civilians were killed.
Pro-Israeli media would highlight that Hamas (and other Palestinian groups) have „rained down“ rockets on Israel and attacked civilians this way, but they will probably not mention that this has resulted in no more than 15 Israeli civilian deaths between 2001 and 2014:
So, Irans support of a (democratically elected) Palestinian political party which legitimately has a military arm has been enough to qualify for the incriminating phrase „terror supporter“…
The less one should belittle violence against civilians which is always worthy of condemnation the more one has to scrutinize the role of Turkey in Syrias civil war.
Turkey has not only incited against the Syrian government, but worse, given safe haven to Syrias rebel groups and allowed international Jihadists to use Turkey as a hub to enter Syria:
Turkey facilitated and promoted the housing, funding, arming, training and smuggling into Syria of all kinds of syrian and non-syrian rebels, of which a sizable or possibly the major portion were sectarian and radical islamists, not interested in establishing democracy and introducing the human rights the west so much pretends to care for. The rebels could cross the Syrian border to stage hit and run attacks with the Syrian army being under threat of getting attacked by Turkish forces upon coming „too close“ to the border.
„…Joe Biden revealed to the embarrassment of the administration in a talk at Harvard on 2 October. He said that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had promoted ‘a proxy Sunni-Shia war’ in Syria and ‘poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist element of jihadis coming from other parts of the world’. He admitted that the moderate Syrian rebels, supposedly central to US policy in Syria, were a negligible military force.“‚
It is unnecessary to recount the many attrocities and horrific crimes (mass shootings and beheadings of disarmed opponents, kidnapping and enslaving of women and children and the forced marriages of women to fellow Jihadists, crucifying civilians, burning prisoners of war, throwing down people from rooftops…) of the „Islamic State“ (IS, former ISIS), that was reinforced by thousands of international Jihadists who regularly entered Turkey and entered Syria (and Iraq) through that country.
Another major rebel group known for indiscriminate violence and clearly sectarian killings which has been sheltered and supported by Turkey is the al Nusra Front (or Jabhat al Nusra, JAN), Syrias Al Qaeda branch:
„Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels – and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar – insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al Qaida affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State’s.“
Apart from these groups, other ones, mainly active in the major cities Damascus and Aleppo and often spoken of as „moderate rebels“ are shelling civilians on a daily basis. Of course, western and anti-Syrian arab media have been either totally ignoring or downplaying these deadly attacks by uncritically and irresponsibly repeating the rebel´s „explanations“ and „justifications“ of their crimes: namely that the victims are no real civilians but „Shabihha“ or „regime loyalists“.
The rebels favourite weapon is the so called „hell cannon“, which has a very limited accuracy and fires propane gas cylinders:
Here is a picture:
Here is a picture showing a „moderate“ who holds a „rocket“ which he has named „a gift for election day“:
The „hell cannon“ and other mortars and rockets are fired regularly at government-held west Aleppo where they kill many civilians every WEEK:
Now, referring to the title of this article, is it not fair and proven to assert that Turkey has blatantly and heavily engaged in support of terrorism? Has not Turkeys support been much more direct and deadly (in terms of casualties) for Syrian (and Iraqi) civilians in less than 4 years that Irans alleged terror support in the last 15 years?
Attacking Syria is not an act of self-defense. Syria has not attacked the United States. Nor is Syria a danger to the US.
Syria has not attacked Israel and has not even responded to numerous Israeli bombings of its soil.
In addition the US attacking Syria would also not amount to defending „democracy“ for the syrian army is not fighting against any democratic state or entity.
What we know is that an attack with poisonous gas killed around 350 people in the early hours of August, 21st.
The much quoted „Syrian Observatory for Human Rights“ and the „Doctors without borders“ both spoke of 350 dead. There is a gap of 1100 dead to the approximately 1450 victims John Kerry mentioned.
We don´t know who committed the attack. We also don´t know which gas was used. Judging from the symptoms it is rather unlikely that a „classic“ chemical weapon such as Sarin has been used:
While the US says that an attack on Syria would only be limited and directed against military targets earlier cases of so called „surgical strikes“ or „precision attacks“ have managed to hit civilians with alarming regularity.
The prospect of incoming Tomahawks and cruise missiles has led many Syrians to flee their houses in panic and head towards neighbouring countries.
Any decision that transforms thousands of ordinary civilians to fugitives forcing them to live in uncertainty regarding their houses, their abandoned belongings, their jobs, their childrens school…is highly irreponsible and all but a necessary „humanitarian intervention“.
So far the US government has talked a lot about solid evidence but brought forward none. After days of building up tension and expectations by announcing the upcoming presentation of clear proof against the syrian government, a 4pages PDF file supposed to be full of damning facts contained nothing but a mess of assumptions and platitudes. Kerrys „evidence“ was actually a confession of failure, the evidence of no evidence.
Based on such (non-)facts and „evidence“ no US court would convict the defendant.
One of the main points in the paper meant to „prove“ that only the syrian government could have perpetrated the crime was the claim that the rebels have no chemical weapons. Something the CIA itself implicitly refutes:
„Al-Qa’ida and associated extremist groups have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks…however, most attacks by the group—and especially by associated extremists—probably will be small scale, incorporating relatively crude delivery means and easily produced or obtained chemicals, toxins, or radiological substances…Analysis of an al-Qa’ida document recovered in Afghanistan in summer 2002 indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin, and VX.“
The likelihood of an attack on Syria causing catastrophic consequences is high. Here some scenarios:
– If the syrian government or the syrian president are indeed „insane“ or „delusional“ they could fire chemical missiles at Israel once they feel desperate, humiliated and cornered
– The syrian army is fighting mostly the same people, the US uses to call Al-Qaida and subject to drone attacks elsewhere:
The Nusra front, by far the most active and effective rebel faction fighting the syrian army has been declared a terroristorganization by the state department. In addition there are other islamist Jihadi groups raising the same Al Qaida banner assisting the Nusra fighters:
The allegedly secular „Free Syrian Army“ hardly exists anymore:
– In Iran a new, more moderate president is elected who seems to be willing to adopt a more friendly policy and improve ties with the United States. Attacking Syria would make it very hard for the new Iranian government to not take position
– A further strengthening of the syrian-iraqi Al-Qaida branch „Islamic State of Iraq and Syria“ by weakening Assad would pose an increased threat to the already fragile Iraqi state. The conflict could spill pver even more to Iraq and Lebanon. After many years of relative calm there are almost weekly bombings and skirmishes leaving hundreds of dead every month. In Iraq the AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) who backs the syrian rebels has intensified (suicide) bombings of market places, mosques, Cafes and even funerals killing more than 1000 people, most of them Shia muslims.
The american congress should vote against an attack on Syria. The attack would only bring further suffering to the syrian people and strengthen and embolden forces our media and politicians would call terrorists if they were fighting the US or Israel.
Syria 2013 is close to becoming „Iraq 2003 reloaded“. Already the Kerrys, McCains, Camerons and Hagues exactly know who used chemical weapons in Syria. So, why then the UN inspections? As with Saddams weapons of mass destructions that later turned out to be non-existent the leaders of the „civilized world“ will over and over repeat their biased and unproven allegations against Syria to manipulate the opinion of a public that is heavily opposed to military intervention.
Now, Mr. Kerry, the same person who declared the military takeover in Egypt and the subsequent killings „restoring democracy“ is saying this:
„Attacking the area, shelling and systematically destroying evidence is not the behaviour of a government that has nothing to hide. The regime’s belated decision to allow access is too late… to be credible,“ Mr Kerry said.
So, unless a sovereign country´s president does not immediately jump at the tune of the US´ whistle this is proof of guilt and reason enough to fire Tomahawks, yes?
It cannot be denied that some sort of poisonous gas was used near Damascus with devastating effect. This is a fact. What is no fact is that it is clear who perpetrated the attack. The permanent statements of western politicians pointing at the syrian government are not evidence based and impartial but an intentional method to manipulate public opinion. There seems to be another fact to arrive at: That the rebels/“activists“ lied:
The sophisticated level of post-attack orchestrations by the opposition:
– immediate social media uploads reporting chemical attacks on 4 different suburbs/outskirts of Damascus
– spreading the apparently exaggerated claim of 1300 dead
– the lining up of heart breaking children corpses in almost total absence of rebel dead
and by contrast the relatively late first reaction of an obviously surprised government side suggest that one party in this conflict had a plan and a detailed chain of events to follow, while the other was caught in „shock an awe“ failing to publicize their version of the story through high ranking officials and at the right time (earlier than the rebels). The syrian government had no real story to tell.
By now, it seems that there were at most 350 dead, which is still a lot, especially given the high number of children deaths, but almost a 1000 casualties less than the very first horror reports. Then it seems, that only one place was really subject to a gas attack. These corrected versions that are either untold or played down by mainstream media in the days following the attack are no minor details: The claim of a four-fold almost simultaneous chemical attack and the high casualty figures were meant to assume that such a well-coordinated attack can only be carried out by an army with regular command and communication structure.
If the article below regarding the „Doctors without borders“ (Medicins sans frontieres) is true, then the statements by this organization cannot be considered 100% reliable and have to be taken with a grain of salt:
To start, here is a brief summary of arguments that highlight the unlikeliness of the syrian army being behind the chemical attacks around Damascus:
1. The syrian army has been making a number of military gains, especially in the Homs governorate but also in and around Damascus. The current military situation was not threatening at all. Resorting to chemical attacks in the midst of „normal“ military clashes does not make sense.
2. The syrian government for month has been threatened with military intervention by Nato countries in case the „red line“ of using chemical weapons would be crossed.
3. It has been the syrian government itself that invited a UN inspector team which arrived only 2 days before the alleged attacks.
4. Contrary to repeated accusations by western media and politicians from the US, UK and France (among others) the syrian government is not „insane“. Even after being subject to multiple attacks by the israeli airforce and artillery and in one case by the turkish army – acts that resulted in destruction and many casualties for the syrian army – the regime did not hit back, knowing well that any violent reaction would trigger a massive military attack that would be suicidal.
But there are more questions:
a) If it was the syrian army why did they not use „regular“ and much more deadly chemical weapons that they posses?
b) Why did they chose areas around Damascus for such an attack?
c) Why did the army not carry out a more massive chemical attack followed up by a major troop incursion, both to finish off the (remaining) rebel fighters and – more important – remove the traces of the attack?
d) If it was the army, it must have been crystal clear to them that such a gas attack cannot be concealed. They would know that the victims would be brought to hospitals and clinics. It should not be difficult for the army to take control of those facilities in advance to avoid that medical reports „leak“ out and doctors give interviews that could implicate the army. Besides, the regime could break down the internet connection and block access to Youtube and co., while being prepared to spread their own (fabricated) story to the media before the „activists“ shape public opinion
e) It would be obvious to the army that the military value of apparently blind attacks on civilian areas supportive of rebels would be limited while the resulting outrage and revenge feelings would be huge
In addition there are a number of valid reasons why it is not just a conspiracy theory to suspect the rebels:
A good scientific analysis:http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Revised-Thoughts-on-Damascus.pdf
Here a couple of reasons:
1. There is no single rebel entity with a top down commando structure and a clear political agenda. With hundreds of „battalions“ and „brigades“ operating all around the country none can rule out that the other could have used chemical weapons
2. Rebel units mostly composed of Jihadis and/or foreign militants do not feel much affinity with ordinary Syrians. It might be that for them the end (removing Assad and establishing an islamist state) justifies the means (massacring pro- but also anti-regime civilians and blaming it on the government)
3. Why should a massacre with chemical weapons be „too barbaric“ to have been carried out by the rebels? After all these are the same people, who:
– have executed disarmed soldiers and pro-regime civilians (at times presenting the throat-cut bodies of victims as civilians killed by the „Shabiha“ while they had filmed the same people in another video as captured „Shabiha“ of Assad!)
– have killed state workers and bombed factories, railways, gas and oil pipelines, water supply infrastructure, power plants, etc.- have kidnapped people
– have tortured and beheaded civilian and military captives or kidnapping victims
– have cannibalized dead enemies
– shot children for being „blasphemous“
– fired at civilian airliners
– bombed and burned mosques, captured it on video and proudly celebrated it
– committed sectarian massacres on many occasions
– used poisonous gas against army soldiers (killing 16 of them) in Khan al Assal
– dehumanize their opponents by declaring them infidels and apostates whose blood can be spilled lawfully
There are at least four valid reasons why the syrian army is unlikely to have fired chemical weapons:
1. The army has made gains in the last months and is in no desperate situation2. The UN inspectors have just arrived in Syria, at invitation of the government
3. If the alleged chemical attack is explained as „revenge for rebel massacres in Lattakia“ it would make much more sense to attack their strongholds far away from the capital such as Rastan, Azaaz or Anaden
4. The syrian government and army have undertaken at times extreme measures to avoid foreign intervention and subsequent annihilation. The best example is the army´s non-reacting to Israeli attacks that destroyed facilities and killed soldiers.
All this makes it appear quite unlikely that the army would attack mostly civilian areas close to the capital with weapons of mass destruction
Here some media quotes:
BBC: „the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious. Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?…The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says many will ask why the government would want to use such weapons at a time when inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.“
The Independent: „there are questions as to why the regime would want to take recourse to WMDs at a time when it was making gains using conventional arms and with the knowledge that UN inspectors were present in the country“
„If you look at the way they have sought legitimacy through having the UN team there, in a carefully orchestrated fashion, with the help of the Russians and the Iranians, the use of chemical weapons does not make sense,“ said a Western European diplomat. Robert Emerson, a security analyst, added: „Assad has not been doing too badly in the publicity stakes with the excesses of Islamists among the rebels like the cannibal commander, et cetera. Deploying WMDs at this stage would be a hell of an own goal.“