Monthly News Review: October 2015
Russian airstrikes on terrorist targets in support of the Syrian Arab Army began in Syria on the 31st September at the request of the Syrian government, that is the government that is recognised by international law and also having been elected into power on June 3rd 2014. There were 32 international observers in Syria during the votes on June 3rd, at a press meeting following the election result at the United Nations one of the observers, Judy Bello, who is also an anti war activist said “Observing the popular support for the Syrian election was a moving experience. The people voted from their hearts. Here in the West … little more than 50 percent of the population votes. The overwhelming response of the people inside and outside of Syria sent a powerful message to the world of loyalty to their country and to the government that is currently safeguarding it.” Over 70% of the Syrian population voted and Assad won 88% of the vote. Bashar Al-Jaafari, the Syrian Ambassador to the UN was also present at this meeting that was attended by international journalists form major networks, there was also a live broadcast feed of the event, however this feed was cut for unknown reasons shortly after Bashar Al-Jaafari began his speech. Not the first time this has happened to the Syrian ambassador either, his live TV feed was also cut off on June 7th when speaking at a UN event.
No one is arguing that Assad and Syria are the perfect picture of democracy, the key point is that the majority of the Syrian people seem to be behind Assad at this particular time, in direct contrast to the western media narrative that has been pouring out their mouths for the last four years. In much the same way that Qaddafi enjoyed the support from most of the Libyan population. I suspect that for millions of Libyans the Qaddafi days must feel like a distant dream where they had state support for buying houses, electricity, education and a great deal more. Now all they have is religious fanatics running loose with western supplied heavy weaponry in the rubble that is whats left of their country .
Russian airstrikes continue to this day and they have been very active in supporting the Syrian Army. The Russian strike force that consists of a variety of over 50 Russian jets and attack helicopters including the Su-34, Su-25 and the Su-24M. There are jets capable of anti air, air to ground strikes and direct fire support to troops. Operations are carried out from a base in Latakia on the Syrian coast with sorties being carried out night and day. Russia has also deployed anti air craft systems in Syria although they haven’t confirmed which system has been deployed.
The Express newspaper of the UK appears to be in the know however, here is a link to one of their articles and how they present Putin to their readers borders on comical.
If Russia has deployed the s400 system, and perhaps it has, then Turkey, the US and the other members of the international criminal gang would finally have its wish of a no fly zone in Syria, unfortunately for them its Russia that’s enforcing it, protecting the legitimate government (or regime as the west likes to refer to them) from illegal and foreign backed assassination whilst ensuring that the Takfiri Wahhabi terrorists who are nothing but the long arm of imperialism now really will have to face an air force above them that is dedicated to killing them rather than dropping them weapons caches. In addition to a highly effective anti air missile system Russia leads the world in electronic warfare and has allegedly set up its ground-based electronic warfare system Krasukha-4 in Syria, its a device with a 300km radius that can damage/disrupt/jam radar and other radio electronic communications devices which in short creates a bubble of a 300km radius that no enemy can communicate within or use its radar effectively. It would seem that after four years of Assad and the Syrian people fighting foreign backed fanatics, Russia has stepped in and put a big arm round its Syrian brothers and said, don’t worry, the bear is here now. Judging by the look of joy and relief on Assad’s face when he meets Putin, the big bears protection is definitely welcome. Lets not forget Syria has been on its knees fighting a never ending supply of jihadists that are trained and armed by its middle east neighbors and their western allies. Although Syria has stabilized in the last year in terms of gains and losses on the ground they still faced an incredible task even with the help of Hezbollah and Iran.
So what has Russia achieved in little more than 4 weeks that the US could not achieve in two years, a two year period that actually saw the expansion of Islamic State whilst the most powerful military in the world is supposed to be bombing them, bombing targets that don’t have any kind of sophisticated anti air craft weaponry except for manpads which are being supplied to them by foreign countries in large part, allies of the US no less. One thing that is quite strange, in the few weeks that Russia has been carrying out its air strikes there are dozens of videos on the internet that have been posted, yet you would be hard pushed to find any videos of US air strikes, one can only wonder why that is the case?
Russia has struck over 2000 terrorist targets since the start of its air campaign including command centers, ammo dumps, fortified posts and armored vehicles, it has been striking at Islamic State, Al Nusra Front (the Al Qaeda branch in Syria) and there are many other smaller armed groups in Syria who fight alongside the two main factions although sometimes there are skirmishes between them. There is also the famed FSA, the so called moderate group in Syria. It has been well documented now that this group is not a major player on the ground, many of its members consider themselves allied to Al Nusra Front and they occupy the same territory in the south and north west of Syria as Al Nusra Front, there is also evidence that members of the different groups actually move between the various groups. One week they might be FSA and the next Al Nusra Front. For the most part, its a western perpetrated myth that there is any kind of significant armed force that can be considered moderate. That said there is no doubt an opposition to Assad that can be considered moderate and in any healthy society we should seek to have viewpoints from all sectors of society. The problem is the moderates the west say they keep arming are not moderate and have close ties to terrorist groups whom the west is supposed to have been fighting since 2001 and many western soldiers have died in doing so. Yet now the west seems happy to jump into bed with them in an effort to displace Assad. Russia estimates it has destroyed 40% of terrorist infrastructure so far and hundreds of terrorists have died from the air strikes. There are reports that many terrorists are now fleeing Syria, heading towards Turkey and Iraq and there is general panic amongst their ranks. In addition, now that the government forces are recapturing villages and towns many refugees are able to return to their homes. At the beginning of November it was estimated by Russian and Syrian governments that up to a million refugees have now been able to return home, presumably this figure is mostly the internally displaced refugees and not those who have fled the country already.
We see now clearer than ever that the priority for the west has been the removal of Assad rather than the defeat of terrorism because they seem rather upset now that Russia has gotten involved and is killing terrorists. Their initial reaction was a ludicrous suggestion that Russia fighting Islamic State helps IS recruit more people so is therefore the wrong strategy, curious how they don’t apply this argument to themselves. Since then there has been more mud slinging from the imperialist puppets. They accused Russia of bombing a hospital, the footage of which clearly shows a bomb exploding from inside the building rather than from above, in addition subsequent satellite photos show that the building is in fact in tact and the video was of another building all together. This of course is after the US did in fact bomb an MSF (medicine sans frontiers) hospital in Afghanistan killing over 20 people. MSF had supplied the co ordinates of their hospital to the US military but that’s clearly not enough, the US has said sorry though.
Is now a good time to mention that 500 Syrian civilians have died from US air strikes in the last 2 years.
As part of their air campaign Russia launched cruise missiles from their war ships in the Caspian sea, the cruise missiles flew more than a 1000km over Iran and Iraq before they all hit their targets in Syria with astonishing accuracy. The western PR machine spews out more garbage claiming that some missiles didnt hit their targets and fell in Iran and Iraq. This has been denied by the Russian government and backed up by both the Iranian and Iraqi government. Its worth noting that Russia got permission form Iran and Iraq before using their airspace to launch missiles, which leads onto another point. Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran have formed an alliance of intelligence sharing in their war on terrorists with the HQ in Iraq. Perhaps this was a show of strength to the world by Russia and it certainly got noticed.
The west has also accused Russia of only targeting the moderate opposition to Syria, that’s the moderates who have armed themselves and are in armed combat with government forces and shout Allah Akbar every ten seconds and fight alongside the Al Qaeda branch in Syria as well as other terrorist groups. It is true that Russia has targeted all armed groups that are fighting the Syrian government and it is also probably true that many of their strikes are in the areas where the west claim their friendly faced moderates to be. If one looks at a map of Syria and sees which groups are where, they will see that the groups who pose the most imminent threat to the government are the groups that border Israel and Jordan in the far south (whom Israel and Jordan of course has been helping) and the groups to the North and North West of the country that border Turkey. Therefore it makes perfect military sense to strike those who pose the most immediate danger, its perfectly sensible to secure your centre and then move outward. Only a fool would ignore the targets down the road and focus on those 500 miles away. Islamic State is more to the East and although of course is a huge threat, the sensible thing to do is secure Damascus, Homs, Idlib and Aleppo, then the Turkish border cutting the terrorists off completely then head West crushing them between the Syrian forces and the Iraqi forces heading from the other direction. The terrorists in the south that keep getting aid from Israel can be dealt with as a separate front. So despite the west trying to paint a skewed picture there is truth to what they say but for entirely different reason, in any case the Russians have been striking regularly at IS targets, in particular they have hit command centers in Raqqa the capital of Islamic State. So Russia has been striking all militants but for the time being there is an emphasis on securing the key cities near Damascus which you would surely expect?
The short version of events can be summarised like this, Russia has intervened in Syria at the request of the government and is now helping the Syrian government to restore its borders and expel the foreign sponsored terrorists from its land. Unless there is some sort of major game changer that cant’ be anticipated then the Syrian government is now very likely to succeed and much more importantly than Assad’s survival is the survival of the Syrian people and the restoration of security to their homeland. The west is unhappy because they wanted to use these terrorists to destroy Syria and remove Assad from power, the reason for this is so they can change the geo political landscape of the region and most likely use it as a stepping stone to creating greater Israel and Kurdistan.
On the 31st of October a Russian passenger jet, cruising at 31000 feet, which had departed from the tourist resort of Sharm El Sheikh, lost contact with radar over the Sinai desert as it was heading towards St Petersberg in Russia where some 200 Russians were heading home from their holiday. The plane crashed in the desert and there were no survivors. There is very little information confirmed yet by the Russian or Egyptian authorities but we do know some key information. The plane came apart in the air, we know this because the wreckage is spread over a large area about 8km x 4km. We also know that the plane descended very rapidly from available flight tracking websites, it was as if it was falling. There appears to be significant burned areas on the parts of the fuselage of the plane, we also have been told that in the immediate moment before data went dead in the black box that records the audio in the cockpit a strange noise could be heard that might be an explosion. Despite Russias cautionary stance at apportioning blame, the US and UK governments were very quick to point the finger at who was responsible, they claim they have intercepted communications which would indicate that that the plane was brought down by a bomb placed on the plane by Islamic State, in support of this Islamic State did declare that they were responsible. However, Russia is no fool and is well aware that the rivers of deception can run very deep, this is probably why there still has been no official explanation some two weeks later. Perhaps the Russians are looking for something that has been hidden and will reveal the true identity of the perpetrator, or perhaps its as exactly as it appears and it was a bomb placed in the plane by Islamic State in retaliation for the Russian air strikes and Russia is just taking its time to make sure its got the facts straight before making a report.
On the 26th October a powerful earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck Afghanistan. The effects of which were felt in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and India. many of the affected areas are rural and it is hard to access them for the security services. A defence ministry spokesperson for the Afghan government said “there are 1,500 dead, 4,000 injured, at least 1,500 homes destroyed and 20,000 people are homeless.” Many houses are damaged making them unsafe to live in for those who are still able to return to whats left of their homes. Its the second major earthquake this year in the region. In April 2015 there was a large earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale in Nepal that claimed the lives of over 8000 people.
On the 10th October terrorists bombed a peace rally in Ankara that was organised by a variety of groups including trade unions, medical and engineering associations,the HDP Kurdish opposition party and socialist party. Over 100 people died and 400 were injured in the attack . The main point of the rally was to protest against the growing conflict between the Turkish authorities and the Kurds. There were two explosions carried out by suicide bombers who are believed to have had links to Islamic State although no group has officially claimed responsibility. The attacks actually took place prior to the demonstration outside a railway station where the activists were meeting up prior to attending the protest, there many youth activists there. Turkey’s foreign and domestic policy has to be one of the most confusing. Officially the Turkish authorities claim to be opposed to Islamic State and the Kurds who want an independent state. However it is well known in Syria and Iraq that Turkey has been providing support to Islamic State however Turkey says it has been carrying out airstrikes against both IS and the PKK, it has definitely been targeting the PKK. Turkey is a member of NATO and a key ally of the United States and Israel in the middle east. Turkey carries out joint military exercises with Israel and hosts US air bases such as Incirlik from which the US claims to carry out air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.
The reality is perhaps somewhat different as a power station in Aleppo was struck by US F16’s cutting power to 2.5 million Syrian civilians, in what way could this have any other effect than pour more misery on the Syrian civilians, the very people the US claims it wishes to help and save them from Assad. However, the US is definitely actively supporting the Kurds in Iraq and Syria whom the Turks are also bombing which seems to be somewhat contradictory.
The bombing in Ankara came at a time when the ruling AKP party led by Erdogan had lost its majority in parliament and Turkey was waiting for a second round of elections which took place on the 1st of November and will be examined in next months news review. Since the last election which saw a hung parliament, the violence between the Turkish authorities and the Kurds has increased dramatically.
Throughout September tensions have been rising in the West Bank in Palestine, if they could rise any further that is. The focus has been around the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem. The compound which contains the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque is surrounded by four large stone walls. The compound which is the third holiest Muslim site and the holiest Muslim site outside of Saudi Arabia is also known by another name. The other name it is known by is the Temple Mount as this is what the Jews call it, for the Jews this is their holiest site as it was once the location of the first and second Jewish temples, it is also alleged that this is the location which Abraham was going to kill his own son as a sacrifice for God (if anyone today killed their son as a sacrifice to God he would be considered a child murdering psychopath). It is also claimed that the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies were once housed in the temple on the mount. For the Jews this site is their holiest place of worship even though none of their original temples are still standing, instead they pray at a location on the mount called the wailing wall which was once the western retaining wall of the second temple. The Jewish temples were destroyed by Muslims when they retook their lands back from the Jews in the seventh century. For many people they see the Jews as living in Palestine/Israel first hence it is their rightful home, in addition to God and England giving it to them. However, the first Jew was Abraham and he came from Iraq. From Iraq he went to Egypt and from Egypt to Palestine. How is it possible for anyone to claim that the Jews were in Palestine first when the first Jew comes from Iraq and therefore the Jews must have taken the area by force which is exactly what happened as described in the Old Testament.
It must a source of constant irritation to the Jews knowing that their holiest site has two mosques on it, perhaps that is why they intend to change the status quo by enforcing new rules that block the Palestinians from entering the mosques at certain times whilst Jews can take tours of the compound with armed guard. This has ignited clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police that have developed into something more serious.
Throughout October Palestinians have started to attack Jewish settlers, Israelis and Israeli security personnel (settlers are Jews who live in towns built illegally and by force on Palestinian land, usually it requires the destruction of Palestinian homes to make way for the new settlement). The Attacks usually take the form of a knife attack or possibly ramming a vehicle into them. The Palestinians have very little resources and are up against one of the most high tech and well resourced military in the world, it is truly a David vs Goliath situation but not as the Jews would tell that particular story with themselves as David. So far 77 Palestinians have been killed in shootings and clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, while 10 Israelis have been killed in knife and gun attacks. The general population is on edge as they have no idea if the Palestinian round the corner might pull a knife out. This has led to an increase in Israeli’s, in particular the settlers in the west bank carrying arms and shooting Palestinians at the first sign of something suspicious. Settlers are often religious fanatics who cant wait to kill a Palestinian, so this has given them a bit of a license to kill and there have been several very dubious acts of so called self defense.
It may seem extreme if we take this situation in isolation when considering the knife attacks, and no one is supporting the murder of civilians, but it is impossible to look at these events in isolation and have a fair understanding of whats happening. This problem dates back to 1948 when Israel was formed by stealing Palestinian land. The English, as part of their agreement with the International Jewish financiers who aided them in the first world war made an agreement which is known as the Balfour declaration in which they would create a Jewish state in Palestine, however it wasn’t theirs to give. 700 000 Palestinians were forcibly removed from the homes by Jewish militia backed up by western military and the state of Israel was created. Since then, the Palestinians have suffered horribly as the land is slowly eroded along with their rights and their freedoms. Palestine is split into two parts, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is a huge prison with a giant wall that surrounds it with armed guards on the top that shoot at you if you go near it, Gaza is under siege and has no access to the outside world without Israeli approval. There is no airport as that was destroyed by the Israelis, they cant fish beyond 5 miles of their shore without getting fired upon by Israeli gunboats. Goods imported are heavily restricted meaning they are unable to rebuild the homes after the Israeli jets have pounded them into the dust, its very difficult for them to even get cement. Essentially if you live in Gaza you are in the world’s largest prison, the only positive is there is no occupation. The West Bank is different, there is no wall and they have more freedom but it is occupied territory meaning that the Israeli security services or IDF (Israeli defense Force) patrol the area and are in control. The Israelis just move around as they please inside the West Bank. Much worse than this is the building of settlements, in the map below the small black triangles are settlements and as you can see they are all over the West Bank. These settlements are Israeli only and are linked by roads that only Israeli’s can use. They are often built in areas that dominate any local natural resources such as water supplies that create further problems for the residents of Palestine. Israel actively encourages any one in the world who is a Jew to return to Israel (the right of return) and they are often then moved into these settlements in someone else’s country. It couldn’t be more obvious that this is an effort to slowly steal the land from the Palestinians until they have nothing left, they oppress them and make their lives impossible to restrict their ability to do anything about it, in short its a slow genocide. In any case, even if Israel really did wish to pursue the two state solution, how are they going to remove the half million Jewish settlers that now live in the Palestinian West Bank, its impossible and they knew from day one that by continuing to push more settlers into Palestine they would slowly absorb Palestine into Israel. This latest round of stabbings by Palestinians is really an act of self defense against an oppressive war machine that seeks to wipe them out, they are desperate people with nothing, who in their right mind would run at a man with a gun when all you have is a knife, but this is what they are doing.
If you think the genocide claim above is incorrect, then maybe this map that illustrates the slow destruction of Palestine will change your mind.