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      • Syria conflict: US diplomats press for strikes against Assad

        • 8 hours ago
    • Dozens of US State Department officials have signed an internal memo protesting against US policy in Syria and calling for targeted military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

      They argue the current approach is working against the Syrian opposition and helping Mr Assad to stay in power.

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    • Administration knew three months before the November 2012 presidential election of ISIS plans to establish a caliphate in Iraq 


      Administration knew of arms being shipped from Benghazi to Syria

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    • How the US Helped ISIS 



      A recently declassified document again shows the United States’ complicity in the rise of ISIS.


    • In October 2014, Vice President Joe Biden publicly criticized US allies for backing ISIS. The previous month, General Dempsey had told the Senate Armed Services Committee that America’s “Arab allies” were funding the group.

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    • US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was 'a willful Washington decision'     

    • The US didn’t interfere with the rise of anti-government jihadist groups in Syria that finally degenerated into Islamic State, claims the former head of America’s Defense Intelligence Agency, backing a secret 2012 memo predicting their rise.

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    • Unlikely partners? How Western media largely ignored State Dept-Google-Al Jazeera plot against Assad     

    • The Western media has quietly ignored an unexpected collaboration between Washington, Google, and “independent” Al Jazeera aimed at helping to overthrow Syria’s Bashar Assad. Would they be as oblivious to a similar cozy “partnership” involving Russia?  

      Last Monday, WikiLeaks lifted the lid on a correspondence between Jared Cohen, the President of ‘Google Ideas,’ and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff in the summer of 2012. In his July 25, 2012 email to top State Department’s officials, Cohen pitched his about-to-be-launched “tool” to Clinton’s inner circle, asking it to “keep close hold” of it.

      The leak revealing the project, which would seem to be an outrageous scandal to some, has actually been quite difficult to spot in the news. Since WikiLeaks released the latest batch of Clinton’s emails on March 21, a Google news search spits back about 30 web sources related to the story.

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    • They Made Him a Moron


      The strange career of Alec Ross

          Evgeny Morozov
    • One day in October 2009, I received an email from the office of Alec Ross, then the innovation adviser to Hillary Clinton. Informing me that my writing on technology and global affairs had attracted considerable interest at the State Department, the email mentioned that Ross would like to meet and chat about my work. A subsequent email, from Ross himself, asked me for advice on what the State Department should do. “What I’d really like to know,” wrote Ross, “is what are those things we can do, either materially or symbolically, to help ensure and extend Internet Freedom across the globe.”

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    • John Cusack and an Ex-Clinton Aide Wage a War of Tweets Over Internet Freedom

      Posted on Mar 23, 2016
    • An unlikely pair exchanged harsh words on Twitter on Saturday: former Hillary Clinton staffer Alec Ross and longtime actor John Cusack. The cause of their online brawl? A WikiLeaks tweet highlighting one of Clinton’s emails, in which Ross—her senior adviser for innovation when he wrote the message—stated:


      When Jared and I went to Syria, it was because we knew that Syrian society was growing increasingly young (population will double in 17 years) and digital and that this was going to create disruptions in society that we could potential[ly] harness for our purposes.

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    • The Disease is the Cure: Michael Walzer’s Solution to the Refugee Crisis
    • Greg Shupak      

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    • Obama urges Russia to stop bombing 'moderate' rebels in Syria


      Russian airstrikes help push Syrian army toward major victory at Aleppo


          Thomson Reuters  <script>  if(!CBC) { var CBC = {}; }  if(!CBC.APP) { CBC.APP = {}; }  if(!CBC.APP.SC) { CBC.APP.SC = {}; }  CBC.APP.SC.authors = "Reuters";  </script>    Posted: Feb 14, 2016

    • U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing "moderate" rebels in Syria in support of its ally Bashar al-Assad, a campaign seen in the West as a major obstacle to latest efforts to end the war.


      Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties — the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

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    • Hillary Clinton and the Syrian Bloodbath

    • Jeffrey Sachs Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University

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    • Western warmongers have all the answers, and they're all wrong

      Nafeez Ahmed's picture
      Friday 29 January 2016
    • The wars in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan failed not because of noble errors, but because short-sighted Western interests trumped the needs of the people. And this is why the creeping return to war will fail again

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    • Syrian War Could Turn on the Battle for Aleppo

        • Russia is bombing rebel-held areas in Syria at a furious pace. That is giving the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, the upper hand. Meanwhile, critics accuse the United States of dithering.

          The war, approaching its sixth year, may be reaching a turning point in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and once its commercial capital. Government-aligned forces are trying to encircle its eastern half, controlled by rebels since 2012. If the government succeeds, it would be the greatest blow to the opposition in years.

          But the battlefield is unpredictable. If the government regains full control of Aleppo, will the war begin to wind down, or will it escalate?

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      • 'No Bashar al-Assad in the future', says Saudi foreign minister: report

        Fri Feb 12, 2016
      • BERLIN (Reuters) - Bashar al-Assad will not be ruling Syria in the future and Russia's military interventions will not help him stay in power, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a German newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.


        "There will be no Bashar al-Assad in the future," al-Jubeir told newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

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        Russian air strikes in Syria 'good thing': Del Ponte

      • GENEVA (AFP) - 

        Former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who is currently probing rights abuses in Syria, on Monday backed Russia's air strikes on "terrorist groups" in the war-torn country.

        "Overall, I think the Russian intervention is a good thing, because finally someone is attacking these terrorist groups," Del Ponte told Swiss public broadcaster RTS, listing the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra among the groups targeted.

        But Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, quickly added that the Russians apparently "are not distinguishing enough between the terrorists and others, and that is not as good."

        Her comments came amid international bickering over the Russian air strikes and what role they played in undermining last week's peace talks to end the country's five-year war.

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      • After   Entering Aleppo With Russia's Help, The Syrian Army   May Set Its Sights On Raqqa
      • By Robert Fisk

          February 08,   2016 "Information   Clearing House"   -   "The   Independent" -   After   losing up to 60,000 soldiers in five years of   fighting, the Syrian army has suddenly scored its   greatest victory of the war – smashing its way   through Jabhat al-Nusra and the other rebel forces   around Aleppo and effectively sealing its fate as   Russia provided air strike operations outside the   city.


        The rebel   supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo have been cut,   but this does not mean the end of the story. For   many months, the regime’s own military authorities –   along with tens of thousands of civilians, including   many Christians – were trapped inside Aleppo and at   the mercy of shelling and mortar fire by the Nusra   fighters, who surrounded them until the army opened   the main highway south.

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      • Gulf countries played a role in the Syrian uprising’ India's former ambassador to Syria on how the country has changed since 2009


        V. P. Haran served as India’s Ambassador to Syria from 2009 until 2012. He speaks to Fountain Ink on how sections of the media exaggerated the uprising as well as signs that al-Qaeda was a game player since the early days of the conflict.

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      • Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot 

          Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan 

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      • As Syria Rebels Face Rout, Allies Saudi, Turkey May Send Troops: Experts
      • ated: February 06, 2016 15:42 IST
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        As Syria Rebels Face Rout, Allies Saudi, Turkey May Send Troops: Experts

        Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the claims 'laughable'.

        Riyadh:  With rebel forces facing the prospect of a crushing defeat by Syria's Russian-backed regime, their allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey may send in limited numbers of ground troops, analysts say.

         Riyadh on Thursday left open the possibility of deploying soldiers, saying it would "contribute positively" if the US-led coalition against the ISIS terror group in Syria decides on ground action.

         The fate of Saudi-backed Syrian armed opposition groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad is also a major concern for the kingdom.

        "I think Saudi Arabia is desperate to do something in Syria," said Andreas Krieg, of the Department of Defence Studies at King's College London.

         Krieg said the "moderate" opposition is in danger of being routed if Aleppo falls to the regime, whose forces have closed in on Syria's second city, backed by intense Russian air strikes.

         "This is a problem for Saudi and Qatar as they have massively invested into Syria via the moderate opposition as their surrogate on the ground," said Krieg, who also serves as a consultant to the Qatari armed forces.

         Russia, which along with Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran is a major ally of Assad, meanwhile has accused Turkey of "preparations for an armed invasion" of Syria.

         Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the claims "laughable".

         But Krieg said Erdogan's policy in Syria has achieved nothing so far.

        Peace Efforts Stalled

         "Turkey and Saudi need to turn this war around. So any Saudi engagement would be in cooperation with Doha and Ankara," he added.

         Aleppo province is among the main strongholds of Syria's armed opposition, which is facing possibly its worst moment since the beginning of the nearly five-year war, at a time when peace efforts have stalled.

         The Saudi-backed opposition umbrella group, the High Negotiations Committee, says it will not return to peace talks which recently collapsed in Geneva unless its humanitarian demands are met.

         "The Saudis believe that the chance of a peaceful solution for the Syrian crisis is very limited," said Mustafa Alani, of the independent Gulf Research Centre.

         "They don't see that there is a real pressure on the regime to give major concessions... They think eventually it will have to end in the battlefield," Alani said.

         "Turkey is enthusiastic about this option (of sending ground troops) since the Russians started their air operation and tried to push Turkey outside the equation," he added.

         Alani said the Saudis are serious about committing troops "as part of a coalition, especially if the Turkish forces are going to be involved".

         But he and other analysts said Saudi involvement would be limited, given its leadership of a separate Arab coalition fighting in Yemen for almost a year and guarding the kingdom's southern border from attacks by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels.

        Saudi Special Forces

         "They are overstretched. But in principle I think they will not hesitate to send a certain number of their fighters to fight in Syria," Alani said, adding that this would probably include Saudi special forces.

         Turkey and Saudi already belong to a US-led coalition which officially has 65 members. It has been bombing ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, as well as training local forces to fight the extremists.

         Krieg said that with Saudi and other Gulf kingdoms "bogged down" in Yemen, he could only foresee a possible expansion of "train and equip" missions involving Gulf special forces to help rebels in Syria.

         "Saudi and Qatar have already networks on the ground," he said, viewing Doha as a link between Riyadh and Ankara as relations improve.

         On Friday, US Central Command spokesman Pat Ryder welcomed Saudi Arabia's willingness to send soldiers against ISIS.

         The United States has been calling on coalition members to do more.

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      • Syrian Forces Press Aleppo, Sending Thousands Fleeing

        • Mr. Assad’s forces also broke the insurgents’ siege of two towns near Aleppo, Nubol and Zahra, which had survived on government airdrops of food. People there were celebrating on Friday and thanking the troops in videos posted on social media.
        • The Dirty War on Syria

          Global Research, November 27, 2015
        • The following text is the introductory chapter of  Professor Tim Anderson’s forthcoming book entitled The Dirty War on Syria

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