Jabhat al-Nusra With Foreign Weapons

More evidence of Jabhat al-Nusra militants using foreign weapons has emerged. Among the deluge of videos and images uploaded on a regular basis, the following images were spotted by Syria Report showing militants allegedly fighting in Busra al-Sham (Arabic: بصرى‎). The town in southern Syria, is conveniently located in Dara'a province close to the border with Jordan which harbours critical supply lines of both militants and weapons. Three days ago, an article by Syria Report detailed the activities of militant groups in the south. An organisation calling itself the Yarmouk Martyrs brigade, famous for abducting UN personnel on two occasions, stealing UN vehicles and executing captured soldiers - received foreign weapons. Evidence suggests that a myriad of insurgent groups have received foreign weapons from Croatia in an operation coordinated by the United States, Turkey, Jordan & Saudi Arabia. The arms trafficking was implemented with at least 160 military cargo flights from Croatia, as reported by the New York Times following an exposé by a Croatian newspaper. The weapons transported to factions were the M79 Osa anti-tank weapon, the RBG-6 grenade launcher, the M60 recoilless rifle, and the RPG-22. Each of these has been spotted hundreds of times in footage uploaded by some of Syria’s myriad of militant organisations, of which there are said to be over a thousand. Indeed, the weapons are all currently used by the Croatian military. Additionally, it should be noted that several other types of foreign-produced weapons have been spotted in Syria, such as assault rifles and sniper rifles. Recently, a number of images uploaded by Jabhat al-Nusra indicated skirmishes with Syrian forces in Busra al-Sham, close to the border with Jordan. In the images, the M60 recoilless anti-tank rifle, included in the foreign effort to arm insurgents, can be seen:

This isn't the first instance of Jabhat al-Nusra being seen operating weapons, in their possession most likely as a result of the operation to arm militant groups. The following image from February shows a Jabhat al-Nusra militant handling a M79 Osa anti-tank weapon. The image was included with a statement posted on an global Jihadist online forum, which detailed an insurgent operation involving a number of allied groups. The reality of of co-operating insurgent factions, increasingly under the command of Jabhat al-Nusra, casts significant doubt on American statements regarding "identifying" and arming the "right" groups. The reality also underlines the doubts and fears felt by many, firstly, that militant groups are untrustworthy, extremist in their outlook, ideology and operation, and have committed countless war crimes. Indeed, the nature of the armed opposition vindicates comments by Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad who spoke of the multiple terror groups who have no political platform to speak of. On 2 March, another operation in Dara'a province by Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups, shows a M60 recoilless gun being used to attack an army outpost, Hajez Barad, in Busr al-Harir. Again, this type of weapon was part of the global and regional operation to arm militant groups in Syria.

All of the images and footage substantiate a January report from Alikhbaria Syria, showing a massive seizure of some of the arms destined for militants. The seizure was made in Dara'a, again, close to the border with Jordan and the same region in which Jabhat al-Nusra and other Jihadist groups have been spotted with the weapons.
M79 Osa anti-tank launcher

M60 Recoilless Gun


Syria Is Becoming Obama’s Iraq

In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal. Obama has officially started down a path that inevitably leads to full-scale war. At this point the Obama administration thinks it has already invested too much military, financial, and diplomatic capital into the Syrian conflict to turn back, and each step forward brings the U.S. closer to a direct military intervention.
Much like Obama’s spying program, few Americans knew that the United States was already involved, neck deep, with the mass killings occurring in Syria. For example, Obama has been directly arming the Syrian rebels for well over a year. The New York Times broke the story that the Obama administration has — through the CIA — been illegally trafficking thousands of tons of guns to the rebels from the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. If not for these Obama-trafficked guns, thousands of deaths would have been prevented and the Syrian conflict over.But even after the gun trafficking story broke, the mainstream media largely ignored it, and continued “reporting” that the U.S. has only been supplying the Syrian rebels with “non-lethal aid,” a meaningless term in a war setting, since all military aid directly assists in the business of killing.
The U.S. media also buried the truth behind the ridiculous chemical weapons claims by the Obama administration, which, like Bush’s WMDs, are based on absolutely no evidence. Having learned nothing from Iraq, the U.S. media again shamelessly regurgitates the “facts” as spoon-fed to them by the government, no questions asked. In reality, however, a number of independent chemical weapons experts have publicly spoken outagainst Obama’s accusations.The U.S. media also refuses to ask: on what authority does the United States have to determine the usage of chemical weapons in other countries? This is the job of the UN. What has the UN said on the matter?
Top UN rights investigator Carla del Ponte said:”According to the testimonies we have gathered, the [Syrian] rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas.”
Again, the “rebels” have used chemical weapons, not the Syrian government, according to the UN representative. Many analysts have pointed out the obvious fact that the Syrian government would have zero military or political motive to use chemical weapons, especially when they have access to much more effective conventional weapons. Obama’s Bush-like lies are too familiar to the American public, who overwhelmingly do not support military intervention in Syria, or giving direct military aide to the Syrian rebels.

What has the UN said on giving military aid to the rebels? UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called the Obama’s decision “a bad idea” and “not helpful.” This is because pouring arms into any country where there is a conflict only increases the bloodshed and risks turning the conflict into a broader catastrophe.

But like Bush, Obama is ignoring the UN, and there’s a logic to his madness. Obama has invested too much of his foreign policy credibility in Syria. His administration has been the backbone of the Syrian rebels from the beginning, having handpicked a group of rich Syrian exiles and molded them into Obama’s “officially recognized” government of Syria, while pressuring other nations to also recognize these nobodies as the “legitimate Syrian government.” Assad’s iron grip on power is a humiliation to these diplomatic efforts of Obama, and has thus weakened the prestige and power of U.S. foreign policy abroad.
More importantly, Obama’s anti-Syria diplomacy required that diplomatic relations between Syria and its neighbors — like Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey — be destroyed. These nations have peacefully co-existed for decades with Syria, but have now agreed — under immense U.S. pressure — to sever diplomatic relations while helping destroy the Syrian government by funneling guns and foreign fighters into the country, further destabilizing a region not yet recovered from the Iraq war. Obama’s Syria policy has turned an already-fragile region into a smoldering tinderbox.
If Obama were to suddenly tell his anti-Syria coalition that he’s realized his efforts at regime change have failed and that he would instead pursue a peaceful solution, his allies and Middle East lackeys would be less willing in the future to prostitute themselves for the foreign policy of the United States; and the U.S. would thus find it more difficult in the future to pursue “regime change” politics abroad. If Obama doesn’t back up his “Assad must go” demand, the U.S. will be unable to make such threats in the future; and U.S. foreign policy is heavily dependent on this type of political bullying.
Furthermore, Obama’s anti-Syria puppet coalition is taking tremendous political risks when it shamelessly follows in Obama’s footsteps, since the U.S. is terribly unpopular throughout the Arab world. This unpopularity is further proof that the “official” Syrian opposition that is asking for U.S. intervention has zero credibility in Syria, since very few Syrians would like to invite the U.S. military to “liberate” their country, especially after the “successful” liberations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
Obama, too, is worried about domestic politics in his own country over Syria. He knows that Americans are sick of Middle East wars, while the American public is also worried that arming the Syrian rebels would mean giving guns to the very same people that America is supposedly fighting a “war on terror” against.
In response to this concern Obama has said that the U.S. will only give arms to “moderate” rebels. A European Union diplomat mockingly responded:  
“It would be the first conflict where we pretend we could create peace by delivering arms… If you pretend to know where the weapons will end up, then it would be the first war in history where this is possible. We have seen it in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Weapons don’t disappear; they pop up where they are needed.”
In Syria U.S. weapons will thus end up in the hands of the extremists doing the majority of the fighting. These are the people who will be in power if Syria’s government falls, unless a full U.S. invasion and Iraq-style occupation occurs. It’s difficult to decide which outcome would be worse for the Syrian people.
It’s now obvious that President Obama is escalating the Syrian conflict because his prized rebels have been beaten on the battlefield. Obama has thus chosen the military tactic of brinksmanship, a risky strategy that involves intentionally escalating a conflict in the hopes that either your opponent gives in to your demands (regime change), or your opponent gives you an excuse to invade.
“President Obama’s decision to supply small arms and ammunition to the rebels is a step, possibly just the first, toward direct American intervention. It raises risks for all parties, and especially for Mr. Assad, who knows that he cannot prevail, even with Russian and Iranian military aid, if the United States becomes fully engaged. We used a similar strategy against the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo in 1999, where I commanded American forces, and showed that NATO had the resolve to escalate.
“The risk of going beyond lethal aid to establishing a no-fly zone to keep Mr. Assad’s planes grounded or safe zones to protect refugees — options under consideration in Washington — is that we would find it hard to pull back if our side began losing. Given the rebels’ major recent setbacks, can we rule out using air power or sending in ground troops?
“Yet the sum total of risks — higher oil prices, a widening war — also provide Syria (and its patrons, Iran and Russia) a motive to negotiate.” [emphasis added]
Clark’s innocent sounding “no-fly zone” is in fact a clever euphemism for all-out war, since no-fly zones require you destroy the enemy’s air force, surface to air missiles, and other infrastructure.
In Libya Obama swiftly turned a no-fly zone into a full-scale invasion and regime change, in violation of international law. A no-fly zone in Syria would also immediately turn into an invasion and “regime change,” with the possibility that the U.S. or Israel would exploit the “fog of war” to attack Iran.
All of this madness could be stopped immediately if Obama publicly announced that the Syrian rebels have lost the war — since they have — and will be cut off politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S. if they do not immediately proceed to negotiations with the Syrian government.  But this peaceful approach will instead be ignored in favor of untold thousands more dead, millions more made refugees, and a broader regional fracturing of Middle East civilization.

Erdogan Government Threatens Doctors.

Erdogan Government Threatens Doctors and First Responders, Violates Medical Neutrality.

The Turkish Health Ministry issued a threat to take medical licenses to practice away from doctors
 who have been providing treatment to the protesters in Istanbul. They are also demanding the names of all medical volunteers including Emergency Medicine Technicians. This threat constitutes a violation of the human right of the protesters to receive treatment and the principle of medical neutrality.

Since May 27, peaceful protesters have been occupying Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey. The park is the last green space within the city and it was set to be demolished to build another of many shopping centers. What started with a few protesters trying to save the park has escalated to a national uprising over many grievances and the formation of coalition groups, including 180 organizations that formed Taksim Solidarity, to represent the people in negotiations with the government.

However, the response by Prime Minister Erdogan has been severe and violent. He threatens the protesters daily. Riot police have repeatedly stormed the park and attacked protesters. They’ve used water cannons, pepper spray and shot tear gas canisters into crowds. The protesters have stayed strong against these assaults, doing what they can to protect themselves with helmets and gas masks made from plastic bottles, but so far more than 5,000 protesters have been injured, some critically, and 4 protesters are dead.

Medic tents were set up in Gezi Park, but these were not sufficient to handle the severely wounded protesters. Makeshift hospitals have been set up in hotel lobbies and during some of the most chaotic moments, protesters formed human chains to keep the streets open so that ambulances carrying the wounded could pass through.

Prime Minister Erdogan continues to escalate his threats against the peaceful protesters. On Tuesday, lawyers went to Istanbul’s Caklayan Court to issue a statement denouncing the repression of protesters in Gezi Park. The police attacked the lawyers before they could fully assemble and scores of them were arrested. In response, thousands of lawyers took to the streets in solidarity.

On Thursday, PM Erdogan called on parents with ‘children’ at the park to take their sons and daughters home. Instead, mothers of the protesters went to the park and formed a human barricade to protect them from the police.

Witnessing the extreme violence against the protesters and the severity of their injuries, physicians and other health professionals started volunteering at the Park to administer treatment. But now they are the target of repression. The Health Ministry is demanding the names of all who delivered care to protesters. The physicians are faced with a dilemma: lose their medical licenses or honor their oath to treat all who are in need. The response by the physicians is to refuse to cooperate. They held a banner stating “You will receive not one patient, not one medical colleague.”

Health professionals have the right by international law to treat those in need. According to Physicians for Human Rights, which documents abuses around the globe, the principle of medical neutrality states that:

“Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are trained to treat those in need – regardless of politics, race, or religion. Attacks on health professionals violate the principle of medical neutrality and are grave breaches of international law.”

Threats by the Health Ministry that will effectively force doctors and other caretakers to stop treating patients are a violation of this principle. Prime Minister Erdogan must stop the attacks on protesters and honor the duty that physicians and other health professionals have to care for those in need. The government has the responsibility to protect its citizens and respect their right to protest peacefully. Doctors who answer the call to provide services to those who are wounded, for whatever reason, should be encouraged and supported, not threatened. The Health Ministry must remove its threat.

Take action: Call the Turkish Embassy and demand that the Turkish Government remove its threat to health professionals and stop interfering in the care of wounded protesters. The phone number for the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC is 202-612-6700/6701. And the phone number for the Turkish Consulate in New York City is 646-430-6560/6590.

The FSA Terrorists have been Defeated. Is the War Over?

The long awaited Syrian peace talks — instigated by power brokers Russia and the United States — had already passed their initial due date, and are now officially stillborn.  
The peace talks are dead because the U.S.-backed rebels are boycotting the negotiations, ruining any hope for peace, while threatening to turn an already-tragic disaster into a Yugoslavia-style catastrophe…or worse.
The U.S. backed rebels are not participating in the talks because they have nothing to gain from them, and everything to lose.
In war, the purpose of peace negotiations is to copy the situation on the battlefield and paste it to a treaty: the army winning the war enters negotiations from a dominant position, since its position is enforceable on the ground.
The U.S.-backed rebels would be entering peace talks broken and beaten, having been debilitated on the battlefield. The Syrian army has had a string of victories, pushing the rebels back to the border areas where they are protected by U.S. allies Turkey, Jordan, and northern Lebanon. Peace talks would merely expose this reality and end the war on terms dictated by the Syrian government.
A rebel leader was quoted in The New York Times revealing this motive for the rebel’s abandonment of peace talks:
“What can we [rebels] ask for when we go very weak to Geneva [for peace talks]?… The Russians and the Iranians and the representatives of the [Syrian] regime will say: ‘You don’t have any power. We are controlling everything. What you are coming to ask for?’”
This is the reality as it exists in Syria, and realistic peace talks would recognize the situation in Syria and end the conflict immediately.
But first the rebel’s supporters — the United States and its lackeys Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar — must acknowledge this reality and demand that the rebels forge ahead with peace talks, on threat of being cut off politically, financially, and militarily.
If this happens, war is over.
But if the war ended tomorrow, Syrian President Bashar Assad, would still be in power, and President Obama has said repeatedly, “Assad must go.”  Obama would be further humiliated by his Syria policy if he had to again recognize Assad as president after spending a year recognizing a group of rich Syrian exiles as “the legitimate government of Syria” and after his administration repeatedly announced that the Assad regime had ended over a year ago.
More importantly, if Assad stayed in power, U.S. foreign policy would appear weak internationally, which is one main reason that the U.S. political establishment wants to go “all in” for regime change in Syria: super powers must back up their threats, since otherwise other nations might choose to challenge the United States.
This is the real reason peace talks will not be held. The U.S. and its European allies want regime change in Syria, and they are prepared to allow many more people to die to make it so. This was made clear by the Obama administration. The New York Times reports:
“[Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad’s gains on the battlefield have called the United States’ strategy on Syria into question, prompting the Obama administration to again consider military options, including arming the rebels and conducting airstrikes to protect civilians and the Syrian opposition, administration officials said on Monday.”
The above quote mentions “conducting airstrikes to protect civilians.” This is the infamous language of the UN resolution that allowed U.S.-NATO to intervene in Libya; but Obama immediately overstepped “protecting civilians” and quickly jumped into “regime change,” a gross violation of international law and a Bush-like war crime.
The UN — though especially China and Russia — have learned from the Libya example and will doubtfully ever again approve of a “protect civilian” UN resolution. If the U.S. intervenes in Syria, it will do so with a Bush-style “coalition of the willing,” i.e. U.S. allies.
Obama’s dream of having a post-Assad Syria is further complicated by the fact that Assad is apparently more popular than he has ever been.
Many Syrians that didn’t previously support Assad now do, having concluded that Assad in power is better than their country being obliterated in an Iraq-style invasion, or being dominated by Islamic extremists, as the majority of the Syrian rebel groups are.
Further helping Assad’s popularity is that Israel has bombed Syria recently on multiple occasions, while Syrians watch the unpopular United States funnels massive amounts of weapons to the rebels. As a result, Assad can now successfully portray himself as a defender of Syria’s sovereignty against foreign aggression.
But, Obama will not be deterred. After it became clear that the rebels were losing the war, the U.S. and its European allies removed the remaining legal barriers to further arming the rebels, while the religious leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both U.S. allies — assisted in the war effort by calling for Jihad against the Syrian government (the same week the leader of al-Qaeda did).
Behind this frenzy of rebel support lies the sick logic that, in order for successful peace negotiations to take place, the rebels need to be in a stronger battlefield position. Arm the rebels to the teeth for peace!
In response to this twisted logic, Oxfam International — a disaster relief coalition — responded by saying:
“Sending arms to the Syrian opposition won’t create a level playing field. Instead, it risks further fueling an arms free-for-all where the victims are the civilians of Syria. Our experience from other conflict zones tells us that this crisis will only drag on for far longer if more and more arms are poured into the country.”
Ultimately, the Syrian rebels would have already been defeated — and thousands of lives spared — if they had not been receiving support from the U.S. and other countries. The U.S.-backed rebels have said that a pre-condition for peace is “Assad must go;” but this demand does not coincide with the reality on the ground: the rebels are in no position to demand this, and the U.S. is using this unrealistic demand to artificially lengthen an already-bloody war.
Obama can either use his immense influence to end this bloody conflict now by withdrawing support to the rebels, or he can extend the conflict and further tear to shreds the social fabric of the Middle East, while risking a multi-nation war that history will denounce as an easily preventable holocaust.