ISIS overruns Iraq’s second largest city, Western media suddenly concerned that Qaeda flags flying over Iraq, but OK with AQ in Syria

2014 photo posted on ISIS media account, Syria watchers say the weapon is a Croatian RBG-6 grenade launcher, a weapon supplied to the Syrian rebels through the Saudi and CIA effort to transfer Balkan weapons to Syrian jihadists

From CBSnews.com coverage:

The fight for Mosul was a heavy defeat in Baghdad’s battle against a widening insurgency by a breakaway al Qaeda group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has been trying – with some success – to seize territory both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Earlier this year, the group captured another Iraqi city, Fallujah, in the west of the country, and government forces have been unable to take it back after months of fighting. The far larger Mosul is an even more strategic prize. The city and surrounding Ninevah province are a major export route for Iraqi oil and a gateway to Syria.

Regaining Mosul poses a daunting challenge for al-Maliki. The city has a Sunni Muslim majority and many in the community are already deeply embittered against his Shiite-led government. During the nearly nine-year American presence in the country, Mosul was a major stronghold for al Qaeda and U.S. and Iraqi forces carried out repeated offensives there, regaining a semblance of control but never routing the insurgents entirely.

Islamic militants and Iraqi troops have been fighting for days in Mosul. But Monday night and into early Tuesday, the government forces in the city appeared to collapse.

Insurgents overran the Ninevah provincial government building in the city – a key symbol of state control – in the evening, and security forces fled many of their posts. The fighters stormed police stations, bases and prisons, capturing weapons and freeing prisoners.

ISIS (or alternately ISIL: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) gained its immense strength fighting in Syria, where it enjoyed the benefits of being allied with those awash in American/Qatari/Saudi cash and weapons. I’ve watched some of their propaganda videos and can’t help but notice how professional they are in terms of their gear, technology, online media presence, and general bearing and appearance. ISIS has all the marks of outside state sponsorship -likely Saudi intelligence with remote help from CIA, as both entities are part of the same network of training/funding for the Syrian insurgency.

Though ISIS has been chiefly battling Nusra and FSA groups over the past year, it also has a history of fighting alongside so-called “moderate” Syrian groups depending on geography and circumstance. See Oxford scholar and Middle East analyst Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi:

Another prominent FSA battalion in the Aleppo area with which ISIS generally maintains cordial relations is Liwa al-Tawhid, whose ideological orientation is in line with that of the Ikhwan.[59] In July 2013, rumors began circulating–in origin from pro-Supreme Military Command circles (affiliated with General Salim Idriss)–that the rebel icon from Jarabulus, Abu Furat, had been killed by “Islamists” (i.e., JN/ISIS). However, Liwa al-Tawhid soon issued a statement denying that this was so, describing such rumors as an attempt by Western powers to stir up fitna(discord) in rebel ranks through the Arabic news channel al-Arabiya.[60] More recently, an image was put out showing a member of Liwa al-Tawhid in Aleppo engaging in a friendly arm-wrestling match with an ISIS fighter (Appendix, Figure 10).

Like the mujahideen in Afghanistan, the Syrian battlefield has seen constant shifting rebel alliances. See this report:

Cooperation between the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, continues even as the FSA tries to obtain more American arms.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, an FSA element, has teamed up with Jabhat al-Nusra in recent weeks in attempts to capture strategic hilltops in Syria’s southwestern Quneitra province overlooking the Israel-held Golan Heights.

“The FSA and Nusra Front are cooperating on the front line,” Abu Omar Golani, the Syrian Revolutionaries Front’s media coordinator, told the Journal.

The idea that the various Al-Qaeda groups among the Syrian insurgents are somehow distinct from a supposedly secular and moderate FSA is a myth promoted in Western propaganda. The US government is now openly admitting to funding, training, and weaponizing the Syrian rebels; simply put, the US government is providing material support to Al-Qaeda and its allies.

But what’s funny is that with the ISIS takeover of Fallujah and Mosul, Western politicians and media are expressing outrage that the AQ flag could be flying over Iraqi cities. Yet it was NATO supported AQ fighters who were the first in history to fly the AQ flag over the Mediterranean during the Kessab offensive (the Armenian Christian town in the news a few months ago).

The day was March 29, 2014 – US/NATO backed Qaeda death squads, after cleansing Kessab of its Christian and civilian population, posed for a shot over the Mediterranean. There was not a peep about this historic photo, which was posted on jihadi websites and circulated widely among professional Syria analysts:

 

Professor As’ad Abukhalil (of Angry Arab News Service) stated the obvious in January …don’t expect the mainstream media to present such clear and obvious commentary:

In Iraq, the US is arming the government against the rebels.  In Syria, the US is arming the rebels against the government.  But here is the irony: the rebels in Iraq are allies of the rebels in Syria, while the Iraqi government is aligned with the government of Syria.  Figure it out.

 

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New Eastern Outlook: “The West’s War on Middle East Christians” by Ulson Gunnar

New Eastern Outlook (4/27/14) – TIME Magazine’s article, “Christians and Tyrants: Why the Middle East’s Persecuted Minority is Making Unholy Choices,” is an attempt to explain to impressionable Western audiences why Christians (and other minorities) have stalwartly backed both the military-led government in Egypt and the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria for now over 3 years.

TIME implies in title alone, that they’ve erred or compromised themselves by doing so. But as we will soon see, nothing could be further from the truth, and the support these minorities exhibit for their respective protectors now is a result of protection offered to them by secular leaders against foreign-backed sectarian extremists for decades.

TIME’s Tall Tale 

TIME begins by describing the overrunning of the Syrian town of Raqqa. It claims that the Islamic State of Iaq and Greater Syria (ISIS aka Al Qaeda in Iraq ‘AQI,’ a US designated terrorist organization) overpowered “more moderate rebel brigades,” and subsequently subjected Christians to persecution under their rule.

Some 3,000 Christians fled, leaving only small number behind to be beheaded, flogged, and otherwise abused, tortured, and systematically exterminated. TIME claims Al Qaeda has even disavowed ISIS for its extreme violence, perhaps hoping readers don’t realize ISIS is in fact Al Qaeda, and that Al Qaeda’s other brands in Syria, including the al-Nusra front, is similarly abusing other minorities across Syria, including most recently in Kessab in the north, with NATO backing.

TIME then goes on to expand its deceptive narrative to include Christians across the Middle East, admitting that under Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, despite “nightmarish human-rights abuses” they “tended to protect Christian minorities and kept much of the region relatively stable.” The deception here is obvious. The so-called “human rights abuses” TIME refers to was in fact the long struggle Iraq, Egypt, and many other nations across the Middle East and North Africa fought against sectarian extremists, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood and the proto-Al Qaeda militant groups it spawned.

TIME claims that while most Christians have fled in the wake of Western meddling and the resulting chaos, those that have remained are “supporting authoritarian regimes in exchange for protection.”

In regards to this TIME claims, “…the Coptic Pope has tactically supported military dictatorship for decades and recently backed the leader of last year’s coup, former field marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, for May’s presidential election. In Syria church leaders have tolerated 40 years of Assad family rule for fear of an Islamist alternative. Such self-preservation puts Christian leaders in the camp of strongmen who frequently use violence against their own people. In backing these authoritarian regimes, those leaders and their supporters have failed to help their countries develop into states where justice, the rule of law and tolerance are applied evenly, not just to the ruling sect and its allies.”

Deconstructing the West’s Assault on Christians and other Minorities 

“Strongmen who frequently use violence against their own people…” TIME claims.

Which people? Surely not the Alawites, Christians, Armenians, Druze, Coptics, Jews, or secular communities. So who? And why?

TIME never says, but the answer is painfully clear. These “strongmen” are using violence against sectarian extremists, heavily armed, well funded, and backed by the enemies of the states’ over which these “strongmen” rule. TIME’s obtuse narrative represents a larger pattern of deceit executed across the entirety of the West’s political landscape. They create violent opposition groups to infiltrate and destabilize nations they seek regime-change within, then spin the predictable and inevitable security operations launched to confront them as “violence used against their own people.” Such tactics were used in Libya, Syria, and now being spun end-over-end in Ukraine.

TIME, through quoting an “anonymous Christian” who left his sect because of its “support for Assad,” claims that, “if Syrian’s Christians had sided with the revolution in the fist place, standing , like Jesus, in solidarity with all those oppressed by the regime I don’t think we would be in this situation today.”

This is, however, factually absurd. It was decided, long before the “revolution” began, that sectarian extremists would be the armed “fist” leading regime-change engineered not by the Syrian people, but by the enemies of the Syrian state, namely the United States, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Israel. This was revealed by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh in a prophetic and quite lengthy 2007 report titled, “The Redirection” published by the New Yorker.

That TIME even admits in their most recent article that “the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria,” “seized Raqqa in May 2013 from more moderate rebel brigades,” tells readers that despite the United States and its allies funding and arming these “more moderate rebel brigades” with billions of dollars over the last three years, somehow ISIS is being paid and armed even better by “someone else.” Who is that, if the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and many others are busy funding and arming “moderates?”

The answer exposes both the lies of TIME Magazine and the larger lies regarding the narrative and agenda TIME is contributing toward.

Read the complete article here…

Syrian Priest to LA Times: “The West is practicing a double standard: Would they let these militants into their countries to destroy everything?”

The rebels destroyed churches and icons all throughout Maaloula. Church leaders did a recent tour of the Christian city to survey the damage. Photo credit: Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. View more photos of Maaloula destruction here.

“In Syria’s capital, residents recall a sectarian tolerance gone by,”    Patrick J. McDonnell, LOS ANGELES TIMES

DAMASCUS, Syria — The thud of mortar shelling alternated with tolling church bells Friday as the Christians of this capital’s ancient Bab Touma district marked Good Friday amid extremely tight security.

The Easter Week processions that once featured tens of thousands walking the cobblestoned streets of the Old City now are confined to the close vicinity of churches. Soldiers and militiamen checked everyone coming and going on Friday; vehicular traffic was largely closed off as a precaution against car bombs.

Three years into its civil war, Syria is deeply wounded, its 23 million people in a state of shock at the magnitude of the destruction, incredulous that their nation, once known for its religious moderation and cultural tolerance, has become a sectarian killing ground.

Some express hope that major combat could be over by the end of the year, as President Bashar Assad has predicted. Others worry that the war could drag on for years, perhaps rivaling neighboring Lebanon’s 15-year sectarian conflict, which ended in 1990.

A wave of rebel mortar attacks that have struck Bab Touma and other districts of the capital in recent weeks has further eroded the muted optimism that was evident earlier this year. Authorities call the strikes on the government-controlled capital indiscriminate acts of desperation by opposition forces facing disarray and defeat in the battlefield.

Christian worshipers in Bab Touma were on edge Friday after a mortar attack this week that struck the yard of a nearby Christian school, killing a 10-year-old boy and injuring dozens of children. A banner hung on the neighborhood’s Roman-era stone gate memorialized the dead boy, Sinar Matanyos, as a “victim of the rotten crime they called revolution.”

At the other end of the Old City, at the landmark Umayyad Mosque, a shoemaker and grandfather who goes by the nickname Abu Bessam bemoaned the embittered state of his native land.

“We never thought about sectarianism; I never knew the word,” Abu Bessam, 71, said after Friday prayers, as others in the vast courtyard nodded in agreement. “We all used to live together and never care about sect or religion.”

Over and over, individual Syrians insist to visitors that they never knew the faith of their closest friends. Now, however, one’s sect has become a defining trait, something that can mean life or death, detention or freedom.

One young banker here says he lets his mostly Christian co-workers think he is a Christian, though he is in fact a Sunni Muslim. It eases suspicion, he explains. Similar stories abound.

“I used to go to cafes and sit with my friends — Sunnis, Christians, Alawites — it never mattered to me,” Abu Bessam said, shaking his head in disbelief. “I never even asked where people came from. Those days are gone.”

Many can’t bring themselves to point the finger at their fellow Syrians. Militants from across the globe imported this toxic view to Syria, they insist

“It wasn’t Syrians — it was the Saudis, the Chechens, the ones who cut people’s heads off,” said a baker in a Christian town in Homs province, running his fingers across his neck in a throat-slitting motion.

Still, many on each side blame the other for the enmity.

The uprising against Assad, a member of the minority Alawite Muslim sect, arose from the disaffected ranks of the nation’s Sunni majority, though many Sunnis remain aligned with the government and serve in the military. Alawites, Christians, Shiites, Druze and other minority groups have generally remained on the loyalist side, fearing that the rise of Sunni Islamist militants to power could threaten their existence in Syria.

Opposition activists say the Assad government fueled hatred in a bid to portray itself as a defender of Syria’s suddenly vulnerable minorities. It is an article of faith among many opposition advocates that the government somehow facilitated the rise of Al Qaeda-style militant rebel groups, though no definitive evidence exists for the allegation, and the government dismisses it as absurd.

In largely loyalist districts, residents inevitably blame “terrorists” and foreign backers, from Riyadh to Washington.

“The West is practicing a double standard: Would they let these militants into their countries to destroy everything?” asked Father Gabriel Daoud, one of a number of Syriac Orthodox priests presiding at traditional Good Friday Mass…

Read the full article here…

BREAKING NEWS: Another Christian Elementary School Attacked by Syrian Rebels

Photo of al-Manar School playground in Bab Touma, Damascus

Note: Levant Report has received multiple reports that the shelling of Christian neighborhoods in Damascus from outlying rebel positions has been constant for over the past year and has not ceased. We reported on the shelling of Damascus’ largest church as Sunday services were underway last October -this being but one example of what has become a frequent occurrence. Syrian Christians believe their neighborhoods, churches, and schools are specifically targeted by rebel attacks. At the same time, the United States has increased the sophistication of weaponry it is putting into rebel hands; and this includes the necessary training needed to operate such advanced weapons.

DAMASCUS, April 15 (Xinhua News Agency) — A child was killed and more than 36 others wounded Tuesday when a mortar shell slammed into a schoolyard in a predominantly Christian district of the capital Damascus, the state news agency SANA and witnesses said.

The mortar round struck the al-Manar elementary school in Bab Touma, east of Damascus, killing a child and injuring 36 others, according to the report.

Witnesses said the mortar struck the al-Manar’s schoolyard in the morning when the schoolchildren were gathering at the yard before entering the classrooms, adding some of the injured kids were in critical conditions.

Aside from the attack on Bab Touma’s school, another mortar round struck near a church in the nearby Dweila neighborhood, injuring five people, according to SANA.

The attack came one day after at least 12 people were killed by mortar attacks against Damascus and a blast of a booby-trapped car in the central province Homs.

The rebels have rained down the capital and other government- controlled areas across Syria with dozens of mortar shells recently, leaving tens of civilians dead and many others wounded.

Attacks targeting at kids have made many parents refraining from sending their children to schools, especially in areas, which get hit by mortars on daily basis, like the suburb of Jaramana, where at least 36 mortar shells landed on Monday alone.

Syrian troops have recaptured several villages and towns in central Syria, cutting off main supply routes for terrorists from neighboring Lebanon. The army tightened the noose around armed groups in the countryside of Damascus and blocked several attempts to storm the capital.

The long-running crisis started in mid-March 2011 with anti- government protests, but rapidly evolved into a civil war joined by radical jihadist movements. More than 150,000 people have been killed so far.

 

White House Denies Hersh Allegations: But what do the United Nations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tesla Labs Inc. say about Syria Chemical Weapons?

A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in Northern Syria. A highly sophisticated chemical riot control grenade can be seen, indicating outside state-sponsorship. This image and others, was the focus of a number of Syria weapons watch websites speculating whether or not the rebels had chemical weapons capabilities.
A widely circulated image of an Al-Nusra fighter in N. Syria with a professional CW riot grenade.

The White House responded early this week to Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” Director of National Intelligence Shawn Turner, in an official statement to the Ankara-based news outlet Today’s Zaman, said [bold emphasis mine]:

“We’re not going to comment on every inaccurate aspect of this narrative, but to be clear: the Assad regime, and only the Assad regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attack that took place on August 21. We have made that judgment based upon intelligence collected by the United States and by our partners and allies. It is a view that is shared overwhelmingly by the international community and has led to unprecedented cooperation in the dismantling of Assad’s CW [chemical weapons] stockpiles. The suggestion that there was an effort to suppress or alter intelligence is simply false. Likewise, the idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.”

The final United Nations report on chemical weapons usage in Syria was published December 12, 2013. Anyone in the world, with internet access, can read the UN report; it contains some damning information related to rebel possession and use of chemical weapons.

From page 21 of the 82 page document:

“The United Nations Mission remains deeply concerned that chemical weapons were used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arabic Republic, which has added yet another dimension to the continued suffering of the Syrian people,” [emphasis mine, and for all bolded below].

The report states that chemical weapons were “probably used” at five sites in Syria during the two-and-a-half year long conflict. Most significant is that at two sites, the victims were Syrian government soldiers, and at another, the victims were regime soldiers and civilians. While the purpose of the investigation was not to establish the culprit in each attack, the report identifies the victims in three out of the five incidents as regime soldiers. This is a tacit UN admission that the rebels possess and have used chemical weapons. Not once were rebel fighters confirmed to be victims of chemical attack.

On page 19 of the official United Nations report:

“Khan al Asal, 19 March 2013:  111.  The United Nations Mission collected credible information that corroborates the allegations that chemical weapons were used in Khan al Asal on 19 March 2013 against soldiers and civilians.”

Also on page 19:

“Jobar, 24 August 2013:  113.  The United Nations Mission collected evidence consistent with the probable use of chemical weapons in Jobar on 24 August on a relatively small scale against soldiers…”

Page 20:

“Ashrafiah Sahnaya, 25 August 2013 117.  The United Nations Mission collected evidence that suggests that chemical weapons were used in Ashrafiah Sahnaya on 25 August 2013 on a small scale against soldiers.”

Even the generally pro-rebel and very establishment New York Times had to admit the following in a December 12, 2013 article, Chemical Arms Used Repeatedly in Syria, U.N. Says:

Chemical weapons were used repeatedly in the Syria conflict this year, not only in a well-documented Aug. 21 attack near Damascus but also in four other instances, including two subsequent attacks that targeted soldiers, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

Concerning the first reported usage of chemical weapons in the entirety of the Syrian conflict, the NYT admits in the same article that Syrian soldiers were on the receiving end:

The report said the panel had corroborated “credible allegations” that chemical weapons were used in the first reported attack — a March 19 episode involving soldiers and civilians in Khan al-Assal in the country’s north.

According to BBC News coverage of the final UN report:

Chemical weapons were “probably used” at five out of seven sites in Syria, UN investigators say in a report. In two cases, the weapons affected [regime] soldiers, and in a third, [regime] soldiers and civilians, the report says.

According the Jerusalem Post’s December 13 coverage of the final UN report:

The report noted that in several cases the victims included government soldiers and civilians

Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, who currently works at Tesla Laboratories Inc., in an RT News interview on White House claims of the missile trajectories in the August 21 sarin gas attack in Syria:

…right now as it stands, these rockets could have never been fired from government controlled territory. They would be fired more from a rebel type of a territory or a border of a contested territory.

From the official news page of Tesla Laboratories Inc. [emphasis mine]:

Tesla’s Richard Lloyd, in collaboration with MIT’s Ted Postol, has created some media buzz with his analysis of the chemical weapons being used in Syria. Richard and Ted held a 2-day seminar in late January at Tesla HQ, that covered several in-depth studies including performance analysis of the Iron Dome system and forensic exploration of various weapons being used in Syria. Of particular note is his and Ted’s performance modeling of the large-capacity Syrian chemical rockets employed this past summer. Their conclusions bring into serious question the launch sites for these attacks claimed by the U.S. State Department.

In May 2013, Carla Del Ponte, a top UN human rights investigator and former UN Chief Prosecutor and veteran International Criminal Court prosecutor, was the first to accuse the rebels using Sarin gas against regime forces and civilians (see here, here, and here). Del Ponte’s assertions, based upon her information gathering team on the ground, caused a row in Europe, but it seems the only major American outlet to cover the story was the LA Times. During a Swiss-Italian TV interview, she was convinced enough to be very blunt in her assessment, saying, “I was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition.”

All the way back in May 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported:

A leading member of a United Nations investigatory commission says there are “strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that Syrian rebels have used the nerve agent sarin.

 

Media Blackout of New Syria Revelations

My article, originally published yesterday for GlobalResearch.org. The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) is an independent research and media organization based in Montreal.

(Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies, Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies, Wiki Commons)

Today (4/6/14), London Review of Books published in its online journal Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” Hersh continues to expose details surrounding the staged August 21 chemical attack incident in Syria, which apparently pretty much everyone in Washington’s intelligence bureaucracy suspected was carried out by the rebels as soon as it happened.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist whose 40+ years career includes the exposing of the My Lai Massacre  and its cover-up, as well as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. His December 19 report, “Whose Sarin?” -was his first report to expose the Syria chemical attack hoax. While “Whose Sarin” was originally prepared for the Washington Post, the newspaper rejected it and a media blackout followed in American press. Currently, Hersh’s newest investigative findings are going unacknowledged in mainstream US media.

Hersh’s report confirms the following:

  • Obama’s push for attack on Syria was halted last minute when evidence that the Syrian government had nothing to do with the August 21 chemical attack became too overwhelming
  • It had been well known to US government officials throughout the summer of 2013 that Turkish PM Erdogan was supporting al-Nusra Front in attempts to manufacture Sarin
  • US military knew of Turkish and Saudi program for bulk Sarin production inside Syria from the spring of 2013
  • UN inspectors knew the rebels were using chemical weapons on the battlefield since the spring of 2013
  • As a result of the staged chemical incident, the White House ordered readiness for a “monster strike” on Syria, which included “two B-22 air wings and two thousand pound bombs” -and a target list which included military and civilian infrastructure targets (note: most of these are in densely populated civilian areas)
  • Full military strike was set for September 2
  • UK defense officials relayed to their American counterparts in the lead up to planned attack: “We’re being set up here.”
  • CIA, MI6, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey set up a “rat line” back in 2012 to run Libyan weapons into Syria via Turkey, including MANPADS; the Benghazi consulate was headquarters for the operation
  • Obama OK’ed Turkish-Iranian gold export scam (that went from March 2012 to July 2013) which erupted in a Turkish scandal that nearly brought down the Erdogan government
  • US Intelligence community had immediate doubts about Syrian regime responsibility for Aug. 21 attack, yet “reluctant to contradict the president”
  • US government will not expose continued Turkey support of terrorism simply because “they’re a NATO ally”

In addition, last Thursday freelance Middle East journalist Sara Elizabeth Williams broke the story of a CIA/US Military run training camp for Syrian rebels in the Jordanian desert. VICE UK ran her story, “I Learned to Fight Like an American at the FSA Training Camp in Jordan,” yet it too failed to make it across the Atlantic into American reporting. International Syria experts thought her story hugely significant, but it got little attention. Top Syria expert in the US, Joshua Landis, announced on his Twitter account Thursday: “Sara Williams gets the scoop on the top secret FSA Training Camp in Jordan.” This courageous young freelancer revealed, with photos, the ins and outs of this secretive facility -yet the mainstream carefully shielded Americans from knowledge of the explosive report.

In email conversation this weekend, Williams told me: “The access was tough to get, but I think it was worth the effort: to my mind, it’s important that people know what their government is doing in their name, with their tax dollars.”

According to her investigative report:

  • Confirmed: “US-run training camp” for Syrian rebels in Northern Jordan
  • Rebel recruits go “off the grid” while in secretive training camp
  • Rebel fighter: “The Americans who taught us wore military uniforms I did not recognize. We called them by their first names and they spoke English to us.”
  • Camp awash with “American food and American dollars”: recruits eat Kentucky Fried Chicken and live in temporary “pre-fabricated housing” units
  • Recruits sent through intense 40 day program, which includes exercise, training in anti-tank missiles, and boot camp style atmosphere with orders given by US military instructors
  • Upon graduation, US trained insurgents slip back across Syria’s southern border
  • Experts say there are more camps like this one
  • American trained rebel insurgent says: “America is benefiting from the destruction and the killing in order to weaken both sides.”

 

Renewed Armenian Genocide?: Armenians in the Levant Make International Plea for Help

Cartoon by Lucine Kasbarian. Used with permission.

Decades from now, all over the world, younger generations will have no idea what jewels of civilization once existed.

Lucine Kasbarian, syndicated journalist, author, and political cartoonist

From the Cairo based AL-AHRAM WEEKLY:

A brutal three-day attack by Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and Ansar Al-Sham started early Friday morning, 21 March, and took the lives of 80 people. Rebels crossed the Turkish border and attacked Armenians living in Kessab, looted and occupied their homes and stores. The majority of the population of Kessab was evacuated by community leaders to safer villages.

On Tuesday night, Armenians of Kessab made an appeal to Armenians across the world:

“This is a call to all Armenians. This is a call to humanity. The world needs to hear the truth. Erdogan and his government are war criminals. We need your help. We need you to take action. Our lives depend on the chance that you will do something to make sure we too don’t die. We were forced out of our homes and our town with nothing but the clothes we wear. If we stayed to gather even the bare necessities, we would have definitely died. Most of us cannot even escape because we don’t have our passports or documents of identification. Please, invoke the intervention of your governments, of the UN, of any other authority that you believe can help us. All we want to do is live. If you ignore this, we all will die a horrible death at the hands of these terrorists, by being butchered in cold blood like many other Armenians in Aleppo, Yacoubiyeh, Ghenemiyeh and around Syria. If Kessab people were not informed to leave their houses, the world would have silently witnessed yet another genocide and stood by while the media gave them yet another version of lies.”