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Fri, 21 Oct 2016
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The new Russia-China-Iran coalition changes everything

Over the span of just a few days, the situation in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular has undergone radical changes. What's more, these are good changes which we can be proud of, ones which many in the Pentagon are losing sleep over. Putin is taking full advantage of the institutional paralysis which is engulfing the United States during election campaigns and is, literally in front of dumbfounded Americans' eyes, redistributing spheres of influence in one of the key regions of the world.

Let's start with the reports that Russia has just set up its own air force base in Iran. Honestly speaking, this isn't the case. This is not our base. Iran has "loaned" it to us for some time in order for bombing ISIS terrorists and their friends in Syria to be easier. The context of these reports is key. In general, it is no secret to many that Iran has long since closely cooperated with Russia in Syria and opened its airspace for the passage of Russian Caliber rockets, just like its airfields were already being used last year by our transport and bombers for refueling.

But there is a nuance. Iran and Russia have tried not to advertise this, apparently so as to not create additional tension during the process of Syria negotiations, and so that Iran can still continue the tedious and difficult work of defrosting their Western assets since sanctions have been lifted. But the situation has radically changed now.

Comment: For SOTT's take on the latest moves in Iran, Turkey, and Syria, listen to our latest episode of Behind the Headlines: Yemen resists, Turkey rebels, and the weather goes wild


The Syrian and Iraqi wars: Washington's myth of Sunni/Shia sectarianism

In the first of two articles, a Westerner with extensive on-the-ground experience in Syria and Iraq explains how the West's understanding of sectarian identity in the Middle East is fatally flawed. He reveals new information on these civil wars and their participants.
Editor's Note: This author is writing under a pen name. I know the author's identity and while his arguments are surely controversial, I am confident in his sourcing and subject matter expertise. I have decided to allow him to write under a pen name because he can reasonably fear for his safety and professional employment. -RE (Update 8/17 - We have made an important factual correction explained at the bottom of the article. Update 8/26: The author's pen name has been changed to protect someone with the same name who has nothing to do with the article or the author.)

In Iraq, the senior Shia leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces (P.M.F.) recently gathered for a meeting. Among them was a leading Sunni P.M.F. commander, who later recounted this story to me. When the men broke for prayer, a Shia leader noticed they were not being joined by their Sunni comrade, who remained seated. The Shia leader asked, "Why don't you join us?"

Comment: Though we think Malik mischaracterizes the Syrian government and military's approach, and we are skeptical that the poor policy choices of the U.S. are the result of a faulty narrative (rather, the faulty narrative seems willfully designed in order to create suboptimal conditions), the rest of the article is a fair, detailed, and insightful look at the un-reality of Sunni-Shia sectarianism in Syria and Iraq. Readers will be forgiven if 'divide and conquer' comes to mind... We have the U.S. to blame for that, and their 'Sunni vs. Shia' fiction continues to prevent Syria and Iraq from regaining their stability and sovereignty they so desperately need.


Westerners suddenly realize children get killed in airstrikes, cry crocodile tears over 'boy in Aleppo ambulance'

This image is shocking the Western world, which has no clue that it caused the subject's pain.
Harrowing images of an ash-covered boy who survived an air strike in Syria has quickly spread across the internet, shocking and disturbing social media users.

While there are many horrifying images from Syria, this, like the image of drowned Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, managed to capture the world's attention.

Comment: It later turned out that Kurdi's father - who was on the same boat as his son - was one of the people smugglers the Western media blamed for the refugee crisis (before it later switched to blaming Russia).

Comment: For more on this latest bout of global emotional manipulation, see here:

The boy in the ambulance: US State Dept-funded groups behind latest 'iconic image' designed to demonize Russia and encourage further bloodshed in Syria

Bad Guys

Soros leak shows his foundation viewed refugee crisis as opportunity to be exploited

© Luke MacGregor / Reuters
Billionaire George Soros

Comment: This is probably as close as we'll get to proof of what everyone (should) already knows: Soros and fellow Western billionaires are working the crises they created (whether accidentally or deliberately) to manipulate Western governments and keep them in line with the US, and as far away from cooperating with Russia and China as possible.

A leaked memo from left-wing financier George Soros's Open Society Foundations argues that Europe's refugee crisis should be accepted as a "new normal," and that the refugee crisis means "new opportunities" for Soros' organization to influence immigration policies on a global scale.

OSF program officer Anna Crowley and program specialist Katin Rosin co-authored the May 12 memo, titled "Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review." The memo focuses on an OSF program called the International Migration Initiative, which aims to influence immigration policy.

The nine-page review makes three key points: OSF — which doles out millions to left-wing causes — has been successful at influencing global immigration policy; Europe's refugee crisis presents "new opportunities" for the organization to influence global immigration policy; and the refugee crisis is the "new normal."

Comment: Further reading:

Eye 2

Clinton body count increases: 5 dead in just 6 weeks (VIDEO)

Hillary will stop at nothing to claw her way into the White House; unfortunately, people are dropping dead left and right in her path and, in the case of the last two found dead earlier this week, the mainstream media is pretending not to even notice they are gone...


Not 'Russian intelligence': Assange hints 27-year-old Seth Rich was source of leaked emails as Wikileaks offers $20k reward for info on murdered DNC staffer

© Peter Nicholls / Reuters
The whistleblowing organization Wikileaks wants to catch those responsible for the murder of Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich and are now offering a $20,000 reward for information.

The group's co-founder Julian Assange suggested on Dutch television that if Rich is the source of the 20,000 emails exposing the party's sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign in favor of Hillary Clinton, he may have been killed over it.

However, when asked if Rich was a Wikileaks source, Assange refused to comment, merely saying they were investigating the circumstances surrounding his murder.

Comment: Update:
Brad Bauman, a DC consultant to Democratic candidates, wrote us [Gateway Pundit] today. Brad says he is the spokesperson for the Rich family.
"The entire Rich family is so heartened by the outpouring of support and love that they have felt over the past few weeks as they continue to come to terms with this terrible tragedy. The family is in constant contact with authorities and thank them for their extremely thorough investigation. The family believes this matter is being handled professionally and with the seriousness that it requires.

The family welcomes any and all information that could lead to the identification of the individuals responsible, and certainly welcomes contributions that could lead to new avenues of investigation. That said, some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm that good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job. For the sake of finding Seth's killer, and for the sake of giving the family the space they need at this terrible time, they are asking for the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth's murder."
Sort of confirming they were behind the hit, Killary's team now wants to add Assange to the Clinton Body Count:

Eye 2

War-crazy former CIA director who supports Killary wants to kill Russians and Iranians and threaten Assad

© Jose Luis Magana / Reuters
Former CIA Director Michael Morell
Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, who supports Hillary Clinton and insists that Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to "pay the price."

The ex-CIA chief, who worked with Clinton while she was secretary of state, told CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose that Iran and Russia should "pay a big price" in Syria - and by that he meant killing them.

"When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia who were killing American soldiers," Morell said. "The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria, we need to make the Russians pay a price," he continued.

When asked if that meant killing Russians and Iranians, Morell fully agreed, qualifying the answer with "covertly."

Comment: And this is the kind of guy that supports a creature like Killary. Morrell's statements really put the current situation in Syria in context. The U.S. is covertly killing Syrians, Russians, and Iranians in Syria by supporting radical mujahedin, just like they did in Afghanistan. And just like those mujahedin later became al-Qaeda, the radicals the West supports in Syria are al-Qaeda today. Let that sink in. See also: State sponsored terrorism: Has CIA's plot to 'covertly' kill Russians in Syria come to pass?

Steve Chovanec's latest on this is a must-read: U.S.: "Yeah, we support al-Qaeda, but don't worry cuz it's okay"


BREAKING: Aleppo battle updates - SAA now have the advantage

Green: foreign-backed 'rebels'. Red: SAA and allies.
Total Overview - Aleppo Battle now favors SAA (August 8)

  • The siege has not been 'broken' in strategic terms, but the situation was fluid through most of August 7th - 'rebels' from each side have connected, but are under constant shelling and fire, and cannot make use of this
  • The 'rebel' sally was an act of planned desperation
  • 'Rebel' forces have experienced a 30-50% casualty rate
  • The 'rebel' gains of late August 6th have been largely rolled back
  • The SAA 'liberated bridge' (see map above and below) remains in SAA hands
  • The military academy was retaken by the end of the 6th, Tigers were involved
  • Hezbollah's Special Forces heavy involvement confirmed
  • The 'rebels' have gone through all their heavy tanks and are left with medium tanks
  • Russian bombing sorties were used strategically in places where 'rebel' groupings were drawn/lured using tactical withdraw - see video below
  • SAA and allies losses have been comparatively low (withdraws were tactical in nature)
  • SAA successfully brought in reinforcements
  • The maps are only misleading insofar as the SAA holding of west Aleppo would otherwise appear as a potential cauldron - but only the SAA has access to air force
  • The group that decapitated the boy have been positively identified in this battle (still alive as of now) - see video below
  • Radar equipment in Aleppo used by 'rebels' is reported to have been found, and is of the type used by Turkey

Comment: Sputnik also reports that the terrorists in east Aleppo remain surrounded; all supply lines are controlled by the Syrian army. A Syrian militia fighter told Sputnik that during the last 10 days, the Syrian army and associated militias killed 2,000 of the attacking terrorists. The Syrians and Russians bombed the al-Qaeda base of operations in Idlib city, just 40 miles away from Aleppo and which is used by AQ as a staging ground for the offensive on Aleppo. Footage of the aerial attacks:


DC Leaks: Breedlove conspired to lie about Russian aggression in Ukraine, get more weapons deliveries for Kiev

Cold war lunatic.
Working with dubious sourcing, a group close to NATO's chief military commander Philip Breedlove sought to secure weapons deliveries for Ukraine, a trove of newly released emails revealed. The efforts served to intensify the conflict between the West and Russia.

In private, the general likes to wear leather. Philip Mark Breedlove, 60, is a well-known Harley-Davidson fan, and up until a few weeks ago, he also served as the commander of NATO and American troops in Europe. Even during his tenure as the military leader of the alliance, the American four-star general would trade his blue Air Force uniform for motorcycle gear and explore Europe's roads with his friends.

Photos show a man with broad shoulders, a wide gait and an even wider smile. The pictures of the general's motorcycle tours were recently made public on the online platform DC Leaks. Restraint, it seems, was never Breedlove's thing.

The photos are the entertaining part of an otherwise explosive collection of Breedlove's private email correspondence. Most of the 1,096 hacked emails date back to the dramatic 12 months of the Ukraine crisis after Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014. Thousands died in the skirmishes between Kiev's troops and Moscow-aligned separatists. More than 2 million civilians fled eastern Ukraine.

Russia supports the separatists with weapons, fighters and consultants. When people began calling for Washington to also massively intervene in 2015, the Ukraine conflict risked escalating into a war between East and West.

Gold Seal

Russia defeats terrorists while America hails a freak show

© REUTERS/ Hosam Katan
A curious thing in the Western media this weekend is how little coverage is being given to a momentous victory unfolding in Syria. The Syrian Arab Army and Russian forces are about to close the final chapter in the five-year war - and the Western media don't seem to want to know about it.

Indeed, far more media coverage is given to Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Democrat's presidential candidate. While Clinton was declaring to her party's convention how she would wipe out Islamist terrorists in the Middle East, the Syrian army and its Russian allies were actually getting on with that very job.

Syria's northern city of Aleppo - which was the country's biggest city before the onset of the war in 2011 - is about to be fully retaken by the Syrian army, supported by Russian air power. Humanitarian corridors have been created to allow civilians and surrendering fighters to escape before the final assault begins on anti-government militias holed up in the east of the city.