Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons Throughout The War: A Partial List Of Mainstream Admissions

Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons Throughout The War: A Partial List Of Mainstream Admissions

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says the Saturday evening armed opposition/Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) mortar attack on three districts in government-held Aleppo did involve chemical gas. Over 100 people were hospitalized by what was widely reported to be a chlorine attack. According to SOHR, as reported by Reuters: "In Aleppo city which the government controls, the shells had spread a strong stench and caused breathing problems, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said." It's significant that SOHR should confirm this as western media have long relied upon the UK-based...

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Defining “The Mission” Whether in Afghanistan Or Texas

Defining “The Mission” Whether in Afghanistan Or Texas

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Wednesday addressed active duty troops who've been stationed in an unlikely place: the US-Mexico border, where close to 6,000 troops have been dispatched by Trump ahead of the much hyped caravan expected to seek illegal entry into the country. There were some stunningly frank and eye opening statements during his televised speech given in the "field" (alongside Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen) at a border patrol station in Brownsville, Texas which just as easily could have been said in front of troops in Afghanistan. Via BuzzFeed reporter Vera...

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Here’s why Europe went to Istanbul to talk Syria (without the U.S.)

Here’s why Europe went to Istanbul to talk Syria (without the U.S.)

Wow... the optics out of Saturday's Syria summit in Istanbul. While it's true there were no major breakthroughs or significant shifts in the Astana process in terms of winding down the seven-year long war to come out of the four-way meeting involving France, Germany, Russia, and host Turkey in Istanbul, the optics of "Europe going to Istanbul" — and without the United States — speaks volumes. This comes after European countries and especially France for years calling for and at times directly assisting the West's regime change efforts in Syria. And it's more telling in terms of who is absent...

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Syria Cheat Sheet: Why the US wants to bomb the Syrian Army

If you're not yet a Twitter follower of Elijah Magnier @EjmAlrai I suggest you start following him and pay attention to his work right away. He's one of the few truly "on the ground" war correspondents who regularly treks all over Syria and the region, and has been doing so for decades. While most of his reporting is in Arabic for Alrai Media based in Kuwait, he does a lot of geopolitical analysis in English via his blog. The recent White House claim that Syria is preparing a chemical attack against civilians, "including innocent children" (which is remarkably specific!), is beyond bizarre....

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Former White House Sr Advisor: “The Cult of Credibility” Will Take Us “Further Up The Escalation Ladder in Syria”

Russia will not back down, and neither will its Syrian and Iranian allies on the ground, says a former White House insider. After the dramatic downing of a Syrian Air Force jet over Raqqa province by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet on Monday, a former senior national security advisor to the Obama administration, Colin Kahl, warns that the Washington “cult of credibility” will lead the United States into “quagmire” and “further up the escalation ladder in Syria.” Kahl’s statement on the incident, issued via Twitter, gives rare confirmation of a hawkish Washington national security culture...

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Syria: From ‘no boots on the ground’ to (not so secret) forward operating bases

It's a familiar pattern by now. From "we're staying out" to "just some logistical aid to rebels" to "okay, some mere light arms to fight the evil dictator" to "well, a few anti-tank missiles wouldn't hurt" to "we gotta bomb the new super-bad terror group that emerged!" to "ah but no boots on the ground!" to "alright kinetic strikes as a deterrent" to "but special forces aren't really boots on the ground per se, right?" And on and on it goes. As of this week the public is getting a rare glimpse of more US boots on the ground in southern Syria. Not just boots, but a US Special Forces Forward...

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WikiLeaks’ Bombshell French Election Story Absent in US Media

Last week WikiLeaks released a smoking gun of a document which revealed that US spy agencies closely monitored, and even sought to covertly intervene in France's 2012 presidential election. The leaked document is not some State Department cable traffic chatter, nor is it merely the contents of some intelligence bureaucrat's email - it's an intelligence directive for a high level operation, which even contained orders for human intelligence gathering (HUMINT). According to the WikiLeaks press release: All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human...

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