How Putin will Win in Syria – The Russian People are quite proud of the way their forces have been conducting themselves. Of course, who wouldn’t be?

putin-cheers

The reason Putin will succeed where the US failed in its war on ISIS, is because the Russian air-strikes are going to be accompanied by a formidable mop-up operation that will overpower the jihadi groups on the ground. This is already happening as we speak.

The Russian Air Force has been pounding terrorist targets across the Idlib Governorate for the last few days as well as ISIS strongholds in the East at Raffa. On Sunday, according to a report filed by South Front, roughly 700 militants surrendered to members of the 147th Syrian tank brigade shortly after bombers had attacked nearly cities of Mardeij, Ma’arat Al-Nu’man, Jisr Al-Shughour, Saraqib and Sarmeen. This is the pattern we expect to see in the weeks ahead. Russian bombers will soften targets on the frontlines, ground troops will move into position, and untold numbers of jihadis will either flee, surrender or get cut down where they stand. Bottom line: Syria is not going to be a quagmire as the media has predicted. To the contrary, Putin is going to cut through these guys like crap through a goose.

According to South Front:

“Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, said the strikes have significantly reduced the terrorists’ combat capabilities.” In other words, the Russian offensive is already producing positive results. This is no small matter. By most accounts, the conflict had deteriorated into a stalemate. Now, with Russia in the picture, that’s changed. Now the table is clearly tilted in Syria’s favor.

Also, according to an earlier report: “The positioning of Russian aircraft in Syria gives the Kremlin the ability to shape and control the battle-space in both Syria and Iraq out of all proportion to the size of the Russian force.” (“International Military Review – Syria, Oct 5, 2015“, South Front)

The Russian air-base at Latakia is perfectly situated for providing air cover or bombing terrorist targets across the country. The Russian airforce will also make every effort to cut off supply lines and escape routes so that as many jihadis as possible are liquidated within Syria’s borders. This is why ISIS positions along the main highway to Iraq were destroyed on Sunday. The jihadi thugs will be given every chance to die in battle as they wish, but getting out alive is not going to be so easy.

There was an article in the Guardian on Sunday that caused quiet a stir among people who are following events in Syria. Here’s a clip:

“Regional powers have quietly, but effectively, channeled funds, weapons and other support to rebel groups making the biggest inroads against the forces from Damascus…..In a week when Russia made dozens of bombing raids, those countries have made it clear that they remain at least as committed to removing Assad as Moscow is to preserving him.“There is no future for Assad in Syria,” Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir warned, a few hours before the first Russian bombing sorties began. If that was not blunt enough, he spelled out that if the president did not step down as part of a political transition, his country would embrace a military option, “which also would end with the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power”. With at least 39 civilians reported dead in the first bombing raids, the prospect of an escalation between backers of Assad and his opponents is likely to spell more misery for ordinary Syrians.“The Russian intervention is a massive setback for those states backing the opposition, particularly within the region – Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – and is likely to elicit a strong response in terms of a counter-escalation,” said Julien Barnes-Dacey, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.” (“Gulf states plan military response as Putin raises the stakes in Syria“, Guardian)

Saudi Arabia poses no real threat to Putin’s operation in Syria. The Saudis may talk tough, but they already have their hands full with a crashing economy (due to plunging oil prices) and a war in Yemen they have no chance of winning. They’re certainly not going to get more deeply involved in Syria.

It is possible, however, that the Obama administration is planning to use the Saudis as cover for shoring up their support for opposition groups within Syria. There is a high probability that that will happen. Even so, there’s not an endless pool of crackpot mercenaries who want to face a modern airforce with precision-guided munitions for a couple hundred bucks a week. That’s not what you’d call “a job with a future”. Keep in mind, the various Intel agencies have already called in their chits and attracted as many of these dead-enders as they possibly could from far-flung places like Chechnya, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan etc. And while I’m sure Langley keeps a lengthy file of potential candidates for future assignments, I’m also sure that there are a limited number of people who are willing to meet their Maker just so they can belong to some renegade organization and die with a machine gun in their hands. In fact, we may have already reached “peak terrorist” after which there could be a steady falloff following the downward trajectory of US power in the Middle East and around the world. As we shall undoubtedly see in the months ahead, Syria could very well be the straw that broke the Empire’s back. Here’s more from the Guardian:

“The best way to respond to the Russian intervention is to engage the rebels more and step up support so they can face down the escalation and create a balance on the ground,” he said. “The Russians will [then] realise there are limits to what they can achieve in Syria, and modify their approach.” But the wider regional struggle for influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran makes it almost impossible for Riyadh to walk away, whatever the cost.” (Guardian)

Is it just me or does the author of this piece sound positively elated at the prospect of a bloodier war?

Also, it would have helpful if he had mentioned that arming, funding and training disparate jihadi organizations to effect regime change in a sovereign nation is a violation of international law and the UN Charter. Of course, maybe the author thought that would have made his article too stuffy or pedantic? In any event, the idea that the enfeebled Saudis are going to derail the Russia-Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance in their drive to annihilate ISIS and al-Qaida-linked groups is a pipe-dream. The only country that could make a difference in the outcome, is the United States. And, the fact is, Washington’s neocons don’t have the cojones to take on Moscow mano-a-mano, so Putin’s clean-up operation is going to continue on schedule.

By the way, the pundits were wrong about the way the Russian people would react to Moscow’s involvement in Syria, too. As it happens, they’re quite proud of the way their forces have been conducting themselves. Of course, who wouldn’t be? They’ve been kicking ass and taking names since Day 1. Check out this report from CBS News:

“Whatever effect Russia’s airstrikes are having on the ground in Syria, their impact at home is clear: They prove to Russians that their country is showing up the United States and reclaiming its rightful place as a global power….Channel One’s evening news program on Saturday opened with dramatic cockpit videos of Russian jets making what were described as direct hits on terrorist training camps and weapons stores. The bombs were never off by more than five meters, a military spokesman said, because of the jets’ advanced targeting capabilities.This was followed by a report of the disastrous airstrike in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that destroyed a hospital and killed at least 19 people, including international medical staff. U.S. responsibility for the airstrike had not been proven, but Russian viewers were left with little doubt of who was to blame or of whose military capabilities were superior.” (“Russia’s airstrikes in Syria are playing well at home”, CBS News)

So the Russian people are proud of the way Putin is fighting the war on terror. Is there something wrong with that? Many Americans are old enough to remember a time when they were proud of their own country too, when it actually stood up for the principles it espouses in its founding documents. That was quite a while ago though, sometime back in the “pre-Gitmo” era”.

One last thing: There’s an extraordinary article by author Aron Lund of the Carnegie Endowment titled “Putin’s Plan: What Will Russia Bomb in Syria?” What’s so interesting about the piece is that it was published on September 23, a full week before Russia entered the war, and yet, Lund seems to have anticipated Putin’s actual battle plan. Military geeks are going to love this piece which is well worth reading in full. Here’s a short blurb from the text:

“If at some point Putin decides to target other groups than the Islamic State, he’s not likely to stop at the Nusra Front. Whether right off the bat or after a while, he could easily widen the circle of attacks from al-Qaeda and start blasting away at every rebel group in Idlib, Hama, and Latakia under the pretext that they are either “terrorists” or “terrorist allies.” … the Kremlin has every reason to continue blurring the already indistinct dividing line between “extremist” and “moderate” rebels upon which Western states insist. Even though this neatly black and white categorization of Syria’s murky insurgency is at least partly fiction, it remains a politically indispensable formula for Western states that wish to arm anti-Assad forces. Which is precisely why erasing this distinction by extending airstrikes against all manners of rebels as part of an ostensibly anti-jihadi intervention, may turn out to be Putin’s long-term plan.Blanket attacks on Syrian rebels on the pretext that they are all “al-Qaeda” would lead to much outraged commentary in the Western and Arab press. But to the Russian president it doesn’t matter if you think he’s Mad Vlad or Prudent Putin. He isn’t trying to win hearts and minds, least of all those of the Syrian rebels or their backers. Rather, he is trying to change the balance of power on the ground while firing missile after missile into the West’s political narrative. Whatever one thinks of that, it is a big and bold idea of the sort that sometimes end up working.” (“Putin’s Plan: What Will Russia Bomb in Syria”, Aron Lund, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace“)

We couldn’t agree more. Putin is not going to stop for anything or anyone. He’s going to nail these guys while he has them in his gun-sights, then he’s going to wrap it up and go home. By the time the Obama crew get’s its act together and realizes that they have to stop the bombing pronto or their whole regime change operation is going to go up in smoke, Putin’s going to be blowing kisses from atop a float ambling through Red Square in Moscow’s first tickertape parade since the end of WW2.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Copyright © Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, 2015

THE WARMONGER David Cameron, THE PUPPET OF BRITISH PETROLEUM-ROTHSCHILDS

UK military mission in Syria and Irak is illegal and does not have any legal authority

~ [EXCERPTS COLLECTION]

 

Submitted on 2014/10/25 at 5:56 pm

“LEGAL CHALLENGE TO BRIT GOVT: “FULLY DISCLOSE YOUR AUTHORIZATION & LEGAL GROUNDS FOR USING MILITARY FORCE IN SYRIA”(21.10.2014)

The British government albeit illegally rely on continuing UN ‘resolutions’ on Iraq to illegally be in Iraq, (which we already have groundbreaking High Court legal proceedings against the British government in the UK over) while there are no legal grounds etc for their latest proposed military mission in Syria.

The fact there may be British hostages in Syria does not, as one ‘news’ source claims provide the necessary legal grounds, for the claim there ‘will be authorization’ (which is not in any event the same as fully disclosing an actual written authorization’ for) British military to enter Syria.

It is clear that ‘hostages’ voluntarily chose to enter what they knew was a war zone in Syria, that they knew the British government and military did not have any legal authority to act in……..

In a written ministerial statement, Fallon said Reaper drones would be starting operations “very shortly” and would be used alongside Rivet Joint planes.

“As well as their operations over Iraq, both Reapers and Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft will be authorised to fly surveillance missions over Syria to gather intelligence as part of our efforts to protect our national security from the terrorist threat emanating from there,” he told MPs.

“Reapers are not authorised to use weapons in Syria; that would require further permission.”

Asked why parliament had not been consulted about the use of UK drones to conduct surveillance over Syria, Cameron’s deputy official spokesman said it was because it did not amount to military action…..”

“Britain and France were both to play a part. On 29 August [2013], the day Parliament voted against Cameron’s bid to join the intervention [AGAINST SYRIA], the Guardian reported that he had already ordered six RAF Typhoon fighter jets to be deployed to Cyprus, and had volunteered a submarine capable of launching Tomahawk missiles. ”

” US-NATO intervention [AGAINST LIBYA] leading to the eventual formation of a US puppet regime is also intent upon excluding China from the region and edging out CNPC. The Anglo-American oil giants including British Petroleum which signed an exploration contract in 2007 with the Gaddafi government are among the potential “beneficiaries” of the proposed US-NATO military operation. ”
http://www.gasandoil.com/news/2011/03/operation-libya-and-the-battle-for-oil

BP IS CONNECTED WITH THE ROTHSCHILDS:

1) ” Former BP (BP.L) boss Tony Hayward and financier Nathaniel Rothschild [SON OF JACOB ROTHSCHILD] aim to raise around 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) with a June listing of an acquisition vehicle that will target oil assets….”
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/09/us-vallares-idUSTRE7581HK20110609
http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Prince+Charles/Jacob+Rothschild/Reception+Held+Prince+Charles+London/08Isgaq04Qa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Rothschild,_4th_Baron_Rothschild http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/ http://www.thefullwiki.org/Waddesdon_Manor

2) BENJAMIN DE ROTHSCHILD “TRAINED AT A NUMBER OF GROUP ENTITIES AND AT THE BP Plc OIL COMPANY IN LONDON.” http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyOfficers?symbol=RLD.S

“in 1996, Baron Benjamin Rothschild was arrested at an airport in England and fined $600 for heroin possession. ”
http://nypost.com/2000/05/04/his-wealth-couldnt-buy-him-invincibility-bank-scions-death-an-apparent-od-after-wild-night-of-partying/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_de_Rothschild http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/11/18/rothschild.ppl/

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/baron-benjamin-de-rothschild-his-wife-baroness-ariane-de-news-photo/170740077 http://wikimapia.org/6825620/fr/Chateau-de-Pregny http://www.panoramio.com/photo/77169200

3) Sir Eric Drake ” Chairman of BP 1969-1975….Became a Knight of the British Empire in 1970. One of the sponsors of a fundraiser of the British Library of Political and Economic Science in 1973, together with Pierre Trudeau, Sir EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD,…”
http://inormous.net/ISGP/organisations/1001_Club_members_list.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Robert_de_Rothschild
http://www.gettyimages.nl/detail/nieuwsfoto’s/queen-elizabeth-ii-meets-sir-evelyn-de-rothschild-lady-nieuwsfotos/72668835
http://www.breathingenglishair.blogspot.fr/2012/04/ascott-house-buckinghamshire.html http://www.thefullwiki.org/Ascott_House

4) FRANCOIS HENROT, DIRECTOR OF BP FRANCE, IS ALSO A DIRECTOR OF ROTHSCHILD & CIE OWNED BY DAVID DE ROTHSCHILD, ERIC DE ROTHSCHILD, EDOUARD DE ROTHSCHILD AND NATHANIEL DE ROTHSCHILD .
http://www.carrefour.com/sites/default/files/comptes98-euro.pdf
http://www.rothschild.com/David_de_Rothschild/ http://wikimapia.org/17601454/Ch%C3%A2teau-de-Reux
http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/ujN9J6tdHtq/Queen+Elizabeth+II+Visits+Paris+Day+2/opUQPUfXD7N/David+de+Rothschild
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/eric-de-rothschild-and-wife-maria-beatrice-caracciolo-di-news-photo/84616462 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edouard_Etienne_de_Rothschild

3,000 ISIS infiltrators may enter Turkey, plan to attack diplomatic targets – report

diplomatic.si

RT news – Published time: February 19, 2015 18:04

 Up to 3,000 trained jihadists are seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq, with intentions of striking diplomatic targets belonging to anti-ISIS coalition partners, the Turkish intelligence service told the police in an internal memo.

“The jihadist militants could be working on armed or bombing attacks in Ankara and Istanbul against the diplomatic missions of the countries involved in the US-led anti-ISIL [ISIS] coalition,” said the Hurriyet newspaper, citing the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

The agency, which refused to provide additional information when contacted by Reuters, warned the police that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists repelled from the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria, are now looking for ways to cross the border. Hurriyet said that MIT sent a warning as far back as February 3 to local police departments, in an attempt to intercept the flow of terrorists.

It was unclear how many of the jihadists have already penetrated the Turkish border, but MIT said that some have already been sheltered in safe houses in the south of the country. MIT reports that some of the terrorists – a group of men from 17 to 25 from Palestine and Syria – intend to cross into Bulgaria, and from there into the rest of the EU.

B8yEaJLCIAErf9k

Kurds retake as admits retreat http://on.rt.com/59ldpi 

The US Embassy in Baghdad “is Running Islamic State (ISIL) Operations”, US Weapons Airdrops for the Terrorists, Iran General

 

 

isis-hummer-400x275TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said the US embassy in Baghdad is the command center for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Takfiri terrorists.

“The US directly supports the ISIL in Iraq and the US planes drop the needed aids and weapons for ISIL in Iraq …,” General Naqdi said, addressing a group of Basij forces in Tehran on Monday.

He added that the Iraqi forces have even retrieved some of the aids dropped by the US planes for the ISIL terrorists.

Last week, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.

In Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.

“The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular Basij (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future,” Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.

“The ISIL terrorists are still receiving aids from unidentified fighter jets in Iraq and Syria,” she added.

Hababi said that the coalition’s precise airstrikes are launched only in those areas where the Kurdish Pishmarga forces are present, while military strikes in other regions are not so much precise.

In late December, the US-led coalition dropped aids to the Takfiri militants in an area North of Baghdad.

Field sources in Iraq told al-Manar that the international coalition airplanes dropped aids to the terrorist militants in Balad, an area which lies in Salahuddin province North of Baghdad.

In October, a high-ranking Iranian commander also slammed the US for providing aid supplies to ISIL, adding that the US claims that the weapons were mistakenly airdropped to ISIL were untrue.

“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group – while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition’s and the US’ claims,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.

The US claimed that it had airdropped weapons and medical aid to Kurdish fighters confronting the ISIL in Kobani, near the Turkish border in Northern Syria.

The US Defense Department said that it had airdropped 28 bundles of weapons and supplies, but one of them did not make it into the hands of the Kurdish fighters.

Video footage later showed that some of the weapons that the US airdropped were taken by ISIL militants.

The Iranian commander insisted that the US had the necessary intelligence about ISIL’s deployment in the region and that their claims to have mistakenly airdropped weapons to them are as unlikely as they are untrue.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed.

Islamic State Obtaining US Weapons Due to Lack of US-Syria Cooperation: Moscow

Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

© REUTERS

RIA NOVOSTI – October 23, 2014

MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti)Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

“There is no coordination between the [anti-terror] coalition and Damascus, since Washington persistently refuses to recognize the government of Bashar Assad as a partner in the combat against terrorism. As a result, the IS fighters seize weapons the US Air Force aircraft are dropping for the Kurdish squads,” the official said at a press briefing.

The diplomat also noted that the US-led airstrikes against the insurgents have failed to achieve any significant success.

He argued that Syrian aircraft are performing over 150 air strikes on a daily basis, while the “so-called coalition with its broad opportunities limits itself to 10 to 15 or sometimes five to seven strikes a day.”

Following the proclamation of a caliphate on the captured swathes of Iraq and Syria by the IS, the United States resorted to military action.

Washington launched airstrikes against the insurgents in Iraq in August and extended its attacks to Syria the following month, though without requesting an approval from the Syrian government, which the West considers illegitimate.

US President Barack Obama formed a large international coalition to fight terrorism in the Middle East, many members of which, including its Arab allies, the United Kingdom and France, are taking part in the airstrikes. Russia has expressed an unwillingness to join any coalitions that bypass the United Nations.

 

 

 

Report: U.S. Air Strike in Syria Kills 27 civilians including Six Children, Zero ISIS Members

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Residents of a village in northwestern Syria are in shock after U.S. air strikes demolished two neighborhoods, despite there being no ISIS militants in the area, killing 27 people including six children.

Aljazeera –September 29, 2014 8:00AM ET

Latest air raid on ISIL targets hits grain silos, killing workers and destroying country’s largest gas plant.

U.S.-led air strikes hit grain silos and other targets in Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-controlled territory in northern and eastern Syria overnight, killing civilians and wounding insurgents, a group monitoring the war said on Monday.

The aircraft may have mistaken the mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij for an ISIL base, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. There was no immediate comment from Washington.

The United States has targeted ISIL and other fighters in Syria since last week with the help of Arab allies, and has targeted ISIL in Iraq since last month. Washington says it aims to damage and destroy the bases, forces and supply lines of the Al-Qaeda offshoot that has captured large areas of both countries.

The strikes in Manbij appeared to have killed only civilians, not fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory, which gathers information from sources in Syria.

These were the workers at the silos. They provide food for the people,” he said. He could not give a number of casualties and it was not immediately possible to verify the information.

Manbij sits between the western city of Aleppo and the northern town of Kobani, which ISIL has been trying to capture from Kurdish forces, forcing tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee over the border to Turkey.

Syria’s army also carried out air raids in Aleppo province overnight, targeting anti-government rebels, though not specifically ISIL, in areas east of Aleppo city with barrel bombs and other projectiles, the Observatory said. The army also carried out air strikes in Hama in western Syria.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been battling rebel fighters around Aleppo, which is held by a number of factions.

In eastern Syria, U.S.-led forces bombed a gas plant controlled by ISIL outside Deir al-Zour city, wounding several of the militant group’s fighters, the Observatory said.

The U.S. has said it wants strikes to target oil facilities held by ISIL to try to stem a major source of revenues for the group.

The raid hit Kuniko gas plant, which feeds a power station in Homs that provides several provinces with electricity and powers oil fields generators, the Observatory said.

U.S.-led warplanes also hit areas of Hasaka city in the northeast and the outskirts of Raqqa city in the north, ISIL’s de facto Syrian capital.

I Did It My Way…

 Pentagon Posts Videos of Airstrikes in Syria on YouTube

These three strikes were part of a wide-ranging operation in Syria launched by the United States along with Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The strikes were the first ones conducted inside Syria, and follow a series of air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. These operations, the Pentagon said, are “part of the President’s comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat” ISIS.

 

 

 

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way…

U.S. President Barack Obama called for united action to confront violent extremism Wednesday, as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly after a second day of U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Airstrikes were carried out overnight Tuesday into Wednesday against five more targets: four in Iraq and one in Syria, the U.S. Central Command said.

In Syria, a U.S. aircraft and coalition plane struck an ISIS staging area near the Iraqi border, northwest of Al Qa’im, damaging eight ISIS vehicles.

In Iraq, two airstrikes west of Baghdad destroyed two ISIS armed vehicles and a weapons cache. Two airstrikes southeast of the city of Irbil destroyed ISIS fighting positions.

The latest raids come on the heels of major airstrikes in Syria early Tuesday.

President Barack Obama’s call for action comes as he faces questions about his decision to bomb terror groups in Syria without approval from the U.N. Security Council or U.S. Congress.  

As Pepe Escobar has written, “So call this warped western a masterful depiction of American exceptionalism. And mirror it with the soft pull of a dying, lone superpower which is still capable of turning the whole planet into junkies, addicted to the cinematically sumptuous spectacle of its own demise.

Speaking in New York, Obama told of the need to confront the “threats” (to the US Empire?)  that face the world today, including the violent extremism embodied by the radical group ISIS, also referred to as the “Islamic State” or ISIL.

“It is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along fault lines of “tribe or sect; race or religion,” he said.   Is this the reason why the military occupied Ferguson?

“This is not simply a matter of words. Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by “religiously motivated fanatics”, and the trends that fuel their recruitment.”

At the same time, Obama stressed that the United States “is not and never will be at war with Islam.”

‘A hateful cause’

To battle extremists like ISIS, the world must focus on four areas, the ruler of the world said.

First, he said, ISIS must be degraded and ultimately destroyed. Second, it is time for the world to explicitly reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIS.

Third, the world must address the cycle of conflict, including sectarian conflict, that creates the conditions that terrorists thrive on. And fourth, Arab and Muslim countries must focus on the potential of their people, especially youths.

The United States is not standing alone in the fight against ISIS, Obama said. “Nor do we intend to send U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands.”

Instead, the United States will use its “military might in a campaign of airstrikes” against ISIS, help train and equip forces fighting them on the ground, work to cut off their financing and stop the flow of foreign fighters, he said.

“Already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. Today, I ask the world to join in this effort. Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can,” he warned.

“Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone. For we will not succumb to threats; and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy.”

Obama’s call for action comes as he faces questions about his decision to bomb terror groups in Syria without approval from the U.N. Security Council or U.S. Congress.

 

U.S. strikes the Khorasan group in Syria

Map: Airstrikes in Syria
Map: Airstrikes in Syria

Tomahawk missiles launched against ISIS

And as the President takes the world stage, U.S. law enforcement agencies are looking out for possible lone-wolf attack plots to retaliate for the bombings.

Why not strike the regime?

While some Syrians celebrated the U.S. airstrikes on radical militants, others expressed frustration that President Bashar al-Assad’s government, which world leaders blame for thousands of civilian deaths, goes unscathed. In other words, they want him killed.

“I am just wondering why the U.S. didn’t bomb the regime’s brigades,” Aleppo resident Foaad Hallak said.

“If the international community is willing to show their good intentions to Syrians, they have to bomb the regime and its militias and also ISIS, and also they have to supply FSA (the rebel Free Syrian Army) with anti-aircraft missiles.”

Muhammad al-Dleby said he was frustrated that after three years and more than 100,000 deaths in Syria, “the international community stepped in only because radical militants were “a threat to its interests.”

“Assad is the biggest terrorist in Syria, and he did crimes that even … extremists didn’t do,” he said.

Kerry: Strikes effective but will take time

So far, U.S. Central Command has conducted 198 airstrikes across Iraq against ISIS and, along with partner nations, another 20 airstrikes against the group across Syria.

Conceding that airstrikes haven’t flushed out ISIS in Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that U.S airpower may nonetheless have prevented the fall of Baghdad and Irbil to the militants.

“What we’ve done is we’ve stopped the onslaught,” he told crypto-glamorous Pentagon/State Department stenographer Christiane Amanpour anchoring CNN’s coverage from New York. Christiane Amanpour.

“That was what we were able to achieve with air power. They were moving towards Irbil. They were moving towards Baghdad. Baghdad could well have fallen. Irbil could have fallen.”

U.S. airstrikes aren’t designed to defeat ISIS by themselves, Kerry said. “You and others should not be looking for some massive retreat in the next week or two,” he said.  Boots on the ground…?

The airstrikes early Tuesday in Syria came in three waves, with coalition partners participating in the latter two, Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr. said Tuesday.

The airstrikes against ISIS focused primarily on the city of Raqqa, the declared capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The operation began with a flurry of Tomahawk missiles launched from the sea, followed by attacks from bomber and fighter aircraft, a senior U.S. military official told CNN.

The goal: Taking out ISIS’ ability to command, train and resupply its militants.

In all, 200 pieces of ordnance were dropped by coalition members, and four dozen aircraft were used, a U.S. official told CNN. About 150 weapons used were precision-guided munitions. The United States fired 47 Tomahawk missiles, eight of them against Khorasan targets.

The first wave mostly targeted the Khorasan Group, whom Obama described as “seasoned al Qaeda operatives in Syria.

‘There are five Arab “friendly monarchs” involved’

The second wave of airstrikes Tuesday involved ISIS targets in northern Syria, including the town of Raqqa.

The third wave involved planes targeting ISIS training camps and combat vehicles in eastern Syria, Mayville said.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan took part in airstrikes on the ISIS targets, the U.S. military said, while Qatar played a supporting role.

In all, 200 pieces of ordnance were dropped by coalition members, a U.S. official told CNN.

The toll

It’s too early to say what effect the U.S. strikes had against the Khorasan Group, Mayville said.

U.S. officials said “the group was plotting attacks against the United States and other Western targets”. The intelligence community discovered the plots against the United States in the past week, an intelligence source told CNN.

The attacks on ISIS, however, destroyed targets including training compounds, command-and-control facilities, a finance center and supply trucks, the U.S. Central Command said.

The airstrikes apparently took a toll on another terror group, killing the leader of the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, according to a statement from the group.

Al-Nusra Front identified the leader as Abu Yousef al-Turki, also known as “The Turk.” It posted a statement on Twitter, accompanied by a so-called proof-of-death — a photograph — of al-Turki.

But the United States has not identified al-Nusra as a group targeted in the strikes.

Activist: ISIS fighters keep low profile

An activist from Raqqa, who uses the pseudonym Maher al-Ahmad, told CNN he’d gone back to the town after the airstrikes.

“It’s the first time I didn’t see ISIS in the streets, that I was able to walk around, because I am wanted by them,” said al-Ahmad, who moves between Raqqa and Turkey’s Gaziantep province.

He said people who were there during the strikes described them as feeling like earthquakes.

Some 20 to 25 vehicles filled with ISIS fighters, including people he believes were senior leadership because of the level of security around them, left the city within hours of the attacks, the activist said.

After keeping a low profile during the day, the ISIS fighters were out in the streets again by Tuesday evening but in lower numbers than usual, he said.

ISIS fighters began moving into the homes of civilians in the past two to three weeks, al-Ahmad said, raising fears that the civilians may be used as human shields or fall victim to future airstrikes.

Hassan al-Halabi, an activist from Aleppo, voiced similar fears, saying residents there have two main concerns about upcoming strikes in Syria.

“The first is that they are afraid of having civilian casualties because ISIS’ members and fighters are among civilians,” al-Halabi said.

“And the second concern is that what will happen after that? Who will replace ISIS, especially that the regime is ready to take control of ISIS’ areas?”

Possible retaliation

Concern over possible backlash by the terror groups against the United States has prompted the Department of Homeland Security to warn law enforcement agencies of potential lone-wolf terror attacks on American soil, a U.S. law enforcement official with knowledge of the warning told CNN.

The bulletin calls for vigilance as well as scrutinizing social media for anyone encouraging violence in response to the strikes. It points to the use of social media as a tactic by ISIS to spread its message and call for violence.

It also advises agencies to look for changes in appearance or behavior in those they’re tracking, the official said.

Extra:

Congressman OK with keeping secret the Khorasan Group strike

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told CNN’s Carol Costello on Wednesday morning that he is fine with the Obama administration not telling Congress about the U.S. attack on the Khorasan Group, a collection of senior al Qaeda members who have moved into Syria.

King said he’s known about the group for weeks, and he added that telling only a select few about plans to strike militants who could attack the U.S. was probably the only way to carry out the surprise strike. “You can’t have 435 commanders in chief,” King said, referring to the probable difficulty in having all representatives know that secret and keep it under wraps.