(Part I is here: ‘
‘likely’ israeli strikes on military outposts in hama and aleppo reported by state tv’, april 30)
From RT’s May 2 ‘US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition’
“Announcing the start of military operations against the remaining strongholds of Islamic State, the US State Department included some pointed language, hinting at de facto partition of Syria, analysts tell RT.
“The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.The operations will be conducted by the US-led coalition and local partners, including the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces [the rebels, yanno…]
The US will also work with Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to “secure their borders” from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Nauert said. This is intriguing, because the only remaining IS presence is near the Iraqi border, with a pocket south of Damascus currently being cleared out by Syrian government forces.
Nauert also said the US will ensure there is a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria so that IS cannot return and the liberated populations “are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”
“US statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria “are only words” that serve as cover for “plans to partition Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials in Moscow. Lavrov had also warned earlier this year about Western plans to partition Syria.”
The State Department’s language is “subterfuge,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”
Washington’s objectives are aligned with the axis between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maloof added, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hoping the US will fight Iran for Israel.
“They will go alone if they have to and drag the US into it,” Maloof told RT. “We’re getting sucked into another war.”
Nauert’s reference to a “future political settlement that honors the will of all Syrians, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and other minorities” could mean either regime change or some form of partition, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. The State Department notably made no mention of Shia or Alawite Syrians.
ISIS is a sideshow. The real US targets are the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers,” Jatras said. “The stage is being set for a confrontation with Iran, in which Syria is simply one theater.”
“The reference to Christians is simply cynical. It is intended to make Americans think we give a damn about Syria’s Christians, despite seven years of arming and funding jihadists for whom Christians are prime targets for murder and enslavement,” Jatras explained.”
Now remember, this is just after Bibi’s farcical ‘Iran still has nukes!’ presentation, which came just after his having spoken with Boss Tweet and Nauert’s boss Pompeo having rushed to Tel Aviv and elsewhere to visit ‘our partners in peace’ before he even entered his New Offices. Needs brook no delays (a Hobbitism)
Vanna White, I mean Heather, had also said in her press release: “As the President said in remarks with his bromance poodle President Emmanuel Macron of France, we will ensure that there is a strong and lasting footprint in Syria such that ISIS cannot return and populations liberated from ISIS are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”
As to those 2000 troops who will stay in Syria, this from Bill van Auken at wsws today:
“Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis Monday indicated that the more than 2,000 US troops presently deployed inside Syria would not be going anywhere anytime soon. “We do not want to pull out before the diplomats have won the peace,” he said. “You win the fight—and then you win the peace.”
The reality is that the US military force, augmented by proxy ground forces based upon the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, is staying in place to secure an American zone of influence consisting of approximately a third of Syria’s territory on its northeastern borders with Turkey and Iraq. The area also contains the country’s oil and gas reserves. From their supposed mission of fighting ISIS, this US force is now turning to confronting attempts by the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to regain control of this territory and its resources.
With Russia also in discussions with Damascus on providing advanced air defense systems to Syria, the prospect for a clash between Russian forces and those of the US and Israel are steadily growing.”
He notes that Boss Tweet approved of Bibi’s act as vindicating his beliefs, and bringing John Bolton’s “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran” headline of an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times shortly before the agreement was reached on the JCPOA.
But back to the Salafist Principality and the partitioning of Syria having been in the works for a long time, here are some bits from Whitney Webb’s 4/17/2018 essay at iranian.com that are new to me and highly relevant. I know it adds a lot of reading, but this should be known. The woman seriously rocks and rolls:
“Though the U.S. currently has between 2,000 to 4,000 troops stationed in Syria, it announced the training of a 30,000-person-strong “border force” composed of U.S.-allied Kurds and Arabs in the area, which would be used to prevent northeastern Syria from coming under the control of Syria’s legitimate government. Though it backtracked somewhat after backlash from Turkey, the U.S. has continued to train “local forces” in the area. Russian military sources have asserted that former members of Daesh — who were allowed to leave cities attacked by the U.S. and their proxies, as was the case in battle for Raqqa — are to be included among the force’s ranks.
This, along with the U.S. government’s insistence on maintaining the occupation until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power, shows that the U.S. government has no intention of permitting the reunification of Syria and will continue to occupy the region over the long term.”
Control of fossil fuel deposits and flow
Northeastern Syria is an important region owing to its rich natural resources, particularly fossil fuels in the form of natural gas and oil. Indeed, this area contains 95 percent of all Syrian oil and gas potential — including al-Omar, the country’s largest oil field. Prior to the war, these resources produced some 387,000 barrels of oil per day and 7.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, and were of great economic importance to the Syrian government. However, more significantly, nearly all the existing Syrian oil reserves – estimated at around 2.5 billion barrels – are located in the area currently occupied by the U.S. government.
In addition to Syria’s largest oil field, the U.S. and its proxies in northeast Syria also control the Conoco gas plant, the country’s largest. The plant, which can produce nearly 50 million cubic feet of gas per day, was originally built by U.S. oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips, which operated the plant until 2005, after which Bush-era sanctions made it difficult to operate in Syria. Other foreign oil companies, like Shell, also left Syria as a result of the sanctions.
With the U.S. now occupying the area, the oil and gas produced in this region are already benefiting U.S. energy corporations to which Trump and his administration have numerous ties. According to Yeni Şafak, the U.S. along with the Saudis, Egypt, and Kurdish officials held meetings where decisions were made to extract, process and market the fossil fuels harvested in the region, with the Kurds being given a handsome share of the profits. As of 2015, the Kurds were said to be earning in excess of $10 million every month.” [large snip]
“While the U.S. occupation of Syria is no doubt motivated by a desire to exploit the region’s oil and gas resources for itself, the U.S.’ refusal to leave the area is also born out of a concern that, were the U.S. to leave, its chief rival, Russia, would claim the oil and gas riches of Syria’s northeast. Indeed, according to an energy cooperation framework signed in January, Russia will have exclusive rights to produce oil and gas in areas of Syria controlled by the Syrian government.”
Then comes a longish section on: Location, location: pipeline maps and a zero-sum game with Russia, maps of pipelines and oil and gas fields, as well as pipeline clashes, and US plans to build a new pipeline from the Persian Gulf to Northern Iraq and into Turkey through northeastern Syria, with the ultimate goal of supplying oil to Europe.
Her section on Water and land resources is eye-opening:
“Beyond fossil fuels and pipelines, northeast Syria boasts several other key advantages in terms of resources. Chief among those is water – a resource of prime importance in the Middle East. The U.S.-controlled portion of Syria is home to the country’s three largest freshwater reservoirs, which are fed by the Euphrates river.
One of those reservoirs now controlled by the U.S. and its proxies, Lake Assad, is the country’s largest freshwater reservoir and supplies government-held Aleppo with most of its drinking water. It also provides the city with much of its electrical power, which is generated by Tabqa Dam, also located in the occupied territory. Another key hydroelectric power plant is located at Tishrin Dam and is also controlled by U.S.-backed proxy forces.” (Kurds at Tishrin Dam and hydro-power plant below)
She explains exactly how the Partners in Partition could easily cut off water and electricity to Syrian citizens, as has happened a number of times already to further destabilize the nation, then clips a portion of the DIA report:
“The U.S. plan to create a Wahhabi enclave in northeast Syria was directly referenced in a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report from 2012. That report stated:
“THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…” [capitalization original]
Despite Daesh’s defeat, their presence in Northeastern Syria, as the DIA reveals, was cultivated to provide a pretext for the foreign control of the region.”
In her ‘Partition chess: thinking two moves ahead’ section, she brings in WikiLeaks docs on Syria, declassified CIA docs, same, and of course a link to her ‘Bolton has long advocated for combining northeastern Syria with northwestern Iraq in order to create a new country, which Bolton called “Sunnistan”.
And in her conclusion she agrees:
Aiming at Iran
While gaining control of key resources for partitioning Syria and destabilizing the government in Damascus, the U.S.’ main goal in occupying the oil and water rich northeastern Syria is aimed not at Syria but at Iran.”
Bibi is also on record saying that there is no way in hell that he’ll allow Iran to have a toe hold in Syria.
Bonus, as if you need more to read. ‘Diagnosing the West with Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD)’ The Empire Is Obsessed with Perverse Types Of Punishment, by Andre Vltchek / April 25th, 2018 (with gut-ripping images)