In the concluding part of our last post here http://wp.me/p3uJmM-1w dated September 5th 2013, the possibility of a false flag operation during the current standoff was entertained as follows :
“The conclusion has to be that anything, at anytime can happen as this standoff continues and as (sadly) proved by today’s unannounced ballistic missile launch by Israel, which it (Israel) claims was a joint launch with the US (unconfirmed by the US), it won’t take very much to set the whole thing off.”
“Such a situation is also open to the possibility of false flag operations or indeed a clandestine attack against Western forces by allies seeking to further their own personal agendas. After all it would only take a claim of being attacked by Syria from neighbouring governments (as was the case with Turkey) or indeed a claim by those forces (vessels / Aircraft and airbases) situated near or around Syria that the Assad regime had launched an attack.”
Little could anybody have known just how close the Israeli incident came to igniting the tinder box that is the Middle East (M.E.). The latest information at least suggests the possibility that the missiles fired (described below) may have actually been directed at Syria but destroyed (Thankfully) by the US. Initially Israel denied any knowledge of the missile launch as indeed did the US.
However as Al Jazeera’s reported:
Israel’s Defence Ministry later said that it, along with a team of United States military advisers, had carried out a test-launch of a Sparrow missile. The Sparrow, which simulates the long-range missiles of Syria and Iran, is used for target practice by Israel’s US-backed anti-missile system, Arrow.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the anti-missile system was a national “wall of iron”. “These things give us the power to protect ourselves, and anyone who considers harming us would do best not to,” he said in a speech.
Arrow designer Uzi Rabin said tests of the anti-missile system are planned “long, long in advance” and generally go unnoticed. “What apparently made the difference today is the high state of tension over Syria and Russia’s unusual vigilance,” he told Reuters.
Russian vigilance alerted the world to the incident via reports from their Vityaz air defense system which picked up the launch of the two cruise missiles which took place at 10:16 am Moscow time or 0616 GMT (6:16am).
Ministry of Defence report (in part below) brought to light the full extent of the incident.
A new urgent action report prepared by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) for President Putin today states that specialized forces operating the highly advanced Vityaz air defense system in the Southern Military District detected the launching of two Popeye Turbo SLCM ballistic cruise missiles from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean whereupon they were “nearly immediately” destroyed by a US Navy Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer operating in the same region.
According to this MoD report, these ballistic cruise missile launches took place at 10:16 am Moscow time (0616 GMT) with the Israelis first denying any knowledge, but subsequently stating that they were conducting missile tests in Mediterranean.
As to the exact method the US Navy utilized in destroying these two ballistic cruise missiles this MoD report does not speculate upon, but a review of an Australian Air Force technical report [Technical Report APA-TR-2007-0402] clearly shows it can be done, but only at great expense and using First-World technical skills and 21st Century technology.
The MoD report says, the Israeli motivation for launching these ballistic cruise missiles earlier today remains “highly suspect,” a situation made even more dangerous as all International treaties require advanced notification prior to conducting any tests of this type.
This MoD report further states that the launching of these ballistic cruise missiles could have been a test of Russian military capability to detect these types of launches and Kremlin resolve to notify the entire world immediately upon their detection. In the former the Russian military proved its ability to immediately detect these types of launches, and in the latter the Kremlin, indeed, showed it would not hide from the world any knowledge the West was attacking Syria.
Though not explicitly stated in this MoD report, but speculated upon, Russian defense intelligence experts contributing to it note that Israel may have been attempting to start this war by an unprovoked attack upon Syria that would be blamed on the Americans and whose effect would be the starting of at least a wide-ranging regional war, or at its worst, World War III. (Full article at fourwinds10.net)
On 31st of August 2013 a spokesman for the Libyan Defence Ministry warned that Saudi Prince Bandar delivered chemicals to the rebel forces.
Whilst being interviewed by John Robles on Voice of Russia (VOR) radio (link to audio below), The Libyan Defence Ministry spokesperson also stated the opinion that President Assad had not used chemical weapons as suggested by the West and allies.
Full transcript and Audio (MP3 file) here: VOR Radio
During a recent meeting (end of July) between President Putin of Russia and Saudi Prince Bandar on the subject of Syria. Saudi Arabia had reportedly offered to buy arms worth up to $15 billion from Russia, and provided a raft of economic and political concessions to the Kremlin – all in a bid to weaken Moscow’s endorsement of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The diplomatic initiatives were anonymously voiced to Reuters by multiple Gulf state diplomats and senior leaders of the Syrian opposition, in the wake of last week’s meeting in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi National Security Council chief Prince Bandar bin-Sultan. The Saudi politician has orchestrated his country’s foreign policy in recent months.
“Bandar offered to intensify energy, military and economic cooperation with Moscow,” a senior Syrian opposition figure told Reuters.
“Bandar sought to allay two main Russian fears: that Islamist extremists will replace Assad, and that Syria would become a conduit for Gulf, mainly Qatari, gas at the expense of Russia.”
Sources indicate that Bandar asked Putin not to oppose any future Security Council resolutions on Syria.
The London Telegraph also reported on the leaked notes, noting the Saudi prince’s attempt to further sweeten Putin with a secret sweeping oil deal and a pledge to safeguard Russia’s gas contracts should he abandon support for the Assad government. The deal appears to be in the form of an offer to form a Russian/OPEC alliance on oil production that would significantly affect global markets. While Syria is not a major oil producer, any military action taken against the country could have wider repercussions on oil markets.
Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. …
As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.
The Putin-Bandar meeting was stormy, replete with warnings of a “dramatic turn” in Syria. Mr Putin was unmoved by the Saudi offer, though western pressure has escalated since then.
“Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters,” he said, referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier. (al-Monitor)
Regime change in Syria is a strategic prize that outstrips Libya – which is why Saudi Arabia and the west are playing their part
This summer a senior Saudi official told John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, that from the outset of the upheaval in Syria, the king has believed that regime change would be highly beneficial to Saudi interests:
“The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”
This is today’s “great game” – losing Syria. And this is how it is played: Set up a hurried transitional council as sole representative of the Syrian people, irrespective of whether it has any real legs inside Syria; feed in armed insurgents from neighbouring states; impose sanctions that will hurt the middle classes; mount a media campaign to denigrate any Syrian efforts at reform; try to instigate divisions within the army and the elite; and ultimately President Assad will fall – so its initiators insist.
It is already no “game“, as the many killed by both sides attests to. The radical armed elements being used in Syria as auxiliaries to depose Assad run counter to the prospect of any outcome emerging within the western paradigm. These groups may well have a bloody and very undemocratic agenda of their own. I warned of this danger in connection to Afghanistan in the 80s: some of the Afghan mujahideen had real roots in the community, I suggested, but others posed a severe danger to people. A kindly American politician at the time placed his arm around my shoulder and told me not to worry: these were the people “kicking Soviet ass”.
We chose to look the other way because kicking the Soviets played well to US domestic needs. Today Europe looks the other way, refusing to consider who Syria’s combat-experienced insurgents taking such a toll of Syrian security forces truly are, because losing Assad and confronting Iran plays so well, particularly at a time of domestic difficulty.
The notion that such conflict will throw up a stable, let alone western-style, democracy, is fanciful at best, an act of supreme callousness at worst.
The origins of the “lose Assad” operation preceded the Arab awakening: they reach back to Israel’s failure in its 2006 war to seriously damage Hezbollah, and the post-conflict US assessment that it was Syria that represented Hezbollah’s Achilles heel – as the vulnerable conduit linking Hezbollah to Iran.
US officials speculated as to what might be done to block this vital corridor, but it was Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia who surprised them by saying that the solution was to harness Islamic forces.
The Americans were intrigued, but could not deal with such people. Leave that to me, Bandar retorted. Hannah noted that “Bandar working without reference to US interests is clearly cause for concern”. “But Bandar working as a partner … against a common Iranian enemy is a major strategic asset.” Bandar got the job.
Hypothetical planning, however, only became concrete action this year, with the overthrow of Egypt’s President Mubarak. Suddenly Israel seemed vulnerable, and a weakened Syria, mired in troubles, had heightened strategic allure.
In parallel, Qatar had stepped to the fore. Azmi Bishara, a pan-Arabist who resigned from the Israeli Knesset and self-exiled to Doha, was according to some local reports involved in a scheme in which al-Jazeera would not just report revolution, but instantiate it for the region – or at least this is what was believed in Doha in the wake of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings.
Barack Obama followed by helping to persuade Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – already piqued at Assad – to play the transitional council part on Syria’s border, and lend his legitimacy to the “resistance”. Both of the latter components, however, are not without challenges from their own security arms, who are sceptical of the efficacy of the transitional council model, and opposed to military intervention.
The transitional council model, which in Libya has displayed the weakness of leveraging just one faction as the government-in-waiting, is more starkly defective in Syria.
The internal opposition gathering in Istanbul demanded a statement refusing external intervention and armed action, but the Syrian national council was announced even before the intra-opposition talks had reached any agreement – such was the hurry on the part of external parties.
But the real danger, as Hannah himself noted, is that the Saudis might “once again fire up the old Sunni jihadist network and point it in the general direction of Shiite Iran”, which puts Syria first in line. In fact, that is exactly what is happening, but the west, as before in Afghanistan, prefers not to notice – so long as the drama plays well to western audiences.
As Foreign Affairs reported last month, Saudi and its Gulf allies are firing up the radical Salafists (fundamentalist Sunnis), not only to weaken Iran, but to do what they see is necessary to survive – to disrupt and emasculate the awakenings that threaten absolute monarchism.
Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, recently warned that the Hillary Clinton-devised response to the Arab awakening, of implanting western paradigms, by force if necessary, into the void of fallen regimes, will be seen as a “cultural war on Islam”, and will sow the seeds of a further round of radicalisation.
One of the sad paradoxes is the undercutting of moderate Sunnis, who now find themselves caught between the rock of being seen as a western tool, and the hard place of radical Sunni Salafists waiting for the opportunity to displace them and to dismantle the state.
What a strange world: Europe and the US think it is OK to “use” precisely those Islamists (including al-Qaida) who absolutely do not believe in western-style democracy in order to bring it about.
But then, why not just look the other way and gain the benefit of the public enjoying Assad’s kicking? (Complete Article by Alastair Cooke here The Guardian, Friday 4 November 2011.)
Saudi Arabia has sent death-row inmates from several nations to fight against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences, the Assyrian International News Agency reports.
Citing what it calls a “top secret memo” in April from the Ministry of Interior, AINA says the Saudi offered 1,239 inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families, which were allowed to stay in the Sunni Arab kingdom.
Syrian President Bashar Assad is an Alawite, a minority Shiite sect.
According to an English translation of the memo, besides Saudis, the prisoners included Afghans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians and Yemenis. All faced “execution by sword” for murder, rape or drug smuggling.
Russia, which has backed Assad, objected to the bargain and allegedly threatened to bring the issue to the United Nations, said an unidentified former Iraqi member of Parliament who confirmed the memo’s authenticity, says AINA, an independent outlet.
“Initially Saudi Arabia denied the existence of this program. But the testimony of the released prisoners forced the Saudi government to admit, in private circles, its existence,” AINA writes.
“The Saudis agreed to stop their clandestine activities and work towards finding a political solution on condition that knowledge of this program would not be made public.”
(AINA also published the original Arabic memo.)
The report mentions that most of the 23 Iraqi prisoners returned home, as did an unspecified number of Yemenis. But AINA does not indicate the fates of the remaining inmates or how many may have been killed, wounded or captured.
Assyrians, the builders of Mesopotamian civilizations, are a semitic people indigenous to northern Iraq. They are ethnically distinct from Arabs and Jews, and are generally Christians. Assyria dominated the Middle East in the first millennium BCE.
( . Assyrian International News Agency
Numerous Intelligence Officials Question Administration’s Claims!. Stating that without doubt, the Syrian rebels had access to chemical weapons and have apparently used them in the recent past.
Associated Press reported last week:
An intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.
So while Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,” U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.
With the United States threatening to attack Syria, U.S. and allied intelligence services are still trying to work out who ordered the poison gas attack on rebel-held neighbourhoods near Damascus.
No direct link to President Bashar al-Assad or his inner circle has been publicly demonstrated, and some U.S. sources say intelligence experts are not sure whether the Syrian leader knew of the attack before it was launched or was only informed about it afterward.
Indeed, numerous intelligence officers say that the rebels likely carried out the August 21st attack.
The Daily Caller reports:
The Obama administration has selectively used intelligence to justify military strikes on Syria, former military officers with access to the original intelligence reports say, in a manner that goes far beyond what critics charged the Bush administration of doing in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.
According to these officers, who served in top positions in the United States, Britain, France, Israel, and Jordan, a Syrian military communication intercepted by Israel’s famed Unit 8200 electronic intelligence outfit has been doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report.
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armoured Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.
However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armoured Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.
The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.
According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.
The report contains a note at the end that the major was interrogated by Syrian intelligence for three days, then returned to command of his unit. “All of his weapons were accounted for,” the report stated.
An Egyptian intelligence report describes a meeting in Turkey between military intelligence officials from Turkey and Qatar and Syrian rebels. One of the participants states, “there will be a game changing event on August 21st” that will “bring the U.S. into a bombing campaign” against the Syrian regime.
The chemical weapons strike on Moudhamiya, an area under rebel control, took place on August 21. “Egyptian military intelligence insists it was a combined Turkish/Qatar/rebel false flag operation,” said a source familiar with the report.
(A “false flag” is a ploy for starting war which has been used by governments around the world for thousands of years.)
Agent provocateurs are as old as warfare itself. What better than a false flag attack, staged by al Qaeda and its al Nusra front allies in Syria, to drag the United States into a war?
12 very high-level former intelligence officials wrote the following memorandum to Obama from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS):
We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”
There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.
According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.
We are unaware of any reliable evidence that a Syrian military rocket capable of carrying a chemical agent was fired into the area. In fact, we are aware of no reliable physical evidence to support the claim that this was a result of a strike by a Syrian military unit with expertise in chemical weapons.
In addition, we have learned that on August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major, irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and Qatari, Turkish and U.S. intelligence officials took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, now used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors.
Senior opposition commanders who came from Istanbul pre-briefed the regional commanders on an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development,” which, in turn, would lead to a U.S.-led bombing of Syria.
At operations coordinating meetings at Antakya, attended by senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials as well as senior commanders of the Syrian opposition, the Syrians were told that the bombing would start in a few days. Opposition leaders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the U.S. bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Bashar al-Assad government
The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive. And they were. A weapons distribution operation unprecedented in scope began in all opposition camps on August 21-23. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish intelligence under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence officers.
By Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials
The conclusion has to be that this Syria situation is indeed far more complicated than even the most seasoned Middle East reporter, Investigative journalist or analyst could ever hope to make sense of. Whilst researching / Investigation the hidden information and agendas of all the players, the old saying “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott) sprung to mind, and the words entered my thoughts with even greater clarity than when I had first read them as a boy.
Momentarily I was taken back to my childhood, a far more simple time of losing oneself in the enjoyment of Ivanhoe, the bravery of Rob Roy and indeed the adventure of Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson).
However, sadly the world of today is a much more complicated place. If nothing else one discovers that there are entities willing to unleash all kinds of brutality in the name of greed, loathing, politics, territorial gain /expansion and belief. Equally, there are those eager to do the bidding of these entities for all the very same reasons, despite the cost in human suffering, loss of life and the inevitable psychological scarring suffered by survivor and warrior.
As was said to me recently, man does all these things to his fellow man, knowing the suffering he inflicts, all for financial gain, political ideology, territorial gain, personal advancement, stature or simple hatred. Yet, none of these things can man take to his grave.
T.J. Total World View.