Tag Archives: Syria

Is the queer brigade fighting ISIS in Syria a force for liberation or alienation?

Source: The Intercept
by Anna Lekas Miller

"Last month, A rag-tag group of foreign fighters announced the creation of the first LGBTQ brigade fighting against the Islamic State in Syria. Their name? The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA (yes, pronounced 'tequila'). … Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied their affiliation with the foreign brigade, but TQILA quickly became an internet sensation. Newsweek and the Independent praised the LGBTQ battalion for their courage and the YPG for their inclusive politics. Twitter ran with it, using the news of the LGBTQ battalion to condemn ISIS and slam Donald Trump's recent ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military. But while TQILA's rainbow flags and catchy banners may have been clickbait for certain parts of left Twitter, other activists and people with experience on the ground argue that masked foreign fighters are not the way to advance the rights of LGBTQ people in the war-torn region." (08/10/17)

https://theintercept.com/2017/08/10/is-the-queer-brigade-fighting-isis-in-syria-a-force-for-liberation-or-alienation/

America's military cannot bring peace to Syria

Source: CounterPunch
by Walter Weis

"America must decide what it wants to do about Syria. Does it want to get rid of Bashar al-Assad? Or is defeating ISIS its most important priority? Morally, it should do neither. America’s first priority should be to stop the war so that Syrian people do not have to die anymore." (08/09/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/09/americas-military-cannot-bring-peace-to-syria/

Did Trump really end the CIA's secret war in Syria?

Source: CounterPunch
by Jeff Mackler

"General Tony Thomas, head of the military's Special Operations Command, provided, according to The New York Times, 'the first public confirmation by an American official that the Trump administration had ended a secret C.I.A. program to arm Syrian rebels.' … In point of fact, yesterday's 'covert' operations in Syria have at least in part been replaced by the Trump administration's overt 'no fly zone' war over Syria today. Utilizing their massive air-power superiority in the region, U.S. fighter jets now routinely attack Syrian government troops and those of its allies from Iran and Hezbollah from Lebanon whenever they move to challenge U.S.-backed and still existing 'rebel' positions in areas where the U.S. contemplates a long-term, if not permanent presence." (08/03/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/03/did-trump-really-end-the-cias-secret-war-in-syria/

Basil Khartabil, in memoriam

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Danny O'Brien

"Bassel Khartabil, the Syrian open source developer, blogger, entrepreneur, hackerspace founder, and free culture advocate, has been executed by the Syrian authorities. Noura Ghazi Safadi, his wife, received confirmation of her husband's death by the Assad-led Syrian government yesterday. The execution took place in secret in November 2015. It has taken the Syrian government nearly two years to officially communicate that fact to his friends and family. Bassel had been imprisoned by the Syrian authorities since his abduction from the streets of Damascus on March 15, 2012." (08/01/17)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/08/bassel-khartabil-memoriam

Trump blasts "fabricated" Syria story, appears to confirm covert CIA program

Source: Washington Post

"President Trump lashed out at The Washington Post in a string of tweets Monday night, saying the newspaper had 'fabricated the facts' about his decision to end a covert program aiding Syrian rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. 'The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad,' Trump wrote in one tweet. Trump appeared to be referring to a Post story last week on the phasing out of a covert Obama administration program in which the CIA armed and trained moderate Syrian rebels battling forces loyal to Assad in the country’s civil war." (07/25/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/07/25/trump-blasts-fabricated-syria-story-appears-to-confirm-covert-cia-program/

Is Trump blundering into the next Middle East war?

Source: CounterPunch
by Jim Lobe & Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

"The Washington elite is waking up to the increasingly real possibility that the Trump administration may be moving the country into yet another Middle East war. And much more quickly than anyone had anticipated. And through sheer incompetence and incoherence rather than by design." (06/28/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/28/is-trump-blundering-into-the-next-middle-east-war/

Trump regime tries to distract from Hersh story on past non-existent chemical attack by claiming possible future chemical attack

Source: Fox News

"The Trump administration said late Monday that it had discovered evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad could be planning another chemical weapons attack. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement that 'The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.'" [editor's note: Not likely coincidental, given last weekend's story by Seymour Hersh claiming that Trump launched cruise missiles on Syrian targets even after receiving intelligence that the "chemical attack" he was using as an excuse wasn't a "chemical attack" at all – TLK] (06/27/17)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/27/syria-could-be-planning-chemical-attack-white-house-says.html

Trump's red line

Source: Die Welt
by Seymour Hersh

"On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon. … Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. 'None of this makes any sense,' one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. 'We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.'" (06/25/17)

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

The danger of mission creep in Syria

Source: Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

"On Sunday, a U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down one of Bashar al-Assad’s warplanes attacking U.S.-allied Syrian forces, drawing the United States deeper into that conflict. Raising tensions with Russia and potentially placing American troops in danger, this action was just another in a long line of tactical decisions which increase U.S. involvement in Syria without any viable long-term strategy for resolving or exiting the civil war. Much of the criticism has focused on President Donald Trump’s impulsive and pugnacious personality. While Trump has accelerated this process, he is not wholly to blame for the slippery slope that the United States is now sliding down in Syria. The Obama administration resisted large-scale escalation, but their choices nonetheless contributed directly to today’s haphazard Syria strategy. The Trump administration needs to decide what it wants to achieve in Syria now, or the inevitable logic of mission creep may rob them of the ability to choose." (06/26/17)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/danger-mission-creep-syria

Israeli regime forces strike Syrian regime forces near Golan Heights

Source: CNN

"Israel launched strikes on Syrian military positions Saturday, close to the two countries' disputed border in the Golan Heights, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The action was a response to what the IDF said were more than 10 projectiles fired into Israel from inside Syria. The IDF described the projectile fire as 'errant,' blaming it on internal fighting. Israeli aircraft targeted three positions from which the projectiles were fired, the IDF said. The strikes included hits on two tanks belonging to the Syrian regime." (06/24/17)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/24/middleeast/israel-syria-golan-heights-strike/index.html