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ISIS update 12/23/2015.. 90% of Ramadi liberated; deaths rise in Turkey’s Kurdish areas; lSlS FLEE PALMYRA

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 12:42
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(Before It's News)

Iraqi official: 90% of Ramadi liberated

12/23: Iraqi troops storms into center of I.S-held Ramadi

Iraqi army liberates more areas in Ramadi

US Military In Iraq Circulates Fake Islamic State Document – Media Fall For it

It seems that the U.S. military is propagandizing against the Islamic State by distributing fake Islamic State documents. This, in effect, will make the Islamic State look better than it is.

Iraqi Forces Fighting for Ramadi Make Their Way Toward City Center
In a telephone briefing on Tuesday, [Col. Steven H. Warren, the United States military spokesman in Baghdad,] said that coalition forces had recovered Islamic State leaflets in the nearby city of Falluja urging its fighters — if they lose control of the city — to impersonate Iraqi security forces and commit atrocities. “Some acts that they’re instructed to do on this document include blowing up mosques, killing and torturing civilians and breaking into homes while dressed as I.S.F. fighters,” Colonel Warren said, referring to Iraqi security forces. “They do all this to discredit the I.S.F.”

Colonel Warren called the instructions in the leaflets “the behavior of thugs, behavior of killers, the behavior of terrorists.”

Colonel Warren also tweeted the “Islamic State leaflet” and its translation:
COL Steve Warren Verified account @OIRSpox
ISIL fighters ordered to dress as ISF and commit atrocities before fleeing Fallujah.
[Photo of the document and its translation]

7:30 AM – 22 Dec 2015″

Turkey yet to withdraw troops from Iraq

Turkish security forces use tear gas, water cannons against protesters in Diyarbakir

Kurds call for end to Turkish offensive

PKK Commander: “We are now Stronger than Ever”

Kurds brave gunfire to get to the grocery store

HRW: Civilian deaths rise in Turkey’s Kurdish areas

Open Letter to Turkey: A Nation of Genocide


Evolution of US position on Assad’s role in Syria

US realizes Syria strategy was huge mistake: Analyst

Putin’s Progress in Syria Sends Kerry Scampering to the United Nations
By Mike Whitney……………..See what I mean: Ceasefire, ceasefire, ceasefire. It’s all about a ceasefire. Kerry wants a ceasefire. Obama wants a ceasefire. A big part of the ruling US establishment want a ceasefire. No, not the neocons, not the liberal interventionists, and not the diehard hawks like Ash Carter at the Pentagon, but a good portion of the ruling elites who’ve been following events on the ground and who know how this thing is going to end. The smart money has already moved on to Plan B, which is why they’re now focused on cutting their losses and saving as many of “their guys” as possible. Naturally, the people who funded, armed, trained and deployed these various Sunni fighters feel responsible for their safety, so they’re going to do whatever they can to get them out. That’s where Kerry comes in. Kerry’s job was to fly to Moscow, tell Putin that Obama had changed his mind about regime change, and get the Kremlin to back Kerry’s UN resolution. The primary objective of this farce is to garner international support for designating terrorist groups as “moderates” and to move in the direction of UN-mandated ceasefire that will stop the Russian-led offensive in its tracks.

But isn’t that what everyone wants, an end to the hostilities?

Not exactly. A war against terrorists is different than a war between nation-states or a civil war. A group like Jabhat al-Nusra, for example, can’t be treated the same way as armed members of the political opposition. These are religious fanatics determined to use any means possible to achieve their goal of a fascist Islamic Caliphate. Reasoned discourse doesn’t work with people like this, they have to be killed or captured. And this is exactly what the Russian-led coalition is doing, they’re progressively mopping up the terrorist threat in Syria at great risk to themselves and their fellow-collation members Iran, Hezbollah, and the Syrian Arab Army. Kerry’s job is to throw a wrench in the anti-terror campaign to impede the coalition’s progress. And he’s willing to lie to do it. Case in point: Here’s a quote from Kerry in Moscow just last Tuesday:

“As I emphasized today, the United States and our partners are not seeking so-called “regime change,” as it is known in Syria.

Later in the day, Kerry underscored the administration’s dramatic about-face saying: “We are not trying to do a regime change. We are not engaged in a color revolution. We’re not engaged in trying to interfere in another country … We’re trying to make peace.”

Okay, so the US has given up on regime change?

Not at all. Kerry was just lying through his teeth as usual. Here’s what he said less than 24 hours later:

“Russia can’t stop the war with Assad there because Assad attracts the foreign fighters. Assad is a magnet for terrorists, because they’re coming to fight Assad. So if you want to stop the war in Syria, and we do, if you want to fight Daesh and stop the growth of terrorism, you have to deal with the problem of Assad. Now, that doesn’t mean we want to change every aspect of the government; we don’t.”

(‘US not after regime change in Syria, but Assad must go’ – Kerry to Russian TV”, RT)

Got that? So the US doesn’t support regime change, but Assad’s still got to go.

How’s that for hypocrisy? The truth is the Obama administration is just as committed to toppling Assad as ever. Kerry was just misleading Putin to get his approval for his ridiculous resolution at the UN. As a result, Assad’s name was never mentioned in the resolution which, Kerry seems to think, is a big victory for the US. But it’s not a victory, in fact, all of Russia’s demands were met in full through the passing of UN Resolution 2254 (three resolutions were passed on Friday) which reiterates all Putin’s demands dating back to the Geneva Communique’ of 2012. Assad was never mentioned in 2254 either, because naming the president wasn’t necessary to establish the conditions for 1–a transitional government, 2–outlining the terms for a new constitution and a non-Islamist Syrian state, and 3—free and fair elections to ensure the Syrian people control their own future. In 2012, the US rejected these three provisions saying that the would not agree unless Assad was excluded from participating in the transitional government. Now the US has reversed its position on Assad which means that 100 percent of Moscow’s demands have been met. UN Resolution 2254 is complete capitulation on the part of the US. It is a humiliating diplomatic defeat which no one in the media is even willing to acknowledge…………..

Pakistani senators oppose joining Saudi-led alliance

International Military Review – Syria-Iraq battlespace, Dec. 23, 2015


Apocalyptic Scenes: Drone footage shows destruction in Jobar, Damascus

Hezbollah tells Israel it will react to Kantar killing

Putin and Israel – a complex and multi-layered relationship | The Vineyard of the Saker

…………….Now let’s really get back to Syria, Hezbollah and the murder of Samir Kuntar.

First, consider that the decision to militarily intervene in the Syrian war was already a controversial one. Putin pulled this one off by doing two things: explaining to the Russian people that it was better to deal with the terrorists “there” (in Syria) rather than “here” (in Russia) and by promising that he would not send in ground forces. When Daesh and the Turks fulfilled the promise made by Obama and Biden and blew a Russian airliner and, later, a SU-24 bomber out of the sky, the Russian public continued to support Putin, but most Russians, including myself, were acutely aware of the dangers of the situation. At the end of the day, it is Putin’s personal “street cred” which allowed him to stay the course in spite of real fears.

Second, it is clear that Putin and Netanyahu struck a deal when the latter traveled to Moscow: the Israelis don’t interfere in Russian operations in support of the Syrians as long as the Russians don’t interfere in the combat operations between Israel and Hezbollah. This made it possible for both sides to pursue their main interest even if it was at the cost of their secondary objectives. You don’t like that deal and you question its morality? Good! So do I. I am, in fact, intensely uncomfortable with it, but I expect no less from ruthless realpolitik practitioners like Putin and Bibi Netanyahu (good thing you and I are not in power!).

There is, by the way, another precedent which I am just as uncomfortable with: the Russian total backing for the Egyptian military’s bloody repression against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I accept the argument that to support the Egyptian military made sense in the context of the war in Syria, but the ethnics of supporting such a regime intensely bother me. This is why Putin is a ruthless but successful politician and I am a little quasi-irrelevant blogger: it takes a ruthless bear to fight ruthless wolves.

This being said, let’s not pretend like Hezbollah is any less cynical when needed. I remind you all that when Imad Mugniyeh was murdered in Damascus by the very same Israelis in an operation which could only have been executed with very high level accomplices in the Assad regime, Hezbollah promised “retaliation” but never peeped a single word against the regime. Neither did Hezbollah have any objections when Assad was torturing Muslims on behalf of the US CIA for the infamous “rendition” program.

As for Putin, he simply has other priorities than to protect Hezbollah or fight Israel:

Surviving inside Russia and not being overthrown by the still very powerful Zionist Power Configuration (to use James Petras’ expression) in Russia being a top one. Another priority would be not to give his (internal and external) enemies the political argument that “Russia is attacking Israel”. Not having a shooting match with Israel and not to have the small and isolated Russian contingent have to fight on two fronts would be crucial too. Ditto not to be accused of having the Russians contingent turned into the de-facto “Hezbollah Air Force” like the US is the “Daesh Air Force”. These are all obvious priorities for Putin.

And then this: while the Russian S-400s can easily shoot down any Israeli aircraft, the Russian AirSpace contingent does not have the materials means to fight Israel or, even less so, NATO and CENTCOM. As for Russia, she most definitely cannot pick a fight with Israel not due to the inherent power of this tiny Zionist Entity, but due to the fact that the US Empire has been thoroughly taken under Zionist control. So those Americans who now complain that Putin “does not have the courage” to take on Israel should first ask themselves how it is that Israel seems to have transformed the USA and Europe in a voiceless Zionist protectorate and what they are doing to liberate themselves from that yoke!

Speaking of the West: one ought to compare the position of the AngloZionist Empire one one hand, and of many influential Russian Jews (in Russia and in Israel) about the war in the Ukraine. While the West has been in total support of the Nazi regime in Kiev, many Russian Jews, especially the very famous ones like Vladimir Soloviev, have taken a categorically anti-Nazi position. And while in Israel the popularity of Putin and Russia is still extremely low, most of the anti-Putin opposition in Russia is not formed of Jews. Finally, the Russian general public is, sadly, extremely poorly informed of the horrors perpetrated by the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people while Israelis and dual-nationals (like Evgenii Satanovskii or Avigdor Eskin) are constantly peddling the notion that “we Russians and Israelis are the only ones standing up to Muslim terrorism” thereby capitalizing to the max by the current war between Russia and Daesh. In other words, Putin would have one hell of a tough time selling the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft to the Russian general public.

I understand that none of the above will have any traction with bona fide Jew-haters or with those who like simple, black and white, arguments. For them Putin will forever remain a sellout, an eternal shabbos-goy or a puppet of the international financiers. Frankly, I am not addressing this to them. But there are those who are sincerely bewildered and confused about Russian policies which do appear to be confusing or even contradictory. To them I will conclude by saying this:

Putin advances his cause one step a a time and he knows how to wait and let events take on their own dynamic. He is also acutely aware that he is literally fighting with one hand tied behind his back and the other one busy defending against external and internal enemies (the latter being far more dangerous) at the same time. I am sure that Putin fully realizes that,at least potentially, his policy of resistance, sovereignization and liberation can lead to an intercontinental nuclear war and that Russia is currently still weaker than the AngloZionist Empire. Just as in the times of Stolypin, Russia desperately needs a few more years of peace to develop herself and fully stand up. This is most definitely not the time for a frontal confrontation with the Empire. Russia vitally needs *peace* and *time*: peace in the Ukraine, peace in Europe and, yes, peace in the Middle-East. Alas, the latter is not an option and, when cornered, Putin did take the decision to go to war. And I am absolutely and categorically certain that if the Empire attacks Russia (from Turkey or elsewhere), Russia will fight back. Russia is willing to go to war if needed, but she will do her utmost to avoid it. This is the price Russia pays for being the weaker side. The good news is that Russia is getting stronger with every passing day, while the Empire is getting weaker. And the power of the AngloZionists and their 5th column in Russia is also weakening with every passing day. But this process will take time………………..

……………..As for Hezbollah, it is not like they need Russia’s protection. Symbolic as they may be, the murders of Imad Mugniyeh or Samir Kuntar will in no way weaken the Resistance. In fact, if the history of the murder of Abbas al-Musawi teaches us anything, it is that sometimes Israelis murder a Hezbollah leader only to find out that the next one is even a more formidable adversary. God willing, this will also be the case this time.

The Saker

Get Used to It – Assad’s Not Going Anywhere!
By David Macilwain

……………………. Emphasising this secular character of Syrian society, and quite contrary to the pervasive western fairy tales, the religious affiliations of both government and army members broadly reflect that of the community as a whole, with a majority being Sunni muslim. And apart from leading a government which is not ‘Alawite’, President Assad has led by example – his wife Asma is a Sunni muslim too.

Considering the attention given to ‘peace talks’ and plans for a ‘political solution’ to the Syrian conflict by Western governments, media and NGOs over the last four years, the passing of last week’s UNSC resolution with a ‘road-map’ for Syria’s future received astonishingly little attention. The actual details of what was agreed received even less, and we might imagine this was partly because some parties agreed under duress and were loathe to admit that they had actually agreed to a plan they had previously rejected. (The ‘duress’ could have been following Russia’s laying down the rules on who gets targeted in Syria, when the deployment of its SA-17 air defence system grounded US bombers supporting their ‘rebel forces fighing Da’esh’.)

Betraying the reality of the new plan, the media wasted no time in returning to familiar themes. ‘Russia was bombing ‘moderate rebels’ instead of Islamic State.’ ‘Russia was just propping up Assad’. ‘Assad was killing civilians again’. But we also had new interpretations on what had been agreed, before the ink was even dry on the paper, and before Kerry had time to contradict what he’d last said.

And one by one the leaders and representatives of the US, UK, France and Germany got back into the familiar groove – ‘Assad has lost all legtimacy’ – ‘a man who has killed his own people cannot be leader’ – ‘Assad can be part of the transitional government, before leaving’. How soon they forgot what even they had repeated, – as some great democratic aspiration – that ‘Syrians should decide who will be their leader’.

Which is of course what Sergei Lavrov, Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad himself have been saying for years. And Syrians have already decided – Assad is their man, for now and into the future, helping to rebuild the society he has worked so hard to save from the terrorist armies of the ‘Western allies’.

Syrians know that their survival is because of Assad – not in spite of him.

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