Trump, Erdogan, deportations to, war in, Syria

This 14 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

United States and Turkey Agree to a Syrian “Safe Zone“, Betraying the Kurds

Baris Karaagac discusses how the U.S allowed the Turkish government to seize land in northern Syria to counter Russian and Iranian influence in spite of former Kurdish allies.

At first, United States wannabe dictator Donald Trump and Turkish wannabe dictator Erdogan really got along well. Later, they quarrelled, hurting common people in Turkey. Now, it seems they are cronies again.

The boss of NATO already earlier OK’d the bloody war by Erdogan and his ex(?)-ISIS allies in northern Syria. Now, Trump OKs as well Erdogan and his jihadist allies having an UNsafe ‘safe’ zone in Syria; safe for killing civilians.

As Erdogan wages war in Syria, he sends Syrian refugees back to that war; emulating Trump’s anti-refugee policies.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Deportations in Turkey: “They sent him to Syria”

The Turkish government firmly denies it, but there is increasing evidence that Syrian refugees are being transferred from Turkey to Syria. It has been reported since the end of July about several thousand people. In Istanbul, people are arrested who turn up in Syria days or weeks later. According to Turkey, this is voluntary return, but deported Syrians deny that.

Sending refugees back to a war zone is prohibited under international refugee conventions. This new step by Turkey may therefore endanger the refugee deal between the EU and Turkey. It is based on the assumption that Turkey is a safe country for Syrians. If they can be returned against their will, then Turkey is no longer a safe country.

The whole Turkey-European Union deal was already anti-human rights anti-refugee refoulement from the start.

The arrests and deportations lead to tension among Syrians in Istanbul. For fear of the police, in neighborhoods where many Syrians have settled in recent years, considerably fewer people are on the street. …

“I’m in Idlib”

Fida shuffles and does not look cheerful, he points to an empty shop window. “My friend here has closed his shop because he has no residence permit. He is afraid of the police.” In the shopping center in the center of the Esenyurt district, Fida also has two clothing stores. They are still open, but sales have plummeted.

“People no longer come out, there are police everywhere. Even after midnight, you still encounter patrols. Those who do not have an ID will be sent to Syria.” Fida has his papers in order. Until recently, the police made no problem if you had no registration or work permit. “Syrians worked everywhere without a work permit,” he says. “Now they have all had to leave work and have been arrested or sit anxiously at home.”

His gloom is more personal than that, says the shopkeeper. “Fifteen days ago I was drinking coffee with my best friend when the police came. They asked for IDs. My friend was taken, after which I heard nothing from him for two days. I could not reach him. On the third day he called me : “I’m in Idlib.”

Idlib is a zone in Syria where the Turkish army and their jihadist puppets wage war.

They sent him to Syria.” …

We had to sign

But according to Fida and a number of other sources that the NOS spoke to, that [the denial of forced deportation by the Turkish government] is not the case. We reach Fida’s friend Nour, who was taken by the police during drinking coffee, on his Syrian number. He is in a suburb of Idlib, he says, and the situation is tense. “I am now surviving at acquaintances’. Every day I stay somewhere else. People are having a hard time. There is hunger, no work and there are bombardments.”

According to Nour, his deportation was forced, and several buses full of Syrians went from Turkey to Idlib with him. “We had to sign a paper, it was a deportation document for return to Syria. We asked what it said because some people couldn’t read it. They forced us to sign. We didn’t want to be deported.”

The story of Nour is consistent with that of Haytham. He was also picked up at a police check in Istanbul and taken to a deportation center. “I signed papers and gave fingerprints, then I was detained for three weeks before we were put on a bus with our wrists shackled together“, he says on the phone from Syria. “They took us to the Syrian border post Bab al-Hawa, at Jabhat al Nusra territory.”

Jabhat al-Nusra is the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11 in the USA.

According to the European Commission and the Turkish government, the EU-Turkey deal of March 2016, which is intended to bring the flow of migrants from Turkey to Greece under control, is still standing.

A spokesperson for the Commission said in a reaction to reports on deportations of Syrians from Turkey that the Commission “is confident that Turkey will investigate the facts behind these allegations”.


Trump wants Dutch cannon fodder in Syria

This 27 June 2019 video by congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, from the first Democratic party candidates’ debate in the USA, says about itself:

Trump‘s chickenhawk cabinet has led us to the brink of war with Iran

This president and his #ChickenhawkCabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served at the height of the war in Iraq in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms’ lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating and costly than the war in Iraq.

The Pentagon in the USA does not really care about US soldiers getting injured or killed.

However, the Trump administration also wants cannon fodder from other countries to fight their wars. Like more British cannon fodder to Afghanistan.

And now, more Dutch cannon fodder.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

US wants military support by the Netherlands ‘on the ground’ in Syria

The United States wants the Netherlands to provide military support for the new mission in Syria. The US American ambassador in The Hague Pete Hoekstra tells the Volkskrant daily that the Netherlands is being asked for “military means on the ground”.

President Trump announced at the end of last year to withdraw the US military from Syria. “We have defeated ISIS, the only reason for me to be there”, he explained. The decision caused much criticism [by even worse warmongers than Trump] of the Trump government, at home and abroad, including from [the right-wing government in] the Netherlands.

A month later, John Bolton, Trump’s security adviser, said that the US will not leave Syria until ISIS is fully defeated and Turkey can guarantee the security of Kurdish YPG militias.

ISIS, a product of George W Bush’s and Tony Blair’s Iraq war, and of the Saudi absolute monarchy, a key ally of the Pentagon, is a pretext for NATO governments to invade the oil-rich Middle East.

As for Bolton‘s condition for leaving Syria: the Turkish government of autocrat Erdogan will not guarantee the safety of Kurdish militias. It fights bloody battles against them, with support by NATO. They consider the Kurds to be ‘terrorists’. And so do the other NATO governments, Erdogan being their NATO ally.

So, there will not be that Turkish guarantee of safety for Kurds. Certainly not as long as there will be the Erdogan regime in Turkey. And even if Erdogan would fall, and a new Turkish government would stop seeing the Kurds as ‘terrorists’, then Bolton, being Bolton, would find a new pretext to keep war in Syria continuing.

Hoekstra emphasizes that military support is necessary for this. “It is not a reconstruction mission.” …

According to Hoekstra, no new UN mandate is needed for the mission.

Heavy metal music in Syrian war

This music video says about itself:

Band: Maysaloon
Single: Warsphere
Genre: Syrian Death Metal
Country: Syria
Year: 2017

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

How loud music helps to forget the war

About 150 people gather in a small, black-painted hall in Aleppo. They wear dark clothing and do head banging to the sound of rough guitars. The concert is called ‘live under siege’, but also ‘living under siege’. Outside, the civil war in Syria is going on.

The concert is a scene in the documentary Syrian Metal is War. Filmmaker Monzer Darwish, a refugee from Syria and now ended up in Dutch Noord-Holland province, followed people from the Syrian metal scene in 2013 and 2014. At the risk of their own lives, they organized concerts during bombing and traveled along routes full of snipers and paramilitary gangs. …

This video is called Syrian Metal Is War – Extended Trailer.

Even before the civil war, metalheads in Syria did not have an easy time, says Nasrah: “With long hair and a black shirt, you were a suspect quickly. Police were watching us and sometimes people were arrested after performances.” Even people in his own environment did not understand his lifestyle, the musician says. “Do you slaughter cats ritually, people often asked, or do you worship the devil?”

Things became different in the war. Metalheads no longer had to deal with the threat of police, but with the threat of war. “During a concert, we feared not only warfare, but also suicide bombers”, says documentary maker Monzer Darwish. Every meeting was a target for ISIS fighters, especially when music was being played. “Yet often 100, 150 people were together. Metal was the last bit of pleasure for them. They were literally willing to die for the music.”

Despite the passion of fans, the Syrian metal scene has had a hard time. Many bands have lost sight of each other in the stream of refugees. Guitar player Khodor Nashrah also said: “Our bass player is still in Syria, the drummer is in Austria and I am in Lebanon.” Despite the distance, the group is still active, he says: “Through WhatsApp we send pieces of music to each other. Our drummer then tries to make songs of it. But it is very difficult.”

New music

Documentary maker Monzer Darwish still plays the guitar in the Netherlands, although less often than before. “First find a house in the Netherlands, then a job. It is difficult to spend a lot of time with music”, he says.

His hope lies mainly with the metalheads in Syria itself, which he wants to bring more attention to with his film. “They still release new music, despite everything.” Darwish follows the bands closely: in the Netherlands he listens to music that appears in Syria. “I can’t live without it,” he says. “Without that music I would never have survived the war.”

Lebanese Christian leaders, in an bid to resurrect their influence, have entered into a Faustian pact with reactionary forces, anointing the indie pop band Mashrou’ Leila as its sacrificial lamb. Mashrou’ Leila, led by an openly gay frontman, has for years pushed the limits of social commentary in the Arab world. But never before had the four-man group faced censure in their home country, until now: here.

Syrian woman about being tortured by fundamentalists

This 19 January 2019 Dutch NOS public broadcasting TV video, recorded in Syria, says about itself (translated):

Humiliated in a cage: “I will never forgive the terrorists”

Reefa is an engineer at an energy utility in Damascus. When she was at home, jihadists grabbed her and locked her up with dozens of others in a mobile cage. The goal: to use them as a human shield against the bombing by their enemy, the Syrian government.

This is a report by Roozbeh Kaboly and cameraman Rachid El Mourif.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Humiliated in a cage: ‘I will never forgive the Syrian terrorists

It is slowly becoming quieter in Syria, the war seems almost to be decided. Also in Douma, a suburb of Damascus and one of the first strongholds of the uprising against the Syrian government, there is now no longer fighting. But that has been different.

At the beginning of the war the neighborhood was conquered by moderate rebels, after which jihadist groups took over. Including Jaysh al-Islam, ‘the army of Islam’. They kidnapped a large group of minorities people who supposedly supported the Syrian regime. There was murder, torture, and women and children served as human shields against bombing by the army. The Syrian army intervened violently and surrounded the neighborhood. The population was being starved.

Reefa (59) was also detained in Douma for three years. “I am Ismaili [a Muslim tendency led by the Aga Khan], a minority about which the rebels say that they support the government. Which is why I got flogged and for ten days I was locked up in the cold and without food on my own, and the rebels have driven us around in cages to humiliate us.”

Reefa can not forgive the groups that imprisoned her. “We did not wrong them in any way. I’m just an engineer, I’ve never hurt anyone in my life. I’ve lost my whole life, my job, everything. I’ve lost my nephews, two young boys, how can I forget that??” Forgiveness is needed for a new future for the country, but Reefa can not imagine how. “I am against reconciliation, they have betrayed their country. I am not a politician and do not speak a political language.” …

Can Syrians ever live together in peace? “That will be very difficult”, says Nieuwsuur news show journalist Roozbeh Kaboly, who was in Syria for this series. …

“At the same time Syrians are tough and strong people, they always tell me about the long history of Syria: the country has experienced many wars and it has been destroyed several times, but has been rebuilt over and over again. So, there is always hope. I myself am very optimistic.”

‘Stop United States military intervention in Syria’

This 18 January 2019 video from the USA:

Rep. Ro Khanna: U.S. Troops Are a “Sitting Target” in Syria; It’s Time to Bring Them Home

In Syria, a suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the northern city of Manbij Wednesday, killing 19 people including four Americans. Two of them were U.S. soldiers. The bombing was claimed by ISIS and came just weeks after President Trump declared victory over the group and ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria, prompting the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis. Just hours after the attack, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that ISIS has been defeated. Wednesday’s attack drew renewed calls from congressional hawks—both Republicans and Democrats—to reverse Trump’s Syria withdrawal. The U.S. has an estimated 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, even though Congress has never declared war on the country. We speak with Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California. He is a leading critic of U.S. military interventions abroad.

American ISIS missiles injure British soldiers in Syria

This 10 June 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

ISIS video shows jihadists using American-made TOW anti-tank missiles in Palmyra – TomoNews

PALMYRA, SYRIA — The Islamic State [ISIS] released a new video on Monday that shows militants in the Syrian city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries, using American-made anti-tank missiles.

The BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles [made by Raytheon corporation] were most likely provided by the United States to the Free Syrian Army and either captured by the jihadists or [sold to them].

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Monday, January 7, 2019

Did US build Isis missiles that hit British soldiers in Syria?

Former British ambassador to Syria alleges the only weapons of this type the jihadists have are those supplied by the US to ‘moderate’ rebels

MISSILES used in an Isis attack in which two British soldiers were seriously injured in Syria yesterday may have been sold to the jihadists after being supplied by the United States to opposition groups.

The pair were hit in a missile attack launched on a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) base in Deir Ezzor, northern Syria. A fighter from the largely Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) was killed in the blast.

The role of British soldiers in Syria remains a secret, with the Ministry of Defence refusing to comment on the operations of special forces. …

It appears that the missile used to attack the SDF compound may have found its way into the hands of Isis thanks to a covert US programme that saw weapons supplied to opposition groups in Syria.

Former British ambassador to Syria Peter Ford alleged that the only weapon of this type that the jihadist terror group has in its arsenal are those that were supplied by the US to so-called moderate rebels in 2015.

Mr Ford claimed that the weapons were sold by the groups to Isis soon afterwards. Other similar weapons may have been captured by the death cult after defeating moderates in battle while some are believed to have defected to Isis bringing their weapons cache with them.

The supply of weapons to Syrian forces on the ground was part of a covert CIA operation started by former US President Barack Obama in 2013 after it was proposed by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former CIA head David Petraeus.

Its aim was to turn the tide against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and foment regime change in the region, where the use of ground troops would have been unpopular following the US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan which saw thousands of US soldiers die.

However, the supply chain was complicated with the arms bought by the US and Saudi Arabia from Eastern European EU member-state manufacturers through private companies that hold government contracts.

They were then secretly sent to opposition groups in Syria, although according to a report by the Conflict Armament Research organisation, which tracks arms shipments, the arms may have been supplied in breach of contracts stipulating the weapons should not be transferred after purchase.

The 2017 EU and German-funded study found that the anti-tank weapons sent to the rebels had found their way to Isis less than two months after leaving the warehouse.

The programme included the shipment of arms to the rebels through Turkey and Jordan with supplies being sent to the jihadist-backed Free Syrian Army which was fighting government forces in a bid to bring down the government.

However, Turkey has itself been accused of support for jihadist groups in Syria as part of its war on the country’s Kurdish population. In 2016 the then liberal Cumhuriyet newspaper published footage which allegedly showed Turkish intelligence services sending trucks loaded with weapons bound for Syrian Islamists.

Operation Olive Branch was launched in January 2017 as Turkish forces allied with jihadist groups to invade and occupy the largely Kurdish city of Afrin. More recently President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened an “imminent” ground invasion of Manbij after the US announced it was withdrawing troops, claiming 15,000 FSA fighters would support the Turkish operation.

Video footage circulating on social media on Sunday alleged to show the Turkish army allowing a convoy of 250 Tahrir al-Sham (al Qaida) fighters crossing the border into Atarib town in Aleppo.

Turkey has previously dismissed claims that it facilitated jihadists crossing into Syria as “black propaganda.” However reports from the border town of Akcakale suggested that in 2014 Isis fighters were crossing into Tal Abyad in Raqqa province, often after using Turkish hospitals to patch up war wounds.

US President Donald Trump announced that the clandestine plan was being scrapped in July 2017 after it became apparent that efforts to overthrow Mr Assad’s government had failed.

Mr Ford said: “The only ‘smart missiles’ in the hands of Isis are the US TOW anti-tank missiles which in 2015 the US supplied moderate rebels, who promptly sold them to Isis.

“The lethality of these weapons had Assad on the ropes, forcing Russia to intervene. And now we see the results. What geniuses these American strategists are…”

“Don’t wait for the mainstream media to point up the awkward facts that our commandos are being killed with US weapons carrying out missions for the US-led coalition with no legal authority and when Syrian forces are just a few miles away being prevented by the US and the UK from going in hot pursuit of Isis.”

Stop the War convenor Lindsey German said that forces seeking regime change, including Britain, had been intervening in Syria for years “supplying arms to rebels, bombing and using special forces for covert operations.”

“Most people in Britain are unaware of all this, and are loathe to support such interventions, which have helped fuel the bloody war in Syria. All British troops should be withdrawn now.”