bust a gut

Faschingstein escalates covert backing for AQ militias in Aleppo
Thomas Gaist, WSWS, Aug 9 2016

Pindo-backed militias fighting against the Assad government have broken through the Russian and Syrian government encirclement of their positions inside Aleppo, according to Western media. During fierce battles over the weekend, the Pindo-backed, Islamist-led militia coalition known as Jaysh al-Fateh overran military bases in south-west Aleppo and secured an access road connecting the city to the rest of the country. Russian war planes and Syrian and Iranian ground forces counter-attacked Sunday, targeting the anti-Assad forces with aerial bombardments and artillery. According to Syrian opposition leader Anas al-Abdah, the Islamist offensive has achieved “almost a miracle,” leaving the anti-Assad forces poised to “break the siege and move into a stage where we are talking seriously about liberating the city.” The offensive has carved out a slim corridor linking Aleppo to rebel-held areas, raising the possibility of resupply operations for the desperately besieged Western-backed forces. The encirclement of Washington’s extremist groups inside Aleppo, who have been reduced to a diminishing pocket in the city’s north and western sectors in the face of a redoubled Syrian offensive backed by Russian air power and Iranian ground forces, came as a humiliating reversal for Pindo imperialism. Faschingstein has orchestrated a relentless civil war in Syria since 2011, killing hundreds of thousands of Syrians, without achieving its aim of toppling the Damascus regime and installing a neocolonial puppet government.

During the opening phases of the Pindo-NATO orchestrated war, the anti-Assad militias seized control of large areas of the city, which they sought to utilize as a base of operations and object of plunder. Prior to the outbreak of the war, Aleppo’s population numbered between 1 and 2.5 million, according to varying estimates. Today, some 50,000 civilians are estimated to eke out an existence amid the rubble. The city as a whole has been without electricity and running water for more than a year, and entire neighbourhoods are completely razed to the ground. In recent weeks, with the Erdogan government withdrawing support for the rebels in retaliation for Faschingstein’s involvement in the failed July military coup attempt, the Pindo-backed militias have faced the imminent possibility of defeat. It is not coincidental that the ferocious Pindo-backed assault is unfolding on the eve of Erdogan’s trip to St Petersburg for talks with Putin, on Tuesday. There are well-grounded fears in Pindo ruling circles that Erdogan will reach a broad-based agreement with Putin, one that would close-off all remaining supply routes necessary for sustaining the war against Damascus.

The cause of the sudden reversal in the fortunes of the anti-government forces, who, if Pindo media reports can be believed, have seized the initiative from the jaws of total defeat, was quietly acknowledged in reports published by the NYT on Saturday and Monday, titled “Military Success in Syria Gives Putin Upper Hand in Pindo Proxy War” and “Rebel Offensive in Syria Challenges Government Siege of Aleppo.” As Saturday’s piece noted, the CIA has been supplying the AQ-linked militias with virtually unlimited supplies of sophisticated antitank missiles and other weaponry. The Pindo-backed rebel coalition, which has been dominated by Jabhat al-Nusra, “would receive new shipments of the antitank weapons as soon as the missiles were used,” according to comments from a rebel commander made in 2015, and quoted by the NYT Saturday. The anti-Assad commander said:

We ask for ammunition and missiles, and we get more than we ask for.

The shipments of advanced Stinger missile systems, which are capable of destroying, among other things, commercial jetliners during take-off and landing, as well as military-grade helicopters, have continued up to the present. In contrast to the Obama administration’s assertions that the shipments were being curtailed and funneled exclusively to “moderate forces,” in reality the CIA has been surging support for the encircled anti-Assad militias in Aleppo, foremost among which are the Nusra fighters. As the NYT update on Monday forthrightly acknowledged:

A vital factor in the rebel advance over the weekend was cooperation between mainstream rebel groups, some of which have received covert arms support from Pindostan, and the Jihadi organization formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which was affiliated with AQ.

The infinite mendacity and hypocrisy of both the NYT and the Pindosi imperial policy it defends could hardly find sharper expression. The newspaper presents the change in name and formal disaffiliation of Jabhat al-Nusra from AQ as some distant memory when in fact, it was announced barely a week and a half earlier. It, like most of the Western media, now cheers on the supposed battlefield successes of the so-called “rebels,” who, until the end of July, swore allegiance to AQ, supposedly the main target of Washington’s 15-year-long GWOT. Moreover, in recent weeks, as Pindo intelligence outfitted the surrounded AQ “rebels” in preparation for a new bloody offensive, Pindostan’s top diplomat Jackass Kerry has touted steps toward a Pindo-Russian military cooperation pact in Syria, the centerpiece of which would supposedly have been joint strikes against Nusra. While Jabhat was pledging military cooperation with Moscow, along with joint “counter-terrorism” operations, the CIA was giving weapons hand over fist to the AQ-affiliated forces, dumping fuel on a simmering Pindo-Russian proxy conflict with the potential to engulf broad areas of the Middle East and Europe in all-out war.

The downing of a Russian Mi-8 transport helicopter over Syria’s Idlib province Monday, which produced the largest single death toll for Russian forces operating in Syria since Moscow launched its intervention last year, grimly illustrated the lethal dynamics being unleashed by Pindo imperialism’s ever more reckless pursuit of unchallenged hegemony over the strategic Levantine nation. The Pindosi media celebrations of the “rebel” victory cannot be taken at face value, and must be weighed against reports from the Syrian government side, which have presented the scope of the rebel counter-offensive in more modest terms. Whatever the true extent of the rebel advances on the ground, it is already clear that the intensified fighting will serve as the political basis for a major military escalation by Faschingstein. In an interview with Fox News this weekend, Hillary Clinton issued bellicose threats against Russia, stating that “the facts raise serious issues about Russian interference in our elections, in our democracy.” Clinton has made clear her intention to pursue a massive escalation of the Syrian war and the broader Pindo war drive against Russia if she wins the White House, saying during last year’s Democrat Party debate:

We have to stand up to his bullying and specifically, in Syria.

While the Obama White House prefers to delay a major escalation until after the elections, the weakness of the Pindosi position on the ground is forcing the administration to consider direct strikes against Damascus. Former Obama administration adviser Dennis Ross suggested last week that the White House should “begin speaking in a language that Assad and Putin can understand,” and employ direct cruise missile and drone strikes against Assad’s military infrastructure. In the event that the government crushes the rebel attack, powerful factions within the Pindosi establishment can be counted on to press for the most aggressive measures against Assad, to be launched in the name of salvaging the Pindosi proxy forces, which have been built up at a cost of billions in CIA-supplied cash and weapons. Even should the AQ-linked forces complete the breakout, and reassert control over Aleppo and the surrounding region, this will only set the stage for a massive government counter-attack, and thus provide a suitable political pretext for further escalation by Faschingstein. Beneath the fog of war in Syria, the only certainty is the constantly growing tendency toward a Pindo-Russian clash that poses the gravest dangers for humanity.

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