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SYRIA: Al-Qaeda launches ‘do or die’ attempt to break siege of eastern Aleppo

As time runs out on Vladimir Putin’s offer for Jihadi fighters to quit eastern Aleppo peacefully, and as the Russian fleet approaches the Syrian coast, Al-Qaeda again launches despite heavy losses assault to break siege of eastern Aleppo.

Alexander Mercouris




Having nursed their wounds following their defeat of a few days ago, the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis today attacked western Aleppo again.

As  is always the case with the fighting in Syria, it is difficult to get a clear picture of what is going on.  However this appears to be a major attack, with more Jihadis brought in from other fronts to replace the earlier losses, and with the Jihadis making their usual use of their now traditional tactic of hurling explosive laden trucks driven by suicide bombers at the Syrian army defenders (this tactic is actually of diminishing value since the Syrian troops have become practised at destroying these trucks before they reach their targets).

The attack – as with all the other Jihadi attacks on Aleppo – also involves shelling of the residential areas of western Aleppo, often with notoriously indiscriminate unguided rockets.  An RT team led by the intrepid Murat Gazdiev was caught in the crossfire.  Here is their report:

The Syrians, the Russians and the Iranians, have steadily upgraded the number of Jihadi fighters they say are involved in operations in western Aleppo.

Whereas just a few days ago their most commonly cited figure was 3,000 they have now raised it dramatically to 16,000, which would be by far the biggest concentration of Jihadi fighters during the whole war, exceeding even the number involved in the Jihadi offensive of last summer.

Regardless of the precise number of Jihadi fighters, their concentration on the western outskirts of Aleppo in the series of Jihadi offensives which have been taking place there since the summer is draining Jihadi strength elsewhere.

The result since the start of the summer is a series of rapid advances by the Syrian army elsewhere in western Syria, especially in Latakia province and near Damascus, as Jihadi fighters have been pulled away from these fronts to Aleppo. 

The scale of the fighting in Aleppo and Aleppo’s importance means that scant attention is given to the other battlefronts in western Syria.  The result is that the rapid collapse of Jihadi positions across much of western Syria which has been going on since early summer is going unreported.

There is now even speculation that because of the heavy losses in men and equipment and above all commanders the Jihadis are suffering outside Aleppo, the future defence of Idlib – where Al-Qaeda has its Syrian headquarters – is being compromised, making its eventual recapture by the Syrian army easier once eastern Aleppo has been finally recaptured. 

It is testament to the importance of Aleppo to the Jihadi cause that they seem incapable of giving up there but persist instead in reinforcing failure there despite their heavy losses and even as the evidence of the consequences of doing this mounts up all around them.

In the meantime and unsurprisingly the Jihadis in eastern Aleppo have rejected Putin’s demand that they leave eastern Aleppo on Friday.  Presumably they are still hoping that the latest Jihadi offensive will succeed in breaking the siege.  However given their fanaticism and their seeming determination to hold at any cost on to eastern Aleppo – which has now become so symbolic of their whole cause – I have to say that I don’t expect them to give up and leave eastern Aleppo even if or rather when the current Jihadi offensive fails, and even if the Turkish army and government tells them to do so.

As to the prospects of the latest Jihadi offensive, though there is as yet no information about its progress or lack thereof, I expect it eventually to fail – as the last two did – with any gains it makes proving ephemeral, just as was the case with the gains the Jihadi offensive made last summer.

Meanwhile Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in comments on Thursday 3rd November 2016 placed the responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in eastern Aleppo firmly on the Western powers for their failure to put pressure on the Jihadis to leave eastern Aleppo. 

In the process Rybakov also confirmed that last minute talks between the Russian and Turkish militaries to achieve such a withdrawal are currently underway.  Here is what TASS reports him to have said:

“The work (on Aleppo) is in progress, the militaries are in contact (NB: this clearly refers to the ongoing talks between the Russian and Turkish militaries – AM), various options have been discussed over the last few days.  The most important thing is that Russia and the Syrian government have been taking all possible steps to alleviate the difficulties that the residents of Aleppo are facing.

You can see how reasonable and responsible the Russian military unit’s command has been while fulfilling the orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.  On November 4, a new humanitarian pause will be launched as Russian and Syrian warplanes haven’t been conducting any operations in this area for 17 days now.

I would like address those who continue bashing Moscow for what is going on in Syria and have been looking for new pretexts. I call on them to remove their ideological blinders, and after all acknowledge the truth that it is not in Russia’s hand to decide whether the humanitarian problem in eastern Aleppo will be solved. Pressure needs to be exerted on the terrorists and extremists who are actually preventing these problems from being solved.”

(bold italics added)

These comments clearly hint that unless the talks between the Russian and Turkish militaries succeed a final assault on the Jihadi held districts of eastern Aleppo will be launched probably either this weekend or as soon as the latest Jihadi assault has been repulsed.

Since I don’t expect the talks between the Russian and Turkish militaries to succeed – at least to the extent of getting the Jihadis to withdraw from eastern Aleppo – and since I don’t expect the Al-Qaeda led Jihadis in eastern Aleppo to agree to withdraw under any circumstances, I anticipate that the final assault on the Jihadi enclave will come shortly, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

It is surely not a coincidence that the Russian fleet – including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the nuclear powered missile battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky – are expected to reach their battle stations off the Syrian coast on Friday, at approximately the time when Putin’s offer to the Jihadis to leave Aleppo peacefully by way of the corridors provided to them comes to an end.

POSTSCRIPT: Since the above was written reports from Aleppo have appeared which speak of this latest Jihadi assault on the city having failed, with the assault being successfully repelled by the Syrian army, and with the Jihadis again suffering heavy losses.  These reports are for the moment very sketchy.  There is no definite confirmation and few details.  A further update will provided as soon as there is more news.

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Deep State insurrection defying POTUS Trump’s order to release unredacted FISA docs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 113.

Alex Christoforou



Deep State officials like ex-CIA chief John Brennan are in panic mode.

Deep State DOJ tool Rod Rosenstein refuses to comply with Trump’s executive order as afforded him by the US Constitution.

Establishment Democrats are all over the mainstream media channels calling the act of releasing documents criminal.

The US President wants every American citizen to see the full, unredacted version of the FISA documents used to spy on Carter Page. Trump is simply asking for full transparency, in what has become a two year, multi-million dollar witch hunt, to find collusion where there is none.

This is all you need to know about the hoax that was and is Trump-Russia collusion and the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the insurrection taking place at the US Department of Justice, as Democrats, ex-Obama officials, and DOJ directors are doing everything in their power to make sure the truth, about how the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was obtained, remains hidden from the eyes of the American public.

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Via Zerohedge

Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.


Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

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Trump Weighs In On The Single Worst Mistake In American History

Trump hits Bush: Invading Iraq ‘the single worst decision ever made’.



Via Zerohedge

In a wide ranging interview with The Hill on Tuesday conducted in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked to give his take on the biggest mistake in American history.

Considering just how open-ended a question that is, it’s perhaps surprising that he merely went back less than a couple decades into the Bush presidency, though Trump’s base will certainly welcome it as it hearkens back to his “America First” foreign policy vision of the campaign trail.

“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush,” the president during his interview with Hill.TV.

“Obama may have gotten them (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is to me the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country,” he said.

Trump explained the reasoning behind this choice, and why it wasn’t something like the civil war or another defining and devastating event reaching far into American History.

“Because we spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Now if you wanna fix a window some place they say, ‘oh gee, let’s not do it. Seven trillion, and millions of lives — you know, ‘cause I like to count both sides. Millions of lives,” the president explained.

Some scholars and humanitarian groups estimate that over one million Iraqis were killed in the US invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003. A 2008 Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll, for example, found that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war.

“To me it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, civil war. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”

Various estimates on the Iraq war’s cost have put the total taxpayer bill as low as near $2 trillion, but none dispute that it is in the multiple trillions, and estimates will vary widely depending on if veteran care is factored into it.

The comments echo things Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. For example during one of his first major foreign policy speeches then candidate Trump said, “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.” And referencing the famous quote of John Quincy Adams, he said during the same speech, “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”

He had previously shocked pundits for being the first Republican nominee for president to trash George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and has more recently likened it to “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest”.

All of this is a hopeful sign considering the extremely heightened and dangerous tensions over Syria this week, and given Trump seems to have vacillated between “bringing the troops home” and getting more involved. On Monday Trump hinted that a decision on the U.S. role in Syria is coming soon.

Commenting on the over 2,000 troops now in Syria ostensibly as part of the “anti-ISIL” coalition campaign, Trump indicated this mission could end soon: “We’re very close to being finished with that job,” he said. He followed with: “And then we’re going to make a determination as to what we’re going to do.”

We consider it a hopeful and a good sign that Trump is possibly revisiting his “America First” foreign policy pledges by identifying the Iraq War as the worst mistake in US history.

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Brett Kavanaugh eleventh hour smear begins to fall apart (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 112.

Alex Christoforou



US President Trump is urging the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh to testify and be heard.

Trump said he wants to hear from Christine Blasey Ford, noting that it would be “unfortunate” if she does not testify before a Senate committee. Trump told reporters Wednesday as he left the White House to view hurricane damage in North Carolina…

“If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that would be very interesting.”

From Trump’s lips to God’s ear…Blasey Ford came out to issue a statement essentially saying that she will not testify to Congress, either in an open or closed door session.

Furthermore it appears that Ford will not even allow Senate investigators to fly to California and obtain her statement from the comfort of her own home (as Senator Grassley has offered to do).

Ford is demanding an FBI investigation into an allegation with no date, time or place attached to it. 

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the dangerous game of identity politics being played by the establishment, Democrat left, and their mainstream media minions.

The premise that a four decades old accusation is all that is needed to destroy a person’s entire life, threatens to tear down the most basic foundational values adhered to from within the US Constitution, and propel the United States of America towards a fascist state where censorship, citizen surveillance, and evidence free accusations are used to keep the establishment left in power and the American population cowered in fear.

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According to Zerohedge, Democrats’ Hail Mary play to stymie the confirmation of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is beginning to fizzle out. As angry Dems demanded that a Monday hearing on the allegations against Kavanaugh be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate, turncoat Republicans (on whom the Dems had been depending for votes) instead withdrew their support and fell in line after Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley declared that he would not honor Democrats’ request. Grassley revealed his intention to stand firm late Tuesday after lawyers for Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey, who is claiming that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her 35 years ago when the two were 17-year-old high school students, said their client wouldn’t be wiling to appear at Monday’s hearing.

According to the HillGrassley said Tuesday that there was “no reason” to delay the hearing now that Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly. However, while Ford’s attorneys have insisted that their client has taken a polygraph test and “deserves to be heard”, Ford has bizarrely insisted that the FBI should have an opportunity to investigate her claims before she appears before the committee in order to spare her the “trauma” of confronting her alleged assailant.

Ford’s lawyers conveyed her request in the form of a letter sent to the committee, a copy of which was obtained by CNN.

Senator Grassley said he would refuse this request as several Republicans who had appeared to be on the cusp of defecting said they wouldn’t support further delays should Ford prove unwilling to testify.

Via the Hill…

“Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who was one of the first Republicans to call for the Judiciary Committee to hit pause on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Sunday.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) told reporters earlier Tuesday that Ford’s lack of response to the committee about testifying was “puzzling.”

And GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, who had threatened to vote against Kavanaugh if Ford wasn’t given the chance to be heard, told CNN that he expected the committee to move on if she doesn’t appear.

“I think we’ll have to move to the markup,” he told CNN. “I hope she does (appear). I think she needs to be heard.”

Via Zerohedge…

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations and insisted he didn’t attend the party where the physical assault allegedly took place. Patrick Smyth, a fellow former Georgetown Prep student whom Ford alleges was also in attendance during the party issued a statement via his lawyer standing up for Kavanaugh. And in a separate letter to Grassley and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, not only does Smyth repudiate Ford’s allegations, but he adds that he doesn’t remember this party even taking place.

Of course, Feinstein – who admitted last night that she couldn’t say for certain that Ford’s story is entirely truthful – sat on Ford’s allegations for three months before referring them to the FBI and sharing them with other lawmakers (who purportedly “leaked” it to the press). President Trump on Tuesday said that he “feels sorry” for Kavanaugh, adding that he doesn’t want to “play into [Democrats] hands”, presumably by giving them more time to drag out the confirmation process.

“They should have done this a long time ago, three months ago, not now. But they did it now. So I don’t want to play into their hands,” Trump said.

Without the support of their Republican allies, Democrats will lack the votes on the committee to hold up the nomination past Monday. Though bizarrely, Kavanaugh himself hasn’t said yet whether he would or wouldn’t testify, which begs the question: If neither Kavanaugh nor Ford appear at the hearing, what exactly will lawmakers discuss?

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