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Jihadis leave East Ghouta as resistance collapses

Entire Jihadi enclave soon to be under Syrian government control as thousands of Jihadis withdraw to Idlib

Alexander Mercouris

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Exactly as I predicted last month on 26th February 2018, events in the Jihadi enclave of East Ghouta are following precisely the same script as they did in the Jihadi enclave of eastern Aleppo in 2016, with the important difference that this time the script is being played out in record time, as if the same film was being played in fast motion.

Just as they did during the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ of 2016, so in East Ghouta the Jihadis swore to resist the Syrian army fanatically, to the last man.

Just as they did during the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ of 2016, in practice as their military position has become untenable the Jihadis have agreed to Russian offers to evacuate them to Idlib.

The only difference is that what took months to happen in 2016 in Aleppo is this time taking place over a period of just a few weeks.

Over the last few days literally thousands of Jihadis have left in long convoys of buses whose security has been guaranteed by the Russian military.

According to the normally reliable Al-Masdar news agency, around 10,000 Jihadis and members of their families left East Ghouta in this way under escort on Sunday alone, 5,500 being Jihadis and their family members belonging to the group which calls itself Faylaq al-Rahman, and 4,900 being Jihadis and their families belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated group Ahrar al-Sham.

With up to 80% of the former Jihadi enclave of East Ghouta now under Syrian army control, negotiations are apparently underway for the evacuation of the remaining Jihadis holding out in Douma, East Ghouta’s main urban settlement.  It is widely expected that they too will agree to leave shortly, at which point the whole of East Ghouta will once again be under Syrian government control, for the first time since 2012.

In the meantime, just as happened in Aleppo in 2016, so now in East Ghouta as Jihadi control crumbles so tens of thousands of civilians, who had previously been prevented by the Jihadis from accepting Russian and Syrian government offers to be evacuated from East Ghouta, are now accepting them.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – a strongly pro-Jihadi source, but one which does nonetheless have genuine sources within Syria – 95,000 civilians have left East Ghouta through the ‘humanitarian corridors’ set up by the Russians and the Syrian military since Thursday 15th March 2018.

In a fierce debate about the situation in East Ghouta I had with Jim Walsh of the Security Studies Programme at MIT on Press TV on 16th March 2018 I responded to his challenge to justify my claim that my understanding of the situation of East Ghouta rather than his was the correct one by pointing out that this was precisely what would be expected to happen when following Syrian army operations the hold of the Jihadi fighters over East Ghouta would start to weaken.  It was what happened in Aleppo in 2016; and it is what is happening in East Ghouta again now

The fall of the Jihadi enclave in East Ghouta, and the now certain fall of the ISIS enclave in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk near Damascus, will bring the whole of greater Damascus under the Syrian government’s control for the first time since the summer of 2012.

Moreover just as the Syrian army’s victory in the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ of 2016 freed large numbers of Syria troops, who were then able to take the fight to ISIS in central and eastern Syria, setting the scene for the Syrian army’s spectacular advance across central and northern Syria all the way to the eastern city of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border, so the Syrian army’s pending victory in East Ghouta and Damascus will free large numbers of Syrian troops, enabling them to take the fight against the Jihadis elsewhere.

Whilst it is impossible to say for certain where the next Syrian army advance after the fall of East Ghouta will be, my guess is that it will be in northern Hama province, with the Jihadi fighters there being pushed further north into what is increasingly becoming the Turkish protectorate of Idlib province.

The Syrian army also must taken into account the resurgence of ISIS in Deir Ezzor province, where the organisation has in recent weeks taken advantage of the recent withdrawal of Kurdish fighters to fight the Turks in Afrin in order to stage a comeback.

The Syrian army also has to keep a careful eye on the situation on the Jordanian border, where the town of Daraa – the place where the uprising against President Assad’s government began – remains divided between government and Jihadi controlled areas, and where much of the countryside is under Jihadi control.

Any future Syrian army operations in Hama province, Deir Ezzor province, or in Daraa and the countryside around it, will however lack the epic quality of the ‘Great Battle of Aleppo’ of 2016, or of the Syrian army’s sweeping advances of 2017, or of the battle of East Ghouta.

They will instead be more like mopping up operations, clearing up Jihadi holdout areas after the main battles against the Jihadis have been won.

The conflict in Syria will not however be over since the US and Turkey both will continue to have  troops stationed on Syrian territory.

Removing these troops will become the Syrian government’s and Russia’s objective.  However that will have to be achieved politically rather than in a military way.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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