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The US proxy war against Russia in Syria is not being fought so much as it is being lost

How will the US respond to its inevitable loss in Syria?

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In spite of coming under constant attack from ISIS, Russian military engineers have build a bridge across the Euphrates in Deir ez-Zor, which is capable of handling 8,000 vehicles per day including large trucks and tanks.

While the rapid construction of the strong river bridge is being rightly touted as a remarkable achievement against considerable odds, it also represents an important strategic and even geo-political development in the wider context of the Syrian conflict.

Prior to the battle for Deir ez-Zor, there were whispers that Russia had consigned itself to remain west of the Euphrates in respect of its anti-terrorist battles in Syria. Implicit in this theory was that Syria would not venture east of the Euphrates, which had generally been a US and US proxy dominated area.

Officially, Syria has always maintained that it seeks to liberate “every inch” of its territory and that further more, all uninvited foreign powers and unofficial militias (such as the SDF) are illegal entities which are classed as enemies of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Far from leaving Syria to fight alone east of the Euphrates, Russia is now actively assisting Syrian troops east of the river in Deir ez-Zor. Thus, the building of the bridge increasingly confirms that Russia will stand alongside the Syrian Arab Army and Air Force as it continues to push east and north, liberating legal Syrian territory from terrorist groups and foreign occupiers.

It is no coincidence that the Syrian-Russian push east of the Euphrates has come at a time when there is mounting evidence of tripartite battlefield and intelligence collusion between ISIS, the Kurdish led US proxy militia SDF and US forces.

CONFIRMED: ISIS, the United States and SDF unite on the battle field against Syria and Russia

Nor is it a coincidence that it is becoming increasingly apparent that mutual enemies of both Syria and Russia were responsible for leaking information to ISIS which resulted in the targeted killing of the martyred Russian officer Valery Asapov.

While Russia has never deliberately targeted US proxies apart from jihadist groups, now it seems that all US proxies, including jihadist groups are systematically targeting Syrian and Russian troops. This is all the more apparent when one understands that Raqqa has been partly abandoned by the US and SDF in order to move troops and supplies to Deir ez-Zor.

There is no morally justifiable strategic reason for the US to be doing this. If there was truly something even approaching a mutual understanding about the US and its proxies along with Syria and its allies fighting ISIS in a semi-coordinated fashion, the US could continue to concentrate on Raqqa, where little real progress has been made, while Syria and Russia concentrate on Deir ez-Zor, where considerable progress has been made in spite of attacks from both ISIS and the SDF.

The only strategic reason for the US to move its proxies to Deir ez-Zor at such a time is to compete for territory with Syria and its allies and this is of course what is blatantly happening.

In June of this year, Russia stated that its forces would target any US or allied aircraft west of the Euphrates unless such moves were coordinated with Syria and her genuine partners. What was not said and what legally did not need to be said, is that Syria and her allies have the full right to operate in all parts of Syria, including east of the Euphrates. If the US thought that Russia would some how reject international law and stop Syria from exercising its right to liberate all of its territory, the US was simply being foolish.

Syria has strategically liberated parts of Syria in their order of manifest importance. It was only a matter of time before areas east of the Euphrates and Deir ez-Zor in particular, would be the next terrorist domino for Syria to push over.

Any wishful thinking on the US part that Russia would either abandon or go against Syria in this unfolding struggle, was delusional. In reality, the US may well have been leading Russia on with words of ‘cooperation’ that never amounted to a great deal, knowing that it was in fact inevitable that as soon as Syria reached the Euphrates, Syria’s Russian ally would cross the river with Syrian troops.

In this sense, while things are ever more dangerous in respect of a direct US-Russian confrontation, in the wider sense, it is the US that is losing ground. The US has gone from a policy of hard regime change, to one of soft regime change, to one of a presumed semi-permanent occupation of eastern Syria without regime change in Damascus, to the current position of being outflanked by Syria and Russia, even in eastern Syria.

The next possible move for the US might be to concentrate on northern areas dominated by Kurdish militants and radicals, but the precedent being set in Iraq at this very moment may lead the US to question the wisdom of such a position.

With Iraqi and Turkish troops conducting joint military exercises and with Turkey promising an economic embargo against Kurdish regions of Iraq at best and a full scale military intervention if this does not hold back secessionists, the US may realise that if it thinks it can carve Syria up along Kurdish nationalist lines, that Turkey will not sit idly and watch it happen, not least because Turkey’s relationship with Syrian Kurds is even worse than its relations with Iraqi Kurds which at one time was surprisingly good. In this sense, if the US goes full-throttle for Syrian Kurdish separatism, the US would retain her current opponents in Syria while gaining many angry new ones, including and especially NATO member Turkey.

Just as the 1951 Chinese Spring Offensive during the Korean War, pushed US allied troops back below the 38th parallel, the current Syria-Russian offensive in Deir ez-Zor could begin to squeeze the US out of much of eastern Syria and back to the Iraqi border.

With 85% of Syria already back under government control, a strategic and symbolic victory for Syria is already in the making. The question is, how much are the US and her proxy forces willing to fight back and expend further blood in this process?

The bigger question therefore no longer reads, “Is the US at war with Russia in Syria”? The question now is, “How will the US respond to its inevitable loss”?

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Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“there were whispers that Russia had consigned itself to remain west of the Euphrates in respect of its anti-terrorist battles in Syria. Implicit in this theory was that Syria would not venture east of the Euphrates, which had generally been a US and US proxy dominated area.”

Rumors spread by whom? The US-ISIS coalition? US have no legal right to be in Syria and I mean, NOWHERE in Syria. US don’t even have diplomatic relation with Syria.

Terry Ross
Guest
Terry Ross

I think AG means the claims made by various analysts, which as it turned out were simply guesses.

Logic
Guest
Logic

The US not only has no right to be in Syria but most importantly the US has no right to exist. The sect occupies America. “Americans United Against the United States of America” opposes this injustice and it is important that Russia recognizes this for there is a basic maxim of law known as: “A piratis et latronibus capta dominium non mutant” meaning “things taken by pirates or robbers do not change their ownership.” After illegally occupying America it now seeks to occupy the whole world militarily and also with its secular religion. The sect calls this mythological triumphalist ambition… Read more »

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Your Rothschild Crest Avatar alone indicates dis-ingeniousness, therefore your echo chamber of comments here are hardly believable as being genuine.

Your Zionist Tribe and Squatter State is supporting both ISIS and the Kurds openly, and that is a fact. You would serve the cause of truth by going on Hebrew Discussions advocating/commenting as you do here.

DawnJHendrickson
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DawnJHendrickson

Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
!si294d:
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LauraJHarris
Guest
LauraJHarris

Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
!si295d:
➽➽
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JNDillard
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JNDillard

How long before the Syrians and Russians declare a “no fly zone” over Syria east of the Euphrates?

Terry Ross
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Terry Ross

As soon as Deir Ezzor city is clear and the airport is equipped with S-300/S-400 I would expect.
They would probably allow the US to exist in Hasakah for a while until it sinks in they need to leave Syria for good.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

SOON, I hope.

Gavin Allen
Guest
Gavin Allen

It seems Adam’s on the drugs again. And it appears he’s still trying to pretend that the SDF is “Kurdish” and not Syrian (and majority Arab). “if it thinks it can carve Syria up along Kurdish nationalist lines…” – the Syrian Kurds are anti-nationalist and fighting for a free, democratic Syria. Adam, you really are a loser, as opposed to the Syrian people, who held the first ever free elections in Syria last week in the DFNS.

Terry Ross
Guest
Terry Ross

You seem to be taking the Pentagon line which has claimed the makeup of the SDF is 60% Arabs and 40% Kurds, even though the SDF is controlled by the Turkish YPG. Of course Turkey (nor Syria) does not believe a word of this and the claim seems to be merely to cover for Trump’s decision to openly arm the YPG under the weak excuse “but the majority of SDF are Arabs” Turkey has already announced that the arming of Turkish YPG, whom it considers terrorist, would be crossing its red line. BTW: When Adam used the term “Kurdish Nationalist… Read more »

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Gavin Allen seems to be trolling for IsraHELL/Washington. His comments fit their format.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

comment image

7.62x54r
Guest
7.62x54r

How can anti-Syrian Kurds be fighting for a democratic Syria? What they want is Syrian land- and oil fields- with the US military standing behind them. Why not give them part of Arizona or land in the center of the UK?

TravelAbout
Guest
TravelAbout

Or better yet part of Israel.

JPH
Guest
JPH

“How will the US respond to its inevitable loss”?

Double down duplicity…

paul
Guest
paul

I think this is nonsense. To push the US backed Kurds out means a confrontation with the US. Russia has no stomach for that. It looks right now like the US will control the oil fields. Checkmate.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Are you trolling for Washington or are you a hasbarat? The US is NOT going to control any part of Syria. Washington’s proxy terrorists, including the Kurdish Krud are LOSING, in case you haven’t noticed.

If the Jews’ puppets in Washington are so desperate for nuclear war, it might as well start in Syria.

TravelAbout
Guest
TravelAbout

“If the Jews’ puppets in Washington are so desperate for nuclear war, it might as well start in Syria” better it start a bit southwest of there..

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

It will start by either IsraHELL or Washington deciding that they can get away with using nukes. Pentagon estimates are about FIVE BILLION dead.

Wayne Blow
Guest
Wayne Blow

B.S.

Robin Morritt
Guest
Robin Morritt

“Checkmate”, Paul? Checkmate is when you capture the King in chess. The Americans will fight Assad to the last drop of Al Qaeda, Kurdish and Islamic State blood, but he’s doing just fine. It is the terrorists and traitors and their foreign sponsors who are feeling the heat.

charlie
Guest
charlie

isis terrorist die… Al..cia ..duh cry…

Boris Kazlov
Guest
Boris Kazlov

I have a whole bottle of Russian vodka from St.Petersburg to drink after Syria is fully liberated. Na sderovya Siri!

eric zweistein
Guest
eric zweistein

Great summary by Adam Garrie.

Latest

The mainstream media does not want you to think [Video]

It is difficult to tell if recent reports like this really represent a realization for the media, but this interview rings true nonetheless.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Several recent stories on Fox, Breitbart, and here on The Duran all address the increasingly obvious bias of the mainstream media with regard to news reporting. We discussed on The Duran how Chris Wallace of Fox News refused to hear details from White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller about why the recently declared National Emergency is in fact legitimate.

This piece revealed that the media is very actively trying to control and direct what information they want the public to hear, rather than truly reporting the news, or interviewing people to get their takes on things, and to perhaps fully interview all sides in a controversy and then let the American public decide for themselves what to think.

This used to exist in more gentlemanly debate programs in some fashion, such as with the TV debate program Point Counterpoint, but now, the bias of the reporter or of the network is the primary operator in determining the outcome of the interview, rather than the information that is available about the story.

This has helped create a news and information culture in the United States that is truly insane. As examples, consider these paraphrased headlines, all occurring within the last few years:

All of these are probably familiar to most readers. Many of them are still repeated and acted on as if they were real. But the articles we linked to behind most of these ledes are examples of the disproof, usually 100% disproof, of these. They are hoaxes, or reports built on circumstantial evidence without any proof, or in the worst cases, pure slander and propaganda.

One reporter for CBS news, 60 Minutes anchor Lara Logan, discussed this in an interview with retired Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, for his own podcast program, which was picked up by the MediaIte website. The video of her interview is quite lengthy but starting at about 02:14:00 there is a particular segment that the MediaIte writers called to attention. We include this segment in the video.

PARENTAL ADVISORY: The video is unrestricted in regards to language and there is some profanity. Parents, please listen first before letting your children watch this video.

A major point Mrs Logan makes here is that 85% of the employ of the mainstream media in the USA consist of registered Democrats. She also speaks forcefully against the use of stereotypes, and suggests the best place to start is actual facts. This means that most journalists are coming into this work with a bias, which is not set aside for the sake of the facts of the story.

Probably the most key point comes at 2:18:20 in the video is how Lara Logan is taught the way to discern whether or not someone in journalism is lying to you:

“Someone very smart told me a long time ago, that, ‘how do you know you are being lied to?’, ‘how do you know you are being manipulated?’, ‘how do you know there is something not right with the coverage?’, when they simplify it all, and there is no gray. There is no gray. It’s all one way.

“Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it is probably not. Something is wrong.”

Lara Logan then pointed out the comparison of the mainstream media’s constant negative coverage of President Trump against the reality of his work, that, regardless of one’s own personal bias, it does not match that everything the President does is bad. She also highlighted the point that one’s personal views should not come into how to report a news story.

Yet in our days, it not only comes into the story, it drives the narrative for which the story just becomes an example of “proof” that the narrative is “true.” 

Tucker Carlson talked vividly about the same characteristic on his program Monday night on Fox News.

He points out that the 3,000 yearly shooting in Chicago get very little news coverage, but that is because these are not as “useful” as the Jussie Smollett story is.

This is an example of using an event or a person’s actions to satisfy a politically biased propaganda narrative, rather than report the news.

This is not occasional, as the list of news headlines given above show. This is a constant practice across most of the mainstream media. Probably no one who gives interviews on the major networks is exempt, for even Mr. Carlson often resorts to cornering tactics when interviewing liberals in an apparent attempt to make the liberal look ridiculous and the point of view he espouses to look vindicated through that ridiculousness.

While this is emotionally invigorating for the Carlson fan who wants to see him “eviscerate” the liberal, it is very bad journalism. In fact, it is not journalism at all; it is sensationalism in a nasty sense.

It also insults the viewer, perhaps without them knowing it, because such reporting is the same as telling the viewer “WE ARE IN CONTROL!” and that the viewer must simply go along with the narrative given.

It is very bad when what should be information reporting, policy discussion, or debate becomes infected with this. Ideas, the product of (hopefully) rational and discursive reasoning, are pushed aside by pure emotion and mass sensationalism. Put metaphorically, it is the new look of bread and circuses, keeping the masses entertained while anything else might be happening.

Sometimes the motive for this is not so sinister. After all, we have a 24 hour news cycle now. In the 1970’s we didn’t. And in those times, the calibre of news reported was much higher. Reporting was far more careful. The Pulitzer Prize winners  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did their incredible exposé on the doings of President Richard Nixon under the directorship of the Washington Post editor, which demanded triple-checking of everything, making sure that all information was factual, accurate and genuine. While the story was indeed sensational, more importantly, it was true.

Now we have a lot of sensation, but very little to zero truth. As an example, every one of the ledes linked above is not proven to be true, in fact the truth in many of these stories is the opposite of what the headline says.

This would not be much of a problem if the media lies were not absorbed and reacted on by their readers, listeners and viewers. But the fact is that there are a significant number of consumers of mainstream media news that do react to it. The Covington High School incident showed this in perhaps the most frightening way, with open calls for violence against teenagers and high school students, requested by professionals, people that are supposed to be adults, such as Kathy Griffin, Reza Aslan, and GQ writer Nathaniel Friedman, who called for these kids to be “doxxed”, which as we reported, is an action that can be deadly.

We are in the times where the love of many has gone cold, and all is about expediency and selfishness. While there are a few outlets and a few journalists that still retain interest in recording and disseminating the truth, the reality is that most of what is out there is tainted by the drive for attention and sensationalism.

The media that engages in such behavior is actually hurting people, rather than informing and helping them.

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Latest

Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Fortunately the world today is very different from that of 2003, Washington’s decrees are less effective in determining the world order. But in spite of this new, more balanced division of power amongst several powers, Washington appears ever more aggressive towards allies and enemies alike, regardless of which US president is in office.

China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States. To succeed in this endeavor, they use a hybrid strategy involving diplomacy, military support to allies, and economic guarantees to countries under Washington’s attack.

The United States considers the whole planet its playground. Its military and political doctrine is based on the concept of liberal hegemony, as explained by political scientist John Mearsheimer. This imperialistic attitude has, over time, created a coordinated and semi-official front of countries resisting this liberal hegemony. The recent events in Venezuela indicate why cooperation between these counter-hegemonic countries is essential to accelerating the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar reality, where the damage US imperialism is able to bring about is diminished.

Moscow and Beijing lead the world by hindering Washington

Moscow and Beijing, following a complex relationship from the period of the Cold War, have managed to achieve a confluence of interests in their grand objectives over the coming years. The understanding they have come to mainly revolves around stemming the chaos Washington has unleashed on the world.

The guiding principle of the US military-intelligence apparatus is that if a country cannot be controlled (such as Iraq following the 2003 invasion), then it has to be destroyed in order to save it from falling into Sino-Russian camp. This is what the United States has attempted to do with Syria, and what it intends to do with Venezuela.

The Middle East is an area that has drawn global attention for some time, with Washington clearly interested in supporting its Israeli and Saudi allies in the region. Israel pursues a foreign policy aimed at dismantling the Iranian and Syrian states. Saudi Arabia also pursues a similar strategy against Iran and Syria, in addition to fueling a rift within the Arab world stemming from its differences with Qatar.

The foreign-policy decisions of Israel and Saudi Arabia have been supported by Washington for decades, for two very specific reasons: the influence of the Israel lobby in the US, and the need to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries sell oil in US dollars, thereby preserving the role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

The US dollar remaining the global reserve currency is essential to Washington being able to maintain her role as superpower and is crucial to her hybrid strategy against her geopolitical rivals. Sanctions are a good example of how Washington uses the global financial and economic system, based on the US dollar, as a weapon against her enemies. In the case of the Middle East, Iran is the main target, with sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from trading on foreign banking systems. Washington has vetoed Syria’s ability to procure contracts to reconstruct the country, with European companies being threatened that they risk no longer being able to work in the US if they accept to work in Syria.

Beijing and Moscow have a clear diplomatic strategy, jointly rejecting countless motions advanced by the US, the UK and France at the United Nations Security Council condemning Iran and Syria. On the military front, Russia continues her presence in Syria. China’s economic efforts, although not yet fully visible in Syria and Iran, will be the essential part of reviving these countries destroyed by years of war inflicted by Washington and her allies.

China and Russia’s containment strategy in the Middle East aims to defend Syria and Iran diplomatically using international law, something that is continuously ridden roughshod over by the US and her regional allies. Russia’s military action has been crucial to curbing and defeating the inhuman aggression launched against Syria, and has also drawn a red line that Israel cannot cross in its efforts to attack Iran. The defeat of the United States in Syria has created an encouraging precedent for the rest of the world. Washington has been forced to abandon the original plans to getting rid of Assad.

Syria will be remembered in the future as the beginning of the multipolar revolution, whereby the United States was contained in military-conventional terms as a result of the coordinated actions of China and Russia.

China’s economic contribution provides for such urgent needs as the supply of food, government loans, and medicines to countries under Washington’s economic siege. So long as the global financial system remains anchored to the US dollar, Washington remains able to cause a lot of pain to countries refusing to obey her diktats.

The effectiveness of economic sanctions varies from country to country. The Russian Federation used sanctions imposed by the West as an impetus to obtain a complete, or almost autonomous, refinancing of its main foreign debt, as well as to producing at home what had previously been imported from abroad. Russia’s long-term strategy is to open up to China and other Asian countries as the main market for imports and exports, reducing contacts with the Europeans if countries like France and Germany continue in their hostility towards the Russian Federation.

Thanks to Chinese investments, together with planned projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the hegemony of the US dollar is under threat in the medium to long term. The Chinese initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, energy, rail, road and technology connections among dozens of countries, added to the continuing need for oil, will drive ever-increasing consumption of oil in Asia that is currently paid for in US dollars.

Moscow is in a privileged position, enjoying good relations with all the major producers of oil and LNG, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, and including Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria. Moscow’s good relations with Riyadh are ultimately aimed at the creation of an OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia.

Particular attention should be given to the situation in Venezuela, one of the most important countries in OPEC. Riyadh sent to Caracas in recent weeks a tanker carrying two million barrels of oil, and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has taken a neutral stance regarding Venezuela, maintaining a predictable balance between Washington and Caracas.

These joint initiatives, led by Moscow and Beijing, are aimed at reducing the use of the US dollar by countries that are involved in the BRI and adhere to the OPEC+ format. This diversification away from the US dollar, to cover financial transactions between countries involving investment, oil and LNG, will see the progressive abandonment of the US dollar as a result of agreements that increasingly do away with the dollar.

For the moment, Riyadh does not seem intent on losing US military protection. But recent events to do with Khashoggi, as well as the failure to list Saudi Aramco on the New York or London stock exchanges, have severely undermined the confidence of the Saudi royal family in her American allies. The meeting between Putin and MBS at the G20 in Bueno Aires seemed to signal a clear message to Washington as well as the future of the US dollar.

Moscow and Beijing’s military, economic and diplomatic efforts see their culmination in the Astana process. Turkey is one of the principle countries behind the aggression against Syria; but Moscow and Tehran have incorporated it into the process of containing the regional chaos spawned by the United States. Thanks to timely agreements in Syria known as “deconfliction zones”, Damascus has advanced, city by city, to clear the country of the terrorists financed by Washington, Riyadh and Ankara.

Qatar, an economic guarantor of Turkey, which in return offers military protection to Doha, is also moving away from the Israeli-Saudi camp as a result of Sino-Russian efforts in the energy, diplomatic and military fields. Doha’s move has also been because of the fratricidal diplomatic-economic war launched by Riyadh against Doha, being yet another example of the contagious effect of the chaos created by Washington, especially on US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Washington loses military influence in the region thanks to the presence of Moscow, and this leads traditional US allies like Turkey and Qatar to gravitate towards a field composed essentially of the countries opposed to Washington.

Washington’s military and diplomatic defeat in the region will in the long run make it possible to change the economic structure of the Middle East. A multipolar reality will prevail, where regional powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will feel compelled to interact economically with the whole Eurasian continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The basic principle for Moscow and Beijing is the use of military, economic and diplomatic means to contain the United States in its unceasing drive to kill, steal and destroy.

From the Middle East to Asia

Beijing has focussed in Asia on the diplomatic field, facilitating talks between North and South Korea, accelerating the internal dialogue on the peninsula, thereby excluding external actors like the United States (who only have the intention of sabotaging the talks). Beijing’s military component has also played an important role, although never used directly as the Russian Federation did in Syria. Washington’s options vis-a-vis the Korean peninsular were strongly limited by the fact that bordering the DPRK were huge nuclear and conventional forces, that is to say, the deterrence offered by Russia and China. The combined military power of the DPRK, Russia and China made any hypothetical invasion and bombing of Pyongyang an impractical option for the United States.

As in the past, the economic lifeline extended to Pyongyang by Moscow and Beijing proved to be decisive in limiting the effects of the embargo and the complete financial war that Washington had declared on North Korea. Beijing and Moscow’s skilled diplomatic work with Seoul produced an effect similar to that of Turkey in the Middle East, with South Korea slowly seeming to drift towards the multipolar world offered by Russia and China, with important economic implications and prospects for unification of the peninsula.

Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.

The United States seems to be losing its imperialistic mojo most significantly in Asia and the Middle East, not only militarily but also diplomatically and economically.

The situation is different in Europe and Venezuela, two geographical areas where Washington still enjoys greater geopolitical weight than in Asia and the Middle East. In both cases, the effectiveness of the two Sino-Russian resistance – in military, economic and diplomatic terms – is more limited, for different reasons. This situation, in line with the principle of America First and the return to the Monroe doctrine, will be the subject of the next article.

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Latest

Nearly assassinated by his own fighters, al-Baghdadi and his caliphate on its last legs (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 178.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how the Islamic State has been rapidly losing territory over the last two years in Syria and Iraq, due to efforts by Russian and Syrian forces, as well as the US and their Kurdish allies.

The jihadist caliphate has lost most of its forces and resources, leading it to go into hiding.

Al-Masdar News is reporting that Daesh* leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly attacked in a village near Hajin by some of the terrorist organisation’s foreign fighters in an apparent coup attempt, The Guardian reported, citing anonymous intelligence sources. Baghdadi reportedly survived the alleged coup attempt, with his bodyguards taking him into hiding in the nearby desert.

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Meanwhile European leaders are shocked at US President Trump’s ISIS ultimatum. Via Zerohedge

After President Trump’s provocative tweets on Sunday wherein he urged European countries to “take back” and prosecute some 800 ISIS foreign fighters as US forces withdraw from Syria, or else “we will be forced to release them,” the message has been met with shock, confusion and indifference in Europe. Trump had warned the terrorists could subsequently “permeate Europe”.

Possibly the most pathetic and somewhat ironic response came from Denmark, where a spokesperson for Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Copenhagen won’t take back Danish Islamic State foreign fighters to stand trial in the country, according to the German Press Agency DPA“We are talking about the most dangerous people in the world. We should not take them back,” the spokesperson stressed, and added that the war in Syria is ongoing, making the US president’s statement premature.

Germany’s response was also interesting, given a government official framed ISIS fighters’ ability to return as a “right”.  A spokeswoman for Germany’s interior ministry said, “In principle, all German citizens and those suspected of having fought for so-called Islamic State have the right to return.” She even added that German ISIS fighters have “consular access” — as if the terrorists would walk right up to some embassy window in Turkey or Beirut!

Noting that the Iraqi government has also of late contacted Germany to transport foreign fighters to their home country for trial, she added, “But in Syria, the German government cannot guarantee legal and consular duties for jailed German citizens due to the armed conflict there.”

France, for its part, has already agreed to repatriate over 130 French Islamic State members as part of a deal reached in January with US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are holding them, after which they will go through the French legal system. However, French Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez still insisted that the west’s Kurdish allies would never merely let ISIS terrorists walk out their battlefield prisons free.

“It’s the Kurds who hold them and we have every confidence in their ability to keep them,” Nuñez told French broadcaster BFMTV on Sunday. “Anyway, if these individuals return to the national territory, they all have ongoing judicial proceedings, they will all be put on trial, and incarcerated,” he said, in comments which appeared to leave it up to others to make happen.

And representing the Belgian government, Justice Minister Koen Geens charged Trump with blindsiding his European allies with the demand, which included Trump underscoring that it is “time for others to step up and do the job” before it’s too late. “It would have been nice for friendly nations to have these kinds of questions raised through the usual diplomatic channels rather than a tweet in the middle of the night,” Geens said during a broadcast interview on Sunday, according to the AFP.

Meanwhile in the UK the issue has recently become politically explosive as debate over so-called British jihadist bride Shamima Begum continues. The now 19-year old joined Islamic State in 2015 after fleeing the UK when she was just 15. She’s now given birth in a Syrian refugee camp and is demanding safe return to Britain for fear that she and her child could die in the camp, so near the war zone.

Conservatives in Britain, such as Interior Minister Sajid Javid have argued that “dangerous individuals” coming back to the UK from battlefields in the Middle East should be stripped of their British citizenship. He said this option has already been “so far exercises more than 100 times,” otherwise he also advocates prosecution of apprehended returning suspects “regardless of their age and gender.”

Identified as French nationals fighting within ISIS’ ranks, via Khaama press news agency

The UN has estimated that in total up to 42,000 foreign fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria to join IS — which appears a very conservative estimate — and which includes about 900 from Germany and 850 from Britain.

SDF leaders have previously complained about the “lack the capacity” for mass incarceration of ISIS terrorists and the inability to have proper battlefield trials for them. Recent estimates have put the number of ISIS militants in US-SDF battlefield jails at over 1000, though Trump put the number at 800 in his tweet.

However, even once they do return to Europe it’s unclear the extent to which they’ll be properly prosecuted and locked in prison by European authorities.

For example, another fresh controversy that lately erupted in Britain involved a 29-year old UK woman who traveled to join ISIS, and was convicted for membership in a terrorist group upon her return to Britain. She was jailed on a six year sentence in 2016, but is now already walking free a mere less than three years after her conviction.

 

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