Sunday, 22 April 2018

Bashar al Assad walking the streets WITHOUT SECURITY

Call me naive but I find it hard to believe from this video that Bashar al-Assad is a monster and mass murderer that he is presented.

As with any head of state he is bound to have committed outrages against his population but you name me any western (or other) leader who is able to walk the streets without a security detail.

Perhaps he was amongst his fellow Alwaites?
President Bashar Al Assad walking in the streets of Damascus, Syria on June 8, 2017

Sarah Abed

President Bashar Assad can be seen here walking in the streets of Damascus, being greeted by civilians who are excited to see him. He was making his way to the "Made in Syria" exhibition in Damascus on June 8th, 2017. He is a president that was elected by the people, of the people, and for the people. Mainstream media has demonized him in pursuit of "regime change" but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Is the chemical attack to provide a pretext for excalation

Chemical Attack in Douma: a false pretext for escalating war against Syria?

8 April, 2018

Update 20 April – now we have heard testimony not only from residents and medics, but also from one of the children featured in the video

Further update: German TV News from ZDF carries report of numerous witness statements from Douma refugees who all say the chemical attack was staged (from minute 7:30), which does reduce the likelihood that witnesses could have been ‘planted’ or coerced. (I have added a separate note on this latter matter, 
21 April.)

Update 16 April – further to doubts expressed by prominent journalists and senior British military figures over recent days, today renowned journalist Robert Fisk visited the actual scene of the clinic and reports doctor’s confirmation of what two medical workers had previously said (April 13), namely, that smoke/dust inhalation following an explosion had caused the breathing difficulties patients presented with. What then happened was that a man came in shouting that there’d been a gas/chemical attack, causing panic, and starting getting people hosed down for the camera. This same story was also reported by Pearson Sharp for OAN who additionally interviewed dozens of local residents, randomly chosen from queues for relief supplies, none of whom had seen any sign of any chemical attack.

Original post 8 April 2018 Allegations of a chemical attack in Douma by Syria on 7 April were met by threats from President Trump to attack Syria. These were followed by Israeli missile strikes on an airfield in Homs early on 9 April. Given the pace of events and their significance for potential escalation in tensions between the Western powers and Russia, it is helpful to have timely information about questions that are under investigation by independent researchers. This post will be updated as and when insightful contributions are published, including as work in progress. Comments are open to allow for readers’ further recommendations and observations.
In the media

OAN’S Pearson Sharp refutes MSM reports of alleged Syrian chemical attack’ (18 April) – 7 minutes of interviews with witnesses in the street by the site of alleged attack
Dirk Emmerich, RTL Deutschland (16 April) [in German, shows citizens saying they were used as human shields, knew of no gas attack, and are very glad for the food they can now get.]
Testimony from on the ground in Douma
Current work in progress
Research on previous chemical incidents in Syria:
Selected interviews about wider context of the current crisis
Jeffrey Sachs (12 April)
Maria Zacharova (12 April)
Summary of key questions
1. Was there a gas attack?
[ If no, how can deaths alleged caused by it be explained?]
2. If yes, was Syrian government responsible?
[If no, who was?
3. If yes, were the airstrikes justified under principles of international law?
The answer to (3), even assuming affirmative answers to (1) and (2) = NO, according to Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution—Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame. (Unlawful Reprisals to the Rescue against Chemical Attacks? – 12 April 2018)
Further discussion of legitimacy and legality of Western action

Report on Syria

Syria Sitrep - Cleanup Around Damascus - WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack

20 April, 2018

After the Syrian army liberated Douma, the next Takfiri held areas near the capital Damascus fell in short order. The Jaish al-Islam militants in Dumayr, north-east of Damascus, gave up without a fight. As usual by now the Takfiris were transferred to the north-western Idleb governorate held by al-Qaeda and other Turkish supported forces. The town of Dumayr controls the Damascus Baghdad highway. Capitulation negotiations in the nearby Eastern Qalamoun are ongoing.
The former Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk is an upbuild suburb south of Damascus. One part is in the hands of al-Qaeda and another was controlled by an Islamic State group. Offers to evacuate the groups were made but rejected. Yesterday the Syrian army launched a massive artillery barrage and the Russian and Syrian air force dropped bombs onto the quarter. Today, just twenty-four hours later, the Takfiris gave up. The al-Qaeda aligned militants will be evacuated to Idleb, the Islamic State aligned group to the eastern Syrian desert.
With each elimination of a 'rebel' pockets Syrian army is gaining strength. Ten-thousands of soldiers who were needed to hold the Takfiri held areas around Damascus surrounded and under control are now free to attack elsewhere. Some of the militants who did not evacuate also joined the government forces.
The evacuation of many militants to the north-west might later turn up to be problematic. They will eventually come under Turkish control and could be used in another Turkish attempt to take Aleppo. But for now they are infighting. Al-Qaeda in Syria, now renamed to Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is fighting with other groups over control of the area. Over the last months about one thousand of the militants have killed each other, 3,000 were wounded and many of their heavy arms were destroyed. The Syrian government hopes that such infighting will continue for a while.
When all the surrounded areas within the government realm are consolidated the Syrian army will move towards the borders in the south. The area around Deraa up to the Israeli occupied Golan heights and the Jordan border is in the hands of various groups of militants. Like in the north rebel infighting is a frequent occurrence. Two days ago an Islamic State aligned group tried to wrest control over some villages east of Deraa from some other local militant group. Fighting has been ongoing since and both sides are losing strength. One wonders how many of these fights between rebels are instigated by undercover Syrian intelligence agents.
The greatest difficulty for the Syrian army operation in the south is the Israeli supply and support for a number terrorist groups in that area. Should Israel intervene in any form in the Syrian operation to liberate the area the fight can easily escalate into a larger war.
The destroyed city of Raqqa in the east is becoming a headache for the U.S. occupation force. The U.S. used unwilling Kurdish ground troops to attack the city. It was not much of an infantry fight. Anything that moved was simply bombed from the air or ground. The one U.S. artillery battalion that covered the city fired more than 35,000 155mmm rounds during the five month operation. Now some 80% of the buildings in Raqqa are completely destroyed. The rest is inhabitable.
The city has no water and no electricity. The U.S. claimed that 2,500 ISIS militants were in the city when the fighting started. In the end the U.S. let at least 500 of those leave the city and move further east to fight the Syrian army. It also said that only 30 civilians were killed in its attack. That is of course nonsense. At least 2,000 dead bodies have been recovered so far and 6,000 more dead are recorded as still lying under the ruins. There will be more. The city administration has no equipment and money to recover them. The U.S. is unwilling to spend any money for the city it destroyed and the Kurdish warlords who now occupy the city are incompetent and have no interest to help its Arab inhabitants. The population that has returned is hostile towards the U.S. and the Kurds. It wants to get back under Syrian government control.
Further east at the Syrian Iraqi border and north of the Euphrates some 3-5,000 ISIS fighters live unmolested by U.S. air or ground attacks. The U.S. prevented Syrian government troops who control the area south of Euphrates from attacking the ISIS forces. But neither Syria nor Iraq can allow that ISIS pocket to survive. Yesterday a high level meeting was held in the operation room in Baghdad where Russian, Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi commanders arrange common operations against ISIS. Shortly thereafter an Iraqi jet attacked a ISIS command meeting near Hajin in Syria. The strike had Syrian government approval. Syrian government forces have rebuild a military bridge that will allow them to cross the Euphrates in a future operation. Several battalions, including auxiliary troops under Iranian command, are ready to attack. Will the U.S. bomb them when they cross the river? Or will it hold back and allow Iraqi air support for the Syrian troops?
The neo-conservatives are busy insinuating that Syria still has chemical weapon program and that it is distributed throughout the country.
U.S. assessments following the U.S., British and French missile strikes on Syria show they had only a limited impact on President Bashar al-Assad’s ability to carry out chemical weapons attacks, four U.S. officials told Reuters.
U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the available intelligence indicated that Assad’s stock of chemicals and precursors was believed to be scattered far beyond the three targets.
This is of course just nonsense. Syria gave up its chemical weapons in 2013 and the OPCW confirmed that all weapon and precursor stocks were destroyed and all laboratories and production facilities dismantled.
This new fairytale of Assad's chemical weapons is designed to create a pretext for a another, more extensive bombing campaign against Syria. A fake pretext build on fake 'chemical attack' in Douma.
There is no evidence that any 'chemical attack' occurred in Douma. All the U.S., French and British government have are some videos created by known propagandists like the White Helmets who work for  those governments. The State Department's spokesperson finally acknowledged that:
MS NAUERT: Yeah. ... We recognize and appreciate and are very grateful for all the work that the White Helmets continues to do on behalf of the people of their country and on behalf of the U.S. Government and all the coalition forces.
I’ve just exchanged emails with him the other day. My understanding is that their work is still going on, and we’re proud to work with them.
Republican Representative Massie remarked today:
Thomas Massie @RepThomasMassie - 14:03 UTC- 19 Apr 2018
In briefing to Congress, DNI, SecDef, and SecState provided zero real evidence. Referenced info circulating online. Which means either they chose not to provide proof to Congress or they don’t have conclusive proof that Assad carried out gas attack. Either way, not good.
After being stalled for five days the OPCW fact finding mission finally reached the area in Douma where the alleged 'chemical attack happened. It entered under protection of Russian military police.
The scientific research service of the German Bundestag published a report (pdf, German) today which concludes that the U.S. led attack on Syria on April 13 was evidently in violation of international law.

OPCW has visited chemical attack site in Syria

OPCW confirms visit to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria

OPCW confirms visit to site of alleged chemical attack in Syria
21 April, 2018

The OPCW confirmed that a team visited the site in Douma where an alleged chemical attack took place. The Russian Foreign Ministry has voiced concerns about the watchdog’s plans to visit fewer sites and speak to fewer witnesses.

On Saturday the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Twitter that its fact-finding mission team “visited one of the sites” in Douma “to collect samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons use on 7 April 2018.” 

🔴 BREAKING: Fact-Finding Mission Team Visits , . Press Release:
2:49 AM - 22 Apr 2018

The collected samples will be sent to OPCW's laboratory in Rijswijk, Netherlands and then “dispatched for analysis to the OPCW’s designated labs,” the mission said in a statement.

The watchdog said it would "evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma."

The OPCW team departed for the city in Eastern Ghouta 11 days after Damascus sent a formal request to the watchdog to inspect the area, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Such delays in such a resonating case, regardless of the motives, are unacceptable, since not only the Syrian side but the Russian military [stationed in Syria] guaranteed the security of the OPCW team,” she stated.

Moscow expects the OPCW to investigate the alleged chemical incident impartially. However, the mission’s plans to visit fewer sites linked to the purported attack and interview fewer witnesses raises “serious concerns,” Zakharova said. According to the spokeswoman, these plans only“demonstrate the unwillingness to shed light on yet another staged provocation with the use of chemicals, which served as a reason for the missile strike” by the US, UK, and France.

The fact-finding mission faced a series of security-related setbacks in its attempts to reach Douma. On Wednesday, the OPCW confirmed that its mission to Douma was delayed from entering the city after a UN security team came under “small arms fire.” Contrary to a US claim, the watchdog didn’t say that the delay was caused by Russia or Syria. Washington had previously accused Damascus and Moscow of blocking the fact-finding team from reaching the city.

The OPCW team’s arrival in Douma was postponed on April 14 after the US, UK, and France unleashed a bombing campaign on Syria. The airstrikes were carried out in response to the alleged gas attack in Douma on April 7, which the West blamed on Bashar Assad’s government. The operation started hours before the team was due to reach the city.

Last Saturday, Syrian defenses were scrambled to repel 103 cruise missiles and air-surface missiles launched at civilian and military targets by the Western trio. It managed to intercept at least 71 of them, the Russian Defense Ministry said at the time.

ALERT!!! Heavy gunfire at Saudi royal palace and possible coup

It is approximately 8 hours as I post this and I can find no mention of this event anywhere – not on Reuters or Radio NZ.

Omission of such an event, even if it’s only a mishap with a drone eliciting gunfire (lol) indicates a NEWS BLACKOUT.

But the story is carried here in great detail, courtesy of Hal Turner with a more reticent reporting from RT.

It is the one time I actually HOPE that Hal Turner is exaggerating out of all proportion because if he is near being right we are fucked and all Mike Ruppert’s predictions about the fall of the House of Saud.

We will have to keep a watch on this and while waiting ask why 8 hours after the event there is still no mention on Reuters.

NB I have not replicated the videos from Hal Turner's article but posted videos from off You Tube.


21 April, 2018

At about 2:45 PM Eastern US time Saturday, reports of "gunfire and explosions" at the Royal Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia started coming in.   Shortly thereafter, the palace itself reported that guards shot down a drone and there was nothing to be concerned about.  That statement by the Palace was false.

Video (below) proves there was very heavy and prolonged machine gun fire and several explosions at the Royal Palace.  A Coup is clearly being attempted!
Saudi Arabia now confirms that "an incident" caused the evacuation of King Salman to a military base where he is reported safe.

I cannot confirm that this is an attempted coup.  It may be some sort of ATTACK.  
Details are very sketchy right now, but updates will appear below as info becomes clearer.
 Second Video Confirms prolonged gunfire:

There is definitely fighting going on around the Palace of the Saudi King.

Some reports suggest a Palace coup.

But some sources claiming attack by Yemeni Houthis.

Situation is unclear....its night time and NO official reports are possible.

All sources are Saudis so far..

Third Video:

Now,  Fourth Video:

 UPDATE 5:35 PM EDT --
Clashes now between the Royal Guard forces and other unidentified forces with light and medium weapons.


View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Official statement: A security check point noticed an unlicensed commercial/drone flying in Al Khuzama area of & they acted according to procedures put in place for such incidents. An investigation is underway.

COVERT INTEL DIRECT FROM GOV'T INSIDERS: violent clashes ongoing between Salman's forces and other unidentified forces, believed to be affiliated with opposition Princes, who were urged to use rocket-propelled grenades.  Severely bad development, VERY destabilizing.


My former collegaues in the Intelligence Community have directly confirmed to me the following: "a senior ground force officer led a raid on the palace to kill the king and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."
All social media have been shutdown in Saudi Arabia 


If King Salman dies, his son Muhamad Bin Salman would be the new King. If they are both dead at least three Royal factions, the Clergy leadership, several bedouin tribes, religious minorities (both Shia and Sunni), ethnic minorities and hundreds of disgruntled princes will start fighting for power.  Saudi Arabia would likely disintegrate overnight.  It would be much worse than the Syrian civil war and would affect global oil supplies immediately.
Whoever did this clearly comes from the multitude of entities/factions that stand to benefit if the King and his son get killed.  The fact that social media has been cut off inside Saudi Arabia means they are severely concerned this might trigger factional fighting even without the death of the King or his son.  This event is HUGELY destabilizing for that country and for the region.
This is going to have to be watched very closely over the next weeks.  Trouble like this just doesn't crop-up spontaneously; it is usually long-planned.  Whoever did this, will not give up.

Drone triggers gunfire outside royal palace in Riyadh (VIDEOS)

21 April, 2018

A number of videos have emerged online, showing heavy gunfire in the vicinity of the royal palace in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. The disturbance was caused by a small drone, which entered an off-limits zone, the police said.

The shooting incident occurred late on Saturday, triggering confusion on social media. While one of the initial reports suggested that the shooting erupted when the palace guards targeted a rogue drone which came too close to the king’s residence, some feared a terrorist attack or even an unfolding “coup.”

Footage purportedly taken at the scene shows military or emergency vehicles with their lights flashing. Multiple gunshots can be heard in the background. Saudi police later confirmed that the shooting was caused by a small commercial drone that entered an off-limits zone, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

An investigation into the identity of the drone's operator and motive has been launched.

BREAKING: Unconfirmed reports of a coup attempt in as gunfire is heard near the royal palace in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

King Salman reportedly moved to a safe bunker, reportedly at a nearby Air Force base. Ongoing situation.

السعودية: فيديو يتداوله نشطاء لإطلاق النارالكثيف قرب قصر الملك سلمان في حي الخزامي بالرياض
Where would we be without our unlikely journalists reporting on what is unmentioned in our news? Here is Israeli News Live. This is from a whole 9 hours before my posting this.

Gun Battle Near Royal Palace Saudi Arabia or Toy Drone Targeted?.

Video footage of massive gunfire near the Royal Palace of Riyahd sent a whirlwind of speculations on social media. As we started the broadcast there we stories of coup and then while in the broadcast officials were saying it was toy drone shot down by the guard. But its night time and a lot of shots were fired for just a toy drone to be flying over head, how did the royal guard see to shoot the drone if it really was a drone?

OPCW not carrying out a very good investigation from the way Russia perceives it