There’s been much talk by political and media elites in recent days about the supposed need to start a bombing campaign in Syria targeting Daesh, the so-called “Islamic State”. By now, this is a depressingly familiar drumbeat for war.
In 2013, the UK parliament surprised many by derailing the prospect of British bombing of Syria, explicitly targeted at the regime. For a time, it even seemed that this decision had even put the American war machine on the back foot.
But since September 2014, the US has, in fact, started bombing in Syria – but targeting Daesh. And, more recently, the details of what appears to be a covert British role in the bombing campaign, in defiance of Parliament, have slowly emerged.
Read the rest over at MEMO.
On the Druze rebellion against Israel’s alliance with al-Qaida in Syria:
This week, the highest level confirmation to date of Israeli aid to al-Qaeda-allied rebels came from none other than Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon. “Israel conditions its assistance to the Syrian rebels on its border on their commitment not to hurt the Druze minority in Syria,” Israeli media source i24 reported Yaalon as stating.
Perhaps inadvertently confirming what many already know, Yaalon was under pressure from Israel’s own Druze minority who have been up in arms about both Nusra’s massacres of their co-religionists in Syria, and Israel’s aid to those very same violent fanatics.
Read the whole article over at MEMO.
At the risk of becoming a broken record, here is another article I wrote on the Israeli-al-Qaeda alliance in Syria:
Why are they doing this? Has Israeli suddenly converted to Wahhabism? Have they suddenly developed an affinity for the theories of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri? Do they seriously consider credible the promises last week from Nusra Front leader Abu Muhammad al-Jolani not to use Syria as a base from which to attack the West?
Of course not. Indeed, it is precisely in Israel’s self-interest for civil war in Syria to continue for as long as possible.
Divide and rule is the classic imperial strategy, one that the British and French empires ruthlessly pursued in the region for decades, and America has continued as the current imperial hegemon (particularly during its direct occupation of Iraq). And despite occasional important differences with the United States, Israel is, in many respects, the spear tip of imperial interests in the region.
Read the rest over at Jacobin magazine.
I talked to Scott Horton, the host of Antiwar Radio in the US. I can’t seem to embed the audio play, but you can just follow this link to stream or download the segment. The main article I wrote about the topic, which I refer to in the interview, is here.
Summarizing all we have learned so far about Israel’s alliance with al-Qaida in Syria, along with the latest revelations:
In the video, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Itzik Malka claims of the 1,600 wounded he said have arrived in Israel from Syria, “the majority are women, children and elderly people” (my emphasis). That’s another implicit acknowledgement that Israel is treating wounded militants from Syria (the majority of whom in that area are al-Qaeda). And Ben Yishai himself in the article accompanying the footage states that “wounded Syrians have been arriving almost daily to the security fence, seeking medical help. It is likely that most if not all of these nationals are rebels from the rival jihadist Islamic State and al-Nusra Front groups”.
Read the whole thing over at MEMO.
On recent events in Syria:
A March offensive led to the armed opposition capturing the city of Idlib, a north-western provincial capital. Although only a small city, this victory, and the subsequent occupation of Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday are significant, since they bring al-Qaeda closer to Lataqia, the coastal heartland of support for the regime.
Although supporters of the Syrian opposition have lauded this as a “liberation” of Idlib, it is clear that the assault was spearheaded by Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. To say the least, this is a group in no way interested in democracy and human rights.
Read the rest over at MEMO.