The Associated Press is reporting that the US military has struck Syrian government positions in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour today, as the Syrian military was involved in a battle with ISIS forces. According to the report, the US attack on Syrian troops “enabled an [ISIS] advance on the hill overlooking the air base.” There has not yet been a US confirmation of the attack, but it it is confirmed it will be the second time US forces have directly targeted Syrian government troops inside Syria. It would be the first time such an attack produced a battlefield advantage to ISIS.
According to a Tweet by AP, the Russian government says the US attack has killed 62 Syrian government troops.
Earlier today it was reported that the Syrian government had sent some 1,000 members of the elite Republican Guard into the Deir el-Zour province, as battles with ISIS in the area increase. There is no word yet on whether the Syrian troops hit by the United States were members of this Republican Guard.
This dramatic development comes as the latest ceasefire begins to crumble. Russia has condemned Washington’s refusal to implement a key component of the agreement, to press US-backed rebels to cease fighting alongside al-Qaeda; and the main US-backed “moderate” Islamist group, Ahrar al-Sham, has refused to take part in the ceasefire at all.
Is today’s attack a turning point in the war, where the US will begin to strike Syrian government forces more frequently? If so, how will Russia and Iran react to this overt shift in US strategy?
Today, the essence of U.S. military “strategy” is targeting. The enemy is treated as vermin to be exterminated with the right bug bomb. As if those bombs had no negative consequences; as if we learned nothing from the overuse of DDT, for example.
You might recall DDT, the miracle insecticide of the 1950s and 1960s. It wiped out bad bugs (and a lot of good ones as well) while leading to DDT-resistant ones. It also damaged the entire ecology of regions (because DDT is both persistent and bio-accumulative). Something similar is happening in the Greater Middle East. The US is killing bad “bugs” (terrorists) while helping to breed a new generation of smarter “bugs.” Meanwhile, constant violence, repetitive bombing, and other forms of persistent meddling are accumulating in their effects, damaging the entire ecology of the Greater Middle East.
US National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with her Israeli counterparts yesterday to sign an historic aid deal that will see $38 billion dollars shipped from US taxpayers to the Israeli military. In a press conference, Rice claimed that, “[t]his MOU is not just good for Israel—it’s good for the United States. Our security is linked…” Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by former CIA officer Philip Giraldi to discuss how closely “linked” is US national security with Israeli security. Also, we discuss what a huge boon this will be for US defense contractors, who will supply all the military items to Israel:
The “new” ceasefire in Syria seems a lot like the one from earlier this year. This time, according to John Kerry, the Syrian government has to ask permission from the US before it bombs rebels in the country. In exchange the US has agreed (or not, depending on which official you listen to) to finally demand that the rebels it backs and arms separate themselves from al-Qaeda. While any cessation of hostilities is good, especially for civilians caught up in the tragedy, this agreement does not tackle the real underlying issues in Syria. Can it hold? We consider the possibilities in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Snowden is a helluva movie, kicking an audience’s ass on a number of levels. I had a chance to see the film last night at a preview event; it opens everywhere on September 16. Go see it.
On one level the film presents Snowden’s story as a political thriller. A brave but frightened man, certain he is doing the right thing but worried if he can pull it off, smuggles some of the NSA’s most secret information out of a secure facility. He makes contact with skeptical journalists in Hong Kong, convinces them of the importance of what he has to say, and then goes on the run from a U.S. government out to arrest, or, possibly assassinate, him. In interviews Stone has made clear that he has dramatized and/or altered some events, and that his film is not a documentary. It does keep you on the edge of your beliefs, watching a story you know as if you don’t.