By Chris Fry
December 14, 2016
Syrian government forces now control up to 93 percent of the city of Aleppo, at one time the country’s most populous city. Their advances are forcing the retreat of the U.S.-supported “rebel” forces into small areas of the city.
The Syrian military has captured the al-Asila and Aajam districts, southeast of Aleppo’s ancient citadel, as well as the southern portion of the Karam al-Daadaa neighborhood. They also seized the al Maadi district on Dec. 11.
Heavy fighting continues in Aleppo. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to admit that opposition forces in Aleppo were hampering humanitarian efforts to aid thousands of civilians. In response to a reporter’s question, Kerry said, “It is true that there have been some occasions where certain elements of the opposition have threatened people who were going to leave [Aleppo], and in some cases prevented humanitarian assistance from being delivered.” (U.S. Dept. of State website, Dec. 10)
Although the Syrian government has offered truces if the opposition forces agree to withdraw from Aleppo, the rebel groups have refused. And showing that the jihadist Islamic State group (IS) is in sync with the opposition militia, IS used the battle in Aleppo to retake the city of Palmyra to the south. The Syrian government has been forced to shift some of its forces to retake that town, which contains historic ruins.
Back in 2011, the U.S. envisioned a path to convert a series of anti-government demonstrations in Syria into a U.S.-supplied armed uprising to overturn the elected government. Reactionary “rebel” forces seized and have held parts of Aleppo since 2012. But this year, with the assistance of Russian forces and Iranian-backed militias, the Syrian government has taken back most of the city.
Some 386,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. Another 4.8 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country, 6.1 million more are homeless within their own country, and a once modern infrastructure has been largely destroyed. (worlddivision.org, Nov. 15) But all this suffering means nothing to the CIA masterminds of war and the corporate merchants of death. The CIA’s goal is to overturn by force the Bashar al-Assad government, not to benefit the suffering Syrian people or to accept their right to determine their own leadership.
U.S. armed ‘moderate rebels’ against Syria
Last year, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016, which provides almost $500 million to arm and train the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria, supplying them with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. This is only one piece of the huge military aid package given by the Pentagon and the CIA to their rebel proxies in order to overturn the Syrian government.
U.S. Congress member Tulsi Gabbard from Hawai’i introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” on Dec. 8, which would stop the Pentagon and CIA from providing “funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.” (informationclearinghouse.info, Dec.8)
This legislation would cut off the supply of U.S. arms to the Syrian opposition.
“If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail,” Gabbard said. “Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
(Photo: Anne Pruden)