Category Archives: Syria

The Islamic State carries out deadly chemical attack on Syria army

BY AFP/// The Islamic State group mounted a deadly gas attack against Syrian troops at a besieged eastern airbase, state news agency SANA said, the latest report of the jihadists’s use of chemical weapons.

SANA did not say precisely how many soldiers had been killed in the attack on the government-controlled airbase outside the divided eastern city of Deir el-Zour.

“Daesh (IS) terrorists attacked Deir el-Zour military airport with rockets carrying mustard gas, causing some people to suffocate,” it reported late Monday.

The reports are the latest in a string of suspected mustard gas attacks by the jihadists in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

On March 9, a suspected IS gas attack on the Iraqi town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, killed three children and wounded some 1,500 people, with injuries ranging from burns to rashes and respiratory problems.

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People's Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

A picture taken on February 27, 2016 in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province shows smoke rising from the neightbourhood of Syrian city Tel Abyad during clashes between Islamic State Group and People’s Protection Units (YPG). (AFP / STR)

While the chemical agents allegedly used by IS so far have been among their least effective weapons, the psychological impact on civilians is considerable.

A total of 25,000 people fled their homes in and around Taza last month, fearing another attack.

IS has been battling to capture Deir el-Zour airbase since 2014. It provides the only supply route other than air drops to the government-held sector of the city, where more than 200,000 civilians are living under IS siege.

On Monday, an IS bombardment of two government-held districts of the city killed seven civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Two suicide bombers also blew themselves up in the village of Jafra near the airbase, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Deir el-Zour province is vital for Islamic State because it lies between its de facto Syrian and Iraqi capitals Raqqa and Mosul.

In recent weeks, IS has faced intense pressure in Syria at the hands of both the Russian-backed army and US-backed Kurdish-led rebels.

An offensive by the army pushed the jihadists out of the ancient city of Palmyra late last month, opening up the possibility of a strike across the desert to relieve the siege of Deir el-Zour.

Syrian Kurds ‘to declare’ federal system in N. Syria

Kurdish fighters gesture while carrying their parties’ flags in Tel Abyad of Raqqa governorate after they said they took control of the area June 15, 2015. (File photo: Reuters)
The announcement would mean “widening the framework of self-administration which the Kurds and others have formed,” said Idris Nassan, an official in the foreign affairs directorate of Kobani, one of three autonomous areas set up by Kurdish groups two years ago, speaking to Reuters.

The areas would be named the Federation of northern Syria, he said, and represent all ethnic groups living there.

Bernie Sanders adviser speculates Israel gassed Syria rebels

Supporters cheer as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd during his rally at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)

Lawrence Wilkerson said in 2013 that use of chemical weapons in civil war may have been ‘Israeli false flag op’

Amid criticism over his supposed lack of foreign policy credentials, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders last week reached out to several experts to help him beef up this aspect of his campaign.

But one of the experts he brought in is fiercely anti-Israel, and in the past suggested that Israel may have gassed Syrian rebels, an act widely attributed to the Assad regime.

In March 2013, after Western intelligence agencies said Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his people, Lawrence Wilkerson told Current TV: “This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria … or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad.”

Wilkerson served as as chief of staff to former secretary of state Colin Powell. A harsh critic of former president George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, Politico quoted him as saying that he has given Sanders his advice.

“Of late, I’ve been asked by quite a number of people or groups to advise on national security and foreign policy. The Sanders campaign has been one of these and I have spoken directly to the Senator on one occasion, at this point,” Wilkerson said.

Initially a champion of the campaign accusing Iraq of hiding a secret program to produce weapons of mass destruction, Wilkerson later turned against the Iraq war which he described as a “hoax.”

He said Bush’s vice president Dick Cheney should be “in jail for war crimes” and accused some Republicans, including decorated war hero Sen. John McCain, of “bordering on being traitors” for their opposition to US President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Among the other experts contacted by Sanders is Lawrence Korb, who was a campaign adviser to Obama in 2008.

Sanders’ rival for the nomination Hillary Clinton, who served as Obama’s secretary of state in his first term, is considered far more knowledgeable on foreign policy and has a working relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

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