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Old 08-28-2017, 08:50 AM   #121
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Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights


A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.

Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

While it's long been understood that the US-Gulf-NATO coalition arming rebels inside Syria facilitated the rapid rise of the Islamic State as the group had steady access to a "jihadi Wal-Mart" of weapons (in the words of one former spy and British diplomat), the Trud Newspaper report is the first to provide exhaustive documentation detailing the precise logistical chain of the weapons as they flowed from their country of origin to the battlefield in Syria and Iraq. Gaytandzhieva even traveled to Aleppo where she filmed and examined labeled weapons shipping containers held in underground jihadist storehouses.

The Bulgaria-based journalist obtained and published dozens of secret internal memos which were leaked to her by an anonymous source as part of the report. The leaked documents appear to be internal communications between the Bulgarian government and Azerbaijan's Embassy in Sofia detailing flight plans for Silk Way Airlines, which was essentially operating an "off the books" weapons transport service (not subject to inspections or tax under diplomatic cover) for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Silk Way Airlines has been the subject of other recent investigations involving weapons supplies for the Saudi war on Yemen. In addition, the military monitoring site Balkan Insight has exposed similar weapons cargo flights in and out of neighboring Serbia.

But perhaps the more explosive finding involves private American companies contracting with the US government to help train and equip militants in Syria. An investigative series by Buzzfeed - the first of which was published in 2015 - named military contractor Purple Shovel LLC as the recipient of two no-bid contracts totaling more $50 million as part of the US train and equip program for Syria. Gaytandzhieva's report definitively links Purple Shovel and other private American military contractors to the Azerbaijan Silk Way Airlines shipments. One leaked memo includes a cargo manifest for multiple tons of anti-tank grenades purchased in Bulgaria by Purple Shovel which were ostensibly designated for the official consignee - the Ministry of Defense of Ajerbaijan - but which never made it to Ajerbaijan. The documents, however, reveal that the military cargo was offloaded at Turkey's Incirlik air base, which is one of the US and NATO's main command centers for covert operations in Syria.

Though Gaytandzhieva's report is months old and began through a series of smaller investigations, it gained little traction in Western or international press, even though it was promoted on social media and discussed among some of the world's foremost experts on Syria and the Middle East. However, on Sunday Qatar-based Al Jazeera featured the story while reporting the shocking news that Gaytandzhieva had been interrogated by Bulgarian authorities before being fired from her newspaper:

Gaytandzhieva said on Thursday in a tweet that she was fired from her job at Trud after she was interrogated by the Bulgarian national security which tried to find out her sources.

She said she first got suspicious of the weapons transferred to Syria when she found Bulgarian-made weapons at the hands "terrorists" in Aleppo while reporting on the Syrian war there.

She said that she then traced those weapons to its Bulgarian manufacturer only to find out that those weapons were legally exported to Saudi Arabia, which in turn supplied it to "terrorists" in Syria.





Al Jazeera is now belatedly highlighting the story in the midst of the current Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war which has resulted in a general airing of dirty laundry as each side continues to accuse the other of supporting terrorism. Regardless, Al Jazeera's coverage constitutes the first time this story has entered the mainstream. While we've reported the recent Trump decision to end the CIA covert program of regime change in Syria, it appears the apparatus for external weapons shipments to jihadists in Syria remains in place through the continuing Silk Way Airlines weapons pipeline. As Al Jazeera reports:

Speaking to Al Jazeera by phone on Sunday from Bulgaria, Gaytandzhieva said: "Saudi Arabia, UAE and the US must stop using the cover of Silk Way Airlines diplomatic flights to supply Eastern European weapons which end up in the hands of terrorists around the world. Diplomatic flights are exempt from checks and inspection."


Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) also carried out their own lengthy investigations which are consistent with Trud News journalist Gaytandzhieva's findings. Infographic source: Balkan Insight

The CIA program relied heavily on US ally Saudi Arabia to arm anti-Assad jihadists, and while it appears that the White House recently ended the CIA side of things, there's no evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia or other participating allied countries ever ceased or even slowed their part of the operations. Also, given that both the CIA and Pentagon contract with private firms acting as middle men to get weapons to the Syrian battlefield, it is uncertain if all aspects of the CIA program have really been shut down. Historically, the CIA has sometimes farmed out legally questionable activities to private contractors for the sake of 'plausible deniability'. Furthermore, the Pentagon side of the program, which supplies Kurdish and Arab groups in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) appears to be ramping up of late.

Given the latest development of Trud Newspaper firing its own journalist and Bulgarian authorities attempting to locate her sources, it is entirely possible and likely that pressure is building for Trud to remove the story from its website. The new Al Jazeera story has brought fresh international attention to Gaytandzhieva's findings, which is sure to increase the controversy.

Much more in the link...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-0...eapons-flights
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:11 AM   #122
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Bombshell Report Catches Pentagon Falsifying Paperwork For Weapons Transfers To Syrian Rebels

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-0...rs-linked-orga

Report here;

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/arti...ria-09-12-2017

Excerpts;

The Pentagon is on a spending spree as it scrabbles to amass vast quantities of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition. But it’s running into problems sourcing them, and is using misleading legal documents to disguise their final destination: Syria.

...................................................................

Reporters have pinpointed more than $700 million of spending on weapons and ammunition likely destined for Syrian rebels since September 2015, when the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS train and equip programme shifted strategy.

The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022.

The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.
...............................................................................................

The Pentagon’s anti-ISIS programme became Washington’s sole military campaign in Syria in July 2017 after President Trump closed the CIA-funded Operation Syacamore, aimed at arming Syrian rebels fighting President Assad.

...........................................................................................

Amid a flurry of negative headlines, the Pentagon needed a new plan: Starting in September 2015, and largely unnoticed by the media, it quietly shifted focus to arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with the Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition they were already using, according to a previously unreported Pentagon document from February 2016.

This Soviet-type equipment, both newly produced and sourced from stockpiles, is available from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter two large suppliers are out of bounds, as their military equipment falls under US sanctions.

.............................................................................................

Picatinny boasts of its record supplying large quantities of Eastern Bloc equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has been far more circumspect about its role in the Syrian conflict, which is politically divisive internationally and involves supplying militia groups rather than state armies.
Well, duh...since you are giving them to Al Qaeda militias...

...............................................................................

BIRN and OCCRP discovered seven contracts worth $71 million that were signed in September 2016 and cited Syria either by name or the Department of Defense’s internal code – V7 – for the Syria train and equip programme. But these references were quickly deleted from the public record after BIRN and OCCRP asked the Department of Defense and supplier countries about these deliveries in March of this year.

Reporters made copies of all documents before they were deleted. The Pentagon has declined to explain the alterations.
On top of the $71 million marked for Syria, a further $408 million of Eastern Bloc equipment was made since the strategy switch with no destination mentioned.
........................................................................................

German authorities appear to have been less comfortable with how the weapons pipeline was operating. A leaked Pentagon email obtained by BIRN and OCCRP reveals how Berlin had become “very sensitive” to the huge quantities of Eastern Bloc weapons passing through its territory to US bases, apparently forcing a reroute of the supply-line to Syria.

Weapons continue to pour into Syria to fight ISIS, and fears are growing about what will happen to the arms and fighters when the jihadists are defeated.

Wilcken said that he feared for the future of the Middle East.

“Given the very complex, fluid situation in Syria … and the existence of many armed groups accused of serious abuses,” he said. “It is difficult to see how the US could ensure arms sent to the region would not be misused.”
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Who would Jesus bomb?

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:48 AM   #123
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Israel Bombs Syrian Military Target, Syria Fires Back With Surface-to-Air Missiles

http://theantimedia.org/israel-bombs-syria/

Rumblings of Russia upgrading Syria's air defense capabilities to take down Israeli jets. That could get messy, indeed.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:02 AM   #124
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Breaking: ISIS starts new offensive against Nusra capturing two towns from rival jihadists in northeast Hama

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...ortheast-hama/

Battle erupts between ISIS and Syrian rebels in south Damascus

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...outh-damascus/

This is the end.....my friend.....
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:01 AM   #125
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benhamean gets a lot of it
benhamean gets a lot of itbenhamean gets a lot of itbenhamean gets a lot of itbenhamean gets a lot of itbenhamean gets a lot of it
I'm sure this is Obama's fault.

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Old 01-11-2018, 12:46 PM   #126
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The SDF release more than 400 Syrian members of ISIS including commanders and more than 120 members of them join the SDF in Deir Ezzor

http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=82475
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:20 PM   #127
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Why the US Wants 30,000 Troops on Syria’s Border With Turkey
January 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm


On Saturday, the Defense Post reported that the U.S.-led coalition in Syria was building a 30,000-member “border force,” made up predominantly of Kurdish and Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as well as some unspecified new recruits.

“The Coalition is working jointly with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF’s inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000,” CJTF-OIR Public Affairs Officer Colonel Thomas F. Veale told Defense Post.

“The base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close,” he added.

Unsurprisingly, the move has rattled neighboring Turkey, which has spent more time bombing Kurdish positions than it has ISIS’ positions. On January 9, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported that the Pentagon and the CIA were allegedly training a Kurdish force referred to as the North Army. The Turkish Foreign Ministry immediately summoned U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Philip Kosnett in response because Turkey categorically rejects a Kurdish patrol force on its border.

Once these reports began to circulate more widely following the Defense Post’s bombshell article, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “suffocate” America’s efforts to create what he viewed as a terrorist group.

Now, Turkey is reportedly planning a full-scale invasion in Syria.

“The countdown has begun for Turkey’s operation against Afrin,” said one pro-government channel, according to the BBC. Afrin is a district in northern Syria close to the border with Turkey.

“We will get rid of terror nests one-by-one in Syria starting with Afrin and Manbij,” Erdogan also reportedly said.

But there is more to the story, and it’s receiving little attention. For some time now, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have been implementing peace processes of their own in Syria without Washington’s input. After the fall of Aleppo in 2016, the aforementioned countries have essentially emerged as the real power brokers in Syria, even in light of the fact they all have opposing interests regarding the fate of the future state of the country.

Turkey, for example, has heavily invested in anti-Assad rebels in a bid to oust the Syrian president from power. Russia and Iran, on the other hand, are Syria’s staunchest backers. Despite this, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have all managed to work together to reach some sort of compromise. Even the Syrian government’s recently launched offensive in the Idlib province, which is diametrically opposed to Turkey’s interests, still did not put a dent in Turkey’s growing relationship with Iran. Erdogan came directly to Iran’s aid during the Trump administration’s attempts to exploit the recent protests in Iran.

This relationship is by all accounts a deal breaker for Washington, which is becoming increasingly irrelevant across the geopolitical chessboard. This is ultimately one of the core reasons why the U.S. wants to build a Kurdish force across Turkey’s border and rattle Turkey into issuing a response of its own.

“If the US really forms such a border force, then there will be a totally different equation in Syria,” says Ahmet Kasim Han, an academic who focuses on international relations, as quoted by the BBC.

“This would point to a process that could potentially end with the forming of a YPG-PKK state in the north of Syria. Washington should have known that Turkey would react.”

Of course, Washington knows full well that Turkey will react. However, the U.S. is not doing this to create an enemy out of Turkey, as some media angles have attempted to paint it.

Instead, there’s a reason why Turkey is talking about invading Afrin to oust the Kurds, and this plays directly into America’s hands. Right now, Russia has control over the airspace in Afrin. It also has some 300 military personnel on the ground there. According to Han:

“If Russia gives a green light, then Turkish forces could clear out Afrin in one day. Otherwise, it could turn into a nightmare.” [emphasis added]

And this is precisely what the U.S. wants – to disrupt the growing relationship between Turkey, Russia, and Iran and turn these players against each other by putting them in a compromising position. If Turkey does nothing in response to the Kurdish question, it will undoubtedly risk its territorial integrity by having a Kurdish state on its borders, which it refuses to tolerate. If it does attempt to launch an operation in Syria without Moscow’s approval, putting Russian personnel at risk, it will strain the relationship between the two countries in the not-too-distant future.

It’s a lose-lose for Turkey but a win-win for the United States, which, by all means, is hellbent on destroying any chance for peace in Syria and prolonging the violence for as long as possible.

http://theantimedia.org/30000-troops...-syria-turkey/

EDIT: Timing was pure coincidence...

Breaking: Turkish troops allegedly attempt to enter Afrin

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 P.M.) – The Turkish Army allegedly tried to enter the Afrin Canton in northwestern Aleppo tonight, pro-YPG activists reported on social.

According to their claims, the Turkish Army and their allies attempted to enter the Bulbul District of Afrin after a short exchange of gunfire with the Kurdish-led YPG.

The infiltration attempt was allegedly repelled by the YPG.

Intense clashes are now ongoing at several fronts in northern Syria, including the Al-Bab Plateau, Jarabulus, and AFrin.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...t-enter-afrin/

Last edited by Baron Samedi; 01-19-2018 at 02:30 PM..
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