Rebels Reject Deal; Syrian Forces Claim Shootdown of Israeli Plane Bombing Golan

Rebels Reject Deal; Syrian Forces Claim Shootdown of Israeli Plane Bombing Golan:

US and Russia reached a deal on Syria for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and later military cooperation and a roadmap for political transition. The Syrian government accepted the deal while the major opposition rebel groups rejected it, issuing some demands to secure their agreement. The ceasefire officially began on Monday evening. Details of the deal are trickling out, the White House is publicly doubting Russia, privately arguing among themselves, and in response Russia wants to publish the (withheld) text of the deal.

Al Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham rebel groups launched an offensive in the Golan Heights region against the Syrian military, allegedy with air support from the Israeli air force. The Syrian military claims that their air defense shot down an Israeli fighter jet and a drone. The Israeli military denies the shootdown but confirms recent airstrikes on Syria.

Kurds report that ISIS fighters are fleeing the Turkish border offensive in Syria and joining al Qaeda groups in Aleppo. BBC interviewed surrendering rebels in Daraya who say they joined due to financial hardship and the revolution is a lie. In Ukraine, Stephen Cohen says that Pres. Poroshenko has unilaterally changed the terms of the Minsk deal.

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Al Qaeda’s Ties to US-Backed Syrian Rebels

Al Qaeda’s Ties to US-Backed Syrian Rebels:

The new ceasefire agreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which went into effect at noon Monday, has a new central compromise absent from the earlier ceasefire agreement that the same two men negotiated last February. But it isn’t clear that it will produce markedly different results.

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Syria: How Long Will The New Cessation of Hostilities Hold?

Syria: How Long Will The New Cessation of Hostilities Hold?:

This new Cessation of Hostilities is unlikely to hold for more than a few weeks.

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Saudi Airstrike Kills 11 Civilians in Northern Yemen

Saudi Airstrike Kills 11 Civilians in Northern Yemen:

Adding to embarrassment about the US role in supporting the Saudi war against Yemen, Saudi Arabian warplanes attacked the northern city of Saada…, destroying a pair of houses in the Shi’ite-dominated city, killing at least 11 civilians.

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U.S. Continues to Aid Countries Who Execute Suspected Drug Offenders

U.S. Continues to Aid Countries Who Execute Suspected Drug Offenders:

John Kerry has reportedly promised “law enforcement aid” to the Philippines president who has endorsed vigilante killing.

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Syria: Kerry’s “Very Different Track” Attack On Aleppo Fails

Syria: Kerry’s “Very Different Track” Attack On Aleppo Fails:

The current attack on the government held Aleppo by al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al Nusra aka Fateh al Scam) was launched on August 1st. With up to 10,000 insurgents participating the attack was unprecedented in size. August 1st is exactly the same date Kerry had set as starting date for “a very different track”. This is likely not a random coincidence.

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The Larger Context of the Jihadi Attack On Aleppo

The Larger Context of the Jihadi Attack On Aleppo:

Al-Qaeda in Syria and associated forces are currently driving a large scale attack from the south-west into Aleppo city. Their aim is to create a new corridor between the Idleb/Aleppo rural areas they occupy and the besieged al-Qaeda controlled areas in east-Aleppo. Between 5,000 and 10,000 al-Qaeda fighters, using U.S. supplied equipment, are taking part in the battle.

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US-Backed Syrian ‘Moderates’ Behead 12-Year-Old

US-Backed Syrian ‘Moderates’ Behead 12-Year-Old:

The grisly beheading of a 12-year-old boy by U.S.-backed Syrian rebels spotlights Washington’s creepy excuses for arming “moderate” jihadists who are barely distinguishable from Al Qaeda and ISIS…

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U.S. “Offer” to Cooperate With Russia in Syria Is Deceptive Nonsense

U.S. “Offer” to Cooperate With Russia in Syria Is Deceptive Nonsense:

The plan, if it was correctly “leaked” to the WaPo author, is nothing but additional delaying and obfuscation. The U.S. has no interest in ending the fighting in Syria. It wants to keep the conflict going as long as possible to “bleed” Syria, Iran and Russia as much as it can.

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The Syria ‘Dissent’ Memo and US Bureaucratic Support For Kerry War Strategy

The Syria ‘Dissent’ Memo and US Bureaucratic Support For Kerry War Strategy:

The memorandum by 51 State Department officials calling for US military intervention in Syria last week has been treated in news media coverage as a case of dissent from existing Syria policy by individual officials involved in Syria policy.

But the memo has all the earmarks of an initiative that had the blessing of the most senior officials in the department – including Secretary of State John Kerry himself – rather than having been put together by individual officials entirely on their own. And it may mark the beginning of an effort to take advantage of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

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