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Afraa Dagher – Here’s How the US, Israel, al-Qaeda and ISIS Work Together in Syria

The Syrian battlefield is now witnessing an escalation of the war. This is despite the fact that it is supposed to be a time of cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia. The Syrian war has two major fronts. The first and most important is in southern Syria, on the borderline with Israel and the occupied territories of …

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Mohammad Javad Zarif: Let Us Rid the World of Wahhabism

Tehran — Public relations firms with no qualms about taking tainted petrodollars are experiencing a bonanza. Their latest project has been to persuade us that the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, is no more. As a Nusra spokesman toldCNN, the rebranded rebel group, supposedly separated from its parent terrorist organization, has become “moderate.” Thus is fanaticism from the Dark Ages …

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Leid Stories—Lots to Talk About? Talk About It on “Free Your Mind Friday!”—09.16.16

It’s our weekly gathering for the exchange of information, opinions and ideas. It’s “Free Your Mind Friday” on Leid Stories, and what you have to say—about the news and issues of the day or about anything—is the “star” of the show. Call 888-874-4888 and free your mind! Download this episode (right click and save)

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Gareth Porter – 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. The new agreement incorporates a U.S.-Russian bargain: …

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Patrick Cockburn – Russia may rise to super power status again following US deal over Syria

Russia could be poised to beome a super power again after agreeing with the US to launch what amounts to a joint air campaign against the two main extreme Islamist groups in Syria. If the ceasefire that starts at sunset on Monday holds for seven consecutive days and the UN is able to deliver aid to besieged people in Aleppo, then the US and Russia …

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ROBERT FISK – Saudi Arabia: Can’t Pay Its Bills, Yet Funds War on Yemen

Almost exactly a year after Salman bin Albdulaziz Al Saud, king of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and head of the House of Saud, hurriedly left his millionaire’s mansion near Cannes with his 1,000 servants to continue his vacation in Morocco, the kingdom’s cash is not flowing so smoothly for the tens of thousands of sub-continental expatriates sweating away on his …

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‘What Is Aleppo?’ Asks Gary Johnson–and NYT Gives Three Wrong Answers

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, when asked in an MSNBC interview (Morning Joe, 9/8/16) what he would do about the battle raging over the Syrian city of Aleppo, responded, “What is Aleppo?” That’s troubling, that a presidential candidate would be unaware of one of the main battlefields in one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. But even more troubling is that the New York Times, the …

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America’s Foreign Policy in Syria Summed Up in 3 Headlines

US foreign policy regarding Syria publicly vacillates between seeking to defeat the Islamic State to achieving regime change in Damascus. Even at face value, these two objectives are contradictory, even paradoxical. Overthrowing the government of Libya in 2011 thrust extremist groups (used by the US to overthrow Tripoli in the first place) into power across the nation, leaving it bitterly …

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Gareth Porter – The real US Syria scandal: Supporting sectarian war

The main criticism of US policy in Syria has long been that President Barack Obama should have used US military force or more aggressive arms aid to strengthen the armed opposition to Assad. The easy answer is that the whole idea that there was a viable non-extremist force to be strengthened is a myth – albeit one that certain political …

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Tim Radford – Scientists link conflict and climate change

LONDON, 17 August, 2015 − Ethnic conflict linked to tragic episodes of civil war, waves of refugees and even the collapse of nation states could be made more likely by climate-related disasters. A team of European scientists say they can demonstrate, “in a scientifically sound way”, a link between civil violence based on ethnic divisions, and episodes of drought, intense heat or other …