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ISIS on the Move in Syria

By Stephen Lendman

Despite Russian airstrikes killing 28,000 of its fighters and destroying much of its oil facilities and transport network, according to its Defense Ministry, ISIS seems more resurgent than defeated.

It owes its existence and strength to support from America, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other rogue regional states. Washington’s so-called war to degrade and defeat it is pure deception.

Aided by US warplanes providing cover, it’s shifting large numbers of its fighters from Raqaa to energy-rich Deir Ezzur and Homs, wanting to preserve as much revenue from its oil smuggling operations as possible.

It captured several villages near Azaz, about three miles from Turkey’s border. According to the International Rescue Committee, around 160,000 Syrians are trapped in the area, unable to flee for safety, desperate for help so far not forthcoming.

Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria said ISIS retook five villages near Azaz, about 20 miles from Aleppo. Kurdish YPG forces halted their advance near Ain Dakna.

The Center also reported Jabhat al-Nusra fighters continue provocatively disrupting ceasefire. On Saturday, they attacked Aleppo neighborhoods and Nayrab airport with mortars and rocket fire.

Turkey provides them with daily arms and munitions shipments. Thousands of Al-Nusra fighters comprise a formidable force, new recruits joining them regularly.

Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam and other Western and regional-backed terrorist groups continue endless war. Prospects for peace are pure fantasy because Washington wants endless war until Assad is ousted and Syrian sovereignty destroyed.

Europe is a virtual US colony - in lockstep with its imperial agenda no matter how contrary to its own interests. Illegal sanctions imposed on Russia cause its member states more harm than strategic advantage.

On Friday, the European Commission extended illegal sanctions on Syria until June 2017. According to senior ruling Ba’ath Party official Khalaf Muftah, they violate the UN Charter’s letter and spirit.

“They hamper the political process (by) increas(ing) the suffering of” millions of Syrians, and fail to “promote the creation of conditions for political dialogue with Europe.”

They “contradict the (notion) that (the refugee crisis) has political causes.” It’s because of Obama’s war and US/EU-imposed “economic blockade.”

They impose draconian hardships on millions of ordinary Syrians - while at the same time providing material support to terrorist groups responsible for up to half a million mostly civilian deaths, numbers mounting daily.

As long as Washington wants war, endless fighting will continue. It remains to be seen if Russia intends escalating its aerial campaign curtailed weeks earlier. Nothing else so far proved effective.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


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