By CRAIG MURRAY*
Protest against the second war on Iraq, Windsor, October 25, 2003.
In one of the series of blatant lies the USA has told to justify the assassination of Soleimani, Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani was killed because he was planning “Imminent attacks” on US citizens. It is a careful choice of word. Pompeo is specifically referring to the Bethlehem Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Self Defence.
Developed by Daniel Bethlehem when Legal Adviser to first Netanyahu’s government and then Blair’s, the Bethlehem Doctrine is that states have a right of “pre-emptive self-defence” against “imminent” attack. That is something most people, and most international law experts and judges, would accept. Including me. Continue reading
Conflict over Iran escalates. Iraqi parliament demands the withdrawal of the German Bundeswehr
WASHINGTON/TEHRAN/BERLIN (german-foreign-policy.com) – Following the USA’s assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and other high-ranking Iraqi and Iranian military personnel, demands are being raised in Baghdad to expel the foreign troops, including the Bundeswehr. The Anti-IS Coalition troops, stationed in Iraq, must leave the country, the Iraqi parliament ruled yesterday. The German government insists on keeping German troops in Iraq to be able to maintain its options for gaining influence in that country. Berlin had earlier already rejected calls to end its deployment for security reasons. Camp Taji near Baghdad, where 27 German soldiers are currently stationed, had already come under missile fire in June. The camp could become a possible target for retaliatory strikes by Iran or pro-Iranian militias. Whereas the German government euphemizes the assassination of Soleimani as “a line of action undertaken by the United States”, the chairman of the SPD parliamentary group officially called it a “violation of international law.” A government advisor spoke of “state terrorism.” Continue reading
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agreed to jointly manage a buffer zone between the Turkish border and areas in Syria controlled by the Kurdish YPG, which Istanbul considers a “terrorist” threat. On October 6, the Trump presidency announced that US forces would withdraw from the border areas to make way for a “long-planned operation” by Turkish forces. On October 8, Turkey, a member of the US-NATO bloc which hosts a massive US air base at Incirlik – hosting some 5,000 Air Force personnel, tactical nuclear weapons and used to fly sorties over Syria – launched a new military invasion of northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The Syrian Arab Republic branded the operation, part of the old imperialist divide-and-rule of the Middle East on an ethnic and religious basis, as aggression. The Syrian Kurdish forces and the Syrian Arab Army swiftly launched a counter-offensive to block the Turkish advance. Continue reading
Damascus strongly condemned the aggressive intentions of the Turkish regime and the military mobilization on the Syrian borders. This “is a flagrant violation of international law and of Security Council resolutions that insist on respect for unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syria,” reports an official source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates to the Sana agency. She reiterated that Syria is determined to fight Turkish aggression by all legitimate means. Continue reading
Kurdish women hold a banner with Arabic that reads, ‘We don’t accept enemies and strangers on our land,’ as they protest against possible Turkish military operation on their areas, at the Syrian-Turkish border, in Ras al-Ayn, Syria
THOUSANDS of people headed to the northern Syrian border today to form a mass human shield ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the largely Kurdish region hours after it was abandoned by US forces.
Kurds warned of an act of betrayal after US President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling forces out of northern Syria following a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading
BERLIN/DAMASCUS (April 26) – Berlin and the EU are seeking to use Syria’s hardships for leverage to gain influence on that country’s political development. Berlin will provide humanitarian aid for the Syrian population, German Foreign Minster Heiko Maas announced at yesterday’s Syria conference in Brussels – aid that is also seen as helpful in preventing a new wave of mass migration to the EU. However, aid for the country’s reconstruction will only be granted, if Damascus makes political concessions, Maas declared. Continue reading
Drum beats of war against Russia
Many commentators have torn to shreds the assertions of the British government that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a nerve agent called Novichok, and that the Russian government was directly involved | WORKERS’ WEEKLY* Continue reading