Former Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the Obama administration knew that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad kept some of his chemical weapons despite an international agreement brokered to remove the entire stockpile by mid-2014.
“We said we got a hundred percent of the declared weapons out, which is what the Organization for the [Prohibition] of Chemical Weapons was able to track,” Kerry said on Fox News. “We knew that Assad had kept some, and we tried to go to the [United Nations] Security Council, and, unfortunately, Russia played games and we didn’t get there.”
— Read on freebeacon.com/national-security/kerry-we-knew-assad-kept-some-chemical-weapons/
I wonder if Assad is worried?
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he plans to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reported on Sunday, potentially the first meeting between Kim and another head of state in Pyongyang.
“I am going to visit the DPRK and meet HE Kim Jong Un,” Assad said on May 30, North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported, using the initials of the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
There was no immediate comment from the Syrian president’s office.
Assad reportedly made the remarks as he received the credentials of North Korean Ambassador Mun Jong Nam.
Pyongyang and Damascus maintain good relations, and United Nations monitors have accused North Korea of cooperating with Syria on chemical weapons, a charge the North denies.
Both countries have faced international isolation, North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, and Syria over its tactics during a bloody civil war.
Since the beginning of the year, however, North Korea’s Kim has launched a flurry of diplomatic meetings with leaders in China and South Korea, and is scheduled to hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.
Since taking power in 2011, Kim has not publicly met with another head of state in North Korea.
A Syrian opposition site reports that the Syrian air force forbade Iranian-backed Shi’ite factions from storing ammunition in its bases. I guess the Syrians don’t want to be targeted by the IDF.
If so, the IDF appears to be able to fly through Syrian air space with impunity, despite the fact that the Syrians hare armed with some of Russia’s latest air defense systems.
The Syrian Al-Marsad organization for human rights reported on Friday that Thursday’s attack on the Dabaa military airport in central Syria was aimed at Hezbollah members and militias supporting the regime. According to the report, six strong explosions, allegedly related to missile strikes, were heard in the region of Homs, near the Lebanese border. Syrian air defense systems reportedly attempted to intercept the missiles. So far, no fatalities have been reported. Al-Marsad did not state whether the attempt was successful.
The report further claimed that the missile attack was carried out by Israel.
Kept in mind, most of the foreign troops in Syria belong to Iran or its puppet Hezbollah. Combine this with another Russian statement about increasing oil production should Iranian output fall, and you might conclude that Putin is backing away from Iran. We shall see.
According to an official Kremlin statement, Putin told Assad that in light of the Syrian army’s recent “victories and success,” foreign armed forces will be withdrawn from Syria.
MOSCOW – Russia is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed, the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying on Friday, in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.
No! I’m not talking about that damned “red line” thing. I’m talking about the old adage: “follow the money.”
Assad’s Syria has virtually no functioning economy. The country is in ruins. Millions are refugees, internal or external, At least 500,000 are dead, probably more. And yet Assad has a fairly large, functioning war machine fighting to reestablish his family’s control over Syria. Where in the hell does he get the money to fund his troops, his aircraft, and to keep his bureaucracy running?
IRAN! The Iranians have been bankrolling Syria since the early stages of the civil war, to some degree even before the civil war. Nobody knows exactly how much Tehran’s support for Assad costs each year. I’ve seen good estimates at $10 to $15 billion.
If you follow what the Iranians protestors have been saying, they know that their tax dollars are flowing to help Assad. That’s one of their major gripes with the Mullahs’ regime. Many Iranians would prefer that those dollars flowed into helping the Iranian people, rather than supporting wars in Syria and Yemen.
That being the case, anything that the United States does that puts more dollars into the pockets of the Mullahs, inevitably increases the flow of dollars to Syria to support Assad’s butchery.
When President Obama, and company, used the JCPOA deal to return $150 billion to Iran, and ended many economic sanctions that allowed the expansion of the Iranian economy, Obama had to know, unless he was a total idiot, that some of those dollars would be used by the regime to fund terrorism, and to bankroll Assad and his butcher-war. Obama helped bankroll Assad! That’s the reality. Follow the money.
Conversely, any actions taken by Trump that will reduce Iranian economic activity, and tax receipts, will force the Mullah’s to make harder choices about continuing their support for Shi’a movements in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon, or redirecting some of those funds to the support of the long-suffering Iranian people.
And they should. Why shoudln’t a butcher like Assad be targeted? If he takes actions that demonstrate that he is a total pawn of Tehran, then he should be targeted.
An Israeli minister on Monday threatened that the Jewish state could kill Syrian President Bashar Assad if his regime doesn’t prevent Iranian forces from launching attacks against Israel from his territory.
The warning came amid reports that Tehran is planning a revenge missile strike against Israel.
That would be very interesting.
Egypt says talks are underway with officials from “various countries” to consider a US proposal to form an Arab army and replace the American military forces in Syria.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said replacing US troops in Syria with another force “that may be Arab is a possibility.”
“This proposition is not only being discussed by the media, but also during discussions and deliberations amongst officials of states to look into how these ideas could contribute to stabilizing Syria,” he was quoted by Arab language newspaper al-Ahram as saying.
Reports, citing US officials, revealed last month that the administration of US President Donald Trump was seeking to build up an Arab military coalition to replace US troops in Syria.
It also called on its wealthy regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to increase their spending in Syria to contain Iran after the collapse of the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.
Reports said that Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton has asked Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to know if his country would contribute to the effort.