Turkey

Logistics 101: Where Does ISIS Get Its Guns?

Since ancient times an army required significant logistical support to carry out any kind of sustained military campaign. In ancient Rome, an extensive network of roads was constructed to facilitate not only trade, but to allow Roman legions to move quickly to where they were needed, and for the supplies needed to sustain military operations to follow them in turn.

In the late 1700′s French general, expert strategist, and leader Napoleon Bonaparte would note that, “an army marches on its stomach,” referring to the extensive logistical network required to keep an army fed, and therefore able to maintain its fighting capacity. For the French, their inability to maintain a steady supply train to its forces fighting in Russia, and the Russians’ decision to burn their own land and infrastructure to deny it from the invading forces, ultimately defeated the French.

Nazi Germany would suffer a similar fate when it too overextended its logical capabilities during its invasion of Russia amid Operation Barbarossa. Once again, invading armies became stranded without limited resources before being either cut off and annihilated or forced to retreat.

And in modern times during the Gulf War in the 1990′s an extended supply line trailing invading US forces coupled with an anticipated clash with the bulk of Saddam Hussein’s army halted what was otherwise a lighting advance many mistakenly believed could have reached Baghdad had there been the political will. The will to conquer was there, the logistics to implement it wasn’t.

The lessons of history however clear they may be, appear to be entirely lost on an either supremely ignorant or incredibly deceitful troupe of policymakers and news agencies across the West.

ISIS’ Supply Lines

The current conflict consuming the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria where the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) is operating and simultaneously fighting and defeating the forces of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, we are told, is built upon a logistical network based on black market oil and ransom payments.

The fighting capacity of ISIS is that of a nation-state. It controls vast swaths of territory straddling both Syria and Iraq and not only is able to militarily defend and expand from this territory, but possesses the resources to occupy it, including the resources to administer the populations subjugated within it.

For military analysts, especially former members of Western armed forces, as well as members of the Western media who remember the convoys of trucks required for the invasions of Iraq in the 1990s and again in 2003, they surely must wonder where ISIS’ trucks are today. After all, if the resources to maintain the fighting capacity exhibited by ISIS were available within Syrian and Iraqi territory alone, then certainly Syrian and Iraqi forces would also posses an equal or greater fighting capacity but they simply do not.

And were ISIS’ supply lines solely confined within Syrian and Iraqi territory, then surely both Syrian and Iraqi forces would utilize their one advantage – air power – to cut front line ISIS fighters from the source of their supplies. But this is not happening and there is a good reason why.

ISIS’ supply lines run precisely where Syrian and Iraqi air power cannot go. To the north and into NATO-member Turkey, and to the southwest into US allies Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Beyond these borders exists a logistical network that spans a region including both Eastern Europe and North Africa.

Terrorists and weapons left over from NATO’s intervention in Libya in 2011 were promptly sent to Turkey and then onto Syria – coordinated by US State Department officials and intelligence agencies in Benghazi – a terrorist hotbed for decades.

The London Telegraph would report in their 2013 article, “CIA ‘running arms smuggling team in Benghazi when consulate was attacked’,” that:

[CNN] said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.

Weapons have also come from Eastern Europe, with the New York Times reporting in 2013 in their article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” that:

From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

And while Western media sources continuously refer to ISIS and other factions operating under the banner of Al Qaeda as “rebels” or “moderates,” it is clear that if billions of dollars in weapons were truly going to “moderates,” they, not ISIS would be dominating the battlefield.

Recent revelations have revealed that as early as 2012 the United States Department of Defense not only anticipated the creation of a “Salafist Principality” straddling Syria and Iraq precisely where ISIS now exists, it welcomed it eagerly and contributed to the circumstances required to bring it about.

Just How Extensive Are ISIS’ Supply Lines? 

While many across the West play willfully ignorant as to where ISIS truly gets their supplies from in order to maintain its impressive fighting capacity, some journalists have traveled to the region and have video taped and reported on the endless convoys of trucks supplying the terrorist army.

Were these trucks traveling to and from factories in seized ISIS territory deep within Syrian and Iraqi territory? No. They were traveling from deep within Turkey, crossing the Syrian border with absolute impunity, and headed on their way with the implicit protection of nearby Turkish military forces. Attempts by Syria to attack these convoys and the terrorists flowing in with them have been met by Turkish air defenses.

Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published the first video report from a major Western media outlet illustrating that ISIS is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day.

The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” confirms what has been reported by geopolitical analysts since at least as early as 2011 – that ISIS subsides on immense, multi-national state sponsorship, including, obviously, Turkey itself.

Looking at maps of ISIS-held territory and reading action reports of its offensive maneuvers throughout the region and even beyond, one might imagine hundreds of trucks a day would be required to maintain this level of fighting capacity. One could imagine similar convoys crossing into Iraq from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Similar convoys are likely passing into Syria from Jordan.

In all, considering the realities of logistics and their timeless importance to military campaigns throughout human history, there is no other plausible explanation to ISIS’s ability to wage war within Syria and Iraq besides immense resources being channeled to it from abroad.

If an army marches on its stomach, and ISIS’ stomachs are full of NATO and Persian Gulf State supplies, ISIS will continue to march long and hard. The key to breaking the back of ISIS, is breaking the back of its supply lines. To do that however, and precisely why the conflict has dragged on for so long, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and others would have to eventually secure the borders and force ISIS to fight within Turkish, Jordanian, and Saudi territory – a difficult scenario to implement as nations like Turkey have created defacto buffer zones within Syrian territory which would require a direct military confrontation with Turkey itself to eliminate.

With Iran joining the fray with an alleged deployment of thousands of troops to bolster Syrian military operations, overwhelming principles of deterrence may prevent Turkey enforcing its buffer zones.

What we are currently left with is NATO literally holding the region hostage with the prospect of a catastrophic regional war in a bid to defend and perpetuate the carnage perpetrated by ISIS within Syria, fully underwritten by an immense logistical network streaming out of NATO territory itself.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/logistics-101-where-does-isis-get-its-guns/5454726

Image Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkey-supports-isis-now-declares-war-against-isis-but-instead-bombs-its-political-rival-which-is-the-most-effective-force-fighting-isis/5466169

Say No to War – Welcome Syrian Refugees!

Statement by the Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Nov. 29, 2015

Just weeks after the most racist and reactionary government in recent Canadian history suffered a major defeat at the polls, far-right forces are making a brazen attempt to use tragic events in other countries to press the new Liberal government to adopt the discredited right-wing agenda of the Harper Tories. This right-wing drive must be blocked by united and powerful resistance by the labour and democratic movements, bringing together all those who want a future based on economic and social justice, human rights, and world peace.

The imperialist drive towards increased militarization and war on a global scale is an intrinsic feature of capitalist development in general. In turn, it inevitably has a negative impact upon domestic politics, including a pattern of “selective attention”. Events such as the bombings in Beirut, Ankara and other cities, the US military’s massacre at a civilian hospital in Afghanistan, the Saudi aggression in Yemen, or the Ukraine government’s shelling of civilians, are downplayed or ignored in the West. However, the shocking Nov. 13 attack in Paris quickly became the focus of a hypocritical attempt to whip up fear and hatred against refugees and immigrants.

In Canada, the most immediate feature of this xenophobic campaign has been a conscious and deliberate attempt to smear Muslims and members of racialized communities as the alleged source of terrorist threats, crime, and economic problems. This campaign has been fanned by far-right, racist elements in the United States, such as Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates who call for fascist measures such as surveillance and registering of Muslim people in a database, removal of citizenship rights, and even the mass incarceration and expulsion of racialized communities. Similar racist voices emerged from the shadows during the recent federal election to support the Tories in their attempt to bar refugees from war-torn areas of the Middle East, central Asia and Africa, and then to fight the new Liberal government’s plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.

These forces have adopted the rhetoric used by racist movements in Europe, such as the lie that refugees and immigrants aim to use their higher birth rate to “swamp” Canada’s supposedly “white Christian” values. Earlier in the election, they demonized Islamic women who choose to wear the niqab, in an attempt to claim that they support women’s equality – equality rights which in reality were systematically attacked and undermined for a decade by the Harper Tories. The most cowardly and despicable elements among these racists torch mosques under cover of darkness and assault Muslim women and children in the streets. Politicians such as Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall openly spread lies and misinformation, claiming that bringing Syrian refugees to Canada will lead to a dramatic escalation of terrorist recruiting. These forces condemn the Liberal government’s plan to end Canadian participation in bombing of targets in Syria and Iraq, and demand an immediate escalation of military force and a major increase in the military budget.

All of these efforts are connected to a wider corporate push to further erode labour, civil and democratic rights in the name of “protecting” Canadians. The political and physical attacks against Muslim-Canadians are part of a long-standing drive to intimidate and silence all those who reject the agenda of austerity, poverty, environmental destruction, corporate trade sellouts, and war.

The Communist Party of Canada joins with all other progressive people in condemning every form of terrorism, including both the imperialist wars and occupations of the US, Canada and other NATO countries, and those committed by fundamentalist movements such as Daesh and al-Qaeda. At the same time, we stress once again that these dangerous forces have gained strength in large part because of the state terrorism, interventions and exploitation of the Middle East, central Asia and Africa by the imperialist powers and their regional ally, Israel. Many of the terrorist attacks in recent years have been carried out by forces which were in fact spawned and supported by the US and its NATO allies, the root source of mass terror and destruction on our planet today.

Both the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and ISIS (or “Daesh”) – the main forces attempting to overthrow the Assad government in Syria – have long been financed and armed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, with the direct knowledge and support of Washington. Our Party condemns the imperialist-orchestrated campaign to impose ‘regime change’ on Syria, the real cause of the conflict which has virtually destroyed the country and driven millions from their homes as refugees. The downing of a Russian jet by Turkey, under highly dubious circumstances, has further heightened tensions, and could provoke a wider regional and even global war.

The Communist Party calls for an immediate cessation of all foreign military, political and economic interference and aggression in both Syria and neighbouring Iraq, not an expansion of foreign military operations under the pretext of a “war on ISIS”. We express our solidarity with the Syrian people struggling to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and favour negotiations to end the ‘civil’ war as determined by the Syrian people themselves, without outside involvement, interference, or ‘dictat’. The crisis needs a political solution that has the elected government of Bahsar al-Assad at the table. This is the only path to de-escalate the war tensions in the region, and to end the humanitarian tragedy that has afflicted its peoples.

We also call for full solidarity with the Syrian refugees coming to Canada, and for restoration and adequate funding of the services they desperately need, including housing, language training, legal aid, social assistance and much more. Instead of expanding the Canadian Armed Forces, we demand a complete end to the Syria/Iraq mission, and a 75% reduction in military spending, which would provide $15 billion annually for social programs, housing and infrastructure projects in this country.

Finally, we demand swift action against the racist groups and individuals which are engaged in violence against the Muslim community. These criminal elements must not be allowed to conduct their campaign of racist terror under cover of sympathy for the victims of the Paris attacks.

Source: People’s Voice

Image Source: https://stepfeed.com/more-categories/big-news/are-europeans-finding-their-conscience-on-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/#.VocWi0I72jI

Refugees Flee Imperialist War, Face Racism in Europe

From Liberation News

The U.S. government and other western imperialist powers are trying to deflect blame from a growing number of migrant and human rights organizations for their role in what is being labeled “the European refugee crisis,” which has become a growing humanitarian disaster.

According to new figures by the International Organization for Migration, over 332,000 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year alone in an attempt to reach Europe—nearly a 40 percent increase over the year before, which was already a record year for immigration into Europe.

Most of the refugees are coming from countries—like Syria—that are currently being militarily targeted by the United States and its allies, or from countries feeling the aftereffects of U.S. military intervention such as Afghanistan and Libya. Others come from countries that have not been militarily targeted by imperialism but suffer from the devastating effects of Western-imposed trade and economic conditions that have led to underdevelopment and poverty.

The IOM states that at least 2,636 people have died attempting to migrate to Europe, but these numbers could be much higher.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva said Friday that “200,000 migrants have landed in Greece alone,” making it the largest point of entry for migrants into Europe.

Just this past Monday, Greece’s coast guard reported that it had found 2,492 refugees at sea off the eastern islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Agathonissi, Farmakonissi, Kos and Symi in only three days.

According to the Associated Press, the vast majority of those arriving in Greece are Syrian and Afghan refugees who are not looking to make Greece their new home but instead see Greece as a first step in a long journey into more prosperous European countries like Germany or Austria. Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary have seen tens of thousands of refugees traveling through their countries.

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Saudi War on Yemen: Rising Tensions in the Middle East and the Crisis of Imperialism

From In Defense of Marxism

Since early Thursday morning hundreds of fighter jets from Saudi Arabia and a wide coalition of Arab states have been bombing targets across Yemen, killing dozens, destroying all major runways and much of the key infrastructure of the country. Yet again Yemen, which is the poorest Arab country, has become a target for savage attacks by the Saudi regime.

Hundreds of civilians, many of whom children, have already been killed, but it is clear that this figure will dramatically rise as the targets of the attack are moving into the civilian populated areas in Sana’a and in the northern Houthi villages which are expected to be heavily bombed. This morning a refugee camp for internally displaced Yemenis was bombed, killing about 40 people and injuring 30.

Apart from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan were also sending aircraft, while Egypt and Jordan were preparing to take part in ground offensives if necessary. Oman is the only Gulf Arab state not participating. Apart from 100 fighter jets, Saudi Arabia has dedicated 150,000 soldiers to the campaign, amassing them on its long porous border with Yemen and threatening an even bloodier ground invasion.

The United States and Britain have said they would not participate directly in the campaign, but that they will provide “logistical” and “intelligence” support. Israel has also openly supported the campaign. However, the EU has been vacillating, and although it did condemn the Houthi advance, it also said that the Saudi bombings have “dramatically worsened the already fragile situation in the country and risk having serious regional consequences”.

The Saudi Ambassador to the US said on Sunday that “ [t]his is a war to protect the people of Yemen and its legitimate government from a group that is allied and supported by Iran and Hezbollah,” and later on he said: “we are doing this to protect Yemen.”

The level of hypocrisy is nauseating. The Saudi regime is killing thousands of people and destroying all the key infrastructure of this extremely poor country in order to… “protect it”!

The protection of Yemen and its people have nothing to do with this imperialist adventure which has one main goal: to protect the Saudi ruling class and its narrow, petty interests in the Middle East, which are directly opposed to the poor and exploited people of the region.

For years Saudi Arabia supported the former dictator of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was hated by his own people and finally overthrown during the Arab revolution. Then the Saudis, along with the rest of the dictators and despots of the Gulf states, manoeuvred to install into the presidency Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was a vice-president for 17 years before the revolution.

However, after assuming power Hadi’s support quickly evaporated when the masses realised that corruption, nepotism and tribalism had remained in place, and that poverty and misery had become worse. Hadi also imposed harsh austerity measures on the population of which 60 percent already live in deep poverty. Thus, in order to rule, Hadi increasingly rested on different factions who dominated the different regions of Yemen. In particular he leaned on the tribal-Islamist Islah Party, while the Houthi tribal movement and the Zaydi people, who account for 40 percent of the population were marginalised as they had been for 60 years.

It was in this context, that the Houthis could gain strength and take over large parts of the north. Their slogans against US imperialism, against corruption and against poverty and austerity resonated with the many impoverished youth, mainly in the north where the majority are Shias. By the time the Houthis took Sana’a the “legitimate president” Hadi did not have any base left and he was swept aside with ease and without much resistance.

In the South Hadi is not in much of a better position. Here he managed to whip up the wrath of the secessionist movement and push a layer of people into the arms of Islamist groups through his open cooperation with US imperialism and by allowing them to run a drone programme in the country. In the end Hadi’s last refuge was in the southern city of Aden towards which the Houthis were advancing.

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The Geopolitics Behind the War in Yemen

From Information Clearing House

The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia became very uneasy when the Yemenese or Yemenite movement of the Houthi or Ansarallah (meaning the supporters of God in Arabic) gained control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa/Sana, in September 2014. The US-supported Yemenite President Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi was humiliatingly forced to share power with the Houthis and the coalition of northern Yemenese tribes that had helped them enter Sana. Al-Hadi declared that negotiations for a Yemeni national unity government would take place and his allies the US and Saudi Arabia tried to use a new national dialogue and mediated talks to co-opt and pacify the Houthis.

The truth has been turned on its head about the war in Yemen. The war and ousting of President Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi in Yemen are not the results of “Houthi coup” in Yemen. It is the opposite. Al-Hadi was ousted, because with Saudi and US support he tried to backtrack on the power sharing agreements he had made and return Yemen to authoritarian rule. The ousting of President Al-Hadi by the Houthis and their political allies was an unexpected reaction to the takeover Al-Hadi was planning with Washington and the House of Saudi.

The Houthis and their allies represent a diverse cross-section of Yemeni society and the majority of Yemenites. The Houthi movement’s domestic alliance against Al-Hadi includes Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims alike. The US and House of Saud never thought that they Houthis would assert themselves by removing Al-Hadi from power, but this reaction had been a decade in the making. With the House of Saud, Al-Hadi had been involved in the persecution of the Houthis and the manipulation of tribal politics in Yemen even before he became president. When he became Yemeni president he dragged his feet and was working against the implement the arrangements that had been arranged through consensus and negotiations in Yemen’s National Dialogue, which convened after Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over his powers in 2011.

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