Just over a week ago, PBS aired a Pentagon narrative claiming they’re now bombing targets that they were ignoring before to avoid civilian casualties, i.e. ISIS lifeline including oil trucks and refineries. The problem was that, in order to support the inherently fabricated narrative with facts, the newscast used the footage of ISIS controlled refineries being bombed by the Russians.
They’ve employed the same misinformation on several occasions before, one of which was when they posted a riot in Greece to project a political turmoil in Russia. But last week’s broadcast was probably the worst so far.
Normally, when confronted with such mistakes by the audience, any broadcast medium would subsequently issue a full “erratum” statement with a corresponding apology. None has come from PBS until now.
If the US media could do this blatant manipulations live on air, the White House could only do much worse. They could play dumb and stupid outright.
Hmmnn, Kirby just told the Iraqis and the Turks to settle their squabbling amongst themselves.
But, how can a Pontius Pilate lead a coalition of 65 nations against terror then?
State Dept. dodges RT’s question about Turkish troops in Iraq, gets personal
Iraq is furious at Turkey’s military incursion, but the US State Department doesn’t seem too concerned. Its spokesman stonewalled RT’s questions about the Iraq-Turkey row, getting personal in the process.
Turkey has sent tanks and hundreds of soldiers to a base near the city of Mosul this past weekend, and on Wednesday, Turkish jets bombed Kurds in northern Iraq. The government in Baghdad has described the actions as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty, has issued an ultimatum to Ankara to withdraw, and has even asked NATO to rein in its errant member.
The dispute has compelled the Iraqi parliament’s Defense and Security Committee to ask for a review of the security agreement with the US-led coalition, as committee member Hamid Mutlaq told RT on Wednesday.
When asked about it by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan, however, State Department spokesman John Kirby first said he was unaware of Iraq’s concerns.
The US wants “any action against ISIL – inside Iraq, specifically – to be done with full cooperation and [in] coordination with the Iraqi government, and their sovereign permission,” Kirby insisted, noting that he had said the same thing months before, as the Pentagon spokesman and uniformed admiral.
“Now there is this dispute between Turkey and Iraq over the presence of a small number of troops,” the State Department spokesman added dismissively. “And we want Turkey and Iraq to work this out. And they are. You are trying to find a way to make this some kind of a divisive issue.”
Chichakyan asked a follow-up question about whether Iraq has a legitimate concern over “the situation where the US invites forces to Iraq and the US is leading this coalition… but when something goes wrong, the US says it’s none of our business – like what is happening with the Turkish troops.”
“Ah, come on,” Kirby moaned, “again another ridiculous question.” He then made personal comments about both the journalist and the company, saying Chichakyan should be “embarrassed” to ask such a question before claiming that “RT very rarely asks any tough questions of their own government.”
Is it really “ridiculous” or “baseless” to ask a question about what the Iraqis obviously consider an important issue, one that they are obviously not “working out” bilaterally with Turkey, from a diplomatic spokesman representing the country so fond of pointing out its leadership of the 65-nation coalition? You be the judge.
Counter Exposure: US Shifts Blame for Oil Smuggling From Turkey to Assad
“US Treasury Department official Adam Szubin said militants were selling as much as $40 million a month of oil at the installations which was then spirited on trucks across the battlelines of the Syrian civil war and sometimes further,” according to Reuters.
The Department, however, found nothing better than to claim that “significant volumes have been sold to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad,” while neglecting to provide any proof to back up its claim, unlike the Russian Defense Ministry, which earlier presented satellite imagery and shots of oil trucks lining up at the border with Turkey, detailing each of oil smuggling routes on the map.
“ISIL (Daesh) is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime,” Szubin, the acting undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence with the Treasury, claimed to an audience at Chatham House in London.
“Some is coming across the border into Turkey,” Szubin grudgingly admitted when asked for details on the money trail.
He managed to keep the details as vague as possible:
“Our sense is that ISIL is taking its profits basically at the wellhead and so while you do have ISIL(Daesh) oil ending up in a variety of different places that’s not really the pressure we want when it comes to stemming the flow of funding — it really comes down to taking down their infrastructure,” he said.
Szubin said it was unclear whether the $40 million per month estimate could be multiplied over a year. However, in remarks prepared for delivery, he said that Daesh had made more than $500 million from the oil trade. He didn’t give a more specific time period.
However, as it turns out, the US has been aware of the illegal oil trade between Daesh and Turkey for quite some time.
“We’ve known for along time that the Turks are the ones exporting the oil for ISIS (Daesh) and making the money so we did not attack the convoys… I think it’s a bad decision, but I think what the White House decided it was that better to have Turkey friendly than to have Turkey unfriendly,” Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer said on Thursday in an interview with the global news network RT on the sidelines of an international media conference being organized by the broadcaster.
He added that the US officials used to be very careful about not blaming Ankara, because Washington was very concerned about having the Turks involved in the US activities in the region, allowing the United States to use airbases in Turkey.
President Assad has also commented on the issue:
“The Russians last week published on TV pictures and videos of trucks carrying oil crossing the Syrian-Turkish borders. Of course, the Turks denied this, it’s very easy to deny, but let’s think about the reality,” the Syrian leader said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE.
The Russians last week published on TV pictures and videos of trucks carrying oil crossing the Syrian-Turkish borders. Of course, the Turks denied this, it’s very easy to deny, but let’s think about the reality.
Besides, numerous news outlets, including The Guardian and Zero Hedge, made their own investigations of oil smuggling into Turkey.
The British newspaper has posted a number of articles on the Daesh oil business.
“After a US attack on the compound of a Daesh (ISIL) leader in Syria in May, direct dealings between the terrorist organization and Turkey became undeniable,” the Guardian wrote back in July, referring to documents seized at the compound.
“Following the killing of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIL official responsible for oil smuggling in May, a senior Western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at Sayyaf’s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIL members were now “undeniable.”
“From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter [Abu Sayyaf] had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of ISIS (Daesh) revenues — and Turkish buyers were its main clients,” the daily reported.
In a follow-up to President Putin’s remarks on the issue, the newspaper has published another article referring to a “long list of evidence of Turkish support for Daesh (ISIL) in Syria, compiled by The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University.”
Based on evidence made available by a variety of international sources including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as Turkish sources CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal, among others, the document confirmed that:
“Turkey provides military equipment to ISIS (Daesh), Turkey provided transport and logistical assistance to ISIS Fighters, Turkey provided training to ISIS fighters, Turkey offers medical care to ISIS fighters, Turkey supports ISIS financially through the purchase of oil, and Turkish forces are fighting alongside ISIS.”
Daesh Godfathers? Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar Spotted Funding Terrorists
Citing Germany BND intelligence sources, American-German researcher, historian and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl notes that Saudi Arabia is about to become a serious destabilizing force in the Middle East, adding that it is likely that Riyadh’s current cautious foreign policy could soon be replaced by an interventionist approach.
The researcher underscores that he has to reconsider his previous stance regarding the possible Russo-Saudi alliance: Russia’s involvement in Syria is now viewed as a serious obstacle to the Saudi royal family’s plans.
“Prince Salman is Defense Minister and led the Kingdom, beginning last March, into a mad war, code-named by Salman as ‘Operation Decisive Storm,’ in neighboring Yemen. Saudis headed a coalition of Arab states that includes Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. The Prince is also head of the Saudi Economic Council which he created. The new King, Salman, is not the benign sweet guy his PR staff try to paint him,” Engdahl notes in his recent piece for New Eastern Outlook.
Endgahl writes that in the early 1950s CIA Cairo Station Chief Miles Copeland organized the transfer of the Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Egypt, to Saudi Arabia. Citing former US Justice Department official John Loftus, the researcher explains how the Muslim Brotherhood nationalist ideas were thus combined with the Saudi Wahhabism.
“The CIA planned to use the Saudi Muslim Brothers to wield a weapon across the entire Muslim world against feared Soviet incursions. A fanatical young terrorist named Osama Bin Laden was later to arise out of this marriage in Hell between the Brotherhood and Wahhabi Saudi Islam,” Engdahl emphasizes.
According to the researcher, King Salman had certain ties with al-Qaeda. His involvement originates from the late 1970s when he was a Governor of Riyadh. It was he who headed major Saudi charities which were later discovered financing al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Bosnia.
“Salman worked intimately as the financial funding conduit for what became al-Qaeda together with Bin Laden’s Saudi intelligence ‘handler,’ then-head of Saudi Intelligence, Prince Turki Al-Faisal and the Saudi-financed Muslim World League,” Engdahl continues.
The expert calls attention to the fact that during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003-2004, al-Qaeda penetrated into the country. A Moroccan-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi formed an al-Qaeda affiliate known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Later, this entity dubbed itself as the Islamic State (IS) also known as ISIL, or Daesh.
Engdahl stresses that a declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) document indicated in 2012 that since the very beginning the major driving forces of US-backed Syrian insurgency were the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI.
“If we look at the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq and its transformation into the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ISIS [Daesh], it all traces back to the Saudi operations going back to the late 1970’s involving now-King Salman, Saudi Osama bin Laden, together with Saudi intelligence head, Prince Turki Al-Faisal,” Engdahl points out.
Quoting an unnamed Turkish source, Engdahl remarks that Turkish President Erdogan’s first presidential campaign in 2014 was supported by a “gift” of ten billion US dollars from the Saudis. He also adds that Turkey’s training centers for Syrian Islamists have been funded by Erdogan’s close friend Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi banker close to the Saudi royalties, member of the Muslim Brotherhood and financier of Osama bin Laden since the 1980s.
“What we have, then, is not an isolated Russian war against ISIS [Daesh] in Syria. What lies behind ISIS is not just Erdogan’s criminal regime, but far more significant, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and her Wahhabi allies Kuwait, UAE, Qatar,” Engdahl suggests.
Interestingly enough, independent researcher and writer Timothy Alexander Guzman noted in his November article that there is an influential “triangle” of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Middle East. Guzman insisted that Turkey is the main coordinator of this clandestine alliance.
Remarkably, while the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) comprises about 640,000 military, civilian and paramilitary personnel, Saudi Arabia boasts just a 175,000-strong army, and Qatar has a very modest military force of around 11,800 servicemen. Furthermore, the TSK is the second largest standing military force in NATO.
Whoever the “mastermind” of the Turkish-Saudi-Qatari alliance is, it would have been unable to conduct its covert activity in the Middle East, including funding of terrorists or oil smuggling from Syria and Iraq without some tacit agreement with major Western powers. Remarkably, Washington and its European NATO allies are still turning a blind eye to illicit activities of their partners and allies in the Middle East.