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On August 17, DEBKAfile, an Israeli defense blog reported that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was in Jordan inspecting command and control facilities from which the source reported, the U.S. would lead an attack coordinated with Jordan and Israel on Syria.

That story has been little reported, except to feed follow-on rumors that the Syrian Army (we're now told by DEBKA is under the personal command of the one-legged, one-armed brother of Bashar Assad) had personally commanded Syrian troops firing off Sarin rounds from a mountaintop north of Damascus in an effort to target these same FSA and Jordanian Special Forces troops that a few days earlier were crossing the border into Southern Syria. http://www.jpost.com/...

The DEBKAfile report was originally published a week ago, three days before the incident in Ghorta north of Damascus. (Note that Gen. Dempsey's letter of August 19 to a NY Congressman on Tuesday was strongly skeptical of the utility of an actual U.S. military role in Syria. http://thinkprogress.org/...)

Here's the DEBKAfile report of August 17: http://www.debka.com/...

Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Amman this week to inaugurate the Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan manned by 273 US officers. US media correspondents were permitted to visit the new war room for the first time on condition of non-disclosure of its location and secret facilities. debkafile’s military sources report that the installation is bomb- and missile-proof against a possible Syrian attack. The US Air Force command section is in direct communication with the US, Israeli, Jordanian and Saudi Air Force headquarters ready for an order by President Barack Obama to impose a partial no-fly zone over Syrian air space.

Another section is designed to coordinate operations between US and Jordanian special forces, as well as the units trained in commando combat by US instructors in Jordan. A closed section houses CIA personnel who control the work of US agents going in and out of Syria and also a communications center. In his briefing to US forces Thursday, Aug. 15, Gen. Dempsey commented: “Jordan lives in a very volatile region and at a very critical time in its history. They can count on us to continue to be their partner.”

He suggested that the operation could continue well into next year or beyond. Situated atop the underground facility is a large surface structure accommodating the American military and civilian offices dealing with Syrian issues from Jordan. It is guarded by US and Jordanian security units.

There are today some 1,000 US military personnel in the Hashemite Kingdom, plus a squadron of F-16 fighters and several Patriot anti-missile batteries strung along the Jordanian-Syrian border to shield Jordanian and American bases and the capital, Amman. Obama’s final decision on US military intervention – consisting of a no fly and a buffer zone in Syria – is expected in the coming two to three weeks, depending on Dempsey’s recommendations upon his return to Washington after checking out preparations in Israel and Jordan. In neither operation will US boots touch Syrian soil.

Several possibilities come immediately to mind from this. First, the article may have actually provoked the Syrian military to attack what they believed was a second group of foreign-led commandos arriving from Turkey reported to have been in or near Ghorta on Wednesday, and that these troops were the actual target of the gas barrage. If this is accurate, the reported civilian casualties may have been incidental to the bombardment.

Or, another possible explanation is that this Israeli report last Saturday was part of an elaborate disinformation and deception campaign that involved opposition elements, or their handlers, who launched a poisoned gas rocket attack that could be blamed on the regime, timed to coincide with the arrival of UN inspectors, that killed several hundred people.

Either way, it appears that if there is any truth to these prior reports of an invading force of Special Forces trained by the U.S., there is far more to this story than has been otherwise reported by most of the western media.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I vote for elaborate disinformation (13+ / 0-)

    campaign.  This whole war has been full of disinformation campaigns.

    Who benefits if chemical weapons are used?

    Does the Syrian govt benefit?  No, it would be insanity for them to use chemical weapons and you can bet that the Russian govt is telling them not to ever use them under any circumstances, in order to make it very difficult for the U.S. to justify attacking and bombing yet another country with no U.N. Security Council and no self defense reason.  

    Does it benefit the hired mercenaries and the people who are paying them, who want to overthrow Assad, but cannot do it with the mercenaries alone, despite many different attempts?  Yes, it benefits them a lot, if they can blame it on Assad and get away with it.

    Syrian troops claim to have found some chemical weapons in a tunnel and were injured by it.

    The pressure has been ramping up on the U.S. to take out Assad.

    If this is a false flag, I strongly hope they find out who did this and find a way to let the whole world know who used chemical weapons on thousands of civilians in order to advance their imperialist agenda.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 07:50:14 PM PDT

    •  I strongly agree. But, (6+ / 0-)

      disinformation or not, it appears to have foreshadowed events by days

      That much can't be denied.  

      Someone may have fallen for the bait, or this was part of an elaborate ruse by the Israelis.  Perhaps both.  It wouldn't be the first time that disinformation has led to war in the region.

      In a few weeks we will know -  if there actually is a no-fly zone or something similar imposed, this will all seem remarkably prescient, if not necessarily self-fulfilling.

      •  I just posted (7+ / 0-)

        another comment below talking about the options that Dempsey laid out.  All of the things he laid out require more than a handful of ships in the Mediterranean. Then again, we sent troops and aircraft over to Jordan months ago for exercises and to give Jordan some back up.  The first to go over was a headquarters unit, if I remember correctly.  JSOC is all over the place, so it wouldn't be surprising to find them in the area.

        I'm not clear on what you mean by "foreshadowed events by days".  I'll need to go read your diary again.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:16:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Can these dots add insights? (6+ / 0-)

        US allowed authoritarian rule in many Middle East countries.  The authoritarians, like Gadaffi, held these countries...um resources in check.

        Now that the multi-nationals need more growth, it's time to do away with the despots and install our own...um democratic governments.

        So what has Bashar Hafez al-Assad kept safe all these years?

        Syria National Resources as reported by the CIA

        Petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
        One wonders if this 2009 move by Assad caused Syria problems:  nationalization of all mineral, oil, and gas:
        Law No. 26 of October 21, 2009, grants the state ownership of all surface and subsurface mineral resources within the country’s borders and territorial waters. all mining and quarrying activities require permits from the General Establishment of Geology and Mineral resources (GEGMr).

        Law No. 14 of 2009 created the General Corporation for Refining and Distribution of Petroleum Products, which included Banias Refinery Co., Homs Refinery Co., Syrian Company for Distribution and Storage of Petroleum Products, and Syrian Company for Gas Distribution.

        Law No. 15 of 2009 created General Petroleum Corp. (GPC), which included Syrian Gas Co., Syrian Petroleum Co., and Syrian Petroleum Transportation Co.

        And all this Middle East unrest beginning in 2011?

        Probably just a coincidence, but Blackwater's Eric Prince moved his family to Abu Dhabi in 2010 to build an armed force there.

        Eric et all moved to Abu Dhabi shortly after this sad story broke:

        Abu Dhabi Death Could Spark a Dynastic Struggle

        The body of Sheik Ahmed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, managing director of one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, was retrieved on Tuesday, fished out from a picturesque lake some 20 miles southeast of the Moroccan capital, Rabat, that his glider had crashed into five days before.

        The 41-year-old was the half-brother of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, the most influential — and with some 8% of the world's proven oil reserves — the wealthiest of the seven states that comprise the U.A.E.

        Then this story broke in mid-2011

        Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder

        The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.

        A year later, UK David Cameron announces
        Joint defence partnership between UK and the UAE announced
        The potential deal to sell 60 Typhoon fighter jets to the UAE will supplement a regime that already has a private mercenary army employed, amongst other reasons, to 'take control of civil uprisings'.

        Made up of Columbian mercenaries, this army was established by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed al Nayan, and exposed by a New York Times report in 2011.

        Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, sent troops into Bahrain last year to aid the violent repression of protests.

        So many coincidences.  I wanted to pass these dots along to you.

        WILL ADD LINKS TOMORROW WHEN NOT ON iPad

        War is NOT Peace, it's hell for all but the 1% who always make money from War.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:57:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  interesting problem (0+ / 0-)

      is that the barrages of the area have been ongoing for weeks and came from an area controlled by the regime.  

      but sure, let's pile CT on eleventy dimensional chess. I'm sure there's a good reason to do nothing and watch the massacre proceed.

    •  DEBKA (0+ / 0-)

      Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

      by oblomov on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:25:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is always more to the story. For example, (10+ / 0-)

    Assad using chemical weapons when he had to know the possible response. He wasn't losing, he has all the advanced weaponry, but yet, he would do something like this to turn the tide against himself? I simply don't believe the reports.

    •  On its face, it does not appear to be the act of (8+ / 0-)

      a reasonable mind,and it does not make sense in either military or political terms for the government to have carried out a large scale poison gas attack at this time, under these circumstances, against a civilian area.  

      Bashar Assad is neither a madman nor stupid, as he has thus far survived.  That's why I think the most likely explanation is a false flag.  But, I think this story as pernicious as it appears, may have been a provocation that worked on some level.

      We will see.    

      •  either that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David54

        or he knows full well there will be no repercussions.  Which there won't be, so why not use them to push back one of the few recent rebel advances?

        •  Considering the fact that one of the main stated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leveymg

          reasons we have not gotten more involved in Syria is that much of the opposition is al Qaeda or otherwise Islamist, it could be possible that aQ could have arranged the attack in order to drag the US in.

          Which is another good reason we don't have Cowboy McCain as President.

          In any case, in order to stop the massacre, the US et al are going to have to thread the needle and extract the Assad Regime while not giving the upper hand to al Qaeda and establishing the conditions for a reconciliation process that marginalizes Hezbollah and Iran while preventing permanent civil war a la Iraq.

          That's a tall order.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:02:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's not really supported (0+ / 0-)

            we have
            1) a regime that has a long history of massacring civilians (100,000 so far, and don't forget Hama)

            2) that has a large stockpile of chemical weapons

            3) now a history of using them with impunity

            4) that has been shelling this area for some time in the face of rebel gains.

            This is why the notion that this is some elaborate hoax because islamists want more US involvement is so bizarre to me.

            THe main reason the US is hedging about who did this is because if we say outright it was the regime, we would have to intervene which almost no one in the US wants to, most importantly President Obama.  He's been very keen on ignoring Syria throughout.  Notice that we haven't called the Egyptian military's actions a coup yet either, despite the military's best efforts to make it totally obvious that that's what this is.

            End of the day, our commitment to pushing for democracy is wafer thin

  •  Good reporting! (7+ / 0-)

    I'd be careful speculating, especially about Israel here.  Some are easily upset.

    That said, Jordan is hardly a hot bed of democracy and freedom.

    The world's enduring dictators: Abdullah II, Jordan

    Written June 10, 2013

    Survivor Jordan: How King Abdullah has kept his crown amid the Arab uprisings

    Security remains the top priority.

    The U.S. is to deploy Patriot missiles and F-16 fighter jets to the kingdom on June 9 for annual military exercises, but they may be kept in Jordan longer as protection from possible Syrian missile attacks.

    The deployment signals that Jordan remains an important American ally.

    “Jordan is a pivot in the region and we have to keep being that pivot,” says Shukri. “I think King Abdullah has done a good job of that.”

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:09:26 PM PDT

  •  What would the mission (9+ / 0-)

    be for JSOC? Secure the depots and chemical weapon stores?

    Dempsey laid out what the options were for our military, when Lindsey Graham demanded that he give the Senate an answer about his recommendations on Syria. Any solution that required troops on the ground was pretty risky and complicated. The options were included the letter (PDF): http://www.levin.senate.gov/...

    If we have special forces on the ground, then it sounds like the third and/or the fourth option (buffer zones and/or control chemical weapons).  Dempsey claims that would also require hundreds of ships, submarines, aircraft, et al and would require a partial no-fly zone.

    I guess there are other options that he might not have laid out in that letter that only involve covert operations.

    On another note, there have been signs that the new president of Iran (and his overlords) are serious about nuclear talks.  Anyone who doesn't genuinely want peace with Iran might want to rush forward with attacks on Syria and then Iran.
    http://www.nytimes.com/...


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:12:36 PM PDT

    •  If this is to be taken seriously, which it must (6+ / 0-)

      given what has happened earlier this week, I would say that JSOC is now actively involved in leading the FSA in the finer points of the political war as well as the handling of Libyan surplus antitank and MANPADs they have been reportedly receiving in militarily significant numbers.

      So, it has started.  We are already involved.  This seems to be headed in precisely the direction the Israelis may have guessed at.  Educated guesses, at least.

    •  Turkey and the Arab states need to do the heavy (0+ / 0-)

      lifting on a no-fly zone, etc.
      Hopefully it won't take much for the remaining Assad loyalists to realize they are going to have to throw him under the bus.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:09:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And bring in exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings, BigAlinWashSt

        whom to run the country?

        The  group of people that have been thrown together to try to form a transitional government can't agree that the sky is blue. It's been a total failure.

        Do you ever think about what happens to a country after you decide to illegally wage war with them and overthrow their government?  Or is it just all the war war war and phoney humanitarian intervention and forget about what happens later for you?  Even Colin Powell was smarter than that with his pottery barn theory.  You break it, you bought it.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 09:36:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Holy cow. (0+ / 0-)

          Apparently you're in favor of the Assad regime continuing ad infinitum.
          Which will necessitate a bloodbath, because it's obvious they're going to have to kill a large portion of their countrymen in order to establish "order.

          Hopefully, they are working on a transitional reconciliation government that will work.

          You may be right about the efforts so far. At any rate, Turkey has a stake, as they are absorbing the majority of the refugees, and they are a neighbor. Their own stability is threatened.
          The Arab Sunni states as well as the Shia need to decide whether they are going to pound one another back into the 8th century  or whether they're going to move forward into the 21st century.
          I have no idea where you construed any kind of endorsement of "neocon" ideas from what I wrote.
          Stopping the carnage is a good idea. Making the neighboring countries contribute somehow is also a good idea.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  They found a way to justify getting involved (9+ / 0-)

    in Syria. War is profit, they need an excuse to use those expensive weapons up and keep those with shares in the military industrial complex pockets filled. It will be one conflict after the next for the unforeseen future. Want to know who is always behind these conflicts and wars, follow the money. It has nothing so much to do with what countries are involved, but the filthy rich running everything.

  •  News coming out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, semiot
    US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that President Obama has asked the military to "prepare options for all contingencies" as the crisis in Syria deepens following reports of a chemical weapons attack by that country's government earlier this week.
    Speaking in Malaysia Sunday, where he was starting a planned one-week tour of Asia, Hagel said that the administration was still weighing whether or not to use military force against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Among the factors being discussed, Hagel said, were an intelligence assessment of the attack as well as possibly international support for a military operation and what he described as legal issues.
    "President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option -- if he decides to employ one of those options,'' Hagel said.

    Only source I find :(

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/...

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:52:39 PM PDT

  •  The DEBKAfile is seriously unreliable. (5+ / 0-)

    I used to follow it years ago, but learned that its "information" consisted mainly of speculation and factional disinformation designed to incite war addicts and keep the waters agitated and muddied.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10 UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:32:07 PM PDT

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