Tag Archives: Jordan

The US Gives Israel a Green Light for Expansion, by Eric S. Margolis

The US has very quietly acceded to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

Hardly anyone noticed.  The Trump administration quietly changed America’s long-held position on Syria’s strategic Golan Heights while attention was focused on the raucous political carnival in Washington.  Though barely noticed, the policy change had enormous importance and will lead the United States into a lot of future Mideast misery.

The Golan Heights is a volcanic plateau that abuts Syria, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. The plateau rises abruptly from the plain of Galilee, providing dominance of the entire region. To the north, Mt Hermon rises to over 9,000 feet (2,814 meters); the plateau slopes down at its southern extremity.

Golan provides the headwaters of the Jordan River and 15-20% of Israel’s water from its snow-capped north.  Israeli artillery atop Golan can hit Damascus and its airport.  Electronic intelligence systems on Golan look down onto southern Syria, intercepting all communications and detecting troop movements.

The plateau is quite fascinating.  I have walked most of the Israeli-held side, observing dug-in tanks, artillery and small forts surrounded by anti-tank ditches.  Burned out wrecks of Syrian tanks and armor litter the countryside.  I’ve also walked the Syrian side and explored the wrecked Syrian town of Kuneitra that was leveled by the Israelis in 1967.

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Jordan Cancels Key Part Of Historic Treaty With Israel, Refusing To Renew Land Annexes, by Tyler Durden

Historically, once Israel occupies territory, it seldom gives that territory back. What about land Israel occupies subject to a lease? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Jordan announced a bombshell on Sunday in relation to its peace treaty with Israel, stating it would not renew a 25-year lease of two tracts of territory along its border which is set for renewal on Thursday.

Under the 1994 historic treaty brokered under Bill Clinton, Israel retained private land ownership and special travel rights in Baquora called Naharayim by the Israelis  in the northwestern part of the kingdom, and Ghumar or Zofar in Hebrew  in the south. Part of the agreement signed at the White House in which Jordan became only the second Arab country after Egypt to make peace with Israel was that Jordan would lease sovereign Jordanian land to Israel.

But after sizable protests last Friday in Amman involving marchers demanding that Jordan reclaim full sovereignty over the territory, King Abdullah announced the cancellation of this part of the treaty, saying an official message has been relayed to Israel on the matter.

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Murder Of Green Berets In Jordan Exposed Secretive CIA Syria Program Details, by Tyler Durden

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this story is that America’s military is arming and training Syrians who are part of ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist armies, not the supposed “moderate” Syrian revolutionaries, and the military and the CIA are well aware of it. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

“The Jordanian government had a strong incentive to gloss over the murders of the three Green Berets.  Likewise, the CIA was scared of potential blowback and the exposing of their covert program,” says investigative journalist Jack Murphy, himself an Army special forces veteran.

A premeditated green-on-blue attack in Jordan outside of King Faisal Air Base (at al-Jafr in Southern Jordan) late last year resulted in the deaths of three elite US Green Berets in what the media initially dubbed a mere unfortunate gate incident and what the Jordanian government dismissed as a “a tragic accident devoid of any terrorist motives”. But the whole event and subsequent attempts at cover-up just as Obama was leaving office enraged both the families of the slain and the US special forces community; and it further threatened to blow wide open the CIA’s illegal Syrian regime change operation, called Timber Sycamore, which involved American special ops soldiers being tasked with training so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels in Jordan and Turkey as part of an inter-agency program.

As details of the court case involving the shooter continue to emerge this week, the media continues to misreport the true nature of the what the US special forces personnel were doing in Jordan in the first place, and how a CIA secret program put them at risk.

On Monday (July 17) a Jordanian military court sentenced the attacker, a Jordanian soldier named Marik al-Tuwayha, to life in prison with hard labor for the premeditated murder of Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Kirksville, Missouri; Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas. In Jordan a “life sentence” can mean the possibility of being set free after serving 20 years for good behavior.

To continue reading: Murder Of Green Berets In Jordan Exposed Secretive CIA Syria Program Details

Army Special Forces soldiers killed in Jordan were working for the CIA, by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Joby Warrick

Why are US military forces working for the CIA, instead of the military? How can US soldiers, even special forces soldiers, be taking orders from an intelligence agency? Is the CIA now conducting military operations? This article raises these, and other equally disturbing questions. From Thomas Gibbon-Neff and Joby Warrick at washingtonpost.com:

The three Army Special Forces soldiers killed at a Jordanian military base this month were working for a CIA program to train moderate Syrian fighters when they were shot at a checkpoint under still-unclear circumstances, U.S. officials said.

The Nov. 4 slayings of the three soldiers is believed to be the deadliest single incident involving a CIA team since December 2009, when seven officers and contractors were killed in a suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan.

The Fort Campbell, Ky.-based soldiers — all members of the 5th Special Forces Group — were killed by a Jordanian soldier at an entry control point to Prince Faisal Air Base near Jafr, in the southern desert about 150 miles south of the capital, Amman, according to the officials. The shooter also was wounded in what was described by U.S. and Middle Eastern sources as an exchange of gunfire.

The soldiers, identified as Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe and Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, were among roughly 2,000 U.S. troops working in Jordan while participating in the U.S.-led campaign fighting the Islamic State. Some of the troops have been assigned to mobile artillery units along the Jordanian border while others assist CIA-led training programs for Syrian opposition fighters.

The CIA declined to comment on the shooting incident or on the soldiers’ possible role in agency programs.

What prompted the week-old shooting remained unclear, as U.S. and Jordanian officials have painted different narratives of the incident.

The FBI is investigating the possibility of a terrorist attack, but it has not discounted the possibility that the deaths could have been the result of a mistake at the gate, said a U.S. defense official who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

But Jordanian investigators say the evidence so far points not to a deliberate attack but to a “chain of unfortunate events,” according to a senior Middle Eastern security official briefed on the results of an internal Jordanian probe.

According to Jordanian accounts, the incident began with the accidental discharge of a weapon inside one of the Americans’ Humvees as a small convoy was preparing to enter the base following a training exercise with Syrian opposition fighters, the Middle Eastern official said. In the ensuing confusion, shots were fired at U.S. personnel, some of whom got out of their vehicle to take cover.

“Security was heightened at the time,” amping up the adrenaline among a guard force trained to respond rapidly to perceived threats, the official said. Investigators have found no evidence suggesting a deliberate targeting of the Americans, he said.

The incident took place five months after six Jordanian border guards were killed in a suicide-car bombing near the Syrian border. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack. Last November, a Jordanian police officer shot and killed two American contractors and three others inside a police training center near Amman.

To continue reading: Army Special Forces soldiers killed in Jordan were working for the CIA

 

Russia Closes Ranks With Syria, Iraq And Jordan—-Supplants Washington’s Phony War On ISIS, by Tyler Durden

Do stupid things (a definition of the US’s policies in the Middle East since 9/11) and sooner or later somebody’s going to take advantage of it. In this case, it’s the Russians, who are stitching together quite an alliance. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Once it became clear that Moscow and Tehran had jointly planned the incursion in Syria with Russia promising full air support and Iran pledging ground troops from Hezbollah, its various Shiite militias, and the IRGC, we immediately suggested that Iraq was next on the agenda after the Assad regime is restored.

For those unfamiliar with the situation on the ground, we encourage you to read “Who Really Controls Iraq? Inside Iran’s Powerful Proxy Armies,” in which we outline the extent to which Tehran effectively controls both the Iraqi military and the politicians in Baghdad.

The US allows this because i) there’s really not much Washington can do about it, and ii) even if there was, it would mean first trying to root out Iranian influence on the political process and second attempting to separate the Shiite militias from the Iraqi regulars, which would only serve to weaken the country’s ability to resist Sunni extremists like ISIS. The other important thing to understand about Iran’s proxy armies in Iraq is that they are the very same militias fighting alongside the Russians in Syria (we mean “very same” in the most literal sense possible as they were called over the border by Quds commander Qassem Soleimani himself). This means they are Washington’s allies in Iraq but as soon as they cross the border into Syria, they become the targets of US-supported and supplied rebels battling at Aleppo. Obviously, that makes absolutely no sense and is emblematic of just how schizophrenic Washington’s Mid-East strategy has become. It’s also worth noting that these are the same Shiite militias who, with Tehran’s blessing, attacked US troops in Iraq after George Bush destroyed the US-Iran post-9/11 alliance by putting the country in his infamous “Axis Of Evil” (see here for more).

Here’s a picture that should give you an idea about why Iran’s proxy armies have proven particularly effective at bullying the ISIS bully, so to speak:

Meanwhile, flying missions over Iraq is the logical next step for The Kremlin in Russia’s bid to supplant the US as Mid-East superpower puppet master. One would be hard pressed to come up with a more humiliating scenario for Washington than for the US to be effectively kicked out of the country it “liberated” over a decade ago by Vladimir Putin on the excuse that try as they may (or may “not”, depending on how prone you are to conspiracy theories), the Americans are apparently not very good at fighting terror.

To continue reading: Russia Closes Ranks With Syria, Iraq and Jordan