Britain’s Seven Covert Wars


Britain’s Seven Covert Wars

by Mark Curtis

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars. To cover themselves, Ministers are now often resorting to lying about what they are authorising. While Britain has identified Islamic State (among others) as the enemy abroad, it is clear that it sees the British public and parliament as the enemy at home.

Syria

Britain began training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012. This was also when the SAS was reported to be ‘slipping into Syria on missions’ against Islamic State. Now, British special forces are ‘mountinghit and run raids against IS deep inside eastern Syria dressed as insurgent fighters’ and ‘frequently cross into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army’ from their base in Jordan. British special forces also provide training, weapons and other equipment to the New Syrian Army.

British aircraft began covert strikes against IS targets in Syria in 2015, months before Parliament voted in favour of overt action in December 2015. These strikes were conducted by British pilots embedded with US and Canadian forces.

Britain has also been operating a secret drone warfare programme in Syria. Last year Reaper drones killed British IS fighters in Syria, again before parliament approved military action. As I have previously argued, British covert action and support of the Syrian rebels is, along with horrific Syrian government/Russian violence, helping to prolong a terrible conflict.

Iraq

Hundreds of British troops are officially in Iraq to train local security forces. But they are also engaged in covert combat operations against IS. One recent report suggests that Britain has more than 200 special force soldiers in the country, operating out of a fortified base within a Kurdish Peshmerga camp south of Mosul.

British Reaper drones were first deployed over Iraq in 2014 and are now flown remotely by satellite from an RAF base in Lincolnshire. Britain has conducted over 200 drones strikes in Iraq since November 2014.

Libya

SAS forces have been secretly deployed to Libya since the beginning of this year, working with Jordanian special forces embedded in the British contingent. This follows a mission by MI6 and the RAF in January to gather intelligence on IS and draw up potential targets for air strikes. British commandos are now reportedly fighting and directing assaults on Libyan frontlines and running intelligence, surveillance and logistical support operations from a base in the western city of Misrata. <= ***which involves of AlQaeda, Isis and other Radical groups.

But a team of 15 British forces are also reported to be based in a French-led multinational military operations centre in Benghazi, eastern Libya, supporting renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. In July 2016, Middle East Eye reported that this British involvement was helping to coordinate air strikes in support of Haftar, whose forces are opposed to the Tripoli-based government that Britain is supposed to be supporting.

Yemen

The government says it has no military personnel based in Yemen. Yet a report by Vice News in April, based on numerous interviews with officials, revealed that British special forces in Yemen, who were seconded to MI6, were training Yemeni troops fighting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also had forces infiltrated in AQAP. The same report also found that British military personnel were helping with drone strikes against AQAP. Britain was playing ‘a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program’. In addition, the UK spybase at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire facilitates US drone strikes in Yemen.

Britain has been widely reported (outside the mainstream media) as supporting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, most of them due to Saudi air strikes. Indeed, Britain is party to the war. The government says there are around 100 UK military personnel based in Saudi Arabia including a ‘small number’ at ‘Saudi MOD and Operational Centres’. One such Centre, in Riyadh, coordinates the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen and includes British military personnel who are in the command room as air strikes are carried out and who have access to the bombing targets.

The UK is of course arming the Saudi campaign: The British government disclosed on 13 October that the Saudis have used five types of British bombs and missiles in Yemen. On the same day, it lied to Parliament that Britain was ‘not a party’ to the war in Yemen.

A secretmemorandum of understanding’ that Britain signed with Saudi Arabia in 2014 has not been made public since it ‘would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship’ with the Kingdom, the government states. It is likely that this pact includes reference to the secret British training of Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia, which has taken place since mid-2015. Operating from a desert base in the north of the country, British forces have been teaching Syrian forces infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the public was told that British forces withdrew at the end of 2014. However, British forces stayed behind to help create and train an Afghan special forces unit. Despite officially only having ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan, in August 2015 it was reported that British covert forces were fighting IS and Taliban fighters. The SAS and SBS, along with US special forces, were ‘taking part in military operations almost every night’ as the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul.

In 2014, the government stated that it had ended its drone air strikes programme in Afghanistan, which had begun in 2008 and covered much of the country. Yet last year it was reported that British special forces were calling in air strikes using US drones.

Pakistan and Somalia

Pakistan and Somalia are two other countries where Britain is conducting covert wars. Menwith Hill facilitates US drone strikes against jihadists in both countries, with Britain’s GCHQ providinglocational intelligence’ to US forces for use in these attacks.

The government has said that it has 27 military personnel in Somalia who are developing the national army and supporting the African Union Mission. Yet in 2012 it was reported that the SAS was covertly fighting against al-Shabab Islamist terrorists in Somalia, working with Kenyan forces in order to target leaders. This involved up to 60 SAS soldiers, close to a full squadron, including Forward Air Controllers who called in air strikes against al-Shabab targets by the Kenyan air force. In early 2016, it was further reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose troops operate with UK special forces, was saying that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go ‘over the border’ to attack al-Shabaab.

Drones

The RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of 10 Reaper drones, has been in permanent operation in Afghanistan since October 2007, but covertly began operating outside Afghanistan in 2014. The NGO Reprieve notes that Britain provides communications networks to the CIA ‘without which the US would not be able to operate this programme’. It says that this is a particular matter of concern as the US covert drone programme is illegal.

The Gulf

Even this may not be the sum total of British covert operations in the region. The government stated in 2015 that it had 177 military personnel embedded in other countries’ forces, with 30 personnel working with the US military. It is possible that these forces are also engaged in combat in the region. For example, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has said that in the Gulf, British pilots fly US F18s from the decks of US aircraft carriers. This means that ‘US’ air strikes might well be carried out by British pilots.

Britain has many other military and intelligence assets in the region. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the US.

The state of Qatar houses the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid airbase. The government says it has seven military personnel ‘permanently assigned to Qatar’ and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ working at the airbase. These are likely to be covert forces; the government says that ‘we do not discuss specific numbers for reasons of safeguarding operational security’.

Similarly, the government says it has six military personnel ‘permanently assigned’ to the United Arab Emirates and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ at the UAE’s Al Minhad airbase. Britain also has military assets at Manama harbour, Bahrain, whose repressive armed forces are also being secretly trained by British commandos.

Kenya and Turkey

Kenya hosts Britain’s Kahawa Garrishon barracks and Laikipia Air Base, from where thousands of troops who carry out military exercises in Kenya’s harsh terrain can be deployed on active operations in the Middle East. Turkey has also offered a base for British military training. In 2015, for example, Britain deployed several military trainers to Turkey as part of the US-led training programme in Syria, providing small arms, infantry tactics and medical training to rebel forces.

The web of deceit

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament in July that the government is ‘committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter’. This is plainly not true, as the extent of British covert operations show.

Similarly, it was first reported in May that British troops were secretly engaged in combat in Libya. This news came two days after Fallon told MPs that Britain was not planning ‘any kind of combat role’ to fight IS in Libya.

There are many other examples of this straightforward web of deceit. In July 2016, the government issued six separate corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes in Yemen. However, little noticed was that these corrections also claimed that ‘the UK is not a party’ to the conflict in Yemen. This claim is defied by various news reports in the public domain.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging.

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“Why a Libyan Woman Supports Trump’s Extreme Vetting”


“Why a Libyan Woman Supports Trump’s Extreme Vetting”

Today’s guest “Al Fatah,” a Libyan woman, explodes the Lies of the innocent Libyan refugees championed by Soros’ protesters on the Left.

Yes, she insists, many refugees are exactly what they appear to be: hard working and anxious to start new lives. But without any doubt, terrorists and jihadists have been planted among them with sinister intent.

Key to her story is Abdul Hakim Belhaj– former Guantanamo prisoner responsible for bombings in Madrid and Africa, turned CIA infiltrator in Libya, who’s now Governor of Tripoli rumored to hold billions of $$$ in stolen Libyan gold.

Al Fatah provides a much more complex orientation of the forces tearing apart Libya and Syria. At the point, the Puppets have come to life, and they are controlling their masters to the great detriment of all. We talk a lot about the twisted naivete of the Left.

Al Fatah describes her anger at the hypocrisy of pro-women’s protests after Trump’s Inauguration. She’s got harsh words for women & Democrats who stayed silent while President Obama and Hillary Clinton started these Wars that destroyed the rights of Arab women, broke down peaceful, prosperous and stable societies, and created the refugee crisis flooding Europe and the US. With great clarity, she explains the jobs problems and why Europe & the US cannot hope to absorb refugees Blame it on George Soros– that neo-Nazi fanatic, war profiteer & Hillary’s own puppet master.

It’s a bizarre “paid” propaganda campaign that’s got young Americans fighting violent street wars on behalf of the very Devil himself, who smashed the refugees’ home nations and put them on the road! For those Millennial Democrats most of all, this conversation with Al Fatah should be required listening.

 

http://truthfrequencyradio.com/the-covert-report-with-susan-lindauer-70298/

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Pentagon Mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?


Pentagon Mercenaries:
Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?

By Finian Cunningham

CIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making.
Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there. In the occasional Western report on Al-Qaeda and related terror groups in Yemen, it is usually in the context of intermittent drone strikes carried out by the US, or with the narrative that these militants are “taking advantage” of the chaos “to expand” their presence in the Arabian Peninsula, as reported here by the Washington Post.

This bifurcated Western media view of Yemen belies a more accurate and meaningful perspective, which is that the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign is actually coordinated with an on-the-ground military force that comprises regular troops, private security firms and Al-Qaeda type mercenaries redeployed from Syria.

There can be little doubt in Syria – despite Western denials – that the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)) jihadists and related Al-Qaeda brigades in Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fateh, Ahrar ash-Sham and so on, have been infiltrated, weaponized and deployed for the objective of regime-change by the US and its allies. If that is true for Syria, then it is also true for Yemen. Indeed, the covert connection becomes even more apparent in Yemen.

Last November, the New York Times confirmed what many Yemeni sources had long been saying. That the US-backed Saudi military coalition trying to defeat a popular uprising was relying on mercenaries supplied by private security firms tightly associated with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The mercenaries were recruited by companies linked to Erik Prince, the former US Special Forces commando-turned businessman, who set up Blackwater Worldwide. The latter and its re-branded incarnations, Xe Services and Academi, remain a top private security contractor for the Pentagon, despite employees being convicted for massacring civilians while on duty in Iraq in 2007. In 2010, for example, the Obama administration awarded the contractor more than $200 million in security and CIA work.

Erik Prince, who is based primarily in Virginia where he runs other military training centers, set up a mercenary hub in the United Arab Emirates five years ago with full support from the royal rulers of the oil-rich state. The UAE Company took the name Reflex Responses or R2. The NY Times reported that some 400 mercenaries were dispatched from the Emirates’ training camps to take up assignment in Yemen. Hundreds more are being trained up back in the UAE for the same deployment.

This is just one stream of several “soldiers of fortune” going into Yemen to fight against the uprising led by Houthi rebels, who are in alliance with remnants of the national army. That insurgency succeeded in kicking out the US and Saudi-backed president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in early 2015. Hadi has been described as a foreign puppet, who presided over a corrupt regime of cronyism and vicious repression.

Since last March, the Saudis and other Persian Gulf Arab states have been bombing Yemen on a daily basis in order to overthrow the Houthi-led rebellion and reinstall the exiled Hadi.

Washington and Britain have supplied warplanes and missiles, as well as logistics, in the Saudi-led campaign, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. The involvement of Blackwater-type mercenaries – closely associated with the Pentagon – can also be seen as another form of American contribution to the Saudi-led campaign.

The mercenaries sent from the UAE to Yemen are fighting alongside other mercenaries that the Saudis have reportedly enlisted from Sudan, Eritrea and Morocco. Most are former soldiers, who are paid up to $1,000 a week while serving in Yemen. Many of the Blackwater-connected fighters from the UAE are recruited from Latin America: El Salvador, Panama and primarily Colombia, which is considered to have good experience in counter-insurgency combat.

Also among the mercenaries are American, British, French and Australian nationals. They are reportedly deployed in formations along with regular troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

In recent months, the Houthi rebels (also known as Ansarullah) and their allies from the Yemeni army – who formed a united front called the Popular Committees – have inflicted heavy casualties on the US-Saudi coalition. Hundreds of troops have been reportedly killed in gun battles in the Yemeni provinces of Marib, in the east, and Taiz, to the west. The rebels’ use of Tochka ballistic missiles has had particularly devastating results.

So much so that it is reported that the Blackwater-affiliated mercenaries have “abandoned the Taiz front” after suffering heavy casualties over the last two months. “Most of the Blackwater operatives killed in Yemen were believed to be from Colombia and Argentina; however, there were also casualties from the United States, Australia and France,” Masdar News reports.

Into this murky mix are added extremist Sunni militants who have been dispatched to Yemen from Syria. They can be said to be closely related, if not fully integrated, with Al-Qaeda or IS in that they profess allegiance to a “caliphate” based on a fundamentalist Wahhabi, or Takfiri, ideology.

These militants began arriving in Yemen in large numbers within weeks of Russia’s military intervention in Syria beginning at the end of September, according to Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman. Russian air power immediately began inflicting severe losses on the extremists there. Senior Yemeni military sources said that hundreds of IS-affiliated fighters were flown into Yemen’s southern port city of Aden onboard commercial aircraft belonging to Turkey, Qatar and the UAE.

Soon after the militants arrived, Aden residents said the city had descended into a reign of terror. The integrated relationship with the US-Saudi coalition can be deduced from the fact that Aden has served as a key forwarding military base for the coalition. Indeed, it was claimed by Yemen military sources that the newly arrived Takfiri militants were thence dispatched to the front lines in Taiz and Marib, where the Pentagon-affiliated mercenaries and Saudi troops were also assigned.

It is true that the Pentagon at times wages war on Al-Qaeda-related terrorists. The US airstrike in Libya on Friday, which killed some 40 IS operatives at an alleged training camp, is being trumpeted by Washington as a major blow against terrorism. And in Yemen since 2011, the CIA and Pentagon have killed many Al-Qaeda cadres in drone strikes, with the group’s leader being reportedly assassinated last June in a US operation.

Nevertheless, as the broader US-Saudi campaign in Yemen illustrates, the outsourcing of military services to private mercenaries in conjunction with terrorist militia is evidently an arm of covert force for Washington.

This is consistent with how the same groups have been deployed in Syria for the purpose of regime change there.

The blurring of lines between regular military, private security contractors with plush offices in Virginia and Abu Dhabi, and out-and-out terror groups is also appropriate. Given the nature of the illegal wars being waged, it all boils down to state-sponsored terrorism in the end.

US Intelligence Confirms US Support for ISIS


US Intelligence Confirms US Support for ISIS

By Ron Paul

A partially-declassified DIA report brings disturbing details about US support for jihadists in Syria. What kind of game is the US government playing in the Middle East? Here is a discussion with former DIA director Gen. Michael Flynn on the subject:

 

Stagecraft: ISIS Video ‘Execution’ of Ethiopians in Libya Appears Fake


Stagecraft: ISIS Video ‘Execution’ of Ethiopians in Libya Appears Fake

By Shawn Helton

ethiopia-map

A newly released ISIS video allegedly depicts some 30 Ethiopians being ‘executed’ in two separate locations in Libya. 

However, one should take note, that this highly produced propaganda video – fails to provide any conclusive, or remotely credible evidence of a crime scene.

The terror installment said to have been carried out by ISIS militants entitled, “Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence,” was reportedly released by Al-Furqan Media, a media arm linked to the notorious Al-Hayat Media Center, the official media outlet for all sanctioned ISIS propaganda.

Once again, we see a terror motion picture which has been produced for dramatic effect, another work of deception – designed to create an emotional response within the viewer, rather than a rational one.

There have already been major questions concerning the validity of the ISIS propaganda videos. Still, they continue to function as a psychological assault on Western audiences, while serving to socially engineer western foreign policy in the process.

Here is another example…

isis-ethiopian-christians‘SITE on the Scene’ –  SITE Intel broadcasts ISIS propaganda material via social media.

Terror Trickery

On April 19th, it was Reported that a dozen or so Ethiopian men were executed along the beach near the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, while more than a dozen were shot in Southern Libya, but it’s important to remember that the video could have been filmed near almost any clear body of water. Similarly, the desert portion of the ISIS video could have also been filmed at nearly any arid location in the world.

In this latest ISIS propaganda video, quite a few anomalies associated with the production value of the film standout, as there were a number of planned multi-cam shots that would have involved a professional film team, costume designers, props and heavy post-production.

One of the most egregious elements of the staged ‘iconoclastic’ ISIS video, depicts giant-sizedISIS militants escorting their captives to their alleged end. This anomaly is a repeat of the same height discrepancy seen during February’s staged beheadings.

‘ISIS Giants?’ – This screen capture from the latest ISIS video, depicts unusually tall ISIS militants.


The ISIS execution reportedly took place in the Fazzan Province, and later as the desert scene evolves, ISIS members lineup to execute apparent Ethiopian captives at gun point. Although the terror group appears to have fired into the backs of those abducted, when you go frame by frame you see evidence of a heavily edited event. The scene is revealed to have depicted the ‘illusion’ of an execution by firing squad.

Another thing to consider in all of this, is that many of the gruesome images being paraded around by mainstream media, that are most likely used to generate ad revenue, show signs of manipulation, staging and victims whose faces appear almost serene while being executed something which has been present in every ISIS ‘execution’ production thus far.

As of yet, Ethiopian authorities have been ‘unable’ to confirm if their citizens were killed by ISIS militants in Libya. 

‘Pristine Terror’ – Notice the clean ISIS outfits and the nearly untouched guns on display in this most recent film production.

Problem, Reaction, Solution

The new ISIS video follows a winter season that saw several propaganda videos being pushed by the cloaked group and its social media distributors. The most recent film is the second mass execution said to have taken place in Libya at the hands of the now notorious terror group over the past couple of months.

Since last September, we’ve outlined that the ISIS ‘beheading’ videos were likely fakes, with many filmed against a green screen, including stage props, wardrobe design, voice overs and multi-cam videography. It turns out that at least two of the US major networksCNN and FOX News finally admitted this in February, after backlash over a video allegedly depicting a torched Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh.

In late January we were told that a “Tripoli branch of ISIS” claimed responsibility after a suspicious shooting attack on the largely empty Corinthia Hotel in the area. The event was synchronized with a car bombing just outside the hotel, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. It seems more and more that this was likely a setup to transplant the ‘ISIS’ narrative inside Libya.

In a report from February at 21WIRE, prior to experts releasing their conclusion about that ISIS video production, I was able to outline many of the film’s irregularities and inconsistencies proving that the film was indeed heavily orchestrated for maximum effect. 

In late February our assessment of the staged ISIS videos was confirmed. According to Florida-based Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians purported to have been decapitated in the video entitled “Signed With Blood: To The Nation Of The Cross,” was ruled to have been ‘staged’ due to the excessive anomalies seen in the dramatic 5 minute film.

While the newest ISIS video appears to depict a shocking escalation of terror, it fails to provide comprehensive evidence of a violent event and therefore should be looked as nothing more than propaganda to gain public support for Western foreign policy objectives – namely the fraudulent proxy campaign in Syria.

Additionally, this latest ISIS event also serves to deflect from the controversial military intervention in Yemen. This is something we’ve been outlining here at 21WIRE over the past month, while most Western media outlets have neglected to discuss Washington’s new proxy.

Here’s another look at an RT news clip from September 2014, where well-known Geopolitical analyst William Engdahl, assesses the deception and alleged roots of ISIS…