US CENTCOM Chief Comes Clean: General's Three Stunning Admissions In The Mid-East

Via Haaretz.com,

Assad has won, Iran deal should stand and Saudis use American weapons without accountability in Yemen: head of U.S. military’s Central Command's stunning Congressional testimony

The top U.S. general in the Middle East testified before Congress this week and dropped several bombshells: from signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, admitting the U.S. does not know what Saudi Arabia does with its bombs in Yemen and that Assad has won the Syrian Civil War.

U.S. Army General Joseph Votel said the Iran agreement, which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran's nuclear program.

"The JCPOA addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran, so if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with their nuclear weapons program," said U.S. Army General Joseph Votel.

JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the formal name of the accord reached with Iran in July 2015 in Vienna.

Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord between Tehran and six world powers unless Congress and European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up pact. Trump does not like the deal's limited duration, among other things.

Votel is head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iran. He was speaking to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the same day that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after a series of public rifts over policy, including Iran.

Tillerson had joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a skeptical Trump to stick with the agreement with Iran.

"There would be some concern (in the region), I think, about how we intended to address that particular threat if it was not being addressed through the JCPOA. ... Right now, I think it is in our interest" to stay in the deal, Votel said.

When a lawmaker asked whether he agreed with Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford's position on the deal,Votel said: "Yes, I share their position."

Mattis said late last year that the United States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal unless it was proven Tehran was not complying or that the agreement was not in the U.S. national interest.

A collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a “great loss,” the United Nations atomic watchdog's chief warned Trump recently, giving a wide-ranging defense of the accord.

Iran has stayed within the deal’s restrictions since Trump took office but has fired diplomatic warning shots at Washington in recent weeks. It said on Monday that it could rapidly enrich uranium to a higher degree of purity if the deal collapsed.

Syria

Votel also discussed the situation in Syria at the hearing.

During the Syrian army's offensive in eastern Ghouta, more than 1,100 civilians have died. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Russia and Iran, say they are targeting "terrorist" groups shelling the capital.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Monday that Washington "remains prepared to act if we must," if the U.N. Security Council failed to act on Syria.

Votel said the best way to deter Russia, which backs Assad, was through political and diplomatic channels.

"Certainly if there are other things that are considered, you know, we will do what we are told. ... (But) I don't recommend that at this particular point," Votel said, in an apparent to reference to military options.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked whether it was too strong to say that with Russia and Iran's help, Assad had "won" the civil war in Syria.

"I do not think that is too strong of a statement," Votel said.

Graham also asked if the United States' policy on Syria was still to seek the removal of Assad from power.

"I don't know that that's our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS," Votel said, using an acronym for Islamic State. 

Saudi Arabia

In a stunning exchange with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, Votel admitted that Centcom doesn't know when U.S. fuel and munitions are used in Yemen. 

“General Votel, does CENTCOM track the purpose of the missions it is refueling? In other words, where a U.S.-refueled aircraft is going, what targets it strikes, and the result of the mission?” Warren asked.

“Senator, we do not,” Votel replied.

The Senator followed up, citing reports that U.S. munitions have been used against civilians in Yemen, she asked, “General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”

“No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.

Showing surprise at the general's response, Warren concluded, “We need to be clear about this: Saudi Arabia’s the one receiving American weapons and American support. And that means we bear some responsibility here. And that means we need to hold our partners and our allies accountable for how those resources are used,” she said.

Comments

ZeroSpam 07564111 Sun, 03/18/2018 - 22:57 Permalink

▲▲▲   pier  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT ▲▲▲

This Whackjob with Multiple Log-on's (aka "stizazz" and "lloll" "beepbop"  "Braveforce"  "PRIVETHEDGE"  "SLOPZ38"  "Schlomo Scheklestein"  "Jumanji"-- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" ("Israhell is the Problem"  and  "Graphic Images", above) will take you to his Spam- and Trojan-laden webpage, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years.

•dailywesterner
•celebrity-leaks (porn)
•biblicism
•"I made $7000 last week ..... this is what I do"

END SPAM!

Copy and send this text to abuse@zerohedge.com

Please remove all postings and ban log-on from user "PIER" who chronically SPAM posts short-URL links to his virus- and trojan-filled website. This is the same individual posting chronically as  "STIZAZZ" "PRIVETHEDGE" and "LLOLL" "SLOPZ38"  "BRAVEFORCE"  "BEEPBOP"  "SCHLOMO SCHEKLESTEIN"  "JUMANJI", among dozens of other banned log-ons [that's YOU "dailywesterner" and "biblicisminstitute" and "celebrity-leaks" (porn) and "I made $7000 last week...."]. Thank you.

In reply to by 07564111

kralizec 11b40 Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:26 Permalink

There is a dark taint to this guy that cannot be denied...and it makes perfect sense as to why there is a stampede of support for what he is saying.

My instincts never fail me...especially when the herd charges to the edge of the cliff.

That and anybody thinking the Iran deal was brilliant is as stark an admission of insanity as any litmus test available!

In reply to by 11b40

11b40 kralizec Mon, 03/19/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

Tell me again what gives the U.S the right to say what other countries can, or cannot, do regarding defending their countries.  If a country appears to be threatened by a nuclear power, I would say it is the duty of their leadership to defend that country.  How do you do that without having that power yourself?  Every leader has witnessed the difference between the nuclear haves & have nots.  Iraq and Libya are but 2 recent examples in Iran's neighborhood.

In reply to by kralizec

keep the basta… D503 Sun, 03/18/2018 - 23:46 Permalink

I am again stunned. 

This is huge for General Vogel to do this. Congress knows.

I think America is lucky to have such men.

Senator Warren made important questions. One has to respect her response to the opportunity for factual information.

i had to get a new password to get in to comment. Thank you Gen Vogel. 

In reply to by D503

OliverAnd Slippery Slope Mon, 03/19/2018 - 01:24 Permalink

You are absolutely wrong when you include Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Two-three years ago it was understood that the US and Russia had come to an agreement on the division of Syria; Russian supporter Assad would remain leader of western Syria and US backed Kurdish forces would get their own nation in the east.  What happened was Turkey played both of them.  Before the civil war in Syria, Turkey was supplying extremists in Syria that had come from all over the world, especially from places like Pakistan and Somalia; keep in mind that Turkey has some of the largest embassies in these two nations.  The help came through airports, training, armament and funds by buying stolen Syrian oil.  Turkey's plan was to become the super power of the region (aside from Israel) and Syria had always been in their way.  Many here believe Putin is a great strategist, but the fact is he cannot in this chess game think a step ahead.  When Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia and signed the great armament deal, he sent Turkey a message that it would be Saudi Arabia as the power in the region.  This enraged Erdogan and began military action in northern Iraq and Afrim, even going as far as to threaten the US 6th fleet in the Mediterranean and the US troops stationed east of Afrim.  Turks are not Arabs, and yet Erdogan thinks he is an Arab... As for Israel they would surely like to see a less powerful Syria but with chaos in Syria it makes the situation chaotic for them as well.  Iranian backed Hezbollah is a thorn to Israel surely.  Iranians don't understand that they have more to gain with Israel under peace then they do using Hezbollah.  What many do not understand is that historically Turks and Persians have no say in the Arabic peninsula. Whenever Turks or Persians found themselves in Arabia they have only brought with them destruction and chaos.  Ottomans have been an invading entity and remain this way to this day.  They have gotten away with much because Europe has allowed it.  The NATO and EU joke organizations have allowed Turkey to threaten Greece, Cyprus, Italy and recently even the United States.  The EU is selling them armaments while Turkey is illegally occupying 40% of Cyprus, an EU full member.  Of course please do not forget that the recent wars in Iraq, Kuwait, Sinai Peninsula and the tensions in Palestine/Israel have all direct links to the Ottomans or present day Turkey.  Iranians are very ignorant, but the Turks are simply evil playing both the Russians and the Americans.  

Turks want all the oil in northern Iraq, Syria, Cyprus and Greece.  They are hoping by destabilizing the entire region that they will get their hands on it...  The west, including Russia have to sit down and decide if they want this to happen and continue to fund the oldest radical Islamist caliphate in the world known today as Turkey.  While Turkey is definitely the problem, at the same time in a joint military operation to destroy Turkey, the Turks may actually bring peace and trust between the west and Russia. 

In reply to by Slippery Slope

AllBentOutOfShape Slippery Slope Mon, 03/19/2018 - 06:29 Permalink

And it will still continue. It's all in the words:

from signaled support for the Iran nuclear deal, admitting the U.S. does not know what Saudi Arabia does with its bombs in Yemen and that Assad has won the Syrian Civil War.

Keeping the Iran deal will ensure new weapons deals worth billions. Not knowing what S.A. is doing in Yemen is complete bullshit because they know exactly what they're doing: bombing Houthis and civilians like Obama was doing (with drones) before he handed the job to the Saudis. As for Assad winning the proxy war (not civil), they're just setting the stage for another false flag chemical attack.

In reply to by Slippery Slope

keep the basta… perikleous Mon, 03/19/2018 - 00:24 Permalink

Same as Australia. My boy got glandular fever in his first year as an articled clerk( read slave to a psychopath chairman of big tabacca lawyer group USA ) went to path lab and his arm for blood extraction effort was thin pale green with disappeared veins like a 90 year old.

When his throat started to close up I made a 'folk" mixture of mine, and within minutes it opened. By the next week he was looking beautiful 23 again, tried to tell the path people... not interested. But the 2 Russian lab techs grabbed me into a room and said "what did you do" and that they had never seen a recovery like it. They wrote it down carefully. Said they knew and used and respected such. Offered recipe to others and only the Russians were interested ever.

For any parents here, terrible terrible sore throat, stringy mucous temp etc are symptoms, life threatening as throat can close up. Stringy mucous major indication, seen little kids grizzling with it and mothers ignoring. Is recurring, can't run for at least  a year to hope to recover.

In reply to by perikleous

Giant Meteor Mazzy Sun, 03/18/2018 - 23:08 Permalink

It was worth repeating. Absolutely correct. The power is in the conflict itself, not in the resolution of the conflict .. and if a particular conflict wanes, a new one can be quickly manufactured ...

This is why when US sock puppets declare war on something, you can be sure it will be a war without end .. the gift that keeps on taking from the mass of humanity, whilst benefiting greatly a relative few who manipulate and trade in it ..

In reply to by Mazzy