“Since 2011, the Assad regime has been intentionally striking civilian targets with horrifying, predictable regularity….And yet in the face of none of these atrocities has Russia expressed outrage nor has it demanded investigations nor has it ever called for a Saturday night emergency consultation in the Security Council …” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
“In all my years in international life, which is over forty years, I’ve never seen such an extraordinary display of American heavy-handedness as we are witnessing today.”Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin
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While the attention of the American public has been diverted by the Trump-Clinton presidential soap opera, events of historic, perhaps even world-ending magnitude have been erupting in Syria.
In the month of September, Russia and the U.S. helped broker a cease-fire agreement which would have halted the violence between the Syrian military and armed-rebel insurgents, allowing for humanitarian aid to be transferred to the embattled city of Alleppo. The same agreement was also to have enabled joint action by Russian and U.S. forces in crushing ISIL and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (known until late July as the Al-Nusra Front). 
Barely a week into the cease-fire, the U.S.-led coalition forces struck Syrian government forces’ positions near Deir Ez-Zor killing 62 troops and injuring 100 others. The U.S. Central command claimed that the attack on Syrian troops was accidental, even though an ISIS offensive launched within 7 minutes on Syrian army positions in the city suggested coordination between the U.S. and the militants. An audio recording provided by Syrian intelligence revealing a conversation between the ISIS militants and the U.S. military would appear to confirm this suspicion. 
A hastily called emergency meeting of the UN Security Council the same night as the Deir Ez-Zor attacks saw a further breakdown in diplomatic relations. U.S. representative Samantha Power chastised her Russian counterpart for calling the meeting describing it as ‘cheap point scoring’ and ‘grandstanding.’ Each Ambassador walked out on the other’s speeches before the Council. 
Quickly changing the channel on this international incident, news comes two days later of a 31 truck convoy transporting humanitarian aid through Alleppo province being struck by warplanes. Moscow is being blamed for this attack. Footage of the bombed aid vehicles has been provided by a ‘humanitarian’ group known as the White Helmets, which operates in rebel-controlled areas of the country. 
With accusations and counter-accusations mounting, peace initiatives in Syria being torn to shreds and acrimonious rhetoric between U.S. and Russian officials reaching proportions unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, is it possible that a major powers conflict, even a nuclear confrontation, could be triggered?
This is the question at the centre of this week’s Global Research News Hour.
In the first half hour, we hear Rick Sperling in conversation with Chris Cook of CFUV 101.9FM’s Gorilla-Radio program. In this repeat broadcast, which originally aired on CFUV September 28th, Sperling, researcher, writer and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement outlines his group’s concerns about the above mentioned ‘White Helmets’ organization, and about efforts to rescind the award it received from the Right Livelihood Foundation.
In the second half hour we hear from Canadian Mark Taliano about what he observed during his recent visit to Syria. Taliano is a retired High School teacher in the Niagara Valley region who has devoted himself to writing and research on contemporary political subjects including the military conflict in Syria. Much of his writing appears on the Global Research website.
Finally, Stephen Lendman provides an overview of the Western propaganda campaign against Syria and Russia and where it seems to be heading. Lendman is a Chicago-based writer and blogger, he is host of the Progressive News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network, and a frequent contributor to the Global Research website.
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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.
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