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14 September 2015

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Is it better to trust open source information often manipulated or the consistent institutional bias of government organizations that lied us into conflicts of devastating consequence for over a decade? That is the question.

A few weeks ago on this blog I pointed out that the pattern of news from open sources on the Russia-Syria meme was more consistent with news generated from neocon or ME frenemies and not Russia's usual MO for use of blogs and trolls. My guess it has to do with the final budget with Israeli set asides and the timing of the Saudi King's visit and Saudi's hired media manipulators.

The best and in fact only original source I've found regarding Russian naval shipments to Syria is http://turkishnavy.net/ and it would show a step up in material shipments since mid-August after Soleimani visited Russia in July/Aug.

The 10 cargo flights last week that Gordon of NYT reports from unnamed government sources is interesting but needs verification. The day of trusting a NYT article from unnamed sources is over. One also wonders what air traffic patterns look like from Iran to Syria of late - did they step us as well?

Col. on a different note, do you think the Iranians have opted to lead help to Assad in the Southwestern areas of Syria and have a handshake to let the Russians handle to Northwestern portions?

Also we learned last week from open sources that Russia has postponed delivery of S300 to Syria and increased delivery of small arms and ammunition plus BTRs in low quantity. Photos of Syrian armored vehicles this summer shows them increasingly battered and stripped of reactive armor often using sandbags in contrast to two years ago. Also historically we know that Russia has been reluctant to finance Assad and usually gets the Iranians to pay for him. Iranian money is still largely tied up in sanctions. But time seems of the essence on the battle field or Assad could collapse.

It is interesting to note that the US sanctioned, in early September, Iran, Soleimani and Rosoboronexport without details over arms. I speculate there is a connection to the current developments. I also speculate that Syria is financially destroyed, will burn wood again this winter with oil fields overrun or compromised, and will need Iranian money that will free up with an upcoming nuke deal to pass on to Russia. If this speculation on a three-way is correct, we might see announcement of Russian oil purchases from Iran or settlement of the Iran-Rosoboronexport lawsuit, or new nuclear plant deals between Iran and Russia; basically transactions to mask payment for arms to Syria.

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