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06 October 2015


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Babak Makkinejad


Read on the Internet that Omar Moshawah (عمر مشوح) of Syrian Ikhwan fame, has also declared Jihad against Russia.


So how will the MSM/DC talking heads try to spin this??

FB Ali

I think Russia will move to support Iraq in its war against IS after consolidating the regime in Syria. This will mainly be with air support (and will require the Russian planes to be based on Iraqi air bases).

The main Iraqi fighting force is the Shia militias. They are hampered in their efforts because the US will not provide them air support. With Russian support they are likely to do much better.

Meanwhile the US can continue to build up Iraqi Army #2. Or, is it #3?

Cameron Kelley

Colonel, I read a piece on the Asia Times site this morning relating that NATO is complaining about Russian incursions into Turkish airspace. How likely do you think it is that there will be an incident with shots fired? I can't tell what is bluster and what is actual threat here. I would really appreciate some insight,because this is making me pretty nervous.


It seems logical to operate in Iraq as well, if some of the jihadis would run there.

There are reports of 3000 jihadis fleeing to Jordan.
"3,000 militants including Isis members flee Syria as Russia drops leaflets demanding surrender"

I don't know what the Russians plan to do with them if they do surrender in large numbers. Then again, they don't seem like the surrendering kind.

I don't envy Jordan and, no doubt, Turkey, if they are the recipients of thousands of fleeing terrorists. But they were happy to host training centers, control rooms and rat lines to let them into Syria, weren't they?

The story about the Russian "volunteers" coming from Eastern Ukraine makes me wonder what kind of a deal may have been made or why their services will no longer be needed or perhaps won't be supplied even if they are needed in the separatist regions of Ukraine. It was also just announced that the elections in Donetsk and Luhansk will be postponed until February. This was part of the "Minsk" talks with Merkel, Putin, Hollande and Poroshenko, held in Paris. I noticed there were a lot more officials at the negotiating table than in past Minsk talks.


Cameron Kelly

IMO the risk of misadventure is significant as in the old film, "The Bedford Incident" (referenced here)in which a closed minded hothead acts without authority from his government. The presence of people like Keane and McCain in the seat of power raises the risk level. pl


Clarity indeed.

Harder and harder to put lipstick on this Wahabbi/Salafist/Jihadi pig for the NeoCon/NeoLiberal/R2P axis through the vehicle of their propaganda organs.

Godspeed Russia & the Axis of Resistance. Frankly, I have lost hope that our misleaders will ever wake up. As President Putin asked recently, do you know what you have done?


wow! this seems like is a great opportunity. May be Obama (or the next president) should bring some rebel leaders to the WH. Also provide them with some Stingers.

After all things went so well with the Mujahideen.


Last night I read zbig's op-ed in the Financial Times and it dialed my anxiety level way past 11. I am strongly hoping he doesn't have a lot of influence with Obama. His advice on the Middle East has always seemed pretty reasonable but whenever Russia is involved, he's just off the rails, imho. So now we have a situation with both Middle East and Russia and he's advising that Obama threaten the Russians and if they don't stop hitting "our" terrorists, to retaliate. I find that to be incredibly reckless. He also goes on about how Obama has to do something to save our credibility.

I don't see that his prescription takes into account reality or facts on the ground. He also doesn't seem to realize that China is far more aligned with Russia now and that's to some extent because of our policy and actions in Ukraine, which he spent a lot of time and effort influencing. Anyway, what are the chances that somebody in the White House takes his FT advice?


The BBC opened the comments on this article and most of them are in support of Russia, though there is also a strong presence of US/NATO warmongers.
I suspect it's a way to "test the waters" on public opinion closely monitored by MI5/6/whatever (I am no expert on the specific attributions of competing British intelligence services)

Patrick Bahzad

That's a pretty easy one - the spin doctors will go with something like:
"Russia has engaged in an aggressive campaign of airstrikes that was more than likely to cause some blowback from conservative Sunni Muslims who are seeing innocent men and women being killed in these attacks.
Not only that, but Mr. Putin is playing right into the hands of the radicals who don't want a peaceful, negotiated settlement and he is pushing moderate Syrian rebels right into the hands of ISIS.
If Russia does not back down from its misguided air campaign, the only winners will be Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. We cannot let this happen, we cannot let more innocent men, women and children suffer the consequences of Mr. Putin's irresponsible policies".

Something like that maybe ?

Patrick Bahzad

Guess that's it then for the "moderate" rebels ? Or maybe not ?


As one of the hotheads who occasionally violated the rules of engagement, when you have armed aircraft from opposing teams playing in the same sand box without being deconflicted, authority is passed to the Captains & LT's in the cockpits.



As you can imagine I have occasionally broken a rule or two. That is why I understand the danger. pl


Patrick Bahzad

The Borg will cling to the unicorn IO fantasy but the reality is likely to be destroyed in Syria. Someone asked a while back how this little war is different from Afghanistan or the Iraq COIN campaign. These jihadis have taken and are holding ground. Lovely. pl


I just noticed b sent the same message on a different thread.

Again for all that don't like to subscribe to FT to read whatever he has to say, here at least the take of Nick Gass from Politico:

I am strongly hoping he doesn't have a lot of influence with Obama.

Isn't it disappointing, after all Zbig was at least something like our semi-hero in the Bush WOT universe.


Patrick Bahzad

Yep, I guess they'll rather invent an alternate reality in a parallel universe rather than come to grips with the truth.

What you're saying reminds me of what I heard before Somalia started in 1993. I was coming out of Beirut, well not directly, and some guy told me: "you liked Beirut ? you're gonna love Mogadiscio".

Guess the same could be argued now with Syria as opposed the COIN campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The original Putin quote is more precise:
«Вы хоть понимаете теперь, чего вы натворили?» can be more accurately translated as “How can you even now fail to understand what a mess you have made?”
(from http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-worlds-silliest-empire.html )


"I don't envy Jordan and, no doubt, Turkey"

Well, if not the Turks then surely Erdogan has it coming when the folks he set on Syria become a problem to him back at home. They are after all his bretheren and beneficiaries of his largesse.

If not for the bystanders, it would again be poetic justice if they ended up being Erdogans undoing. Then at least some good came out of it.

As for the Jordanians, they have been more restrained than Turkey and probably were left little room to maneuver and thus get some more of my sympathy. The presure exerted by DC, Israel and the Gulfies must have been overwhelming.


Russia is already supporting Iraq.

The 4+1 main operations room is in Baghdad - Syria, Iraq, Russia, Iran + Hizbullah operate there. Right now it is mostly intelligence fusion but will develop further into longterm ops planning. They have communication up to several local op-rooms and access to Russian intelligence assets including satellite stuff. The Russian Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko runs the shop.

The Iraqi premier Abadi has already lauded the room (w/o mentioning it)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told France 24 television on Thursday that he had been receiving "massive information" from both Syria and Russia on the Daesh Takfiri militant group.


"Report: Mounting Evidence that Russia is using Cluster Bombs in Syria"
that didn't take long.

Ishmael Zechariah


The Russians are bringing in tube and rocket artillery. Watching the Jihadis hold the ground will be a lovely sight.
Ishmael Zecharia


All -

You may find this interactive chart from Slate (of all places) interesting.


I'm not sure they got all the details right but it is a good overview of what a clusterf*ck the overall situation is. Why do I get the feeling this will be in history books in 50 years and look just like the stuff I read in school about interlocking alliances in WWI?


The errors of American policy in the Middle East over the past fourteen years are legion - as anyone paying attention knows. Those errors are conceptual, analytical and operational - at both the diplomatic and military plane. To this sorry record now has been added the macro error of choosing sides in Islam's sectarian civil war. It should have been obvious to even the novice that any contribution to its exacerbation was detrimental to the United States' interests and to those of the region as a whole. Instead, we have jumped in like fools where angels dare not tread. It is apparent that the implications of incremental decisions made disjointedly over time never were thought through - if thought about at all.

An ancillary error, highlighted in this discussion, is the elementary mistake of having "chosen" the "wrong" side. By this I mean that it is an elementary principle of realpolitik that an outside power that seeks (for sound reason or not)to intervene in such a situation to its advantage should associate itself with the weaker side, as a matter of principle. The reasons are too obvious to cite. It is hardly surprising that the maladroit Obama crowd should add this misjudgment to its long list of tragic errors.


gemini: On PBS a few nights ago, The Iraqi PM was being interviewed by the deplorable, Neoconoid, over the hill journo Margaret Warner. He made it quite clear that he supported the Russian Presence In Syria, and hinted that their use in Iraq would be Welcome. No matter how hard Warner tried to couch her follow up questions towards a reasonable, US approved solution, he would not budge off of his message. This made Margaret frown. It's what the PM didn't say about the US train and bomb policies, that to me,spoke volumes.

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