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15 October 2015


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Patrick Bahzad


Think so too. There could be a first push towards Idlib and than an advance towards Aleppo, while a second push - possibly even with airbmobile infantry - could take the border crossings and hold them until the cavalry arives. kind of "island hopping" with border posts instead.

There is another option I was talking about earlier, involving operating deep behind enemy lines. It hasn't been picked up yet, but there is definitely an attempt at this with government forces in Aleppo pushing towards Kuweires Airbase some 7 miles East of Aleppo.

If they take control of the airbase, knowing that ISIS in the area has very few or no manpads, the Russians would have a field day flying in reinforcements to secure the base and use it as a platform form airstrikes starting out of Aleppo.

That would also totally change the game.

Patrick Bahzad

sounds very consistent indeed. The only thing is that with combined attacks in various locations, they depend on reaching target areas in all of them, or the whole plan starts getting sideways. But that's what you have contingency planning for.

Patrick Bahzad

Aboslutely true. It's imperative to regain control over these part of the border. That is where most of non-ISIS groups get resupplied from


I think the Pentagon figures the R+5 will try to seal the border which is why they have joined with the Kurds. This is from the Miami Herald...

"U.S. officials hope the YPG will now turn its attention to Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the defacto capital of the Islamic State....But PYD spokesman Can said the Kurdish group’s first priority is to link the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of the Syrian city of Aleppo, with Kobani, the Kurdish enclave northeast of Aleppo. That would mean clearing the Islamic State from villages along 60 miles of the Turkey-Syria border, in particular the border town of Jarablus.

My question: If the Kurds move in, that will effectively prevent the R+5 from sealing the border, right?

So, what do you recommend??

Patrick Bahzad


Yours is a purely hypothetical question that will not materialize on the ground. First of all the Kurds have neither the will nor the means to stage two offensives, one against Raqqa and one against ISIS held border territories West of Kobane.

Furthermore, assuming they did take control of whole border area and join with the Kurds of Afrin, I'm pretty sure they would negotiate a deal with R+5 because the Kurds know full well that a large part of the rebels in NW Syria are their enemies as well and that if these groups won, the Kurds would be next on their list. don't forget that "Ahrar al-Sham" in particular has major support in every sense of the word from Turkey. Guess what Ahrar al-Sham would do if they gain the upper hand in Syria with the rest of their "Jaish al Fatah" coalition ?

So overall, the Kurds play their own game, they know they would be better of with a regime that will have to grant them some autonomy rather than with a Sunni Salafi government that will have them high on their target list.

US officials will soon learn that alliances with the Kurds can be very circumstantial and fluctuate a lot in time.

Bill Herschel

Reading every word. My only "comment" is that in all the videos I have seen, the combatants seem to be yelling, "God is great," when they see explosions. I don't know Arabic, so I may be mistaken.

In any case, they see this as a holy war. Those are out of style. This is a battle of civilizations.

I said this to my wife, and she said that I should think about all the Muslim people who are not crazy beheaders (not her words). Well, I have come around to the opinion that the Muslim silent majority has a lot of work to do and they had better do it. If we do it for them, it will be, "A dead jihadi is a good jihadi." How on earth can it be otherwise?

And that does not even touch the issue of opium emanating from Afghanistan. We're going to keep troops in Afghanistan until hell freezes over? Bomb the poppy fields. A lot. Bomb the poppy farmers. They're murderers. They deserve to die.

Babak Makkinejad

Are there enough troops for that sealing operation? Isn't that a labor intensive endeavor?


Off-topic: My wife has followed the Homeland series and reported her thoughts on the quality—horribly inaccurate. I follow only a bit of news on the net. This, however, caught my eye and illustrates why I give just about all TV a body-swerve:http://tinyurl.com/o95jve3

FB Ali

I'm guessing, but I think it would take much less time, certainly in the West. The resistance is not a regular army, but militias and jihadi volunteers; they are liable to collapse under significant, coordinated pressure. This is what is being applied.

The Eastern equation is complicated by the presence of other players, ostensibly on the same side but not willing to cooperate. Some even hostile.


Kunuri: At some point, Turkey's and Saudi's demands just sound like yelping. See https://twitter.com/fanazer/status/654747403661107208

At to Saudi Arabia lecturing anyone else about "legitimacy," no English word actually suffices.


FB Ali

Yes, if in charge I would demand quicker progress than in b's schedule. Otherwise the offensive tends to lose momentum and get bogged down. I also agree that these militiamen will break quicker than regulars would. IMO the available manpower is barely adequate. I think the Russians and Iranians should bring in more troops. BTW, the kind of operational tempo needed is illustrated in my article on Jackson. pl



Send more Iranians. pl



IMO it is particularly wrong to think that our deluded president will allow the US Armed Forces to seal the border against traffic. Is that inconsistent with supporting the Kurds? Yes, it is. pl

Patrick Bahzad

It certainly indicates that they're hitting something. The RuAF has the advantage of taking off from an airbase that is about 15-50 miles from the areas they target,Mao they can stay in the air for longer and get targets assigned when these are identified.
What they're hitting however can't be determined with this kind of metric analysis.

Babak Makkinejad

You need to study The Makkinejad Thesis and all of its ramifications; we are not dealing with a single Muslim civilization here.

Furthermore, a Holy War cannot be called but by the legitimate spiritual or temporal authority and since the assassination of Imam Ali such an authority has not existed - although there have been numerous pretenders.

You and I go can go into a room and decide together that US Government is illegitimate and has shredded the Constitution of the United States; that is about the sum of the position of the Jihadits and their supporters; including Erdogan.

Erdogan has no issues with being complicit in instigation of intra-Muslim war and mayhem, just as long as his wife (a Kurd) and those womenfolk of his ministers are wearing hijab.

Who cares that Syria is being destroyed - not him, he has gotten his square meter of silver satin for covering his wife.

The sad part of this is that this is the same man that very correctly took Shimon Peres to task for causing the deaths of so many children in Gaza - just a few short years back in Davos.

Reminds me of the story in Rumi of how a pious man is first tempted to evil, then commits more evil, and eventually denies God in order to make a deal with the Devil and thus winds up in Hell.

Babak Makkinejad

Kurds in Syria probably would settle for being given Syrian passports and left alone to publish in Kurdish and have Kurdish Radio/Television stations.

Patrick Bahzad

To keep momentum is important, building it up even more so. But to achieve that, they will need to make sure logistics follow and manpower is there to cover the areas they gonna push into. For now, they may be happy with fixing rebel units, spreading them along the frontline and engaging in an attribution campaign while at the same time finalizing preparations for a larger offensive, potentially in various areas, and possibly even expanding operations from Aleppo eastward to Kuweires airbase and west against rebel held areas of town.



Yes to all that but all this must be done quickly. pl


Interesting story about FN. That's one guy who got deified. Years after I recall some very complimentary things said about you in major media, Colonel. I think CNN or ABC had an interview clip of you and said you (the DIA wunderkind) were one of very few who correctly predicted Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.

Patrick Bahzad

Yes that would be best, just not sure they got what they need to push through yet. Most importantly, they would need to act quick once there is a first crack in the wall you were mentioning above.

On that note, I just got confirmed news that "Jaysh Al fatah" is splitting up. One of its components "Jund Al Aqsa" walked out of the coalition because they disagreed about statements made by the leadership saying they would fight anybody including ISIS. Guess the script they were given by their regional and western backers didn't go down well with some of the groups.

I'll try and post something more detailed tomorrow but this is an interesting development. Shows both the pipe dream of moderate rebels and the fault line there is within the jihadi salafi groups regarding their attitude towrads ISIS.


Neo-cons see defeat. An alternative explanation might be fewer targets. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11934564/Russia-reducing-air-strikes-against-Syrian-rebels-as-intervention-fails.html



Now there is something for the NSA to actually work on.

The Beaver


With your permission and OT:
To the Canucks:


Lynton Crosby is bailing out and Harper is stuck with Ford nation, name which he can't get himself to pronounce outside the GTA.



I received a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship today. I am going to get a passport as well. pl


EU membership seems to be the answer

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