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16 October 2015


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Patrick Bahzad

Leander, I'll have a look at the vid and let you know.

Johnny Reims

P. Bahzad – Great work, thanks for sharing. Kinda’, sorta’ reminds me of articles by Hackworth for Newsweek many blood moons ago.



If the ignorant believe the world is flat does that make it so? pl

Patrick Bahzad


Don't really deserve that comparison but thx nonetheless.

By the way, enjoyed that article about "An American in Provence" very much !


Robert willman

IS grew out of a split in AQ. pl


PB, I wondered if I should have added to Michael's observation that repetition obviously helps in education, at least considering average percentages we recall in e.g. read, seen or heard matters according to studies. With seen being a slightly more complex matter.

But the context triggered reminiscence of my studies, repetition is quite important in the field of humorous-approaches-to-live-in-the-arts. Comedians need it, and use it. Once you know it, you perceive it. Yesterday I watched it slightly overdone. ;)

I get jld's objection. War should not be a matter of humor. But that would get us into the free speech context and more recent usages of humor.

FB Ali

In his latest weekly commentary (not yet posted on his site) Alastair Crooke says that Erdogan's ultimate aim was to "re-Ottomanise northern Syria and Iraq". The Russian intervention in Syria has effectively foreclosed this possibility.

He quotes Christina Lin (in Asia Times @ http://tinyurl.com/pncelkm) on the Turkisation of northwest Syria. It seems Erdogan is moving in large numbers of Turkomen, Uyghurs, Chechens etc into this area. This is also the area he wished to designate as a No Fly Zone.

Crooke believes Erdogan's intention was to ultimately annex Idlib province, including Aleppo (just as Turkey did with Hatay province in the 1930s).

Crooke thinks that Erdogan has similar plans for Mosul in Iraq.

Babak Makkinejad

Crooke is wrong; Turks will not want Arabs in their country.

Babak Makkinejad

That belief, however, has the perverse effect of attributing super-human capacities to the United States. A US official could leverage that and state, privately, something like this:

"See, we brought ISIS into existence and we are playing this phony-war with them. You best listen to us and follow what we tell you or else."

This could effective when and if the United States becomes interested in exploring what General Flynn was trying to articulate:

A strategic future for the Middle East in which Peace Interests predominate.

Something like that could be persuasive with the Arabs & Turks.


FB Ali, where do you follow Alastair Crooke lately? On the Guardian? I did not check.


ditto petty peeves.


That is quite disgusting.

The "White Helmets" who are aligned with Jabhat al-Nusra made that movie. The scenes were they pick children from the rubble were circulated like two weeks ago and are completely fake. None of the kids is wounded, none is crying but that's allegedly minutes after the bomb impact. The whole thing is made to blame the Russians for killing off Nusra.

Unfortunately typical Heute Journal Lügenpresse production.


Brig. Ali

Thanks for that link. It would seem that the Turkey/Saudi/Gulfie nexus along with the tacit support of the Likudniks have seriously threatened the Russian national interest and possibly even China. It is understandable that both Russia and China are concerned about jihadi destabilization in their countries. In this context it would seem to me that the consequence of neocon and R2P dominance of US foreign policy is to spread instability around the world. It's clear from the current presidential campaign that all the "serious" candidates will only further fan the flames. When we look at other epochs in history it seems that unless this descent into madness is not curbed rapidly we could see a major clash between the big military powers. Do you see a benign outcome or do you see further escalation in the next decade?

Will Smith

Airstrikes right now on Shaykh Ahmad village just south of Kuweiris Airbase
(this is 6h old info)
Coordinates: 36°9'4"N 37°31'46"E

Confirmed now #SAA captures #Burayjah on their way to lift siege of #Kuweiris Airbase, E-#Aleppo

Years of isolation may be about to end for Kuweiris Airbase



Yes, it may well be opportunistic ISIS action against rebels at the infantry school and north east of Aleppo. Since there were reports doubting who's fighting with or against whom there, it also might be something more fishy, like special forces operating under false flags. Maybe, maybe not. I also heard that rebels gained back Tel Jibbin and Ahras from ISIS, while Tel Qarah remained in ISIS hands. Other opinions I heard said there were no almost rebels or ISIS involved in the fighting there but Iranian special forces flagging as ISIS against Turkish special forces flagging as rebels. I understand there were fierce clashes, but I don't know the murky details there.

However, my point is different: it's confirmed that the "rebels" have in that region a hot front and some territorial losses. I suspect that's the biggest losses in territory the rebels had since the Russian air campaign started, however, it may be otherwise. All data from that hot front seem to me very murky. From "rebel" point of view that front should worry them a lot, because for them the area north of Aleppo is a thin tube leading to Aleppo, and every loss there is a threat to their supply routes from the Bab Al Salameh crossing to Aleppo city.

So the very least implication that hot front and the narrow corridor has for the "rebels" is that they need to bind significant resources in man and material to defend it against whomever, the Syrian army, ISIS, the YPG or altogether - "opportunistically" or not - would cut their fragile but strategically important northern supply route to Aleppo city. If the rebels miscalculate at that hot front, they lose their northern access to Aleppo city.

Regarding the second point, I may imagine that the R5+1 command has a different view of the enemy. They may see the apparently different enemies Islamist rebels and ISIS maybe as differrent brands of the same enemy body on whose head is written "Erdogan" and which they may call "Turkish-backed insurgency" in Syria. I think, there may be some merits in the view that rebels like the "Jaish Fateh" coalition are not so much a seperate enemy from ISIS than many people think. I read for example, that there was or is a plan by some in "Jaish Fateh" to declare ISIS an enemy, but that was fiercely opposed by others in Jaish Fateh, like Jund Al Aqsa, who see ISIS as an ally. So when one is talking about Jaish Fateh and ISIS as two very distinct enemies of the Syrian army, the reality may be a lot more murky.



From what I heard the rank and file people of the YPG were given the parole that they fight to "liberate Rojava from the Euphrat to the sea." Obviously, when that's done, that would seal the northern Syrian border. Erdogan is not happy about this. For the YPG the piece between Kobani and Afrin seems to be most difficult. Erdogan seems to be very angry, and he has even called in both the US and the Russian ambassadors to tell them he won't allow that.

The Kweiris airport is the most eastern point the Syrian army holds in northern Syria. If the YPG is going to do the bridge between Kobani and Afrin, it seems to me that's a stepping stone the YPG can't afford to miss. That the Syrian army is making great efforts to hold and connect it, seems to me like they reach out their hand to meet the hand of Kobani's YPG.

Since Erdogan is so fiercly opposed to the link between Kobani and Afrin I guess, that the YPG will not try to build the link directly south to the border, but may go south the euphrat without crossing it. Patrick has the area in question largely in light grey, indicating weak ISIS control. From sources close to the Syrian army I heard already a long time ago they want from their lines at Safira to go east to Lake Assad and than down to Tabqa to get closer for an assault on Raqqa. See here:


The territory looks huge, but most of this territory is desert, perfect for Syria's heavy weapons advantage. If the YPG would come to the eastern of the Euphrat the link would be done. Such a procedere would circumwent the heavily defended ISIS towns in the north, like Jarabulus, Manbij and Al Bab, and it would leave the border areas with Turkey - at least for a while, but it would seal the rest of Syria from anything coming from the border, be it Turkey, the rebels, or ISIS.


no one

Since the Syrian army established the "desert link" to Aleppo in 2013, the rebels tried to cut it multiple times. In the beginning they managed to do that for some weeks, killing lot's of Syrian soldiers. However, the Syrian army always recovered the link.

The territory of the desert link to Aleppo is largely desert, which gives the heavier weapons of the Syrian army a huge advantage. The Syrian army just flattens anything suspicious coming close to this strategic link.

In recent weeks their were some prominent rebel calls to try it again, but noone of them has the means and the stomach to really try it again.



Daret Azzah is not a "town east of Aleppo" but very west of Aleppo.


As afar as I know the town is under control of Al Qaeda, or how it's branded in Syria, the Nusra Front. The German ZDF seems to be broadcasting straight propaganda of Al Qaeda.



The maskirovka phase was everything that happened up until the lightning Russian deployment and the new offensive, and it worked well enough to catch everyone off guard (which is all the Russians needed it to do). The Russians believe in maskirovka and maneuver as means to the end of destroying the enemy. When we see the Russians destroying the enemy, we don't need to look for some secret strategy beneath.

Jack Tarr

I suspect Obama thinks the DC narrative wrt Syria is false and has abandoned regime change. But too many powerful people are invested
in this narrative.

So in his exasperating style, Obama has chosen to slow walk the policy to death.

Hence, the incoherent communication. To be coherent would
tip off the hawks and neocons about what he's doing.


Counter-attack on the way in southern Aleppo from the rebels. Village of Abtin recaptured.


Yeah, Right

I got up to watch that game and..... oh, man, that was five kinds of frightening.

I still expect the Wallabies to make the final, but I can't see them doing anything other than making up the numbers.

France is a strong team - at least as good as the current Australian team - and yet the way the All Blacks monstered them was...[shudder].

I've never said this before but: Go The Springboks.


That's not bad BB. Maybe I was irritated since I noticed too late, I stepped into a trap?


Thanks, Bandolero. Yes, that's what I meant.


b, I am not a fan of Lügenpresse, but agree with you concerning bias. They didn't show any victims, as far as I recall. Or I didn't notice it. All I noticed was the rubble and the hole in the ground, "the argument" about what was used and the story about the newly wed couple being killed among other.

What I wondered about where the two authors, you find at the end of the news item. One, I looked up, the one shown the images of the Russian fighter and another one mentioned. The other isn't easy to find since they abbreviate his first name.

Apparently the ZDF news make extensive use of some not quite reliable online sources. The curious GB "investigative" specialist of the MH17 were recently used as a source on Syria too. But apparently the one you see in the vid is working for the ZDF online section. Take a look at his profile.

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