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14 December 2015


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Just in time for this story: https://www.rt.com/news/325825-sarin-gas-syria-turkey/


Col. If you haven't seen alos this new from Yemen theater today

"Saudi commander, UAE officer killed in Yemen – Riyadh mobilizes counter-insurgency units on border"



Here is the news., the coalition of Islamic “Sunni” states against Terrorism was just announced by the Saudis, it does include Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt but is going to be leaded by the Saudis. I hope for this new coalition terrorism is not in the eye of the beholders, specially for its leadership.

‘Islamic coalition against terrorism’: Saudi Arabia presents 34-state military block”
“Countries involved in the coalition aside from Saudi Arabia, include Jordan, the UAE, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, the partially-recognized state of Palestine, the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros, Qatar, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Yemen.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” state news agency SPA quoted an official statement as saying.”

The Twisted Genius

The R+6 isn't doing too shabby up north either. The SAA has taken Jabal Al Turkman and opened the highway to the Kassab area along the Turkish border. They are now moving east along the border. The Turkman jihadis are about to introduced to Russian cauldron tactics and have their asses handed to them.


"Saudi Arabia forms 34-nation anti-terrorist coalition"
"The Saudi-led alliance will be based in Riyadh 'to coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism', the agency said, and comprises Middle Eastern, African and Asian states."

Bill Herschel

What do you think of this?



Looks like a lot of action south of Al Hader, south of Aleppo. Banes and Tel Bajir are hotly contested (direction of M5 highway south of Aleppo). SAA forces have also moved southward as far as Abu Ruvail.



This just coming in:


"Saudis announce Islamic anti-terrorism coalition - BBC News"

Is this a sign of the US anti-ISIL coalition falling apart? Is this Saudi posturing?

Or, another thought that might come up should there be a spark of reason left within the Gulf nobles' minds: might Egypt play a larger role here? I am specifically pointing out Egypt due to shared history of the better kind between the two countries, Syria and Egypt. Syrian intervention during Lebanon had been mentioned on this here blog before, and I would assume that Egypt could take a similar role in Syria. Or am I entirely off point there?



"Is this a sign of the US anti-ISIL coalition falling apart?" IMO it is the visible reflection of all the crap one hears on 24/7 news from talking heads and government flunkies (+Obama hisself) about a regional coalition that "will defeat IS(IL)." There has been intensive diplomacy that succeeded in bringing about this announcement. Well, pilgrims, Arabs and all other ME types are much given to what a ME scholar called "conferentiasis." At such meetings communiques are issued which Westerners somehow accept as indications of actual deeds that will be done. Having obtained such a statement the Borg now thinks that a regional army will arrive to fight IS. Ha! Ha! pl


That's the same reaction I'm seeing from a lot of people (the ha ha part).

Anything that has a big number of countries and makes the R?+1 coalition look small and "isolated" seems to be en vogue.


Gemini. Apparently, Lincoln was wrong. You can be for something and against it at the same time. Having the Saudis lead a "anti-terror" coalition is like having Boss Tweed lead a "good government" movement.

Babak Makkinejad

Much ado about nothing...


Another Borg paper army. Obama is apoplectic to let Putin have any press laurels regarding squashing ISIL in any way shape or form. So nobody stood up to the President and his Borgies during the DoD meet, sad.

The Saudis and their conferences approach, they don't want to mess up their thobes.


Hrmmmph... only 34 members? Gee golly wilikers... the US led coalition has 65 members... so there! And we all know that both those numbers are much larger than R+6=7 therefore it's clear who the "winner" is (/snark)... LOL...

A Coalition in Which Some Do More Than Others to Fight ISIS http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/30/us/politics/a-coalition-in-which-some-do-more-than-others-to-fight-isis.html?_r=0
“We have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL,” Mr. Obama told reporters while on a trip to Turkey, using an acronym for the group. “The United States has built and led a broad coalition against ISIL of some 65 nations,” he said several days later.

... As of Nov. 19, the United States had conducted 6,471 of the 8,289 airstrikes against the Islamic State, according to the Pentagon. American warplanes carried out about two-thirds of the strikes on Iraqi territory and 95 percent of those on Syrian territory. Australia, Canada, France and Jordan have conducted strikes in both countries. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain have participated just in Iraq, while Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have participated just in Syria.

That leaves more than 50 other coalition members that have never been directly involved in the air campaign. Some early participants, like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and the U.A.E., have not conducted a strike in months. While France has stepped up its strikes since the Paris attacks, Canada’s new prime minister is sticking to his vow to pull its six CF-18 fighter jets out of the bombing campaign, although Canadian surveillance and refueling aircraft may stay with the mission.

“Presidents want to assure the American people that they are not alone in fighting the enemy and won’t have to bear the costs alone,” said Bruce O. Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who advised Mr. Obama on Afghanistan. “The striking note about this coalition is that not one of the 65 members is ready to put boots on the ground.”

... “I don’t know why the White House has put as much emphasis on the coalition as it has, because it’s been fairly transparent for a long time that the overwhelming majority of those nations have sent in their $25 contributions and not done much more,” said Daniel Benjamin, Mr. Obama’s former State Department counterterrorism coordinator, now at Dartmouth College.

It appears there is some overlap between Obama's 65 countries and Saudi Arabia's 34 countries.

I blame all of this on "New Math"

On a more "Syrias" note...
Kerry’s Moscow visit unlikely to be productive http://atimes.com/2015/12/kerrys-moscow-visit-unlikely-to-be-productive/

Charles Michael

Coalitions are pretty diificult to move to action, and coordinated military actions even more difficult.
A muslim friend once answered me about a brookered deal (but not signed ): It's just words of the mouth.

We could also discern in this coalition of the sunni states, more a Saoudis reassertion of their religious peculiar reading of the Koran and their obsesive sectarianism towards shia, with a reminder to their clients sunni states about money talks.
Cause in Yemen this bunch has been rather shy.
and as peace talks in Yemen, freshly started, the Saouds could have some needs for saving face.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST;
Two items of regional import:
1-Turkey is pulling back its forces in Mosul. tayyip is finding out that a clown cannot even play being Ataturk.
2-The tayyipists are now trying to blame TSK for the downing of the Russian plane. Their standard whitewash (denying their own past statements) in their paid-for media organs is in full swing. Luckily, it is one thing to fool the sheeple -yet another to convince Vlad Putin. We shall see what we will see.

FWIW, the idea that KSA, in any shape or form, can command Turkish forces is beyond a farce for most TSK officers.
Ishmael Zechariah


The esteemed Jubeir is on record further elaborating Saudi commitment to wage a war against itself, if it were serious:


Needless to say, the good man switched from his usual Saudi garb into business suit, doubtless a move to placate western audiences. I watched part of his address as well as the question session live on AJ TV channel and could not help bursting out laughing at the straight face the man put on throughout.

Operative word he used as to the inclusion of a multitude of states, some of which are embroiled in civil war, such as Yemen, or barely maintain control within their borders, such as Somalia: "voluntary", both in terms of contribution as well as participation.

Given this, this motley band will likely be about as effective as Obama's "Anti Isil-coalition".

In other news, what the committee predicted is further coming to pass: Kuweiris air base is now operational:


Now if only our governments would finally get over themselves and tell the Saudis and their noble kin to live out their geo-strategic phantasies building sandcastles in their spacious realms...


Boss Tweed analogy... haha...

Which triggers this slightly OT info for you history and/or cartoons buffs out there. Here's a great article - only 4 pages, including many historical cartoons - on Boss Tweed and his type during the Gilded Age. Yes, history does "rhyme" and power and money games don't change all that much they just wear different outfits.


Yemen?? Libya??? hahaha Wonder who really comes up with this sh*t?

This collation seems to includes lot of countries that needs help before they go and help others.


US-backed Syrian rebel group on verge of collapse http://www.stripes.com/us-backed-syrian-rebel-group-on-verge-of-collapse-1.383853


Michael Brenner has a good article at Huffington Post, one that echoes many of the positions taken here.

Abu Sinan

I thought this primer of factions in north Latakia would be helpful to some:



1. "Reports of large military cargo from #Russia arrived in #Basra #Iraq"

2. "Saudi FM: Talks ongoing about sending Saudi & other gulf nations' special forces to Syria"

3. "Race has began. Who arrives 1st, but I am afraid new "coalition" cld land 1st n Kurdish land.#Kurds r uninterested in #Raqqa"

"So we have Russia, SAA and allies coming from the south and Saudi/USA and allies from the north of Raqqa. Could be d scenario"


From that McCain/Graham interview while they were in Baghdad:

"Graham: I can only tell you what they tell us. I’m not joking. The king of Saudi Arabia’s chief advisor said, ‘You can have our army.’ The emir of Qatar says, ‘I’ll pay for the war.’ They want to do two things: they want to stop ISIL before they come in and take their countries over or disrupt their way of life, and they also want to make sure Damascus doesn’t fall into the hands of the Iranians. I’m down for both.

Defense One: But am I correctly understand that you’re calling for the U.S. committing U.S. military force against Assad as well?

Graham: Eventually."

different clue


KSA wants to play the role of major player on the world stage. It also wants to perfume itself against the rising stench of Wahhabi jihaddery emanating from its general direction.

All these other governments will probably want financial assistance from KSA in return for joining KSA's coalition. This could present the rest of the world an opportunity to drain KSA's financial reserves faster than otherwise. Between the new subsidy burdens the KSA will take on and the low price of oil, KSA will keep spending more money than its oil brings in. If the price of oil can be kept low enough long enough for KSA to spend its reserves down to zero, then KSA will be forced into a "corner of decision".

By the way, these new coalition governments will need all kinds of most expensive possible weaponry to fight terrorism. For-profit consulting firms should be able to advise them on what they need to buy ( and what KSA needs to pay for).

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