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08 December 2015

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Babak Makkinejad

Patrick Behzad:

In case you did not know -

http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/471084/4-روستای-جنوب-حلب-که-امروز-آزاد-شدتصاویر

bell

the western msm lost all legitimacy - a long time ago.. anyone who uses it to follow events will lose sight of the story line very quickly... if you want a good dose of propaganda - follow it.. the fact ISIS downed the russian plane speaks clearly enough on how russia has been infinitely more effective at going after ISIS then the usa or the west at any point in this... what is especially interesting is seeing turkey's close association with ISIS as well, thanks their actions in all of this..

the ''moderate'' term was a con from the get go.. western gov'ts thanks the msm have used it to help further an agenda of regime change set in motion a long time ago.. their indirect support for ISIS is seen in the continued sale of oil and funding for 'moderates' who in turn pay heed to the top dog getting the green light to continue on with the agenda - ISIS.. the west looks very bad in all of this to any observer who hasn't been indoctrinated by the western msm..

Patrick Bahzad

BM,

Thx, had heard some news to that effect. Guess this is confirmation of what is coming ...

johnf

Thank you very much Patrick for a superb Sit Rep and for all the work you must have put into it. It has given me, and I'm sure all of us, a much clearer picture of what is actually happening - as opposed to what we are told is happening.

johnf

BostonB

Report: In 18 months, number of foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq doubled

http://theweek.com/speedreads/592906/report-18-months-number-foreign-fighters-syria-iraq-doubled

The Soufan Group, an international consultancy firm based in New York, used UN data, figures from official government estimates, and academic resources to come up with their findings. In June 2014, 12,000 foreign fighters in the region were identified, and now, there are 27,000 to 31,000 from 86 different countries.

Tunisia has the largest number of recruits, about 6,000, followed by Saudi Arabia with 2,500; Russia with 2,400; Turkey with 2,100; and Jordan with 2,000, Newsweek reports. About 120 fighters left the U.S. to fight in Syria and Iraq, the report says, and 40 have returned.

bth

Patrick thank you for the excellent analysis.
A couple of follow-on questions.
- Do you think Turkey will move troops into Syria like it has in northern Iraq?
- How would Putin and Obama react if Trump reached out to Putin on Syria? To me this would seem like a natural Trump-ism that would feed his ego and also point out the ridiculous contradictory policies of the Administration with regard to IS.
- Is/can the Euphrates in Syria near the Turkish border be a natural barrier if the bridges are blown from the air?
- What is the significance of March 2016?
- Does Iran actually have an Air Force capable of operating in Syria? Your post was first I had heard of it.
- I think there is a critical natural gas pipeline running out to Palmyra needed to supply electrical utilities in western Syria. This might explain the current effort by SAA.

Barish

One minor thing:

"Meanwhile Deir ez-Zor and Qamishli, two isolated government enclaves deep in ISIS territory also have fully functional airfields that could be used if security was provided for."

Qamishly is located right on the border with Turkey, deep behind YPG-held lines as far as I understand. Given its direct proximity to Turkey and Turkish mischief shown for all to see when they shot the SU-24, wouldn't that locale be at a somewhat high risk of further such actions by Turkey?

Other than that, may one enquire what the KSA-badge posted by BM is about?

J

Today Russia launched missile (NATO SS-N-27A'Sizzler') strikes from their Rostov-on-Don Kilo Class sub stationed in the Med.

Patrick Bahzad

True about Qamishli. I didn't want to over complicate the geographical data. It is still deep behind ISIS lines if you will. There is an attempt at opening up the corridor between Qamishli and Hasakah, which could serve as an LOC for ground troops landing at Qamishli and moving into ISIS territory further south. That may be the idea behind the reinforcing of Qamishli airport.
Regarding the Turkish reaction, to be honest I don't expect them to do or try anything stupid: if ther airport was used by R+6 aircraft, they wpuld get powerful AA capabilities that would deter any Turkish interfence.
Additionally, Qamishli has been used regularly to fly in militias loyal to Assad into other areas where fighting against rebels occurred.

Patrick Bahzad

You're welcome !

Patrick Bahzad

My take on your questions:
- no
- don't think Trump would do that, but I'm not an expert in domestic US politics
- depends on the season and how much water is retained upstream
- March 2016 because of diplomatic timeline and scheduled elections in syria, additionally it's start of sand storms in eastern desert, making ground operations difficult in that period
- yes they have, of course, all depends what they are using it for. Against ISIS they can certainly do some serious damage
- true, energy might also play its part in this push.

Akira

Colonel Cassad on Syria:

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&u=http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2513343.html&usg=ALkJrhhQb-myNW2fQIsvoy1djxEewF4qGw">http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2513343.html&usg=ALkJrhhQb-myNW2fQIsvoy1djxEewF4qGw">https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&u=http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2513343.html&usg=ALkJrhhQb-myNW2fQIsvoy1djxEewF4qGw

Pierre Sprey on the Turkish ambush:

http://harpers.org/blog/2015/12/mountain-ambush/

William R. Cumming

Thanks Patrick for you skilled and comprehensive review!

Mark Gaughan

Patrick, thanks.

cynic

When the 'green' terrorists in the west of Syria have been defeated, might Syria and Russia return the favour in Turkey by supporting more Kurdish insurgency in eastern Turkey?

pj

In regards to 'regime change set in motion long ago' -

http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/33180-wikileaks-reveals-how-the-us-aggressively-pursued-regime-change-in-syria-igniting-a-bloodbath

Babak Makkinejad

I am distressed to see Turks joining ISIS.

That is the last best hope of Sunni Muslims, if a significant population there become Jihadi then all of us would be in very serious trouble indeed.

I wonder how long the Tunisian Experiment with "Democracy" will last; there is quite a cause for concern if Jihadist - wrapping themselves in the Mantle of True Authentic Islam - succeed in destroying that experiment.

(Very likely in my opinion.)

bell

patrick - thanks for the analysis.. i got so caught up in the first few paragraphs of your post, that i neglected to mention i appreciate your sharing your viewpoint here. it's a good overview and i appreciate it.. if i would say one more thing is that the turkish downing in the 12 or 17 second window of time had to have the support of the usa.. turkey wouldn't have done this on it's own.. what was interesting to me was how quickly the usa/obama came out in support of turkey having a right to protect it's territory - which coincidentally is really noticeably absent with turkeys being called up on the carpet by iraq in the past day... where is the usa in pointing any of this? absent of course! the hypocrisy is a bit more glaring then usual here..

Jack

Mr. Bahzad

Thank you very much for your comprehensive and information packed report.

On the military front:

1. From where are the rebels/JAN being supplied? It seems that they are slowly being surrounded by Syrian government forces.

2. There seems to be a small pocket south of Homs completely surrounded. How long can they survive?

3. Why should the R+6 care about ISIS in the short term, when they can really focus on rebel/JAN held areas closer to their areas of strength?

4. Can R+6 militarily rout the rebel/JAN in the next 6 months?

On the political front:

1. Do you think Putin will sellout Assad if the US/EU/Saudi/Turkey insist no political deal unless Assad goes?

2. How do you think US/EU group will react to increasing military assets of R+6 in Syria?

Ishmael Zechariah

PB,
Thanks for the analysis. You say: "Erdogan and Co. may have thought they could soften Putin's stance on Turkmen Islamist militias in North-Western Syria, dragging NATO into a potentially direct confrontation with the Russians, but their miscalculation in this instance might cost them dearly in the end."
From your pen to God's ears.
Ishmael Zechariah
P.s: https://latuffcartoons.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/erdogan-rethoric-israel-gaza-kurdish-oil.gif/

different clue

Cynic, If Putin is indeed doing all this at least in part out of support of various principles of non-illegal intervention and respect for national-state government sovereignty, then Putin will not turn around and do a version in Turkey of what he has condemned the Axis of Jihad for doing in Syria.

So I will guess that Putin's actions against Erdogan and the AKPists will be designed to destabilize and degrade them enough to either embolden what Kemalists remain to try taking back power from Erdogan . . . or to cause all inhabitants of Turkey such unbearable economic pain so obviously layable at Erdogan's door that the Turkish populations will turn against Erdogan to get Russia to make the pain stop.

Aka

sir,
Thank. BTW what is your opinion of the Turkish intentions in Iraq?

Charles Michael


Superbe synthèse, Bravo !

and many thanks

Tyler

Patrick,

Trump has been very open to the Russians taking the fight to IS and the rebels in Syria.

glupi

initial thoughts of mine after reading this analysis magnifique

Mr Bahzad,

Could you please explain what the standing of Hezbollah is on the Muslim street. Among ordinary Shia. In the Sunni communities.

++++

Looking at the lovely map, from a strictly military point of view, surely it is madness for Syria + Russia forces to go at the Islamic State while the 'rebel' groups jeopardise their rear & flanks?
Our 'rebels' seem truly a human shield for the bad guys

***

With France unemployment decimating the ranks and the evil Gulfies its major income partner, the Marine Le Pen success may drive the current rulers even further under Gulfie control?

by the way, it was curious to see a French Jewish organisation calling against Le Pen's National Front, while a German Jewish organisation came out strongly in favor of Pegida, Germany's Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident

+++

China's need of diversified oil&gas sources is a curse

---

Great to know that Russia's meeting with Sunni king Abdullah bore fruit.
(how come?)

***

Iraq's 'Shia' plutocracy must be dealt with

+++

Saudi Arabia is hostng a meeting aimed at uniting 100 'anti-IS' groups

---

Lawrence of Arabia would advise against a decisive battle as incompatible with the temperament of the locals

***

Thank you!

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