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26 December 2015


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It would be interesting to know the price change in diesel west of that dam/bridgehead now that it has changed hands. We know IS has been selling diesel to rebels for a markup, but its trucks can't swim across that lake. Turkey should also expect to seeing a surge in refugees as the weather turns cold and fuel becomes scarce in Syria.


That's great news.

SAA has pushed a few kilometers north of Kuweires towards Al Bab and seized a couple of villages. I guess we'll find out soon enough if that will fit the pattern of positional battles around Kuweires or develop into something bigger.

Chris Chuba

If the Kurds take Manbij and the Syrian Army takes Al Bab they could then meet in the middle along M4 to seal off ISIS completely from Turkey and the other rebels. That would be a very exciting development.

What would the MSM say? Probably something like this, 'Assad's barrel bombs destroy 18 bakeries in the rebel held cities of Al Bab and Jaruf, critics say that most attacks are still directed against non-ISIS targets.'



Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I am curious to know more about the attitude of the Syrian government toward the Kurds. Before things spun so totally out of control, Syria gave the Kurds full citizenship back when they were trying to address some of the grievances that were causing the unrest during the Arab Spring.

If the Syrian state accepts the Kurds' help in some official way, they'll have a hard time walking back on that after the Gulf States' proxies are quashed.

The Twisted Genius

von Hindenburg,

Kurdish aspirations, along with their strengths and weaknesses, are something that must be addressed in the upcoming peace talks. Damascus many want a strong, federated Kurdish buffer region facing Turkey or they may not anything that smells of a federation. We shall see.


Elijah Magnier reports:
Agreement between Washington and Moscow on Assad's right to run for presidency. It seems like they have also identified a businessman based in London who will be the PM, charged with constitutional reform, etc.



A translation for Elijah Magnier's article now on fortruss


Would love to hear your esteemed views and predictions on this.

Charles Dekle

I recently read this article at David Stockman's Contra Corner, http://tinyurl.com/oqu5srp. It is pretty long, but he covers many of the same topics discussed in this forum. The following quote is an excerpt that I found particularly enjoyable:
"The real threat to peace is not Putin, but the screeching sanctimony and mindless meddling of Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Obama should have sent them back to geography class long ago——-and before they could draw anymore new Red Lines."

Chris Chuba

This is what Putin said on Sept 29 ... “We should finally acknowledge that Assad and the Kurds are valiantly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria,”

Since Assad visited Russia shortly before the campaign it is safe to say that this reflects his views as well. There has been very little fighting between the Kurds and Assad's forces. There may have been a few scraps around Aleppo. Aleppo has managed to be a vortex and one of the few places in Syria where all of the rebel factions have managed to collide.

It is reasonable to assume that Assad and the Kurds are de facto allies and that the Russians are intentionally grounding the Turkish air force in the north to protect them.

The Twisted Genius


I think this story and Sy Hersh's story about the Pentagon's resistance to the "Assad must go" crowd show there is a major battle within the US government to control our foreign policy. Those who disagree with the Borg neocon agenda are fighting back and fighting back effectively. I sincerely hope they win.


Thank you sir. I have started reading this wonderful article.

The link you provide doesn't work: this is the correct one

I am new to this group. Can you Pl define "Borg". I get a sense of what people mean when the refer to it here, but would appreciate a sentence or two defining it



No. Search "Borg" in SSTs archive. pl


The Search box is just above the "Archives" heading on the right.
The search results seem to be linkable too (will try...)

The Twisted Genius


Earlier this year, Colonel Lang referred to those in the US government and associated think tanks who believe in the absolute inevitably of the neocon world view as the Borg. I believe this is his initial post on the subject. This is the first entry when "borg" is entered in the search tool.



Thanks I tried Google insite search and came up with no answers. Will try that you suggest.


Chris - Scraps between Kurds and regime forces have happened in Hasakah. Also in the Kurdish cantonment of Afrin, that has mostly to do with regime press gangs forcing Kurdish youth into the Syrian Army.


Anyway, searching the archives has got me reading SST's 2005 posts on Iraq. It makes depressing reading. Colonel Lang was so correct in his predictions about the insurgency and the mess in the ME...

different clue

The Twisted Genius,

Could the Borg also be thought to include the neoliberals and neowilsonians and r2pee-ers in that seething mass of people with "reason to interfere"?

The Twisted Genius

different clue,

Yes, they're all of the same stripe.

alba etie

My own belief ( hope) is that the push back against the neocons began in earnest when President Obama went to the Congress to ask for the AUMF to bomb Assad . And that BHO knew would the AUMF woukd not pass for the alleged CW violation . Further my belief is that BHO knew that this was a false flag operation perpetrated by Erdogan .Also BHO I believe knew that there was the opportunity to get the CW out of Syria with the help of Putin and the UNSC . When I think about this push back against the neocons I try to look at the actions of the various players . What is remarkable to me even in the face of the huge money spent by the neocons BHO got the Iran deal done . That to me is evidence of the neocons being pushed back. The fact that we have Ms Nuland being forced to shake hands with Leader Putin in the context of a diplomatic settlement for Syria that could keep Assad in power after a legitimate national election is held . The fact that Ukraine has been quietly being resolved are to me all signs that the neocons are being pushed back . We shall see.


"'Get ready Jarablus (#ISIS), we are coming.' #YPG fighter writes on Tishreen Dam"

There are photos attached to the tweet.


I think the bottom line in Ukraine is that everybody's deciding to live with the impasse because a more forceful stance has unacceptable financial and military risks. EU doesn't see any benefit to putting more resources into the bankrupt failed state to replace the support formerly provided by Russia. Kiev seems to realize that rolling the dice again in the Donbas is a losing proposition. Bringing the Donbas back to social and economic functionality is enough of a burden for Russia. The path to resolution seems to be through the decline in the central authority of Kiev, since they're incapable of resolving anything.

alba etie

I believe that Ukraine was stirred up the neocons as another 'Color Revolution " like Georgia was stirred up by the neocons under Bushcheney . And like Georgia - the Ukraine will stay in the Near Abroad for Russia. Crimea will also stay in the Russia Near Abroad .
In the larger context of the war with the Liver Eaters - when looking at the map I believe an argument can be made that Putin views Syria also as the Russian Near Abroad , and because of that Assad will remain the legitimate head of Syria . And after the Paris attacks the USG started openly course correcting regarding keeping Syria intact post civil war - with a tacit admission that Assad would be standing for elections at least . The fact that the Kurds have been so effective against Daesh lately is also IMO evidence of a course correction by the USG away from removing Assad to killing the Caliphate and all of its minions, . I believe the Kurds are getting a lot more help from the USG - due to this course correction & pushing back of the neocon agenda. . We shall see.


this is not simply a battle of good guys fighting to kill a bunch of bad guys and be done with it.

this is half a century artificial status quo come undone,

the are a huge number of possible outcomes to this conflict, but the reestablishment of the sykes-pikot line is not one of the more probable ones.

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