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25 January 2016

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rakesh wahi

what is the likelihood that KSA will try to change the battlefield by putting"massive resources" in?

Patrick Bahzad

likelihood of trying to change the outcome: high

likelihood of succeeding to change the outcome: poor

likelihood of being a durable nuisance: certain

turcopolier

PB & rakesh wahi

SA has no massive resources except money. pl

LeaNder

Thanks, Patrick, you seem to have covered all my question.

"Palmyra"
My heart bleeds the same way it did concerning the Taliban iconoclasts. Does it matter whose cultural memory has to be erased? ...

Concerning:
"On their own, the Kurds know perfectly well that they are vulnerable to their powerful neighbours, in particular Turkey, which is playing a dubious game playing out the Kurds against both ISIS and the "moderate" Islamist rebel groups"

"The Kurds" may profit from event and the larger Western attention in Iraq or Syria, they sure don't in Turkey at the moment. They are relegated for interested cultural observers here in the West to the late night arts sections that has long ago shifted from High Culture to Cultural Studies.

Harper

KSA is also slipping in the money department, with a gigantic budget gap between low oil prices and the costs of the Yemen war, which is also a losing proposition. I am waiting to get a clear reading on how the Kerry visit to Riyad went, as well as the Biden trip to Ankara. De Mistura briefed a closed door session of the UNSC that the Saudis are doing everything they can to sabotage the Geneva/Vienna talks, but Kerry and Lavrov are committed to "starting a process" with no fixed deadlines or expectations. Just getting proximity talks going is a step forward, and Kerry and Lavrov, along with de Mistura, seem to have the idea of two rebel delegations, one picked by the Saudis and loaded with their salafists, and the other acceptable to Moscow and Damascus including Kurds. Given all the obstacles, the idea of a military breakthrough by sometime in March or April by R+6 seems more likely. Thanks to SST and Patrick Bahzad for the Sit Reports.

Babak Makkinejad

Given past history of Arab states and their foolish aggressions, I fear that Saudi Arabia would directly attack Iran.

Patrick Bahzad

The Saudis outdid themselves today: a few minutes before a Lavrov-Kerry meeting today, the Saudi sponsored opposition that will take part in the negotiations announced the nephew of Zahran Alloush as their chief negotiator.

Alloush is the deceased leader of the Salafi "Jaish al-Islam". He had ordered the bombing of the Russian embassy and was killed in a RuAF strike late last year.

Talk about an effort to sabotage the talks ! KSA has a distorted vision of the forces in the region ... They gonna find out the hard way

Patrick Bahzad

No direct attack ... what with ? They have nothing to attack with. Besides they would find themselves truly in a two front war with Yemen then definitely being propped up by Iran ... Highly unlikely scenario !

Jack

Mr. Bahzad

Thanks for this report. It looks like the big battle around Aleppo and Idlib that Col. Lang and you forecast is continuing to form. I've read of T90s being trucked, new forces being brought in and apparently Tiger Forces moving west without taking Al-Bab. What conditions do you think have to be met before the order for full scale military action in that theater?

In the south it seems after much grinding R+6 are now clearing the rest of Sheikh Miskeen. So, the pattern seems to be a lot of grinding and then the jihadists can't hold any longer. How do you think R+6 will defend these newly captured areas if the jihadists move to more of a terrorist and insurgency style of attacks?

The Twisted Genius

Given the direction of military operations, any delay or sabotage of these international peace talks will only hurt the position of the KSA's minions and the unicorns. The Saudis are delusional. Assad's consolidation will continue. The only peace talks that will mean anything will happen internal to Syria such as the local ceasefires.

Patrick Bahzad

For now I think that R+6 is securing the perimeter around Kweires, while at same time pressurizing al-Bab so ISIS is kept on defensive and won't be able to stage any counter-attack on the Air base until R+6 is ready to declare it fully operational.
As I Said, ISIS no R+6 priority at this point in time. They will focus first on the Salafi/Jihadi groups between Aleppo and Idlib and possibly cut off their LOC to Azaz in the North. Order in which action is taken depends on tactical situation on the ground.

The Southern Front is basically done. The ones who keep fighting will either die, surrender/be catpured or try and flee into the Eastern desert. Pattern is NOT grinding and letting go, pattern is grinding until breaking point is reached for decisive maoeuver warfare.

don't know where you going with your last question. They'll do like any army after "clear and hold" operations are completed.

Kooshy

Just the other day Chihuahua was threatening to send Saudi’ SPs to Syria to get the job done. Was wondering what took this long. One wonders what these guys think? If they are doing so poorly in Yemen, how are they going to be doing against a 5 year battled experienced army and guerrillas of Syria , supported by RfAF.

“ Saudi Arabia says sending special forces to Syria under discussion”
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-saudi-idUSKBN0TY28B20151215

b

The SAA announced full control over Sheikh Miskeen

Patrick Bahzad

b,

yes, they announced full control over Sheikh Miskeen, and ?

annamaria

Do you think that the Saudis will be abandoned by the US rather soon, similar to some other believers in the sweet Borgists' lullabies?

Patrick Bahzad

what do you mean by abandoned ?

alba etie

TTG
IMO we have reason to hope that the Realists in the USG are slow walking the Peace Talks so that Assad can consolidate power . The Obama Administration has course corrected away from KSA ,Turkey & et al . Again based on evidence such as the Erdogan NFZ that never was , the luke warm if not tepid support that the USG has given KAS in Yemen , the ferocious defense by BHO for the Iranian Nuclear Deal - to me looks like a course correction . Moreover the usual neocon suspects like Ms Nuland are no longer out there pushing the Borg delusion . I also wonder too when the Syria Civil War is done and Assad is still in power we will find out there was more cooperation between President Putin and our USG Realist then we first thought ? Perhaps the GB were working with the Russian military after all . Or that after the CW was shipped out of Syria Secretary of State Kerry & Foreign Minister Lavrov came to some agreement about exterminating the Liver Eaters after all . We shall see.

The Beaver

@ Kooshy

May be he has been advised by his "great friend" David Ignatius who in turn hangs on every word coming from Israeli Def Minister Ya'alon :
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/markaz/posts/2015/12/05-yaalon-israel-isis-syria-iran-threats

Origin

PB,

With regard to your forecast that "chances are the R+6 are going to launch major operations in the Aleppo area pretty soon." How will the Turkish occupation of Jarabulus play out? Are the Turks going to try to expand further into Syria to block the meet-up of the Kurds and the R+6 that would seal the border?

turcopolier

PB

People still do not understand that although the Saudis and other Gulfies possess a lot of export grade military materiel their actual combat power is negligible. This had been perfectly demonstrated in their war of aggression against poor pathetic Yemen. pl

Origin

AS The Borg Turns, the latest drama.

The Kagans are at work again and as always, the view is through the lens colored by the primal Cold War with Russia.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/25/politics/al-qaeda-al-nusra-isis-threat-experts/index.html

http://www.aei.org/publication/al-qaeda-and-isis-existential-threats-to-the-us-and-europe/


Thomas

"SA has no massive resources except money."

And that could be under attack. Following President Xi's Middle East visit, while in Egypt it was reported (in a by the way though this is important fashion)that China gave the Central Bank a $1 billon cash infusion and a &700 million loan to a state bank. The thought crossed my mind that the message being sent is China will back Egypt and the bullion bonds of Saudi Arabia will be broken if it is in their interest.

A Purse String Kesselschlacht being formed around the Peninsula?

Patrick Bahzad

Kooshy,

I'm aware of those reports of KSA-SF possibly sent to Syria. What can I say ? Good luck I suppose ! They got the Commander of their SF killed in Yemen about a month ago and had scud missiles lobbed onto their heads ...
I guess Yemen will give them a taste of what Syria has in store for them.

Thomas

"Does it matter whose cultural memory has to be erased?"

To Revisionists, all but Ours.

Patrick Bahzad

And Saudis themselves seem to be unaware of their severe military limitations !

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