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20 February 2016


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Nuff Sed



What an absurd article by a supposed expert, senior analyst in what is supposed to be a top quality world-class paper. It is all about YPG, the Kurds, Turkish sensibilities and the bloody Russians. The words al-Qaeda/al-Nusra do not even appear - much less any mention of the sustained support that Ankara has given it and ISIL. The Dupont Circle mentality now pervades Fleet Street

alba etie

Col Lang
" If Hillary wins she will be Empress of the same crew "
Early voting is started in Texas - pretty big turn out , I voted yesterday for Sen Sanders.


Obama never in his life played any form of street ball - much less absorbed its ethos. In Hawaii, he was a beach bum of the affluent type

Martin Oline


Thank you for the link to the Guardian article. It was a very good review of the conflict in Syria and the players.

Chris Chuba

Taking Al Bab has couple of advantages.
1. Planting artillery assets there would make a Turkish invasion more expensive.
2. It sets up the drive to Manbij to secure a link up with the Kurds to ISIS off from the Turkish supply lines. If the Kurds can take Manbij themselves then the SAA wouldn't have to go all the way there.
3. The more ISIS territory they seize in the north to control the Syrian border will give the Turks less room to maneuver.

Regarding the number of ISIS casualties. I would think that they are on the low side given how quickly the pocket collapsed. However, this did take weeks to setup and ISIS did initially launch counter-attacks to try to prevent it so a an overall tally in the hundreds is not unreasonable for the entire campaign.

The final pocket may have only been about 50 Km2 but the original area including the corridors that were carved out to create it looked to be about 12km by 12km which I believe is close to 50 square miles, isn't it?

Chris Chuba


alba etie

I fundamentally disagree - all along President Obama has refused to have a large US Military presence in Syria . President Obama asked for the Syrian AUMF knowing full well Congress would not give it to him . And the Putin offer to ship out the CW was already under discussion with the UNSC . I believe that the Realist in the USG are pushing back hard against the neocon agenda . . . One other piece of evidence that BHO is defying the neocon dead enders is that BHO is going soon to Havana . Maybe in two or three years when we retire we will go scuba diving in Cuba !

PS if Big Grandma get elected President all bets are off it will be R2P on steroids -

Chris Chuba

Thanks Thirdeye, I found the Reuter's story and I am greatly troubled by it because of the fact that it is only sourced from the SOHR. The Col. posted a much more detailed and accurate story from https://www.almasdarnews.com/ which is an Arab news outlet, whether it is Syrian or not I don't know. In any case, why isn't Reuters using a native news source for their reporting, do they consider it tainted by bias? If so then that would be ridiculous, it would be like reporting on the Battle of Britain but not using any British sources for fear of bias. No wonder the reporting on Syria is so horrendously bad in the western MSM. It borders on criminal negligence at the very least.

The Reuters story basically gave a terse reference to the Syrian army capturing several villages along a highway leading to Raqqa. No mention that this was an encirclement that took weeks worth of fighting in the Aleppo province or any mention of govt sources.


Apologies for my false consciousness!

Your analysis tends to precede what passes for "news" elsewhere and arrives with more predictive power than what's "fit to print".

I think I get your point.

Babak Makkinejad

The English version of the 99% rebelled against the 1%.

Old Microbiolgist

Oops. I got the 2 UNSC resolutions mixed. Th one rejected by France and the US recognizes the sovereignty of Syria. It also has an implied impact on the crease fire resolution as well. Here is a good article about it: http://www.france24.com/en/20160220-russia-resolution-syria-sovereignty-rejected-un-security-council

On the other hand, RT reports: "Lavrov, Kerry discuss conditions for Syria ceasefire

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have spoken on the phone about the Syrian crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. They talked about ceasefire conditions that would exclude operations against groups "recognized as terrorist by the UN Security Council," the ministry added. Kerry later was quoted by AFP as saying: “We have reached a provisional agreement, in principle, on the terms of the cessation of hostilities that could begin in the coming days.” He said that Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin “may well speak in the next days or so in order to try to complete this task.”

So, apparently there are issues still to be addressed but it is not dead yet.

However, the Erdogan threat to Obama is more solid: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-20/furious-turkey-says-us-acting-enemy-demands-washington-brand-kurds-terrorists

More on the give and take between Erdongan, Obama and the Kurds: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/kurds-shafted-once-again-erdogan-plays-obama-fiddle/ri12969

Anyway, there is a lot going on between all the parties which makes it especially interesting. There is an enormous amount of disinformation and propaganda as well. Good time to get the popcorn ready.

Nuff Sed

Well, looks like the East Aleppo kettle is fully cooked. Chris Thompson of al-Masdar reports:

Furthermore, hundreds of government troops are reportedly in the process of being redeployed to the eastern Aleppo frontline as the Syrian Arab Army is likely to attack either Deir Hafer or Al-Bab in the very near future. If the Islamic State loses these strongholds, they will be forced to flee towards their capital of ar-Raqqah further east.

I am no martial tactician, but it would seem to me that if "hundreds of government troops" are being added, Deyr Hafir as a stepping stone to the crossroad town of al-Mahdhum, whose capture would be another major incision if not complete interruption of the Takfiris' north-south LOC, would be a more enticing choice than Al-Bab.

Nuff Sed

Thanks to all who provided the links to the maps.



ISIS salts the ground of civilization wherever it spreads. It will take a generation for Syria to recover. They and their descendants will remember our actions or inactions just as this region remembers what was done by Hulagu. The conduct of our current government is disgraceful is light of this fact.


But that's not the whole story.

You neglect to mention that ISIS mysteriously arose soon afterwards, followed by the pretense of fighting them.

To wit: Having come so close to bombing (on false evidence) Obama didn't shut down the Syrian regime change effort, even after there were serious questions raised about who actually used the sarin.



At least 100 killed in Damascus+Aleppo IS blasts. How can the Syrian government prevent "liberated" areas from becoming sleeper bases for daily strikes against infrastructure à la Diyala in Iraq? This issue will only get worse and worse as more areas fall under government control. I am afraid that the real battle begins once the conventional war is won.

ex-PFC Chuck

SST is an analysis site, but many of us come here for news as well because many of the facts we find reported here can't be found at MSM outlets because of a combination of cutbacks in overseas staffing and compliance with Borg talking points.



This gives you the answer.

I think the answer is that the MSM is very quiet.


That one requires interpreting Arabic names through Cyrillic, which is a little daunting for the uninitiated. But you can get by with a machine translator.


That seems a very likely scenario.

Assad's options would be [1] brutal government purges, which will make the Sunni tribes stick together all the more tightly; or [2] careful police work to grab the ringleaders, which is very difficult to do.

Maintaining a strong active military and police presence is expensive, and might remain a huge cost for decades to come. Not easy ruling over a deeply divided nation.


Going through Deyr Hafir and al-Mahdhum could also form a pincer with the move towards Tabqa Airport, trapping IS south of Lake Assad. I had initially guessed Deyr Hafir as the direction of the next move after the siege of Kuweires was lifted. I was wrong.


It seems that there were about 150 defenders along Highway 4, with IEDs and suicide bombers to slow the advance once that line was breached. The rest of the contingent either fled or is in hiding. Sanitizing the pocket could take a while.



I agree.

There are three problems at play in Syria; the Great Game between the West and Russia, a holy war between Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and blood feuds between experienced armed ethnic militias. The first can be settled with magnanimity and trade. The second pacified by dialog between men of good will. The third requires strong borders, quarantines, and law and order. Security, education, peace and prosperity are the only antidotes that can prevent the Apocalypse.


Mark Logan,

If you grasp those straws any tighter you're going to have a bale of hay on your hands.

Obama is another Borg Globalist. You can BS yourself but stop trying to BS everyone else here.

"Old streetballer" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

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