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15 February 2016

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annamaria

here is a claim by Russia’s ambassador to Britain that the US expected ISIS to seize Damascus by October:
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russias-ambassador-uk-drops-bombshell-us-expected-isis-seize-damascus-october/ri12860

Joe100

TTG or PB -

Can one of you explain what is going on in the battle for "urban" Aleppo itself? Checking Al Masdar this morning it looks like the kurds are quite active and fighting has moved into portions of the urban area held by the Jihadis. There seem to be a great number of "players" moving on the Jihadi's So what is the kurdish role here? And are these Kurds possibly backed by US SF? And is ISIS/jihadi control of portions of urban Aleppo at serious near-term risk??

The Twisted Genius

Joe100,

The YPG Kurds have always held that small enclave in northern urban Aleppo. With the opportunity afforded by the R+6 Aleppo offensive and the YPG/SDF success in expanding out of Afrin, the Aleppo enclave of YPG are joining the party. They are fighting for Rojava, not Damascus. I seriously doubt Green Berets are with anyone in Aleppo.

Babak Makkinejad

My sense of it, reading Internet sources, is that there is widespread anger across Europe against the European government - specially the German government in regards to Muslim refugees and migrants.

There seems to be a shared revulsion against Islam & Muslims - from Lithuania to Portugal - at the popular level. If that be the case, I think the current EU posture regarding refugees will harden to the point that none would be admitted in the near future.

On one Lithuanian site, I read: "I have to fall on my knees and ask Putin to take us back."

Babak Makkinejad

This is definitely were they are going - please see my comments to Barish below.

Bill Herschel

This is not in the least tangential. In fact, it is dead center. The Russians do not want conflict with anyone. They know what war is. Putin is probably as anti-war as any state leader. Everything they have done in Syria has been to minimize and eliminate conflict wherever possible.

Sometimes that is done with a demonstration of strength that dissuades potential adversaries. Sometimes with battlefield effectiveness that persuades combatants to change sides. Sometimes it is done with diplomacy.

The people who the Russians believe they cannot dissuade from conflict, the jihadists, who are essentially the same people they have faced in Chechnya, they will destroy, in this case in collaboration with several other countries. Of note, the jihadists draw an indeterminate portion of their strength from support from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, etc. When that support is unavailable or inadequate they don't seem to be as willing to die as they are to kill.

https://youtu.be/ADM6dNQATuk

Joe100

TTG -

Thanks! I had noticed the small Kurdish enclave on recent maps of the Aleppo area. How is this enclave being supported with arms, ammunition, etc.? It would appear possible to do so now from Kurdish sources through R+6 territory, but it is not clear to me has this was possible until recently. If so, has R+6 probably been providing support for this enclave?

Bill Herschel

Better version of Edward G. Robinson clip:

https://youtu.be/pDNpqSjfefY

Ulenspiegel

Sorry Fred,

the issue is much older than Merkel's statement, that is the interesting point which usually got lost. But Germany gives a better villian, I understand. :-)

Athen has received for almost 5 years reminders from Brussel that the border control is lacking effectiveness and only when an expulsion from Schengen area was on the table asked for assistence.

I do not like the Dublin construct, however, to agree an then do nothing is not the way to go.

Ulenspiegel

"On the other hand, the woman's an opportunist, no idealist. When the last Big Nuclear Disaster in Japan hit in 2011, she made a 180° turn on her committing to nuclear energy as part of Germany's electric power infrastructure - this was done to de-fang one of the key policies of the opposition Bündnis 90/Die Grüne - "the Greens" -, which could capitalize on this disaster in the local Baden-Württemberg elections at the time."

Half wrong. Merkel wanted to undo some of the politics of 2003, here the new junior partner FDP was the culprit. When in a very untimlly fashion the Fukujima desaster caught Merkel pants down she made an Turn from the U-turn and implemented basically the 2003 policy again.

"Merkel's "invitation" to refugees likewise was an opportunist move, and never a charitable act. Otherwise, there would have been charter-flights, bus-lines and ferries to make it easier for refugees to reach their destinations."

Nonsense. There were already 1.3 million refugees in Europe, that was the issue most people simply ignore. She only acknowledged the fact and made it then worse. To calim that Merkel is responsible for these 1.3 million is stupid.

Fred

Babak,

"...reading Internet sources..." Those sources are hard to find in the US and often in Europe because the great believers in Democracy like the owners of Facebook, Twitter etc are actively working to block viewpoints on their social media sites that do not agree with party in power. The "revulsion" as you term it is do to the conduct of an active minority of Muslim immigrants whose interpretation of Islam supports that conduct. The foreign intervention in the ME by the neocon driven Western governments is due to political ideology and not the Christian religion or any interpretation of it.

Ulenspiegel

Fred,

you miss the important point that the issue is NOT a result of Merkel's recent actions, but you are in good company. And in addition Germany makes a better villian than incompetent Greeks. :-)

Athen has received for almost 5 yeras reminders from Brussel, that the border controls are insufficient. Only when Athen faced expulsion from the Schnegen area they asked for help.

Interestingly, alraedy last May the magazine of the Austrian Railway brought an interesting article on the situation.

I do not like the Dublin construct, however, it can not be that Greece agreed to it and then did nothing, not even asked for help.

Haralambos

Of perhaps regional interest from Greece today: PM Tsipras was on his way to Iran yesterday and the Greek plane was denied landing rights on the Greek island of Rhodes after Turkish objections to the flight:
“Turkey did not allow the aircraft carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Iran to land in Rhodes for refueling claiming that the island is in a demilitarized zone.
“It was revealed on Monday that the Greek prime minister’s trip to Iran on February 6 was not as smooth as it should be. The flight plan of the plane that was carrying Tsipras and Greek cabinet members included a landing on the island of Rhodes to refuel.
“However, Turkish authorities prevented the landing on the grounds that the plane is an Embraer military aircraft with Greek Air Force pilots and crew. Since Turkey considers Rhodes and the other Dodecanese islands a demilitarized area, Turkish authorities suggested that Greece should submit a new flight plan and refuel in Ankara, Alexandroupolis or any other area. If the Greek mission would agree to refuel in Turkey, then it would be given authority to fly over Turkish air space.”
- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/02/16/turkey-prevents-greek-pms-aircraft-from-landing-in-rhodes/#sthash.pXMjH58K.dpuf
This is also up today from here as Turkey continues its military probes in the Aegean. Among the other issues between Greece and Turkey are disputes over the continental shelf surrounding islands in the Eastern Aegean due to mineral rights:
“Turkish jet fighters entered Greek airspace several times on Monday, as NATO was preparing to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to tackle migrant smugglers.
“Specifically, six Turkish fighter jets and a CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft entered successively in the Athens FIR on Monday without submitting a flight plan, violating the Greek airspace 22 times in different regions of the Aegean.
“The Athens FIR also recorded two more violations of air traffic rules. Nineteen out of 22 violations were committed by the CN-235 which passed between islands of the eastern and central Aegean.”
- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/02/16/turkish-warplanes-violate-greek-airspace-ahead-of-nato-sea-operations/#sthash.EGL87j4M.dpuf

Thomas

"... maybe people should think about the likelihood that Turkey's other jihadi allies may have had mustard and Sarin for a long time."

And they showed their operational prowess in Eastern Ghouta, unfortunately for the Sultan, US gullible goobers didn't give in to his call to fulfill the red line demands.

When I saw the news of the attacks (MSM were emphasizing missile attacks) on the MSF facilities in Azaz, I figured it was a Turkish drone for a false flag op. In the related Info OP offensive, the BBC correspondent was carefully deliberating whether it was a Russian or Syrian plane, Al Jazerra's Wahabbi World News was whining for humanitarian intervention and showing the Sultan's Smirking Sidekick next to Vickie's Boy Yatz in Kiev crying for action against Russia. The optics of the latter implies a Neo-Con seal of approval for such a deed.

OT, with Leander above taking a cyber-timeout to care for her elderly parents, it made me notice Confused Ponderer has posted in quite awhile, is he all right?

Matthew

The SAA should save their men. If this is true, in many places Assad can just sit back and watch. See https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/699580269058199552

Dubhaltach

In reply to Fred 16 February 2016 at 12:15 PM

It's not even slightly difficult to find those sources - particularly in Europe once you leave Facebook, Twitter, and so on. You have noticed that both Facebook and Twitter are reporting sharp drops in usage?

As to the revulsion against Muslim refugees and Muslims in general - the rise in both petty crime, and sexual crime whether it's what went on in Helsinki or Cologne or the Iraqi refugee who felt that not having sex for four months constituted and raped a 10 years old boy to relieve himself ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/iraqi-refugee-raped-10-year-old-boy-at-austrian-swimming-pool-a6857721.html ) account for that.

William R. Cumming

Have we learned anything of interest over the downing by Turkey of the Russian fighter bomber?

Barish

"Half wrong. Merkel wanted to undo some of the politics of 2003, here the new junior partner FDP was the culprit. When in a very untimlly fashion the Fukujima desaster caught Merkel pants down she made an Turn from the U-turn and implemented basically the 2003 policy again."

Noted. The opportunism belying that was hard to miss even then, however.

"There were already 1.3 million refugees in Europe, that was the issue most people simply ignore. She only acknowledged the fact and made it then worse. To calim that Merkel is responsible for these 1.3 million is stupid."

Note that I did not claim that they only materialized in_Europe_after_ that PR-stunt by Mrs Merkel. What I do note is that no such effort as I described was made, which is to organize rides/shipping/flights for refugees so they safely get to destinations_of their choice_(I should have added that before). Said choice was all-but made by Merkel herself when she issued said invitation.

Besides, that there was a refugee-situation in and around Syria as a result of the war there was by no means news last year. It's been a thing for years. And what was done before to alleviate the situation? Rather than "alleviate" by providing ample financial and material supplies to countries coping with said refugees, international spending was increasingly cut.
This wasn't a sudden development where one can claim surprise. At best, what one can observe is sheer incompetence when it comes to the "refugee-crisis".

alba etie

TTG
As it happens my One True Love just had a successful right knee replacement Feb 15- she is coming home tomorrow .Yesterday I discovered one of the night RN 's on my wife's floor family is from Aleppo - this RN showed me InstaGram shots of her extended family eating 'Russian rations " cooked over an open fire in front of their bombed out building . I am definitely more inclined to believe the RN then the MSM .
On other matters is the shelling of the Kurdish forces around Azaz by the Turks having any lasting effects on the YPG 's advanced ?

alba etie

Bill Hershel
I just sent Sen Sanders another thirty dollars today ...Feel the Bern !

The Twisted Genius

alba etie,

Best of luck to Your One True Love. My wife had both her hips replaced and saw what those with knee replacements went through. Stick to the therapy religiously no matter how much it hurts. Never skip a session. Things will get MUCH better.

The Turkish artillery fire appears to be no more than a serious nuisance so far. I don't think the Turkish cannon cockers have their heart in it. YPG/SDF forces continue to advance.

alba etie

TTG
I will pass your well wishes on to my SWMBO. She is dedicated to being back to Jazzerzize by April - she is very disciplined . And yes the knee is very painful but she is already doing therapy . My main role & concern is to monitor her pain medication intake and make sure sweetpea does not get out ahead of her doses...which would present another set of problems.
Is it possible that the RN did get those InstaGrams shots from inside Aleppo ?

Fred

Dubhaltach,

Twitter is destroying its share price (and opening their executives up to some lawsuits for failure to do their fiduciary duty) as a result of their pursuit of political correctness. Facebook is going to do the same.

The Twisted Genius

alba tie,

"Is it possible that the RN did get those InstaGrams shots from inside Aleppo ?"

Absolutely. Modern communications are a miracle and remain ubiquitous even in hellish places. Couple these communications with a persevering and critical mind and we can find our way to the truth.

Fred

WRC,

Yes. Putin and his fellow Russians are not to be baited into doing something stupid. Erdogan on the other hand....

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