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13 April 2016


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Interesting that none of the soldiers are wearing any noticeable symbols of rank. I hope the General doesn't wear that distinctive hunter's camo outfit into battle, he stands out to much from the others.


Col: Do you know why he has different camo from the other soldiers?

Ghost ship

Question - Does anyone have any thoughts on the beards in the attached picture? Quite a lot of the government forces have bushy beards and others have neat ones. Is this for reason of religion, expediency or health? Are the ones with bushy beards devout Sunni Muslims as Shi'ite Muslims seem to be far more flexible about beards.
BTW, does having a beard still preclude the most effective use of respirators?
As for the phones, perhaps he uses lots of "burners" so that the NSA or whoever can't track him or intercept his calls.


We know the Russians love their kettles in in rural areas but do they have a go to methodology for such a large urban area?

>"They also insist that he must be allowed to stand for election in a future internationally supervised election for president."

Stock up on the popcorn now because there is a good chance Assad will win if the elections aren't rigged and the MSM is going to have a hard time spinning how Assad/Russia rigged internationally supervised elections.



Looking at the HTML for the two links it seems that both links go to the almasdar story. Here's a link to the msn.com story:


It's easy enough to mislink as I know from experience. There are quite a few helpful Firefox extensions including this one which I've used for several years:


CoLT :: Add-ons for Firefox - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/colt/

and this one which I recently installed and is a bit more comprehensive:

ContextMenuPlus :: Add-ons for Firefox



Thoughts on this puff piece?

Disturbing, to say the least. Everything from the mention of the VSOs to the nebulous speech about the ceasefire left a bad taste in my mouth.


Things appear to get moving now, with Mr Hassan in command - via militarymaps.info:


14/04/16 - sources report about establishing control over a given territory CAA"

Al-Mallah farms appears to be more common.

Directly to the east, SAA appears to again advance at Handarat camp, as they did a few days ago, again via militarymaps.info:


14/04/16 - source reports that CAA has advanced in the camp Handarat"

Looking at the terrain, Ard al-Mallah very much appears to be the easier approach to try and lock up the unicorns' route into Aleppo city-centre: wide open as opposed to the dense industrial district directly to Handarat camp's south.

The R2P-agitprop may be fired up about this, but exactly what can they do to magically reverse this in a timely fashion?

Peter Reichard

Far more than Palmyra, the final liberation of Aleppo would have an enormous effect on the peace negotiations, world opinion and the morale of both the SAA and the rebels.This would free up forces for a logical follow up northeast through Al Bab and Manbij to finally cut the main Turkish supply line to the Islamic State. We are approaching the end game of yet another failed US foreign policy gambit and a major victory for Russia.


WRT to the lovely Asma, I have long held the view (with no empirical evidence whatsoever, just a women's intuition) that Qatar's support to the war on Syria was in no small part due to the jealousy of the truly hideous Sheikha Mozah.



It is probably a matter of personal preference but not a good idea. As someone here wrote, it makes him stand out against the background of the rest of his people. Assad should tell him as Lee told Stonewall "I cannot afford to lose you..." The beards are probably a macho thing and they keep your face warm. It has been winter in the last months. As for the telephones/radios, any commander is a fixture in numerous tactical radio networks; to higher headquarter, to your own units, a logistics net, etc. I find it interesting that he carries a rifle and expects to use it. Look at all the magazines. This guy leads from up front. pl


Col: I remember reading a story about a USA Lieutenant using binoculars in Normandy who was mistaken by a German sniper for much more senior officer.

BTW, it's very interesting how forthright the Iranians are being about their casualties. I would imagine the Saudis and Gulfies would mask theirs. Is this a cultural difference between the Iranians and their opponents on the other side of the gulf--or is this just a different military doctrine?

The Twisted Genius

Does anybody know what kind of weapon Tiger Man has strapped to his leg. Looks too big to be a Stechkin. Perhaps some kind of SMG?



Yes, the thing on his leg looks like one of those Czech machine pistols. He seems also to be carrying a rifle. You can see the muzzle sticking up behind his right shoulder. pl


Great, candid opinion piece, Colonel. It is a pity the MSM will continue to ignore the gains the Syrian Army have made/will make against the various US-backed terrorist groups.

The Twisted Genius


I think you're right about this guy leading from the front. One doesn't carry the weight of a rifle and all those magazines just for show. I've seen videos of that Druze General leading the defense of Deir Az-Zor firing off his AK at the front with his troops. Certainly seems to be part of the troop leading style in at least the better units of the SAA. Wonder if that's taught?

As for machine pistols, perhaps it could be a AEK 919K Kashtan. Wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of these.



With further regard to Asma- looking at a larger photo- she seems to be wearing a Syrian dress. Perhaps for political purposes.


Are the two burly, smiling, bearded men behind the general his senior officers or his bodyguards?

A Pols

Your observation on Assad's wife's dress underscores the stark choices for Syria.
What's it going to be?
Is the country going to be ruled by a man with at least 20th century secular values, even if the contrarian sectarian splinter groups require stern discipline or will it be ruled by medieval minded monomaniacs?
The choice for us should seem clear and why it's not is one of today's enigmas.
I continue to be baffled about what the payoff is supposed to be....


General's cammo uniform seems straight out of Cabela's (intentionally misspelled) catalog, best suited for turkey hunting. Maybe I stumbled on a pun here, but I leave it open.

The Beaver


Wonder whether this is a new picture. The "barbus" look like they are from the Shabiha paramilitary group


TTG: How about our secret weapon: the lawyers!

See https://twitter.com/BenJarlath/status/720443269948252163


Definite messaging in this photo, at several levels. Traditional influenced, with the fine embroidery common in the Levant, but form-fitting design is modern western, and wouldn't be acceptable to any group with Islamist pretensions.

Note also the mix of people around the Assads- some wearing hijab, and some not, and all fairly close (no need to isolate President from the people). The image invites viewer to imagine what a similar photo of an Islamist leader and wife would look like.

Babak Makkinejad

They would her in chador in Tehran - without a doubt.

Hillbilly Diaspora

I' have always been impressed by the depth of military history knowledge of those of you who comment on this site, so please correct me if I'm Wong on this. I've been reading a lot, and watching the excellent Soviet Storm in World War II series (available on YouTube) recently about the Soviet army's campaign from the defense of Moscow to the liberation (capture? Conquest?) of Berlin, which was notable for several large encirclements of German and allied corps and armies, including several in rural areas of Ukraine and East Prussia. To my knowledge, the first such encirclement was of the 6th Army and several Romanian units in Stalingrad in early 1943, which included large portions of still-occupied Stalingrad city. The Russians also completely encircled and destroyed German and Hungarian forces in Budapest, in late 1944. Encirclements seem to work just as well in urban areas as in open terrain. Of course, the encircled forces still need to be destroyed, requiring a different set of tactical skills if this must happen in an urban area. Life in Aleppo will probably get very difficult for both jihadis and whatever civilians remain in the city in the coming weeks.

Patrick Bahzad

Ghost ship,

Regarding bushy beards, maybe you should start wondering if Navy Seals are devout Muslims too then, shouldn't you ? Just kidding ...
BTW, those aren't phones.

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