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15 May 2016


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IMO the jihadis still believe that the Westerners will succeed in bringing down Assad and that this will cause a collapse of the Syrian state itself upon the ashes of which at least one jihadi "state" can be built. pl

Ishmael Zechariah

"The Turks are quiescent since they like what AKP has achieved internally."
You might say "Some Turks" or another more appropriate qualifier. Not all smell of roses in tayyipistan, and not all Turks like the smell of this "islamic rose". With Iglas being introduced in the sectarian war, the smell might even get more interesting. For me the real irony is watching/listening to/reading past tayyip supporters. One should be careful for what one wishes for.
Ishmael Zechariah


Isn't it rather the case that the Syrian war for years has made AQ relevant in a way they haven't been for quite a long while, even before Bin Laden was offed?

I find it more than a little dishonest to suggest that AQ only now turned their attention here. They've been in the game in Syria for years, as one of the major forces of the "revolution", as even al-Jazeera recorded back in 2013 in this documentary here (shows the status quo of late 2013, was aired in late 2014 however):


Most of the stops in the documentary are at Nusra points, which the docu tries to paint in as positive a light as possible, e.g. "we aren't from outer space, we are people" - and play soccer during R&R.
Regarding the "formerly secular" Tawhid-brigade that is also show-cased, AJE doesn't bother to translate that name: the "Oneness-brigade", tawhid being a common concept among the jihadis - on the other hand, the type of songs those fellows sing kinda give away that not all's right there, war songs or no: "let our skulls be a staircase to Your (God's, that is) glory"...
Also telling: late in the documentary, at minute 39:30, they interview a couple Turks. One of them's saying that from where he comes from in Turkey, about a thousand brothers joined jihad in Syria, and that they (probably meaning him and his masked comrade at his side) would like more to come and join.

Hood Canal Gardner

Re: Peter in Toronto 'engineered event':

"I have my own theory that the 2015 refugee "crisis" was an engineered event devised by Turkey with the approval of several other actors (and possibly Germany herself) formulated to deprive Assad of the cosmopolitan, military-aged males who his army relies on for manpower. "

The numbers are there (that is if the flood crossing @ Opatovac i saw in September is any indication of the numbers involved -- okay, a chunk were from Iraq/Afghanistan, nevertheless.

That Turkey/Erdogan/Germany/WDC+ (that's some clusterf...) 'engineered/carried-out' the refugee crisis as a tactic seems a bit much. Or is it?

Chris Chuba

Col, I cannot fault their reasoning. The Saudis and Turks are openly supporting Nusra and Army of Islam and the U.S. is supporting the FSA who is more often than not, fighting along side them.

True, we also support the Kurds in the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) coalition who fight ISIS. They are a problem for the Al Qaeda types but Turkey would always look to help them with that problem.

If our insane plan actually worked, I wonder what our policy makers think would happen next? Do they think that the FSA would turn on Nusra and Army of Islam and then win, even though they are currently the junior partner.

So yeah, if I was Al Qaeda, Syria is still the best game in town even with a revitalized Syrian army. If ISIS gets defeated then some of their members would likely bolster Nusra and Army of Islam membership. Also, its the one place where you can get both material and even diplomatic cover in a country that you can potentially take over.

I believe that our foreign policy establishment, the Borg / blob, is collectively mad to be obsessed with Assad and speak as if everyone in north/west Syria is a moderate rebel. The danger of an Al Qaeda takeover of Syria should be obvious but to them the solution is just to send in more weapons to anti-Assad rebels. I know that I am not saying anything unique or new but I am still amazed that the Borg and their minions still don't see this after 4yrs.

Chris Chuba

My posts have been overly pessimistic. The Syrian govt isn't going away.
In 2015 when faced with simultaneous attacks by ISIS and Nusra they lost most of Homs to ISIS and Idlb to Nusra/FSA. Today faced with recent counter-attacks the SAA has had to do a lot of fire fighting and traded ground but it's not like they are collapsing. It's just frustrating to see all that good momentum lost; but they are not on the ropes. The SAA is a much better force today than they were in early 2015.

In Deir Ezzor, if almasdarnews is to be believed, ISIS has been launching a series of probing attacks for several weeks, or more, and losing between 50-80 fighters a week. This is plausible given that it was reported that ISIS lost up to 2,000 fighters over 6 mo's at Kobani against the Kurds. So they are willing to lose fighters doing sieges. Maybe they still think they will wear down and find some weak spot against the SAA at Deir Ezzor.

Regarding my comment on an Al Qaeda takeover of Syria, I don't think it will happen but it is a logical consequence if the Borg actually got their way which is what kills me. They also seek revenge against those who are saving us from our own stupidity. No good deed goes unpunished.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I knew if I scrolled down far enough someone would have made this point already...As far as Russia goes, the Russian government under Putin seems to play a parsimonious game. Americans are used to their government just pouring money on every problem by the trillions. Russia is forced to look for ways to leverage the limited funds and military power they can spare. They are also faced with Borgist subversion in the Caucasus and Central Asia, not to mention the trainwreck that is Ukraine and pressure on Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Can anyone who's not just a flag waving meathead fail to understand Russian fears? The Brzezinski plan for Russia (breaking it into chunks that are more easy to dominate from Wall Street and DC) has been the thrust of US foreign policy anytime a democrat is in the White House.

different clue

Chris Chuba,

Perhaps the Borgists do see this and secretly want it. A jihadified Syria would be a base for training jihadis from the Russian Federation and then sending them back there, among other things. It would also be a "plausible threat" to American society to be used to scare the population into accepting further tightening of the Lockdown State.

Babak Makkinejad

I did not mean any disrespect to Turks; only that the AKP crowd, in spite of their womenfolk in hejab, going to mosque as frequently as they can for their daily prayers, their half-beards, and avowed Muslim outlook on all things in life, are not rebuking their government for trampling on one of the major tenets of Islam - Comity and Amity among the Believers - in regards to war in Syria.

One has to ask them: "Where is Justice?" in this.

I suppose as long as their businesses are doing well and their womenfolk can go around in hejab without the government bothering them - unlike how it was under the Kemalists - they are happy as clams.

Mark Pyruz

Quite a contrast, the current results of Russian and Iranian-led intervention in Syria supporting Syrian, Iraqi and forces in Syria... to that of the US intervention in Afghanistan in support of Northern Alliance during OEF-A.

The American intervention during that part of the Afghan conflict was much more effective, due to a variety of factors. One factor that shouldn't be dismissed during this part of OEF-A was Iranian assistance.

R+6 effecting current US-directed outcome in Afghanistan (which is deemed here in US as less than successful) would for the R+6 in Syria be deemed as victory.

Bill Herschel

Putin has to sell the intervention to the Russian people. That was the reason for his General saying that the first thing they did was find all the Chechens fighting on the side of the "opposition" and eliminate them.

He definitely wants to keep the Mediterranean base (cf. Crimea). How he will do that I do not know. But it is possible that whatever the strategy is, it is limited to that.

Conversely, the "Trump Phenomenon" is a sign of weakness within the forces opposing Russia. Trump wants war to pay, and these wars ain't paying. He has the people on his side.


Yes I think our mixed signals are causing the conflict to drag on to the detriment of all. I feel that the Kerry monologue of Assad must go is more a reflection of our 'allies' interests than those of the US. The US State Department is trying to stay ahead of the parade but we aren't leading it. We let Erdogan and the Gulf States control the agenda.

A few months ago I mentioned a few suggested changes in US policy. One simply put is that the US needs to support the least crazy group in the region not shooting at us. I know this sounds naïve, but it would work a hell of a lot better as a compass than our current strategy of sophisticated confusion.

Ishmael Zechariah

I have no problem with disrespect for the Turks, when a properly identified group of them deserves disrespect. A bit of research would show you that "their businesses" are not doing well at all-and that Turkey will undergo some adjustment sooner or later. You might also note that we, the secular progressives you term "Kemalists" , had properly identified the "justice" and "religion" concepts of AKP islamists long ago and afforded them the treatment they deserve. I wonder why you could not identify these vermin for what the are.
Ishmael Zechariah


Serious reports of a 4.4 magnitude earthquake being recorded in environs of Shaer/north palmyra coinciding with ISIS announcement that they have blown the fields, seemingly corroborated by the usual mouthpieces SOHR et al.
If true, would this type of tactic have historical precedence outside the well known Kuwaiti? It would be a bit of irony if some of the Iraqi ISIS directing this scorched earth campaign were the same ones involved as soldiers in the aforementioned war? The decision to completely destroy Baiji refinery in April 2015 also comes to mind. Along with the major ISIS attack on the Baghdad gas plant this weekend, all of this signifies yet more shifts in tactics towards striking at economic targets


I was beginning to wonder whether ISIL would wreck the infrastructure there before being shown out by SAA and allies...

Yet, I got to ask: if such can be done at all, how much in terms of explosives would one need to make the boom felt that far off?


It also might mean ISIS doesn't believe they will be able to hold that area around the gas field as was the case with the Baiji refinery.

Babak Makkinejad

I always come back to the same point: has there ever been a Muslim polity in which would or could tolerate a man such as Aziz Nasin?

I think not - I think we are decades away from that level of maturity or dispassion in the world of Islam - inside or outside of the old Seljuk Boundary.


One wonders if we shouldn't be air dropping Marlboros and Jack Daniels into IS controlled Syria to stir up dissent.


Babak Makkinejad

It means that they received instructions from the Gulfies to wreck Syria (and Iraq) further to poison it for the Iranians.

"If I cannot have Janet, no one else would either."

Babak Makkinejad

In the war of Talibanis vs. Barazanis, whom would US chose to support?

And for how long?

I do not think your suggestion is practical.

Babak Makkinejad

Please take a look at this:


This woman is basically saying the following:

Destroy Syrian Arab Republic to harm Iran and help Israel - ISISL and Al Qaeda to be dealt with later - if ever.

As long as such policy advocacy is not recognized for what it is - madness - we will not see any changes among NATO states - in my opinion.

It is late in 1939 and the Imperial General Staff's war plans still calls for a war against USSR.


I think we should limit drops to significantly cheaper (but still good) Evan Williams or some Canadian Whiskey which could be very cheap in bulk. The effect will be the same. Each bottle should be wrapped in whatever is hip in today's porn magazines world. Jack must stay home--I would hate to see a shortage of this noble drink;-)


The dollar is widely used by many as a hedge. You have runaway inflation in the market, and government salaries don't keep up. The government sector in Syria is a fairly significant part of the economy.

See. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/369f583a-177a-11e6-b8d5-4c1fcdbe169f.html#axzz48wolPgzr



It should be noted that the SAA has returned the Syrian Marine Regiment and other high quality units to the Palmyra area for them to provide weight to a renewed effort toward Deir Al-Zor. this is further confirmation of my thesis that R+6 just doesn't have enough troops to "cover its bets" all over the country. pl

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