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28 June 2016


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Today the MSM is blaming the terrorist Istanbul airport bombing on Mr. Erdogan. They tell us he is to be blamed since his desired policy of toppling Mr. Assad allowed the terrorist entering in and out of turkey with ease. One wonders if they want us all "need" to believe he is the only one to be blamed, since no one else ever said Mr. "Assad Must GO".

Babak Makkinejad

Erdogan and AKP have done great service for Israel by helping ruin Syria and Iraq.

I must admit that the Kemalists, at the international level, were not harmful to their neighbors.

Babak Makkinejad

One Iranian killed, 4 injured.

23 - Turkish

5 - Saudi

2 - Iraqi

1 - Chinese; Jordanian; Tunisian; Uzbek; Iranian; Ukrainian; (Palestinian ambassador to Turkey says one Palestinian woman killed)

Babak Makkinejad

The instigators of war in Syria against Assad to contain Iran had the very expectation of quick victory.

When that failed, there was nothing else for them but to hunker down for a prolonged war of attrition; hoping that Iran would blink and Assad would flee.

Now they are reaping the whirlwind but their objective remains the containment of Iran - in my opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, it is truly deplorable. And the sad part of is that as all these countries fight among themselves, the farther behind the fall and have fallen.

Consider: there is no rail-link between Iran and anywhere in the Arab world yet there is a rail link between Iran and China.

There is no rail link between Iran and Pakistan either.

The Beaver

Total fiasco for the New Syrian Army (trained for 5 months) and dropped into Syria from Jordan.
After > 10 hours of intense fighting and killing some fled and some were captured

From this tweet:



To address the latter two of your questions, based on nothing more than having studied past fighting in the area fairly closely for a visualization project, I'd very tentatively make the following points:

* On point 2, the SAA's 4th Mechanized Division is occasionally reported as supporting the offensive (https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/tiger-forces-advance-northern-aleppo/). Now, if units of this formation were there in force, this would make it significantly more likely that the pocket could be closed (especially since Russian air support once more seems plentiful), but there are some oob details that make me wonder how strong of a presence this might be.

During the fighting south and later north of Aleppo from October to February, the 4th Mechanized formations used in the area were the 154th (with a good proportion of sunni recruits and long experience of working in combined arms with Hezbollah, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-army-iraqi-paramilitary-reinforcements-arrive-aleppo/) and the 43rd (transferred from garrison duties in Latakia, by all accounts as effective as the 154th). Both are have been reequipped with T-90 for some time now, as well. (There's a third, rather shadowy "555th Brigade", but this usually seems to stick around As-Safira and vicinity of Lake Jaboul).

As far as I can tell, however, the 43rd now operating near Lebanonn frontier in Damascus (https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/hezbollah-syrian-army-ambush-jabhat-al-nusra-lebanese-border/) and 154th last reported in April backstopping that dog's breakfast of militias south of Aleppo (https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-army-iraqi-paramilitary-reinforcements-arrive-aleppo/). So unclear to me whether any significant combat units of the 4th Mech are actually engaged in current battle.

* 3. Going from past form, my guess in that case would be that rebel strategy would probably consist less of head-on attempts to remove Tiger Forces directly, but rather to launch attacks against nearby ground-holding paramilitary/militia units, forcing a redeployment of the first-line force and a contraction of the front that would wipe out the gains (this happened a couple of times south of Aleppo last year, and is, come to think of it, similar to mid-late-war Soviet operational counters to German offensives). This is what makes me a least intensely curious about what other SAA units are in the vicinity. If there are adequate counter-attack forces of the 4th Mech or other conditionally effective units (Desert Hawks, etc.), then gains from the Tiger Forces can probably hold on to their gains. But if it's the usual potluck of militias...

(Incidentally, this is what makes the SAA command's decision to throw reasonable effective units like Desert Hawks and Syrian Marines into that Tabqah/Raqqah thrust so difficult to understand, if this offensive in Aleppo was in the cards.)

There are of course many other factors in play, and I am in no way suggesting that the above necessarily decisive, or even important, but, to repeat, identity of non-militia units supporting Tiger Forces offensive one variable I really wish I knew in the present circumstances.


Small world. Been to 'stanbul last week to meet up with friends again for first time in years, left on Sunday back home via Atatürk Hava Limanı.

Şehitlerie ve onların ailelere huzur, yaralılara geçmiş olsun.

alba etie

Ishmael Zechariah ,
From the videos presented on our MSM the Turkish Airport police officers at the outer Ataturk airport perimeter saved the day-yes it surely could have been much much worse. . These Turkish airport officers died defending all of us 'decent folks' of the World , in the same way several months ago that Russian Special Forces forward air controller called in an airstrike on his position that was about to be overrun by the Liver Eaters- he was defending all of us too.( I think that was when the R + 6 forces were taking back Palmyra.) Yes hopefully at some point the truth will prevail , Daash is a threat to all of us -

alba etie

Good to hear from you here . Stay safe - we value& look forward to your postings here at SST .

Ishmael Zechariah

And while you are in this "admitting mood", how about also admitting the fact that the domestic policies of the tayyiban, their economic world view, their "religious beliefs", in fact their whole existence, can be summarized aptly by that lexical jewel of a term, "clusterfxxk"?
Ishmael Zechariah


Col Lang -

Taking your advice as I should have - to do my homework first before asking my AC-130 manpad vulnerability question, it appears from several sources that AC-130's are vulnerable during daytime to manpads and other AA equipment floating around in Syria. Nighttime operations in the Middle East appear safe and have apparently been very effective. A few relevant quotes and citations below:

“Longtime rules on how the gunship can be used in combat limit the AC-130 to nighttime operations, ground and air officials say”


“But the mere threat of these missiles [manpads] has forced coalition and Iraqi aircraft to adopt special landing and takeoff procedures that make flying rather more uncomfortable. The missiles have also had an impact on combat operations. The U.S. Air Force, which controls the use the AC-130 gunships, refuses to allow them to be used during daylight. The main reason for this prohibition, which decreases enemy losses, and gets Americans killed, is the possible presence of MANPADS.”


“The first gunship to enter the Battle of Khafji helped stop a southbound Iraqi armored column on 29 January 1991. One day later, three more gunships provided further aid to Marines participating in the operation. The gunships attacked Iraqi positions and columns moving south to reinforce their positions north of the city.
Despite the threat of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and increasing visibility during the early morning hours of 31 January 1991, one AC-130H, AF Serial No. 69-6567, call-sign Spirit 03, opted to stay to continue to protect the Marines. A lone Iraqi with a Strela-2 MANPADS shot Spirit 03 down, and all 14 crew members died.”


Babak Makkinejad

How many times was Aziz Nasin sent to jail because he was exercising his right to Free Speech granted in the Kemalist Constitution?

How many women in scarves were denied access to government buildings and services under the Kemalists?

Did Kemalist, during their 80 60 years in power, succeed in reducing Turkey's dependence on European Banks - itself a legacy of the Ottomans?

And how many times did the Kemalists overthrew the legal government because they did not like it? I suppose hanging Mendres was the epitome of the ideals of Mustapha Kemal?

Why are you only 50% of the population and not 90%; after 60 years of being in power?

Mind you, I am deeply disappointed in AKP.


I was, unsurprisingly, quite wrong. Direct Nusra+ counterattack supported by VBIEDs forced Tiger Forces withdrawal from Al Mallah today (6/29).


See-saw fighting obviously to be expected in this kind of fighting, so perhaps not too much should be read into it, but strengthens point many SST readers have made that Tiger Forces simply not large enough to carry out this offensive unsupported by other first line units.



IMO the inability of the R+6 to come up with enough forces to provide a follow on echelon for Suheil's offensive is a very bad sign. I will write a piece about this and its implications when the situation becomes a bit clearer to me. pl


Or not. Granted, it's Twitter, but according to this here an-Nimr's men are holding the line:


Usually one of the more reliable users there.


Will Turkey throw in the Syria towel?

Ishmael Zechariah

You did not answer my question, but answered one of your own. Let me ask again: Is there a single area where the tayyiban, these religious-appearing thieves, have succeeded to make life better for Turkey and the world?

Re: your "straw-man" above:

First, can you show me a SINGLE country (including your beloved Iran) where there is ideal governance, and the issues you list above do not occur? Please be specific.
Second, integrated over time the secular governments were good for Turkey/ME in both external and internal areas. Care to dispute this?

Finally, re: "how many times did the Kemalists overthrew the legal government"? First define this "legal government"? Do you mean one "elected" by snout counting? Second, do you know how many times the "legal" government needed to be overthrown? The AKP is not being overthrown since most decided that we should leave these cretins drown in their own excrement. They are certainly doing a great job of it. A wonderful example of islamic governance. Problem is, quite a few innocents will drown in the effluent when the dam breaks.
I am glad you are "disappointed". It is a relief.
Ishmael Zechariah

Babak Makkinejad

AKP, domestically, empowered those Muslims whom the Kemalist were suppressing for the better part of 60 years in Anatolia; both in economic and in cultural arena - thus helping to ameliorate one of the schisms inside Turkey.

I would agree that AKP has failed the test of Islamic Charity and Comity; it has been accomplice in ruining the lives of Muslims in another country.

In my reading, it is the other 50 % of the Turkish electorate that bear responsibility as well; I guess as long as their womenfolk can wear hejab, their attitude is "Damn the Syrians."

On the theoretical level, since I believe that Muslim societies cannot be secular in the sense of Western Europeans, the rule of AKP, in my opinion, was a step in the right direction.

I was not raising a straw man; Nasin went to prison multiple because there was no freedom of speech in Turkey under Kemalists. But everything that they did or claim to do was under the rubric of "Modernization" and "Progress". There was neither freedom of Thought, nor Consciences, nor Assembly - but men were wearing European Clothes and women were out of hejab - progress indeed.

In Iran, at least the Supreme Jurisprudent has explicitly stated that there is no "Freedom" in Islam - such ideas have to be explored within Islam and grafted onto it. That is the beginning.

But Kemalists had their chance and blew it.


"Why are you only 50% of the population and not 90%; after 60 years of being in power?"

A little point of clarity here BM, and you please draw your own conclusions. Tabulate AKP support around Turkey, 49%, against the education level of its voters and supporters, worldliness, travel around the world, internet use, perhaps a second language-and attitudes towards religion. You will be hard pressed to reach 5%, rest will be dead weight, A4 blank brains waiting to be written on by a world class populist and rhetorician. Try not to blame the Kemalists for a population resisting to enter even the 18th century.

Babak Makkinejad

In a discussion with other Iranians years ago, an idea emerged that without the Shah there would be no Khomeini.

While I would be the first to agree that some of Atatürk's frontal assaults on traditional Turkish institutions and culture were a necessity to get Turkey out of the rut and rot of so many centuries of being wrong, I cannot agree to the continuation of such policies after his death.

[I can never condone expulsion of the Pontics - that was a crime against humanity or a crime against Islam, depending on your point of view.]

I think Kemalists succeeded in entrenching the idea of representative government and voting in Turkey. I think that is a great achievement and it is owed to Kemalists.

However, they failed, or did not even try, in developing a Liberal dispensation in Turkey over a 60-period. It was a police state then and it is a police state now. They put Nazin Hikmat - the greatest poet in Turkish language - in jail because he was a communist while jailing the likes of Aziz Nasin for pointing out the venality & stupidity of the government.

Had they succeeded in that task, every Muslim country would have followed Turkey and copied her. In that respect, Kemalists not only failed Turkey but they also failed the wider Muslim World - in my opinion.

On the theoretical level, since I believe that Muslim societies cannot be secular in the sense of Western Europeans, the rule of AKP, in my opinion, was a step in the right direction.

And... WHERE the Kemalists were supposed to go in a "non secular Muslim society"?

Babak Makkinejad

And your point being what?


wised up,

The latest news headline is that the terrorist were all from the former USSR. You know, Russians.

"Yeni Safak newspaper said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya."

Chechnya was were the Boston marathon bombers were from. That connection will not be mentioned because they were good "refugees/immigrants".


Saw this a little later. "We shall find out," as Larkin said, but wanted to take chance to completely agree that Sidorenko very much worth following, and recommend the guy to any SST user interested in Syria at the level of detail being discussed here.

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