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11 June 2016


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I had read last night that they had already cut the road between Manbij and al-Bab??? Cannot seem to find the link this AM, so perhaps it was premature?


TTG et al

The Turks and US used the "ceasefire" to bring a lot of force into the area west of Aleppo City. This is a major development. It endangers government control of its portion of Aleppo City. The R+6 advance on Tabqa air base is being run on what was once called in WW2, "a pencil like thrust" This column needs to take the air base where armed helicopters can be positioned to hold the shoulders of this salient open. I also agree that the SDF/YPG force is not strong enough to carry all the way to Afrin. pl


TTG - nice link to Ariyan Mahmoud, thanx. This morning he shows Manbij completely surrounded and cut off from al-Bab.

PS - gotta love his quote: "You can kill a Kurd, but you can't kill Kurdistan"


Even in the desert , strategic thinking has to set Line ( L0, L1,L2 and so ) on the ground to define COA.
Can Euphrate river be such a line ?
Is it possible to use it as a temporary line to crush ISIS force remaining in the desert,reorganize and resupply ?
Would like to know your opinion, gentlemen.


There are also a lot of non-Kurdish villages in that map. Also not all Kurds (by far) are behind the YPG and its policies. The YPG-Kurds might well have problems to fulfill their dreams there. Longterm I do not give them any chance to hold onto that planned corridor without some major support from a big power. The U.S. is that role is notoriously unreliable.

The R+6, in Pat's nomenclature, fear that the U.S. might want to grab a major air port in east-Syria. It would not leave for a long time. That is the reason to move towards Taqba and also the reason to defend Deir Ezzor at any price. Luckily the Kurds have no interest to bleed for Raqqa or U.S. geopolitical aims that contradict their own priorities.

David Habakkuk


‘The Turks and US used the "ceasefire" to bring a lot of force into the area west of Aleppo City. This is a major development. It endangers government control of its portion of Aleppo City.’

Do the people in the U.S. (and the U.K.) who think this is a clever way to exploit the ‘ceasefire’ have any idea of the fire with which they are playing?

Very many people in this country simply want to see the jihadists destroyed. They couldn’t give an (expletive deleted) about the use of ‘barrel bombs’ by SAA forces. And my strong hunch is that this is true throughout Europe.

If it comes to be perceived that – even if the Iran deal has gone through – the likes of Erdogan and Mohammed bin Salman have only to say ‘Assad must go’, and the President of the United States, and his European ‘claque’, snap to attention and say something ‘Befehl is Befehl’, the fat really is in the fire.


Is "having enough troops" a thing of the past for anything short of full-on ethnic cleansing?

Babak Makkinejad

The Iran deal was always a cease-fire; US and EU have removed their (economic) siege engines to outside of the firing range and the Iranian blockade runners - knowing that the cease-fire deal could collapse at any moment - are busy getting whatever benefit they can out of it.

Let us not kid ourselves here; Germany could sell 1000 leopard tanks to SAR through a loan. So could France. I draw my own conclusions.

Babak Makkinejad

" fear that the U.S. might want to grab a major air port ; I gathered from public Internet sources that this also is a major Iranian fear.



There will always be manpower shortages without conscription. The new world order wars are fought with volunteers, contractors and anyone stuck in the middle. The minorities on the R + 6 side have a smaller pool of men than the 1 ½ billion Sunnis. This is also is the basic problem with poking the Russian bear, without draftees to dig and defend the trenches; WWIII will go nuclear almost immediately. The other fly in the ointment is that moneymen like war and are intent on dismantling sovereign states and ending their power of taxation and regulation. Without strong states with modern people’s armies to enforce the peace and defend borders, the religious ethnic contests for resources by warlords will continue forever or until mankind destroys itself. Africa, the Middle East and Europe are at war. The pivot to Asia and North America is next.

If the USA had a small professional NCO and Officer Corps and every able-bodied citizen had to take basic training and serve in the militia; poor whites would not be in despair or called racists.


Germany doesn't have a 1000 leopards but i get what you mean


‘Befehl is Befehl’

Respect, David.

Or is this as commonly known in GB as "Achtung!". That was widespread knowledge at my time.

‘The Turks and US used the "ceasefire" to bring a lot of force ...

Mentioned before, saw it here before, not doubt. But: Is that so, not the least intention to question it, but how could I tell, as someone that hardly checks news



Ah, you want the Israeli army? pl


You can kill a Kurd, but you can't kill Kurdistan

I am heart and soul with the Kurds and their supports, but where did you find the quote?


People like TTG, John Minnerath, Degringolde and me do not need that. We are obviously emotionally deprived and would lay down our lives for the freedom of these Kurds or any number of others if someone will let us. It was easier in the old days when we were not so supervised. Homage to Aaron Bank and The Bull. DOL pl

The Twisted Genius


Amen to all that. Death is but the orders for the next deployment. DOL



The Israeli army has been corrupted by occupation duty. Draft avoidance will reportedly reach 60% by 2020. Both go hand in hand.

The USA will have its own ethnic conflict in the Southwest if everyone here is not treated the same and if illegal immigration is not halted. As long as identity politics is used to gain control by dividing Americans by sex, religion and race; the splintering will continue. Sorry, this post is off subject but Syria is the writing on the wall for the rest of the world if the war there is allowed to continue unabated.


at TTG's twitter link above @ariyanmahmoud


I believe that quote was meant to honor Abu Layla, a Kurdish commander who was killed in the fighting at Manbij on 5 June. He was originally a commander in the YPG in Kobane during that siege. But he commanded a unit of Kurds, Assyrians and Arabs at Manbij.


there will not be a draft because returned soldiers are capable of forming an effective political movement if there are enough of them and if the mix includes officers.



I have a lot of doubts about how much Kurdish the places marked as Kurdish in that map nowadays really are, too. However, I do believe that there is a grain of truth in it, and even if there is only a bit of truth in it, I could imagine it's quite relevant. Take for example intel gathering, if the YPG is able to identify in various villages a few poeple with friendly to them, it will help them a lot. And of what I know about Syria people there happen to know each other. I guess the YPG will have combed their own man for connections to these villages and they have a lot of very detailed information like, Abu Mahmud in this village has always participated in Kurdish schemes to smuggle Diesel to Turkey, he will likely be friendly if he smells business, Abu Mohammed of that village is a heavy smoker and only interested in his livestock, so try and go talk with him over a cigarette, but Abu Jamal of the viallge over there was always a Brotherhood friend close to the IS ideology, be careful with that village.

These kind of deep information inside Kurdish networks may allow to make coffee drinking pictures like this:


That pic was alledgly shot yesterday more than five kilometer in front of the YPG/ISIS frontline - meaning deep inside ISIS territory. I think knowing with whom you can have a friendly talk over a coffee can be enormously helpful in such a warzone.


My information indicate that the Syrian, Iranian and Russian leadership share the view that the US-backed YPG successes along the Turkish border are very helpful for the Syrian army because the YPG effectively closes the Turkish border for terrorists. However in the lower ranks there is a lot of mistrust against the US activity helping the Kurds and against the national ambitions of the Syrian Kurds.

Sputnik had today an intersting article by Ghassan Kadi on that topic:



Your title to the thread "THALASSA, THALASSA" triggered memories of the ancient Greek in Xenephon: "Thallata, Thallata." This was the cry of Xenephon's men after an ill-considered campaign he undertook in the Hellespont 20+ centuries ago chronicled in Xenephon's "Anabasis" after being lost and rejoicing upon sight of the sea. The sea and access to it was and continues to be critical in our days of geopolitical politics if not in the era of the GPS for some.

I recall in the KFOR response in Kosovo,of sending UK troops to serve and a truck that ended up in Athens after being unloaded here in Thessaloniki. Obviously the driver did not know where the sea should be from here to head north. This was not aided by the locals here in Greece who removed the signs or turned them around out of support for their Serbian Orthodox co-religionists.

Am I just free associating here, or did you intend that reference?

The Twisted Genius


That was precisely my intention. I imagined the excitement of the YPG fighters mirroring that of Xenephon's warriors. One of my men used the exclamation after cresting the Koolau range after a long climb in the mountain jungle of Oahu. It was quite impressive how many of my men knew the reference.



The Twisted Genius


De Oppresso Liber. I always translated it as the imperative "liberate the oppressed" although I'm most likely wrong in that. It's the motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces. It's on our crest, on our coins and in our hearts.

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