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11 July 2016

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David Habakkuk

All,

It is a major problem with the MSM that they do not realise that 'narratives' are only imperfectly controllable.

A headline from the 'Mail Online' two days ago:

'Shocking video captures the moment two pilots are killed when ISIS shoot down a Russian attack helicopter over Syrian city of Palmyra with "US missile".'

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3682404/Two-pilots-confirmed-dead-ISIS-shoots-Russian-attack-helicopter-Syrian-city-Palmyra.html .)

The comments are interesting.

It may be that the 'Mail' is, if not capitulating to its readers, at least making a tactical retreat in favour of their determined assault.

Ghostship

The Guardian seems to be doing the same. A few months ago, if the SAA had managed to block the Castillo Road, the front page would have been covered with reports that a humanitarian disaster was imminent in Aleppo. Today, nothing.
BTW, I wonder if the failure to put a block on the Castillo Road by the SAA is a conscious decision, because the effective block acts like flypaper and it's harder for the west to portray the effective block as a siege tactic.
Looking at various videos of actions to the north west, it would appear that the rebels are making use of reinforced concrete buildings to provide shelter from RuAF and SAA/SAF attacks, I wonder why the Russians aren't using the 1954 series 9000kg (20000lbs) GP bombs to pancake these structures on top of the rebels.

Thomas

In the Washington Post article, the quotes from the Neocon now complaining about Erdogan appears as if the Faction is sweating the fact that maybe the Sultan had a real change of heart on Syrian regime change and will side with the Russians. If true, then the Sultan sending as many jihadis in his country to the battle field will save him some time and trouble in the future cleanup of this mess.

Barish

Do we have definitive proof that Padişah Tayyip hasn't ordered - if not an outright stop - a significant draw-down of allowing supply-lines of insurgents to continue? Even with a draw-down in effect, it's not exactly unlikely that they've still got plenty in store to fire away - for the moment.

Just last month, couple days prior to the overt signs of rapprochement, there was this bit of news in Turkish Hürriyet Daily:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/new-measures-in-sight-against-lpg-cylinders-in-anti-terror-fight.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100873&NewsCatID=341

"New measures in sight against LPG cylinders in anti-terror fight

A new action plan discussed by Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) has suggested a number of measures to prevent the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders as external parts of home-made bombs by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), daily Habertürk has reported.

[...]

In addition, a barcode system is planned to be implemented by the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), thus paving the way for monitoring cylinders. Vendors will have to fill out a detailed form on all sold cylinders, including the date and time of the sale and the name and address information of the buyer.

Meanwhile, setting up a new electronic network system is also on the agenda to simultaneously collect and monitor the information on cylinders.

According to the report, the recycling process of cylinders will be monitored and the import and export of cylinders will be inspected or prevented.

On June 9, the Interior Ministry sent a letter to governor’s offices and security units across Turkey, temporarily suspending the sale of fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate in order to prevent access by militant groups to the substance commonly used in building explosives.

The Agriculture Ministry temporarily banned sales of fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate after car bomb attacks hit the country’s largest city as well as a town in the southeastern province of Mardin on two consecutive days.

The Prime Ministry’s press office also announced on June 10 that the sale and distribution of 12-kilogram propane cylinders will be monitored and inspected.
June/24/2016"

Nominally aimed against PKK, true, but let's not forget that those iconic, blue gas-cans have seen wide-spread use amongst the unicorns in Syria as well...

Barish

I see it not mentioned among the points above, but how does SAA 4th Division's advances inside Layramun industrial sector, directly west of Bani Zaid district figure in the "Greatest Battle"? Going by militarymaps.info, that advance made head-way along the Al-Mothana road past this building here, the Inbagh Factory:

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=36.233495&lon=37.129079&z=17&m=w&show=/35363507/Inbagh-factory

Further, points have supposedly been captured at Handarat Camp by SAA & allies. That while the unicorns have no gains to show after today's head-on charge within Aleppo city centre...does this show deteriorating C&C among unicorns directly in the city itself - a number of Fatah Halab's higher-ups were killed at Mallah-fields in the last few days -, merely plain desperation, or both?

turcopolier

Barish

"Do we have definitive proof that Padişah Tayyip hasn't ordered - if not an outright stop - a significant draw-down of allowing supply-lines of insurgents to continue?" Is there proof that he has so ordered? pl

turcopolier

Barish

That is splendid news. I think the "unicorns" are really largely jihadis. I would think they are desperate. More good news! I imagine that the Marquess of Queensbury's rules will not apple with regard to jihadi prisoners. after all, turn about is fair play and what would you do with them? They will wait all the rest of their miserable lives for a chance to kill you. pl

turcopolier

Thomas

Good! Let the neocons sweat. IMO Erdogan is not able to abandon his Islamist friends. IS and/or the AQ types will eat him if he does. He is half heatedly trying to close his IS exposed border an it remains to be seen of he can do that. pl

BabelFish

They have their own equivalent to the US GBU series of penetrator ord. Essentially a giant masonry nail with explosives inside. Ours did a number on the Yugoslav built aircraft shelters during Desert Storm.

different clue

Ghostship,

I haven't seen any of these videos you mention. But if the buildings you referrence are also full of human-shield civilians-held-hostage, then the SAA and R + 6 might not want to pancake the buildings on top of all those human-shield civilians.

Barish

The mentioned introduction of thorough registration, limitation and making it mandatory for individuals to return used gas-canisters mentioned in the article here (skipped this part here before):
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/new-measures-in-sight-against-lpg-cylinders-in-anti-terror-fight.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100873&NewsCatID=341

"[...]
According to debated measures to control the sale and to monitor LPG cylinders in coordination with the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry, citizens will not be able to buy a new cylinder without giving back an empty one, while vendors will have to demand the ID information of buyers.

The new measures will also not allow businesses to hold more cylinders than necessary, with firms that do not obey the rules being fined accordingly.
[...]"

would be an indication of a first step in the Turkish bureaucracy towards controlling the flow of that particular "dual-use"-item.

And then, to my bafflement, I read this just now:

http://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2016/07/11/no-reason-for-turkey-to-fight-with-neighboring-countries-pm-yildirim

"No reason for Turkey to fight with neighboring countries: PM Yıldırım

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that there is no reason for Turkey to have disagreement with its neighbors, expressing that the country's intentions are to improve its ties with countries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Speaking at the AK Party's Politics Academy event in Ankara, Yıldırım said that Turkey intends to mend ties with all the countries in the region including Iraq, Syria and Egypt to spread peace across the world.

"We had strained relations with Israel, which could return to normal after receiving an apology and compensation. However, the essential condition for us has been improving the condition of Palestinians so, we refused to settle for a deal without a step on this matter"

Yıldırım said the current agreement providing tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza City is a result of Turkey's determined stance on the Palestinian cause.

Commenting on relations with Russia, Yıldırım said that Turkish and Russian people have been discontent with the crisis between the two countries and the Turkish administration has taken steps to normalize ties after seeing the public's reaction.

"We will continue to improve ties with our neighbors. There is no reason for us to fight with Iraq, Syria or Egypt but we need to take our cooperation with them further, the prime minister said. [...]"

It's an item in various outlets of the Türkçe Press as well:

http://www.diken.com.tr/basbakan-yildirim-sinyali-verdi-suriye-ve-misirla-kavga-etmemiz-icin-cok-neden-yok/

"Başbakan Yıldırım ‘sinyali verdi’: Suriye ve Mısır’la kavga etmemiz için çok neden yok
11/07/2016 19:29"

- Prime Minister Yıldırım gave a signal: there isn't much of a reason for our quarreling with Syria and Egypt

Finally recalled venerable Kemal Paşa's saying "Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh"? Good.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I agree with you that Erdogan has not stopped supporting the jihadis, and is merely trying to bamboozle the Russians into thinking he has. I doubt if they will be taken in, though.

When a man sits at the pinnacle of power for so long, he loses touch with reality. There is no one around to point it out to him. I think the Sultan is in that state of illusion. I eagerly await Reality hitting him on the head one of these days soon.

turcopolier

FB Ali

SWMBO calls that the "great man syndrome." pl

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel,
Your point "Erdogan is trying to win the day through chicanery" is right on. Here are a few more data points:

1-tayyip is trying to play Russia against the Borg. Three facts: a-The Russian sanctions have truly wrecked his economy; b-The message conveyed by the Ataturk Airport Bomb is not yet clear; c-his rapprochement with Israel is not playing well with his real base.

He has now fielded two new gambits:
i-Amnesty for illegal funds abroad: all such money, irrespective of amount or origin can be brought back to Turkey no questions asked, and then be legitimized through the Turkish banking system.
ii-Turkish Citizenship will be offered to all "qualified" Syrian refugees: I interpret this as an attempt to buck up his voting block, and a means of currying favor with Merkel & Co.

It will be interesting to watch this game play out. My hope is that he will drown in his own excrement.

Ishmael Zechariah

Oddlots

"It's almost worth a Great Depression to learn how little our "big men" know."

Will Rogers

ex-PFC Chuck

This reminds me of a quote I read a few days ago of a line from the play "History Boys," by Alan Bennett. The character Mrs. Lintott says, “History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind – with the bucket.”

alba etie

All
Meanwhile our dear friend DIA Director James Clapper has refused Speaker Paul Ryan 's request to deny Mrs Clinton her presumptive nominee intel briefings,due to her extremely careless handling of classified information that FBI Director addressed in the Congressional hearings last week -- ( Sigh ) Liar protecting damn liar ...

Ghostship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xuen8BSNaY

Watch at 1:40, 2:24, and 3:09.

The buildings in an industrial area look uninhabited.

Ghostship

ii-Turkish Citizenship will be offered to all "qualified" Syrian refugees: I interpret this as an attempt to buck up his voting block, and a means of currying favor with Merkel & Co.
A cynic might suggest this is a ploy to allow Turkey to recover its "lost" lands in northern Syria by stealth. Give Syrian Turkmen Turkish citizenship so when they return to Syria at the end of the conflict, Erdogan can do a "Sudetenland" on Syria probably with the Borg's connivance (cf., Kosovo).

bth

I keep an eye out for articles in open source on trucking patterns, especially oil trucking in the Turkish, Syria, Iraq area. With the exception of one article about Iraq truckers having to briber their way across Iraq in June there hasn't been a single useful article or even reference to Syrian IS oil trucking. The Russians which made such an issue of Turkish oil imports have been dead quiet as well. This is like the dog that hasn't barked.

I'm not sure what to make of this. One possibility is that the trucking routes between IS and Turkey shut down about 2 months ago as simply being not worth the risk for independent truckers. Another possibility is that the Syrian government has started buying again from whoever controls the eastern O&G fields. Forth, perhaps actual army and militia units have devolved into local racketeering operations as has occurred in Iraq. This might partially explain the very poor coordination of actions among Syrian military forces. A fourth possibility is that the currency collapse in May signaled a mighty last gasp of economic activity in Syria. However if that were the case I'd guess we'd be seeing a final immigration wave which we are not.... So why have all parties gone quiet on the IS oil trading meme?

robt willmann

alba etie,

And right now, Senator Bernie Sanders is on television endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

FkDahl

An oil convoy was bombed by the Russians two days ago in Idlib province, Syria. A prominent Al Jazeera journalist was killed in this attack
https://southfront.org/al-jazeera-reporter-killed-in-idlib-province-where-russian-warplanes-destroyed-convoy-of-oil-trucks-reports/

Babak Makkinejad

Supposed to be at Iraq-Syria border, depicting tanker trucks bombed by Russian Air force

http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/542197/تصاویر-نابودکردن-تانکرهای-نفت-داعش-توسط-هواپیماهای-روسیه

Babak Makkinejad

That is true as far as it goes but without men, we would all be in the caves still.

different clue

Ghostship,

Thank you for sending the links.

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