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28 October 2016

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Barish

"I wonder if evidence will emerge in East Ghouta as to what actually happened there in the supposed government Sarin gas attack in 2011."

*2013, actually.
Of course, it is telling that nowadays, instead of putting that front and center, some rather random and vague incidences of "chlorine barrel bombs" from ~2015 are dug up and shoved into the news cycle via one UN-institution or another. All the while those same reports admit that it was impossible to inspect on-site those occurrences within Moderatistan/Idlib province.

Lemur

I've seen reports that Russia has chased off Turkish jets tasked with hitting Kurdish positions. Could be Turkish (or Kurdish) propaganda.

Wondering just what tack the Russians are planning on taking over this ongoing Turkish incursion now that it has attacked the Kurds. Will they be traded for Turkish cooperation elsewhere, or will Russia insist they be left alone as allies against the terrorist groups?

Does anybody have any idea how much man power resolving rebel pockets around Damascus has freed up in the last few months?

Kooshy

Colonel, I think at the end of the day mean, that's what the military sieges are for, to give you a chance to surrender, or get you up and move. We know they refused to surrender. Thank you for the update

The Beaver

@ Barish

Wait for Samantha Power and her ilk in the media like Clarissa Ward to come to the defense of Bellingcat and Eliot Higgins - the couch potato who did not leave his apt in UK but is an authority on WMD and chemical weapons. They will say that Fancy Bear has hacked Bellingcat site !!!

Tigermoth

The Russian ASF is asking the CIC for the "lead" to be taken off:

https://southfront.org/russian-military-asks-putin-to-order-to-resumption-of-airstrikes-in-aleppo-says-militants-offensive-repelled/

"Russia’s General Staff has requested President Vladimir Putin to order the resumption of airstrikes in Aleppo due to the operation of militants, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on October 28.

Earlier on October 28, militants “used the moratorium of Russian and Syrian combat flights” and launched an attempt to break the siege of eastern Aleppo."

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/results-trilateral-talks-russian-syrian-iranian-top-diplomats/

Lavrov complements with:

"The minister stressed Moscow, unlike its Western counterparts, is set to carry the fight against terrorists through to the end.

"Terrorists must be smashed," Lavrov said. "When our Western partners are battling terrorism with words, we are full of determination to carry the matter through to the end with deeds."

Russian-US agreements on Syria had begun with a statement that the top priority was to separate moderate opposition and terrorists, Lavrov said.

"Nonetheless, there was no progress, there is no progress and, to tell the truth, I do not expect any further progress, at least in the immediate future," Lavrov said. "I am going to remind that this separation was linked to a seven-day ‘silence regime’ during which Americans promised to show us in their maps where there were terrorists and where not."

"As of today, neither Russia nor Syria has been using their Aerospace and Air Forces around Aleppo for ten days," the Russian foreign minister said. "Over this span of time the separation could have been done at least in eastern Aleppo."

Appeals to cease the fire just reflected a desire to buy time and provide a respite for terrorists, he added...

...The Russian top diplomat said Moscow's patience concerning the separation of the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ from the terrorists in Aleppo has limits.

"As for President Putin’s statement made yesterday about our patience having its limits, that also applies to eliminating the terrorists in Aleppo, as well," Lavrov noted.

In this connection the Russia’s top diplomat pointed out that early this year at a meeting of the International Syria Support Group, US Secretary of State John Kerry in front of representatives from more than 20 countries called on the moderate opposition groups to leave the areas controlled by the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both terrorist groups, outlawed in Russia).

According to Lavrov, Kerry said then that if the moderate opposition did not want to be linked to terrorists then its armed groups should leave the territories under the control of IS and Jabhat an-Nusra and join the ceasefire. The US Secretary of State concluded his speech by saying that if some opposition groups did not disengage themselves from the terrorists then they would become legitimate targets like IS and Jabhat al-Nusra," Lavrov explained.

"Taking into account that there is still no sign of the moderate opposition in Aleppo being separated from Jabhat al-Nusra, then the time has come for the position expressed by Kerry to be turned into reality," the Russian foreign minister stressed."

FM Lavrov making JK eat his words; not so tasty I suspect.

Tigermoth

It looks like the Syrians / Russians are keeping to their word:

"MOSCOW, Oct. 28 -. RIA Novosti Turkish planes were trying to enter Syrian airspace in the northern province of Aleppo, but turned around after warnings from the Syrian and Russian military, he told the news agency Sputnik source in the security forces."

https://ria.ru/syria/20161028/1480203490.html

Good news.

wisedupearly

given the earlier loss of the Russian MIG to Turkish forces, these warnings represent a particularly measured response.

Charles Michael

Bizare Russians Turkishs relations are difficult to put in a logical frame and any agreement looks shaddy.
IMHO improved business relations are central to Russian and Turkish strategy. But post-coup Erdogan is rather weakened internaly and so its state apparatus. Its supports are mainly part of non kemalist army and strongly the jihadist leaning population.
So Putin, and Bachar Al Assad have to let Erdogan have some lee way versus the YPG, but not trespassing too far. From the perspective of the Legal powers and allies 6+1 it is also a mean to temper and control the excesive demands of a continuous and rather autonomous Rojana along the Turkish frontier.

Chris

Anyone else notice that in order to find reports of the SAA advances/gains we have to go to Southfront, FARS news agency, or Sputnik?

Yet when the CIA jihadis attempt an attack it gets instance coverage from BBC, ABC, NY Times.

This latest "offensive" on Aleppo was promised a week ago, yet you had to dig deep to find out that it was largely disrupted by the effectiveness of the SAA/Russian/Iranian military. What appears to be going on now is a last ditch attempt at breaking the siege. It is highly suspicious how the western press act almost like the "Armed Forces Radio" of Al-Qaeda and other jihadis.

The Beaver

Chris

It is because all the western media get their news and video feed from AMC-Aleppo Media centre.

Most of them write/show their pieces from Beirut with some local help. Those who do go to Syria - they will do so with the help of the rebels , like Holly Williams who got a lot of help from the Turks until the coup , Clarissa Ward all dressed up in Black apart from a face covering or even the chap from NBC.

Elizabeth Palmer from CBS and a couple of the old ( sorry but I have to differentiate them from the biased Kim Ghattas) fellows from BBC seem to have contact within the Assad govt and you may get a pretty fair reporting.

Chris Chuba

Basically, anything that his reported by the White Helmets and London Based Syrian Observatory for Human rights is taken as the Gospel truth. Every single piece of news sourced from the Syrian govt, the Russians, or anywhere else is completely ignored. It would be like reporting the Battle of Britain and ignoring all British sources.

Since the main topic touched on the opposition being Jihadists, I have found the best phrased account on this topic by one of the Borg, Joseph Micallef ...
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/10/26/the-final-collapse-of-obamas-syrian-policy.html
"The Russians tried to blame the collapse of the cease-fire on the White House's inability to identify and segregate so called "moderate" Syrian rebel forces from the radical jihadist Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly the Al-Nusra Front). It was a hopeless task, one that was impossible to achieve given the fluidity in the composition of the various Syrian rebel and jihadist groups, as well as the ever shifting battlefield alliances.

The fact that the U.S. even consented to somehow take on this responsibility only underscores how completely inept the Kerry-led State Department has been in conducting negotiations with the Russians."

This is priceless because he is indignant by the thought that anyone should expect the rebels we sponsor to separate from the Al Qaeda militants. How dare those Russians! If you are trying to talk to a friend and convince them that we are supporting the wrong side, this confession is rather jarring. You have to be Borg to believe otherwise.

Last thought. Assad claims that Aleppo boy is an actor, I found it convincing.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/assad-says-boy-ambulance-fake-proves-it/ri17214

Thirdeye

A measured response is exactly what's called for. Russia's carrot-and-stick approach to Turkey would be undermined by excessive use of the stick. I also suspect that there is some maneuvering by Russia with respect to the Kurds, since they need to counter Washington's ambition to use the Kurds to carve up the Syrian state. If Russia can keep Turkey off the backs of the Kurds, in balance with the incentives they can provide for Turkey, it gives them some leverage over the Kurds to keep them from becoming Washington's vassals.

Anna

Elliot Higgins (an expert in selling ladies' underwear) has already found a formidable protection from Atlantic Council where Higgins is listed as Senior Fellow (chosen by Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of AC; Kempe used to work as a journo for WSJ, the Israel-first flagship) and by the Department of War Studies, King's College London, UK (installed there by Theo Farrell, Head of the Department of War Studies). Judging from his bio, Mr. Farrel is a great schmoozer with zero (0) military experience.

rjj

....or maybe a previously elected nominee: why is this "news"

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/27/politics/john-kerry-axe-files/index.html

Kooshy

It was in Iranian news this morning, that, after warning by Russian and Syrian air defense controllers, Turkish war planes approaching Kurd positions in Aleppo Provence headed back to Turkey.

rjj

misplaced post. belongs on Comey thread.

turcopolier

rjj

Thas' OK I am always here for demonic drives and spirits summoned from the vasty deep. pl

The Twisted Genius

Clearly the Russians are not half-assing anything related to Syria. The BBC reported that the Kuznetsov flotilla was accompanied by two oilers and that refueling operations were conducted in the Mediterranean. They didn't need Spanish refueling at all. The request was probably a diplomatic recon by fire.

rjj

I needed that laugh. Many, many thanks.

rjj

p.s. thanks also for tactfully avoiding Macbeth - Glamis thou art, and Cawdor thou shal't be.

Lemur

*Su-24, not a MiG.

Peter in Toronto

Selling that narrative appears to be immensely profitable. Elliot was an underemployed college graduate prior to his current proclivities?

charly

Malta came next.

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161028/local/russian-ship-clearance-withdrawn-after-us-uk-pressure.629310

aleksandar

Russian aircraft group seems to be refueled in Oran ( Algeria ) and going to Easter Med

Former 11B

New Anna News video details the fighting of Palestinian " Liwaa Al-Quds" against the unicorns occurring in one of neighborhoods of Aleppo....

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e99_1477729067

None of that go pro staged stuff but some real hardcore combat with views of the enemy and their possible demise. (I say possible because now you see them now a big explosion. Who knows who survived and who didn't)

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