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16 October 2016


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Peter in Toronto

I believe the town is already taken by the joint Turkish-Arab proxy force. ISIL is already claiming that THIS is not the battle the prophecized, haha.

It's like their entire spiel is a bunch of baloney made up to aggrandize their own political goals...


Peter in Toronto

Well, let's see if Ibrahim's boys fight to take it back. pl

mike allen

Kurdish web and twitter sites are claiming that ISIS left without a fight, and that the Turkish backed Sultan Murad Brigade is in cahoots with ISIS.

Something similar reportedly happened in Jarabulus when Turks and their militias took that over: ISIS left without a fight.

FB Ali

Mike Allen,

It's not just the Sultan Murad guys, Erdogan is "in cahoots with ISIS" !

alba etie

"Reportedly there is a deal ...accepted by US"
- Do we have any citations for that assertion , and if this is true I am pretty sure President Putin will not let Palmyra be retaken by the Liver Eaters without a fight up to and including taking on the Turkish military in combat . Palmyra is where that Russian CAS SOF called in an airstrike on his own position when he was surrounded by the jihadist . Its also where there is an UN World Heritage History site , and the Russians hosted a classical symphony there last year .

Ishmael Zechariah

Thanks for the quote from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He was an honorable officer and a gentleman.
Ishmael Zechariah

Ishmael Zechariah

You are right. tayyip-the-klept was/is a supporter and enabler of ISIS. I am waiting to see how Putin finesses this one.
Ishmael Zechariah

The Beaver

On the iraqi side:


strikes have started

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, that is the opinion in Iran as well.


While I agree with our Host that it is good that these forces aren't being used against Aleppo, I take no joy in them killing each other. It is the terrible beauty of US policy that they have their two greatest enemies in the ME (Iran/Shia Crescent vs. Sunni extremism) fighting each other. Every Muslim killed by another Muslim due to US policy is a loss to humanity. These forces should be attacking Israel and the Arab vassal regimes, not destroying the last secular outposts of Modernity in the ME. And while anything that brings peace to the long-suffering Syrian people is a good thing, preserving this architecture will only see this same play used again. Sometimes I get so frustrated I want to grab Muslims and shake some sense into them. They are being used to destroy themselves, I can't be happy about that.


Alba Etie,

Whatever the deal is, I can't see Russia allowing an Anti-Syria to be formed in the East. Not only does this break the Islamic Pipeline, it would allow the Qataris to push Russian gas out of Europe with their own pipeline. It would also expose Lebanon (and thus Western (Russian) Syria) to Zionist adventures, without Iranian aid being able to get past the American cock-block in Syriraq.

Supposedly the deal is that the American get east of the Euphrates, and the Russians west. This means Palestine would move into the Russian sphere, along with Egypt. So maybe the deal is real, the Russians have recently imposed themselves in the Israel/Palestine conflict, and are re-establishing their airbase in Egypt (as well as anti-terrorist training in the Sinai). I would not be happy abandoning Iraq to the Americans, we in the West have a long-term duty of care to those resilient people.

Like many of you, I have studied history my whole life. We have the (mis)fortune of living through a real, epoch-changing period; Interesting Times indeed! The curse implied in this Chinese proverb is all the more apparent now that we are here. But I also hear echoing in my head the words of Gandalf the Grey to Frodo:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Long life and happiness to you all.


A large part of SAA gains in East Gouta were due to Jihadist infighting, the same is occurring now in the Hama front. This in addition to the AQ vs ISIS fights can only be good for Syria. Can you imagine what the future would have held for Syria if they had taken over?

I find the ability of the Syrian Government to negotiate the removal of the terrorists in many places an absolutely amazing phenomenon. This has been going on in many areas around Damascus so a lot of small jihadi pockets are being closed down which is freeing up SAA forces. The government generally buses them to Idlib with anyone else that wants to go. So the locals get peace in their area and government support. This doesn't seem like a government wanting to destroy its own people as per MSM and the western coalition portray.

There was an interesting interaction a while back between jihad and the SAA northeast of Damascus where the jihadis were fighting ISIS and needed reinforcements. They contacted the SAA and asked if they could bring some in through SAA controlled territory and the SAA said no problem, and let them pass through.

This caused a static situation in the town the allowed the Syrian government and the jihadis to negotiate the removal of ISIS forces to Raqqa. There was a video of SAA Mi-28 helicopters flying cover for the buses and tanks on their way to ISIS controlled territory.

There is so much happening under the "war news" radar that I have great hope for Syria. These actions, like the 750 plus reconciliation agreements that have been signed via the Russian efforts, indicate to me that the Syrians have a culture that has massive tolerance for each other and if left alone they with come to an arrangement that maintains this unique heritage.

ancient archer

So, the big fight between the dreadly Daesh and the Free (only in name) Syrian Army in Dabiq ended in Daesh fleeing. And they didn't forget to put rose petals on the bed and mints on the pillow for the new arrivals. Exactly like Jarabalus. Daesh flees on hearing the war drums from the ever victorious Ottoman army. Oh sorry, the Sultan Erdogan didn't send his army, just his drummer with the FSA. But fear not, that is enough for the dastardly Daesh!

Onwards to Mosul then. We wonder why the Iraqi PM keeps on complaining, but surely the Ottoman contingent waiting in the wings to take back the city (without actual fighting of course) will, like always, be victorious. I hope the Ottomans haven't forgotten the drummer they sent to Jarabalus and are looking forward to rose petal covered beds and mints on the pillows when they enter Mosul.

The battlefield victories of the Ottoman supported FSA remind me of the incipient Taliban's (supported by the great moghul aka pakistan) victories over Pushtun Afghan warlords in the 1990s. In both cases, there was no fight, or at least, not much of it. The pathans simply changed from one side to the other, lots of dollar bundles changed hands and the media was informed of BIG victories.

ISIS haven't fought the Turk supported army, not even defending Dabiq, which is, some would say, the lynchpin of their very existence. After all, ISIS call all true believers to come and fight for them in the final battle and that is a very very crucial part of their charms. And such charm is essential if you want to attract true believers who are ready to embrace death. So, the question is, have they really relinquished Dabiq, or was it just a change in the signboard with the occupants remaining the same?


That's a weird opinion, the enthusiasm for them to kill each other seem genuine, so you pretend to know better what's good for them?
I don't think either side will approve, of course there are still a few minor problems like which ones gets the 72 virgins upon death, but again this is their problem not one of our problems as Westerners, or, may be, you are not a Westerner?



The really amusing thing about your Dabiq comment is that in the best paranoid style of the Great Arabian Dream Machine you believe that the intra-jihadi war is the product of US cleverness. pl

Patrick Bahzad

Well Earthrise, you could start by shaking some sense into KSA and the Gulfies. After all, they're the ones who started this round of Muslim vs Muslim slaughtering.

Patrick Bahzad

Regarding "Dabiq", I've always been suspicious of its importance in IS belief system. They have used it as a media and propaganda tool, no doubt, but somehow I was under the impression that this was more like their version of "opium for the people".
IS is as much about "redemption through Jihad" as it is about bringing about the end of times. Dabiq was a media magnet among an English speaking audience mostly, and none of the other language versions of the magazine was called by that name, regardless of the Zarqawi quote. And in truth, they seem to have turned that page already: their latest online mag is called "Rumiyah".
As far as Jihadis taking care of each is concerned, one might wish for more places like Dabiq around Northern Syria and Iraq. we could just pass on the popcorn while they go at each others' throats and pick up the pieces later. Shame really ...


Forget not the two helicopter carriers the French built for Russia and the sold to the Egyptians
Is this the making of an airborne rapid deployment force

ancient archer

Earthrise, are you sure Sunni extremism is an enemy of the United States? As apart from propaganda meant for the sheeple stateside where sunni extremism is portrayed as an enemy, let's look at historical instances where that was the case:

Afghan mujahideen, the first instance of sunni extremism (brewed by Uncle Sam with the help of Zia). Ally

Yugoslavia/Kosovo - Ally again. The US sided with the sunni extremists against the serbs.

Chechnya/Dagestan - Strike three. The US helped in sending out the mujahideen to the 'soft underbelly' of Russia.

Iraq - neither ally nor enemy. Bush vs Saddam was personal and Saddam was secular to boot. Nevertheless, US meddling in Iraq gave rise to another round of Sunni extremism that the US used to stay longer in Iraq and is still using the phenomenon.

911 and other attacks - Enemy. In these cases Sunni extremism was an enemy of the US. But then looking at the tower 7 destruction, it seems that the mullas were set up.

anyways, looking at what they do not what they say, it seems to me that sunni extremism was incubated, nurtured and used by the United States more than it was a deadly problem.

So, I don't think Sunni extremism is or has been an enemy, it has been a great prop instead. A great trojan horse for the US military externally and elements of the police internally.

Babak Makkinejad

Not to mention their subsidizing of Saddam Hussein's war against Iran.


The Colonel Cassad blog has an interesting post today that suggests a faction within ISIS in Mosul was pushing for the "safe passage to Syria" option, but they were discovered and executed:

"Attempt to achieve the surrender of the city by separate negotiations with the militants of the Caliphate failed due to information leakage about such negotiations in Mosul was executed more than 50 people for the attempted coup http://newspile.ru/news/1785262
the Conspirators allegedly wanted to open the front and let the attackers into the city in exchange for a safe exit. The massacre must demonstrate that the Caliphate intends to hold Mosul at any price and force the attackers to pay a heavy price in blood."


ancient archer

"it seems to me that sunni extremism was incubated, nurtured and used by the United States more than it was a deadly problem." absolute crap. More Great Arabia Dream Machine foolishness. this is the kind of thing that people dream up when they know nothing of actual events and talk to too many people in coffee houses and in office meetings with lefty professors. in fact the US has blundered its way across the last half century in the Islamic World with never more than a tiny group of people who actually understood the region and who were steadfastly ignored by the high and mighty. I know. I was among the mostly ignored. as with many of the wild eyed fantasists about this subject you attribute far too much acumen to the US. pl

ancient archer

what about afghanistan? wasn't that the start of sunni extremism as we know it now. there have been other variants across history, but the brand that has been in vogue recently owes its origin to the afghan mujahideen supported by the arabs all of whom were (and i will say it again) incubated, nurtured and used by the United States.

It was a great strategy for the US when it was being used. and they kept on using it later too. Which side was the US supporting in the partitioning of Yugoslavia? Putin himself has said that the Chechen (and arabs supporting them) were trained and given weapons by the US.

It is not just incubation of people but mainly ideology that I am talking about. What is the ideology of the sunni extremism - wahhabi. Where is that particular brand of ideology nurtured - Saudi Arabia. Hey, don't they happen to be one of our steadfast allies who can do no wrong. another nail regarding my point on nurturing. we nurture the nurturers of terror (as is commonly described by the msm), isn't that so?

So, basically the US portrays sunni extremism as an enemy. the military industrial complex gets to sell their weapons and do their wars (now of course russia will replace the jihadists as enemy #1) and the internal police state get a better grip on public and get powers that would never have been allowed without the sceptre of 'terrorism' hanging over our heads. See, win win for the govt.

what is the problem with my logic?


ancient archer

"wasn't that the start of sunni extremism as we know it now." are you really that historically ignorant? sunni extremism is a cyclic phenomenon that recurs every hundred years or so as generated by the internal ambiguity in the religion as to the "destiny" of Islam to become God's kingdom on earth. Because Islam has no central body of authority and its nature is a matter of consensus (Ijma') among Muslims it is always feasible for sectarian cults like IS and AQ to arise among some group of Muslims. what is wrong with your logic? the fault is that it is merely logical and is the kind of thing that people who have no personal knowledge of events invent and discuss with similarly minded and ignorant people. pl

mike allen

From Dave Witty reportedly a former USA Special Forces Colonel:

"Unknown persons burn 3 ISIS HQs in Mosul."


"Clashes in Mosul between residents and ISIS at Bab al-Jadid and Hammam al-Aliil. 2 cars burned."


Anybody here know Witty? Unclear to me whether he is a civilian observer with anti-ISIS forces taking Mosul or just translating Iraqi or Kurdish broadcasts. He has written about the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) in the past.

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