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28 November 2016

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Vic

Any thoughts on if the next big fight will be between Syria and Turkey over al-Bab? If so, what will be the American response?

Vic

Bill H

Morning Joe and his ilk do not even understand the impact and meaning of the term "fighting a war," as opposed to an ongoing occupation on the order of Israel in the West Bank. They do not know how to view the events of an actual war.

They harp, for instance, that Assad is "bombing his own people," not remembering a similar example in 1863. The US Army shelled our own people in Vicksburg for days, and it was absolutely the right thing to do, because we were engaged in a civil war and they were rebels against the government.

Matthew

Patrick: Any idea how determined the resistance will be in Idlib after Eastern Aleppo is liberated by the SAA?

Babak Makkinejad

I think, in case of Vicksburg and CSA, based on my limited understanding of US Constitution, they were exercising their inalienable right to separate from a federal structure that they thought no longer protected their interests.

Lee's country was Virginia, if I understood his attitude correctly.

And then Abraham Lincoln turned around and said, in effect, "The Hell you are.".


b

@Vic - Turkey has been told by no uncertain means to stay away from al-Bab. Erdogan then tried to get agreement in a phone call to Putin but was told to pack up and leave the area. No al-Bab, no Manbij, no Raqqa for him. Temporary(!) hold of Jarablus - maybe - but no more Turkish planes in Syrian air space and no Turkish artillery on Syrian ground. That will limit any action to 15km max from the border. The message seems to have finally been received.

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@Patrick

Local rebels in the northern part of the cauldron have given up and went over. Foreign jihadis and their families went into the southern part. That is nibbled on from all corners, currently its eastern border. Whenever the Jihadi defense are too thick a different part is nibbled on while artillery and airforce clear the hardened defense lines. Expect more areas to fall soon.

The Jihadis want to hold onto the old city for a last stand. The SAA will surround them there and leave that part for a negotiated solution (why risk the casualties...).

mike allen

Thanks for this PB - Looking forward to your next installment.

I see on Kurdish twitter accounts that the YPG is now in the Bustan Pasha & Hallok (spelling?) neighborhoods of East Aleppo which had been abandoned by retreating jihadis. Unfortunately the Kurdish Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood was still getting shelled as of a few hours ago.

James Loughton

Yes indeed Sir, I believe this view is correct. At the time the Constitution was signed each state was sovereign and the powers of the federal government were carefully restricted. The constitution did not address the issue of whether or not the states could secede from the union or not. Had the constitution prevented the states from secession, it is very unlikely that the states would have approved it. For that reason, the constitution remained silent on the issue. At the time of the Civil War, good men on both sides saw their their principal identities as citizens of the states with their obligation to the federal government as secondary, but also important.

Lincoln chose to resolve the issue on the battlefield as did the leadership of the states that became the Confederacy. The rest is, as they say, history. Many younger Americans do not understand this aspect of our history and hence you will see some people in the talkback sections of US publications claiming the Confederates were "traitors", which is quite untrue.

Bill H is also correct, in my opinion, in stating that the bombardment of Vicksburg was justified. Once a civil war breaks out, it should be prosecuted as vigorously as possible in order to limit the casualties and costs to both sides.

Ghostship

Why is Kerry running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to protect the jihadists in East Aleppo? I would have thought by now, he would have given them up as a lost cause.
https://www.rt.com/news/368425-kerry-syrian-rebels-trump/
The reason given by Josh Rogin ,The Washington Post/Fake News columnist, seems like fake news to me.
"He is motivated not just by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city but also by the prospect that the incoming president will strike a different kind of deal with Moscow, one that abandons the Syrian opposition and places the United States squarely on the side of dictator Bashar al-Assad."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/kerrys-race-to-stop-the-siege-of-aleppo/2016/11/27/b894d4d0-b33f-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html
I doubt that Kerry gives a toss about the humanitarian crisis and he knows that Trump will do whatever he wants. So why is Kerry so bothered?

Ex-PFC Chuck

Thanks, Patrick. RT is reporting that Kerry is in a flurry trying. To nail down a Syria deal with Lavrov before his boss has to hand over the WH keys to Trump. Link via Russia Insider.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/kerry-makes-unbelievable-effort-save-syrian-rebels-trump-russia-confirms/ri17858

turcopolier

All

The East Aleppo "ghetto" defenders are jihadis but they are our jihadis. pl

Laguerre

The jihadis departure from northern East Aleppo may have been deliberate, but it was still a flight. If you compare to the Ghouta rings, there they fought on, until forced to make terms. In northern East Aleppo they retreated precipitately. It's a sign. The Syrians should follow up, until the offensive runs dry.

Will

Kerry is running around like a blue arsed fly because there are NATO people helping the Takfiri thugs there, trapped in the fighting and lots of evidence that needs syphoning out of the theater fast...

mike allen

Hamar News is reporting that the shelling of the Kurd neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud earlier today came from Kefer Hemra.

That area is west of the Castiello corridor and not part of the East Aleppo kettle. This is the same area that shelled Sheikh Maqsoud on Friday with chemical projectiles.

Prem

According to to the SOHR, about 10,000 civillians were in the liberated areas. So, the figure of 270,000 civillians in East Aleppo (according to the NYT) now seems highly dubious.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel,
These liver-eaters are/were also tayyip's jihadis, but our (Turkish)thief-in-chief is speaking softly these days; the days he was hoping to go to Aleppo for prayers is past and he knows it,

In the meantime the MENA policy of the Masters of the Universe is becoming visible as the massive Charlie Foxtrot that SST has always predicted. Things are now getting murkier. Since the air attack on TSK positions on the anniversary of the Sukhoi shoot-down we have been trying to find out who is responsible, with no luck so far. Russia is still publicly denying that it was their forces-I have no idea what is being said in private.
No one really knows what the deal is with the kurds. Might be that Trump and Putin have an agreement. Does anyone have any links which might be helpful?

Ishmael Zechariah

hemeantwell

His behavior is pretty baffling. Are the Dems looking ahead to charging Trump with "Losing Syria" and so can't appear to diplomatically abandon the jihadis, even though they are doing so materially?

turcopolier

hemeantwell

Who would trump be "losing" Syria to, the secular, multi-confessional government of Syria that has a seat in the UN? pl

turcopolier

IZ

Have we seen the tughra of Sultan Tayyip? Will he march on Vienna or just send masses of people engaged in volkervanderung? pl

turcopolier

mike allen

From the west? Got it. Any SAA baseball caps for sale out there? pl

mike allen

Kurds claim that area, Kefer Hemra, is Erdogan backed Turkmen jihadis. I have no clue if that is correct. But Syria conflict maps show that area as under opposition control. Most maps name it as 'Kafr Hamra' rather than 'Kefer Hemra'. It appears to be ten Klicks or less from Sheikh Maqsoud.

I don't think that ball caps will save their arses, no matter what they plea. They would be better off retreating through Idlib and eventually into Turkey's Hatay province.

Qoppa

PB
your analysis proved to be on point!


As for further developments I think it is important to keep in mind the "rebels" are no uniform force. In Aleppo it used to be "Fateh Halab" as coalition (and operation room), now there was a new "East Aleppo Council". It is not really clear how many "jihadis" properly speaking there are, by this I mean JFS/ex-Nusra (and allies like Jund) and Ahrar al-Sham. Usually they cooperate well, but recently there were tensions between Nusra and Ahrar. For both we also hear rumours about new leadership.

Then there are "FSA" factions (better described maybe as "Islamist nationalist") like Nouraddin al-Zenki and Fastaqim Union (and a couple of smaller ones). Both Zenki and Fastaqim - who together make 60, perhaps 70% of Aleppo rebel force - are firmly rooted in Aleppo, but 2 or 3 weeks ago there was a bloody clash between the two, allegedly over control of warehouse or ammunition, more likely over strategy. Zenki was reported to "merge" with Nusra, Fastaqim with Ahrar (whatever that means).

So the fissures are there, and they will deepen when the blamegame over defeat begins.

Basically it will about whether to surrender (Assad´s nice offer of Green busses to Idlib) or to stay. Ahrar & co will opt for the latter, while some hardcore jihadis (Nusra) may choose to fight it out (yes, the 72 virgins and all that stuff, listen to Muhaysini).


So there is a pretty good chance of complete collapse soon, with little pockets of fierce resistence.


Cortes

Most of the population of eastern Aleppo has been in Glasgow and other northern British cities for the last 18 months or so. Or so it seems. Thanks Dave the pig-fancier. Thanks Tony Bliar. And not forgetting Gordon "is a moron " ]Brown.

Lemur

Khan AlShish is being evacuated atm. Apprently this will free up 3,000 Syrian Troops. Another terrorist holdout slightly North of Aleppo is on the brink of capitulation.

Fred

hemeantwell,

Perhaps Trump will just put out a treat relabeling the jihadis as the "Barack Obama Brigade".

turcopolier

mike allen

Minor differences in transliterated names mean nothing. There is no universally accepted system of transliteration from Arabic into Western languages and these are all Arabic names. I said SAA ball caps, not jihadi. pl

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